Having been out with an ankle injury since the Premier League draw at Huddersfield Town in November, right-back Ryan Fredericks made a full return to the first team of Manuel Pellegrini’s West Ham United in the London Stadium draw with Liverpool earlier this month.
His performance that night was enough to earn Fredericks a second consecutive league start for the first time since joining from Fulham last summer, in another draw, at Crystal Palace last Saturday. But how has the 26-year-old truly fared since his full return? Join us as we find out with a statistical tactical analysis.
For the main phase of this analysis, we are going to be analysing the contents of the below wyscout.com image, containing Fredericks’ defensive stats from the Reds and Eagles stalemates, as well as his career average for these figures.
It’s just the figures from the respective 1-1 draws that we will be primarily looking at in-depth today, although those and his average stats from his eight-year playing career thus far do make for an interesting comparison.
Our first stat is defensive duels and the percentage of them won. This column is situated beside sections detailing Fredericks’ position of right-back during the two games and his minutes played in each. Playing the full 94 minutes in the first and 85 before being substituted for Pablo Zabaleta, in the second at Selhurst Park.
The first time around, the Tottenham Hotspur Academy graduate is involved in a high seven against the stellar attack of the then-league-leaders but can’t win any and is embroiled in 12 the next time around, winning two. For a player of only 5 ft 11 in not usually involved in aerial battles, a combined one won out of four aerial duels for the two intense clashes is impressive.
The tackling of Fredericks was clearly better in the London derby, after he had more time to settle back into things after his long-term lay-off, winning one of two sliding tackles on that day.
But something he did very well in both, as we can see, is intercepting the ball. A far-above-average seven in each encounter is nothing short of eye-catching for the former England youth international known more for his attacking exploits from full-back, rather than his defensive ones.
Equally, however, he recorded a high 14 losses in both, a not-so-handsome figure, despite partially making up for it with his combined total of 17 recoveries for the two matchdays. Interestingly, Fredericks was not forced to block a shot in either match.
Another sign that the Englishman’s defensive capabilities have improved and are improving lies in the clearances and fouls committed stats. Against Liverpool, he cleared the ball on four occasions and only committed two fouls and against Palace, a great eight clearances and once again, a mere pair of fouls were registered.
The fouls figures are particularly impressive when you consider the calibre of attackers Fredericks came up against in the two encounters. In addition, as is the fact that the man of Guyanese descent avoided any kind of card at London Stadium and Selhurst.
Overall, these figures are excellent for a defender returning to the fray for two very demanding matches, on the back of over two months on the sidelines with injury. They’re something for Fredericks to improve on going forward as he gets fitter with some excellent stats, but others that are in need of significant improvement in future matches.
There can be little doubting that in conclusion, as our statistics-driven tactical analysis today has proven, Fredericks has fared very well since his return to full first-team action in East London. And Pellegrini will be very impressed by one of his first signings in the job at London Stadium.
Now that the right-back has edged ahead of veteran Zabaleta in the pecking order at West Ham and is in line for a third league start on the bounce against his former club Fulham next Friday night, he will be very eager to push on. And with some of the stats we’ve looked at, who would bet against Fredericks having a strong finish to a frustrating maiden season in Claret & Blue?
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