Saturday 25th October 2014
West Ham United vs Manchester City
After a very good spell for West Ham, Manchester City come to town tomorrow lunchtime.
You have to go way back to March 2009 for our last victory over the Citizens, when Savio Nsereko set up Jack Collison's winner in a one nil victory for Gianfranco Zola's side.
Since then, the sides have met 10 times and our record reads:
W 0 - D 2 - L - 8 - GS 6 - GA 25
That record is significantly worsened by last seasons four defeats out of four, one goal scored and 14 conceded, but the signs are pretty ominous.
But this West Ham side seem a bit different. With the new characters in the side this season, it feels unlikely that the side will just roll over and have their tummies tickled. This is a big test of our progress, and one that I hope we are ready for.
Manchester City possess an array of world class footballers, arguably some of the best players in their positions in world football. They have an abundance of quality in depth, and probably have two XI's that could challenge for the league title.
When you consider all of that and then realise that, in spite of the competition, there was only really one choice here, it dawns on you just how good Sergio Aguero is.
The Argentine has scored a ridiculous 86 goals in 133 appearances since signing for Manchester City in 2011. 61 goals in 95 Premier League appearances is a phenomenal goal scoring record, and the little striker is showing no signs of slowing down.
Last weekend, Aguero scored all four goals in the thrashing of Tottenham. He also bagged another in Russia on Tuesday night to take his total for the season to 11 from 11 games.
The image below shows where Aguero has scored his league goals this season. You'll notice that he scores all his goals in the bottom corners - basically where the keeper can't save them.
Obviously he can't hit the corners every time, but his shooting accuracy this season stands at a truly incredibly 69%.
How do you stop Manchester City?
Only one side have beaten Manchester City in the league this season: Stoke City.
What Stoke did to get the win was simply refuse to allow City to play.
The images below shows Stoke's interceptions (left) and tackles (right). The Potters only won 37% of their tackles, but they attempted a massive 38, and made 28 interceptions. They hassled and harried the City attackers, and just did not enable them to play in the way they can.
And when City did get through the stubborn Stoke resistance, they were met with some real blood and thunder defending, where the Stoke defence through their bodies on the line for their side.
The image below shows their clearances (left) and blocks (right) from the game. On the day, Stoke made 38 clearances, and 16 blocks - 8 of which were blocked shots.
In spite of their overall brilliance, there is a glaring weakness in this Manchester City side. For all the high profile, high cost signings they've made over the past couple of years, they have remained unable to find a top quality partner for Vincent Kompany at the back.
This season, Martin Demichelis has been joined by Eliaquim Mangala as the main options to partner skipper Kompany, but neither look of sufficient quality for a side with serious title aspirations.
The image below shows a comparison of some key areas with West Ham's main centre back pairing Winston Reid and James Tomkins.
As you can see, Mangala and Demichelis have proven slightly better in the air, but both struggle on the ground compared to Reid and Tomkins. Both of the City pair have committed more fouls per 90 than the Hammers, and both have missed far more tackles too.
Manchester City are a side that are streets ahead of West Ham. They possess arguably the best squad and first XI in the league, and are, on paper at least, one of the strongest sides in Europe.
The likes of Sergio Aguero, David Silva, Samir Nasri and Yaya Toure are very capable of giving any side the runaround, but, for the first time in a long time, West Ham fan's may have a right to feel a little bit of confidence.
City have a weakness at centre back, and West Ham have two in form strikers to test it out. They tend to play quite a narrow midfield, with the likes of Nasri and Silva coming in from the flanks, West Ham's diamond should allow us to go almost man to man against them.
They have also spent the best part of the week travelling to and from a disappointing draw in Moscow, so we can hope to capitalise on some tiredness.
Let's be honest, the likelihood is that we're going to lose. But there is just a little glimmer of hope and optimism, and, for many West Ham fans, that's something we haven't had in a while against these sort of teams.
