Green: Settled side is behind defensive turnaround

PUBLISHED: 12:16 04 December 2008 | UPDATED: 13:51 05 October 2010

Robert Green credits West Ham's defensive turnaround to Hammers boss Gianfranco Zola s decision to stick with a settled back four


ROBERT GREEN credits West Ham's defensive turnaround to Hammers boss Gianfranco Zola's decision to stick with a settled back four.

Green helped the club record a third successive clean sheet at Liverpool on Monday night as the Hammers avoided defeat at Anfield for the first time in nine years.

West Ham have now gone more than 270 minutes without conceding a goal - a stunning statistic given their defensive struggles this year.

Before last month's goalless draw against Portsmouth, the Hammers had failed to keep a clean sheet in 26 Premier League matches. Now they have three in a row.

West Ham have started with the same back four of Lucas Neill, Matthew Upson, James Collins and Herita Ilunga for the past five matches and Green believes that consistency in team selection has helped the club overcome their defensive frailties..

He said: "You know what people can do and you know each other's qualities. It's the same with anything - partnerships up front work the same as partnerships at the back.

"Last season, if you look at it, there weren't many changes and our record spoke for itself.

"The season before that when we had the run towards the end, the back four didn't change and that's a recipe for success."

Green has also played a key role in West Ham's defensive resurgence. The 28-year-old was in top form at Anfield, pulling off fine saves from former team-mate Yossi Benayoun and Dirk Kuyt.

Green's display of brilliance ensured the Reds were unable to make the breakthrough that would have sent them three points clear at the top of the table, but the former Norwich goalkeeper says the entire team should take credit for keeping Liverpool at bay.

"To come to Anfield and do so well is obviously pleasing. The lads put everything in and ran themselves off the pitch at the end of the game," Green said. "It was a tremendous effort. When a clean sheet comes away from home in the Premier League, you take it."

Green's focus on shutting out the opposition hints at a change in approach from the free-flowing, attacking football that Zola promised when he arrived at Upton Park in September.

He believes the Italian is starting to realise that a more pragmatic gameplan is sometimes required if the Hammers are to preserve their Premier League status.

"I think we're learning as fast as he is that if you don't concede goals, you're not going to lose games," added Green.

"Some people say it would be nice to come to Anfield and play wonderful attacking football and lose 4-3 but we've come and dug in and put our bodies on the line. You can't ask for any more.

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the East London Advertiser. Click the link in the yellow box below for details.

Latest East London Sports News

22 minutes ago

West Ham United Women’s Katharina Baunach has announced her retirement from football.


The British Basketball League has announced that the remainder of the 2019-20 season has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.


With sport slowly starting to return across the globe during the coronavirus pandemic, why not test your sporting knowledge with another quiz?


The Sky Bet Championship is set for a June 20 resumption after the English Football League agreed on a provisional return date.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

The Government has issued health and safety guidelines which will pave the way for elite sport to return behind closed doors in England from Monday.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Cricket West Indies has granted approval in principle for the proposed Test tour of England in July as the return of international cricket moves closer.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Rounders England has developed a new family-friendly version of the game that can be played in small groups.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Administrators across the sporting world have been working to plot a course out of the coronavirus shutdown.


The Government is encouraging people to stay alert as many take their first steps back to their workplace.

The Government has announced an unprecedented package of support to protect jobs and support business across the UK during the coronavirus outbreak.

People working for a wide range of private companies have been standing side-by-side with public sector staff on the front line during the coronavirus outbreak.

Most read sport


A competition for wannabe writers has been started to add works to Canary Wharf’s ‘short story’ dispensers which are temporarily locked up by the lock down.

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Most Read

Latest from the East London Advertiser