West Ham United supporters might have missed an important statistical trend during the club’s sputtering start to the Premier League season. All of the Hammers’ league wins this season have been by 1-0 score lines. What is statistical significance in that score line? Ask Leicester City, which had seven 1-0 wins last season on the way to capturing its long-shot title.
Statistics don’t always the entire story. Intangibles and variables are at play throughout any match. Statistics, however, can be an excellent snapshot of what is going right, wrong or something in between.
Stuck in the middle
Nearly half of the Hammers’ touches this season (47 percent) has been in the middle of the park, which is not an alarming number by itself, but when combined with the fact that 65 percent of their shots are coming right down the middle, the numbers say West Ham needs to get a bit more width in possession and where it finishes in attack.
West Ham is eighth in the Premier League this season with 15.3 shots per game, but only 19 percent of those shots have been on target, which is the league’s lowest percentage. That’s a steep drop from last season, which the Hammers put 33 percent of their shots on target.
Boost from Ayew
André Ayew, who has recovered from a thigh injury, is expected to feature this weekend. Ayew played just 35 minutes in the Hammers’ opening match and the club has missed his potential contributions since his record signing from Swansea City this summer. Ayew was coming off scoring 12 goals in 34 matches for Swansea last season, which was the first time Ayew had reached double digits in goals in any league season. Ayew’s previous best was nine goals with Marseille twice (2012-13 and 2014-15).
Dmitri Payet and Michail Antonio have forged a partnership that leads to goals. Payet has assisted on three of Antonio’s five goals this season, with this sublime bit of skill vs Watford at the top of the ladder.
Yeah, they were all yellow … cards
Nod to Coldplay aside, this is about the 23 yellow cards the Hammers have been shown in their first nine matches, which is tied for second-most in the Premier League behind Watford (25).