WHO Poll
Q: 2023/24 Hopes & aspirations for this season
a. As Champions of Europe there's no reason we shouldn't be pushing for a top 7 spot & a run in the Cups
24%
  
b. Last season was a trophy winning one and there's only one way to go after that, I expect a dull mid table bore fest of a season
17%
  
c. Buy some f***ing players or we're in a battle to stay up & that's as good as it gets
20%
  
d. Moyes out
36%
  
e. New season you say, woohoo time to get the new kit and wear it it to the pub for all the big games, the wags down there call me Mr West Ham
3%
  



Alan 1:07 Wed Sep 6
Sky Sports' Kudus Analysis
Sky Sports

Analysis

Mohammed Kudus to West Ham: How FC Nordsjaelland’s ‘accelerated learning’ means Ghanaian is Premier League ready

With exclusive insight from former FC Nordsjaelland coach Flemming Pedersen, Adam Bate examines how Mohammed Kudus is a player mature beyond his years and why this entertainer is ready to make an immediate impact under David Moyes at West Ham

Adam Bate

When Mohammed Kudus made his Premier League debut at Kenilworth Road, he was the youngest West Ham player on the pitch. In fact, at 23, he had almost three years on the next youngest of the 14 players used by David Moyes at Luton that evening.

As a result, the temptation might be to view Kudus as a project signing even at £38m. One for the future, a player who will need time to assimilate to the demands. It would be a mistake. Kudus is a long-term investment but a player ready to make an impact now.

He has packed plenty in already since arriving in Europe at the age of 17. West Ham supporters will remember his World Cup goals but it is two years now since he won the double with Ajax and five since his debut for Danish club FC Nordsjaelland.

Throughout it all, he has always entertained.

"Expect a player who wants to please the crowd, wants to express himself," former Nordsjaelland boss Flemming Pedersen tells Sky Sports. "He is such a technically skilful player. He has these amazing individual skills. And then, he has this extreme physical power."

It is an unusual combination. The trickiest of dribblers tend to come with a slender frame but Kudus is stocky, able to take up position in the centre of the pitch and then burst through the spaces with that winger-like ability to glide beyond and between.

"It is not normal to see a player retain their balance in one-on-one duels with such a low centre of gravity. Sometimes you think he must fall and then half a metre from the ground he works himself up again and goes on this slaloming dribble between opponents."

Predictably, he was adored at FC Nordsjaelland and the same was true of his time in Amsterdam. Perhaps more surprisingly, according to his former coach, it was a view shared by supporters of the opposition too. West Ham have had a few like that over the years.

"Even the fans from other clubs in Denmark loved to watch him," laughs Pedersen. There is a quiet confidence to Kudus too. Pedersen once asked him if he realised he was the best player in the competition. With a smile, he confirmed that he did.

"He is extremely humble," insists Pedersen. "But he has a good sense of humour. You have to get into his head. He will not approach you so it is important for the coaching staff to get to know him. Just give him the chance to open up because he has so much to offer."

In that respect, Pedersen likens him to Michael Essien, another Ghanaian, now working as part of the coaching staff at Nordsjaelland. Essien was 22 when he came to the Premier League and immediately earned his place in Chelsea's title-winning team.

There is a reason why Pedersen is convinced that Kudus has the mentality to make the adjustment too. His three years at Ajax will help, of course, a period in which he proved himself at Champions League level, scoring goals against Liverpool and Napoli.

But it owes much to his background within the Right to Dream academy in Ghana, the education that they provide for their players, and the seamless transition to the European game that follows at Nordsjaelland - the club bought by the academy for this purpose.

Selling the next game's next stars is part of the model and Kudus was among the first to make the step. They knew that the demand was for young talent, but young talent that already had the tactical acumen to adapt to the toughest competitions in Europe.

They call it accelerated learning.

"We want to create this safe environment where players dare to play with risk," says Pedersen. "This is so important with young players. The reason why we call it accelerated learning is because when you are 20 you should play like you are 27."

But how do you actually coach that?

"There are several parts to it," he explains.

