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Matty Upson


Guest Gary Loughran
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Guest Gary Loughran

Matty Upson has been singled out be Englands new Italian manager for special praise after his technically superb display for England on wednesday night.

Now Mr Simkin has your opinion changed of Upson (as Capello refers to all players by surname)?

Obviously, :ice I've always thought Upson in tandem with Green (and lately McCartney) the main reason for our great defence this season.

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Matty Upson has been singled out be Englands new Italian manager for special praise after his technically superb display for England on wednesday night.

Now Mr Simkin has your opinion changed of Upson (as Capello refers to all players by surname)?

Obviously, :ice I've always thought Upson in tandem with Green (and lately McCartney) the main reason for our great defence this season.

I thought Upson had a reasonable game. He missed one important header and made one bad back pass. Being left-footed he gave the centre-back pairing balance. However, I think he stands little chance of keeping his place when Terry is fit. Upson's main problem is that he is too slow. He can be outplayed by a centre-foward who is fast and good in the air. For example, his performance against Jones of Sunderland.

I think Rob Green was very unlucky not to have been picked. In fact, some of Capello's selection made little sense at all. After all, it was a friendly and should be about planning for the World Cup. What is the point of playing James in goal when he will be too old by the time the finals arrive. I could not work out why he played Brown instead of Richards at right-back. Brown is not an international player, whereas Richards has to potential to be world-class. Given recent form, I thought Ashley Cole was lucky to play (I thought both full-backs were bad on the night). Barry was only average and I would prefer to see Carrick play in that position (one of the best long-ball passers in the game). However, I was pleased to see him not picking Owen. He has not deserved his place in the side for a couple of years.

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Guest Gary Loughran

John, below I've added comments from a previous thread. Understandably you haven't been around these parts too much recently. I'll refer to that for my comments on Greens exclusion.

You're an extremely harsh judge of Upson, I detect something more personal in your comments. I think you, for whatever reason, just, don't like him. When compared with your lusty exultations of Gabbidon, a player who struggles with some fundamentals, it becomes more apparent. Perhaps you still yearn for a big, bully old style centre half and certainly John Terry fits the bill. As good as Terry has been he is as close to being a first division player as a world class player. I think he's very close to both. Wasn't he 5 minutes from signing for Huddersfield at one stage.

Collins, Gabbidon and Ferdinand must be exceptional players, if they can come in from injury and slot in beside the 'error prone', 'weak in the air' Upson and still maintain our great defensive record. The Premiership must be full of slow forwards then to allow Upson to get away with his lack of speed. You'll find most West Ham goals conceded are as a direct result of Ferdinand sleeping (exemplar - his brother for the Swiss goal the other night) or Neil abdicating responsibility and being grossly out of position.

Thank goodness you're not Italian or Baresi wouldn't have had a look in. Weak in the air, not fast. A legend though. What about Hansen? Same again. The fact is Capello wants his players to be comfortable technically on the ball thus the long ball will disappear - the long ball is an exponent to exploit weak heading and speed. Notice he expressed disappointment with Ashley Cole - technically poor, can't defend. There used to be discussion (now seemingly wiped from history) that Cole was a liability at International level due to his poor positioning and inability to defend. Then Chelsea bought him and the discussion stopped - obviously Mourinho couldn't be wrong. After all he's the special one.

As for Richards, I suspect that his penchant for acting 'gagsta' with his 'boys' (at least one other prem player), bling culture and videoing/distributing his gangs sexual exploits etc. etc. may have been viewed with disdain by the new coach - a lover of discipline by all accounts. Though not rigid enough to allow a young man an opportunity to change. I also feel that he has been quite poor the last 4-5 weeks.

I'd like Carrick in the team because I simply like Michael Carrick, he was the one I always thought, most likely to succeed from Cole, Lampard etc. I was a little out with that, but I still thinks he technically great. If he learns to release quicker, and shorter - he'll have all the attributes to be top class at international level. IN saying this, I can't complain about Barry's inclusion. He was excellent in the few internationals he played recently and has been a top performer in O'Neill's improving Villa side. I'll allow him a bad night at the office.

Speak soon

Gary

I was very impressed with West Ham against Manchester City on Sunday. West Ham is developing the best defence it has had since I began watching them in the early 1960s. Once we get Ashton, Bellamy, Parker, Faubert and Dyer fully fit we will have a side to be proud of.

