Five things learned from West Ham's Swansea win: Allardyce, Carroll & Valencia feature

Sam Allardyce

Five conclusions from yet another fine win for third-placed West Ham.

Allardyce sticks to his guns...

There has been a lot of talk this season about how Sam Allardyce has transformed West Ham United's style of play. It has been true - but the 3-1 win against Swansea City was not the biggest example of that transformation.

Yes, this West Ham side looks so much more dynamic than any other in recent years. But it was Allardyce's traditional principles that brought about this victory. Two up top, with Andy Carroll the big target man to win the game. Brilliant.

Andy Carroll produced a £15 million performance

And Carroll's impact is further credit to Allardyce's management. The 60-year-old has to be the top-performing coach in the Premier League right now, with his use of Carroll a strong example of his work.

The Hammers were already performing wonderfully before the striker returned from injury. But Allardyce knew he could slot him back into the side. Now, West Ham look an even better team.

But Sakho is a worthy partner...

Carroll was ably aided, however, by Diafra Sakho, another forward West Ham are not the same team without. He was only introduced in the second half, though, which was exactly when the Hammers looked a significantly greater threat.

It is fantastic for the east London side to have Sakho back and he could form a prolific partnership with Carroll in the coming weeks...

The full-backs are at it again

Central to Allardyce's game plan today, as usual, were West Ham's full-backs, who offered width next to a very narrow diamond in midfield.

And both Aaron Cresswell, who has shone so far this campaign, and Carl Jenkinson delivered once again. Jenkinson, in fact, perhaps shaded matters in terms of his performance and worked exceptionally hard. Will Arsenal regret loaning him out considering their struggles at right-back?

Competition for places

If anyone doesn't perform, though, they can be sure that their place falls under an immediate threat. Kevin Nolan was recently dropped to good effect, while Mark Noble wasn't even playing today and will be available soon.

The biggest example, however, was Enner Valencia, who produced a rare poor first-half display against Swansea - and was substituted for it at half-time. Such is the depth of West Ham's squad this term, they can afford to chop and change with the only result being an even bigger improvement in performance levels.

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