Regardless of form, West Ham tends to be a game I only look forward to on a bragging rights front. The hammers were out of sorts, Arsenal were out of sorts, it was unclear what the outcome of the evening would be.
West Ham set tongues wagging by sticking star performer Diame on the bench. Arsene worked around his midfield nightmare by dropping Ramsey into the holding role supported by Wilshere and Cazorla. Up top returned the familiar trio of Podolski, Theo and Giroud.
The game didn’t start with any real purpose for either side. It was end stuff with no one taking control. West Ham sought to change that with a goal. Giroud cleared a corner as far as the edge of the box, no one in our midfield was sharp enough to close Collinson down, he let rip and his shot passed our keeper with relative ease. Am I the only one who thinks beating Szceney from distance is a pretty simple task?
Arsenal upped it a gear and started creating chances. West Ham were so loose at the back, it was clear we’d score. It didn’t take long, Jack slipped Lukas in with a little chip, the German looked up and fizzed a shot past Jussi from 30 yards! What a goal.
Gibbs and Lukas played a lovely one two minutes after, but the finish wasn’t there second time round for the German. Down the other end Carlton Cole found his way into the box after a Bacary balls up, he chipped Szceney but Rambo was sharp to it and cleared it over. Forget that he killed Vermaelen in the process.
The second half started with a bit more spice. Theo nearly forced a West Ham own goal seconds after the restart. He turned provider in the end when he duffed a corner near post that Giroud moved well to turn in.
Giroud played a massive hand in the third when he chipped the ball over the hammers back line, Podolski brought it down and cut into Cazorla who turned it in with a sweep of his back foot.
Theo was having a stormer outwide, his control and delivery was good but the luck wasn’t there. That was until Podolski found him with a superb ball, our £100k man smashing home with ease.
Things weren’t over, the German had one more assist in the locker, this time for Giroud who fancied a bit of back foot sweep action. What a treat!
After that something nasty happened when Sagna clattered Dan Potts. It added 12 minutes of time which made for exceptionally cold feet! Hopefully the lad is ok.
Anyway, the game finished with 5 goals on the clock and there was little to complain about. All you have to hope for is that Wenger doesn’t look at that and feel confident we’ll play that well every week.
What can you really report back on with a rout like that? When we’re given time and space… and we actually fancy turn up we can really play good football. Not many people will come out of last nights game frustrated, but I am. What’s the problem? What’s with the erratic form? Why can’t we be mentally charged like that every week?
Don’t get me wrong, I loved the result… but that nagging feeling it was a blip gets me…
With regards to individual performances last night, I’m handing out massive applause to Aaron Ramsey. I thought he had a very solid game. He engined away iln the middle of the park all night, he kept his discipline and he made sure his passing was simple and accurate. Amazing what a bit of time in the middle can do for a centre midfielder!
Jack Wilshere was his usual self from the off. He’s starting to find confidence running with the ball. He’s a funny player to watch, he doesn’t have much grace about his game, he kind of smashes his way through blockades of players with a manly rugged style of combative midfieldery.
Cazorla had one of his better games, he buzzed in and out of the game making telling passes where he could. His dead balls are the best at the club, I’m not sure why we’re still letting Theo take them now he’s signed da ting?
Up front I had a lot of time for Giroud. Last night was the first time I’ve seen him enjoy himself on the pitch. He played with freedom and he looked assured with everything he did. His link up play is a major attribute considering he looks like a slick cart horse. It’s a shame we don’t have a two striker system, I’m sure he’d have far more assists if we did…
Finally, the first clinical appearance since Newcatle a month ago from Lukas. He was superb. When he’s on it, he’s a different gravy when it comes to efficiency. 3 Assists… 1 goal… a man of the match appearance if we’re talking deliverables. He needs to find his game more often, if he did, perhaps we wouldn’t be looking at so many upsetting results.
The gap is now 4 points. Liverpool up next in the league. A outrageously huge total to over come if you’ve spoken to any Spurs fans of late. The task for Arsenal is to mount an attack of sustained form. Do we have the squad for that? Based on the opening half of the season, no. But we’ll see…