West Ham 2 – 0 Arsenal. Arrogant Arsenal ruin Christmas

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WE'RE BACK!

WE’RE BACK!

Yesterday was like Christmas when you know Santa has got you an n64. You wake up early jump out of bed and fall straight into a tank of jellyfish. Never mind you say ‘at least it’s Christmas and I’ve got that n64!’. You run downstairs to find Santa microwaving your dog and the Christmas tree on fire. To top it all off he’s brought you a dreamcast instead.

There’s one word to describe that performance, ‘arrogant’. Arsenal were injury-free, brimming with confidence off the back of a victory against the Champions and buoyed by the signing of a world class goalkeeper. We turned up thinking we deserved a victory, not remembering that victories are earned.

We always beat West Ham at home – I said it myself – Giroud always scores against them, this is Chamberlain’s year, good luck conceding against Cech etc etc. Most of us were probably thinking things like this pre-match, even if we weren’t saying it. The problem is, most of the players were thinking along the same lines as well.

Now before I get assaulted by the ‘perspective brigade’, who are able to watch football without it arousing any emotion in them at all, I will say; it was just one game, one bad performance and I still expect us to compete for the league.

However the problem with yesterday was the lack of preparation both physically and mentally. West Ham were awesome yesterday but outside of the first 10 minutes we looked a yard of the pace.

In terms of mental preparation, we played liked we thought we deserved to win. Like we did against Monaco last year, and against Villa on the opening day two years ago and repeat ad infinitum.

The manager acknowledged after the game we played with a bit of fear without the apparent ability to critically analyse why this still keeps happening.

Alan Shearer, for his many many faults, said on Match of the Day that whichever of the top four teams Mourinho managed would win the league. I hate to say it but he’s right. He instills the right kind of confidence in his teams; not so much ‘we deserve to win’, more of the ‘we cannot lose’.

Now I’m not for one second saying I want Mourinho anywhere near this club. However losing the complacent streak appears to be one more signpost on the manager’s road to recovery.

The atmosphere was incredible at the Emirates yesterday. It was baking hot, West Ham were playing a foetus in midfield and they got two yellow cards in the first 10 minutes. Confidence reigned supreme. We looked electric in the first 10 minutes, buzzing around the West Ham defence like a swarm of migrants (as our Prime Minister might say). Ozil was pulling the strings, Chamberlain and Ramsey were fired up.

However, ever so subtly, mistakes started to creep in. The misplaced passes were getting more frequent, balls were bouncing off Giroud like he was a cathode ray oscilloscope (I failed Physics) and the good will of the crowd started to ebb. Then West Ham got a free kick in our half, floated in a perfect free kick for their fella to head into the net.

Cech was in no man’s land but was it all his fault? The defence had pushed up so high that the “corridor of uncertainty” which commentators like to talk about was as large as the Suez Canal. We should have been much deeper. If we had the ball would have been easily cleared.

Nonetheless it was still only 1-0 and you felt we could recover in the second half. Unfortunately the players came out with pretty much the same attitude they had displayed in the first half. Lots of dicking around on the edge of the box, then float the ball in for a defender to easily clear.

Cech was certainly at fault for West Ham’s second. No doubt he was caught flat-footed and should have done better to reach the ball. However there are questions again around the pressure coming from midfield. Zarate was allowed enough time to turn, take a selfie and shoot. Cech probably wasn’t used to that at Chelsea to be fair to him.

We still had a good 30 minutes to make a mends. Arsene made some strange substitutions, for some reason playing Chamberlain at right back where he repeatedly gave the ball away, and leaving Ramsey and Giroud on, both of whom had stinkers. I understand the rationale behind bringing Sanchez on – he’s one of our best players – but he clearly was nowhere near fit and his performance showed that.

We had a few chances before the end of the game but West Ham were organised and defended heroically when they needed to. They deservedly left with all three points.

As I said, it’s important to have perspective. This was just one game. Apparently there were some fisticuffs between fans outside the stadium afterwards. All I’d say to that is – get over yourself, football isn’t that important. However this result was bad. Yes it was a terrible performance, but it was also a sign that whatever was going on in pre-season, the players weren’t ready mentally or physically for the first game.

Also it’s games like this that make the difference between first and third. Have you ever looked back through all the fixtures at the end of the season and said to yourself, ‘if only we’d one that game, and that game we would have been champions’? Yes it’s a bit of childish wish thinking but, in order to be champions, Arsenal can only lose one, possibly two games against teams outside the top four at home. That’s how small the margins are.

