Behrami We can play much better’
HAMMERS midfielder Valon Behrami left the Emirates disappointed on Saturday evening, despite West Ham making it eight away games without defeat at Arsenal, writes DAVE EVANS. The 23-year-old Swiss international, who seems to be something of a marathon man
HAMMERS midfielder Valon Behrami left the Emirates disappointed on Saturday evening, despite West Ham making it eight away games without defeat at Arsenal, writes DAVE EVANS.
The 23-year-old Swiss international, who seems to be something of a marathon man out on the field with his incredible stamina, was in two minds about the 0-0 draw with the Gunners.
"It was a good result, but I think we didn't play very well," confessed Behrami, who has now played 23 games in claret and blue, scoring two goals along the way.
"We know we can keep the ball better than we did today and we can play much better than we did today, so it's a little bit strange, but the positive thing is the point we got," he said.
For Behrami it was one of his toughest games in a West Ham shirt. Arsenal dominated possession for almost the entire match, and he was left to chase around and harry the likes of Abou Diaby and Denilson, rather than get the Hammers sweeping forward.
Saturday's draw means that West Ham have now gone to Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal this season and grabbed points, and Behrami is not surprised that they have managed it.
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"We are a good team," insisted Behrami, who has 19 Swiss international caps to his name.
"When we work all together we are a good team and I think the most important thing is our team spirit. Every single player is fighting together to do better every day, so that is definitely our secret."
Things have not always been so rosy for the Hammers. When Gianfranco Zola first took over the helm at Upton Park, West Ham's slide down the table was rapid and somewhat frightening.
But Behrami revealed that it was the attitude of Zola during those dark days that pulled West Ham through and took them to the heady heights where they currently sit.
"During the negative moments, when we lost four games in a row, the manager was always saying positive things to the team," he said.
"Every time he would laugh with the team, so when we go to the training ground you enjoy working harder.
"This spirit is stronger than before and I think that is his secret."
Saturday's draw kept West Ham in eighth place in the Premier League, level on points with Wigan Athletic in seventh.
West Ham fans are currently looking upwards at the prospect of European football at Upton Park next season, rather than over the shoulders at the relegation battle, but Behrami is not even thinking about that prospect at the moment.
"I think we shouldn't worry about looking at the table now," insisted the Swiss midfielder.
"We have to work hard every day and then maybe at the end of the season, hopefully we will have a chance to get into Europe.
"But it's too early to talk about it now - we have to carry on doing what we're doing."
Hard work is Behrami's watchword. According to his Prozone figures he is head and shoulders above the rest of the team when it comes to covering the ground, something he will no doubt be doing again on Sunday when champions Manchester United are the visitors to Upton Park.
Behrami is hoping for a good performance on Sunday: "They are a very big team, but we are at home in front of our supporters and we will try all together to get a good result," he said.
"We are confident for every game, but not too much because when you are, you can surprise yourself by making a lot of mistakes out there.
"So we have to keep doing what we're doing, keep working hard during the week and that's it.
"We know it's going to be a very tough game, but we are at home and we will try to do better than we did against Arsenal."
Bring on United!