Upson 'desperate' to play in Champs League  

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

A day after West Ham's financial future was secured, Gianfranco Zola faces a new headache as one of his prized assets proclaims his desire to play in Europe.

Having won his 15th cap on Saturday against Kazakhstan, Matthew Upson appears to have firmly established himself as England's third-choice central defender – and now he wants to be in a position to challenge international team-mates John Terry and Rio Ferdinand.

"Being first choice for England is in my mind. That's what I'm striving for every day. I'm coming from a negative position in terms of where Rio and JT have been."

In Upson's opinion there is only way that this can be achieved: "I am desperate to play in the Champions League and that is where I want to be," he asserted. "I have played there with Arsenal and had that experience as a younger player. I would love to achieve that again."

These lingering doubts will be a major concern to Gianfranco Zola, whose fledgling side need players of Upson's experience. The Italian will hope that Arsene Wenger – clearly in the market for a centre-back – isn't tempted to go back in for Upson to bolster his own, similarly inexperienced defence.


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