The Joe Royle column

I FEEL for Glenn Roeder after everything he has gone through. The West Ham board must have had their doubts in the summer and it now seems he had three games to keep his job.

I FEEL for Glenn Roeder after everything he has gone through. The West Ham board must have had their doubts in the summer and it now seems he had three games to keep his job.

They may have been better addressing things in the summer rather than do it now. Equally West Ham have always been an honourable club and I know they will look after him as they should do.

When Harry (Redknapp) had to go he was fully compensated and I'm sure Glenn will be.

It is never a nice thing to do to get rid of a manager but knowing West Ham they will do it in the right way.


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I doubt the incident where the players refused to change in the Rotherham dressing rooms had anything to do with it and no doubt if they had won the game it would not have been an issue.

Rotherham's ground is one of the older grounds in the country, the dressing rooms are among the smallest and I'm sure years ago when it was literally 11 players, no substitutes and a manager, coach and physio on the bench it was fine.

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Nowadays you have masseurs, assistant physios, five substitutes and it is very cramped. The players are bigger and I remember we could not have got a cat in to swing it anyway.

No, that in isolation should not have gone against Glenn. As long as it was done for the right reasons and not as a snub to Rotherham I can see why he did that.

We saw last year how Ronnie (Moore) can get his best of his players. They had nothing to play for yet came out and had a go at us and that is all part of the Rotherham culture. We were not happy with their pitch but, as Ronnie says, why should they make it easy for other teams?

Good luck to them, they do outstandingly well and for Rotherham to beat West Ham is a feather in their cap.

THE reintroduction of the loan system into the Premiership has to be good thing for football and I could never see the reason behind stopping it.

If you can get someone to take the burden of a wage from your club by all means do it and if a player is not going to be in your team you may as well loan him out and show him to his best effect.

I don't see why opponents would worry that you are going to loan players out just to play against your nearest rivals. Why should the opposition be worried about coming up against someone's reserves?

Conspiracy theorists are going to be in their element with Chelsea at the moment. If someone passes wind there, people are going to be looking for motives behind it.

No, Chelsea are just collecting players and Claudio Ranieri's biggest task is keeping the ones that are not being used happy. They are going to have a reserve side with 500 caps between them. It will be interesting what they will do when they come here, whether they play the kids or the internationals.

IT brought a smile to my face to see my old friend Gazza away on holiday with his wife and children over the weekend given all his recent problems.

It took me back about five years to a time I met up with him in a hotel somewhere after an England game and he had a cast on some part of his body.

We got chatting, had a few drinks together, and he got through a totally obnoxious cigar as well, and he gave me his life story.

He really is a Labrador – he just wants loving and to play. His loves of his life are football and his wife and he could not handle being away from either playing or being with Cheryl.

After a while he wanted to drive home and I would not let him so I took him up to my room and he slept in the spare bed.

When I got up in the morning Gazza had gone – so had my trousers, my shoes and my toilet bag. I cursed him, then found them strewn all down the corridor.

It was typical Gazza. I never saw him again for a couple of years until I bumped into at a dinner and he was telling my wife Janet all about it.

To know him is to love him and it was great to see him so looking so happy because he is away with his family. The football won't last an awful lot longer so it would be brilliant if they did get back together permanently.

I know he is looking for a club at the moment and he has to play somewhere. He loves to play and you worry when he is not playing, although he is not quite what we are looking for.

At his peak he was one of our greatest players until he wrote himself off in the cup final with his tackle on Gary Charles.

Like all geniuses, or borderline geniuses, he is prone to self-destruct. But let us hope the Labrador gets back with his family and all the loving he needs.

MY old mate Dave Jones has found how difficult the Premiership is now he has got there with Wolves and I did feel for him at the weekend.

He did a fantastic job in getting Wolves promoted but saw his side let in nine goals in their first two games, although their 1-0 defeat at Old Trafford last night was more encouraging.

Jonesy was my apprentice at Everton years ago and he used to do my boots for me. He is a great man and we all felt for him when he was ridiculously accused of something he was never capable of doing. So having gone through all that trauma, I have nothing but even more admiration for the man.

He knows even at this stage that it is going to a long hard season but he will be working tremendously hard to try and put things right. But I'm pulling for you Jonesy, and I hope you do it.

As told to Derek Davis

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