To all Gunners it was beginning to feel like a long time since we last beat a team outright having drawn with City, Leeds and Ipswich recently. Today’s performance is just what was needed and will lift the moral of fans and players throughout the team, perfect timing as we have some vital Cup games coming up in the next two weeks.
As Bacary Sagna was facing his last match suspension Eboue once again filled in at right back, he played well throughout and spent most of his time in the oppositions half, Wenger may have had a word with Song about covering when Eboue pushed forward as Song seemed to be present to clear any danger when West Ham rarely countered. A massive improvement compared to Eboue’s midweek Ipswich performance.
Arshavin missed out on a place in the starting lineup as Wenger started what seems to be his proffered attacking choice of Nasri on the left, Fabregas central, Walcott on the right and Van Persie up front, creating the ultimate Theo Van NasRegas combination.
Throughout the game all players performed sublimely and West Ham could hardly get a touch of the ball for long periods, as soon as they’d battled to get a ball our midfield would work hard to quickly close down and regain possession, something the team seems to be getting better at every week.
Djourou had a few nervy moments here and there when pressured in the Arsenal half but managed to remain his cool and always find a way out of the tight situations, it’s easy to forget that he was also out for such a long extended period but is also getting back into good form.
Keeper Szczesny wasn’t involved for long periods but when needed he produced some good saves to ensure another clean sheet was added to his already impressive Arsenal record.
Our attacking in the West Ham half was spot on as all the team seemed to know exactly where each other would be and wanted to be allowing for smooth direct passing, this allowed us to retain possession and have points where possession would be as high as 85% in Arsenals favour. Wayne Bridge may have wished he’d signed on loan a week later as he clearly wasn’t ready for 90 minutes against the pace of Theo Walcott, a pass across the box from Robin Van Persie allowed Theo to run behind bridge and powerfully slot the ball into the net for a goal, Bridge also later fouled Walcott inside the box as he was once again too quick for Bridge and a penalty was awarded that Van Persie could happily score.
Something clear for all to see is that Robin Van Persie is now beginning to come back into top form, having been out for so long he’s not had the impact he used to in a few recent games but with two goals and one assist against the Hammers it’s obvious he’s on the right track.
Fingers crossed we can avoid any more serious injuries, maintain this winning mentality and continue on throughout this month. We have a very important FA Cup game against Leeds midweek which is now a must win, it won’t be easy at Ellend Road but we’ve won there many times in the past and just need to keep focus and play how we play best.
Our win today see’s us retain third position in the league after Man City managed to hold onto a 4-3 leads at Wastelands, tomorrow sees a tricky game for Tottenham against Man United in which Arsenal fans may actually choose to ‘support’ the Spuds. Any drop points for Man Utd would be a huge bonus and give us that chance of getting back to the top of the league, a Tottenham win would also mean the Mancs unbeaten run would be ended ensuring their dreams of matching our unbeaten record won’t develop.
Finally I’ll end by saying a few of the predictions for todays score were actually correct so very well done to @Verminator_5 and @raunyoubeauty for both predicting 3-0. oOh too, Ooh to be, oOh to be Ah Gooner!