Stat Attack - Leicester

We take a look at the numbers behind Saturday's game against Leicester City

The result may have gone against West Ham United on Saturday, but what is already clear from their first two games of the Barclays Premier League season is that a shift in their style of play is already taking effect.

Slaven Bilic’s men enjoyed 69.9 per cent possession against Leicester City, monopolising the ball to such an extent that they attempted more than twice as many passes as their opponents.

West Ham players tried 553 passes on Saturday, with just 16 per cent of them going long – far below Leicester’s 30.1 per cent.

A look back to the same fixture last year – which the Hammers won 2-0 – tells you that the east London side on that occasion only enjoyed 47.8 per cent possession and made 347 passes.

What the results of those two matches might suggest is that passes and possession are not the only factor behind gaining a positive result, but it cannot be denied that in the long run a West Ham side enjoying more of the ball will be more successful in picking up positive results.

Perhaps the stat that makes Saturday’s result all the more perplexing is that West Ham were successful with 84 per cent of their passes and 72 per cent of their passes in the opposition half.

In their victory over the Foxes last term, the same stats sat at just 72 and 53 per cent respectively.

So, while this look at the passing data may prove that statistics are not everything in football, they also tell you that Slaven Bilic will still be encouraged by certain aspect of his team’s play and that he is already making his mark.

His major hope will be that they turn that possession into something more tangible against Bournemouth this Saturday.