Matthew Upson 2007-2011 144 Apps
Matthew Upson was clearly a defender with a great deal of talent, signed from Birmingham for 6 million in January 2007 at a time when the club were struggling to survive in the Premier League, he injured his calf in the first half an hour of his debut and then came off after the first 10 minutes of his comeback against Spurs in 4-3 defeat that looked to have condemned the club to relegation.
Upson did not feature again that season, but was first choice through most of time with the club. Despite coming with quite an enhanced reputation Upson always appeared a little underwhelming to me. Very slow on the turn he always seemed exposed in one on one situations. Very early on in his West Ham career Upson rumours were abound that Upson was set to move to City and to be honest he always had the air of someone who didn’t really care about the club.
In one interview given while West Ham were bottom of the League in 2011 he stated that he needed to be playing Champion League football in order to cement a place in the England squad, unsurprisingly he left as his contract expired following relegation and joined Champions League regulars, ahem Stoke City.
Upson probably spent the most successful period of his career at West Ham but he is not remembered fondly.
Javier Margas 1998-2000 15 Apps
Signed from Chilean club Universidad Catolica for £2.7 Million in August 1998 after playing in all 4 of Chile’s World Cup games that year. Margas quickly established himself as shall we say a rather erratic individual. He is famous for dyeing his hair the colours of the team he is playing for, so naturally dyed his hair claret and blue the moment he arrived.
Margas found it hard to settle in London and frequently went AWOL causing then manager Harry Redknapp headache after headache. In a time before player liaison officers it was incredibly hard for players coming from South America to settle and it’s probably fair to say that Margas didn’t really get the pastoral support that he needed, that and an eccentric streak meant he returned to Chile in 2000 having not really fulfilled his potential.
Margas played 63 times for Chile and is highly decorated from his time in Chilean domestic football, he has continued to display his eccentricity in is retirement appearing in a reality TV show and purchasing General Pinochet’s armoured car.
Calum Davenport 2007-2008 23 Apps
Signed initially on loan in from Spurs in 2004, Davenport completed a permanent move in 2007 having failed to establish himself at Tottenham.
Davenport struggled to establish himself at West Ham his time on the pitch severely impacted by injury and lack of form, he did look to have all the key attributes tall and good in the air yet he always looked to lack speed and lacked decisiveness.
Davenport was involved in a stabbing incident, which led to him losing 50% of the blood in his body which threatened not only his career but also his life.
Davenport did not play for West Ham again following the incident and had his contract terminated and he left for Nottingham Forest. Sadly he has gone to have further personal issues and his career has somewhat tailed off after his spell with West Ham.