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West Ham United 1 Arsenal 5

December 4, 2016

Apart from Coquelin, the team rested against Southampton were all restored for this match. Jenkinson was apparently taken out of the spotlight from his mid-week  performance against Southampton and replaced at right back by Gabriel who this week had, had his own nightmares to contend with.


How refreshing it was to see Arsenal play and dominate most of a game of football. Right from the off it was clear Arsenal were winning this match. I reckon the players could have taken their feet off the pedal, put the handbrake on, played with less intensity, feel exhausted from previous matches, no urgency, lack focus, played Sanchez strapped in a wheelchair and we’d still have won. The most one-sided Arsenal v West Ham match since I saw Arsenal beat them 6-1 at Highbury in 1976 with Brian Kidd scoring a hat-trick Alan Ball grabbing two and the legendary George Armstrong getting the other.


OK! West Ham had injuries, but that’s something Arsenal have had to put up with for years. I could not believe the amount of times Arsenal attacked down the left and crosses from Oxo and Nacho were put into the box and we could not finish. I thought some of the balls were placed into the right areas and yet Sanchez, Theo and our midfielders were simply not gambling and expecting the ball put on a plate to them towards the edge of the box.


A few minutes spell of West Ham pressure saw the first shot of the match in anger came from Lanzini as Cech saved at the near post. Then West Ham’s make shift defence lost the ball under pressure from Coquelin (who I thought was superb) the ball run to Sanchez who cleverly knocked the ball past the West Ham defender and squared to Ozil for a simple tap in 1-0 Arsenal. The beauty of closing down your opponents and not letting them play.


The rest of the half was all about Arsenal not having composure going forward and wasting chances with poor final balls. The half ended 1-0. I have mentioned it before, I’m not sure what the half time team talk is all about in the dressing room but like Sunderland away Arsenal came out half-a-sleep. West Ham started to rally, the crowd grew in voice and you could almost feel a typical Arsenal coming up.


Arsenal then brought on Ramsey and were back to their full compliment of eleven players. Then after more chances at being wasteful and not being composed enough in front of goal, a pass from Mustafi was pinged into Sanchez who with his magnetic feet, controlled the ball, turned, beat two players and rifled the ball into the net with an authority that he made his mind up it was going to be goal.  I do love it when a player finishes with purpose.


Sanchez was at it again eight minutes later with a twenty yard half volley that was placed just out of reach of Randolph. West Ham then got a soft free and Payet’s superb shot hit the bar and who else would be there to stick the ball into the net from the rebound with his head but Carroll. This bloke is simply a head, the rest of him is pointless.


Oxo was up next planting a cracking shot from all of 25/30 yards in to make it 4-1 (I though Oxo also looked good and should be given a longer run the team). Two minutes later Oxo set Sanchez free and though offside the play was allowed to continue. The West Ham defender was beat, Sanchez bored down on goal, did a step over, sat the keeper on the seat of his pants before chipping the ball into the net for 5-1. This season we have seen two goals from Ozil and Sanchez that have been world class.


Many of the West Ham faithful had, long  enough since left and swaths of white seats reflected their displeasure. I do tend to feel a bit sorry for West Ham fans the move has hit them hard. It’s not a football stadium. The Arsenal fans chanting is “is this the Emirates” saying loudly what modern football has become.


Gabriel played well at right back. Koscielny is simply superb and though not yet there with Adams and O’Leary in the legend stakes the bloke is a proper defender. His partnership with Mustafi is looking very good. At the back of them we have a superb keeper in Cech, the man is the epitome of cool. Xhaka should start from now on as his partnership with Coquelin suits out style of play. Ozil was simply Ozil.


I still have my doubts though about Arsenal. We turned up for about seventy minutes of yesterdays match, yet when we play like that at Everton and City, I’ll really start to believe we have moved on.


How nice to be able to feel really good about a win. It would not be to outlandish to say it could have been 10-1.





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