According to research by The Sun, West Ham rank second-bottom in terms of distance covered by players.
Only propped up by Cardiff City, West Ham’s players cover less distance than 18 other Premier League sides.
Unai Emery has turned Arsenal into the hardest working team in the Premier League… the same cannot be said for Solskjaer and Man Utd 🙄 pic.twitter.com/kp1ALf9ijd
— The Sun Football ⚽ (@TheSunFootball) April 22, 2019
According to The Sun, West Ham cover an average of 66.5 miles (107.1 km) per match. This is marginally more than Cardiff’s 64.7-mile average.
And this is significantly less than the two North London clubs who rank at the top of this list (Arsenal cover 71.3 miles and Tottenham cover 71 miles per game).
This stat is a worrying indication that the main problem under Slaven Bilic is still prevalent today.
The Slaven Bilic problem
Under Bilic, West Ham’s main issue was the lack of distance covered per game. Bilic even acknowledged this after figures showed West Ham were the worst team in the league in terms of distance covered.
In his column for The London Evening Standard back in November 2017, Bilic said: “I have heard some of the criticism which has come our way since last weekend, especially that we are bottom of the table in both distances covered and sprints this season. I have all these statistics and more.”
One school of thought about why this is the case is because of the psychological impact of the vast amount of green surrounding the pitch.
Bilic acknowledged this as well (The Times) and the claret carpet should fix that issue now.
But Manuel Pellegrini has not managed to shift the lazy mentality at the club. This lack of progression in terms of distance covered could continue to hold West Ham back.