Trevor: Back To Business

Trevor Brooking says it is back to the serious business of domestic action after another international session and England's defeat at Upton Park last week.

"It was a good night for the club and the feedback from the FA was that they were delighted with the efforts the club made and so forth," says Trevor.

"Certainly there was nothing to emerge that we might not be thought of again in the future.

"But it was light relief as we go back to the nitty-gritty of the 11 league matches still to play.

"It was a nice occasion for the club but everyone has moved on to other targets now; England have got two competitive games at the end of March, beginning of April against Liechtenstein and Turkey and by then West Ham will have emerged from some crucial matches that we hope we will have got some vital points from.

"I took a lot of stick as the guest for the night of the Australia game, meeting the teams and so on, and then everyone said it was just like watching West Ham because of our home form; I tried to defend our corner, but it wasn't easy.

"It was frustrating because on the back of it there has been a lot of debate about club v country and needing to play our best players for 90 minutes."

And Joe Cole, suspended on Sunday, didn't play at all...

"If you didn't make the starting 11, shall we call it, it was probably a bit unkind to some of the youngsters in the second half who played quite well - better - and got back to 2-1 until six minutes from the end.

"It would have been a bit unfortunate to sub a sub, particularly a young player, so Joe and Scott Parker weren't able to get a run.

"Joe, more than anything, has got to realise that with the club being in the position we are, it is not exactly pushing the case of those involved.

"Everyone talks about having talent in the team and the squad but we haven't produced it week in, week out, and 20 points from 27 matches confirms that.

"So hopefully Joe can really get back to his best form and really lift the team in the last 10 games.

"Then all the international discussion takes care of itself, but at the moment it is hard to justify the case."

At least David James got 45 minutes on home territory, and Trevor adds:

"David made a couple of decent saves; whether could he perhaps have come for the first one is debatable, but from our point of view David really has to focus on trying to dominate the penalty area like he did in the second half of last season when he came back from injury, caught everything, and made such a big difference to confidence throughout the team."

The defeat last week was only England's 21st at home to a team from outside the British Isles.

With 191 home games against overseas opposition, it represents a loss rate of 11% of such matches which, translated into league form in Premiership, is just above the average 10.5%.

Something West Ham can only dream of this season!

* Upton Park will host the FA Vase final on May 10th, the day before the domestic season ends at St. Andrews.