Head to Head
28% Head to Head Win % 53%
25 Won 47
16 Drawn 16
47 Lost 25
140 Goals Scored 159
159 Goals Conceded 140
Recent Form (excl. Friendlies)
L D W L W W Last 6 D W W D W W
12 Goals Scored 19
8 Goals Conceded 5
W L L L W W Home/Away Form L W D L W W
9 Goals Scored 10
6 Goals Conceded 8
Form Player (excl. GK)
(Last 6 League)
Stewart Downing - Sergio Aguero
6 Appearances 6
540 Minutes Played 499
231 Sum Squawka Performance Score 341
39 Average Squawka Performance Rating 57
276 Passes Attempted 179
233 Completed 148
84% Success Rate 83%
19 Chances Created 6
3 Assists 0
6 Attempts on Goal 25
3 On Target 17
0 Goals 7
11 Take Ons Attempted 31
5 Successful Take Ons 17
45% Success Rate 55%
8 Tackles Made 10
3 Successful Tackles 4
38% Success Rate 40%
3 Interceptions 2
8 Clearances 1
0 Blocks 0
2 Defensive Actions Per Game 1
2 Aerial Duels 6
1 Won 3
50% Success Rate 50%
0 Defensive Errors 0
0 Leading to a Goal 0
11 May 2014
0-1 Samir Nasri 39'
0-2 Vincent Kompany 49'
4-2-3-1 Starting Formation 4-4-2
Adrián - Joe Hart
Joey O'Brien - Pablo Zabaleta
James Tomkins - Vincent Kompany
Winston Reid - Martin Demichelis
George McCartney - Aleksandar Kolarov
Mark Noble - Javi Garcia
Matthew Taylor - Yaya Toure (86')
Stewart Downing - Samir Nasri
(64') Kevin Nolan - David Silva (76')
(81') Mohamed Diamé - Sergio Aguero
(72') Andy Carroll - Edin Dzeko (69')
Jussi Jääskeläinen - Costel Pantilimon
James Collins - Joleon Lescott
Pablo Armero - Gael Clichy
(64') Matt Jarvis - Fernandinho (69')
Ricardo Vâz Te - James Milner (76')
(81') Joe Cole - Stevan Jovetic
(72') Carlton Cole - Alvaro Negredo (86')
West Ham United: Guy Demel, Mauro ZárateAndy Carroll
Manchester City: Eliaquim Mangala, Frank Lampard, Samir Nasri
West Ham United:
Opposition Last Time Out (League)
vs Tottenham Hotspur
Goals Scored: 4
Goals Conceded: 1
Starting Formation: 4-2-3-1
Bacary Sagna Vincent Kompany Martin Demichelis Gael Clichy
Fernando (75') Frank Lampard (27')
Jesus Navas David Silva (69') James Milner
Yaya Toure (75')
Stevan Jovetic (69')
Best Player: Sergio Aguero(SR: 174)
Worst Player: Fernando(SR: -34)
Top 5's (Min 5 Apps)
Diafra Sakho 5 - 9 Sergio Aguero
Carlton Cole 2 - 2 Frank Lampard
Enner Valencia 2 - 2 Stevan Jovetic
Morgan Amalfitano 1 - 2 Edin Dzeko
Mauro Zárate 1 - 1 Martin Demichelis
Stewart Downing 3 - 2 Jesus Navas
James Tomkins 2 - 2 Pablo Zabaleta
Diafra Sakho 1 - 2 James Milner
Carl Jenkinson 1 - 2 David Silva
Aaron Cresswell 1 - 1 Frank Lampard
Carl Jenkinson 90% - 92% Fernando
Mark Noble 87% - 91% Yaya Toure
Winston Reid 86% - 91% Vincent Kompany
Alex Song 85% - 89% Fernandinho
Stewart Downing 83% - 89% Martin Demichelis
Chances Created per 90
Stewart Downing 2.75 - 3.13 Jesus Navaz
Aaron Cresswell 1.5 - 2.92 James Milner
Mark Noble 1.5 - 2.48 David Silva
Alex Song 1 - 1.09 Fernandinho
Morgan Amalfitano 0.66 - 1.06 Edin Dzeko
Successful Dribbles per 90
Enner Valencia 1.93 - 2.88 Sergio Aguero
Cheikhou Kouyaté 1 - 2.5 Jesus Navas
Alex Song 1 - 1.75 James Milner
Mark Noble 0.83 - 1.4 Gael Clichy
Diafra Sakho 0.77 - 1.38 David Silva
Tackles Won per 90
Cheikhou Kouyaté 3 - 3.11 James Milner
Alex Song 2.76 - 3 Gael Clihy
Diafra Sakho 2.67 - 2.83 Fernandinho
Mark Noble 1.54 - 2.75 Pablo Zabaleta
Carl Jenkinson 1.43 - 1.97 Fernando
Aerial Duels Won per 90
Winston Reid 3.63 - 3.3 Martin Demichelis
James Tomkins 3.5 - 2.97 Edin Dzeko
Cheikhou Kouyaté 2.8 - 1.99 Aleksandar Kolarov
Diafra Sakho 2.69 - 1.74 Fernandinho
Carlton Cole 2.2 - 0.88 Vincent Kompany
Sam Allardyce - Manuel Pellegrini
20016 DOB 19618
60 Age 61
Bolton Wanderers Main Club Universidad de Chile
231 Appearances 451
24 Goals 7
9 Total Clubs 1
512 Appearances 451
43 Goals 7
England National Team Chile
0 Caps 0
Preston North End First Managerial Role Universidad de Chile
30/09/1992 Start Date 01/09/1988
22y 0m 24d Experience 26y 1m 23d
7 Sides Managed 12
2 League Titles 4
0 Cup Wins 5
39.8% Win % 50.5%
353 Won 423
232 Drawn 216
301 Lost 197
Longest Role (excl. Current)
Bolton Wanderers Club Villarreal
19/10/1999 Appointed 01/07/2004
29/04/2007 Left 01/06/2009
7y 6m 9d Time in Charge 4y 11m 0d
0 League Titles 0
0 Cup Wins 1
41.2% Win % 47.4%
153 Won 123
104 Drawn 72
114 Lost 64
01/06/2011 Appointed 14/06/2013
3y 4m 24d Time in Charge 1y 4m 11d
0 League Titles 1
0 Cup Wins 1
40% Win % 68.1%
58 Won 47
33 Drawn 9
54 Lost 13