Thursday, 24 December 2009
When Upson Goes
We are in desperate trouble if we let Upson go. We saw against Chelsea how important he is to the team and, with Gabbidon limping from the pitch with yet another injury, we also saw how likely it is that we will find ourselves with a centre back pairing of Da Costa and Tomkins. Opposing forwards will be rubbing their hands together in glee at the thought of that!
Had we kept Collins, the sale of Upson may have been feasible, but without Ginge AND Upson, the central defensive locker will be as bare as the forward locker currently looks. Every team needs a central spine and ours was Green, Collins, Upson, Parker and Cole. The loss of Collins (sold) and Cole (injured) has left us vulnerable, take out Upson too and we will effectively be spineless, especially with Green out of form. I know Cole is expected back in mid January, but that is still some weeks away and recoveries do not always run to plan. How would you fancy a "spine" of Green, Da Costa, Tomkins, Parker and Franco? Or, should Franco be unavailable, Green, Da Costa, Tomkins, Parker and Sears? That is a terrifying prospect but we only need Franco to pick up ONE MORE YELLOW CARD for that to be our spine once Upson is sold!
All eyes are currently on the Pompey fixture but the return game is only just around the corner too. Cole will be unavailable for both and my money would be on Franco picking up that yellow card over the next couple of games. Personally, I would try to engineer it to time his suspension for the FA Cup game against Arsenal. This team isn't going to win the Cup so let's try to get our priorities right! But Franco does mix it and does slide into challenges from the side and from behind, so invites a yellow every game: four bookings in ten starts show that referees do not like his style.
These remain very worrying times. There was a surge a belief after we picked up that point against Chelsea but there are major structural problems in our squad. When we lose Upson, the whole team could collapse down on itself like the World Trade Centre.
Posted by Hammersfan at 07:53