Friday, 8 February 2008

Bentham, Mill, Curbs

The said truth is that it is the greatest happiness of the greatest number that is the measure of right and wrong.
Jeremy Bentham

The Daily Mail have become the first newspaper to
pick up on the Craig Bellamy injury rumour posted here a few days ago. They claim the striker could be out for the rest of the season after suffering a recurrence of the abdominal problems which have plagued him all season. It looked as though Bellamy- who has made just seven Premier League appearances this season following his £7.5million signing from Liverpool last summer- was finally on the way back after coming on as a substitute against Wigan last Saturday and then playing in a midweek reserve-team match. However, the article claims he again felt some discomfort in the same area of the abdomen and now an operation is a distinct possibility. If that was to happen, it is reported, then he would likely miss the rest of the season. In the only quote attributed to Alan Curbishley, the West Ham manager said: "Craig is still feeling sore. We will have to assess things all over again." Obviously, this is the same newspaper that last week had Scott Parker finished for the season so we should probably wait for further official confirmation (or denial) of the story before we start to worry. In yesterday's pre-match press conference a reticent Curbishley would only say: "He's [Bellamy] a bit sore still to be honest. He's not 100 per cent how he wants to be but he still done enough in the reserve game - and when he came on against Wigan - that perhaps not being 100 per cent is not too bad."

When he is not speculating on the fitness of his players, Curbishley is busy espousing consequential utilitarianist rhetoric in defence of his methods in the face of a growing chorus of criticism. It follows French midfielder Julien Faubert registering surprise at the training methods deployed at the club and Dean Ashton reportedly blaming Curbishley for his omission from Fabio Capello's first England squad. "I am not here to keep people happy, I am here to get results," declared Curbishley. "It is a team effort, not for individuals. It is about the make-up of the side and I have changed formations during games. My only aim is to get a result. I am not here to keep people happy. Carlton Cole and Dean Ashton have got to work at their partnership a bit more because as a pair they can be very similar. I think Craig Bellamy offers us something different. He is one player who looks to get in behind defences." Curbishley has not spoken with Faubert about the controversial interview but has taken the quotes with a "pinch of salt". The Hammers boss said: "He has hardly been around us. He has only been in three squads. That was against Fulham, Manchester City in the FA Cup game where he came on for 20 minutes and in the Manchester City league game. We haven't seen him since then because he picked up a calf strain. In five or six months he has probably trained with the first team, in terms of being near the first team, on two or three days. And he doesn't mind kicking one or two people either. He is very aggressive with things!"

Curbishley was a little more eager to talk about
Matthew Upson's ascension to the England ranks and how others within the club can take heart from his success. "They all can take inspiration from Matthew Upson," he said after the defender's solid display in the 2-1 win against Switzerland at Wembley on Wednesday night. "We have got a bit of a spine in our squad. Rob Green and Anton Ferdinand are playing well and [Fabio Capello] would have taken note of that in the last couple of weeks." As well as putting forward the names of Scott Parker and Kieron Dyer as future candidates, Curbishley added that "you have got Dean Ashton who they will be looking at and Mark Noble is in there as well. We have got a healthy contingent of players that Capello should look at. I think that [his adviser Franco] Baldini who does a lot of the scouting was at our two Man City games, he was at the Liverpool game. We know we have been well watched so anyone who is playing at the moment has got to be looking to impress. If there is a small group of English players out there who consider themselves with a chance of playing, they have got to be putting it in week in, week out."

For now, it is Upson who has made the break and Curbishley underlined that "we are all very pleased for Matty". He added: "He has worked ever so hard. I know all the games have been looked at. We are really pleased for him." On whether he has done enough to remain in the squad when the likes of John Terry and Ledley King are fit for next month's trip to play France in Paris, Curbishley added: "He has got himself there, he has not done himself any harm. He has got to stay fit, keep playing well and wait for the next squad. He has shown why we bought him. He is a very good player, a very good professional and very good around the training ground. We knew what we were getting. We were just disappointed we didn't have him for the run-in last season. He has shown what he's about since he has got himself right. On and off the field, he is totally professional."


Scratchcrotch said...

You have some clever ideas! There's an old book called Football Mania by Gerhard Vinnai which you should check out if you haven't already. There's an entire chapter devoted to the utilitarian approach to system and method in football.

Anonymous said...

Top post. I look forward to reading more. Cheers

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