Can West Ham survive? A season in stats

After the 4-1 defeat to Leicester on Wednesday, West Ham United remain level on points with both Watford and Bournemouth in the battle to avoid relegation from the Premier League.

How did we get here, and does David Moyes have what it takes to guide the club to safety... Again? This article will take a statistical deep dive into West Ham's season. Let's rewind, all the way back to August.

You could go as far as saying that West Ham actually had a good start to the season, losing just once in the Premier League before October. The opening day humiliation to Manchester City would be the only defeat in seven games for Manuel Pellegrini's side.

Embed from Getty Images

Optimism was in the air and the new signings had hit the ground running. Amazingly, the trip to Bournemouth on 28th September saw 6th hosting 5th. Fast forward to January 1st and the reverse fixture is the first victory for new manager David Moyes and a game between 16th and 17th.

During the early unbeaten run, West Ham scored two or more goals in four of six fixtures. What followed was remarkable, just two wins from the next 10 Premier League games. The victory against Manchester United in September would be the last home victory of the decade, with just a single point gained whilst playing at the London Stadium between October and January.

Goals are not the problem for West Ham this season, especially at home. They have scored in 91 percent of games at The London Stadium, ranking them ahead of Leicester, Chelsea, Tottenham and Sheffield United for this specific statistic. The Hammers have found the back of the net a total of 17 times whilst playing at home, and only the 'big six' (and Norwich) can boast better records.

So, what's the problem with this team?

Some still point towards the stadium and new surroundings for both the fans and players, but that excuse is wearing thin with many. The problem, at home especially, has been defending.

West Ham has conceded 1.82 goals per game when playing at The London Stadium. Only Southampton and Norwich have a worse record, with 2.33 and 2.08 respectively (and remember the 0-9 drumming from Leicester that will inflate this particular stat for Southampton). For West Ham, it's unfortunately a fair representation, with two or more goals conceded in six home games.

It could be that Pellegrini was more suited to playing away from home, or at least the stats suggest he was setting up his defence in a more successful way. His side conceded 1.27 goals per game on the road, a serious improvement on their home form and a statistic that puts them ahead of Tottenham, Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United.

Embed from Getty Images

Personally, I think it comes down to the elephant in the room, or in this case, the non-footballer between the goalposts. Let's talk about Roberto, who has now completed his move away from West Ham. He'll be playing for Alaves until the end of the season.

The stats are crystal clear with this one. During Roberto's terrible stint in the starting lineup, he conceded 1.97 goals per game. This is incredibly bad, especially over a shorter span of games.

In comparison, Lukasz Fabianski has conceded just 1.05 goals per game, whilst David Martin conceded 1.24 goals per game across his five Premier League appearances. There's no doubt in my mind that if Fabianski had stayed injury-free this season that West Ham would be in a much better position. That's not to excuse the rest of the defence, who must be better and had shown promising signs under David Moyes this month.

So, do Moyes and West Ham have enough about them to avoid being part of the relegation battle? I think so, but the run of fixtures is not kind and it could get worse before it gets better.

The next 10 games in the Premier League sees West Ham play eight teams currently in the top half, including the Premier League's most in-form team Liverpool... Twice! Here's the full list:

Liverpool (H)
Brighton (H)
Manchester City (A)
Liverpool (A)
Southampton (H)
Arsenal (A)
Wolves (H)
Tottenham (A)
Chelsea (H)
Newcastle (A)

Realistically, how many points do you think West Ham can accrue during this spell? I believe it will be a defining period for David Moyes and his players.

One player in particular that will be hoping for an improved second half to the season is S?bastien Haller. The Frenchman scored three goals in his opening three games for West Ham but has since notched only three in the following 19 Premier League games. Another task for Moyes this month is finding the creative spark that once lived in players such as Andriy Yarmolenko, Felipe Anderson and Pablo Fornals.

The performances of this triplet has been below par. At times, Robert Snodgrass has looked like the player most likely to create something. Nothing against Snodgrass, but he's a player that was once deemed not good enough and brought back to the club.

Embed from Getty Images

We all know that the aforementioned players have it in them to win any game of football with a single moment of magic. Manuel Lanzini's lack of form represents a huge loss, and whilst I feel very sorry for him and his recent injury battles it's time for the rest of the side to step up to the plate.

The question that David Moyes will be asking is: are these players willing to do whatever it takes to save this club? Will they give everything, despite their own intentions and habits on the pitch? The answer could very well be no, as it was with Xherdan Shaqiri at Stoke City. If that's the case, David and his team have a week to bring in proven Premier League quality to the club.

Who would you like to see at the club, and do you feel the players mentioned have done enough to earn their place in the side this season? Tell us on the KUMB Forum.

* Like to share your thoughts on this article? Please visit the KUMB Forum to leave a comment.

More Opinion