Thursday, 29 November 2012

Heroic & Unlucky Or A Missed Opportunity?

So, how do we reflect on that performance? Manchester United's goal was extremely lucky and they rarely looked like scoring after the thirty seventh second of the game. We, on the other hand, had five or six decent chances, far more than I was expecting. So can we look back on a heroic and unlucky performance, or was this really a missed opportunity, a failure to steal a point or three off a distinctly off colour Manchester United?

To begin, Ferguson used squad rotation in a way that suggested he anticipated a comfortable victory. True Scholes was suspended, but there was no Giggs, no Ferdinand, no Fletcher and Young started on the bench. A central defensive pairing of Evans and Smalling screams out vulnerability, and a decent striker would have been licking his lips at the prospect of matching up against those two. The trouble is, we have Carroll and Cole vying for the role of non scoring centre forward. And to be fair to both, we had no invention, creativity nor flair in our midfield.

Without Benayoun we lack invention and without Noble we lack control. Ball retention last night was appalling. Apparently only 55% of our passes went to a man in a West Ham shirt. Noble's pass completion rate is in the mid to high 80s. And his percentage of passes forwards matches Steven Gerrard's exactly, destroying the argument that he is a sideways and backward passing clone of the older Ray Wilkins.

Diame is a conundrum. When he powers forward he looks awesome and when he makes a successful challenge, he looks a powerhouse. But he plays with his head down and his first instinct is to run with the ball, no matter what the situation, his position on the pitch and the availability of team mates. There was one classic moment last night when he ran the ball directly into touch! When Noble is in the team, he has an easy out ball and can move into space fairly certian of a return pass, without Noble, he tries to do it all alone, and loses possession.

Jarvis was also bitterly disappointing last night. Perhaps he is still struggling for fitness but his pace looked far from electric and his crossing was straight out of Faubert's 'Little Brown Book of Merde'. For Carroll to be effective, he needs balls into the box to attack, and there were precious few. 

The problem remains one of balance. When set up to defend, we can nullify the opposition, but we have no way of opening up the opposition because we sit too deep and Carroll and Nolan lack the pace to hit the opposition on the break. Meanwhile, our full backs can defend when screened by the midfield, but should we try to move onto the offensive, we are vulnerable down the flanks.

At the end of the day, I saw enough to suggest that we can survive this season. But to push on, we need more pace and more guile.


Anonymous said...

I think the problem, son, is that you're not a patch on even the shittiest of United sides.

Heroic? Unlucky?


Just subordinate class.

Anonymous said...

Well so far not one west ham fan has answered you to tell you how they reflected on your latest defeat. Is there an edl meeting in the east end today? Whatever the reason your posts are a complete waste of time. Why not visit the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland? One way of course.

Stani said...

Have you verified these stats or are you just publishing willy nilly, HF? Won't do your credibility in favours if they're wrong and here you are using them for your argument.

SkySports say our passing success was 72.5%.

Hammersfan said...

I did say apparently Stani. If 73%, that is still 12 to 15 points below Noble's pass completion rate this season according to Opta stats.

Albert Squire said...

Pass completion rate means nothing. Ray wilkins had a high pass completion rate and rarely a killer pass amongst them. Its pointless arguing over statistics like geeky cricket fans they don't mean diddley squat.

Anonymous said...

according to the BBC
WH had 12 goal attempts and Manure 36

Manure 13 on target, west ham 3

So how you managed to summarise as "unlucky" i will never know

Either way, you got beat !

Anonymous said...

Man united's goal was lucky?

Stop moaning, you were happy to take a lucky deflection against Newcastle so stop whinging you southern twonk.

Stani said...

Hahaa, what rubbish. Noble doesn't play against Manchester United every week. Honestly HF, poor arguments. And you compare the stat from one match and of all our players to Noble's average over the season. There are games Noble was probably lower than 72.5. In fact, there were probably some of our players in this game that were higher than that.

And you should try to verify these things if you're going to use them in your arguments. Especially if it's such an obviously nonsense of a stat. Only 55% of our passes went to our own man? That means almost half our passes were astray? Even without verifying, you should know that is complete crap.

I think you'd have noticed in the cold light of day, except this Noble lurrrve has got you blinded. You got all happy seeing that stat and just published without thinking.

Disappointing. How will we ever rely on what you say ever again?

Hammersfan said...

Yes well Stani, you refuse to give any credit. Let's see if Allardyce picks him shall we? Odd that he was voted into the Championship team of the season last season and that he is in the top 10 for pass completions, miles ran and tackles made for a midfielder in the Prem. Odd that he tops ALL those lists at West Ham too. Odd too that he makes as many successful FORWARD passes as Steven Gerrard in percentage terms.

fred149 said...

Stats were off eplindex.