West Ham Will Continue Playing Allardyce’s Way

For years Sam Allardyce’s sides have come under scrutiny for the way they play their football and the common presumption that the Hammers ‘hoof’ it up is pretty accurate. This, however ugly it may seem to fans of Arsenal, Swansea and Barcelona – works. A 10th place Premier League finish last season goes a long way to justifying that. Would you rather win more matches, or pass the ball more? That is something every Upton Park regular needs to consider – after all they were historically a team known for playing good, fast flowing attacking football.

West Ham have enjoyed just 44% of the ball on average in their opening set of Premiership matches, with a pass completion rate of 72%. These are figures much below par, it has to be said, though for Allardyce this is nothing to panic over.

In terms of aerial duels won, only Parma and Hamburg have a better average in all of Europe’s top six major divisions. West Ham are also noted for being well below the norm for fouls in each game, meaning teams are forced into attempting to score from open play more often, resulting in less goals conceded.

What we see, in addition to this, is a distinct lack of variation in home vs away tactics, leaving Plan A the only option throughout the season and planning every game like it’s a home match reflected in just three away wins in 2012/2013 and a goal difference on the road of -20. Home form was much better with nine wins and a goal difference of +12. Big Sam will likely be relying on home comfort to guarantee them a respectable mid table finish this time round.

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