"The first part of it is to give them a clear style of play with clear principles so they do not get lost in the game because the game can be so complex. We decrease the player's options in the game so that instead of having 10 possibilities, they have five."

Speed and accuracy are essential at the top level. This helps with both. "In our experience, your decision-making is quicker and there is a higher probability of success." But surely decreasing the options stifles creativity? No, insists Pedersen. It helps it flourish.

"Decreasing the options gives them a structure. It is definitely not rigid. Within that framework, players can be creative. For example, before you receive the ball, if you already have a couple of plans in mind, you have more energy to make a creative decision."

The stream of players emerging from the Right to Dream academy before making their way through the Nordsjaelland system and moving on to bigger things would suggest that the model is working. Kudus was the first but he was certainly not the last.

Kamaldeen Sulemana and Simon Adingra made their Premier League debuts even before Kudus, the latter marking his with a goal on the opening weekend of this season. Ernest Nuamah, 19, joined Lyon this summer in a club record sale for Nordsjaelland.

All have their own journey to make.

"Players are not bricks to be put in position," says Pedersen. "That is too rigid. They are human beings with their own thoughts and ideas. The best way to align that with our style of play is to get into their head and understand how they are thinking."



It will be fascinating to see how David Moyes plans to use Kudus.

Thanks to his education, there are options. "He is in a team sport so there is a framework in which he must play but he can play several positions depending on the style of play and how the coach wants him to play together with his team-mates," says Pedersen.

"At FC Nordsjaelland, we used him as a central midfielder, going from box to box. We also used him as a more offensive midfielder and as a false number nine. But I think the best position for him at West Ham, at least at the start, would be towards the right."

By that, Pedersen means the channel rather than sticking him out on the wing. "Not as a right-winger, although he can go on the outside, but playing in that right half-space, and having a good offensive full-back outside him to provide depth."

He does not doubt that Kudus has the talent and mentality to shine. He may be a relative youngster at West Ham but this is no fledgling. "Two years in Denmark. Three years at the best club in Holland where they are always expected to win," adds Pedersen.

"He is ready for the Premier League."

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Side of Ham 12:27 Sun Sep 10
Re: Sky Sports' Kudus Analysis
No dolphy, in writing this belowearlier trying to be clever you admitted there’s a problem….Sherlock….

“SoH

"If our best attacking threat loses form, we're going to struggle"

"If the opposition nullify our two creative central midfielders, we're going to struggle to create chances"

No. Shit. Sherlock”

Now answer the question not so clever bollocks….

dolph 12:15 Sun Sep 10
Re: Sky Sports' Kudus Analysis
You're demanding a solution to a problem that doesn't exist. No real interest in carrying this on in a thread that should have resulted in positive responses regarding the potential of Kudus and what he could bring to our team.

Must be shit being so miserable SoH.

Side of Ham 8:41 Sat Sep 9
Re: Sky Sports' Kudus Analysis
No I haven’t gone all Texas you just can’t give a good response to the question put to you, naming three squad players isn’t an answer it’s you hoping one of them can cover Ward Prowse or Paqueta for a decent period. Only one of those is a serious possibility and that’s the unproven Kudus who himself will fuck off for the AFCON.

Try again…this time add a formation that gives us a way of playing without relying on a ball over the top ora set play….

dolph 5:00 Sat Sep 9
Re: Sky Sports' Kudus Analysis
SoH

You've gone full Texas in your writing style there. Painful to read and tedious to reply to.

Are you this desperate to find something to blame Moyes for, that you're providing hypothetical problems and hypothesising that he won't have a solution for them? Weird.

As it stands we've got Fornals, Kudus and Cornet on the bench as attacking subs. I'm sure they'll be used with varying degrees of success throughout the season. Problem solved?

Side of Ham 4:31 Sat Sep 9
Re: Sky Sports' Kudus Analysis
dolphy…

Firstly you’ve put quote marks on something I didn’t write, so just put quote marks to what a person actually writes in future, otherwise you’ll be down as untrustworthy….

