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HUGHTON'S NOTES

Posted on 21 November 2005  - 12:00

Chris Hughton gives his regular assessment of our forthcoming opponents - next up, West Ham on Sunday...

Chris Hughton gives his regular assessment of our forthcoming opponents - next up, West Ham on Sunday...

WEST HAM are doing very well and with Wigan, have probably surpassed their early expectations. For any team coming up from the Championship into the Premiership it’s generally about consolidation. In the games I’ve seen and videos I’ve watched West Ham deserve to be where they are.

As always, they are a very good footballing side - one thing they haven’t sacrificed is their philosophies on the way they want to play the game. They are a youngish side, an exciting side, good offensively and good to watch.

They will go with a 4-4-2 system. I've had experience of playing Yossi Benayoun (pictured left) when Ireland faced Israel in the World Cup qualifiers, we played them twice, so I've seen plenty of videos of him. He plays predominently on the left for Israel but has played on the right for West Ham and done well, he has wonderful ability on the ball.

They’ve always had an outlet on the left with Matty Etherington and Benayoun plays a little more infield

Hayden Mullins and Nigel Reo-Coker, who looks like he'll miss out, are both young lads full of running, they cover a lot of ground and are both good on the ball.

Teddy Sheringham and Marlon Harewood will be up front, Paul Konchesky at left-back and Tomas Repka who has played a lot of games for them over the last couple of seasons at centre-half seems to be a fixture at right-back with Anton Ferdinand and Danny Gabbidon central. A lot of clubs looked at Gabbidon when he was at Cardiff and West Ham are the ones who decided to go in for him.

They’ve done well defensively and even though they lack a bit of experience at centre-back, what they do have is an abundance of pace and agility and if you speak to strikers, what they don’t like are defenders who can match them for pace.