Allardyce suggests key strength West Ham have lost since last season

Sam Allardyce Press Conference Disappointed 12/02/2014

West Ham United have been playing good football this season, but at the expense of a strong defence.

Sam Allardyce has suggested to the London Evening Standard a quality that West Ham have lost since last season.

Although floundering near the relegation places for much of last season, and sitting in the top half of the table this term, Allardyce is convinced that his team have lost a key strength of their game.

The Hammers have played some wonderful football this term, with exciting, attacking style of play on show that is hardly characteristic of Allardyce’s career. Moving away from the long-ball football usually associated with him, the veteran coach selected a diamond midfield 4-4-2 formation, and has been lauded for the change.

Stewart Downing has excelled as a new-look number 10, while the signings of Diafra Sakho and Aaron Cresswell have proved to be massive successes. Goals have been scored from all over the pitch, and the season has been a positive one for the East London club.

Despite all the positives, Allardyce believes there is one weakness that has defined the campaign - a weakness that was not evident last season.

Despite winning more games, the attacking football has come at the cost of a strong defence, as the club have kept just six clean sheets this campaign. The lack of resilience compared to last season is the big disappointment for Allardyce, as he told the Standard.

“I believe the team has lost some of its out-of-possession resilience,” he said. “Last season we had 14 clean sheets. This season, so far, it’s six."

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