England's Holding Midfielder: Noble Vs Barry, Wilshere, Carrick et al

England's Holding Midfielder: Noble Vs Barry, Wilshere, Carrick et al

We can talk about formations until we're blue in the face, 4-2-3-1, 4-3-3 and even 3-5-2 but it's not easy to be definitive with numerical formations in a game that is constantly flowing, with its players constantly moving into different patterns depending on which team has the ball. What is certain though, in the various shapes that teams like to play - both in and out of possession - is the place in the team for modern football's holding midfielder: …
Stewart Downing - An Upgrade for West Ham? | Stats Compared to Jarvis et al

Stewart Downing - An Upgrade for West Ham? | Stats Compared to Jarvis et al

With Downing due at Holly House this afternoon to complete his medical before joining West Ham United, we wanted to have a look at exactly what Downing would bring to a squad which, at times last year and especially in away games, struggled to create chances and ultimately struggled to score goals. In 2013/14, the wide forward positions were filled by West Ham's then record signing Matt Jarvis, Ricardo Vaz Te and Joe Cole. Below we've focused on the defensive …
Kevin Nolan: what does he actually do? | Stats Comparison to rivals

Kevin Nolan: what does he actually do? | Stats Comparison to rivals

A lot has been said of Kevin Nolan at the Boleyn Ground since his arrival at West Ham 18 months ago, in a 5.5m deal from Newcastle United. As the 2011/12 season wore on, while fans acknowledged his obvious leadership skills, more and more questions were raised regarding what else he contributed on the field. Invariably, Nolan's answer to the doubters was to pop up with a goal the following week, and probably the week after, too, for good measure. Because that is what …