Secondly if you see it, and all the rest of us see it…..how are we going to counter that? What players or formation change do we bring in…..bad management to not foresee this is going to be a problem….like we have…

….step up son with some solutions or will there be no answers from you….educate the Moyes haters…..

dolph 1:48 Sat Sep 9
Re: Sky Sports' Kudus Analysis
SoH

"If our best attacking threat loses form, we're going to struggle"

"If the opposition nullify our two creative central midfielders, we're going to struggle to create chances"

No. Shit. Sherlock.

Side of Ham 10:31 Sat Sep 9
Re: Sky Sports' Kudus Analysis
Moyes’s system relies on getting a good start which is the first couple of months. His system is also about not having the ball which is a draining factor and builds into a barrier once injuries & loss of form kicks in. So far I’ve seen Antonio smash in a couple of tidy shots, Bowen put away his couple of touches of the ball during a whole game which he is happy with and Benrahma make an excellent cross field assist pass. Now out of those three only not one can have the first 4 games as their normal level. We also all know that if you control Ward Prowse and Paqueta our front three and our set piece threat is ineffective.

There’s only one player who may be able to possibly cater for this and it is Kudus other than that I’m open to suggestion from the experts on here…..

Manuel 5:45 Sat Sep 9
Re: Sky Sports' Kudus Analysis
Griffin pretty much nailed it just recently when he said that this season we have gone back to being a counter attacking side, where last season we were just a defensive side, so we are looking better and took Brighton apart on the break, which funny enough I enjoyed. I'd hate to set up like the Villa boss does, what a fucking mess they look. There is good reason to be optimistic right now, to paint a picture of doom and gloom just ain't right.

Manuel 5:23 Sat Sep 9
Re: Sky Sports' Kudus Analysis
''we solely rely on one or 2 players being bang in form''


Utter nonsense, you have simply made that up. We have plenty of options now where a number of players could be ''bang in form'' to help us. It's weird how you have now morphed into this repetitive bore, all while we have had our best start for years and scored nine goals in four games. Yes, we all want to see better football, you ain't special with that, but to relentlessly harp on non stop about it is mental, and Moyes don't come on here so what is really the point anyway. No doubt you are going to have a fucking field day after Man City and Liverpool. Sad.

Eerie Descent 11:42 Fri Sep 8
Re: Sky Sports' Kudus Analysis
"Bowen and Antonio bang on form?"


That for me is the crux of the problem, dolph. Our style of play is so one dimensional, that we solely rely on one or 2 players being bang in form, rather than being the sum of our parts. If Antonio get's injured in training, what on earth do we do? We've had 2 excellent strikers at the club, proper strikers, and we looked awful with them in the team.

Luton cannot be used in any argument, they do not have one player that would get in any other team in the league, and they'll finish rock bottom. Bournemouth is the game to look at, we hardly had the ball there, and were hanging on for a point.

Anyway, as you say, let's wait to see how we approach things 10 games in. Given we have a squad worth around half a billion quid, with a Brazilian in there pulling the strings who Man City want, it's not spoilt brat syndrome to expect to see some exciting football.

dolph 11:16 Fri Sep 8
Re: Sky Sports' Kudus Analysis
ED

Fair enough. You've articulated your dislike of our style well, and I get what you're saying. But, your outlook indicates an assumption that this will be our entire philosophy all season. 60% against Luton shows that's not how we're setting up against everyone. I'll accept it against Brighton and Chelsea and obviously Man City next week. It's tremendously difficult to fundamentally change the style of play overnight. What I don't get is that several on here talk as if we've been turned over 4-0 every game this season..is there nothing you can cling to for small shoots of hope?

Well drilled defence?
Patient team not overawed vy the opposition holding the ball?
Deadly counter attack goals?
Bowen and Antonio bang on form?
The team fighting for everything?

It's all "when we lose a few and Moyes gets sacked..." bollocks. It stinks of entitled spoilt brat syndrome shit that we rightfully look down on Chelsea and Spurs for

Anyway. Back on topic. Kudus could well be a monster for us.

