West Ham started off with a 4-2-3-1 which in my opinion is our best team. In game it was bit more bizarre though with Bilic deploying Kouyate as a striker with Chicharito in order to win aerial balls with Lanzini dropping in to form a midfield 4. This was a short lived experiment though as Bilic brought on Ayew for Kouyate at half time. The 4 4 2 restricted Lanzini as he could not move into the pockets between the oppositions midfield and attack instead being forced to hold his position in order to keep shape. The 4 4 2 also made us very vulnerable to counter attacks which was shown from our second goal. Bilic just got it completely wrong.
Brighton went with a 4-4-1-1, defending in two solid banks of 4 with Gross deployed in behind Murray aiming to link between the midfield and the striker. The fullbacks were asked not to go forward too much and keep the shape. They were very compact and they aimed to use the pace on the wings to hit West Ham on the break quickly.
Brighton’s 1st goal:
Brighton’s first goal was another example of West Ham’s struggles from set pieces and crosses. It showed why zonal marking can be fatal if not executed correctly. West Ham allowed Murray to get a run on the ball and he was completely unmarked when the ball came in.
As you can see 3 players are around him but he still manages to get a free header on the ball. No one is claiming responsibility instead they fell asleep and allowed a shockingly soft goal.
Brighton’s 2nd goal:
The second goal was undoubtedly the most shocking of the lot and highlighted the lack of effort and commitment the West Ham players showed in the game. Joe Hart made a very good save, the ball was then regained quickly by Brighton and they started a quick counter attack. The West Ham players casually jogged back instead of trying to help out which allowed Izquierdo lots of space and he took good advantage of it.
Brighton’s 3rd goal:
The 3rd goal once again was the result of poor marking and defensive organisation from a cross. Murray was once again left completely unmarked at the back post and Zabaleta rashly tackled him. Most of West Ham’s goals this season have been from crosses and its obvious that we have a serious problem in dealing with them. The zonal marking system we deploy is also not doing us any favours as we are very disorganised and the defenders obviously lack cohesion. This means that our zonal marking system is very poor and costs us many goals ad in some cases points.
The game was a disaster tactically as Slaven got the tactics completely wrong. In addition to that the players showed no fight and commitment while Brighton were very well organised and they obviously had a very clear game plan. Our team is a tactical mess right now and we resemble a bunch of kids running like chickens with no clear tactical plan or shape and a clear lack of invention and flair. Playing Kouyate up top just showed the lack of tactical nous Bilic possesses, almost every game we are tactically outfoxed by the opposition. The team needs to stick their finger out and most of all from the tactical point of view Bilic if he’s still there by the next game needs to devise a clear tactical plan and tell the players exactly what he requires of them instead of leaving them to play like individuals.