Thursday, 18 April 2013

West Ham United vs Wigan Athletic

Saturday 20th April

Boleyn Ground

West Ham United vs Wigan Athletic

 Head to Head 

50% Head to Head Win % 40%
10 Won 8
2 Drawn 2
8 Lost 10
30 Goals Scored 27
27 Goals Conceded 30


Having secured a valuable point against Manchester United on Wednesday night, West Ham go into Saturday's home game against Wigan knowing that a point or more will all but confirm safety (not that the club think we're in much danger, having announced sales of 2013/2014 Premier League Season Tickets on Thursday!).

Despite languishing in the bottom three, Wigan can be a tough nut to crack. Wednesday's defeat at Manchester City was their first in 6 games (and their first in 6 away games), if you include their FA Cup results. But Sam Allardyce and his team should know all about Wigan, having been defeated by the Latics twice already this season.

Fortunately, West Ham's style of play has changed rather dramatically from the 2-1 defeat at the DW back in October. In recent weeks and months we have seen width and attacking support provided by the two fullbacks (Guy Demel & Joey O'Brien), and Matt Jarvis appears to be coming into his own down the left.

The image below shows West Ham's average positions against Wigan at the DW. As you can see, the midfield and attack became very narrow and clustered, leaving the flanks open for Wigan to expose.

Despite the narrow positioning of our midfield, Wigan still managed to pick us apart at will, created numerous chances from the centre of the pitch, playing straight through the spine of the West Ham team.

The image below shows chances created by Wigan that day (not including set pieces). Between them, central midfield pairing James McCarthy & James McArthur created six goalscoring opportunities on that day.

However, West Ham have come into their own in recent weeks. I wrote in my post match analysis of the 2-2 draw with Man United that I had been particularly impressed with Matt Jarvis.

Jarvis will again be key if we are to secure a positive result on Saturday. In his more recent appearances, Jarvis has regularly taken on fullbacks and driven to the byline to pull back crosses on his left foot, rather than cutting back onto his right to cross.

The images below show the difference between his deliveries against Wigan, and those on Wednesday night. The first image shows the majority of crosses coming from deep, angled in towards the far post. Two of these crosses resulted directly in shots, but the other 8 attempts were wayward. The second image shows his crosses against United. Although there were fewer attempts, he hit his man just as many times, and the crosses came from far more dangerous positions.

Wigan have also changed the way they operate though. Back in the earlier part of the season, West Ham came up against a Wigan side that played a very narrow game. Whilst this was effective against us, it had its drawbacks, leaving the club down in the relegation dogfight.

During their recent good form, however, Wigan have used a far more fluid style of play, utilising their wide forwards Arouna Koné and Shaun Maloney to excellent effect.

The following images shows the heat maps of Koné and Maloney in the recent win against Newcastle United. When looking at the images it becomes abundantly clear how difficult it is to mark against the two widemen. Koné was listed as Wigan's right sided forward for the game, but had touches of the ball all over the pitch, often popping up on the left flank.

Maloney had a similar effect. Listed as the left winger, the Scot had an almost free role in behind Koné and Franco di Santo, drifting across the midfield and going almost anywhere he pleased. 

Personally, I'd be very disappointed if we went through three games against Wigan without getting a win. Our recent form has been excellent, particularly at home, and three points would be a great reward for our recent form.

Having said that, Wigan know how to win when it counts. They've been saving themselves from relegation at the last possible second for several years now, and it wouldn't be the shock of the century if they managed to beat us again.

If we are to win this one, I think Matt Jarvis will be the key to our attacking game. Wigan have been playing Paul Scharner on the right side of their back three recently, and, whilst he is a good solid defender, he lacks pace. If Jarvis can isolate Scharner he should fancy his chances of going by the Austrian.

I'm going to cautiously predict a win.

On a separate note, I am desperate for Andy Carroll to score another two goals. In West Ham history, the lowest goals total for a top scoring was Ian Wright's 8 back in the late 1990s. I'd be really disappointed if we went an entire season without one player beating that, so I'm hoping that Carroll can continue his good form and beat Wright's tally.

