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West Ham’s Zabaleta: ‘We can take plenty of positives out of Tottenham defeat’

PUBLISHED: 12:30 25 September 2017

Pablo Zabaleta gets in amongst it against Tottenham

Pablo Zabaleta gets in amongst it against Tottenham

Archant

Hammers defender seeing the Premier League from a different perspective

Pablo Zabaleta for West HamPablo Zabaleta for West Ham

When Pablo Zabaleta was one of the mainstays of the Manchester City defence he won trophy after trophy as the club splashed the cash to achieve their goals.

Now he has moved to West Ham the full-back is learning a very different side of the Premier League, but he is learning fast.

“It was a disappointing afternoon of course,” he said after the 3-2 defeat by Tottenham. “When you don’t win, nobody is happy, but apart from that we can take a few positives.”

He is right. It had all looked so positive in the first half as they matched Spurs stride for stride until disaster struck.

Pablo Zabaleta fights for the ball against SpursPablo Zabaleta fights for the ball against Spurs

“The first 35 minutes up to the first goal, we were really good, showing a lot of determination and character which you need in these games.

“But there were those 10 or 15 minutes when we conceded those two goals which came by mistakes and then the third was easy as well and then it is too late,”he added.

“Against teams like Spurs they have quality and if you make mistakes they will take advantage of it.”

This is a very different world for the veteran Argentinian, who at 32, is almost starting his Premier League career afresh.

Pablo Zabaleta fights for the ball against SpursPablo Zabaleta fights for the ball against Spurs

Amid the terrible start to the season, there were many who doubted whether Zabaleta still had the legs to play his part in this team.

But since the team has switched formations and the defender has moved to the right wing-back position he has been a revelation.

“I think I am doing well there,” he said. “I know it is a very demanding position.

“You have to run up and down and track back to defend as well as helping the attack and getting into the box, but I am feeling good.”

He is looking the part too at the moment, but he still thinks that the whole team can get batter.

“I think we still can improve as a team in a lot of things,” explained the former Manchester City man.

“We have a strong squad and we need to believe in ourselves. We need to have the right mentality to know that we can compete and win games.

“There are no easy games, every match is going to be demanding and very difficult.”

This one certainly was, but Zabaleta was pleased with the way that the team fought back.

“When we conceded the third goal we never gave up,” he insisted. “We went for the goals and we scored two and it was a shame that at the end we couldn’t score the third and get a point.”

It was a shame and lessons will have been learned hopefully and with players like Zabaleta there, perhaps these mistakes can be eradicated.

We shall see.

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