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Arsenal can lay down a marker

Arsenal
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By ESPN Staff

'We're far too good to go down' - Magnusson

New chairman Eggert Magnusson insists he is confident that West Ham United can avoid relegation from the Premiership this season.

The Icelandic businessman officially took over as chairman from Terry Brown yesterday and is expecting West Ham to surge up the table from their position just a place above the bottom three.

Magnusson said: 'My ambition is to finish in mid-table and take it from there next season.

'I think we are good enough to be in a much better position than we are at the moment and hopefully we will have some improvement over the rest of the season.

'I am not worried - I honestly think we are far too good to go down and it's a long season and there are many points to be won.

'Any team like us that has won our last three home games should have confidence.

'It is not even in the back of my mind that we will not be in the Premier League next season. Of course we know it can happen and there is a plan if it did happen but it is not in my mind.'

Magnusson said he is planning to meet Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon to discuss a possible move for Shaun Wright-Phillips.

He added: 'We are still interested in Shaun Wright-Phillips, Peter Kenyon knows I'm interested and we will sit down to have a chat in the not too distant future.

'In terms of other targets for the transfer window, the list is not finalised. I have had a meeting with Alan Pardew about it and we will continue to meet and discuss the future.'

Two players who are likely to stay at Upton Park until the summer are Argentina stars Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano, after Magnusson said he saw no way of overcoming a FIFA regulation that they cannot play for more than two clubs in one season - they have also played for Brazilian side Corinthians.

'My understanding is that there is a FIFA regulation that says players cannot play for more than two clubs in one season, so they should be staying with us until the summer,' he insisted.

'They are world-class players and are starting to show what great players they are.

'After that it is not up to us because we don't own the players. There is a consortium that owns the players.

'In the summer we have to talk to them because they can take them away to another club if they want to.'

Tevez and Mascherano have struggled to adapt to the rigours of the English game - Tevez is yet to score while his compatriot, a mainstay of the Argentina World Cup midfield, has been kept out of the West Ham side by Hayden Mullins.