Trevor: J Can Be A Hero

Trevor Brooking says that Jermain Defoe will overcome the disappointment of Tuesday night's England U21 defeat by Croatia at Upton Park - and could be "a hero" at the club this season.

Trevor knows that, while he is playing without some of last season's colleagues - and friends - he is still working hard.

"Credit to Jermain, he has reacted well; it is tough for those players at the club when you see four of your squad that you had enjoyed playing with go, and particularly in the case of Glen Johnson because he was best mates with him," he says.

"It is not easy for those players who are still at the club and there is a bit of trauma and reaction to that.

"Players are settling in as well but I think Jermain is looking a class player, playing really well.

"We can all see why we feel he has got the ability for us to get a lot of goals in this division and is a crucial player.

"It is not an easy time for him but he has shown good attitude and the fans have responded to him, chanting his name."

Like Glenn Roeder, Trevor thinks that one season banging them in in the first division should do him no harm and adds:

"He could emerge from this season as a hero with 30 goals plus and that shouldn't detract from what he wants to do with his career because he has got plenty of time.

"I think with the him, David Connolly and Neil Mellor, if we get the right supply from midfield, get everyone fit and the balance we want, will be a handful.

"And from Jermain's point of view, if he went to a big club, a Champions' League club with a large squad, how many games would he play?

"He would certainly learn from watching and training as Joe Cole has at Chelsea but Joe has also admitted he has got to fight his way into the team and hasn't started yet.

"Jermain, at his age, will benefit more long term from playing regularly than sitting on the bench somewhere.

"You have to weigh up everything as such but hopefully he will emerge that much stronger - and once the shop window closes it will be a lot easier for everyone."