Darren Bent heaped praise on West Ham’s defence and admitted he previously doubted the Hammers’ defenders.
The Sky Sports pundit shared he thought the Hammers’ downfall would be their defence but pointed out he thought the back four had upped their game after seeing how well the club’s attackers were playing.
“It’s shocked me, I thought no way, that’s going to be their downfall, at the back. I thought that was where they were going to struggle,” Bent said in an interview with Football Insider.
“It seems since the attackers have stepped up to play, the defenders have gone: ‘We can’t let them down, let’s concentrate on our job.’ You’ve got teams where you’re thinking (as a striker): ‘If I score, we might still concede,’ but for them at the minute, it looks like the back four have gone: ‘These lot are doing their job at the other end of the pitch, we need to do ours.’
“They’re defending really, really well so I take my hat off to them.”
The Hammers have conceded seven goals across their first six league games and currently sit fifth in the table with 11 points.
When you consider Manchester City put five goals past West Ham at the London Stadium on the opening day of the season, it’s quite remarkable that the Hammers have only let in seven goals after their first six games. After all it means the Hammers have only conceded two goals in their last five games, and that shows how the defence have improved. West Ham have suffered from a leaky defence in recent seasons, so it’s easy to see why Bent doubted that area of the team. In the 2018/19 campaign, the Hammers let in 55 goals in 38 league games and in the club’s 2017/18 season, the Hammers left in a staggering 68 goals when all was said and done. While Bent has opted to praise the defenders for raising their game, it’s clear manager Manuel Pellegrini deserves credit as he no doubt pulled the strings behind-the-scenes in order to whip the Hammers’ defenders into shape.