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Jack Collison urges West Ham United owners to create more of a "structure"

Collison urges West Ham owners to create more of a
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Former West Ham midfielder Jack Collison calls for better recruitment and urges co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold to focus on building an "identity" for the club.

Former West Ham United midfielder Jack Collison has urged the club's co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold to focus on building more of a "structure" and "identity" for the team.

The duo marked 10 years in control of the Hammers this month, but supporters have regularly protested their ownership with grievances ranging from their transfer activity to their controversial move to the London Stadium.

Collison, who has worked under Sullivan and Gold as both a player and a coach, believes that they have tried to make the club a success, but questioned the recruitment and overall strategy during their decade at the helm.

"There's a lot of unrest which is evident amongst the fans. They're not happy with the lack of transfer activity, the performances on the pitch and I think there is always going to be - until the performance improve on the pitch - that elephant in the room about the move from the Boleyn Ground, which was much-loved with all the passion, to the Olympic Stadium, where the seats are miles away from the pitch and it's hard to create that atmosphere," Collison told Sports Mole.

"Speaking to a lot of West Ham fans, they feel like they've lost a massive part of what the club has been about over so many years. It's a difficult period at the moment, but performances on the pitch will certainly help the stuff going on away from the pitch. When the team is winning and playing well then a lot of stuff will go unsaid. But you look at some of the signings over the past five, six seasons - they just haven't really done it.

"I think the fans are keen to see some sort of structure, some sort of thought behind future signings, whether it's the young player route you go down, whether it's experienced players. But you want players who can come in and make an instant impact, especially at the moment when there isn't time to take too many risks.

"The move to the London Stadium - part of it was to get West Ham to the next level and try to get them competing for the top six, the top four, but there just hasn't been much progress since the move in terms of signings or performances in the league. Don't get me wrong, I think they've tried. Appointing [Manuel] Pellegrini, a manager of that stature and experience, speaks for itself.

"But in terms of getting a real structure and real identity behind the scenes and on the pitch, it hasn't really happened. It's important over the next couple of years that steps are taken towards this. Recruitment is obviously a massive issue and something needs to be done about that and then hopefully you will start to see an improvement on the pitch."

West Ham currently sit 17th in the Premier League table, only outside the relegation zone on goal difference having lost 12 of their last 17 league games.

Click here to read our full wide-ranging interview with Jack Collison.

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Jack Collison pictured in 2012
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