Search

Life is looking up for Matt

PUBLISHED: 15:52 07 February 2008 | UPDATED: 11:07 13 July 2010

by BEN WELCH IRONS centre half Matthew Upson s excellent recent form has earned him a call-up to Fabio Capello s first England squad. But the defender s celebrations were tempered by his club s defeat to Wigan on Saturday on a quagmire of a pitch. Upson

by BEN WELCH

IRONS centre half Matthew Upson's excellent recent form has earned him a call-up to Fabio Capello's first England squad.

But the defender's celebrations were tempered by his club's defeat to Wigan on Saturday on a quagmire of a pitch.

Upson said of his inclusion in the squad, which took on Switzerland last night (Wednesday): "I'm really pleased. I've worked very hard to get to where I am, so it's nice to be back in the squad.

"It's a great achievement for me, so I'm really pleased.

"My health has been good. I'm fitter and hungrier than I've ever been. I'm focused on what I want to do and I'm really enjoying my football at West Ham."

But the 28-year-old, who faces former club Birmingham City at Upton Park this Saturday, was less pleased about Saturday's result.

"We tried to play a little bit too much, whereas on that pitch we needed to hit balls into the channels and a bit longer," he explained.

"It's difficult to play on. To pass it in the midfield was tough, but you have to adapt to that and I don't think we adapted well enough."

Robert Green, who unlike Upson, missed out on Capello's squad, was philosophical in the face of defeat.

He said: "It was difficult circumstances for everybody. They adapted to the conditions better.

"It's suited for them. They've got big players in their team and it suited their set pieces well. We gave away too many free-kicks and it cost us eventually.

"It's difficult when you've got footballers in your team who are not adept at playing in those sorts of conditions," said the former Norwich City custodian.

"It's disappointing because we were looking at catching the people above us and we didn't put in a good performance."

In a scrappy encounter at the JJB Stadium, both teams struggled to retain possession or exert any kind of pressure, with the pitch reducing the game to a scrap.

The home side relied on sporadic aerial balls to Emile Heskey and Marlon King, as the Hammers tried to play their football to no avail.

A dull first half bereft of any quality, ended with a goal for the hosts.

Ryan Taylor, so often the Latics' architect in chief with his whipped-in dead-ball deliveries, struck a powerful ball into the area for an unmarked Kevin Kilbane to loop an angled header over a stranded Green for the game's decisive goal.

Both defences dominated as goal scoring chances failed to materialise, until the 71st minute when Luis Valencia unleashed a fierce low drive that beat Green, before rebounding into his arms off both posts.

Craig Bellamy was introduced by Alan Curbishley and wasted West Ham's best chance when he blazed over from a Freddie Ljungberg knock down.

After their dramatic win over Liverpool, the Hammers were understandably deflated after this poor defeat and although the players didn't want to make excuses, there was no denying the pitch played its part.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the East London Advertiser. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Latest East London Sports News

Yesterday, 08:00

Leyton Orient head coach Ross Embleton understands perspective will be important as they look to get themselves into the League Two play-off places.

Thu, 17:03

Leyton Orient head coach Ross Embleton has revealed it could be a chance for young creative attacker Jordan Maguire-Drew to shine as they travel away to Port Vale.

Thu, 10:00

Leyton Orient head coach Ross Embleton has revealed the club is already working on a number of contract extensions for players, including top goal scorer Danny Johnson.

Wed, 17:00

Leyton Orient head coach Ross Embleton has explained the reasons behind the Port Vale match being swapped to an earlier kick-off.

Wed, 12:00

Leyton Orient defender Dan Happe insists it’s a rare occasion for him to find the back of the net but was more focused on the clean sheet and picking up the win.

Wed, 09:30

Leyton Orient head coach Ross Embleton heaps praise on young defender Dan Happe as he netted the winner in their 1-0 victory over Bradford City.

Tue, 12:00

Leyton Orient head coach Ross Embleton is hoping to be able to stick with a similar line-up for the Bradford City clash on the back of a 3-0 win over Harrogate Town.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Let’s get physical! One of the dangers of lockdown is to be lulled into laziness, watching too many box sets, and eating and drinking too much, but there is no excuse to not start exercising to get fit and stay healthy.

UK Government Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced extra measures to support workers and businesses throughout winter, including a furlough scheme extension paying 80 per cent of staff wages.

The way the UK does business with Europe changes from January 1, heralding a new start. All companies that trade with the EU need to act now to make sure they are set to go.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Latest from the East London Advertiser