Lets end with some player ratings….

Cech – David Ospina didn’t die for this

Debuchy – was fairly solid, still looked rusty

Monreal – More like nonreal (ly)

Koscielny – our best player. I haven’t seen the replays but think he may have been at fault for the first goal

Mertesacker – fairly solid, helped a lot by Kos. Cant really be blamed for the second

Coquelin – looked tired, not one of his better games

Ramsey – played like Steven Gerrard circa 2015 rather than Steven Gerrard circa 2005

Cazorla – Slowed. Down. Everything

Ozil – Great for the first 10 minutes then went for a beer

Chamberlain – I love the kid but he’s not a right back

Giroud – Couldn’t even do the things he usually does well, well

Subs

Walcott – improved our performance 3.2%

Sanchez – Needs a few more days on the beach

Honourable mentions go to Payet who looks like a quality player and Jeinny for combining transfer rumours with being really fit. Thanks for that.

You can follow me on twitter @aldo_doel  if you like. Enjoy your Mondays! x

652 Responses to “West Ham 2 – 0 Arsenal. Arrogant Arsenal ruin Christmas”

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  1. N5

    Leeds, Citeh looked very very good too which is worrying.

    Cesc, do you remember Johan Djorourououousououoouou. if his name came up on the .com I would just close it again, him and his bounce back mental strength posts each week drove me insane.

  2. Cesc Appeal

    N5

    Haha!

    We love wheeling out some irrelevant dross like Djourou or Arteta to tell fans about mental strength.

    I really wish they’d just title the article honestly, ‘yeah, we were shit, manager is old as shit, but please keep buying tickets and shit.’

  3. N5

    Cesc you’re forgetting the air hanger beneath Area51. When you factor in the Roswell Alien algorithm, you can only conclude that our shot nerves are exacerbated by the Head and Shoulders chemicals.

  4. Cesc Appeal

    N5

    I think also it seemed to me Ozil had hints of blonde in his hair, not sure if there was some beef with him and Treebeard for stealing his style, nerves could have permeated the entire team on that one.

  5. N5

    Lol Cesc or an Astrix at the end saying.

    *no player was interviewed or gave a real opinion, we just promise to pay them a wage indefinitely to warm a bench and be our mental strength face!!

  6. Leedsgunner

    I’m just dreading the panic buys that surely follow the club if we lose again. Having all summer to prepare properly and bring in quality players sensibly we will probably undo the good work done by bringing in Cech (although it doesn’t seem like good work right now) we will pick up some dross like Gourcuff and told that he will come good.

    Panic buys today — deadwood tomorrow.

  7. Relieable sauce

    – Liverpool are willing to listen to offers for Lucas Leiva.

    Sheit, hope Arsene & Ivan dont see this.

  8. Cesc Appeal

    N5

    Unless we have this all wrong and Arteta’s family are in Arsene Wenger’s basement.

    ‘Please Arsene, I can’t make myself look a fool again.’

    ‘Oh you will do it Mikel, or you will get your sons other ear in the mail!’

    ‘Okay please, he wants to be a Ray-Ban model when he grows up…’

    ‘That ship has longed sailed Mikel, just like my credibility and plausibility of my excuses, be a good boy and maybe he can model hearing aid devices.’

  9. Cesc Appeal

    Gourcuff is actually a great shout. Can totally see that one, desperately need a ST, Coquelin looking shaky and totally without cover…so we get an injury prone to Wilshere levels CAM, that’s the last thing they will expect! Haha.

  10. Leedsgunner

    Unless for some unexplained reason Bayern decide to sell Müller or Lewandowski to Real Madrid we will not sign Benzema. They don’t need to sell him to us and they won’t.

  11. tunnygriffboy

    Leeds

    First game of season. Very poor yes. Disappointing yes. Downright depressing yes. Deja vu yes. But it is one game

    Anyhow I hope it does force him into the market. Sad that it appears it’s the only way., I hope the spend some fucking money chants go up again on Sunday even if we win. Ivan willmshit himself again

    Anyway DeBruyne to City ? Game changer. DeBruyne , Sterling, Silva, Navas. Not much room for Nasri. Anyone take him back as the wide play maker ? Desperate I know.

    Been wracking my tiny brain to think any forwards who we could sign. Iif not a forward any good widemen wingers about ? Surely we have to sign someone with the dosh in the bank.

  12. Leedsgunner

    Tunny

    Agree with you wholeheartedly that it is sad that Wenger is again REACTING to events rather than being proactive. I’m very annoyed that we will probably panic buy.

