Konch's Delight At England Nod

AFTER the disappointment of not getting picked for the last round of qualifiers for the World Cup, Paul Konchesky was overwhelmed when he got the call-up for this weekend's friendly against Argentina in Geneva .

Paul said: "I'm absolutely delighted to be picked, especially after the disappointment of missing out last time. That was a big let down for me but I just kept working hard for West Ham and it has paid off for me this time.

"When Ashley Cole got injured in the last trip I thought there would be a chance for me but it wasn't to be. However, I knew Ashley would still be out for this game so thought if I kept playing my football there was always going to be a chance for Sven to have another look at me."

Playing in midfield for Charlton, and quite often missing out on a starting place meant Paul's England hopes had almost disappeared at the Addicks, but his move to the Hammers has changed all that for the better.

"Part of my decision to come to West Ham was down to the fact I was assured I had a good chance of playing week in week out which meant there was a chance my England career being revived as well. It was a big move to come to the Hammers but it has paid off. The team are doing well and the manager has put his faith in me by playing me every match. Now the England call-up has given me another major boost."

So, does Paul think he is in with a chance for a place in the squad for Germany next Summer now?

"Well, it is a good chance for me to show Sven what I can do. I won't do anything different to how I play for West Ham as that seems to be working for me. All I can do is play to the best of my abilities and hope he includes me in his plans for next Summer. Everyone knows the problems with the left-back position so this is a really good chance for me to offer a solution to them."

Being picked for England is obviously down to Paul's form for the Hammers since the start of the season, the 24-year-old defender explains why he is playing so well:

"I think the move initially was such a dream one for me that it got me going from day one. Also playing every week helps to breed confidence and with the team doing so well consistently it helps us all go from strength to strength and keep building on our performances."

It may be a friendly but Konch is certainly relishing the opportunity to pit his wits against one of the best teams in the world. 

"It's a great game to be involved in, if I am selected to play at any point. Argentina are up there with the world's best but just going away with the squad means a lot to me. The opportunity to train with big named players like David Beckham, Michael Owen, Rio Ferdinand and, of course, a good friend of mine, John Terry, is fantastic. I am sure I will get a lot out of it and I'm really looking forward to the week."

Konch's bouyant mood is helped by the fact the Hammers go into this break on the back of a vital three points against West Brom.

"The Club doing well always helps your international hopes so I'm delighted we have had such a great start to the season. It was an important win on Saturday as it means we can go into this international break in the top half of the table. We then have two hard games coming up against Spurs and Man Utd after that but we are not frightened of anyone and I'm sure if we keep playing like we have we can continue to pick up points and secure our Premiership status."