Former Player Blog - Daniel Gabbidon

The former Hammer of the Year cannot wait to see James Collins in Euro 2016 action
Ex-West Ham United defender and former Hammer of the Year Danny Gabbidon is looking forward to an exciting summer of football at the European Championships in France.

The Welshman will be working for talkSPORT during the tournament and can’t wait to see his fellow countrymen in action, especially his former teammate and good friend James Collins...

I was delighted to see James Collins get his call-up, although it was never really in doubt. The only thing that would have kept him out of the squad would have been an injury. He has been one of the mainstays in the Welsh squad for a number of years and his call-up comes off the back of a good season at West Ham. It’s amazing for him to get the chance to play at a major tournament - it’s something that not a lot of players get to do in their career and I can’t wait to see him perform.
I hope that Chris Coleman will pick him, but I think it’s a tough call. James Chester has come in and done really well when Ginge was absent. It’s probably one of the few dilemmas for the manager. The rest of the team pretty much picks itself, but at centre back, it is more difficult. They are both really good players and have done very well for the national side. It’s a good position for the manager to be in and to have such healthy competition can only be a good thing for the side.
Ginge is a leader, strong in the air and you know what you are going to get from him because he is a very consistent performer. His leadership skills off the pitch and his personality in the dressing room mean that there is always a better atmosphere when he’s about. Even if he doesn’t make the starting eleven, there is still a role for him as one of the senior players in the squad. He has learnt over the years that there are other ways to influence the game and affect the players around you, being a leader off the pitch and by instilling your personality on those around you.
I am excited to see what Wales can achieve in the Euros, if you can get out of the group, then who knows what could happen. They need to get off to a quick start and both Wales and England will be pleased that they drew each other in the second match and not the first. I hope both sides get off to good starts and that will make for a great game in the second one. Getting to the quarter-finals would be a fantastic achievement for the Welsh side, because this is all new for them and so it’s hard to know how well they can do. The lads are confident and if we can get our full eleven out then they will feel like they can give a game to anybody.

The views expressed in this article are not necessarily the views of West Ham United.