Stats a fact
Let’s read up on all the statistics from Monday’s 1-2 defeat to league leaders Chelsea.
Possession: Many argued that we dominated Chelsea in terms of ball possession throughout the 90 minutes on Monday. However, we just had the edge over our London rivals in terms of keeping the ball 51.8% compared to Chelsea’s 48.2% possession.
Shots on and off target: We certainly did create our fair share of chances against Antonio Conte’s men, but we were not clinical enough. Only 2 of our 11 efforts were on target against Chelsea’s 9 shots with 5 on target. One thing is for sure, we were not clinical enough to cause Thibaut Courtois many problems to deal with on Monday. One of the reasons for this was having our top goal scorer, Michail Antonio, sidelined through suspension.
Corners and crosses: Here we find another sign that we were not clinical enough against the west Londoners. We had 6 corners and 32 crosses compared to Chelsea’s 4 corners and 11 crosses. Not taking our chances has been a major problem for us this season and it was no different on Monday night.
Clearances: Yet another major inconsistency for us this term has been defending and our general ability not to get rid of anything that comes our way in the box, clearing just 7 balls up against Chelsea’s 29 clearances for the 90 minutes. Also, when you defend poorly against one of the best attacks in the world only one thing is going to happen.
Silly mistakes cost Hammers
A huge issue for us this season has been individual mistakes, whether it be giving the ball away in midfield or putting 10 men in the box for an attacking corner against West Brom and on Monday evening was much the same. The individual errors have been particularly prevalent in home games and played a major role in the home thrashings at the hands of Manchester City and Arsenal. In the Premier League it is key that you don’t give the big teams anything to work with and against Chelsea this is exactly what we did. Mark Noble gifted Chelsea the ball in midfield with bone idle decision making and a poor pass resulting in Chelsea winning the ball and Eden Hazard scoring from the following counter attack. The defending was to blame for the Blues second with prolific striker Diego Costa being left unmarked and able to poach home from close range to create doom breathing space between us and the West London club. One thing is for sure, if we are going to finish in the top half of the League this season we need to tighten up in all areas of the pitch.
Ever since Andre Ayew, our Ghanaian forward, has returned from the Africa Cup of Nations he has looked fresh and sharp. He scored in his first match back, the game before last from close range against Watford. Ayew was introduced early in the second half against Chelsea on Monday and there was no doubt he influenced the game, offering us more pace in midfield and assisting Manuel Lanzini’s late consolation goal. The club record signing should have a starting place against Bournemouth on Saturday afternoon.
Lanzini promises hard work for Bournemouth game
Our Argentine midfielder, Manuel Lanzini, has issued a rallying cry to his team mates to put hard work in. In preparation for our trip to the South Coast on Saturday, the midfielder told WHUFC, “we need to work hard in the week and do better in the next match, because that is the only way we can respond to this result.” The Argentine was speaking after our 1-2 defeat to Chelsea on Monday night, the game in which Lanzini scored in his 50th Premier League appearance for the club. The 24-year-old has scored 6 goals this Premier League campaign and has really stepped up after the departure of French winger Dimitri Payet in the January transfer window. Make no mistake about it we may have to battle hard to keep Lanzini in the summer.
As many of us saw, New Zealand born centre back Winston Reid came off prematurely on Monday night against the League leaders. The diagnosis of the injury was said to be extreme cramp and the Kiwi should be fit to face Bournemouth on Saturday.
U23s side draw at the London Stadium
Our young stars were in action on Tuesday night in the spotlight of the London Stadium against Stoke City. The points were shared with the Staffordshire club after Edimilson Fernandes’ early opener was cancelled out by Ngoy’s 27th minute penalty to leave the Hammers 5th in the table.
London Stadium voted Stadium of the year for 2016
It was announced on Monday that our controversial London Stadium has been voted Stadium of the year for 2016 just 9 months into its existence as a Football Stadium. The award was conducted by The Stadium Database and our new home fought off competition from 28 other stadiums for this prestigious prize. The prize was decided by a vote with a jury of 5 architectural experts. You can say what you want about the London Stadium but there is no doubt the most experts think it’s a beautiful place to play football.
Transfer gossip: Klopp eyes Obiang and Hammers hunt Gibson
It has been reported by the Daily Star that Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has been impressed with our Spanish born midfielder Pedro Obiang and that Liverpool may be eyeing up a summer move for the player. Obiang has scored 1 and assisted 1 in 20 appearances this season but has become a regular name in Slaven Bilic’s starting 11 recently, after lack of playing time linked him with a move away from the London Stadium last summer. With a new Hammers deal in the offing for Obiang, Liverpool may need to bid high to secure his services. Rumours have emerged this week in the Evening Standard that we are readying a summer move for Middlesbrough defender Ben Gibson. The English born centre back has made 27 appearances in the League this season and is one of the first names on Aitor Karanka’s team sheet. However, we face competition from Arsenal and Manchester City for the 24 year old’s signature.
Martinez gets on the score sheet again for Oxford Utd
Our bright young Spanish loanee, Antonio Martinez has yet again got on the score sheet for Oxford United. This time it came in Tuesday night’s defeat to Sheffield United. The 19-year-old former Valencia man has scored 3 goals since joining the U’s with many calling for him to be recalled from his loan.
Noble at right back?
Our right back woes continue as it has been reported on ClaretandHugh.com that Slaven Bilic will try out central midfielder and captain Mark Noble at right back for Saturday’s away clash with Bournemouth. The 29-year-old veteran would be the 4th non right back to be played in that position this season with Antonio, Nordviet and Kouyate being previously tried right of the defence. Many West Ham fans are calling for young right back Sam Bryam ,who has been mainly overlooked this season, to be played in the position. One thing is for certain, we definitely need to strengthen in that area come the summer transfer window.