Have a bit of that, Hammers.
Thought you were going to earn the right to be our bogey team? Not under Mikel Arteta. The message was delivered with a brutal destruction of a performance, capped, with Mikel whispering.
‘I want the West Ham fans to know, it was me’
The pregame chatter was focused on the weak bench and SEVEN players missing from the squad.
No one was talking about that by halftime.
Arsenal started slowly, then went into beast mode, ripping David Moyes’s squad to the pieces in a merciless 25 minutes for the record books.
Odegaard was imperious, Saka put on the big show performance, Declan Rice cut a 66 that looked like he’d been hurt by West Ham as a child.
We opened the scoring from another setpiece. Nic Jover, our setpiece specialist, has taken us to the top of the ‘goals from setpieces’ table. He’s done an extraordinary job. Gabriel and Saliba acting like traditional English #9s with two brilliant goals delivered by Declan Rice’s beautiful boots.
Saka scored a penalty, but let’s not ignore that the assist should have been credited to a beautiful ball from deep by Leo Trossard.
The Belgian capped the half by winning the ball in the final third, giving it to Odegaard, who reverse-passed him into a great position in on the edge of the box. The Belgian cut inside and curled a camera-ready goal into the top corner.
West Ham cleared the stadium faster than I’ve seen American stadiums cleared for tornado alerts. It was a sight to behold. The fanbase that told Declan he should move to City this summer were getting pummelled by their captain.
But it wasn’t over… they still had 45 to go.
Odegaard found Saka in acres, he received the ball, turned into zero pressure, and unleashed a low piledriver that was hit so hard, you could almost taste the his disdain for a team that had hurt him in December.
The final goal was the ultimate humiliation for West Ham. Declan was found outside the area and he belted a screamer into the top corner. It was a 2% chance type of strike. He peeled off for the no-celebration celebration. It was like getting beaten up in a fight and watching your girlfriend walk off with the attacker. The stadium went from 75% full to nearly empty. Salt of the earth hammers had seen enough.
There are not enough superlatives to capture how good that result was.
We broke our away day record for a result.
West Ham hasn’t been beaten that badly since the 60s.
We could have scored more if we had a proper #9.
No one was talking about the subs… well, they were, Ethan Nwaneri came on and showed that he’s really, really good. He looked very comfortable on the pitch. Carried himself like an adult and caused some problems.
Kiwior slipped in for Zinchenko again and did a brillaint job. We certainly have a player there, and I have my doubts he’s going to be sold to Milan in a cut-price deal.
Ben White showed his versatility inverting and overlapping. He bagged an assist.
Trossard, the master of pure output, should be keeping his place again. Another game-changing 90 for a player who seems to be getting better and better. Only Thierry and Robin Van Persie have better output records with over 1000 minutes played in a season.
We had seven players out and initiated a massacre.
That’s 4 wins in 4. We’re in the top 3 chasing down the league title. The team that couldn’t score now has the same goal difference as City and sits just one goal behind Liverpool.
We have the best defence in the league, despite being top 4 for errors leading to goals.
We’ve scored the most setpieces this season.
We have the most cleansheets this season.
Our players are celebrating blocked shots in the 87th minute.
This is a proper team. Just take a moment to remember all the people calling for Arteta’s head in December, taking victory laps because they thought Arteta wouldn’t get it right, they shrieked at folk pointing towards the underlying metrics or those that had the audacity to flag that we were getting really, really unlucky.
Remember those people as they try and reverse out of their shocking opinions.
Now, do I think we’re going to win the league? No. City are the best team, they have easy cup games, everyone is fit, and they are the only team in the top 3 capable of not losing for the rest of the season because they have muscle memory for that.
But can we compete? Yes. Will Jesus, Partey, and Tomi be in the mix for the next game? Likely. Do we have a nice run of games that’ll put us in the conversation for March? We do. Get to the final 8 games in the mixer and anything can happen.
Arsenal is heading towards greatness. We’re likely a little short this season. But football is a process. You have to put yourself in the best shape over the long term and trust that things will work out.
We are going to be a big trophy team sooner rather than later, the promised land is close, just enjoy where we are and keep an eye on the long game.
Right, that’s me done. See you in the comments. Also, just to remind you. The site is going under development, I’ll fix the comments and some other bugs. Also, if you really need some Arsenal goodness in your ears right now, sign up to The AOP Patreon now and get the On The WHistle early bird NOW.
On The Whistle – West Ham Decimation
🌌Odegaard-ians of Galaxy!
🏆SAKA BALON D’OR LEVELS!
☠️Gabriel & Saliba setpiece bullies!
🚀Tross the BOSS – more
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— LE GROVE (@LeGrove) February 11, 2024