 Recent Form 

W L W D D D Last 6 W W W D W L
7 Goals Scored 9
5 Goals Conceded 3
D D W L W D Home/Away Form W W W D W L
11 Goals Scored 13
9 Goals Conceded 3
Andy Carroll Form Player Arouna Koné
66.52 Last 6 67.33
4 Goals Scored 2
1 Assists 0
17(2) Season (League) 62.76
17(2) Appearances 26(2)
6 Goals 10
1 Assists 5
26 Chances Created 32
556 Passes 728
333 Passes Completed 613
59.8% % Completed 84.2%

 Last Meeting 

27 October 2012
1-0 Ivan Ramis 8'
2-0 James McArthur 47'
2-1 James Tomkins 90'

4-2-3-1 Starting Formation 3-4-3

 Starting XI 
Jussi Jääskeläinen - Ali Al-Habsi
James Tomkins - Ivan Ramis
James Collins - Gary Caldwell
Winston Reid - Maynor Figueroa
George McCartney - Emmerson Boyce
Mark Noble - James McCarthy
Mohamed Diamé - James McArthur
Yossi Benayoun - Jean Beausejour
Kevin Nolan - Arouna Koné
Matt Jarvis - Franco di Santo
Andy Carroll - Shaun Maloney

Kevin Nolan Best Player Ivan Ramis

62.75 CI Rating 68.2
Gary O'Neil Worst Player Ali Al-Habsi
56 CI Rating 57.21


West Ham United: George McCartney, James Tomkins, Joe Cole
Wigan Athletic: Mike Pollitt, Ivan Ramis, Ben Watson, Albert Crusat, Ryo Miyaichi


West Ham United: n/a
Wigan Athletic: n/a

  Opposition Last Time Out

vs Manchester City
 Goals Scored: 
 Goals Conceded: 
 Starting Formation: 3-4-3

  Joel Robles

  Paul Scharner  Antolin Alcaraz  Maynor Figueroa

  Emmerson Boyce  James McCarthy  Jordi Gomez  Jean Beausejour

  Arouna Koné  Franco di Santo  Shaun Maloney

 Best Player: Shaun Maloney

 CI Rating: 65.04
 Worst Player: Joel Robles
 CI Rating: 59.42
 Top 5's (min 5 apps) 
 Goals Scored 
Andy Carroll 6 - 12 Arouna Koné
Kevin Nolan 6 - 8 Jordi Gomez
Mark Noble 4 - 5 Franco di Santo
Modibo Maïga 4 - 5 Shaun Maloney
Mohamed Diamé 3 - 4 Callum McManaman


Ricardo Vâz Te 4 - 6 Jean Beausejour
Joey O'Brien 3 - 5 Arouna Koné
Kevin Nolan 2 - 5 Shaun Maloney
Matthew Taylor 2 - 2 Franco di Santo
Gary O'Neil 3 - 2 James McArthur

 Passing Accuracy 

Mohamed Diamé 84.0% - 89.4% Shaun Maloney
Mark Noble 82.3% - 88.3% Ben Watson
Joe Cole 80.9% - 87.9% James McCarthy
George McCartney 79.8% - 86.4% Jordi Gomez
Kevin Nolan 79.6% - 86.0% James McArthur

 Chances Created per game 

Joe Cole 2.1 - 2.1 Jean Beausejour
Mark Noble 1.4 - 1.6 Shaun Maloney
Matt Jarvis 1.4 - 1.1 Arouna Koné
Andy Carroll 1.4 - 1.0 Jordi Gomez
Ricardo Vâz Te 1.3 - 0.9 James McCarthy

 Successful Dribbles per game 

Mohamed Diamé 2.2 - 1.6 Ronnie Stam
Guy Demel 0.8 - 1.3 Arouna Koné
Ricardo Vâz Te 0.7 - 0.6 Maynor Figueroa
Mark Noble 0.4 - 0.6 Shaun Maloney
Matt Jarvis 0.5 - 0.6 James McCarthy

 Tackles per game 

Mark Noble 3.8 - 3.8 Piscu
Mohamed Diamé 3.5 - 2.9 Antolin Alcaraz
James Collins 2.0 - 2.8 James McCarthy
Winston Reid 1.8 - 2.6 James McArthur
George McCartney 1.8 - 2.1 Emmerson Boyce

 Aerial Duels Won per game 

Andy Carroll 9.9 - 3.3 Paul Scharner
Carlton Cole 4.2 - 2.3 Emmerson Boyce
James Collins 3.0 - 1.8 Antolin Alcaraz
James Tomkins 2.7 - 1.6 Roger Espinoza
Winston Reid 2.5 - 1.4 Piscu


Sam Allardyce - Roberto Martinez
42.6% Current Club Win % 29.1%
38 Won 49
24 Drawn 45
27 Lost 74
40.0% Managerial Career Win % 38.0%
332 Won 112
223 Drawn 82
273 Lost 100

2 League Titles 1

0 Cup Wins 0

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