    Palermo were supposedly interested in Campbell — we should have been proactive and been in there early in the summer and did a part exchange for Dybala.

    Schneiderlin should have been a no brainer.

    So much for negotiating from a position of strength.

  13. Relieable sauce

    We still have time, it will be incredible & unbelievable if we didn’t sign anyone else.
    What will we get though??…
    Its like the Christmas present you get from Granny when you’re a kid. Could be almost anything but what you’ve asked for & is, more often than not, an uninspiring token of a gift.

    Granny sucks balls!

  14. Arseology

    If we wanna compete against the big boys for the big prizes (league & CL) then this has to happen:

    Get rid of deadwood like Arteta, Flamini, Lolcott & Rosicky.
    New GK
    Bellerin – New CB – Kosser – Monorail
    New DM – New Box to Box
    Santi
    Ox – New CF – Alexis
    biggest changes needed are these two…
    New Owners with ambition & a New Manager.

  15. bennydevito

    Phew!

    What a day on Twitter- was worse than a session on Untold. Never before have I seen so many AKBs out on mass cultly defending Wenger. I mean Jesus, their only comeback is to accuse you of not being a real fan! I even got blocked by a few! It’s phenomenal. And therein lays the problem – the AKBs are overwhelming and going nowhere – neither is Wenger.

  16. Arseology

    Dang, Comment disappeared after hitting post comment button.

    Growing a pair: idiots guide – From the Arseology annals:
    -Sign Tiote
    -Deploy Tiote at training ground with instructions to follow that pansy Ozil about and toughen him up by kicking the sheeet out of him.
    – Train Tiote in martial arts so he can give the board and Wenger daily kicks for not exercising first option on Cesc…. faaark it, daily studs up hybrid Kung-fu/sliding tackles right in the arris for allowing Cesc to join Chelsheeet.

  17. bennydevito

    N5,

    Sorry you’ve had troubles but good to see you back. We’ll have that beer another time.

    Bobby 7 August 1, 2015 17:41:18
    Thought it was a brilliant post. Really enjoyed reading that. Bit of a change from the usual ‘who have we signed? posts.

    Thanks Bobby!

    Leedsgunner August 1, 2015 17:49:31
    Great read benny., no, correct that — a fantastic read. Hats off to you. By the way I love your city… Bristol is one of the most friendliest cities in the UK. I’d love to live there.

    Thanks Leeds. Bristol is a great city but small fry compared to London although Saturday just gone the city was in gridlock because of the balloon fiesta – was mental. A lot of Arsenal fans down here, new shirts everywhere and my 10yr old daughter reckons a good majority of the boys in her year support Arsenal. I might actually go in there when she’s back and do a survey, could make an interesting blog post when times are quiet.

  18. Wallace

    Leeds

    “Agree with you wholeheartedly that it is sad that Wenger is again REACTING to events rather than being proactive. I’m very annoyed that we will probably panic buy.”

    nope, at the beginning of the summer most thought 2 or 3 signings max. whether you agree with his view or not Wenger rates his current squad. Cech became available and was an obvious improvement on Ospina/Szcz so he bought him.

    i’m guessing he didn’t move for Schneiderlin because he prefers Coquelin. no argument from me there. up top has any striker moved clubs this summer that you could say for sure would definitely integrate into our style of play better than Giroud? the only possibly top quality striker that has moved is Dybala, and he was very clear about wanting to stay in Italy and play for Juve. i’m sure if Madrid do decide to offload Benzema we’ll be first in line. but as previous transfer windows have shown, Madrid first get the players they want in, then dump those they consider surplus to requirements. you might not like the idea of us hanging around waiting for Madrid to throw us a bone, but it’s the reality of where we are as a club. big, but not the biggest.

  19. N5

    Wallace, the problem is its the same every year. We’ve needed a striker for a few seasons and a DM since Gilberto.

    We dawdle every year and that’s why there is so much frustration.

    We’re so close to a complete team so Wenger needs to pull the trigger and get things done.

  20. Hitman49

    We are seeing what wenger has always been reactionary….

    Again this summer no plan for any incoming players only in the u20s area of the club which is fine.
    I Have no problem with that but we need key players now……..
    .As always he’s to loyal to average players and pays them way to much money so we are unable to of load the dross, and yes we still have some of that around.

    We will struggle and you watch him luck out some way some where with a player and be hailed as the great manager…..pathetic…he will never leave our club..

