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.
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.
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?