I've just watched Scott Carson's poor positioning for Bullard's free kick goal and it's inspired me to post. How on earth does Capello pick Carson, Kirkland and James over Rob Green. I'm beginning to believe that Green has said or done something in his past that is warranting his continual oversight. For make no mistake he is easily the best goalkeeper of the 4 when compared over the past 1.5. - 2 seasons. He and Upsons ever present consistency warranted both a place in the latest England squad. Not since the days of Parkes, Stewart, Martin, Bonds, Lampard have West Ham had such a dominant defence. I have a personal preference for the all to injury prone Reiper/Bilic pairing but certainly as a back 5 Green, Neil, Upson, Gabbidon, McCartney have been superb.

If McCartney was English he'd be in the squad - though nothing could get Neill in the squad. McCartney is tireless working in support of the left sided midfielder and is also great defensively. How on earth is Cashley Cole described as 'world class'???? He is inept as a defender...and that should be enough to end any further argument on that subject. Arsene Wenger got perhaps the best deal of recent years when he received £5 million AND William Gallas for Cashgrabber Cole.

As I've said before Curbishley's biggest test of his managment ability will come when all available players are fit. There is a little reported dissension with Ashton presently and this might just have forced Curbs hand in team selection for the Wigan game. He went 4-4-2, playing Ashton and Cole up top, instead of the usual away formation (which has served so well) of 4-5-1/4-3-3. In my opinion Ashton is still not close to the requisite fitness though there have been flashes that he's getting there. When he does, he too, will join Upson in the England squad. Which reminds me to ask, what is the difference between Hesky and Cole??? Not a joke, no punchline, just my utter amazement at Heskey's inclusion....especially when Cole does the same job better. Though neither would make my squad.

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You're an extremely harsh judge of Upson, I detect something more personal in your comments. I think you, for whatever reason, just, don't like him. When compared with your lusty exultations of Gabbidon, a player who struggles with some fundamentals, it becomes more apparent. Perhaps you still yearn for a big, bully old style centre half and certainly John Terry fits the bill. As good as Terry has been he is as close to being a first division player as a world class player. I think he's very close to both. Wasn't he 5 minutes from signing for Huddersfield at one stage.

Collins, Gabbidon and Ferdinand must be exceptional players, if they can come in from injury and slot in beside the 'error prone', 'weak in the air' Upson and still maintain our great defensive record. The Premiership must be full of slow forwards then to allow Upson to get away with his lack of speed. You'll find most West Ham goals conceded are as a direct result of Ferdinand sleeping (exemplar - his brother for the Swiss goal the other night) or Neil abdicating responsibility and being grossly out of position.

No, I do not dislike Upson. I am willing to admit that I was too harsh on him earlier on the season. He has played well and there is no way that Collins or Gabbidon will replace Upson in the team. I have also been a harsh critic of Ferdinand but he seems a much improved player over the last few weeks (maybe because he has Upson by his side). However, I still feel it is highly unlikely if Upson regains his place when Terry is fit.

The one person who we both agree upon is Neill. It was only a matter of time before he gave away a penalty with his shirt pulling. It cost us two points yesterday.

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Guest Gary Loughran
[The one person who we both agree upon is Neill. It was only a matter of time before he gave away a penalty with his shirt pulling. It cost us two points yesterday.

I do take your point about Upson place when Terry is fit and expect it will happen just as you say. I will say though, that one of the reasons that Terry never really impresses in an England shirt is that there are less high balls hoofed up at international level. As far as being technically sound and suited to international football then Upson is better. There is no doubt, also, that Terry offers that little extra in terms of leadership.

Curbs is undoubtedly looking for a new right back. Neill looks like Ian Pearce when he was asked to pay right back in H's 'bare bones' days. That is to say, too big, too cumbersome, and lacking in fitness/pace to be a proper right back. He can only be excused for so long, he is now a liability and when you look at the goals he's been directly and indirectly responsible for conceding it becomes worrying. The fact he's the team captain is probably saving him a bit at the minute.

I totally agree that Anton looks much better since his return to the side. Still prone to sleeping occassionally though.

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Curbs is undoubtedly looking for a new right back. Neill looks like Ian Pearce when he was asked to pay right back in H's 'bare bones' days. That is to say, too big, too cumbersome, and lacking in fitness/pace to be a proper right back. He can only be excused for so long, he is now a liability and when you look at the goals he's been directly and indirectly responsible for conceding it becomes worrying. The fact he's the team captain is probably saving him a bit at the minute.

Neill looks unfit. So does Ashton. Maybe Curbs needs to look closely at his training methods. Look at the way Ramos has slimmed down Spurs. It has also improved their performance. Several members of the squad have claimed they now feel fitter, especially during the last quarter of the game.

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