  21. Wallace

    N5

    i don’t think we need a DM. we have a great one. although we could probably do with some cover for him.

    and while i wish Giroud was more clinical at times, i like what he brings to the team. he’s a target man, not a no. 9. he might not score 25-30 goals a season, but if he can get 20 he’ll also provide way more opportunities for the players around him than a conventional no. 9 would….in my opinion.

  22. N5

    Wallace, We did get fortunate with Coq, before him the DM position was needed but I think you are right that we only need cover there now.

    What positions do you consider need new players?

  23. Wallace

    N5

    cover for Coquelin, and Benzema(if he becomes available), otherwise – puts on tin hat – i’m happy to go with what we have.

  24. Emiratesstroller

    I think that Arsenal must be planning more than one transfer before the window closes this summer.

    If you look at the Official Arsenal Website our first team squad is now down to
    25 players, but that still includes Martinez who is about to be loaned out to
    Wolves.

    Also the squad includes Campbell who I am fairly sure will be loaned or sold in
    this transfer window.

    If you factor in that both Bellerin and Chambers are U21 players and do not need to be registered in first team squad for EPL and Champions League we
    have at the moment just 21 over age players in our squad.

    There is of course much discussion since Sunday as to what we need to improve our squad.

    Part of the problem for me on reflection is not so much the quality of our squad, but more the lack of genuine variety particularly amongst our offensive
    players.

    Wenger likes his players to be able to play in more than one position. That is
    great if they can offer something different when they play let’s say as a striker
    or winger as both Walcott and Welbeck are supposed to be able to do. The
    trouble is that neither is outstanding in either position and so when you discuss them as “utility players” that means for me that they are useful in squad,
    but not useful as world class players in starting eleven.

    The same applies realistically when you discuss Wilshire and Ramsey. Both
    are good players, but realistically neither is outstanding and of course their
    workload in team tends to duplicate each other.

    When I suggested yesterday and on Sunday that we were short of variety in
    team particularly in absence of Sanchez that is very much obvious particularly
    when you see how difficult it is for Arsenal to unlock tight defences at home.

    Clearly no team aspiring for a League Title should find it so difficult to “unlock” tight defences at home as we have done in last 4 of 5 home games in EPL
    which we have failed to win or score a goal.

    It is Wenger’s failure to address that problem as much as how we played that
    is of concern to me.

    The question you have to ask is do we have the right players in our squad and tactics to deal with the type of situations we experienced against Swansea and West Ham?

    Frankly I don’t think so and the problem is that Wenger does not react quickly
    enough to such situations. He is too focussed on his own agenda.

  25. Wallace

    ES

    “Clearly no team aspiring for a League Title should find it so difficult to “unlock” tight defences at home as we have done in last 4 of 5 home games in EPL
    which we have failed to win or score a goal.”

    i think a team that includes Cazorla, Ozil, the Ox & Alexis is going to have as good a chance as any side at unlocking a tight defence.

    certainly though, there are fewer and fewer easier games in the PL these days.

  26. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Stroller

    I think wenger has lost the impulse gut feeling part if being a manager
    You know when a player is just right an you have to sign ?

    He now panics an dithers …

    Maybe too many years of cash restrictions have done that to him…

  27. Carts

    Tunny

    There’s an article online somewhere where Ox talks of Sanchez being a beast and not taking rest days.

    On the face of it, it bodes well and it’s encouraging. But on the other hand there has to be a firm approach to dealing with players – from the lazy to the busy.

    Just because Alexis doesn’t want to take rest days I think it’s important we don’t cave in to his demand and let him train when a rest day has been sanctioned. Sanchez strikes me as someone who wouldn’t know if he were in the red zone.

  28. Up 4 Grabs Now

    Morning all, wouldn’t it be nice to go out and buy a striker and not worry about resell value, or if he can play left wing, or emergency right back.
    but you know actually as a striker.
    if we need to spend £40-60 million just do it. we arent a small club anymore with a tight budget.
    Just a tight manager!

  29. Goondawg

    Lol we are in a rut… Some great overreactions on here.. It’s one fucking game. As it stands we are one point behind Chelsea. If they draw to Man City and we beat palace we will be one point either side away from Chelsea and Man City.

    I know Cech fucked up but rather he does it now then later on! Apparently Wenger was livid with the team and locked them in to vet for 45 mins after the game finished.. I know it was a bad result, sloppy goals but we didn’t play as awful as some here make out. We created chances, had plenty shots and should have taken some of them.

    I think this result will galvanise the team and we will see a better performance. Also I believe Wenger will buy some reinforcements, having loaned or shipped out many, our squad looks thin atm

  30. Emiratesstroller

    Wallace

    The fact is that we are struggling in home games even against middle ranked or lower table teams.

