December 12 2013 Latest news:
By Nick Wright
Monday, February 25, 2013
Manager Sam Allardyce says every one of his West Ham players will need to be on their toes to stop Gareth Bale when Tottenham come to Upton Park tonight.
Bale has been in blistering form in recent weeks, netting six goals in his last five appearances for Andre Villas-Boas’ side.
Allardyce knows it will be a challenge to keep the Welsh winger quiet but has called on his side to take collective responsibility.
“I think that you have to take the responsibility whatever position he floats into,” he said.
“The nearest man is the key, his attention to Gareth is the most important to nullify the space that he needs to work in.
“It’s all right saying he plays down the left-hand side but he doesn’t really.
“He comes inside and pops up in certain positions so saying it’s only going to be your right-back that marks him is not going to be the answer.
“It’s going to be several players that are going to have to mark him when he comes into their areas.
“So pay particular attention if he comes into your area, you’re responsible to get there, close him down and not let him get on the ball, get his head up and start running at you.”
Allardyce estimated Bale’s value at £40-50million but added that he is not the only player West Ham have to worry about tonight.
“We can’t just pay particular attention to Bale, we have to pay attention to a lot of players at Tottenham, certainly on the front line because they’re so dangerous in attack.
“Dembele in midfield is a terrific player, and Dempsey, Defoe, Adebayor, Lennon.
“They are very, very strong in possession and we must be very good defensively to cope with that.
“But then of course we must try and deliver the sort of performance at home we’ve done on a regular basis this season to cause them a few problems and score a few goals.”