Downes appointed, but will Di Canio follow?

Former Brentford boss Wally Downes has been appointed to the West Ham coaching staff, but will Paolo Di Canio be offered a similar position.

WEST HAM have moved swiftly to fill their coaching vacancy by appointing Wally Downes as their defensive co-ordinator.

And there is a call from many Hammers’ fans for Italian legend Paolo Di Canio to follow him through the door and become the club’s attacking coach.

Di Canio’s name was mentioned by co-chairman David Gold two weeks ago as a possible coach to come in.

He is a special guest at Upton Park for Saturday’s clash with Wigan Athletic, and that may give the board the perfect opportunity to approach him.

Already on board is Downes (pictured right) who has a vast experience as a coach and as a manager.

The 49-year-old was boss at Brentford between 2002-04, replacing Steve Coppell at Griffin Park.

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He then followed Coppell to Reading where he was coach until his contract was not renewed in 2009, and then teamed-up with Alan Pardew at Southampton.

“It’s an honour to be asked to help out such a good club,’ said Downes. ‘I’ll do my best to help lift them out of the relegation area.”

Grant conceded for the first time on Saturday that he may need to bring some fresh coaching blood into the club, and that was even before the surprise departure of Zeljko Petrovic on Monday afternoon.

He commented after the dismal 3-0 defeat at Liverpool: “We have a good staff, but football is going towards defensive coaches and forward coaches.

“We have been looking for this and we will try to do the best. When we didn’t score they said we needed a scoring coach, now we need a defensive coach,” he said.

Steve Lomas has also been linked, but whether a former player like Di Canio could pass on his footballing genius to lesser mortals without rocking the boat at Chadwell Heath or undermining the manager would be a matter of debate.

But it would fun to see.