With a fibula injury sustained in the Premier League draw away at Huddersfield Town, West Ham United right-back Ryan Fredericks has been ruled out until the new year, worsening Manuel Pellegrini’s injury woes ahead of the busy festive period.
But just how much will the Hammers miss the man who joined the club on a free transfer from newly-promoted Fulham in the summer? Today, with a statistics-driven tactical analysis, we are going to attempt to answer that question.
Mixed Start To Life In Claret & Blue
Following the aforementioned switch from West London to East London which had been on the cards for some time when it was finalised in late May, it would be fair to say Fredericks has enjoyed a mixed start to life in Claret & Blue.
He attracted the attention of the Irons during the Cottagers’ promotion-winning Sky Bet Championship campaign last season, in which he was widely regarded as the best right-back in the English Football League, making 48 appearances and registering seven assists in all competitions.
This reputation helped Fredericks edge ahead of veteran Pablo Zabaleta in the right-back pecking order for the start of his maiden term at London Stadium, earning a place in the starting Xl for three of the first four league matches, but not doing so once since.
The 24-year-old started in the crushing opening day defeat at Liverpool, losing his place the following week and regaining it for losses to Arsenal and Wolverhampton Wanderers in the PL before losing it again and only featuring in the game he picked up the severe shin injury since. But Fredericks has started two of the three Carabao Cup clashes and largely impressed. A true mixed bag.
Heatmap And Position
For the first of two main stages of this tactical analysis and with the help of the below graphic provided by our good friends over at wyscout.com, we are going to analyse Fredericks’ heatmap and average position for 2018/2019 so far.
As you can see, to the left of the image is some brief information on the Englishman of Guyanese descent, including his height and weight, which help to make him one of the fastest and physical players in Pellegrini’s squad, he is also one of nine first-team summer signings.
To the right of a selection of PL stats from this campaign is his heatmap and position map, displaying that Fredericks has solely, when used, played in his native right-back position, bombing up and down the touchline with the great eagerness and energy he brings to the field. It won’t surprise you to learn he’s considered a more attack-minded full-back.
Next, and with Wyscout’s help once more, we are going to be taking an in-depth look at Fredericks’ key general average statistics in all competitions from his six competitive appearances in Claret & Blue, thus far.
The above image contains a breakdown of his stats for each of the outings individually, but it’s just the averages column for the former England youth international who has spent much of the season as Zabaleta’s understudy, we’re going to be focussing our attention on today.
The first stat we are drawn to, beside another mini heatmap, all of these figures being per 90 minutes, is his total average actions and rate of success in them, registering an impressive 59.4 and completing comfortably over 60 per cent of them.
Fredericks matches 0.18 goals per 90 minutes with 0.18 assists per 90 minutes, having registered one of both, which came in the same match. He scored a thunderous strike from range before setting up Robert Snodgrass in the remarkable 8-0 League Cup thrashing of Macclesfield Town at London Stadium in September.
The ex-Cottager has the same number for average shots, the only shot and shot on target of his West Ham career being the fourth goal in the 8-0 win, this is coupled with the lowest possible expected goals rating of 0.01, aside from 0.
These figures will disappoint the ex-Tottenham Hotspur star, with his threat going forward usually one of the strengths of his overall game, but evidently not so much in recent times. Although, as we can see, for a defender, his short and long passing statistics are more than respectable.
The theme of Fredericks on average completing over 50% of an aspect successfully is continued as we move on to crossing as he gets exactly half of his 2.9 on target, coupled with 78.9% of his 4.53 dribbles. As a skillful excellent crosser of the ball, these numbers are hardly a surprise.
The stats tell us that when he returns, being expected to around January or February 2019, he will want to improve on his duelling, getting involved in duels is not the problem, with nearly 14 and two duels and aerial duels per 90 minutes, winning them is with completion rates of 57.2% and 44.2%.
Fredericks’ average 3.8 interceptions show his above-par reading of the game at right-back and while his number of losses are high at 9.05, a low percentage of them come in his own half, along with a low percentage of his 6.7 recoveries coming in the opposition half. He has averaged 0.38 yellow cards and 0 red cards, with his disciplinary record, which isn’t the best, being just out the picture on the right.
Overall, there can be little doubting that a backup player who can produce some of these eye-catching average figures from a spell of such limited playing opportunities under Pellegrini is one that is pushing the man ahead of him to perform extremely well, which he has done. With these stats, Fredericks would warrant a starting place for many Premier League teams, statistically.
Overall, our statistical tactical analysis today has found that, even just as a back-up for the in-form Zabaleta, Fredericks is going to be a considerable miss for West Ham in the two-to-three months that he is going to be missing with the injury sustained in his cameo at the John Smith’s Stadium.
To have a star more than deserving of a consistent run in the first team at his disposal, one capable of producing the impressive averages we’ve seen in just six games, would have been a huge bonus and relief for Pellegrini. Should Zabaleta pick up an injury, which is likely at 34, the East Londoners will find themselves with little-to-no back up to come in and plug the gap, this may force their hand in terms of January transfer window recruitment.
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