Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Crystal Palace 1 - 0 West Ham United

Selhurst Park

Crystal Palace vs West Ham United
1-0 Marouane Chamakh 42'
That was rubbish, wasn't it?

As I wrote yesterday, an away game against a Tony Pulis side was never going to be easy, and so it proved. That said, I also wrote that this was a game that we should absolutely be targeting a victory from, and we didn't get one.

After the weekends victory, I really, genuinely thought we would kick on and beat Palace. But some strange tactical decisions were compounded by a very poor performance.

I won't criticise Sam for the rotation of the fullbacks. Guy Demel was in need of a rest, and it was always very unlikely that George McCartney would manage two games in four days after such a long layoff.

What I will criticise though, is the decision to return Mohamed Diamé to the wing. I've written on numerous occasions this season that Diamé has proven to be ineffective on the flanks. I also sat down yesterday morning and wrote about how his performance in the middle of the park against Fulham showed that we needed his steel back in there next to Mark Noble.

Look at Diamé's heat map. The most condensed area of his play was the centre circle. He regularly abandons his wide position to come inside, to where it's natural for him to play. And that would be fine, if we weren't a team set up to play with wingers.

Matt Jarvis wasn't great against Fulham - if anything he was poor - but his pace, presence, and natural instinct to get wide and stay wide always offers us a dangerous outlet. Diamé just doesn't offer this when he plays out wide.

The other big call that Allardyce made for last night's game was to bring Carlton Cole in for Modibo Maiga. Personally, I felt that this was the correct decision. In fact, I think most of us did, so we can't criticise that decision.

However, what I can, and will, criticise was the negative impact that this had on our play. I'm not saying we just hoofed it, because we didn't - we actually kept the ball relatively well at times. But the use of Cole was ineffective.

I think it is quite telling that the player to pass to Cole the most frequently during the game was Jussi Jaaskelainen, four times.

The image below shows the passes that Carlton received during the game. As you can see, every single pass came from either the West Ham half, or as a cross. There was one attempt to play the ball in to him from a central position, but (as the red line indicates) this was unsuccessful.

This was a common failure of our play last season when Cole was in the side. We treat Cole like he is Andy Carroll, but he isn't. 

The final tactical decision that I want to talk about, was the decision to stick with Kevin Nolan.

Nolan has been a divisive figure for fans since joining, and that division seems to have reached new heights in the past month or so. A series of underwhelming performances from the skipper have led to a number of supporters calling for him to be replaced in the starting line up.

Allardyce made it clear recently that Nolan's contribution as a goalscorer meant he was too valuable in a side struggling hugely for goals. And that's fine. Or at least it would be if Nolan was playing in a position where he even had the opportunities to score.

Not only has his finishing been off colour this season, but he has been failing to even attempt shots recently - since the Norwich game, he is averaging 1.25 shots per game, down from 1.7 last season.

Last night, Nolan just wasn't playing in a position where he could get goals. His action grid below shows that he was playing in the middle of park. Presumably, this was to allow Ravel Morrison to get further forward. But if you are playing Ravel in Nolan's position, then why move Nolan into Diamé's?

Ravel Morrison is suspended for our trip to Anfield at the weekend.

This means Mohamed Diamé will play in the middle of the park, and Kevin Nolan will play behind the striker. If they are playing, this is where they should both be playing. This is where they are effective.

Let's hope that we can make up for last nights performance with our first Anfield victory since time began. Let's hope.

 General Play 
4-4-2 Formation 4-2-3-1
(31) Julian Speroni - Jussi Jääskeläinen (11)
(17) Joel Ward - Joey O'Brien (-1)
(30) Danny Gabbidon - James Collins (36)
(23) Damien Delaney - James Tomkins (13)
(31) Dean Moxey - Rǎzvan Raţ (-8)
(7) Jason Puncheon - Mark Noble (31)
(5) Kagisho Dikgacoi - Ravel Morrison (10)
(15) Mile Jedinak - Stewart Downing (3)
(18) Barry Bannan - Kevin Nolan (-12)
(-19) Cameron Jerome - Mohamed Diamé (4)
(13) Marouane Chamakh - Carlton Cole (-21)

(5) Jimmy Kebe - Joe Cole (-2)
(-14) Stuart O'Keefe - Modibo Maïga (2)
(-6) Jonathan Williams - George McCartney (1)

Best Performance
(31) Julian Speroni - James Collins (36)

Worst Performance
(-19) Cameron Jerome - Carlton Cole (-21)

