Quiet man Henry opens up on recruitment policy


Tony Henry

West Ham quiet man Tony Henry has given an in depth interview to the official side in which he describes this summer requirements and how he operates in his job.

It’s the first time the recruitment director has opened up about his methods and it makes fascinating reading.

He explained at “It is difficult but hopefully this year we will get the players that we want.”

“We need two or three quality signing maximum and if we can get the ones that we want, I think we’ll be a really good team next year.”

Explaining how he works he said: ““We started when the window closed in January. You’re always on the look out for players. I have a group of scouts who go around the world looking for players.

I go around England with a lad, Rory Campbell, who’s my assistant. I call Alan Harper, who’s based in the North West.

“Basically, we look at players all the time. We do reports, we then go back to the manager and I sit down with the manager every week and we put plans in place all the time for every window.”

“Every day is different. A lot of people think that you just go out and sign a player. First, you’ve got to make sure the players that you’re going for are going to fit into the team, which doesn’t always work out, but it’s a long process.

“We make sure we have six or seven, eight, nine reports on players. We then sit down with the manager, with the staff, and we go through them, and we’ll have a group of let’s say strikers, and we look at the one we think would be the best in that position.

“But then it depends on the deal. You contact the club, and if they want a ridiculous price, then that one’s out the window. We do our homework, and what you also have to do if you can, is find out about the character of a player – his attitude, what he’s like off the field.

“You do as much background work as you can, speaking to people you may know at that club, but even them, he might come in and may have changed in the last 12 months.

“We try and cover as much as we can. I’d like to think that we don’t miss out on a lot. “Manuel Lanzini, for example – I saw him when he was 18, playing in River Plate, when I was at Everton.

“All of a sudden, he went to the United Arab Emirates, and you forget about him. But then his name came up, and obviously I’d seen him three times and he was a top player.

I couldn’t understand why he went to the Emirates. But we got him on loan, he signed a new deal, and he’s brilliant. He’s now very highly rated and we’re so happy to have him here.

“We try and cover as much as we can. We’re not going to cover every country obviously. But we know the sort of players we want here now.

We know what Slaven wants, we know what’s good for the team and what will make us better, and I just think this season, we’ve got a really good chance of getting a couple in who will be great for us.”

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Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!"

Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon


  • Michael Miller says:

    ‘….. and then time moves on and you get a bit panicky and eventually you go out and blow all your dough on a load of rubbish – it’s a tough job!’

  • mooro66uk says:

    Such a happy soul.

    • Michael Miller says:

      So do you think he did a good job last summer?
      Seems a simple question and an obvious answer, I’m surprised he’s still in a job after tgat debacle!

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