Sunday, 3 February 2013

West Ham 1 - Swansea 0 Stats and Chalkboards

This was another of those matches where the final score dictates the overall reaction, where maybe Swansea were slightly fortunate to get a point at Everton, West Ham was a game where Swansea could have got a point but ended up with nothing.

Looking at attempts for each team by half, West Ham had more in each half and Swansea only managed 1 attempt on target in the first 60 minutes, despite having the majority of possession:
First Half Attempts - Little of note from the Swans
Second Half Attempts, 4 of Swansea's 7 coming after the West Ham goal
It's easy to classify West Ham alongside Stoke as playing an 'efficient' style of football but you could argue there's a time and a place for different types of play.  Overall West Ham won 75% of Aerial Duels but the most striking comparisons were the figures for Carroll and Tomkins for West Ham and those of Davies and Moore for Swansea:
Aerial Duels compared with Davies/Moore winning 1 of 17 between them
Being good in the air is not the be-all and end-all, but the ability to retain (or regain) possession from restarts/clearances can be a useful tool.  Comparing the kicking of the two keepers again highlights this, if you know you are huge favourites to win Aerial Duels then it gives you the confidence to push up and force the opposition to kick long.
Passing from the two keepers compared, with West Ham being successful with most long balls from Jaaskelainen
Andy Carroll is far more than just a cart-horse but he does offer the ability to create problems in a defence, as seen by the goal and also by the fact that he created more chances than any other player (4, with the next highest creating 2).  The chalkboard shows that these weren't defence splitting passes but generally very short passes/knockdowns to others in space while the defence are concerned with him.

The passes received chalkboard also shows plenty of long balls received (keeper Jaaskelainen to Carrol was West Ham's highest pass combination).
Chances created (left) and passes received (right)
In terms of positives, Hernandez had a good game with 4 successful take-ons from 5 attempts and Tremmel had another solid game.

Much will be made of course about the departure of Graham without a replacement, but given how desperate Graham was to go the sensible thing to do was to let him move on and as such £5m is a decent amount to get.

As it was unlikely that a permanent striker would be available at the right price in the January window (the reported £50k a week for Kenwyne Jones making that deal a non-starter) then you're left with trying to pull a loan deal off for someone you consider good enough to improve the squad.  I would expect that the management team have spent the last few weeks (at least) seriously expecting Graham to go so it's not like they've just been running around like headless chickens on the 31st Jan.

It would obviously have been great to find a loan signing as good as Sigurdsson's last season (Guidetti from Man City would have been fantastic) but ultimately great players who aren't currently needed by their clubs are a rarity.

I remember last season reading it was rumoured that the league position bonus money was given to the players as their bonus pot, I don't know if this is true or not but could arguably in a way explain the clubs cautious behaviour.  If there's several hundred thousand pounds a league place then you might consider splashing out to make the difference between 9th and 12th, if however you as a club don't see any of that pot you may consider it prudent to put the money aside for next season.

Match Stats and Chalkboards: Created using Statszone