Monday, 20 October 2014

Burnley 1 -3 West Ham United

18/10/2014
15:00
Turf Moor

Burnley vs West Ham United
 Goalscorers: 
0-1 Diafra Sakho 49'
0-2 Enner Valencia 54'
1-2 George Boyd 60'
1-3 Carlton Cole 70'

 Analysis 
I said in my match preview that this was the sort of the game that a top half side should be winning comfortably, and one that a bottom half struggler would accept a draw from.

I guess that makes us a top half side then.

Positives
There were a lot of positives from the game on Saturday: Diafra Sakho continuing his wonderful goalscoring record, Enner Valencia's quite incredible header for the second, or the way both Carl Jenkinson and Aaron Cresswell put in top notch performances in attack and defence.

But what I want to look at is the way in which our midfield operated.

On paper, the midfield is a 1-2-1 with Mark Noble sitting at the base and  Stewart Downing operating at the tip. What happened on Saturday was more of a 2-2, with Noble and Alex Song teaming up to put in the hard yards and recycle possession. 

Between them, Noble and Song completed 89% of their 119 passes, created 3 goalscoring opportunities, won 36% of their 11 tackles, made 3 interceptions, 3 clearances and blocked 3 shots. The pair provided a platform that enabled the rest of the team to operate efficiently.

Particularly, their presence in the middle of the park allowed the fullbacks to push on and join the attack, knowing that they would be covered by their midfield colleagues.

The image below shows Noble and Song's combined heat map. As you can see, the pair put in a huge amount of effort to not just patrol the middle of the park, but to also get out wide and offer increased solidity. You'll notice that neither ventured particularly far forward with any regularity, but this wasn't the part of the game they were there to get involved in.


The impressive performances of Song and Noble enabled the other midfield pair to float around and pick out pockets of space from which they could hurt the opposition.

Downing and Morgan Amalfitano both played almost with free roles, both drifting between both flanks and the number 10 position at will.

And the pair were heavily involved in all aspects of our attacking play. Between them, they completed 4 of 5 attempted take ons, were successful with 6 of 13 attempted crosses, created four chances for team mates, and had 8 shots on goal themselves.

You can see from their combined heat map that neither were ever in any area long enough to be effectively picked up by the opposition, spending the full game roaming across the park.


The way in which our midfield four lined up with such fluidity was the platform for our success, and meant that the Burnley side was unable to deal with us.

If you compare the average positions of the midfield's (below), you can see what a huge difference there was between the four. Burnley's midfield was very flat, a traditional take on the 4-4-2, whilst West Ham's was far more of a 4-2-2-2 formation. 


Negatives
The main negative to take away from the game at Turf Moor was the number of individual mistakes made.

In total, we lost possession via poor touches or being dispossessed by an opposition player on 21 occasions, and their goal came from an individual defensive error from Adrián. This amount of errors isn't actually that bad, indeed, Burnley made more mistakes than we did, however, against a better opposition we are likely to be punished more readily than we were on Saturday.

The image below shows the individual errors made by the side (shooting right to left). You'll notice that there were a handful of errors made across our defensive line. Should these sort of errors be replicated next weekend, it is a fair assumption that Manchester City would punish them more ruthlessly than Burnley.


Key Player
As with most of our games this season, it is actually very difficult to pick out a key performer. Diafra Sakho and Enner Valencia both shone, as did Mark Noble and Carl Jenkinson, while Stewart Downing and Aaron Cresswell were each awarded man of the match by Squawka and WhoScored respectively.

However, the man I am going to pick out is returning centre back James Collins. Ginge (or 'Pink' to be more accurate) was magnificent at the back in place of the in-form James Tomkins.

Collins may lack finesse on the ball, and his approach to playing out of defence is a bit erratic - as indicated by his 67% passing accuracy, and the fact that 28% of his attempted passes were long balls - but he is arguably the best out and out defender in the side.

On the day, Collins made 19 clearances, 6 interceptions, blocked one shot, won three of his five tackles and three of his four aerial duels. It was a truly outstanding defensive display, and nothing less than we should expect from the man.

The image below shows his tackles (left) and interceptions (right). As you can see, particularly with the interceptions, Collins made a number of timely interventions during the game to stop Burnley from creating any meaningful chances.


Conclusion
Overall, this was another very good display from West Ham.

The diamond midfield were, again, crucial in providing the platform for the win. The defence all did their part and looked untroubled after a rocky opening period, and the strike duo of Sakho and Valencia proved to be match winners - and the side didn't even look particularly weakened after Valencia was replaced by Carlton Cole for the remaining 30 minutes.

It will be interesting to see how we approach the game with Manchester City next weekend. Will the diamond remain, or will we revert to a 4-5-1 to increase our defensive protection?

Either way, it remains an exiting time to be a West Ham fan.

