West Ham is a ‘special’ club, says Man United’s Rio Ferdinand
Manchester United's Rio Ferdinand says West Ham have a "similar" history to the Red Devils ahead of their FA Cup replay
Rio Ferdinand admits that he will always have a “special” relationship with West Ham have ahead of Manchester United’s FA Cup third-round replay against the Hammers on Wednesday.
The England international will welcome his former club to Old Trafford as United look to set up a fourth-round clash against Fulham.
Ferdinand started his career at Upton Park, making 146 appearances for the east London outfit before completing an £18m move to Leeds United in 2000.
“West Ham is special,” said Ferdinand.
“I look at West Ham as being similar to Manchester United in terms of their history and the way they keep all their people for so many years.
“It is a club that is close to my heart because I came through the ranks there.
“After Manchester United, they are the first result I look out for and I am sure it will always be that way.”
Ferdinand broke into Harry Redknapp’s West Ham side around the same time as other future England internationals Joe Cole and Frank Lampard.
And the United centre-half is hoping his former team-mate Cole can have a positive impact at the club after the playmaker ended his Liverpool nightmare earlier this month.
“The era we had there will be part of West Ham’s history forever now, with so many players who went on to play for England and win league titles with other clubs,” added Ferdinand.
“It is unfortunate for West Ham those players did not stay there and their presence get built upon.
“That is all history now I suppose. But Joe Cole has gone there to rewrite a bit of his own history in the coming months.
“It would be good to see him do something positive, but not this week. We want to get through this round.”