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WHUFC vs Arsenal 12/01/2019 EPL 2018-2019

January 14, 2019 Leave a comment

My second visit of 2019 to the London Stadium also brought home the harrowing fact the in the Premier League era, Arsenal have beaten West Ham more than any other club. But the early kick off normally upsets the apple cart (and the Acca punters) and this game did its bit to keep up that tradition.

Rumours abounded around Arnie. He’s going, he’s staying, his brother is a shit stirrer, allsorts. My take is this. If he wishes to leave to play in empty stadiums, in a league that will also most likely mean he loses his international place as well, just for cash, then good luck to him. He earns more than he can spend already.

Also lets be realistic, if someone offered you twice your wages to do the same job somewhere else, you would take it. Maybe not in China, but at least your head will be turned. He left Stoke quick enough, and we are no different, such is the way of the modern footballer. They chop and change all the time. Reece Oxford is our 5th longest serving player currently !

So Arsenal, Wengerless and let off the leash. 22 game unbeaten runs, new broom, and no win in 4 away from home in the PL.

We started with probably with as good as team as we could, but this was no plucky little West Ham. All the big guns were there with the exception of Balbuena. Ogbonna has scared me this season, and early on did nothing to shake that feeling, as Rice had to get him out of a hole a couple of times as Lacazette gave him the run around. However , once the early nerves went, everyone did their job. Antonio was making the runs down the wing we got used to a few years ago. Diop seemed to get his confidence back (it took a few games with Balbuena as well, obviously doesn’t mix well with others!)

Rice and Noble dominated. Rice especially. I’m not the only one saying every game he gets better, but he does ! We have started passing instead of lumping. Nasri I thought was quiet after reading the report of the previous week but he did nothing wrong. Arnie was quiet, and I’m sure I saw Anderson make a tackle !

Just after half time (0-0), we get a bit of a ricochet ball in the box, which Nasri calmly tees up for Rice, and its top corner , one nil. Declan’s first goal for the senior team on his birthday weekend, 2 weeks after getting a new contract. Arnie take note.

After that , we looked assured and controlled the game. Arsenal had some longer range shots and did actually get the ball in the net twice, but with comically offside attempts. And that was that, no panic, no last hurrah from the opposition. A relatively painless win, except for Arnie who left early to be replaced by Carroll. He applauded all round the stadium as he left the field. I have commentated above on my opinion around this, so that’s that, or is it? Would you pay a potentially injured player 200k a week ?

Carroll looked sharper again, and closed down well, as did Snodgrass when introduced. We finally have a proper squad.

Obviously a lot of the credit has to go to the manager, who had kept banging on about installing a big team mentality into the team. But this needs to translate across to the fans as well. We can live in the past glories of being there just about in the league but always having a say in the title with a couple of big scalps a year or we can become the team that plays in front of 60k every week ,with big players, and expectations to match.

Gary Firmager used to say the worst thing to let loose at West Ham is expectation and back then he was right. But we have to accept that the fan base and the club has changed dramatically over the past few years, and we should now demand this level of team from our board.

MOTM Declan Rice. All day long. Happy birthday !

Little bit wobbly.
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WHUFC vs Arsenal 03/12/2016 EPL 2016-2017

December 4, 2016 Leave a comment

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Empty, expensive seats…..

Another day, another hiding. This week we have lost 4-1 to Man U away and now 5-1 at home to Arsenal. Things are not good, and only the fact that 3 teams appear to be worse than us is keeping us from dropping into the relegation zone. And having watched these games, I’m struggling to believe they are actually “worse” than us.

Slaven has an issue, the board have an issue and we as fans have an issue.

Slaven needs to raise the team back to last seasons levels. This is becoming difficult if what he said in the post match interview is anything to go by. He is aware the players aren’t putting a shift in and basically stated they are the same in training. Now I’m not close enough to say whether he has lost the dressing room, but things don’t look good. Even Mark Noble looks resigned. Read more…

WHUFC vs Arsenal 09/04/2016 EPL 2015-2016

April 12, 2016 Leave a comment

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COYI

Where do I start with this one? Near the end as we have Man U tomorrow and time is of the essence I’ll be brief.

Once again big team syndrome prevails at Upton Park. Arsenal were allowed to dive and cheat their way through a game whilst WHU were booked for the slightest indifference. We had a goal ruled offside (Lanzini) early doors, that clearly wasn’t.

Arsenal’s first goal came about after Monreal dived in the box, and ref said no foul and indicated a dive. So surely a free kick ? No, but we stop, thinking yes, and Ozil scores.

