Let’s take a look at some of the key statistics from yesterday’s 2-1 Defeat to Hull City at the KCOM Stadium.
Possession and passing
As characteristic with most of our League games this season we dominated possession of the ball yesterday. Despite our poor performance, we had 54.5% possession to the Tigers 45.5%. Our passing accuracy was also superior to that of Marco Silva’s men, with 78.8% to Hull’s 67.4% passing accuracy. Even though we had the better of our opponents in those key areas there is no mistaking the poor way we played and the stats don’t really tell the true story.
Shots on and off target
Yesterday, like most games this season, we lacked a real cutting edge up front and this is clear to see from our attempts on and off target. We managed 12 shots in total with just 4 on target to the Tigers 7 efforts with 3 on target. Only a third of our efforts were on target with Hull managing to get more or less half of their shots directly at Darren Randolph’s goal. The truth is we never really troubled Eldin Jakupovic in the Hull City net, apart from Carroll’s well-taken goal and a Lanzini shot that the Swiss keeper had to tip round the post. Hull City, on the other hand, were clinical and took 2 of their biggest chances to punish us yesterday.
Corners and crosses
One main criticism of our performance yesterday was our failure to make the most of the crossing opportunities and our general poor delivery into the box. Despite Carroll’s 18th minute opener coming from a Cresswell cross we failed to make the most of our balls into the area, we had 30 crosses managing to confine the Tigers to 16 crosses. We had just under double the crosses Hull had, failing to create clear-cut chances from most of them. In terms of corners, we also failed to capitalise on 5 of our dead balls into the area, whereas the North Eastern club also won 5 corners with Andrea Ranocchia notching their late winner from a corner.
Another strange stat from yesterday’s defeat was clearances. Despite our much scrutinised defensive display yesterday we still managed to clear more balls than our hosts, with 28 clearances to the Tigers 20. This stat is misleading as our defence was slow to react a number of times, gifting Hull many chances including Andy Robertson’s second half leveller. The Hull City back line managed to deal with most of our attacks, whereas we were time and time again cut open by the pace of Hull on the counter attack in contradiction to the stat.
Bilic: “Defeat hard to take”
Our Croatian manager Slaven Bilic has admitted yesterday’s defeat to fellow strugglers Hull City was a hard one to take in. Bilic is now under huge pressure as we continued our 6 game winless run at the KCOM stadium. He said in his post-match interview “When we didn’t score, you think it’s ok, it’s 1-1, it’s good to grab a point after 3 defeats so to concede a goal from a set piece is very hard to take”. Rumours have been circulating recently that the Croat will be replaced in the summer and yesterday’s defeat did nothing to silence the critics, that’s for sure. We have now lost 3 consecutive League games and as we dropped to 14th, many were suggesting that we are now possible candidates for relegation. One thing is for sure though Bilic will have a hard job of reacting quickly to this defeat as we face Arsenal, away in just three days time.
Spurs fixture change
Our home Premier League game against Tottenham Hotspur has been changed from Saturday 6th May to Friday 5th May. We will be looked for revenge against Mauricio Pochettino’s men after 2 late goals meant Spurs took the 3 points last time out at White Hart Lane. The fixture was moved as part of Sky Sports new FNF (Friday night Football). Security is said to be being increased for the tie with the Police grading it a category C fixture (the highest risk category).
Hammers eye Teodorczyk
It has been rumoured this week by Talk Sport that we are keen on a summer move for Anderlecht striker Lukasz Teodorczyk. The Poland international has netted twenty five times in all competitions this season and is attracting widespread interest despite only just signing from Dynamo Kiev. Liverpool are also being linked with the pole, so we face some competition for the inform strikers signature in the summer.