Anorak News | England’s Bentley Continental: West Ham’s Alan Curbishley’s Local Heroes

England’s Bentley Continental: West Ham’s Alan Curbishley’s Local Heroes

by | 5th, September 2007

gallery7.jpgALAN Curbishley is writing in the Express.

He begins with a question: “To start with, a quiz question: who do you suppose is the biggest seller in the club shop at West Ham?”

Curbishley is referring to shirt sales, the barometer of a player’s success. Bobby Moore, say we. Or what about Martin Peters and Geoff Hurst who played a key role in England’s World Cup success? Or how about Argentinean Carolos Tevez who kept West Ham in the top flight or Italy’s Paulo DiCanio?

The answer is Mark Noble.

Curbishley says this is not because Noble has only five letters in his surname and at £1 a letter there are big savings to be had when weighted against his team-mates Matthew Etherington, Calum Davenport and Fredrik Ljungberg.

We imagine that had Kieron Dyer not broken his leg he’d be pressing Noble for the coveted No.1 shirt spot.

But Curbishley has another idea. Says he: “But Mark is local and that’s why he appeals to the supporters so much.”

Curbishley does not provide figures for Noble shirt sales, which may number in single digits. He has a point to make and statistics even in this pro-zone era must not infringe on the manager’s theory.

He goes on: “Now, as England face two Euro 2008 qualifiers in the next nine days that are crucial to the future of our game, a vital player for Steve McClaren could be David Bentley.”

Curbishley’s point being that Bentley is English and therefore local to the England team. The article is entitled “Bentley could be our Rolls-Royce”. You know, the company owned by True British Volkswagen, although BMW hold the rights to the name and the marque.

Is Bentley more local than Frank Lampard, Emile Heskey and Michael Owen? Curbs doesn’t say. Perhaps he wants all England players to be born near Wembley Stadium, preference given to proximately to headquarters?

The message is that local is important. Curbishley remind us: “We at West Ham are doing our bit with eight Englishman in the team on Saturday.”

All very, well, Noble. Since becoming manager of West Ham (a club owned by an Icelander), Curbishley has brought in Henri Camara (Senegal), Nolberto Solano (Peru), Craig Bellamy (Wales), Kieron Dyer (England), Scott Parker (England), Julien Faubert (France), Richard Wright (England), Freddie Ljungberg (Sweden).

Says Curbishley: “Perhaps you were as shocked as I was when it was revealed that only 40 percent of all players who started in the Premier League on the opening day were English.”

Curbishley has every right to be shocked. Of the eight players he has brought to West Ham this season, three are English, giving Curbishley an England-foreigner reckoning of 37.5 per cent.

He is doing his bit to address this peculiarity…

Posted: 5th, September 2007 | In: Back pages Comment | TrackBack | Permalink