I could go into this match report like a child that’s just witnessed my first Arsenal demolition, but I don’t feel the the need to.
Geoff rightly pointed out yesterday that we should beat West Ham by 3-4 goals. They are bottom of the league, their best players were out injured and to be honest, even if their whole team were back, we would and should have given them a spanking.
I know that a few of my friends will read this report today. Why? Because I’ll plaster it all over their social media applications. Most of them will know I said at the start of the season the Hammers would drop. Why? No passion, no heart, no will to win for the fans. It’s as simple as that. If the players have no connection to the club and a neutral can see that, you’re in all sorts of trouble.
So, the point is, I’d find it a little embarrassing for me to talk up this victory in any other way than to say it was expected and it was standard.
We played some superb football yesterday evening. Wenger fielded the strongest team he could bar the right back position. Robin, Song and Nasri dropped into the starting line up and boy could you tell the difference! West Ham pressed us for about ten minutes but after that we seemed to open them up at will.
For the opener, Jack Wilshere slipped Theo into the box, he cut the ball back to Nasri who dummied the ball (interesting that when you do that in Sunday league it’s classed as an air shot) for Robin Van Persie to tuck home with clinical precision! What’s that? A goal in open play from Robin! Excellent stuff…
Arsenal continued to batter West Ham possession wise. Theo missed a glorious one on one chance after Alex Song played him through the centre. The man from Cameroon nearly benefitted from a deflected shot.
It wasn’t going particularly well at the back. JD has a new concept in his head about back passing. He slips in the attacker so Chesney has to make a Peter Schmeichel style save to recover. He did the same against Ipswich. He also keeps on shielding the ball back into our area even when there’s no need to.
Van Persie hit the post after a nice run and cut back by Cesc, I started to wonder if this had a sucker punch draw written over it?
Not to worry. Samir Nasri chipped a perfect pass down the line to Robin Van Persie, the Dutchman managed to somehow cut it back to Theo for a relatively bread and butter finish (Watch the line Wayne). Lovely. We had a cushion going into half time.
Carlton Cole had the opportunity to show the world he’s not a complete donkey but failed when he glanced a header about 10 feet wide of the post from a good cross.
West Ham had a half chance in the second half that looked like a scuffed cross from Freddy Sears… Chesney was forced to tip it over the bar.
Shortly after, Theo found his back to goal struggling to pick up a Nasri pass, he ran across the box to retrieve it, Wayne Bridge came flying in and scissor kicked him down. What a ridiculous piece of defending from a man on £90k a week. Penalty. Up stepped Robin Van Persi, 3-0!
At this point, salt of the earth, we support through thick and thin, ‘how’s the library’, West Ham United fans started to evaporate from the stadium so efficiently, some wondered if it was a well rehearsed fire drill? The only supporters left in the stadium were the ones that had fallen asleep during the second half. Yep, we saw all three of them in quick succession.
Please West Ham fans, no more jibes about our support.
So, the final score was 3-0. A very acceptable score line in a tie that we’re more than capable of slipping up in. The first team dominated possession from the off, we could have done with being more clinical but the positives are clear and there for all to see. Wenger needs to stop tinkering going forward. This line up can handle one or two changes maximum, but we don’t have the quality to make the wholesale changes we have been.
We march on, hoping to take the Premiership by stealth. It’s ours to chase and that’s always a good position to be in. The longer United’s winning streak goes on, the more likely a February loss is going to hit them extremely hard. It would be nice if Spurs could do us a favour today but somehow, I can’t see it happening. The perennial failures from down the road don’t have it in them…
Chezzer – He made a couple of top quality saves, notably the one JD assisted in. He makes himself big, he positions himself well and no one really targets us from high balls when he’s between the sticks. There were a few hairy moments, one where he shouted for JD to leave it in the box, it bounced and nearly went in over his head. He also has a problem with his distribution. We all know what happens when you can’t kick but you have all the other attributes… ask Alex Manninger. 7
Clichy – He’s starting to find his feet again. His crossing still leaves a lot to be desired but I think he’s defending better. He made a couple of vital interceptions today. 7
JD – Probably his poorest game of the season so far. His insistence on shielding the ball and playing his way into dangerous situations was irking me somewhat. Though he helped keep a clean sheet. 6
Kozzer – I’m a fan… so sue me. I think people have to start looking at him with fresh eyes. He’s benefitting from playing next to a player who is dominant in the air. He’s brave, he’s nippy and I think he reads the game well. His best attribute is his attitude to defending, he doesn’t let anything phase him. One to watch I feel… 7
Eboue – Still incredibly infuriating to watch. He has all the raw ingredients to be a great player, he just doesn’t know how to mix them correctly. His positioning is awful, but luckily, so were West Ham. 6
Song – I thought he had a strong game today. His passing might not always be spot on, but he does create chances and he puts himself in the position to score as well. I think he’s found a balance to his game which seems to be working nicely. 8
Jack – Geoff said that he was expecting a Messi style player but what we’ve got is a Ray Parlour with bells and whistles. Very true. He’s a battler in the middle of the park and he has the right blend of skill and passion. I love watching him mix it up and I love watching him when he plays as well as he did yesterday. 8
Cesc – How much better does our captain look when he’s playing with form players? He creates space for himself like no other and he looked sharp yesterday. 7
Nasri – A solid game from Samir. I like his new-found swagger, he has a very French attitude on the pitch. One that only comes to the fore when you are close to greatness. The way he prances around the pitch is reminiscent of Bobby and Henry in their prime. He knows he is better than everyone else and it’s a pleasure to watch. 7.5
Theo Walcott – I’m falling in love with a player I’m insistent my sister marries. There’s nothing corrupt about this young man which posed questions about his ability to make it at the highest level. Well, I’ll be damned, nice guys can tear defences a new one. He’s found a bit of skill in his game, he’s more clinical and direct that he used to be and he’s making the right decisions. He does favour going inside a little too often, I think he’d have a more rounded game if he turned wide once in a while. I’m sure that’ll come. Great performance. 8
Robin Van Persie – Well, it has only taken 2 months, but finally we’re starting to get some value from one of our best paid players. His shooting had that crispness about it I haven’t seen so far this season. His decision making was great and his sharpness was undeniably back. My only worry? He’s surely due an injury…. Just kidding. But kind of not. The Dutchman is back and he’s on the goal trail. 9