Next Game

FC Astra v West Ham

Thursday, 06 August 2015, 19:00

Europa League Qual Third Round

Last Game

West Ham 1 - 2 W Bremen

Sunday, 02 August 2015, 15:00

Friendly Match

Allardyce backs Downing

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has given his backing to Stewart Downing as the winger prepares to face his former club.

Last Updated: 02/11/13 at 09:00 Post Comment

Stewart Downing: Set for Aston Villa reunion

Stewart Downing: Set for Aston Villa reunion

Downing lines up against Aston Villa on Saturday in an Upton Park encounter between two sides who are struggling for Premier League consistency.

The winger has been criticised in some quarters for underachieving after winning 34 caps for his country - but Allardyce said of his £5m man: "Other people's opinion is of no interest to me. My opinion is the only opinion that matters between me and Stewart Downing.

"Stewart Downing had a difficult pre-season where he wasn't sure where he was coming or going. Finally he made a decision on West Ham United which we were delighted with and there's very good progression and much more contribution as the more games he plays.

"The more and more quality we see on a much more regular basis. There's a settling-in period like anybody else. People divide their opinion far too quickly in this game. Real Madrid have done it with Gareth Bale, haven't they?

"He's no good and he's a waste of money and all that is coming out of there now and then he scores two and now he's a hero.

"We all know as professionals we put in the ear plugs when that sort of stuff starts happening and get on with what we should professionally and that is concentrating on ourselves and our game and not getting unfocused by praise or criticism.

"You get praise through the media brilliantly as well but that can affect you just as much as the criticism so just don't listen to it, try to keep it at a minimum and keep focused and moving forward."

Joe Cole, another former England star who has struggled with injuries, played his first 90 minutes of the season for the Hammers in the Capital One Cup win over Burnley in midweek after recovering from a hamstring problem.

"It was a big boost for us as we never expected Joe to be out as long as he was," Allardyce added.

"It was a real blow after the way he started against Cardiff and then picked up what was considered only to be a slight hamstring problem before the game against Stoke.

"It's taken a lot longer than we thought. As long as we keep Joe fit he is a massive player for us and one we look forward to using and staying fit."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

think that puts all doubts over Benteke's quality to bed. Can he do it after receiving the ball to feet, in the box, totally unmarked, on a warm, sunny afternoon in Swindon? Oh yes he can! This year is definitely Liverpool's year. YNWA.

rationalmanc
WATCH: Benteke's debut screamer

A

ll very well selling all midfield and strikers but unless we bring anyone in that is better than what we had then it will be a terrible transfer window in my view. Sorted out the defense but our midfield and striker options look very light.

bigo
Spurs Halfway To The Perfect Summer

L

ove it when Jose accuses others of being defensive, cynical and playing to win. If I was Wenger, I'd get that quote laminated and framed - surely the biggest compliment he's ever received from Mourinho. You've got him riled Arsene - you're relevant again!

suarez_blind
Jose rues pitch and weather after defeat

Footer 365

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has 'difficult questions'

Arsenal centre-half Per Mertesacker says manager Arsene Wenger has a lot of "difficult questions" to answer.

West Ham forward Enner Valencia ruled out for up to 12 weeks

West Ham forward Enner Valencia has been ruled out for up to 12 weeks with a leg injury.

Jordy Clasie says he'd have rejected move to Man United in order to join Southampton

Jordy Clasie claims he'd have rejected Man United to sign for Southampton - saying it's "better to start lower and finish higher".

Mail Box

There's A Lot Of Anger About TV...

...and how much you have to pay - largely for games you don't actually want to watch. Many of you are forced to go illegal. We also have mails on Chelsea, Angel di Maria and...

Not Just A Friendly. This Had Meaning...

Arsenal fans are very excited about beating Chelsea (don't remind them about last year), while there is criticism for BT and a football fan tired of being screwed by TV...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company