Who remembers Florin Raducioiu?
The Romanian arrived in East London from Espanyol in 1996 as one of several ‘bargains’ Harry Redknapp became known for during his spell as manager of the club.
Raducioiu was signed for just £2.4m – and after just three goals in 12 first team appearances – was sent back to Spain just six months later for a mere £1.7m.
So it’s a surprise to learn that he still has fond memories of the famous claret and blue, though less of a surprise that he didn’t get on too well with Redknapp.
In an interview with news.bwin, the Romanian discussed the Hammers, Harry Redknapp, Slaven Bilic, who he played with at the Boleyn Ground, and playing in the Premier League.
On his time at West Ham and in the Premier League…
“But since then many things have changed in the league, which I still consider to be the most beautiful in Europe. The football is more technical, played at greater speed – it’s incredible to behold.”
“Looking back on it now, I have a lot of regrets because West Ham invested a lot of money in me and I couldn’t live up to that price tag, largely down to my relationship with the manager. We couldn’t communicate and I found it very tough to impose myself physically on the league, as the football I had been used to was completely different.
“As a player, you are frustrated when you don’t play, so when Redknapp put me on the bench I didn’t accept it. Unfortunately things just didn’t work out and I decided to go back to Barcelona. I know some West Ham fans regard me as one of the worst players in their history, so of course it was a disappointing period in my career.
“I’m pleased to see how far West Ham have come this year with Slaven Bilic, an ex-teammate of mine. I think very highly of him as a man and have good memories of him as a player. Bilic is a stern boss and the work he has done with his current squad is fantastic.”
And on England’s chances in Euro 2016…