Tony Cottee and Tony Gale were both with the West Ham United travelling party that spent a week in Beijing for the Barclays Asia trophy and have reported back on their trip to WHUTV.
The duo were in China in official roles with the club and as well as catching all of the match action they helped out with some coaching sessions with the local community. Now safely back in the more familiar surroundings of east London, the pair reflected on the highs and lows of their trip and how their thoughts are with Luis Boa Morte after his knee injury eleven minutes into the opening game with Tottenham Hotspur.
"For the first game against Tottenham Hotspur, I think it was hard for people back home to appreciate just how hot and humid it was out there," former Hammer of the Year Cottee told WHUTV.
"The big disappoint from that was the injury to Luis Boa Morte. We both wish him a speedy recovery but we expect it will be the end of the year as the diagnosis for the injury."
"Aside from the injury, though, there were some real plus points - the return of Danny Gabbidon from injury and the number of Acadamey players we had on the pitch in the second game."
Gale echoed the sentiments of the former England international by passing on his best wishes to the Portuguese midfielder.
"I have to say that Luis was brilliant about it. It's a cruciate problem and he will probably be out until the New Year, but he had a smile on his face all the way through. All the fans that were in the hotel gave him a standing ovation.
"I'm really sad that it happened to him as he was a player that was struggling for form at the beginning of last season but he really came to the fore at the end of it. He went through it and really came good at the end. He was looking forward to it."
Looking forward to the weekend's game with Napoli, Gale, who played for West Ham 359 times during a ten-year stay, believes the China trip provided further reason for optimism about the club's promising youngsters.
"The Academy players have always been our strength and they're not just there to make up the numbers - they are some of our better players. Mark Noble and Jack Collison were looking fit, James Tomkins was good again as well as Junior Stanislas and Josh Payne.
During his playing days in the claret and blue, Gale was a composed and stylish central defender and it was the sight of another centre-half that was back out on the pitch that really caught his eye.
"All the boys were looking good but Danny Gabbidon was excellent and he scored in the second game against Beijing Guoan from a corner. Aside from that, the last game I saw him play was at Grays and he played extremely well there.
"That means we've got four really good central defenders in James Tomkins, James Collins, Matthew Upson and Danny. So it's four good experienced central defenders for the start of the season."
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