Monday, 16 September 2013

Southampton 0 - 0 West Ham United

St Mary's

Southampton vs West Ham United
This is one of those results that shows if your glass is half empty or half full.

The optimists will say we're unbeaten away from home. We've kept three clean sheets in four games, and have only conceded one all season. Our defensive performances have been among the best in the division, and this is something we should be very proud of.

The pessimists though, will say that we've failed to score in three consecutive league games. We've managed just one shot on target in the past two games. A point wasn't enough after a poor display and result against Stoke City a fortnight ago.

In truth, this result probably sits somewhere between the two schools of thought. We should be proud of our defensive solidity (albeit helped massively by the outstanding Jussi Jaaskelainen), but concerned about a lack of attacking verve. But lets not get it twisted, a point away to Southampton is a very good result.

And it's a point that was won almost single handedly at times by a wonderful goalkeeping display from our 38 year old Fin. Jaaskelainen made a series of wonderful saves to keep us in the game, belying his years to perform some incredible acrobatics, reminiscent of his performances for Bolton Wanderers around a decade ago.

Jussi has firmly split opinion since joining West Ham. Many feel that he simply has too many mistakes in him to be a first choice at this level, and that his best days are well and truly behind him. Personally, I've always been a huge fan of his; for me, we're far more likely to see the sort of performance he gave on Sunday than we are to see him gift the opposition three points.

The image below shows the saves Jussi made yesterday. There was a real range amongst them, with my personal favourite the early stop from Pablo Osvaldo from just outside the 6 yard box.

The other noteworthy event yesterday was the first Premier League start for Ravel Morrison. Lots of Hammers have been calling out for the youngster to be given a proper chance in a midfield often lacking creative ideas.

Unfortunately, Morrison was unable to add any final third cutting edge yesterday, but everything he did, he did well. He was accurate with 17 of his 20 passes (85%), he got back to get involved in the defensive side of the game (one successful tackle, one interception) and he successfully went round a man twice. Here's to hoping he can get on the ball more and more in the coming weeks.

What I found most interesting about Morrison's appearance though, was the affect it had on the tactics of the side, and the performances of others.

Somewhat surprisingly, Mark Noble seemed to have more reign to press forward than he has done in recent years. Since forming his partnership with Mohamed Diamé, Noble has often spurned the opportunity to get into the attacking third, passing responsibility to the Senegal international. On Saturday though, there was a real intent to Noble's attacking play. He attempted to dribble past defenders on five occasions (80% success); he had only attempted 23 in his previous 31 Premier League appearances.

The image below shows Noble's heat map from the game. As you can see, he was involved all over the pitch, rather than just in his usual deep lying central position.

The other player to be affected by Morrison's introduction was Mohamed Diamé. Despite many predicting that Morrison would make his full Premier League debut on the right flank, it was Diamé who played as a winger.

Initially this appeared to be a very strange tactical decision, but there could actually be a lot of sense behind the move. Diamé is often cited as one of our real flair players. For a tough tackling centre midfielder, he has a fantastic ability to carry the ball forward. Last season, he was our most direct runner, taking on and beating a defender 65 times - more than double any other player in the side (2nd place Demel with 25, 3rd Jarvis 17). Additionally, a player with Diamé's energy is always a welcome addition on the flank, and he linked up well with Guy Demel.

The image below shows Diamé's action areas. As you can see, he was up and down the right flank a lot, but was clearly not tethered to the touchline, often coming inside to support the midfield.

The trouble with playing Diamé as a wide midfielder though, is that he isn't one.

West Ham continue to employ the key tactic of using wide men to get the ball into the box for the striker and advanced midfielders to attack. For this tactic to be effective, wingers need to attack the byline and pull crosses back for the attackers. On Sunday, we lacked the ability to get the byline (and when we did our crosses let us down greatly).

The image below shows the heat map for the side. As you can see, there is very little in the way of penalty box action, and just as little in the wide, attacking areas.

This isn't a bad result. In fact, it's a very good result. The only problem with this result is the Stoke result. Had we beaten the Potters, an away point would've been excellent - two home wins, two away draws. As it is, the club was deflated after a poor result.

We will really know the value of this point next weekend. A home win is a must, but a strong Everton side are not an easy team to get one over on.

If we're celebrating next weekend, I'll say the optimists were right about this result. If we lost though, the pessimists might just be right in their analysis.