 General Play 
4-4-2 Formation 4-1-2-1-2
(-24) Tom Heaton - Adrián (-18)
(18) Kieran Trippier - Carl Jenkinson (36)
(23) Michael Duff - James Collins (48)
(15) Jason Shackell - Winston Reid (11)
(2) Ben Mee - Aaron Cresswell (54)
(-31) Michael Kightly - Mark Noble (31)
(2) Scott Arfield - Morgan Amalfitano (39)
(10) David Jones - Alex Song (-15)
(46) George Boyd - Stewart Downing (59)
(2) Danny Ings - Diafra Sakho (22)
(-26) Lukas Jutkiewicz - Enner Valencia (29)

(2) Ashley Barnes - Carlton Cole (34)
(-1) Nathaniel Chalobah - Kevin Nolan (5)
(-2) Marvin Sordell -                       

Best Performance
(46) George Boyd - Stewart Downing (59)

Worst Performance
(-31) Michael Kightly - Adrián (-18)

47% Possession 53%

348 Passes Attempted 409
Scott Arfield 48 Most Attempted 64 Mark Noble

71% Passing Accuracy 80%
61% In Opp. Half 67%
David Jones 93% Best Accuracy (min. 15 passes) 90% Carl Jenkinson

63 Long Balls 61
18% % Long Balls 15%
Kieran Trippier 16 Most Long Balls (excl. GK) 13 Aaron Cresswell

Most Frequent Pass Combination
Boyd to Trippier 11 - 17 Jenkinson to Noble

 12 Aerial Duels Won 24 
 33% Success 67% 
Jason Shackell 5 Most Won 6 Winston Reid

Kieran Trippier 62 Most Touches 80 Mark Noble

 Offensive Play 
17 Attempts on Goal 22
3 On Target 6
10 Off Target 9
4 Blocked 7
24% From Outside the Box 27%
Danny Ings 5 Most Shots 6 Diafra Sakho

11 Chances Created 18
George Boyd 4 Most Chances Created 5 Aaron Cresswell

35 Crosses 27
Kieran Trippier 14 Most Attempted 7 Stewart Downing

11 Successful Crosses 12
31% Success 44%
Kieran Trippier 6 Most Successful 3 Stewart Downing

18 Take Ons Attempted 15
10 Successful Take Ons 8
56% Success 53%
Danny Ings 2 Most Successful Take Ons 3 Stewart Downing

 Defensive Play 
22 Tackles Attempted 30
12 Successful Tackles 14
55% Success 47%
Michael Kightly 4 Most Tackles 4 James Collins

38 Clearances 68
Jason Shackell 15 Most Clearances 19 James Collins

15 Interceptions 16
Jason Shackell 4 Most Interceptions 6 James Collins

7 Shot Blocks 4
Jason Shackell 2 Most Shot Blocks 2 Mark Noble

 Discipline 
 3 Fouls 10 
Michael Kightly 1 Most Fouls 2 Mark Noble

0 Yellow Cards 1
Burnley:     
West Ham United:  Wisnton Reid   

0 Red Cards 0
Burnley:     
West Ham United:     

 Head to Heads 
Tom Heaton vs Adrián
-25 Squawka Rating -18

3 Goals Conceded 1
2 Saves 2
  
1 Claims 1
1 Successful Claims 1
100% Success 100%

30 Total Distribution 27
14 Accurate 14
47% Success 52%

8 Goal Kicks 10
4 Accurate 3
50% Success 30%
  
4 Throw Outs 6
4 Accurate 6
100% Success 100%

2 Kick from Hand 2
1 Accurate 0
50% Success 0%
  
16 Other 9
5 Accurate 5
31% Success 56%

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

Kieran Trippier 4 Most Passed To 3 Carlton Cole
Jason Shackell 5 Most Passes From 2 James Collins

Jason Shackell vs James Collins
15 Squawka Rating 49

8 Aerial Duels 4
5 Duels Won 3
63% Success 75%
  
4 Tackles Attempted 5
2 Tackles Completed 3
50% Success 60%
  
16 Clearances 19
4 Interceptions 6
2 Shot Blocks 1
  
0 Errors Leading to Shot 0
0 Errors Leading to Goal 0
  
25 Passes Attempted 39
17 Successful 26
68% Success 67%
  
0 Crosses Attempted 0
0 Successful 0
0% Success 0%
  
0 Chances Created 0
  
0 Attempts on Goal 0
0 On Target 0
0 Goals 0
  
Tom Heaton 5 Most Passed To 7 Carl Jenkinson
Ben Mee 6 Most Passes From 9 Winston Reid

David Jones vs Mark Noble
16 Squawka Rating 43

42 Passes Attempted 64
39 Successful 57
93% Success 89%
  
1 Chances Created 2
0 Assists 0
  
0 Attempts on Goal 0
0 On Target 0
0 Goals 0
  
0 Take Ons Attempted 1
0 Take Ons Successful 1
0% Success 100%
  
1 Crosses Attempted 2
0 Successful 2
0% Success 100%
  
1 Tackles Attempted 4
0 Tackles Completed 2
0% Success 50%
  
0 Clearances 3
3 Interceptions 3
0 Blocks 1
  
0 Errors Leading to Shot 0
0 Errors Leading to Goal 0
  
Ben Mee 10 Most Passed To 12 Stewart Downing
Ben Mee 8 Most Passes From 17 Carl Jenkinson

Danny Ings vs Diafra Sakho
3 Squawka Rating 22

4 Attempts on Goal 6
1 On Target 1
0 Goals 1
  
35 Touches 45
10 in Penalty Area 13
28% % Penalty Area 28%

0 Chances Created 3
0 Assists 1
  
14 Passes Attempted 26
10 Successful 14
71% Success 54%
  
1 Take Ons 3
1 Successful Take Ons 0
100% Success 0%
  
7 Aerial Duels 10
1 Duels Won 4
14% Success 40%
  
Scott Arfield 3 Most Passed To 5 Stewart Downing
Scott Arfield 8 Most Passes From 7 Morgan Amalfitano