Player verdicts - defenders

What can you say about Matty Upson that hasn t already been said? He was imperious all season, booked only twice, which is an incredible statistic for a centre half, and improved everyone who played alongside him. One of those was youngster James Tom-kins

What can you say about Matty Upson that hasn't already been said? He was imperious all season, booked only twice, which is an incredible statistic for a centre half, and improved everyone who played alongside him.

One of those was youngster James Tom-kins who went on loan to Derby County a boy and returned as a man, and a quality centre half to boot.

James Collins suffered yet another frustrating season of injuries, starting 20 games, while he is still prone to silly mistakes, while Danny Gabbidon never managed to take to the field at all.

Calum Davenport showed some great improvement and had cut down on his mistakes when a row with Zola sent him packing to Sunderland and inevi-table departure this summer.


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Lucas Neill had more good games than bad this season, which was an improv-ement on last time out, but he also proved that he is hardly a reliable back-up at centre back.

While Jonathan Spector was an adequate, yet unspectacular reserve full back - he is still only a squad man and needs to improve or he will find himself surplus to requirements.

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One man who improved all season was Herita Ilunga.

The left back made a bad mistake within a couple of minutes of his debut at West Brom, but you could count his other mistakes last season on one hand.

He gave Walter Lopez no chance to get into the side, and the best you can say about Ilunga was that the fans quickly forgot George McCartney, who played at the start of the campaign before being sold to Sunderland on deadline day.

Have I forgotten anybody? Oh yes, Julien Faubert - he was absolutely terrible!

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