Belfast Telegraph

Song hopes West Ham hit right notes

Midfielder Alex Song believes West Ham can follow Monaco's example and keep his former club Arsenal subdued at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

The Hammers head across London looking to kickstart their Barclays Premier League campaign, having plummeted down to 10th place after no wins in the last six and back-to-back defeats.

Arsenal, meanwhile, have surged back into the top four and are into the FA Cup semi-finals after beating Manchester United at Old Trafford on Monday night.

Despite Arsenal's formidable run of seven consecutive home victories in the Premier League, Song - who played for the Gunners between 2005 and 2012, before joining Barcelona - believes the Irons can repeat Monaco's performance after the unfancied French side stunned the Emirates Stadium with a 3-1 Champions League victory last month.

"I know this stadium very well and I know when you play with Arsenal it's very hard, but I think Monaco is how you want to play when you play in the Emirates," Song told the West Ham website, www.whufc.com.

"The best thing to do is to try to be together, defend together very well and when you have the opportunity to go on the counter attack, you have to do it very well like Monaco did it.

"If you want to go to Emirates and try to play you will not have any chance to win the game there because this stadium is very hard to play in.

"You have to stay together very compact and not give them any room, then take the opportunity on the counter attack.

"If we do this very well like Monaco did, then we can get a good result there."

Song, the 27-year-old on loan from Barcelona until the end of the season, feels the Irons can raise their game against Arsenal.

"We have shown a lot of things this season as a team, especially when we play against teams at the highest level like Manchester City and Liverpool or Tottenham. We've done very well and we need to continue to improve in this way," said Song, who stayed in London to work on his fitness while the rest of the squad were away at a warm-weather camp in Dubai.

"We can play better and hopefully this game on Saturday will be a very good test for us.

"It has been a long time since we won a game in the league, so we must try to come back and try to win or get one point there.

"Everything is possible in football and we just need to keep believing and trying hard on the pitch."

Song maintains there can be no room for sentiment against his former club.

"They are one part of my life and, because I went there when I was 17, I always say it is my family," the former Cameroon international said.

"I know this is a special game for me, but that is football and I have to take all the emotion out and just try to play my game, to play the best football I can to help the team to win."

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