Thursday, 16 April 2009
Upson; is the clever thing to sell?
Cards on the table to begin with. I thought Upson was a bad buy when we signed him from Birmingham but his subsequent performances have obliged me to eat humble pie. He has been superb this season and is undoubtedly the cotter pin of our defence, marshalling and leading the defensive unit superbly. So why on earth might it make sense to sell?
Well every player has his price of course. We needed Bellyache but £14million to take away Period Pains was too good an offer to turn down. We overpaid when we bought the Welsh troubled troublemaker, so Manchester City's offer was nothing less than staggering. Remember, Tottenham started bidding at less than half that price!
Now something that both Upson and Bellamy have in common is a bad history of long term injuries. Upson still plays with bits of the Yellow Pages in his boots at the advice of some Quack and, sooner or later, he will break down. As Bellyache has since his move to City.
Then there is the age factor. Again, Bellyache and Upson are both in their late twenties. How many years does Upson have left at the top? Four years? Five if he is very lucky. As that body ages, so the accumulative build up of all his injuries will increase. He will miss more and more games as his ageometer ticks past 30, 31, 32...
Upson seems to think that playing in Europe will enhance his chances of playing for England. That is nonsense. He is in the England squad already so how does that make sense. Perhaps he thinks it will establish him as first choice over Ferdinand and Terry? If so, the guy is living on a different planet. He is good but he isn't going to displace either of Rio or JT, irrespective of whether or not he plays in Europe. Let's face it, he already plays against three of the best teams in Europe given this year's Champions League semifinal line up. Liverpool fans will argue that had they avoided Chelsea, they would also be in the last four - so four of the top five teams in Europe! What does the guy stand to gain by moving therefore? If he plays for Arsenal, he won't get the chance to test himself against them! So why does he REALLY want to move? Money perhaps?
Then there is the Clarke factor. Clarke can organise a defence and, to be honest, when Upson was missing, we coped OK. Upson might find himself a "squad player" at Arsenal and actually slipping down the England pecking order. If I was him, and I was really looking to further my England career, I would stay where my first team place was guaranteed, working with one of the top coaches in the game in the process.
If we wants to go, he will go. This is all paper talk at the moment but I do not expect him to stay if we end the season with a whimper. What would be a fair price? If we could get £12million I would sell.