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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Dec 13, 2006

Curbishley confirmed as new West Ham manager

West Ham have appointed former player Alan Curbishley as their new manager.

Curbishley, who began his playing career with the Hammers, again held talks with club officials this morning following discussions with new chairman Eggert Magnusson yesterday.

Icelander Magnusson has acted quickly following Monday's sacking of Alan Pardew which came on the back of a run of poor results which have left the east London club in the bottom three of the Barclays Premiership.

Curbishley has been a free agent since stepping down as Charlton boss last season - and has been linked with a string of vacancies including Aston Villa, West Brom, Leeds and Norwich.

Former Hammers goalkeeper Mervyn Day has also been appointed as Curbishley's assistant at Upton Park.

Club chairman Eggert Magnusson told his club's website: 'I am absolutely delighted that Alan has agreed to join us. He is a manager with a proven track record and a real love for this club.

'He did a fantastic job at Charlton, and I know how highly regarded he is throughout the football world. We are also delighted that Mervyn Day will join the club as assistant manager, and I am aware of how much this club means to him.

'This is a great day for West Ham United, and I am sure that we now have the right management team in place to take the club forward.

'On behalf of everyone at West Ham United, I welcome Alan and Mervyn - two of our former players, who are now back where they belong.'

Curbishley said it was 'a privilege' to manage his boyhood club.

'If you'd said to me when I was 16 and an apprentice that one day I would be manager I would have thought it was impossible,' he told a press conference.

'I am deeply delighted. I am looking forward to the challenge, everyone says the same thing but I am. It is a privilege to be here.'

The former Charlton boss knew nothing about the job until Alan Pardew's sacking on Monday.

'I was sitting at home on Monday morning minding my own business, enjoying the break, then suddenly it all erupted. When I started to think about it, and the potential, it was drawing me and something clicked.

'We managed to agree everything and I am delighted to have come here.

'I'm looking forward to lifting the club out of the position we're in at the moment so we can all enjoy the rest of the season.

'It starts this weekend against Manchester United. It's a big game.'

He added: 'I feel disappointed for Alan Pardew, he is someone I know very well. But this is the world we live in at the moment.'

Curbishley admitted leaving Charlton had been 'emotional' but believes his return to Upton Park gives him a chance to make more of a success in east London than his playing career.

He continued: 'It was very emotional when I left there. But Charlton are a massive part of my life and it had to come to an end and I headed into a new period of my life.

'West Ham is a result I've always looked for. I never fulfilled my potential here as a player and hope I can do better as a manager.'

The former Hammers, Charlton and Brighton player admits he will have to have a quick impact with the team in the relegation zone.

'(Firing Alan Pardew was) not a decision I've been part of. We are in the results business.

'Alan will be disappointed as he did a fantastic job especially after staying up last year - the way they stopped up is a great testament to him.

'But this season has not gone so well. I did have a think about my managerial (way), the way I go about things and perhaps I may have to be a bit different here.

'I do know it's about results. I have had a fantastic welcome here but we do need to get results.'

Curbishley was approached to become Hammers boss in 2001 while still at The Valley and insists the circumstances are different.

He explained: 'The situation is different. I was at a club, enjoying it and doing well.

'Being a free agent makes a big difference and probably had a bit to play in my appointment but the opportunity a few years ago came and went but when this came along it was not going to go.'

The new Hammers boss was reluctant to commit to making any changes ahead of the transfer window.

He added: 'If I think we need to spend it (money) we will try to do it. But first I've got to meet the players. Everybody needs a lift. Those sort of decisions will be made when the window opens.

'I don't know anything about reports (of dissent), I have to assess them when I get there. The players who enjoyed such a good season last year, its the same bunch and they must be down about what is happening.'

Curbishley diplomatically insisted his priority is to move the Hammers away from the bottom three, before attempting to take the club to the top half of the table.

'We've got to sort ourselves out this season. But this club, with this fan base and tradition, has got an opportunity to be at the top end of the table,' he said.

'With the backing of the chairman and new owners, we will try to do that.

'We don't want to get too much out of our depth. The main thing is to get out of the position we are in at the moment.

'West Ham as a club should be looking at the top end of the table. That's something we hope to do.'

Asked about the decision to sack Pardew, Magnusson told a press conference: 'After the two games against Wigan and Bolton, there was a lack of motivation.

'It's a very important time now; we have five matches until New Year's Day and we have the January transfer window coming up, and I knew we had to make a difficult decision.

'I took a decision. It was very tough, as it always is, but I did it in the best interests of this club.'

Curbishley will take time before bringing in reinforcements in the January transfer window.

'We start with a clean slate as far as I am concerned. I will judge everything on its merits,' he said. 'We have got to hit the ground running and get going. Everybody's got a clean slate.

'I've only seen West Ham play on television this season. Mervyn has seen them a couple more times live, and I'd like to think that from tomorrow the players will be looking to impress and looking to be on the team sheet on Sunday.'