West Ham manager Sam Allardyce notes Manchester City's defensive frailties

 

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has drawn encouragement from Manchester City's defensive frailties as he prepares to welcome the Barclays Premier League champions to Upton Park tomorrow.

Roberto Mancini's City have conceded 22 goals in all competitions so far this season, having let in only 29 league goals in the entire title-winning campaign last year.

Allardyce has seen his side pick up 14 points from their opening nine league games since gaining promotion back to the top flight, but despite pinpointing City's problems at the back, he is in no doubt that his side need to perform well to get a result.

He said: "I'm surprised (by City's start) but yet again there have been a few changes and a few players he has lost through injury and that disrupts what was his renowned back four for last season.

"He (Mancini) has tried a different style, a different system, he has lost (Nigel) de Jong who used to give them that protection.

"It is a bit more encouraging - I watched Swansea last week and they were very impressive against them but still at the end of the day they didn't get anything out of the game.

"When you are driving down the motorway or leaving Upton Park tomorrow it is no good saying 'what a good performance' if you have lost, so you have to get a result if you have given a good performance and that is what we are looking for."

Allardyce knows his players will have to make the most of the limited possession they are likely to enjoy against Mancini's side, as well as keeping an eye on all of City's attacking talent.

"I think that you set your stall out tactically against these teams to stop the major threats they have," he said.

"They have a lot of talented players and that is one of the key reasons you have to focus on trying to nullify that talent if you can and then maximise your possession.

"If you're going to be limited in possession against the big boys you have got to make sure you have got the quality to maximise that and try and expose one or two of their weaknesses."

A partisan home support could also work to the Hammers' advantage, according to Allardyce.

"The crowd will be up for it, we will fill the place and they will be excited," he said.

"They will anticipate we will give a good performance and that is all you can ask for from your players against a Manchester City side, against the champions."

West Ham face all of last season's top five in their next 10 league fixtures.

Allardyce is expecting a tough test but has been buoyed by the performance in the 3-1 defeat to Arsenal last month.

"We were very close to getting a result against Arsenal," he said.

"It was only because we missed some crucial chances before Arsenal scored the second and the third late on in the game that we didn't get a result."

The Hammers are still missing a number of key personnel ahead of Saturday's game and Allardyce is not anticipating any of his crocked stars will make a return inside a fortnight.

"They're not very close," he said.

"Guy Demel has had a small-ish hernia operation. We hope that will only keep him out for a couple of weeks more. (Ricardo) Vaz Te's shoulder too...We've got a bit of a problem with Matt Taylor's calf I think.

"They're the ones in particular. Joey (O'Brien) is obviously fit, Jack Collison is moving slowly towards starting training with the team - that's been a long haul for him."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea