Just back from their Eastern European scouting mission, the team at VERYWESTHAM had lots of time whilst travelling by rail to ponder upon the involvement of players from former Eatern Block countries - the so-called Irons Curtain XI.
It's certainly a mixed bunch and it's pretty evident that the English game suited only some, with some very disappointing contributions from others. West Ham have certainly looked far and wid in their efforts to find 'bargains' with players from the Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Romania, and the Ukraine all represented.
In defence, it was a pretty easy choice as Miklosko is a Hammers goalkeeping legend while Repka is a fans favourite despite his tendency for 'eratic' behaviour. Both Bilic and Stimac were top class centre backs who would push for a place in most sides. At left back, Razvan Ratz gets the nod over Vladimir Labant by virtue of more appearances and greater international profile but this was the weakest position in the back four.
In contrast, midfield and attack was populated almost entirely by players who were past their best (Suker, Rebrov, Dumitrescu), startlingly average (Todorov, Kovac), or more interested in shopping (Raducioiu).
With the marketplace that is the world cup in full swing - the lesson from all of this seems to be to look East for defenders ad goalkeepers rather than forwards!