It’s fair to say that there were a few below-par performances from West Ham United players as they lost local bragging rights to Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon.
However, there was one player in particular who wasn’t at the races, drawing criticism from supporters and pundits alike for arguably the worst performance of his short career at London Stadium, so far. Today, we are going to carry out a statistics-driven tactical analysis of that star’s display, analysing some key stats, a heatmap and comparing him to one of his opposite numbers, to find out just how bad he was.
For the first phase of our analysis, we are going to take an in-depth look at some of the player in question, club-record signing Felipe Anderson’s key general statistics from two days ago.
To do this, we have enlisted the help of our good friends over at wyscout.com to bring you the above graphic, containing the block of Anderson’s stats from the 0-1 defeat.
As you can see, the ex-Brazilian International was only on the London Stadium pitch for 59 minutes before being substituted to cheers from the Claret & Blue Army, for Michail Antonio. In this time, a mere 19 of 39, or 49 per cent of his total actions were successful.
He failed to register a goal or assist unlike his last home appearance and possessed an expected goals rating of just 0.12, managing to be ambitious enough to get a single shot off at Hugo Lloris in the right forward role, which wasn’t on target.
The 26-year-old deserves to be cut some slack for his 81% pass completion, but this becomes slightly less impressive when you see he only attempted 21 passes and just one long pass, again, it wasn’t accurate.
The shoddy stats of Anderson continue as we move onto crosses and dribbles and the rate of success in them, attempting one of each and failing on both occasions, whilst being involved in 14 duels and winning just 14%, never entering an aerial duel.
Anderson, signed in the summer from Lazio for a fee rising to near enough £50 million, did manage to make a single interception and on the two occasions he lost the ball, one endangered his teammates in his own half, though, he did make two recoveries, also one in each half.
If you look at the column above the match stats we’ve been analysing, you will see a career average for these stats and the figures there tell you everything you need to know about the quality of Anderson’s display, 59 minutes to forget for the 2016 Olympic gold medallist.
If those stats weren’t quite convincing enough for you, we are also going to analyse the below heatmap, taken from whoscored.com, of the Brazilian’s poor showing on Saturday.
The first thing that the image tells us is that Anderson could only touch the ball a meagre 38 times, his manager Manuel Pellegrini will always be looking for him to be a lot more involved in the game than that, hence why him leaving the field prematurely only improved the team’s performance.
Operating as the left half of an attacking front three, the heatmap tells us that Anderson, firstly, didn’t track back to help Aaron Cresswell near enough, as he rarely appears in that area. Secondly, he drifted inside from his position too often, it was a positional display that was lacking, like his display in all other areas.
For the final part of our tactical analysis, we have once more used WhoScored, to create a comparison between Anderson and a Tottenham player playing in a similar position to him.
The player we have selected is Lucas Moura, operating on the left side of Spurs’ attacking three, much like Anderson is, and below the formation map is the key stats on the basis of which we will pit them against each other.
Without looking too in-depth at the stats, we can already see that there is one clear winner in this battle and unsurprisingly, it’s not the Hammer involved, but the Lilywhites’ in-form January-2018 arrival, Moura.
The ex-PSG man has a much-higher match rating than his fellow countryman, achieving 7.38 to his exceptionally low 5.79 out of ten and enjoyed more of the possession with 4.1% to his 2.5%.
Whilst Moura was on the field for over 30 minutes longer than his compatriot, he doesn’t actually have as many shots attempted than him, having zero goes at Lukasz Fabianski and his pass completion is marginally inferior, though he attempted much more passes.
Anderson, who is wrongly down as playing out-and-out left wing in a midfield four within a 4-1-4-1 in the image, can only record a higher figure in one more stat, corners taken, and even with them, he struggled to put the ball into a dangerous area and at times, beat the first man.
Moura reigns supreme in the remaining four stats, comfortably attempting more dribbles than his opposite number, coming out on top in more aerial duels, committing himself to more tackles and dispossessing an opponent more often.
The way in which the Spurs star is able to beat the East Londoners’ showcase summer signing with ease when it comes to the majority of the stats that matter, without having his best day will concern everyone in the Hammers camp. This confounds our points about Anderson’s unacceptable performance.
In conclusion, our statistical tactical analysis today has found that critics who claim it was Anderson’s worst showing in a West Ham shirt were not lying, as he was nothing short of diabolical at times, in contrary to the good form he has shown since his big-money move.
Despite this and the fact that he came nowhere near his opposition in terms of performance levels, this display has to go down as a bad day at the office for the No8, one that the player and the fans must forget and move on from. He can’t be judged on one performance and should he start, has a strong chance to bounce back away at Leicester City next weekend.