West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce says the turning point for his players was drawing against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last season.
The Hammers travel to Chelsea on Boxing Day and Allardyce has detailed how holding out for a point had a beneficial effect on his players from that point, leading into this season.
West Ham struggled at times last season, but the way they played in the 0-0 draw at Chelsea, prompted Jose Mourinho’s infamous comments about ‘13th Century football’.
“The turning point, why West Ham United stayed in the division eventually, was the draw at Chelsea,” said Big Sam.
“That's how important it was. It gave the lads a huge confidence boost and huge belief that they could hold a team like Chelsea off.”
Things have changed this season after Allardyce pulled off some great signings in the transfer market last summer, equipped with the boss getting his tactics spot on in a variety of games.
He’s got the balance between young and exciting enthusiasm and much needed experience just about right, which makes West Ham a dangerous team to play against for any opponent.
Chelsea are scrapping to maintain their lead at the top of the Premier League, but Allardyce is confident his team can cause a shock result as fans nurse their Christmas hangovers.
“We'll see what century we're in when we finish there (on Boxing Day). It's a nice time, I think, for us to be playing Chelsea and Arsenal.”
A win for West Ham on Boxing Day not only confirms their quality and improvement this season, it’s evidence they are a serious candidate for a top four position if they can maintain consistency and keep everyone fit for their games against the bigger teams in the division.