I must say, before kick off yesterday I was not expecting an easy match. Sure West Ham were without a few key players, but recently we’ve made such hard work of matches against them that I expected more of the same.
It would be unfair to Arsenal to say that the reason we won this game so comfortably was because of West Ham’s lack of desire. We were far more organised, committed and focused than we’ve been in the cup games just past and it paid of.
It also seems that when we have Theo Van Nasregas on the pitch we are unbeatable. Three goals, all created or scored by Walcott or Van Persie and you start to wonder about the people who have been calling for both of them to be removed from the side.
The first goal was a peach, a great cross by Theo, a lovely dummy by Samir, and a sweet strike with his chocolate leg by Van Persie. The second was a reverse without the help of Nasri. Great work from VP on the left, a pull-back, and Theo wanted the ball more than Bridge who looked like he wasn’t quite sure where he was all day. The penalty, Bridge on Theo, no question, and any fears we had about Theo’s dive admission costing him were put to bed early. Up stepped Van Persie and he doesn’t miss from the spot. Well, he’s missed one out of the last 13 he’s taken. Not a bad record for a player who seems to returning to form more often than on form.
But on form he was yesterday. His fight and determination leading the line was something Bendtner could do well to take on board. His movement, touch, and interplay is simply a class above any of the other strikers at the club.
In midfield Song and Jack broke up everything West Ham tried to throw at us, and Jack had such a good game that he’s now the punchline to a joke circulating on Twitter -
RT @arsenalgent: Newspapers reporting a grisly MURDER in London’s East-End. One of the dastardly culprits a vicious scamp named JACK the NIPPER.
Cesc looked far more interested than he had done against Ipswich and, as a result, the entire team benefited.
At the back Djourou had a bit of a wobbly game, no doubt a result of the nerves he must have felt playing alongside the ever-wandering Eboue. Kos was solid, and Clichy hoofing when in doubt was great to see. In goal, Chesney once again impressed, spreading himself in a way that must surely make Almunia cry at nights. He looks more and more like our number one and has done nothing to warrant being removed from the team when Fabianski recovers from his hip injury.
There was, of course, still time for Denilson to come on and show us that he still has no clue how to tackle, hanging out a leg on the half-way line in the same way he did v Leeds to give away the penalty. Of course, this time the West Ham player just skipped past him. What’s going on with him, I’ve no clue, and while he is good to have when we’ve got the ball, he’s really not the first you’d turn to if you’re looking to break up play.
It seems churlish to pick on the few annoying moments from yesterday, the Eboue wanderings (Sagna will be back for Leeds midweek), the Djourou mistakes, Denilson. For once, none of those issues cost us, but the longer the season goes on the less I want to see of Denilson and Eboue if I’m honest. They lack a focus which is detrimental to the entire team.
But, as I say, it would be childish to hang on to those examples. For the main part, the entire team knew they had a point to prove, and while I don’t think we really had to hit top gear, we strolled to three goals and three points keeping us very much in touch with the two Manchester clubs at the top of the table.
Leeds up next in the cup replay and while I expect there will be changes, I doubt they will be as numerous as they have been in past weeks. We need to win the game v Leeds, Wenger has stressed that he wants to go for it in every competition this season. A team and performance such as that against Leeds in the first match or Ipswich in the Carling Cup and we’ll be dumped out and rightly so.
In other news, Vermaelen, speaking to what I think is a Belgian website even though it is printed in Dutch, has confirmed he is set to undergo surgery in Sweden on Tuesday. Euromania or what? What happens after that I’m not too sure, but translating the article, it seems they have his club all mixed up:
“Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has got gray hairs by the absence of Thomas Vermaelen. Whenever the Red Devils looked as good as back, he relapsed.
“Wenger sent Vermaelen world for the best specialists and now insists on an operation. In Sweden, found the cause why he always relapsed.
“A small tendon that runs next to my Achilles tendon, provides moisture and irritation against the achilles tendon stores. They are now removing that little tendon, because that is ultimately pretty useless.”
“Hopefully the solution is. tangent then I usually have to fit in March with the Red Devils to be in the European Championship qualifying matches. But really I’d rather not forecasts about. I remain cautious.”
Ok then. You can read and translate the article for yourself here.
And that’s your lot for today.
Just for a laugh, here’s some Arsenal images from Goodzilla just because they’re funny.
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