It was another disappointing afternoon for West Ham fans on Saturday, as Slaven Bilic’s side stretched their winless run in the Premier League to five games – most troublingly, losing their last three and conceding six goals in the process.
Indeed, the Hammers’ turbulent campaign has taken another nosedive but if there was one positive to take from the weekend’s action at the London Stadium, it was the Irons’ efforts going forward. They finished the match with almost twice the amount of attempts at goal as victors Leicester City, including two more shots on target, and also enjoyed the lion’s share of possession.
Star striker Andy Carroll was at the heart of the action, even though he failed to get on the scoresheet. As our infographic shows, the towering front-man won a staggering 19 aerial duels – which has a strong shout for being the most of any player in a single Premier League game this season – tested Kasper Schmeichel three times and laid on four chances for his team-mates, including the assist for Andre Ayew’s 63rd minute strike.
In a committed display, the centre-forward also chipped in with four clearances, highlighting his ability to impact at both ends of the pitch and further aid his side when defending set pieces.
Last week, Gareth Southgate named his England squad for an upcoming friendly with Germany and World Cup qualifier against Lithuania, and despite Harry Kane, Wayne Rooney and Daniel Sturridge all being ruled out through injury, Carroll missed out on a spot in the three-man strike-force.
But the performance against Leicester showed what the 28-year-old can offer England; virtually unplayable aerial menace, commitment defensively and a focal point that can breed chances for attacking players around him. Judging by his display on Saturday, Southgate may come to regret leaving Carroll out of his latest squad selection.