West Ham’s England boys with plenty to prove in Ukraine
WEST HAM S England internationals will be looking to impress national coach Fabio Capello over the next week after being selected for the forthcoming World Cup qualifiers against Ukraine and Belarus. Robert Green, Matty Upson and Carlton Cole were all inc
WEST HAM'S England internationals will be looking to impress national coach Fabio Capello over the next week after being selected for the forthcoming World Cup qualifiers against Ukraine and Belarus.
Robert Green, Matty Upson and Carlton Cole were all included in the squad and, with qualification already secure for the finals in South Africa next summer, they will be hoping to emphasise their credentials to the coach.
Green has played in the last five England internationals, letting in four goals, but the return of David James to the squad following injury will give the coach an interesting choice that could point towards the number one when the World Cup starts.
Green will be looking to make up for the bad mistake that cost West Ham a goal against Fulham on Sunday, and Upson will be in a similar boat.
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His wrestling match with Diomansy Kamara cost West Ham a penalty and inevitably a goal, while the defender's general play on his return from injury left a lot to be desired.
Rio Ferdinand is back in the squad, and Upson will need to compete with Manchester City's Joleon Lescott as well for the chance to partner John Terry at the heart of the England defence.
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Of the three, Carlton Cole is the one playing at the top of his game, with four goals already to his name this season.
That compares with Peter Crouch (5), Gabriel Agbonlahor (5) and Emile Heskey (0) as he looks to partner Wayne Rooney up front.
"I will play with the best players 100 per cent in the first half as always," said Capello on announcing his squad. "The second half it's possible I will make some subs. They are not friendly games, they are not experimental games. We have to continue what we have done in qualification."
England travel to Ukraine on Saturday for a 4.15pm kick off, while Belarus are the visitors to Wembley next Wednesday.
MEANWHILE, West Ham striker Frank Nouble has been called up for the England under-19 squad for the first time as they begin their European Championship qualification.
The 18-year-old, who signed from Chelsea in the summer, has made four substitute appea-rances for West Ham this term.