Manuel Pellegrini spent heavily at the top end of the pitch this summer but he was then tasked with the challenge of finding a balanced frontline.
The recent evidence suggests he has done exactly that. One of the key moves has been relocating record signing Felipe Anderson to the left of a 4-3-3.
The Brazilian naturally prefers to play in a number 10 position; but that role in the flimsy early-season 4-2-3-1 left the Hammers too exposed.
Anderson has had a much greater impact out on the left; both he and Marko Arnautovic got on the scoresheet. After the playmaker’s first Hammers goal, we’ve found a statistic that shows the relationship between the two is growing nicely.
The Premier League’s official website highlighted the outstanding work of Arnie this season; and some stats buried deep in the piece were telling.
Pellegrini’s plan revolves around high pressing and Arnautovic is leading the number of sprints from the front; his average of 19.3 per match is the most in the side.
The Austrian has had 41 touches in the opposition box so far; which is as many as Eden Hazard and Roberto Firmino. His strike rate of 113.3 minutes per goal is fourth best in the division, too.
In terms of Arnautovic’s most regular provider, there is no competition. Anderson has found the hitman 25 times so far, a whopping 15 ahead of the next on that list. The three chances Anderson has made for his striker is also not bettered by any team-mate.