David Gold believes Europa League football will be ‘healthy’ for the Hammers as the club enters its final season at the Boleyn Ground.
In an interview with West Ham magazine Blowing Bubbles Monthly, the West Ham co-chairman admitted he isn’t worried about the potential impact European football might have on the club and said he is looking forward to seeing West Ham take on the challenge of European football’s second string competition.
‘It is there to be won and we are looking to win this competition,’ he said. ‘Will we take risks by playing players who have a knock or a strain? No, we won’t do that. We are going to be sensible.
‘We will be putting out sides to win every game and it’s going to provide great opportunities for our fringe players and for our younger players like Diego Poyet, Reece Burke and Reece Oxford to get European football experience.
‘I know fans fear Europe. This fear has come from seeing Ipswich, Fulham and Middlesbrough get into Europe and then get relegated from the Premier League soon after. We’ve got to be very careful that doesn’t colour our judgement because it is still a fantastic competition.
‘If we manage it correctly then there is no danger and no reason to fear it. I see the Europa League as an exciting challenge and I believe this is healthy for the football club.’
West Ham will find out who they will play in the Europa League first qualifying round on Monday, June 22. The two-legged tie will be played on Thursday, July 2 and Thursday, July 9.
Elsewhere in this extraordinary issue Simon Osborn looks at new West Ham manager Slaven Bilic and his football philosophy and Sky Sports’ Bianca Westwood writes about how a single man can make a giant difference at one club using Eddie Howe at Bournemouth as a prime example.
Emily Pulham excellently sums up West Ham’s season in her A to Z and Lucy Woolford calls for football to enter the 21st century and adopt technology. There are also interviews with Trevor Brooking, Julien Faubert, John Hartson, Jack Collison, Thomas Hitzlsperger, Ronnie Boyce in Blowing Bubbles’ first summer annual.
The latest issue of Blowing Bubbles Monthly is now available to read for FREE on your computer, tablet or mobile phone.