Another poor away performance, 70% possession & over 500 passes!- Talking Points from Cardiff v West Ham

Mark Noble’s 400th league appearance for West Ham ended in defeat as they turned in a lacklustre performance to go down 2-0 to relegation threatened Cardiff. Goals in either half from Junior Hoilett and Victor Camarasa sealed a 2-0 win for the Bluebirds. Let’s take a look at the main talking points from the game.

West Ham very sluggish and off the pace

Literally every pundit predicted a West Ham win before the game. Few gave a Cardiff side who had conceded 10 goals in the last three games a chance against Manuel Pellegrini’s men, but the home team not only picked up all three points, but also kept a clean sheet.

This was in someway a typical West Ham performance against lower ranked opposition. With Wolves and Watford away at Chelsea and Man City respectively, this was a great opportunity for the Hammers to heap pressure on their nearest rivals. Instead they fluffed their lines badly and turned in one of their worst performances of the season. Cardiff were physical and niggly, and West Ham’s players failed to adapt.

It took them over 70 minutes to register their first shot on target! There were only two notable chances- one a long range Rice effort denied by the woodwork, and another one from Arnautovic that was parried away by Neil Etheridge.

At the final whistle, West Ham had 70% of possession and had made over 500 passes- Cardiff by comparison had made a little over 200 with a pass accuracy of only 67%. Yet the Bluebirds had more clear cut chances than their opponents.

Rice and Fabianski the only positives in Noble’s 400th league game.

As it’s so often happened this season in a poor performance, Declan Rice and Lukasz Fabianski were the only shining lights for this West Ham team. Fabianski made a terrific double save in the second half and without him, the Hammers may have easily lost 3 or 4-0.

Noble won’t look too fondly upon his 400th league appearance. The Cardiff midfield trio of Gunnarsson, Arter and Camarasa outshone the Hammers, and Pellegrini had hooked Anderson, Noble and Lanzini by the hour mark- so frustrated was he by his side’s sluggish play.

Fredericks onside

Ryan Fredericks didn’t appear to be on the same wavelength as the rest of his defence for the offside trap against Palace last month. It didn’t cost them there, but did so here. Everyone thought Camarasa was offside for his goal, only for the wide angle to reveal that Fredericks had played him onside. With that goal went West Ham’s slim chances of taking something from the game.

Worrying away performances

The Hammers are winless away on the road in 2019 with six defeats and a draw in their last seven. For some reason, they don’t seem to really turn up for away games and this inconsistency must be frustrating for Pellegrini.

Referee Graham Scott

Scott seemed to be content to allow things to flow and kept his cards in his pocket- more of a laissez faire attitude. There was an early Harry Arter challenge for which the medio should’ve seen yellow- it might have reduced the free for all nature of the game. Late in the fixture, there was a dangerous collision between Fabianski and Sean Morrison, which some may have seen worthy of a red for the Cardiff defender rather than the yellow he received.

WHUCAR

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