Monday, 4 March 2013

Stoke City 0 - 1 West Ham United

Saturday 2nd March 2013
Britannia Stadium

Stoke City vs West Ham United
0:1 Jack Collison 45'


Well, my rather optimistic prediction of a 1-1 draw turned out to be a pessimists view as West Ham became only the second team after Chelsea to win at the Britannia Stadium in the Premier League this season. In fact, Stoke had lost just 10 home league games in the past three seasons.

In my match preview, I suggested that Andy Carroll's role against a new look Stoke centre half pairing would have a big role to play were West Ham to get anything from this game. Well, Ryan Shawcross won just 33% of his aerial duels during the game, and Marc Wilson won none. Carroll, on the other hand, won 83% of his battles.

I criticised West Ham's use of the ball in the aftermath of the Tottenham Hotspur loss, and Carroll was particularly poor in that game, with just 49% of his passes reaching a team mate. However, there was a marked improvement on Saturday. 

The much maligned Gary O'Neil was excellent on the ball, with 83% of his 54 passes reaching the mark. James Collins was the least successful with just 47%, but there was a far more even spread of success across the board this weekend.

Another interesting point with regards to the passing, is the use of the long ball. From the back four, both Winston Reid and Joey O'Brien attempted no long balls whatsoever, suggesting that we played a far more expansive game from the back than we have previously been known to.

This assumption is supported by the way in which West Ham used width to their advantage. Both Guy Demel (# 20) and Joey O'Brien (# 17) pushed high up the pitch, minimising the risk from Stoke's wide players. The image below shows average positions of West Ham starting XI during the game. It is probably best to ignore Joe Cole (# 26), who unfortunately had to be substituted after 11 minutes.

Finally, a nod to Gary O'Neil and his midfield colleagues. O'Neil really stepped up to the plate in filling in for Mark Noble. We all know that a key part of Noble's play is the way he breaks up opposition attacks and restricts their access to the box. Well, with Gary O'Neil & Mohamed Diamé sitting in front of James Collins and Winston Reid, Stoke were reduced to potshots throughout the afternoon, rarely troubling Jussi Jaaskelainen in the West Ham goal.

The image below shows that 78% of Stoke's attempts were from range, a stat reflected by Jaaskelainen's small save count for the game.

An away win is one thing, but an away win in the Potteries is an excellent achievement, and West Ham fans should enjoy this result. Sam Allardyce can chalk up a tactical victory against Tony Pulis, with Pulis' decision to play a four man midfield meaning West Ham bossed the centre of the park throughout.

With no game next weekend, we have a long two week wait until we travel across London to the Bridge. With a little luck, the absent George McCartney, James Tomkins, Mark Noble, Kevin Nolan, Matthew Taylor and Joe Cole may be back amongst the ranks. And we'll hope to build on what was a magnificent away victory.

33 points on the board? 9 point lead over 18th place? If you'd offered me this position at the start of the season, I'd've snapped your hand off.

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

Glen Whelan Best Performer Jack Collison
61.58 Capello Index Rating 73.40
Peter Crouch Worst Performer Andy Carroll
57.39 Capello Index Rating 59.38

50% Possession 50%
(averaged from whoscored, bbcsport & skysports)

63% Passing Accuracy 72%
54% In Opposition Half 62%
Glenn Whelan 74% Best Accuracy 83% Gary O'Neil

368 Passes Attempted 342
Steven N'Zonzi 54 Most Passes Attempted 54 Gary O'Neil

71 Long Balls 63
Ryan Shawcross 10 Most Long Balls (excl. GK) 8 James Collins

Offensive Play
Attempts on Goal 12
On Target 3
Off Target 4
Shots Blocked 5
Attempts from Outside Box 5
Peter Crouch 2 Most Attempts on Goal 5 Andy Carroll

Corners 2
Offsides 3

19 Crosses 19
Successful Crosses 6
Glenn Whelan 4 Most Crosses Attempted 7 Gary O'Neil

36% Aerial Success 64%
Peter Crouch 6 Most Duels Won 13 Andy Carroll

Defensive Play
25 Tackles Attempted 21
18 Successful Tackles 17
Ryan Shotton Most Tackles 6 Mohamed Diamé

32 Clearances 62
Marc Wilson 11 Most Clearances 19 James Collins

Interceptions 10
Marc Wilson 1 Most Interceptions 2 Guy Demel

Shots Blocked 1
Marc Wilson 4 Most Shots Blocked 1 Mohamed Diamé

12 Fouls Committed 12
Peter Crouch 4 Most Fouls Committed 3 James Collins

Yellow Cards 2
James Collins (WHU) 54'
Andy Carroll (WHU) 70'
Steven N'Zonzi (SC) 91'

Red Cards 0

Head to Head
Asmir Begovic vs Jussi Jaaskelainen
Goals Conceded 0
Saves 2
Crosses Claimed 4

53% Passing Accuracy 59%
19 Total Passes 27
15 Long Balls 26
79% % Long Balls 96%

Ryan Shawcross vs Winston Reid
33% Aerial Duels Won 63%
Tackles 2
Blocks 0
Interceptions 1
Clearances 18
Fouls Committed 1

70% Passing Accuracy 57%
27 Total Passes 14
10 Long Balls 0
.7% % Long Balls 0%

Glenn Whelan vs Gary O'Neil
74% Passing Accuracy 83%
35 Total Passes 54
Long Balls 6
11% % Long Ball 11%
Crosses 7
Successful Crosses 2
Chances Created 2
Assists 0

Tackles 1
Blocks 0
Interceptions 0
Clearances 1
Fouls Committed 0

Attempts on Goal 0
Attempts on Target 0
Goals 0

Peter Crouch vs Andy Carroll
Goals Scored 0
Attempts on Goal 5
Attempts on Target 0
55% Aerial Duels Won 87%

54% Passing Accuracy 67%
37 Total Passes 33
Chances Created 1
Assists 0

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