Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Arnautovic to West Ham?

West Ham United had an average season of Premier League football. Not really setting the league alight like they did in the 15/16 season with Dimitri Payet in their team. An 11th place finish meant that they would enjoy another year of Premier League football but had taken a big step back in their hopes of reaching European competitions.

I’m sure Hammers fans would agree that their side were incredibly poor in spells last season, on three separate occasions going entire months without a league win! And I’ll be honest, I’m confused as to why…

Stoke have place a £20 million price tag on Marko Arnautovic's head.
They have some extremely underrated defenders. The likes of Jose Fonte, Ogbonna and Winston Reid are all good defenders. Even James Collins is good cover as a fourth choice centre back...I suppose.
Obiang, Kouyate and Noble are good players at breaking up play in midfield, Angelo Obiang and Cheikhou Kouyate being especially good at reading the game as they both make 2.8 and 2.5 interceptions per game respectively.

In my opinion what they lack is a next level attacking playmaker and a striker who can stick the ball in the back of the net. And it seems that the club think this too as rumours are circulating that West Ham are looking to bring in Marko Arnautovic from Stoke.

Now Marko Arnautovic is an OK player, he’s been impressive for The Potters for a number of years now but in my opinion West Ham should be looking for a next level player. The reason I say this is because the Austrian international just doesn’t make enough of an impact in games.

BOOM! He can definitely produce moments of magic like this but could he do it
for The Irons?
Last season Stoke’s number 10 scored a poor 6 goals from 61 chances. That means that he needed 10 chances to score just 1 goal. On top of that he wasn’t particularly great creatively, creating only 52 chances and gaining 5 assists. Payet had better creative stats last season and he only played til January!

There are many next level midfielders that West Ham can choose from throughout Europe. One they have already missed out on is Pascal Groß who has just signed for Brighton from relegated Ingolstadt. The young German showed amazing quality last season but couldn’t stave off relegation.

Despite his side being relegated from the Bundesliga, Groß created a whopping 99 chances, making him the most creative player in the league ahead of the likes of Ribery (49), Muller (61), Robben (60) and even Emil Forsberg (93) who had the most league assists with 19. Watch this space, he’ll be cracking for Brighton next season and if they get a striker to match his quality Albion could push for mid table!

Groß (left) and Larsson should be the kind of players West Ham look for.
One player The Irons should look towards is Swedish wonderkid Sam Larsson from Eredivisie side Heerenveen. He’s only 24 and managed to create 73 chances last season, getting 12 assists along the way. Heerenveen finished 12th but if not for Larsson’s input, would most likely have been relegated!

Larsson would be a perfect addition but there’s no point creating chances if you haven’t got someone to stick them in the net. Truth be told West Ham do have some lethal goalscorers. Andy Carroll scored 7 goals from 40 chances last season - giving him a chance conversion rate of 18%. In layman’s terms it would take him just over 5 chances to score 1 goal.

Diafra Sakho didn’t get much playing time last season but still managed 1 goal from 4 chances giving him a chance conversion rate of 25% (1 goal every 4 chances). Like I said, these are not dreadful strikers when fit...but of course their fitness is their problem. If the two of them could keep fit for an entire season, I fully believe that they would be prolific but at this moment neither can be relied upon consistently.

If Carroll could keep fit, the stats show he'd score 15-16 goals a season. Is this enough
for The Hammers?
Good alternatives in my opinion would be Bournemouth’s Josh King or Swansea’s Fernando Llorente! Both players were banging them in for fun last year as the Norwegian’s goals pushed Bournemouth to mid table while the Spaniard’s goals helped keep Swansea just clear of relegation. But how would they help West ham?

Well Josh King scored 16 goals from 69 chances last season meaning he scored 23% of the chances put in front of him. Now when you take into account that Andy Carroll got 2.2 chances per game last year and had a chance conversion rate of 18%, we can work out how many goals King would have scored if he played for West Ham.

If King played all 38 games for West Ham and was presented with 2.2 chances per game and scored 23% of those chances he would have finished last season with around 19-20 goals!
~ *eurgh* maths…~

Josh King enjoyed his best season last year, knocking in 19 goals in all competitions.
The same can be worked out for Fernando Llorente who scored 15 goals from 53 chances giving him a chance conversion rate of 28%. If the Swansea hitman played all 38 games for West Ham, got 2.2 chances per game and finished 28% of those chances, he’d have ended last season with around 23-24 goals!

Obviously these are just numbers at the end of the day. Putting them into practise is an entirely different kettle of fish but it is interesting to see how strikers match up with each other. It’s also interesting to see how other players could have affected your team.

Anyways best of luck to West Ham next season. I really hope they do make that next step up the league as I’ve always had a soft spot for them ever since they scored THAT goal to send the pigs down. And because it’s my blog I think I’ll finish with that…

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Cheers for reading.

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