 General Play 
4-2-3-1 Formation 4-2-3-1
(48) Artur Boruc - Jussi Jääskeläinen (85)
(45) Nathaniel Clyne - Guy Demel (5)
(52) Jose Fonte - James Collins (12)
(28) Dejan Lovren - Winston Reid (32)
(27) Luke Shaw - Joey O'Brien (25)
(33) Morgan Schneiderlin - Mark Noble (6)
(-3) Victor Wanyama - Ravel Morrison (-10)
(7) Adam Lallana - Mohamed Diamé (-18)
(4) Pablo Osvaldo - Kevin Nolan (-6)
(9) Jay Rodriguez - Matt Jarvis (-17)
(11) Rickie Lambert - Modibo Maïga (-18)

(4) James Ward-Prowse - Rǎzvan Raţ (9)
(-4) Calum Chambers - Ricardo Vâz Te (-11)
()  - Matthew Taylor (-1)

Best Performance
(52) Jose Fonte - Jussi Jääskeläinen (85)

Worst Performance
(-3) Victor Wanyama - Modibo Maïga (-18)

58% Possession 42%

459 Passes Attempted 323
Jose Fonte 62 Most Attempted 44 Mark Noble

73% Passing Accuracy 68%
63% In Opp. Half 53%
Jose Fonte 84% Best Accuracy 86% Kevin Nolan

43 Long Balls 67
Dejan Lovren 7 Most Long Balls (excl. GK) 13 James Collins

Most Frequent Pass Combination
Fonte to Wanyama 11 - 10 O'Brien to Jarvis

 23 Aerial Duels Won 15 
 61% Success 39% 
Dejan Lovren 7 Most Won 4 Modibo Maïga

Jose Fonte 79 Most Touches 59 Mark Noble

 Offensive Play 
15 Attempts on Goal 6
5 On Target 1
5 Off Target 5
5 Blocked 0
4 From Outside the Box 2
Rickie Lambert 4 Most Shots 2 Mohamed Diamé

10 Key Passes 3
Jay Rodriguez 4 Most Key Passes 2 Mark Noble

24 Crosses 22
Adam Lallana 11 Most Attempted 9 Matt Jarvis

11 Successful Crosses 3
46% Success 14%
Adam Lallana 5 Most Successful 2 Matt Jarvis

 Defensive Play 
26 Tackles Attempted 19
18 Successful Tackles 14
69% Success 74%
Morgan Schneiderlin 8 Most Tackles 4 Winston Red

47 Clearances 31
Dejan Lovren 11 Most Clearances 9 James Collins

16 Interceptions 14
Jose Fonte 4 Most Interceptions 3 Winston Reid

0 Shot Blocks 5
0 Most Shot Blocks 2 James Collins

1 6yrd Blocks 0
Morgan Schneiderlin 1 Most 6yrd Blocks 0 

 12 Fouls 12 
3 Most Fouls 3

1 Yellow Cards 3
Southampton:  Victor Wanyama   
West Ham United:  Mohamed Diamé,  Mark Noble,  Joey O'Brien 

0 Red Cards 0
West Ham United:     

 Head to Heads 
Artur Boruc vs Jussi Jääskeläinen
0 Goals Conceded 0
1 Saves 5
1 Crosses Claimed 2

17 Total Passes 14
9 Accurate Passes 5
53% Success 36%

11 Long Balls 14
65% % 100%

11 Throw Outs 16
1 Kick from Hand 8

0 Errors Leading to Shot 0
0 Errors Leading to Goal 0

Jose Fonte 9 Most Passed To 4 Modibo Maïga

Dejan Lovren vs Winston Reid
9 Aerial Duels 3
7 Duels Won 1
78% Success 33%
2 Tackles Attempted 4
0 Tackles Completed 3
0% Success 75%
12 Clearances 5
1 Interceptions 3
0 Blocks 0
- 6yrd Blocks -
0 Errors Leading to Shot 0
0 Errors Leading to Goal 0
48 Passes Attempted 32
30 Successful 22
63% Success 69%
Jose Fonte 8 Most Passed To 6 Jussi Jääskeläinen

Morgan Schneiderlin vs Ravel Morrison
39 Passes Attempted 20
31 Successful 17
79% Success 85%
0 Key Passes 0
0 Assists 0
2 Attempts on Goal 1
1 On Target 0
0 Goals 0
8 Tackles Attempted 1
7 Tackles Completed 1
88% Success 100%
4 Clearances 0
2 Interceptions 1
0 Blocks 0
- 6yrd Blocks -
0 Errors Leading to Shot 0
0 Errors Leading to Goal 0
Jose Fonte 7 Most Passed To 4 Kevin Nolan

Rickie Lambert vs Modibo Maïga
4 Attempts on Goal 1
2 On Target 0
0 Goals 0
1 Key Passes 0
0 Assists 0
39 Passes Attempted 11
26 Successful 7
67% Success 64%
4 Aerial Duels 10
2 Duels Won 4
50% Success 40%
Morgan Schneiderlin 6 Most Passed To 2 Mohamed Diamé

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