Tuesday, 26 February 2013

West Ham United 2 - 3 Tottenham Hotspur

Monday 25th February 2013
Boleyn Ground

West Ham United vs Tottenham Hotspur
0:1 Gareth Bale 13'
1:1 Andy Carroll 25'
2:1 Joe Cole 58'
2:2 Gylfi Sigurdson 76'
2:3 Gareth Bale 90'


In my match preview, I wrote that Gareth Bale was Tottenham's main threat, and after last night's result  and performance, it seems that was accurate. Bale scored twice as Tottenham stole victory from under West Ham's noses and was a thorn in West Ham's side throughout.

When I wrote the match preview, I found that the teams who were successful in stifling Tottenham and Bale were those whose defence pressed high up the pitch and forced them back. Well, when looking at average positions from last night, it is apparent that that is exactly how West Ham defended.

Guy Demel (# 20) pressed very high up the pitch, almost as a right sided midfielder, and Joey O'Brien (# 17) is also pressed ahead of the centrebacks. In addition to this, West Ham's forward line succeeded in keeping Tottenham penned in, with Joe Cole (# 26), Mohamed Diamé (# 21) and Matt Jarvis (# 7) keeping in and around the target man of Andy Carroll (# 8).

So, where did it go wrong? Well, there has already been criticism of some of West Ham's substitutions for disrupting a very good team performance. Joey O'Brien had a very effective game in nullifying the threat provided by Aaron Lennon on the Tottenham right, making a team high 5 tackles, 9 clearances, and not conceding a single foul. However, once Emanuel Pogatetz was introduced to play left fullback and O'Brien switched to the right, Lennon came into play far more effectively.

To be fair to Pogatetz, in the 28' he played he made 4 tackles, only 1 less than O'Brien in the entire game. But, this does show how the attacking emphasis from Tottenham changed after Pogatetz introduction. They clearly targeted the defender's lack of pace and began to attack relentlessly down the right flank. In fact, just minutes after coming onto the pitch, Pogatetz gave away the freekick from which Tottenham scored their equaliser.

But West Ham's real downfall was the lack of care in possession. When a team has just 38% of a games possession, it is important to use the ball far more effectively than a 67% pass success rate suggests West Ham did.

Just 7 of the 14 West Ham players on show posted a pass success rate of more than 70%, between them misplacing 89 passes throughout the game.

In my view, there are a couple of places West Ham went wrong. The subsitutions at key times did not work out. Emanuel Pogatetz struggled against the pace as Bale & Lennon, and the team dropped deeper as a result. Jack Collison's late introduction for Mohamed Diamé meant the team lost it's midfield enforcer in time to see Bale wrap up the points.

The poor passing is yet again a major concern. Giving the ball away against top sides is a recipe for disaster, as Guy Demel found out when passing to Bale for the opener.

But, if we look at the game objectively, West Ham deserved more. We created chances (Joe Cole created 5 by himself) and we threatened Tottenham throughout. In the end, we were beaten by a fantastic goal from a player on top of his game.

Another game, another defeat. But this time, there is cause for optimism.

General Play
4-2-3-1 Starting Formation 4-2-3-1
28.5 Starting XI Average Age 25.4

Joe Cole Best Performer Gareth Bale
69.58 Capello Index Rating 82.04
James Collins Worst Performer Hugo Lloris
57.73 Capello Index Rating 58.76

38% Possession 62%
(averaged from whoscored, bbcsport & skysports)

67% Passing Accuracy 84%
58% In Opposition Half 74%
Mohamed Diamé 88% Best Accuracy 95% Steven Caulker

321 Passes Attempted 516
Gary O'Neil 43 Most Passes Attempted 63 Scott Parker

59 Long Balls 43
James Collins 9 Most Long Balls (excl. GK) 9 Michael Dawson

Offensive Play
14 Attempts on Goal 27
On Target 13
Off Target 9
Shots Blocked 5
Attempts from Outside Box 14
Andy Carroll 4 Most Attempts on Goal 10 Gareth Bale

6 Corners 12
2 Offsides 2

28 Crosses 27
8 Successful Crosses 11
Joe Cole 8 Most Crosses Attempted 14 Gareth Bale

56% Aerial Success 44%
Andy Carroll 14 Most Duels Won 5 Michael Dawson

Defensive Play
25 Tackles Attempted 17
18 Successful Tackles 13
Joey O'Brien 5 Most Tackles 3 Lewis Holtby

38 Clearances 52
Joey O'Brien 9 Most Clearances 22 Michael Dawson

5 Shots Blocked 5
Guy Demel 2 Most Shots Blocked 2 Jan Vertonghen

12 Fouls Committed 8
James Collins 3 Most Fouls Committed 3 Mousa Dembele

Yellow Cards 1
Mousa Dembele (TH) 8'
Joe Cole (WHU) 59'
Mohamed Diamé (WHU) 62'
Gary O'Neil (WHU) 71'
James Collins (WHU) 82'

Red Cards 0

Head to Head
Jussi Jaaskelainen vs Hugo Lloris
Goals Conceded 2
11 Saves 4
Crosses Claimed 5

50% Passing Accuracy 53%
18 Total Passes 15
16 Long Balls 9
89% % Long Balls 60%

Joey O'Brien vs Kyle Walker
50% Aerial Duels Won 0%
Tackles 1
Blocks 1
Interceptions 3
Clearances 7
Fouls Committed 1

67% Passing Accuracy 91%
24 Total Passes 33
Long Balls 1
21% % Long Balls 3%

Joe Cole vs Gareth Bale
82% Passing Accuracy 70%
22 Total Passes 33
Long Balls 2
5% % Long Ball 6%
Crosses 14
Successful Crosses 7
Chances Created 6
Assists 0

Tackles 0
Blocks 0
Interceptions 0
Clearances 3
Fouls Committed 0

Attempts on Goal 10
Attempts on Target 6
1 Goals 2

Andy Carroll vs Emmanuel Adebayor
Goals Scored 0
Attempts on Goal 2
Attempts on Target 2
78% Aerial Duels Won 67%

49% Passing Accuracy 85%
35 Total Passes 27
Chances Created 0
0 Assists 0

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