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Premier League's best youngsters are English

Tactics and Analysis 17 hours ago
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By ESPN Staff
May 12, 2006

Hammers aim for Cup tribute to departed bosses

Sir Trevor Brooking hopes West Ham can win the FA Cup tomorrow as a tribute to former managers Ron Greenwood and John Lyall.

Greenwood and Lyall died in February and April respectively to make this season - West Ham's first back in the Premiership - one of mixed emotions for the east end club.

Former England striker Brooking played under both managers at West Ham, where he won the FA Cup in 1975 and 1980, when he scored the winning goal.

Brooking claims Lyall and Greenwood would approve of West Ham's style of play under current boss Alan Pardew and is confident his side can beat Liverpool in Cardiff.

He said: 'If you think about the tradition and history of the club it went back to the 1960s when the entertainment factor was established under Ron Greenwood and John Lyall.

'The club has had difficult times since in the 80s and 90s until bouncing back to the Premiership.

'John and Ron would have been pleased with the style that has been played at Upton Park and this season has been special for West Ham with the way we have returned to the Premiership and reached the FA Cup final.

'But with Ron and John passing away within three months of each other, it has been mixed emotions this season.

'So to find the club in a FA Cup final is quite eerie. The greatest thing about the Cup is that the underdogs can come up trumps. Eight out of 10 times Liverpool should win the day but West Ham have enough quality in the team to win.'

Brooking sees similarities between tomorrow's clash and West Ham's last FA Cup final 26 years ago when he headed the winner to pull off a shock win for the then Second Division Hammers over Arsenal.

He said: 'Every West Ham player will believe they can win. The expectation is similar to 1980 when I won the Cup with West Ham.

'Everyone was expecting Arsenal to win, like they are Liverpool. We were even more the underdogs in 1980, but West Ham will be able to relax and they have the experience of two play-off finals which had a lot more pressure on them.

'Alan Pardew has been there with Palace and knows you don't get too many opportunities like this. He will make that clear to the players and West Ham are capable of beating them.'