    Much has been discussed in recent months criticising both Giroud and Coquelin. What is overlooked is that they do a specific job in team, but that is not
    about creativity, but rather functuality.

    If the debate is about improving or upgrading both players then I am all for it,
    but not if what is an offer is simply to bring in more creative and technical players.

    When people discuss Benzema the question I ask is why him. What will he offer, which is actually an improvement on Giroud? Yes he may be technically
    better and maybe more clinical, but will he score more goals?

    Based on his current record at Real Madrid I don’t think so. RM scored over
    100 goals in La Liga, but Benzema’s personal contribution was less than 20.
    If their striker cannot score more goals than that in such a prolific team then
    I ask what will he manage to do at Arsenal against tight defences?

    What I would prefer to see at Arsenal is someone like Reus or Goetze who can
    probably score as many goals as Benzema, Giroud or Walcott, but are likely
    also to provide more unpredictably to our attack than we see at moment.

  31. Up 4 Grabs Now

    Goondawg,

    i agree with you about the overreaction, its probably just the fact it all could have been avoided.

    Cech could tell his defenders to step back a bit so there isnt such a huge gap for him to come.

    Ox shouldnt have been playing right back and should have just cleared the ball first time rather than dribbling out. (its not the first time he’s done this and cost a goal!)
    it was just the whole lack of urgency amongst the team.
    also wenger knows Ozil ramsey and cazorla cant play on the wing so why do it?
    why not play theo and the ox on the wing?
    why loan out Gnabry if you havent bought anyone in yet to replace in the squad?

  32. gambon

    I assume the people that were using the last 19 games as justification for our impending league success are willing to admit their mistake now?

    If you look at the last 20 games, we are on course for 79/80 points……a total that hasnt won the PL since 1999.

    So everyone admits we do need improvements now then?

  33. kingHenry

    The game just showed what most people believe to be true… we need another Coq, an a better striker than Giroud. A wc striker probably scores one of those two chances he wasted on Sunday. We don’t need a whole bunch of panic buys, just address inadequacies in the squad. Wenger also made us look worse than we actually were with all the unnecessary formation changes. We might as well play Jeff on the left coz Santi is NOT a winger anymore

  34. Up 4 Grabs Now

    Emirates,

    i think Benzema would be an improvement on Giroud ( i do like Giroud and you’re right he does a good job)
    But i think the flaw is the system we play.
    Giroud needs a partner up top not playing on his own.

    we change the players, but the system stays the same.
    even with Subs its nearly always 1 up top. Apart from Sunday when it was clear we needed to chuck as many attacking players on to get something out of the game.
    why in preseason didn’t we try 2 strikers when we dont have to worry about the result.

  35. Up 4 Grabs Now

    Morning Gambon,

    I know its too late now as some players have moved, but We have the money in the bank who would you buy now to strengthen?

  36. gambon

    Up 4 Grabs

    Striker clearly most important. I would be making huge bids for Lewandowski, Benzema, maybe Cavani, Morata.

    Outside of that I think we could certainly upgrade at LB, CB, DM, AM.

    CF and CM are by far the most important.

    We’ve already missed out on some very good CMs through Wengers inactivity.

  37. Emiratesstroller

    Up 4 Grabs now

    100% Agree as I suggested yesterday.

    It is nonsense playing Giroud as a loan striker particularly at home. We had
    no width on Sunday nor any alternative goalscoring potential.

    Therefore West Ham had only to worry about keeping Giroud in their pocket.

    My personal view is that Wenger was as much to blame for the result as the players. If you are struggling to score goals and breakdown packed defences
    in 3 of your 4 home games at end of last season then maybe you need to find
    an alternative way of playing at start of this season.

    Clearly Wenger did not learn that lesson which is why we landed up with the
    outcome.

    Wenger is someone who reacts too slowly if at all to problems. He spends too
    much time on his own agenda and not enough on what the opposition are doing. For me that has always been his weakness.

    You should be able to play ‘horses for courses’.

  38. hunter

    Arsena WENGER WILL NOT buy anyone! HE IS ZTICKING TWO FINGERS UP to all his critics.If the team fail in the next four games there will be unbelievable pressure on him.For me I don’t wish the team to fail but feel it’s the only way of getting him out.
    I just cannot believe that our manager can be so stupid.He must realise he is putting himself in a noose should he do nothing.Even though he has the support of the Owner and board his reputation could be shattered if he fails this time around.