West Ham close on two experienced defenders

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Sam Allardyce is adding to West Ham’s defence with the signing of Stephen Warnock and loan signing of Emanuel Pogatetz.

West Ham have failed to keep a clean sheet so far this month and conceded five in their last Premier League game away to Arsenal.

This has prompted Hammers boss Sam Allardyce to chase the signatures of two defenders who will provide cover and also improve the defence of the current team, with the Mail claiming both deals are imminent.

Both Stephen Warnock and Emanuel Pogatetz have experience of playing in the Premier League and both have played at a consistently high level throughout their professional careers.

Warnock is a very shrewd signing as he can play as a left back or on the left side of central defence. His arrival is the best indication yet that West Ham will not give into Blackburn’s price demands for Martin Olsson.

Warnock is not the most forward, aggressive or attacking of left backs which means he should aid the West Ham defence well.

He was at his best during his Blackburn and Aston Villa days when he stayed in his defensive position. He does the basics well such as stopping a winger from cutting inside and showing players onto their weaker foot.

This doesn’t mean that he never goes forward and he does have very good delivery skills for a left back. He’s just not the sort of player who is going to pick up the ball in his own defence and fly off on a run, beating five opposition players in the process.

Pogatetz will arrive on loan from Wolfsburg where he has struggled to get into the side consistently during the current Bundesliga season.

What he will add is a bit of strength and rigidity into the middle of the West Ham defence which will make them more imposing to play against and more difficult to break down.

Aerially he is very good and in terms of his strength he is very good. There are players who are better at reading the game but Pogatetz has the ability to react quickly to what he sees in front of him and cut out danger.

He also adds leadership into the middle of the defence having been the captain of Middlesbrough.

This means he will be able to bark out orders and martial the defence to make sure the back four retains its ship. West Ham have been exploited by clever sides this season because they break ranks and create space in behind their defence.

Good signing for West Ham? Will they make any difference?

image: © Matthew Black

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