West Ham United v West Brom: Joey O'Brien thinks Olympic Stadium makes Hammers a more attractive prospect

 

Joey O'Brien thinks Sam Allardyce will be able to attract some of the best players in the world to West Ham now that they have been handed the keys to the Olympic Stadium.

After years of legal wrangling, the London Legacy Development Corporation finally confirmed last Friday that it had chosen West Ham to become anchor tenants of the London 2012 stadium in Stratford.

The Hammers are expected to move in to the 60,000-seater venue at the start of the 2016-17 season, and the club are determined to use the fact that they are moving to one of the most iconic stadia in Great Britain as a key selling point for any transfer targets.

Co-owner David Sullivan already appears to have upped the stakes in the market with his pursuit of Vitesse Arnhem striker Wilfried Bony, while other targets for next season have also been identified.

Bolton were able to attract the likes of Jay-Jay Okocha, Youri Djorkaeff and Ivan Campo to the Reebok Stadium after they moved there from Burnden Park and the former Trotters defender, now a regular starter with the Hammers, thinks a higher calibre of player will also be tempted to move to West Ham once they see how good their new home is.

“I think it can only mean good things for the club when you move into a stadium like that,” O'Brien said.

“You can attract players and supporters from all over the world to play and watch there.

“If the club want to push on and to finish higher the league, then we need a bigger stadium and to fill it to get the revenue into the football club. It's a great step forward.

“It will be unbelievable. Looking at the stadium when the Olympics were on and seeing what the club want to do with it by turning it into a football stadium, it looks unbelievable.”

Bolton were favourites for the drop when Allardyce took them in to the Barclays Premier League in 2001, but they remained in the top-flight for 11 years before being relegated last summer.

During that time Bolton made the League Cup final and qualified for the UEFA Cup - something which would have been possible without the move to their new stadium, O'Brien reckons.

“If they hadn't have moved to the Reebok then I don't think they'd have established themselves in the Premier League and definitely wouldn't have got into Europe,” the 27-year-old added.

“Stadia help to attract players and get revenue into the club and, from that, if the team settles into the stadium then it will help them to beat teams and finish higher up the league, then you attract more players. It's a rolling thing.

“Up there at Bolton, they would probably have not achieved the same success without the new stadium.”

O'Brien and his team-mates will go a long way to banishing any lingering fears of relegation for West Ham tomorrow if they beat West Brom at Upton Park.

Hammers boss Allardyce thinks five more points will be enough to secure survival, and with games against Everton, Manchester City, Liverpool, and Manchester United to come before the end of the season, O'Brien knows another win tomorrow will relieve a lot of pressure on the club.

He said: “If we get the three points it would set us up for a nice end to the season.

“We're in a decent position but if we can get a couple of wins in our next couple of games we'd be in a really good position.”

Captain Kevin Nolan and Joe Cole have overcome their respective toe and hamstring injuries, and are expected to start.

There is also an outside chance that George McCartney could make his first start in four months following his recovery from a knee injury.

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there