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A few thoughts on the West Ham United league match.

March 16, 2015

A Strange feeling going over the Arsenal for a Saturday 3pm kick off.

Arsenal had a chance against West Ham to put some daylight, even for a short period between them and the other teams fighting for the top four trophy.

Arsenal : Ospina, Chambers, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Ramsey, Coquelin, Walcott, Ozil, Sanchez, Giroud.

Danny Welbeck and Santi Cazorla and Bellerin dropped to the bench from the win at Old Trafford. While Ramsey, Walcott and Giroud were in.

Arsenal had complete control of this match from start to finish, though West Ham did create a couple of half chances for Nolan and Jarvis, one saved by good positioning from Ospina and the other blasted over the bar. Surrounding these chances were numerous Arsenal chances. An early chance created by Ozil and Giroud saw Theo with a great chance, you could even say one of the instinctive chances he normally takes, but took too long over this one and allowed Collins to make the tackle, though looking at it on TV, Theo might have well been right to feel aggrieved at not getting a penalty.

A lovely chipped cross from Chambers found Ramsey and his effort was well tipped over by Adrian. A lovely though pass from Ramsey found Walcott, who took touch and could only shoot straight at Adrian. Then some good strong play from Walcott winning a tackle saw him burst down the right, lay the ball to Ozil onto Ramsey, chip to Sanchez who shot and Adrian pulled off another save.

Walcott again down the right winning the ball and beating the defender, lays the ball to Ramsey, onto Giroud, onto Ozil who shoots straight at Adrian when either side it’s 1-0. Walcott could not get his foot round the ball from the parry from keeper to slide the ball into the net. Mertesacker-Ramsey-Ozil-Giroud–Ozil-Ramsey and finally Giroud who smashes his shot into the far left hand corner and this time Adrian could nothing about it. 1-0 right on half time. This was proper Arsenal type football with quick incisive passing and movement, neat and right to each man making everything look simple and a quality finish.

West Ham had their chance from a corner but Jarvis belted over. The referee was substituted and Taylor came on for Foy. “you’re not fit to referee, you’re-not-fit-to-referee”

Ramsey-Welbeck-Ozil, lovely ball out to Welbeck who carried on his run-Ozil-Giroud-Welbeck-Ozil who for some reason instead of shooting chips the ball to Walcott on the far side, Theo can only head the ball back to Ramsey who controls and volleys just wide of the left hand upright. Another very good Arsenal move.

A Chambers throw in-Giroud dummies-Ramsey-Giroud back to Ramsey whose left foot side foots the ball past Adrian for 2-0. Reminiscent of the winning Cup Final goal. Arsenal really are pulling out some classic pass and moves in the match.

About fifteen passes leading up to this passage of play – Coquelin-Cazorla-Welbeck-Monreal-Cazorla-Welbeck-Cazorla-Giroud-Cazorla who slides the ball across the face of the goal for Flamini to simply tap into an empty net 3-0 Arsenal. Super, super football.

Some of the football and passages of pass and move were very, very good in this match. When Arsenal play like this, goals will come and as I have said in the past when Arsenal score two goals, the chances are they are not going to lose. Arsenal can be looking lethargic, playing within themselves, even playing poor and yet with the quality in the squad Arsenal have so many players that can suddenly make a difference. It’s not all great and wonderful that’s for sure, but it certainly looks to be improving and maybe part of that is the injury situation now clearing up. Arsenal do have a pretty good squad of players when most are fit.

The week saw Chelsea get knocked out of the Champions League. Manchester City lose at Burnley. Chelsea draw at home to Southampton and Tottenham get beat at Old Trafford by Manchester United. The last few weeks have seen some right results go Arsenals’ way.

I’m not going to go overboard, but the team has done well recently, well in domestic competition anyway. They have dragged themselves out of the mud to give themselves at the very least a good chance of not having to pre-qualify for the next seasons Champions league. Winning at Old Trafford gives Arsenal a great chance to retain the FACup. I’m not sure though that Arsenal can score three goals without reply at Monaco. Chelsea look like the season is catching up on them. Man City look to be struggling. I do think Arsenal have momentum and while there is a chance we could overtake one of those two if our current form continues I’m not sure both can be overtaken. Chelsea even playing nowhere near their best and looking and tired have a good points lead and a game in hand that should see them over-the-line.

Right now though, I’m enjoying the football Arsenal are playing and I’m enjoying the results, what more can you ask for from your football club. Ok we slipped up at the start of the season, I suppose that could be offset by Chelsea and Man City slipping up towards the end of the season. Yes we should have maybe got a result here and there, threw games away, But right now I reckon Man City, Chelsea, Liverpool, United and Spurs fans are saying the same thing.

I heard yesterday that in one hundred and thirty-four games in the Champions League where a team has had a two goal away lead going into the second leg the result has only been overturned twice. So there It is, that’s what Arsenal are up against in a nutshell. Whatever the outcome though, I hope Arsenal play well and at least get some result to keep the momentum going even if they are to go out.



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