Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 31 August 2014

Bridge to help carry Grant’s load at West Ham

Wayne Bridge arrived at West Ham yesterday, but the exit door from Upton Park remained shut as the board meeting that had been expected to bring an end Avram Grant's troubled tenure at the club broke end with the manager still in place.

There was no declaration of support for the Israeli but for the time being he remains in place to prepare for Saturday evening's crucial game with Arsenal.

The signing of Bridge was a filip for Grant, who was forced to play Matthew Upson at left-back in Tuesday's Carling Cup victory over Birmingham.

He has also received public backing from his players, the influential Scott Parker and Mark Noble both speaking out in his favour, but any repeat of the sort of performance that saw them beaten 5-0 in their last Premier League game, at Newcastle, is likely to lead to his dismissal.

Bridge passed a medical at the club yesterday and has joined until the end of the season with West Ham agreeing to pick up his £90,000 a week wages.

He is set to make his debut against Arsenal.

Parker, comfortably West Ham's best performer this season, has said that the players remain firmly committed to their manager

He said: “Definitely. If everything that was written in the press and everything that you hear about West Ham, if you believed everything you would be rather a stressed man. As a player we just keep our heads down and get on with our jobs.”

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