Upson hits back at Beckenbauer
Matthew Upson has warned Franz Beckenbauer that England will adopt the tactics that win the games and ignore his barbed comments about the Three Lions' style of play.
The German legend has launched a vicious attack on Fabio Capello's side, accusing them of a "kick and rush" approach to the game, claiming they have gone backwards under their £6million-a-year boss.
Those comments have been met with a shrug of the shoulders from the England camp, who, as well as Germany played on Tuesday night, do not believe a single four-goal defeat of an ageing Australia outfit give them any reason to crow.
Upson was not keen to become embroiled in a war of words with Beckenbauer, who led his team to World Cup glory as a player in 1974 and a coach in 1990.
But he does not feel there is any reason for England to be deflected from their chosen path.
"We will play the football that suits us best," said Upson, who was speaking on a visit to an SOS Village in Rustenburg to spend time with local children, many of whom have been orphaned.
"We want to win matches, so we will play the style according to that.
"Whatever he thinks about our style of play is his opinion. If we are accused of kick and rush but win something, I don't think many people would complain."
Upson did admit England had been working hard on the training ground attempting to iron out the problems that surfaced at the weekend.
Wayne Rooney certainly was not holding back on his return this morning after a minor ankle knock and John Terry was putting in plenty of meaty challenges too amid a full compliment of England players, save for the obvious exception of Ledley King.
The groin injury that is almost certain to rule King out until the semi-finals at least has left Capello open to criticism, given he knew about the Tottenham man's patchy fitness record long before he decided to select him in his 23-man squad.
With his replacement, Jamie Carragher, looking fragile as he tried to subdue Jozy Altidore and James Milner lasting only half an hour before being hauled off, it is little wonder the overall performance has been met with a generally negative response.
Upson admits there are areas to work on. He does report a Capello reaction that is slightly at odds with the overall perception.
"The manager has indicated to us he was very pleased with certain aspects of our performance," said Upson.
"Whenever he watches us play he looks for the things he wants to see. It might be different to what everyone else sees.
"On Saturday he saw some things he was very pleased with. I also think he saw some things he would want us to improve on.
"That is the key to management. We have been working on it in training and hopefully that will make us a better team in future."
Quite aside from England's defensive concerns, Capello clearly has a decision to make over Upson's West Ham team-mate Robert Green, who cost England victory on Saturday when he allowed Clint Dempsey's tame shot to squirm through his fingers.
The mistake has put Capello's men on the back foot in their bid to reach the last 16 and left Green sweating on his place in the side to face Algeria in Cape Town on Friday.
Upson retains the utmost faith in the keeper though, totally unable to recollect any similar incident.
"Robert Green is 100% ready to play on Friday," said Upson.
"These mistakes happen, although I cannot ever recall him doing anything like that.
"But he is a big boy and has handled it really well. He just has to put it behind him and move on."
Not that Upson is without his personal problems.
After starting nine of the 15 matches England played immediately before Capello named his 30-man provisional squad in the middle of May, the 31-year-old has slipped significantly down the pecking order.
Once the go-to man when Rio Ferdinand was missing, he lost out to King and then Carragher on Saturday, so he clearly he some work to do to push himself back into Capello's eye-line again.
"The nature of the industry we are in means you are always going to suffer personal setbacks," he said.
"I am desperate to play my part. I have to be patient, keep focussed and keep working hard in training.
"That has been my mine focus since I have been here. That is not going to change for the duration of the tournament.
"Everything else is outside my control."
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