Brooking On Sale

Trevor Brooking says the sale of Rio Ferdinand was a good deal all round.

Rio, involved now in Champions' League action as opposed to thinking about the point the Hammers may need to avoid relegation, says:

"The club couldn't refuse that kind of money even though he didn't necessarily want to go; that was the most you were going to get.

"I'm glad he got a good reception recently and of course he still has a soft spot for the club.

"David O' Leary has been trying to answer some of those critics who said it was a ridiculous figure for a defender.

"West Ham played three at the back and most people said he would struggle in a flat back four, but he has slotted into that system and been outstanding, dispelling any suggestions that he is better in a three.

"His form has been excellent but what do you expect for £18m!

"He seems to be winning over those north of the country and he has handled the move well, getting better since Christmas.

"And let's be frank, the semi finals of the Champions' League is worth a lot of money and half of that fee has been paid for."

Trevor believes that O'Leary was right to review his position on the sending off of David Batty for a clash with Joe Cole in the recent game at Upton Park.

Speaking on HammersLine he says:

"He led more with his forearm than his elbow, and although it wasn't full on, it spun Joe round.

"It is something David Batty always does because he is quite small himself and very combative.

"Normally he would hit someone's stomach, chest, or shoulders, but as Joe is small he made contact with the face - so I couldn't disagree with the red card."

Trevor sympathises with Harry's dilemma in wondering where Joe best fits into the team and says:

"It is a difficult issue: to me Joe is not a wide midfielder, as in that position some of your best work is the early ball, almost one touch, which probably isn't Joey's strength as he likes to take people on.

"If he plays through the centre in a really free role you need an anchor man in midfield, and Frank and Michael are better than ball winners."