Report - West Ham's on-loan Arsenal defender embraces tactical switch

Carl Jenkinson has welcomed West Ham United's switch to 3-5-2 as he and fellow full-back Aaron Cresswell have greater license to push forward.

West Ham United tried something different against Swansea City on Saturday, with Sam Allardyce deciding to alter his approach despite being absent from the touchline through illness.

It will have been his decision to go with a 3-5-2 system, with the Hammers of the opinion that they have the players to make that formation a success.

They certainly have the right options on the flanks, with Carl Jenkinson and Aaron Cresswell earning plenty of plaudits for their performances this season.

Both are comfortable operating at full-back, but they are also confident when pushing forward and offering a threat at the opposite end of the field.

Being deployed as wing-backs gives them greater ‘license to get forward’, with those in midfield and a three-man defensive unit offering cover behind them.

Jenkinson, on loan for the season at Upton Park from Premier League rivals Arsenal, is among those to have embraced the tactical tweak, despite seeing West Ham held to a 1-1 draw by the Swans.

He told the club’s official website: "I think overall it's a good point. We're disappointed because we conceded from a set piece, which was obviously avoidable and we had plenty of chances to win the game.

"So that's frustrating, but at the same time Swansea are a good team and we've picked up four points in two games against them. It's not the end of the world and we look forward to Tuesday now.

"I really enjoyed playing in the wing back role. The first half we were quite restricted and I didn't have too much of the ball in the attacking third so I was playing more like a full-back. But in the second half the game opened up and I was able to get forward more. It was different and I enjoyed it because it gave me the licence to get forward."

  Goal AssistTotal Att AssistTotal CrossAccurate CrossTotal ContestAppearancesMins Played
Aaron Cresswell 3 22 79 15 22 21 1,890
Carl Jenkinson 2 10 85 13 24 17 1,317

The Opta statistics above show how productive Jenkinson and Cresswell have been for West Ham this season.

They have provided a steady stream of ammunition from wide areas, with the likes of Andy Carroll now back to full fitness to feed off that service.

It may be that Allardyce switches back to a more tried-and-tested system for an FA Cup third round replay with Everton on Tuesday, but options are important to any manager and the Hammers have the ability within their ranks to experiment to mix things up.

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