Sam Allardyce’s West Ham team has kept a Premier-League club record 4th consecutive clean sheet against Norwich City, equalling a run last equalled in 1985.
While some managers (looking at you, Jose Mourinho), call it "19th century football," Allardyce calls it "outwitting" his opponents. Allardyce's strategy is clearly working well for the Hammers in the short term - they've now won three in a row, beating Swansea, Aston Villa, and Norwich.
Including the match against Chelsea, West Ham now haven't conceded a goal in four consecutive league matches - a feat not accomplished at the club since the 1985 season.
The remarkable nature of this achievement lies in the fact that independently, the back four at West Ham are nothing remarkable. If asked to name the best back four possible, it's unlikely that Guy Demel, James Collins, James Tomkins and George McCartney would make the cut - certainly not over the likes of the ferocious John Terry/Gary Cahill partnership Chelsea's currently fielding.
In an interview prior to today's match against Norwich, Tomkins said that the clubs recent success is one of statistics. "We're creating chances," the former England U21 international explained. "Hopefully we can score some goals," he added, as the club had been in a scoring drought towards the beginning of the season.
The real hero of this fourth consecutive clean sheet was goalkeeper Adrian - with the Spaniard making six saves last night, including the denial of a certain equaliser from Alexander Tetty just before half-time.
Despite his critics, Allardyce has apparently hit on a winning formula. West Ham will look to continue their run of Premier League form at Southampton on February 22.
Write for GiveMeSport! Sign-up to the GMS Writing Academy here: http://gms.to/1a2u3KU