American Exports: Spector wants defined role

Jonathan Spector

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Getty Images

AMSTERDAM — Suddenly thrust into a midfield role after some frustrating
inactivity, West Ham United handyman Jonathan Spector says he'd prefer
being allowed to settle in one position.

The 24-year-old, who did not appear for the US at the 2010 World Cup, was
left a Hammers spectator for three months after starting at left back in
a late August loss to former employers Manchester United.

Generally used on the back line, Spector pinch-hit for a suspended Scott
Parker in last week's Carling Cup quarterfinal against his old club by
scoring twice in the first half to key a 4-0 win. He was back in midfield alongside Parker for their weekend loss at
Sunderland, again reinforcing his reputation as a player who can fill in at
several positions.

"I suppose some people might already view me as a utility player, since
I've played in every position along the back four and as a central
midfielder," Spector told MLSsoccer.com from London.
"But I'd prefer not to have that role, as it can sometimes be a
hindrance to regular playing time. However, I know many managers will
view it as a positive."

As for setting up shop in the middle of the park, Spector says that would be just fine with him.

"I've really enjoyed playing in the center of midfield recently, and I
think it might be a good position for me in the future," he stated.
"There is certainly an element of defending which I am accustomed to,
but on the flip side, there is also more of an opportunity to get
involved in the attack, which I feel is a strength of mine."

Either way, the Chicago-area native's midfield renaissance has given him a welcome opportunity to see time on the field.

"As a player, it's always frustrating when you aren't playing,
especially when your team is doing poorly and there is nothing you can
do from the sidelines to impact that," said Spector. "All I could do was
continue to work hard in training and wait for an
opportunity." 

"That opportunity came in the center of midfield against Manchester
United, which led to scoring two goals, which was a great feeling.
However, it was a better feeling to win the game and contribute to that
after a spell on the sidelines."

Spector and West Ham will try to climb out of the Premier League basement when they host Manchester City on Saturday afternoon.

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