West Ham boast big influence on Champions League finalists

West Ham United fans will think what could have been when they sit down to watch Manchester United take on Chelsea in the Champions League final on Wednesday.

Chelsea midfielder Joe Cole is close friends with United's Michael Carrick thanks to their days together at Upton Park and said: "Michael and I have had some ups and downs playing together.

ord=Math.random()*10000000000000000;document.write('');
"But we've come a long way since that season at West Ham.

"Michael's been fantastic this season and, for me, he's been one of Man United's best players. Apart from Ronaldo, he's been their player of the year.

"I speak to a lot of people up there and he probably doesn't get the credit he deserves."

Of course, the West Ham connection extends to two other players in Frank Lampard and Rio Ferdinand.

The four former Hammers have remained close friends and after Wednesday night will meet up again with the England squad next weekend.

Cole revealed they have already made a pact not to talk about what happens in Moscow as it will be too raw for the losers.

He said: "The United lads know I love 'em - but Wednesday night will be a war!

"But whoever wins, wins and it's difficult because you can't have banter about it because we meet up with England two days later and you have to be dignified in defeat.

"You can't go running round with a Champions League winner's medal round your neck at the England team hotel, either.

"We've had a little word about it and promised we wouldn't."

Have your say