We also had another ruled off for some reason I don’t know. We were 3-2 up and Carroll got involved with the Arsenal keeper and defender, by the left hand post. There was a tussle and Carroll came out with the ball. Ref doesn’t blow. Carroll passes to Payet. Ref doesn’t blow. Payet taps the ball in and the ref blows??? WTF????

So MOTM is obviously Carroll for his first WHU hatrick. The game ended 3-3 and probably ruined our CL chances and Arsenal’s Championship assault.

One thing I should add, is the atmosphere. When we scored our second to equalize the game, while everyone on the pitch was celebrating with Carroll, Noble was running around the centre circle on his own, and Adrian was shaking hit net , while facing the crowd, like a madman. And the roof was coming off.

Same again tomorrow night and we win. The normal pessimist me has gone. I even tweeted while we were 2-0 down that I thought we would win (just as Carroll got his first)

#COYI

 

WHU vs Arsenal EPL 06/10/2012

October 7, 2012 Leave a comment

We come to our second London derby of the week, after our good win against QPR away on the Monday. Arsenal come to Upton Park of the back of a good win in the Champions League. That was not the first difference of the day. The ground was full and the atmosphere was fantastic.

Most WHU fans were optimistic about this game, as Arsenal have shown some weakness this season against the dead ball, and they are missing their talismanic striker Van Persie, following his exit to Old Trafford over the summer. Personally i was concerned they may end up starting Oxlade-Chamberlain and Walcott, and just kill us for pace.

Arsene helped me out by not starting either, but putting Podolski on the wing instead isn’t a bad replacement I suppose !

The game got off as expected with Arsenal piling in the pressure, with constant incisive passing. But as usual with Arsenal had no finishing quality (it was out on the wing as usual – this would frustrate me massively if I was a fan of our North London neighbours).

WHU’s forays into the opponents box were limited, but they weathered the storm at the beginning to fight back into the game. However it was still against the run of play, in the 21st minute, when Diame shrugged off Ramsey on the edge of their box, to absolutely rocket in the first goal of his Hammers career from an obtuse angle. Game on.

Then normal service resumed, but it looked like WHU would hold out the first half for a dream start. Andy Carroll was winning everything in the air, and as usual was bringing in other players. The improvement on Carlton Cole cannot be disputed now, and we need to do everything we can in January to hold onto the big Geordie.

Arsenal seemed to find space everywhere, especially on their left, and just before half time Poldolski got a cross in for Giroud to push home on the front post, to bring Arsenal level. Nolan went close to getting onto the end of cross to put us 2-1 up at the break, but just didn’t have the pace.

One all at half time, and although both teams were probably content, I’m sure Arsenal were the happier, having got back into the game at a crucial time.

The second half was more of the same, as the Arsenal pressure just got bigger and bigger. The space they find in the middle of the park is amazing, and WHU couldn’t close them down. However, WHU had some chances with Carroll coming close with a header going just past the post. At the 60 minutes mark Walcott came on, and didn’t look to clever to be honest. Until about 15 minutes later when Diame got robbed of the ball, Walcott got on the end of it with no one near him, and cooly slotted home to put the Gunners ahead. During that 15 Vaz Te halfheartedly got into a tangle with Mannone, and got rewarded with a dislocated shoulder. Also Demel, who was playing well, went off with knock to be replaced by Tompkins, who must be in for a shout for a next game, as we are losing defenders like Man U at the moment.

This put WHU into a bit of a spin, and the third looked imminent. But after 5 minutes we seemed to be making a fist of it again, with Nolan having a couple of chances that he didn’t finish. With 7 to go Carzola drilled in a 20 yrd screamer to end WHU’s chances of at least one point, and close the game out for Arsenal.

So we end up 1-3 to Arsenal, and we learn the the Premier League is still 2 or 3 leagues in one. We lost the game in the middle, as we spent most of our time chasing shadows, we were just not quick enough. Jarvis was also found wanting on the wing against Kieran Gibbs, as was Vaz Te when we swapped about. Whether this is fitness or awareness, will be down to BFS to sort out.

But its not all doom and gloom for the Hammers. Carroll was fantastic, and Reid played well again, as did Diame (although some final ball passing wouldn’t go amiss). Nolan’s fitness was found out again. Also, if Noble thinks he has an England chance, he needs to stop trying and failing to deliver Gerrardesque hollywood balls, and concentrate on what he is good at. Maybe he could hit the club shop and get a few season reviews from the Scott Parker era.

So not too disappointed overall, and after the international break we have Southampton at home, which should be 3 points for WHU on current form.

MOTM: Carroll for WHU, but overall Cazorla ran the game from start to finish, and got a good goal at the end.

Cazorla with 3 WHU players. A familiar sight unfortunately !