Player Performance - Vote

Newcastle: A Good Point But We Should Have Got Three

Click HERE to rate the performances of the West Ham players who played at St James’s Park. Only vote if you were there or saw the full match on a feed.

I only heard the radio commentary so I can’t do a full match report, but from what I heard, we were phenomenally unlucky not to come away with three points. It just goes to show what happens when you don’t have a proven goalscorer in your team. There seemed to be at least two cast iron chances which a predatory striker would have undoubtedly tucked away. But the fact is we put in a great performance and the two central defenders can be very proud of the shift they put in.

It was also good to see Ravel Morrison get on at the end, and he very nearly tucked home a winner. Indeed, he would have done had Maiga not touched it on from an offside position. Morrison will undoubtedly start against Cheltenham on Tuesday.

Anyway, for a few hours at least, we are second in the league!


Match Thread

Match Thread: Newcastle v West Ham

Please use this thread to comment on the game as it progresses.

West Ham United: Jaaskelainen, Demel, O’Brien, Collins, Reid, Noble, Diame, Nolan ©, Downing, Jarvis, Maiga
Subs: Adrian, Rat, Tomkins, Diarra, Morrison, Cole, Vaz Te


Academy & Under 18s

U18s Suffer Chelsea Defeat

West Ham U18 suffered their first defeat of the season this morning as they went down 2-1 away at Chelsea U18.

The Hammers went ahead at Chelsea’s rain soaked Cobham training ground, when Kieran Bywater reacted quickest in the Chelsea penalty area to finish off the underside of the crossbar.

Just a minute later, West Ham almost doubled their lead when Jerry Amoo was released down the right hand side and attempted to lob Chelsea keeper Ben Killip but the ball sailed wide.

Less than ten minutes after going ahead, West Ham conceded. Chelsea youngster Charly Musonda found Tammy Abraham in behind the Hammers back line with a smart pass, with the latter keeping composed to draw the home side level.

After 25 minutes, Chelsea turned the game on its head and went 2-1 up. As the ball went out to the left hand side of the penalty area to George Cole, who battled through the Hammers defensive ranks to smash the winning goal into the top corner of the goal.

Steve Potts’ U18 side will look to get back to winning ways when they host Southampton U18 at Little Heath on Wednesday afternoon, with a 1pm kick off.


Match Preview

Match Preview: Newcastle v West Ham

I know this is probably a really stupid thing to say, but I reckon the Newcastle match could well be a defining game. If we win it, expectations are going to be sky high and we’re all going to expect a good season finishing in the top half. And in a week’s time we’ll expect to have nine points on the board and have reached the second round of whatever the League Cup is called nowadays. Football isn’t life that, though, is it? Especially if you’re a West Ham fan who supports a club with no real strikers.

Newcastle away

Although we won the same game last year, back in 2011 we were slaughtered 5-0. Even with their injury, suspension and transfer woes, Newcastle are not to be misunderestimated, as George Bush might say. They have some quality players who will have been humiliated after their drubbing at Manchester City in their first game. We also need to bear in mind that last season we were the only club in the Premier League never to win two consecutive games. It would be nice to break that particular hoodoo today.

Newcastle will probably line up in a 4-2-3-1 formation: Krul; Debuchy, Yanga-Mbiwa, Coloccini, Santon; Sissoko, Anita; Marveaux, Ben Arfa, Gouffran; Cisse. They are missing S Taylor (suspended), Gutierrez (hamstring), Remy (knee), Williamson (knock), Haidara (knock), Alnwick (calf/shin), R Taylor (knee) not to mention Cabaye (Arsenal bound).

The most likely change I can see in our starting eleven is Downing in for Jarvis or Cole, but my suspicion is that Sam Allardyce doesn’t think he is fit enough to last ninety minutes. In theory Rat could come in for O’Brien, but why change a winning team? O’Brien played very well last week.

Last week I correctly predicted a 2-0 Hammers win. Unusually, I was right. Let’s see if lightning can strike twice. This week I’m going for a 2-0 win again, with Maiga to score.


Player Analysis

Is Ricardo Vaz Te the Answer to our Striker Problems?

One nice thing about this new site is that far more of you are contacting me via the CONTACT button at the top of the page, either to give me feedback on the site, or to make suggestions as to subjects we might debate. This evening, I had just appeared on ANY QUESTIONS and got this email from Leon.

Vaz Te

I am a former season ticket holder and as always I am keeping a keen eye on the summer transfer window like most fans. West Ham, or rather the two David’s and Sam, have done a fantastic job over the past few seasons and with the new ffp rules seem to be working overtime to keep the playing staff both balanced and competitive, which brings me to my main point.

We are in desperate need for at least one more goal scoring forward and in my opinion I think we have that player at the club in Vaz Te. I think he could handle playing in a more central role and Sam could I hope really get the best out of him. Now he might not be able to hold the ball up as well and others at the club but I think with the right service/support from midfield he could be the man to put the ball in the back of the net on a regular basis running into channels and getting in behind the last defender.

If I’m not mistaken Vaz has played this role at other clubs and I would love to see if your man at West Ham stats could dig anything up supporting my thinking. Enjoy the game tomorrow. Let’s hope that Newcastle do not have the wounded animal approach to the game.

Well, it’s a point of view, and on reflection, I wonder if he has a point. Let’s not forget, in 16 Championship games, he scored 12 goals. Some may say he found his level that season, but he hasn’t become a bad player overnight. I suspect he is a bit like Carlton Cole, a player who performs best when his manager shows his confidence in him.

Edit:

Hi all, Tom Aldworth here. Iain emailed me last night and asked for a few numbers to support this discussion.

Unfortunately, my main data sources (whoscored.com and squawka.com) do not have any stats for the 2011/12 Championship season, so we don’t have any real data from when Vaz Te played up front.

What I have done though, is taken a look at some of the data from last season, and compared RVT to his striking competitors in some key areas.

Firstly, we know that a centre forward for West Ham needs to be able to hold his own in the air. Well, last season Vaz won 43% of his headed duels. This is better than Maiga’s 40%, and at a similar level to Carlton Cole’s 49%. As expected though, this is significantly further behind Carroll’s 65%.

Vaz Te did, however, record the best headed pass completion rate of the four (46%). Carroll comes second in this category (39%), although he and Cole did play significantly more passes with their head than Vaz Te and Maiga.

Aside from aeriel prowess, what we really need is a striker who scores goals. It’s a bit difficult to say whether or not Vaz would be able to do this in the Premier League, but a record of 12 in 18 in the Championship two seasons ago suggests he is capable. Last year, he manged three goals – all of which came from inside the box, a positive sign. He also had a better shooting accuracy rate than Carroll (44% on target to Carroll’s 38%).

What interested me the most though, was his chance created stats. Vaz Te created 29 chances for his teammates last season. More than Maiga (6), Cole (11) and almost as many as Carroll (34). What intrigued me about this though, was that the majority (72%, to be precise) of the chances Vaz Te created came from the central attacking positions. 21 out of the 29 came from the centre. To me, this suggests that Vaz Te is a far more dangerous player through the centre of the pitch than he is on the flanks.

The question that Leon has posted (Is Ricardo Vaz Te te answer to our striker problems?) is one that RVT believes he has the answer too. Back in April, he gave an interview to the official site, in which he stated:

“Obviously I am not playing in my two main positions, which are forward or left-winger so all season I’ve had to adapt to the right.”

So maybe the answer does lie within?


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