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Tuesday, 27 February, 2001, 12:39 GMT
Hammer house of legends
Bobby Moore/ Michael Carrick
Can Cole and Carrick become legends like Moore?
BBC Sport Online's Peter Sanderson ponders whether the latest generation of internationals at Upton Park can help steer England to glory.

They say things happen in threes - and that is certainly the case at Upton Park.

In 1966, it was Bobby Moore, Martin Peters and Geoff Hurst who played a key role in England's World Cup success.

Thirty-five years on, Frank Lampard, Joe Cole and Michael Carrick are the talk of the town as Sven Goran Eriksson begins his reign in the hottest seats in world football.

Even if England fail to mark this new dawn with a World Cup triumph in 2002, the dramatic emergence of Lampard, Cole and Carrick would have drawn admiration from the great Moore.

It seems ironic that, in the week which marked the eight anniversary of Moore's passing, his young successors will take centre stage in an attempt to emulate his heroic feats.

Sven Goran Eriksson
Fan of the Hammers trio
Moore was arguably the greatest defender to don an England shirt.

The West Ham legend was capped 108 times by his country and established himself in England folklore by lifting the World Cup following that 4-2 win over Germany.

Moore's international honours were complemented by his loyalty to the Hammers, whom he led to FA Cup victory in 1964 and with whom he conquered Europe in the European Cup Winners' Cup the following year.

Like Moore, Hurst was another World Cup star who earned legendary status at Upton Park.

But in East London, he is famous for more than becoming the first - and so far only - scorer of a hat-trick in a World Cup final.

He is still the highest scorer in Hammers history with 252 goals from 502 appearances.

Peters was the final part of the West Ham World Cup jigsaw.

New kids on the block

Capped 67 times by his country, he was an exceptionally versatile footballer, playing in every position - including goalkeeper - for the Hammers.

He also knew where the back of the net was, scoring 100 goals in 364 appearances forhthe Upton Park outfit.

It would be a remarkable feat if the new kids on the block could match Peters, Hurst and Moore in the achievements stakes.

While Lampard and Carrick have the talent and ability to fit snugly into the England midfield, it is Cole perhaps who demands most of the attention.

One of the most prodigiously talented youngsters in the game, successive managers have cosseted the young Cole for fear of plunging him onto the international stage too early.

Not so Harry Redknapp, who has been richly rewarded by making Cole an almost permanent fixture in his Hammers side.

Now Eriksson is the man to give the youngster a chance at the higher level.

Michael has been outstanding for us this season
  Harry Redknapp
Lampard is a completely different prospect.

Where as Cole offers the long-term replacement to the creative berth left vacant by Paul Gascoigne, Lampard is a tireless box-to-box midfielder, similar to David Platt.

As for Carrick, he is perhaps the dark horse of the Hammers trio.

The teenager, who heralds from the north-east, has somehow avoided the spotlight while the plaudits and the cameras focus on Cole.

Carrick's elegant style would probably be more suited to the continental style of play, but no doubt he will shine for England once he overcomes the injury which has forced him to miss the game against Spain.

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