Side of Ham 5:20 Fri Sep 8
Re: Sky Sports' Kudus Analysis
Well that's simple like you are being dolph....I wait until at least mid point of the season as not having the ball much is a tiring exercise that needs decent squad rotation or earlier subs both of which Moyes has been shit at so far....he creates his own downfall to gaining any momentum......lack of possession is one of the main causes

Eerie Descent 3:06 Fri Sep 8
Re: Sky Sports' Kudus Analysis
Dolph, I've never said I want us to keep the ball for the sake of keeping it. I also find that sort of football dull at times. But fucking 18% possession? West Ham against Brighton? Really?

If we played that game another 10 times, in that style, we'd lose at least 8. We've had some unbelievable luck in games so far, some dodgy decisions in our favour, and a goalkeeper making saves from another planet.

We're not a counter attacking team, we are an ultra defensive, 10 men behind the ball, hoping for the odd break shithouse of a team. It's ok for some to enjoy that, but there's no point in lying and pretending we're not

We are an injury away to a technically shit 33 year old workshouse striker from having Danny Ings up front feeding off scraps. And we've got a squad that's cost about half a billion quid ffs. It's not for me, but I'm genuinely glad you enjoy it. I wish I could, but I just can't stomach being anti-football, I've always hated those clubs, and we're now the worst of them.

fraser 1:30 Fri Sep 8
Re: Sky Sports' Kudus Analysis
Pushing Paqueta to the left would be ridiculous, but I think Moyes will do that, but to accommodate Soucek. I still think Kudus will play on the right with Bowen in the centre, but they will swap positions.. Bowen spent a good chunk of the Luton game playing down the middle

dolph 1:24 Fri Sep 8
Re: Sky Sports' Kudus Analysis
SoH

I haven't forgotten shit. But this is a new season with a few different players. At what point do you allow yourself to move on and enjoy the current results?

Also the "what happens when Bowen is out of form" argument is a little flawed. What happens to anyone when their best attacking threat is out of form? They struggle.

fraser 1:13 Fri Sep 8
Re: Sky Sports' Kudus Analysis
Kudus free kick yesterday not sure if already posted

https://youtu.be/7a-mAaZDIAk?si=puA4ee-txA9t4dJG

North Bank 12:56 Fri Sep 8
Re: Sky Sports' Kudus Analysis
I watched some YouTube vids of Kudus last night and I appreciate they can make Wayne Quinn look like Ashley Cole, however Kudus looks a player alright,

He has a great first touch, controls a ball superbly, takes players on and beats them with ease, plays on the turn with his head up and takes the best option when passing, the only slight flaw is that in the clips I watched, (about 20 minutes before boredom set in) , was that he doesn't look a natural goalscorer.

He looks to be natural number 10 as he is best running at defenders rather than with his back to them, this would mean pushing Paqueta to the left and dropping Benny, which would be harsh, but best for the team.

I read that Moyes is thinking of rotating him with Antonio, which I feel would be a mistake unless he's thinking of playing Bowen upfront and Kudus on the right, but imho this would shackle him as he finds pockets of space to receive the ball and once he's turned he's gone.

He could be a superstar and the most exciting player we've seen since Payet or I could be spouting bollocks, time will tell.

Side of Ham 12:46 Fri Sep 8
Re: Sky Sports' Kudus Analysis
Bowen actually stated on the official site he doesn't mind touching the ball one or two times during a game......fine when we are scoring and he's in form.....but we are bang in trouble when the likes of him are not in form......

.....funny how you've totally forgotten last season in the league......

dolph 11:57 Fri Sep 8
Re: Sky Sports' Kudus Analysis
Fascinating. How have we managed 9 goals if we only track back for shape?

Side of Ham 11:52 Fri Sep 8
Re: Sky Sports' Kudus Analysis
As opposed to us tracking back to keep our DEFENSIVE shape….you numpty

dolph 11:49 Fri Sep 8
Re: Sky Sports' Kudus Analysis

Side of Ham 11:42 Fri Sep 8

As opposed to.....?

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