Carlton Cole suggests why West Ham are doing so well this season

West Ham sit in the Champions League places of the Premier League table.

After 16 games of the Premier League season, the Hammers sit in fourth place, with a two point lead over Southampton.

The goals of Diafra Sakho and creativity of Stewart Downing have been the key reasons for the East London club’s success, but they have been aided by a strong defence, and a move to a more possession-based style of play.

Sam Allardyce has worked wonders considering the pressure on his head at the close of the campaign, and he has been praised for his change in style, as well as the business completed in the transfer window. Top scorer Sakho was brought in from French club FC Metz, whilst Enner Valencia, Cheickhou Kouyate, Alex Song and Aaron Cresswell have all become key first-team starters following their summer arrivals.

The only negative aspect of the success of the Hammers signings is the lack of game time played by people at the club last season - including 31-year-old forward Carlton Cole.

Cole is in his ninth consecutive season at the Boleyn Ground, but he has found playing opportunities hard to come by, with just 10 appearances this term - four of which were starts. However, he has vowed to keep working hard to fight for a place in the starting XI, and has no bad words to say about the people keeping him out of the team.

It is this hard-working team ethic that has proven so important to the Hammers this year, and Cole expressed his belief that it is the main reason they are doing so well in the Premier League.

“We have got the right mix [of players],” the former Chelsea forward told the Standard.

“This is the hardest-working squad I’ve played in here and we have some great players. We have got a great bunch of lads. We all have a great understanding of each other and everyone loves each other as brothers.

“That is why we are doing so well at the moment.”

Cole will be hoping to take his chance in the Hammers first-team at the turn of the year, when Sakho will be away on international duty with Senegal in the Africa Cup of Nations.

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