Yossi's Game Plan

ISRAEL midfielder Yossi Benayoun admits Saturday's clash with Arsenal will be a stiff test of Hammers Premiership progress.

But the 25-year-old star believes every match so far this season has asked different questions of the newly promoted Hammers, and overall Pards' squad have come up with some mightly impressive answers.

Three wins, one draw and a just a single defeat in their opening five Premiership games is surely more than most Hammers fans dared wish for before the season kicked-off.

Even more noteable is a record of just four goals conceded and an impressive 10 goals scored, a striking total that is second only to Chelsea.

Yossi has weighed in with a goal of his own, his first claret and blue strike in the 4-0 demolition of Aston Villa. But he has also captured the imagination of the Hammers faithful with his artistry on the ball, and his hoping to weave his magic again against the North London giants this weekend.

"Arsenal is a tough game," admitted Yossi, "but we have played some very tough games already this season and have done well to get good results.

"In our last League game went away to Fulham. It was a London derby and the crowd was passionate. But we played very well and even when they were coming at us in the second-half we held on for the win.

"Arsenal play very good football and are a great side. But we are very confident at the moment and hopefully we can continue our good form on Saturday.

"Hopefully it will be an open game, because both sides like to attack. We have shown already this season that we can play good football and compete at this level.

"Now we must prove ourselves against one of the best teams in the League."

Yossi's style of play is earning constant comparisions with legendary compatriot Eyal Berkovic, who mesmerised Hammers fans with his skill between 1997 and 1999.

It's a comparison Yossi takes great pride in.

"Eyal was a great player and for me to be compared to him is a great honour," said Yossi. "We are different players in that Eyal liked to create goals from midfield, where as I am more of a goal scorer.

"But Eyal was well respected as a player and hopefully I can achieve the things he did for West Ham United."