Football: Glenn: My Stars Not for sale.(Sport)

Article excerpt

Byline: PAUL HETHERINGTON

GLENN ROEDER is entitled to give a V-sign to his detractors after leading West Ham to the third best league season in their history.

But the Hammers boss will content himself with giving two fingers to any club trying to pinch one of his exciting young players.

Roeder was the so-called rookie manager controversially chosen by West Ham to succeed the popular Harry Redknapp.

The 46-year-old Roeder, an England coach under Glenn Hoddle, was supposed to fall flat on his face. And when West Ham suffered a difficult start, including heavy defeats of 7-1 and 5-0 at Blackburn and Everton, there were plenty of told-you-so voices to be heard.

But Roeder held his nerve and has managed the club so intelligently that he was rewarded with a new contract and a seventh-placed finish in the Premiership.

Roeder, however, stresses: "I'm not one of those told-you-so people. I won't stick my fingers up at anyone. I wouldn't put myself up as manager of the year. In a high-profile business, I'm pretty low-key and that suits me.

"But what I'm pleased about is that I have justified the faith shown in me by the chairman and the board of directors.

"We nosedived last season when we finished with 42 points after what it has to be said were three excellent seasons before that. So at least we got the club moving in a forward direction again. …