Man City Show the Value of Counter-Attacking for Big Teams

Football isn’t always easy for the big teams. They often come up against well organised defensive units and, most of the time, those units will sit back in a compact shape to make themselves difficult to penetrate. This means scoring isn’t a straightforward proposition, and sometimes, despite the quality of player lining up for the […]

Oscar Highlights his Defensive Quality in Chelsea’s Win over West Ham

After a bit of back and forth between the 4-3-3 and the 4-2-4 formations, Chelsea started the new Premier League campaign, their first under Antonio Conte, using the former. That allowed them to field a three-man midfield for the season opener against West Ham, and despite the availability of Cesc Fabregas, Conte opted to play […]

Why Dimitri Payet Can Be France’s Technical Leader at Euro 2016

Dimitri Payet again stole the headlines on Monday night, this time with a last-minute winner to lift France to a dramatic 3-2 victory over Cameroon. Given the way he has cemented his reputation as a free-kick specialist since moving to West Ham, perhaps it shouldn’t come as any great surprise that his moment in the […]

Valencia and Payet Key to the Drama in West Ham’s Final Game at Upton Park

So much came out of West Ham’s thrilling 3-2 victory over Manchester United on Tuesday night that it’s hard to know how well the on-pitch action will be remembered. For the most part, the talk surrounded West Ham’s last game at Upton Park, a ground that has been their home for 112 years, and while […]

Could Argentines Mauro Zarate and Manuel Lanzini be the Answer for West Ham?

A little while ago, LTR took a look at how West Ham could plug the hole left by Dimitri Payet. Obviously, they don’t have a single individual who can slot into the side and provide the same kind of drive and dynamism, but across a squad packed with depth in its attacking ranks, there are […]

West Ham: A look At Why Manuel Lanzini Can Replace Dimitri Payet

In the days prior to the international break, West Ham hosted Everton at Upton Park. The match ended in a 1-1 draw, but before the match meandered towards its conclusion, Slaven Bilic’s men were brilliant in the first half. In attack, especially, they seemed to have found an impressive level of balance. Dimitri Payet drifted […]

Analysis: Newcastle Falter in the Face of Dimitri Payet-Inspired West Ham

For Newcastle, their Monday night clash against West Ham represented a chance to do a bit more with the ball. In their previous three fixtures, Steve McClaren’s men, admittedly not assisted by two first-half dismissals, saw well under 50% of possession. Against Swansea it was 36%, against Manchester United it was 34% and against Arsenal, […]

Arsenal Need to Retrieve Last Season’s Balance in Order to Improve

  Balance is an important concept in football. It’s one which allows sides to find a happy medium, whether that be between attack and defence, physicality and technique or results and aesthetics. For managers, it’s arguably the most significant reference point, not just in relation to crafting a team, but also in creating a system […]

Reece Oxford Gets the Fundamentals Perfect in Dream EPL Debut for West Ham

“It wasn’t like, ‘Let’s sit Reece in a dark room and tell him’. “It was kind of natural. He does not get fazed. If [Lionel] Messi was in front of me, I’d be more fazed than Reece,” explained West Ham’s manager, Slaven Bilic, following Reece Oxford’s dream debut. The decision to start him was something […]

Dimitri Payet: The Assist-Generating Sensation Hoping to Make it at West Ham

Since the completion of last season, Olympique de Marseille have endured a period of upheaval. They lost Andre-Pierre Gignac to Mexican side Tigres, while another of their star performers, Andre Ayew, swapped the Stade Velodrome for a stint with Swansea City. Giannelli Imbula also moved to Porto, and then there was the shift of consistent […]