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4-5-1 for way games

John Simkin

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Curbishley successfully played 4-5-1 against Portsmouth. Several managers have taken the view that this is the only formation to play in away games. To play it successfully you need a centre-forward who can hold the ball up until he is joined by other members of the team. West Ham has the players to play 4-5-1. However, it does raise the question of what you do with Craig Bellamy. Curbishley’s answer to this question on Saturday was to play Bellamy wide right. That did not work well as Bellamy did not do his defensive duties and most of Portsmouth most dangerous attacks came down his side during the first-half. West Ham looked much better when Boa Morte switched to the right and Etherington came in on the left. When Bellamy is fit again, Curbishley has to decide where he plays him in away games. One possibility is to play him in midfield behind the striker. But unless Bellamy keeps his discipline, this could lead to West Ham being overrun in midfield.

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