Scouting Report: West Ham United | Stats & Tactical Analysis

Scouting Report: West Ham United | Stats & Tactical Analysis

This week Martin Lewis has a scouting report on West Ham United. This will not only be interesting for West Ham United supporters but also Spurs supporters before the big Monday Night Football game. In fact supporters of any club that are yet to play West Ham this season will find this in-depth tactical and statistical analysis interesting.

N.B. Please note that this is not an article – the purpose of this report is just that for it to seem like a Scouting Report please take it in such a way.

Initial information for West Ham United:

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  • Team on poor run of results & will be motivated to get back to the form they were showing at the start of the season.
  • Very aggressive and physical team, with intensity in offensive and defensive play.
  • Organised well and have capability to play with big changes in rhythm with the ball.
  • Dangerous, intense and aggressive in creation areas, always looking to create crossing situations from deep or byline.
  • May have lost a little match sharpness due to not playing since the 10th.

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Injury news:

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Image above taken from

Team Dynamics: 

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Offensive organisation:

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West ham have crossed the ball more than any other team this season.
  • Team set up in a 3x4x3, with direct and aggressive play.
  • Always dominate first ball with Carroll, with good numbers around him to win the second ball to try to create overloads around him [first phase].
  • Goal kicks and free kicks are always played long.
  • In second phase, the look  to first gain initiative with their 3 centre backs [split] that will circulate the ball between them [slow tempo].
  • When they have drawn the opposition high can close to them, there will be a quick change in rhythm with a long ball to Carroll.
  • They are very dangerous and efficient in these situations, as their 2 supporting players [Cole and Nolan] will be tight in lateral positions next to Carroll looking to create numerical advantage [3v2] to win second ball.
  • As Carroll dominates nearly all vertical balls to him, its important to control the space around him and second ball as much as possible [especially the flick ons into depth].
  • In build up from the back, initiative and progression with the ball from Pogatetz and Taylor as well as the long vertical balls.
  • Look to pressure this side [their left] to make them revert to long balls from deeper positions.
  • This will allow us to push up our defensive line as high as possible to control the areas Carroll can get the ball as much as possible.
  • Diame uses his immense physical attributes to give the team drive energy and will break lines.
  • Noble will be used more as a 6, with good technical abilities and mobility to cover the lateral space next to him in defensive transitions.
  • Cole and Nolan will move positions thought the attacks.
  • They will start wide when the ball is with the centre backs, then move inside between lines or act as second strikers when the ball is played long, with allows the wing backs to overlap and provide the width & help keep ball alive in creation areas.
  • Taylor has the ability to go outside and inside, and will take on full back [driving run] when there is a 1v1.
  • Aggressive and intense in creation areas, initiative and creativity from wing backs, with constant crosses from all positions down the wing.
  • They will always have great numerical numbers in the box, with at least 3 players covering all 3 attacking positions [1st post, 2nd post and penalty area] to keep the ball alive high up to stop team from getting out of their own box, forcing them to play long and give the ball away, and to quickly create as many shooting opportunities as possible.
  • Be aware of wing backs joining late at the second post [especially Taylor].  This often makes them hard to contain [Especially Carroll] so it’s important to be collective, organised and to look to push up quickly when the ball is cleared.

Defensive organisation:

  • Team set up with a 5x2x3 formation, in a medium/high block.
  • High defensive line with pressure high [aggressive] from the front 3 and two central midfielders.
  • Defensive block drops with progression with the ball [wide to tight] from opposition players [when they get past the player that is pressing them facing forward with the ball].
  • Centre backs look to get tight to players and are very aggressive in 1v1 [fouls!].
  • Important that attacking players use mobility to appear and receive ball in front on the centre backs to create depth behind them to turn into and exploit, especially wide players coming inside between lines to create space on the wing [wing backs can get draw in between lines].
  • Their pressing is to force us to go long, it starts with the front 3 players pressing high and 2 central midfielders joining the p press [all with intensity and aggression].
  • It will be hard to gain initiative with short build up numerically.
  • Players will have to be brave and patient on the ball, with the goalkeeper being used, centre backs split wide and a central midfielder dropping to become a 6 to create numerical advantage initially.
  • Once we have beat the front 3, the ball will then have to go to a wide player from the centre backs, as the central midfielders cut out the space for vertical penetration.
  • Here there will be space to play between lines and create overloads on the wings.
  • They also use the offside trap and have good communication between each other to keep line orientation.

Pressing the goalkeeper

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Mobility to arrive and receive in between lines

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Offensive transitions [first 10 seconds]:

  • Will initially look to play a vertical ball to Carroll to hold the ball up or to play lay off.
  • They will also use Diame to drive with the ball using his immense physical attributes, make sure he isn’t in a 1v1 capacity with depth to exploit.
  • If first options are not on, they will look to slowly circulate the ball between the centre backs [slow tempo] until there is space for Pogatetz/Taylor to progress with ball and find vertical ball to Carroll.

Defensive transitions [first 10 seconds]:

  • Good defensive balance, with at least 3 centre backs and either a wing-back or Noble providing the extra cover.Initial ball to depth is possible as soon as the ball is won or to a wide area [usually Taylors side] to stretch defence and start counter attack.
  • First they will look to press high with a high and wide block to force ball to be played long:

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If the ball isn’t won, the defence will drop. Chance to counter attack:

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Patterns, combinations and dynamics

Long build up from goal keeper[first phase]:

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Progression with the ball from Pogatetz:

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Dynamics of left:

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Dynamics of right:

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Offensive positions taken in the box:

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Kick off combination:

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Set plays

Offensive corners:

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All offensive corners are in swinging. Cole and Noble with right foot, Taylor with his left.

Defensive corners:

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Offensive lateral free kicks: 

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Defensive free kicks from the side:

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Defensive frontal free kicks:

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Other information:

  • Subs impact on game means a little change in the system and dynamics of the team.
  • Vaz Te replaced Taylor and acted more as a second striker that makes direct runs past Carroll into depth [stretching defence] and will take the defenders on more in 1v1 and 1v2 capacity.
  • Cole moved to the right, Nolan more central and Pogatetz to a defensive left back.
  • This allowed more time on the ball for the right-winger coming inside in between lines and increased the ease of creating overloads on the defenders, as they are now defending in a 1v1 capacity and not having a player spare in the previous system.
  • When chasing a game, they can also bring on Carlton Cole [similar player to Carroll] for a central midfielder [usually Noble] which means Nolan plays a little deeper and Diame uses his mobility to get back and cover.

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Statistics via EPLIndex Stats Centre

Shot placement:

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Offensive play:

| GLS – Goals | TSH – Total Shots | SOT – Shots on Target | SOF – Shots off Target |
| SHB – Shots Blocked | SA% Shooting Accuracy | CC% Chance Creation |
| CCS – Clear Cut Chances Scored | CCM – Clear Cut Chances Missed | CCC% – Clear-cut Chance conversion |

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| TCC  – Total Chances Created | TGA – Total Goal Assists | GAO – Goal Assist Open Play | GAS – Goal Assist Set Play |
| CCO – Chances Created Open Play | CCS – Chances Created Set Play |
| SPC – Set Play Chance Creation | GAD – Goal Assist via Dead ball |

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