40% Possession 60%

261 Passes Attempted 448
Marouane Chamakh 31 Most Attempted 74 Mark Noble

63% Passing Accuracy 76%
51% In Opp. Half 64%
Marouane Chamakh 81% Best Accuracy (min. 15 passes) 89% Ravel Morrison

71 Long Balls 93
Damien Delaney 10 Most Long Balls (excl. GK) 15 Rǎzvan Raţ

Most Frequent Pass Combination
Chamakh to Jerome 6 - 14 O'Brien to Downing

 29 Aerial Duels Won 35 
 45% Success 55% 
Mile Jedinak 7 Most Won 10 James Tomkins

Joel Ward 62 Most Touches 84 Mark Noble

 Offensive Play 
10 Attempts on Goal 11
4 On Target 2
4 Off Target 5
2 Blocked 4
5 From Outside the Box 5
Jason Puncheon 2 Most Shots 3 Stewart Downing

7 Key Passes 9
Barry Bannan 2 Most Key Passes 3 Stewart Downing

17 Crosses 26
Barry Bannan 7 Most Attempted 11 Stewart Downing

5 Successful Crosses 7
29% Success 27%
Barry Bannan 4 Most Successful 4 Stewart Downing

 Defensive Play 
20 Tackles Attempted 23
17 Successful Tackles 19
85% Success 83%
Dean Moxey 4 Most Tackles 4 James Collins

58 Clearances 45
Damien Delaney 17 Most Clearances 19 James Collins

11 Interceptions 8
Joel Ward 3 Most Interceptions 2 Rǎzvan Raţ

4 Shot Blocks 2
Barry Bannan 2 Most Shot Blocks 1 James Collins

 10 Fouls 9 
3 Most Fouls 3

1 Yellow Cards 2
Crystal Palace:  Damien Delaney   
West Ham United:  James Tomkins,  Ravel Morrison  

0 Red Cards 0
Crystal Palace:  n/a   
West Ham United:  n/a   

 Head to Heads 
Julian Speroni vs Jussi Jääskeläinen
0 Goals Conceded 1
2 Saves 3
2 Claims 1
2 Successful Claims 1
100% Success 100%

26 Total Passes 15
8 Accurate Passes 11
31% Success 73%

24 Long Balls 11
92% % 73%

0 Throw Outs 10
5 Kick from Hand 0

0 Errors Leading to Shot 0
0 Errors Leading to Goal 1

Marouane Chamakh 4 Most Passed To 6 James Tomkins
Danny Gabbidon 3 Most Passes From 2 Mark Noble

Danny Gabbidon vs James Collins
8 Aerial Duels 12
5 Duels Won 9
63% Success 75%
1 Tackles Attempted 4
1 Tackles Completed 4
100% Success 100%
13 Clearances 19
1 Interceptions 1
0 Blocks 1
0 6yrd Blocks 0
0 Errors Leading to Shot 0
1 Errors Leading to Goal 0
18 Passes Attempted 35
12 Successful 24
67% Success 69%
0 Crosses Attempted 0
0 Successful 0
0% Success 0%
0 Chances Created 0
0 Attempts on Goal 1
0 On Target 0
0 Goals 0
Damien Delaney 3 Most Passed To 5 James Tomkins
Kagisho Dikgacoi 4 Most Passes From 8 James Tomkins

Barry Bannan vs Mohamed Diamé
27 Passes Attempted 26
19 Successful 20
70% Success 77%
2 Key Passes 1
1 Assists 0
1 Attempts on Goal 2
0 On Target 0
0 Goals 0
1 Tackles Attempted 3
1 Tackles Completed 3
100% Success 100%
2 Clearances 0
0 Interceptions 0
2 Blocks 0
0 6yrd Blocks 0
0 Errors Leading to Shot 0
0 Errors Leading to Goal 0
Marouane Chamakh 5 Most Passed To 6 Stewart Downing
Marouane Chamakh 4 Most Passes From 8 Ravel Morrison

Marouane Chamakh vs Carlton Cole
1 Attempts on Goal 1
1 On Target 0
1 Goals 0
1 Key Passes 0
0 Assists 0
31 Passes Attempted 14
25 Successful 7
81% Success 50%
14 Aerial Duels 13
2 Duels Won 4
14% Success 31%
6 Cameron Jerome Most Passed To 3 Ravel Morrison
6 Joel Ward Most Passes From 4 Jussi Jääskeläinen

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