Tomkins can be a real star

WEST HAM fans have been able to see just how much defender James Tomkins has improved from last season, but when England centre back Matty Upson is lavishing on the praise, you know the boy has talent, WRITES DAVE EVANS. The 20-year-old who has thrived si

WEST HAM fans have been able to see just how much defender James Tomkins has improved from last season, but when England centre back Matty Upson is lavishing on the praise, you know the boy has talent, WRITES DAVE EVANS.

The 20-year-old who has thrived since returning from a loan spell at Derby County earlier this season, may run Jack Collison close for the young Hammer of the year award this term.

And after another excellent performance at Villa Park on Saturday, when he was forced from right back into the middle of defence after injury to James Collins, Upson was quick to praise him.

"He was fantastic," said Upson. "He is a great prospect for the club and he is maturing a lot through the games that he is playing."


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While at right back, Tomkins even had time to go marauding forward to set up David Di Michele for a good chance and then fire the rebound just over, while once restored to his regular centre back place, he proved as reliable as ever.

"There are obviously still a few things that he can improve on, but he has made a fantastic entry into the team and I think he is definitely one for a consistent spot in the side in the future, without a doubt," said Upson.

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It certainly helps Tomkins that he has Upson playing alonside him, as manager Gianfranco Zola was quick to point out.

"The confidence in the whole team helps and while the youngsters are doing very well, it's also down to experienced players like Matthew Upson, Lucas Neill and Robert Green," insisted Zola.

"They've been massive in establishing some security for us.

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