Scottish, 25-year-old central defender.
22 Championship appearances.
1,980 minutes played.
Whoscored.com gives Hyam a season rating of 6.69. 5th best in the squad.
Often plays on the left of a back three. Did also in the League One 2019/2020 season.
Will also play central of a back four.
Expectations, based on an overall analysis of Coventry's style of play.
- Receive the ball short from Wilson/Marosi to play forward into midfield
- Combine with (mostly) Sam McCallum
- Be an outlet to help recycle possession from midfield
- Attack set-pieces
- Win headers
- Win tackles
- Delay counter-attacks to help the team get compact
- Provide cover if the ball is coming through the City right.
Clearances - 3.6 per game.
Interceptions - 1.5 per game.
Consistency. Hyam has played the most minutes in the squad and often in the same position and the same line, minus Rose/Ostigard changes.
Ball playing and retention. Perhaps due to his left-sided position in the line-up. Coventry has opted to play down the right more than the left with Ostigard (39%-36%).
Decisions on the ball - 'forcing' when uncovered.
Hyam has a strong following from the majority of the SBA. I agree with the majority of the consensus, but he has been more prone to mistakes that hurt. I'm not here to beat him with the mistakes, but instead look at decisions that need to improve.
He can help City build from the back, but needs to play quicker. Opponents have often allowed him to have the ball and ultimately encouraging him into traps. Traps will be pressing on checking midfielders and pushing him wide without support. I mentioned his right/left foot preference. The goal that came from Sheaf losing the ball versus Preston is a product of that. Seconds before we could have played, left-footed, back to Wilson. Using his right foot to clear would mean the ball likely going out of play, and in hindsight, a throw-in might have been better. Instead, hesitation and several seconds of delay created the picture you see and the turnover.
Isolated attacking play.
His play can be too predictable at times and leaves himself uncovered. Using the Preston game again, Hyam was 'released' wide, but see how the pressure forces him wide and onto his left foot. Johnson anticipates the space that Hyam left, and with McFadzean deep, there is a significant counter-opportunity. Preston did win the ball in this situation because of a poor pass inside to pressure.
Note the opposite in behavior from Ostigard. You can see similar pressure coming and traps set with a lower Luton press, inviting the ball short. However, Ostigard opts to not play into feet, but instead clearing longer into O'Hare and breaking the press of Luton.
The last point on mistakes with Hyam. 'No foul'. A penalty given away against Milwall lead to an unnecessary difficult end to the game. Situations like the image, below, from the Stoke game. A hopeful ball in behind Hyam leads to a dangerous freekick. Coventry played a high line here to combat the long ball from Stoke, but the second phase of the attack hurts when players give away fouls in areas like this:
Ultimately, Hyam is the most consistent player on the team. His minutes would say so. There are other ways to configure the team and even when Rose was fit and playing, Hyam still played. That says it all. So, it's not a bash, but it is a highlight on some areas that MUST improve. Notably, ball playing and decisions because the mistakes at this level hurt. We don't want him to send the ball long consistently, but the speed of play and decisions in possession need to improve relative to the situation. Being pressed, pinned on your left? Poke it out for a throw-in worst case, but stop giving the ball away centrally in forced areas. Got space and time to play? Then drive the team forward.
Players ahead of the ball (O'Hare, Hamer, Sheaf) and the press of the opponent determine a lot of the mistakes, but Coventry have the ability and tactical set-up to break and dominate those situations.