Wednesday, December 05, 2007

West Ham Opta Analysis

According to Opta West Ham look like a team that is good in defence, lacks some midfield creativity, often plays with a lone striker and has an excellent goalkeeper.

There are no surprises that the West Ham fans' choice for England goalkeeper is high up in the Opta statistics. In fact Robert Green lies only behind ex-West Ham keeper David James in the saves-to-shots ratio.

Robert Green obviously plays a large part in West Ham's excellent defensive record. Only four teams have let in fewer goals than West Ham, who have only let in one more than league leaders Arsenal.

It is going forward however that West Ham have room for improvement. West Ham lie eleventh in the table of shots made this season. A large reason for this is presumably the injury problems that West Ham have had with their strikers and the fact they have often been forced to play Cole up front on his own.

More worrying is the fact that West Ham also lie in eleventh place in the number of successful passes made. This seems to confirm the 'cautiously' jibe sometimes aimed at Alan Curbishley and helps justify the calls by some West Ham fans for the club to buy a creative midfielder in January.

All in all the Opta statistics confirm West Ham's reasonable form this year, placing us mid-table in many categories, mirroring our place in the Premier League. The only real surprise for me in the statistics is that Carlton Cole comes third in the 'bad boys' list, with only Alan Smith and Reo-Coker ahead of him on disciplinary points.

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