Allardyce claims West Ham ‘must’ start to keep more clean sheets

Sam Allardyce

Sam Allardyce wants to see West Ham’s defensive stability return.

The Hammers have played some free flowing football this term, but Allardyce’s recent admission to the London Evening Standard should worry the West Ham fans.

The 60-year-old head coach said: “The by-product of us not scoring as many as we would like is we must improve our clean-sheet ratio to get something from games. Last season we had 14, this time only seven.

“We can’t go into our remaining games thinking we’re going to score two or three because the statistics tell you otherwise.”

Allardyce threw out his old style long-ball football at the beginning of the campaign for a new-look attacking style, which focused on keeping the ball on the ground and utilising the creative talents of Stewart Downing.

This system worked brilliantly at the beginning of the campaign, as the Hammers swept away all opposition to move into the top four of the Premier League table.

The trade off from scoring a load of goals was the reduction in defensive stability enjoyed by Allardyce’s men, as full-backs Aaron Cresswell and Carl Jenkinson were encouraged to push forward and attack - leaving spaces in defence.

Consequently, the Hammers were scoring a wealth of goals, but conceding a fair few as well, and they have only kept seven clean sheets this term.

With the goals drying up, Allardyce has admitted that he wants to see a return to the defensive solidity of last term, when they kept 14 clean sheets - just four behind Chelsea with the highest.

As a result, this gives the worrying thought to Hammers fans that this must be the end of West Ham playing attractive football under Allarydce. This may only be for a few weeks, with the 60-year-old’s future at the Boleyn Ground looking over, but even so, this admission will certainly not please the fans who are so keen to see the Hammers play the attractive football that has characterised their football club throughout history.

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