web analytics
1 Comment

Pellegrini’s winning vision explained


Blind Hammer concludes his possession analysis as applied to Manuel Pellegrini’s West Ham vision.

In my last post I showed how data analysis across European leagues demonstrated how possession counts. Simply put, teams that control possession are, over time, more successful than those that do not.

Pellegrini understands this.  That is why West Ham’s 57% possession at Old Trafford was encouraging. Winning possession high up the pitch is part of his vision for West Ham.

This is why, when, last September, West Ham achieved only 28% possession against Chelsea, Pellegrini criticised his side’s performance.  Despite achieving a creditable draw, He commented that it is not enough to defend deeply against the top six sides.

Why does possession count?

There are complex reasons. However there are also a couple of basics.

Playing without ball possession is more physically draining and exhausting. A team has to provide enormous effort to cover and defend their goal without ball control. This may succeed in an occasional game, but over time represents a poor strategy.

This is why late goals by top six sides, against teams exhausted by lack of possession, is a familiar phenomenon. Top sides realise this and do not panic overmuch if an early goal is not forthcoming.

Above all possession is the most complete and absolute form of defence. When a team have possession it is impossible for opposition teams to score. Scoring goals is the hardest thing to do in football. Starving teams of the opportunity to do this will over time be more successful than not.

Pellegrini’s possession vision for West Ham is realistic. It is not an exclusive “big club” strategy. It has an earlier template. . Brendan Rogers, in his successful spell as Swansea manager, drilled this possession philosophy into his squad.

This meant that Swansea were not only easy on the eye, but throughout Roger’s tenure, punched way above their weight.

Pellegrini’s willingness to flood forward,  competing toe to toe against even top sides, is somewhat startling to observe. Stats show, however, that he deserves our support.

About Hugh5outhon1895

Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!" Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon

One comment on “Pellegrini’s winning vision explained

  1. Nice piece BH agree about the possession teams in general being more successful over time and that MP needs time to build our club, the flip side of this is that you must have players that understand pace, positioning and movement, at the moment their is imho a lack of football intelligence and vision in our midfield, I see so many runs made by players into spaces which would open up goal scoring chances but the player on the ball is not aware or lacks the technical ability to release the pass. MP wants those players like Nasri, Wilshere, Anderson, Yarmolenko to hit those passes obviously three quarters of those are not available due to injury so we need new fitter players that can nor only keep the ball but make good decisions when they are under pressure. The teams we struggle against are the dogged defenders or teams that are highly organised and patient enough to exploit our weaknesses such as between the left cb and lb position or when Fredericks is playing right back. We have moved forward this season but we must keep moving forward if not we will imho drop back to lower mid table.

Comments are closed.