Stat's a Fact - Newcastle analysis

The Hammers enjoyed 59 per cent possession on Sunday, yet only registered four shots. We take a look at some of the reasons here

Sunday’s 2-0 defeat at Newcastle had a familiar feel to it.
Goals, so free-flowing for the Hammers as they swept into the top four before Christmas, have been far more of a struggle since, with just five to the east Londoners’ name from their last eleven outings.
At St James’ Park at the weekend, West Ham enjoyed the lion’s share of possession – 59.2 per cent to the Magpies’ 40.8 – and outpassed their opponents by 486 to 323.
However, this domination of the ball did not manifest itself in chances created. Newcastle sent 17 shots at Adrian’s goal, hitting the target with four, while Big Sam’s men had just four shots in total and one on target.

The two heatmaps from Sunday's game - Newcastle (l) and West Ham (r)
Why was that the case? At the first level, an analysis of the game’s heatmaps shows that the majority of West Ham’s play took place in the middle third of the pitch.
Their presence in the Newcastle box is conspicuous by its absence, compared to what the Magpies managed with far less possession.
Similarly, an analysis of the Hammers’ passes throughout the game tells the same story.
There can be no doubting that the injuries to Andy Carroll and Diafra Sakho have hit the Hammers hard since those heady pre-Christmas days, and that is clearly evidenced when they struggle to turn good possession into meaningful attacking play.
Two of the Hammers' last three goals have come from set plays, but this squad clearly possess the ability to create, as was shown in the first half of the campaign.
Whoever takes over the reins for next year will hope to see a full complement of attacking players return as quickly as possible, so that form can be refound.
Click here for more stats from Sunday’s game.