February 26, 2013

Analysis of the goals conceded against West Ham (25/2)

Andy Carroll’s goalCarroll scores from the penalty spot, after Parker’s rash challenge on the same player was deemed a foul.


As West Ham flight a ball into the box, we have got ourselves into a bit of a pickle defensively – Parker is not goal-side of his man, so anything knocked down by Carroll will cause problems.


Carroll does win the header, and Nolan tries to create a yard of space.


In the end, he chooses to nudge the ball back to Carroll.


Parker sees an opportunity to win the ball, and recklessly goes to ground. He takes the ball, but not before he has gone through Carroll.


It’s a fantastic penalty – the type rarely saved. Lloris has no chance.


Joe Cole’s goalAs Vertonghen tries to play offside, Cole times his run, brings down a through ball, and finds the far corner with a neat finish.


West Ham work the ball into space from a throw-in, and Joey O’Brien has possession. Vertonghen has an eye on Joe Cole, who is looking to dart in off the flank.


As Cole breaks forward, Vertonghen steps up, attempting to play him offside – needlessly in my opinion, as he has the pace to easily match Cole.


Cole times his run, gets on the end of O’Brien’s pass, and brings it down superbly.


Vertonghen tries to get back at him, but is too late in doing so. Cole’s finish across Lloris is supremely accurate, leaving the goalkeeper with no chance.

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  • MG says:

    Good analysis as ever. I do think though that for Cole’s goal he brought the ball down really well, but he only scored because he scuffed his shot into the ground which bounced over Lloris who went down to early

  • Longwell says:

    Do you think Caulker could have done better with the ball over the top? Vertonghen is definitely the one to shoulder most of the blame for the goal, but I felt Caulker could have bailed him out with better awareness; he backpedaled slowly and got caught under the ball, whereas if he’d turned and run I think he would have had time to intercept the pass or at least put Cole off shooting.

  • abe says:

    Cole was playing on the right and Vert was left back right, so it was his man – and as listed above, not a great decision to play offside in this case. Also we do chop and change the defense quite a bit, so it becomes hard for 4 of them to form a unit that understands each other properly

    • Longwell says:

      I look at the rotation in defense as a positive. It may take a little bit longer to forge one cohesive back four this way, but it pays great dividends to have seven or eight guys ready to step in and play in that back line when needed. Selecting the same four at the back over and over accelerates the development of an understanding between *those four*, no doubt. But what happens when you lose one or two to injury, fatigue, or ineffectiveness?

      In that situation, I’d much rather have the replacement coming in with a good number of games under his belt already. If you do it the other way, the replacement may take a little while to knock the rust off and get in tune with his teammates. Rotation keeps everyone involved and sharp and allows the manager to tune his back line to best combat the specific attributes of the opponent’s attack. I’m happy that AVB has the ability to select a back four with very different strengths for West Ham’s Carroll-focused aerial assault compared to, say, the upcoming fixture at Anfield where we’ll have to deal with quick and clever players like Suarez, Sturridge, Sterling, and Coutinho.

  • Maxwell says:

    Hi Windy, new to the site but enjoyed your post. I agree with your analysis of the second goal, but would add that we did a poor job of pressing O’Brien, who had time to stroke a Pirlo-esque ball over the top. We’ve been quite good about not giving opposing players space to play those types of passes this season, so it was disappointing to concede here.

  • bonse says:

    Some great comments above. What a game, I wasnt certain we had a point till 30 second left of extra time, bookies must hate trying to predict west ham spurs matches

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