Monday, 20 May 2013

West Ham United 4 - 2 Reading

Sunday 19th May 2013
Boleyn Ground

West Ham United vs Reading

1-0 Kevin Nolan 23'
2-0 Ricardo Vâz Te 34'
2-1 Gareth McCleary 53'
2-2 Adam Le Fondre 55'
3-2 Kevin Nolan 79'
4-2 Kevin Nolan 87'

What a lovely way to end the season!

I got everything I wanted to get from West Ham on the last day of the season. Three points, goals galore, a player into double figures for goals for the season, Mark Noble starting for his 250th West Ham appearance, and a perfect hattrick thrown in for good measure.

And that hattrick seems as good a place as any to begin. We've know for years that Kevin Nolan is a top class finisher - he's scored against as a few times over the years! - and that quality he possesses was there for all to see on Sunday afternoon.

The club captain had four attempts on goal, all on target, one saved by the newly called up England goalkeeper Alex McCarthy, and the other three firmly planted into the back of the net.

But, whilst the finishing was typical of Kevin Nolan, this wasn't a typical Nolan performance.

Nolan often faces accusations that he doesn't get involved enough in games, often leaving the side to seemingly play with 10 men until he is able to sniff out a chance.

Well, according to the image below, this certainly wasn't the case on Sunday. The image demonstrates Nolan's action zones against Reading, where he touched the ball. As you can see, there is a clear distribution all over the pitch, particularly through the middle.

The other key man in midfield yesterday was Mark Noble. As I've already mentioned, the game was Noble's 250th competitive game for the club, an enormous achievement, particularly when you consider that Noble has only recently turned 26. On a day when the media were bemoaning the departures of one club men Jamie Carragher & Paul Scholes, it may be that we are fortunate enough to be seeing one of our own develop in front of our own eyes.

Whilst Gary O'Neil has performed admirably in Noble's absence in the past couple of months, seeing the number 16 back on the pitch reminds you just what class he has.

Noble hit the mark with 90% of his 60 passes against Reading (shown in the image below), creating three goalscoring opportunities, and bagging an assist. He was also involved in West Ham's top pass combination, finding Andy Carroll on 11 separate occasions. 

But his range of passing wasn't all that was on show. Noble put in another all action performance that saw him involved in all areas of the pitch.

As shown by his action zone chart below, the only area that Noble doesn't get himself involved in is the opposition penalty area.

A final word on West Ham's play was the absence of Matt Jarvis.

Listening to Sam Allardyce this year, you might think that we were unable to cross the ball without Jarvis in the side, but the team really stepped up and put in a number of dangerous crosses.

The chart below shows attempted crosses. Joe Cole was involved as ever on the wings, swinging in 8 crosses, whilst Joey O'Brien and Guy Demel hit the man with 5 of their combined 7 crosses. It was also nice to see Modibo Maiga make an impact from out wide with an assist to his name. Here's to hoping he can have a big impact in the coming years.

(Red = Unsuccessful; Green = Successful; Yellow = Led Directly to Goalscoring Opportunity)

All in all, an enjoyable game. A fantastic result, and an excellent season.

10th place is a great finish for us, and if we can do the same next year I'd be delighted. Truth be told, anything about 14th would be a good result next season, but if we can add in the right areas we might even be able to push on even further.

General Play
4-2-3-1 Starting Formation 4-2-3-1
 Starting XI Ave. Age 

Kevin Nolan Best Performance Adam Le Fondre
86.1 CI Rating 68.08

Guy Demel Worst Performance Hal Robson-Kanu
54.59 CI Rating 53.63

52% Possession 48%
(averaged from opta, prozone & squawka results)

78% Passing Accuracy 78%
71% in Opp. Half 68%
Mark Noble 90% Best Accuracy 93% Jem Karacan

348 Passes Attempted 362
Mark Noble 60 Most Passes Attempted 65 Danny Guthrie

62 Long Balls 66
James Collins 13 Most Long Balls (excl. GK) 10 Danny Guthrie

Offensive Play
22 Attempts on Goal 18
10 On Target 6
10 Off Target 10
2 Blocked 2
10 From Outside Box 8
Andy Carroll 7 Most Attempts on Goal 4 Gareth McCleary

5 Corners 4
5 Offsides 0

23 Crosses 25
12 Successful Crosses 8
Joe Cole 8 Most Crosses Attempted 6 Gareth McCleary

68% Aerial Success 32%
Andy Carroll 6 Most Duels Won 3 Sean Morrison

Defensive Play
15 Tackles Attempted 14
12 Successful 11
Mohamed Diamé 5 Most Tackles 4 Danny Guthrie

35 Clearances 25
Winston Reid 9 Most Clearances 10 Sean Morrison

13 Interceptions 14
Ricardo Vâz Te 3 Most Interceptions 4 Danny Guthrie

2 Blocks 2
James Collins & Mohamed Diamé 1 Most Blocks 1 Chris Gunter & Kaspars Gorkss

12 Fouls 10
Ricardo Vâz Te 2 Most Fouls 2 Danny Guthrie

2 Yellow Cards 1
West Ham United:  Kevin Nolan,  Jack Collison    
Reading:  Jobi McAnuff James Collins    
0 Red Cards 0
West Ham United:  -     
Reading:  -     

Head to Heads
Jussi Jääskeläinen vs Alex McCarthy
2 Goals Conceded 4
4 Saves 7
0 Crosses Claimed 1
46% Passing Accuracy 47%
13 Total Passes 15
9 Long Balls 11
69% % Long Ball 73%

Winston Reid vs Sean Morrison
67% Aerial Dules Won 75%
1 Tackles 1
0 Blocks 0
3 Interceptions 1
9 Clearances 10
2 Fouls Committed 2

81% Passing Accuracy 81%
26 Total Passes 27
5 Long Balls 4
19% % Long Ball 15%
0 Assists 0

Kevin Nolan vs Jobi McAnuff
82% Passing Accuracy 81%
34 Total Passes 37
0 Long Balls 4
0% % Long Ball 11%
0 Crosses 5
0 Successul Crosses 3
2 Chances Created 3
0 Assists 1

1 Tackles 3
0 Blocks 0
0 Interceptions 1
3 Clearances 0
2 Fouls Committed 1

4 Attempts on Goal 4
4 On Target 1
3 Goals 0

Andy Carroll vs Adam Le Fondre
0 Goals Scored 1
7 Attempts on Goal 2
2 On Target 2
60% Aerial Duels Won 0%

70% Passing Accuracy 75%
33 Total Passes 4
6 Chances Created 1
2 Assists 0

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