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Arsenal v West Ham. The build up, the teams, the result, the fun

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Phil Gregory on Arsenal v West Ham United

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Morning Untold.

We’re straight onto the next cup final with the Hammers coming to the Emirates on Saturday, but first a quick word on the Hull game.

As a longtime Bendtner fan, life hasn’t always been easy for me. I had a huge argument about him with a few mates before an economics lecture, which happened to be two days before the Burnley game. Not the best of timing, in hindsight. Thankfully, before they could enjoy their moment, there was the small matter of his slamming in a hat trick in the champions league.

Slowly, he’s winning round the doubters: on my end, a few of them are just a  little bit quieter in their criticisms, no doubt wary of the fact they look more and more wrong with every game. And again, he grabs the winner (and not an easy finish, though Myhill shouldn’t really have spilled it) and no doubt his detractors will be that little bit quieter once more.

Keep it up, Nicklas.

And what a pleasure for that to prove Phil Brown’s last game in charge of Hull. Words cannot describe the dislike I hold for this man: he is truly vile and distasteful. With hindsight of what came out of “Spitgate” listen to the following radio interview with him:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/7950507.stm

Truly reprehensible. He just peddles lies and accusations, and then has the audacity to accuse somebody else of questioning his integrity. Phil Brown, you have none. His whole manner in the interview is awful, he comes across as rude and having an over-inflated view of his own self-worth in speaking down to these “mere” BBC journalists.

Ahh. I feel better now. Onto the Hammers.

We’ve got a demon to exorcise in this game, after throwing away two points at Upton Park earlier on in the season. I don’t think anyone expected West Ham to be where they are this season, perhaps off-field financial troubles have had a part to play, and no doubt a injury list to rival ours this season won’t have helped.

That said, I see them settling in the lower-mid table positions and a team in those reaches of the League shouldn’t be giving us difficulties at home.

In terms of injuries, Cesc and Rosicky are both “expected” to pass fitness tests this morning (no doubt it’ll be confirmed shortly after I send this to Tony). Song’s back from his suspension in what is a big boost for us, though Gallas is one big mystery at this stage. Physioclub now numbers four, with long term injuries keeping Ramsey, Van Persie, Djourou and Gibbs out.

Im going for:

Almunia

Sagna Campbell Vermaelen Clichy

Song

Nasri/Cesc Diaby

Eboue St Nicklas Arshavin

Honourable mentions to Rosicky, Eduardo, Theo et al on the bench. The mystery that is Vela may or may not be on the bench, I’m quite keen to see whether he is involved as he hasn’t been for a while and there are no reports of an injury.

Naturally, I may be wrong, Cesc in particular may be given a start if there is no doubt surrounding his recovery, that one is very much down to the medical team I think. Caution is, as ever the word when it comes to Rosicky.

Swiss midfielder Behrami showed himself to be a tidy player in our FA Cup clash, harrying play well and we’re likely to see much of the same. Other names for the Hammers are Carlton Cole, who is enjoying a productive campaign despite a few injury troubles along with the ever-solid Scott Parker.

I’m settling for a fairly comfortable home win. I know comfortable isn’t something we’ve done recently, but it’d be great if we could get a couple of early goals to our name. I’m looking forward to seeing Upson live, I’ve never really seen what the rave reviews that get him into the England squad are all about, so it’ll be interesting to see how he deals with the  in-form Bendtner..

3-0 to the Arsenal, and I’d really love the clean sheet. Sol had a couple of shaky moments in the win over Hull after some solid displays for us, so it’d be great to see a performance from the veteran Gunner.

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21 comments to Arsenal v West Ham. The build up, the teams, the result, the fun

  • Gf60

    Hope you’re right Phil. My misbegotten loins sired a Hammer so this is always a key game. Fortunately the genes resurfaced and he in turn sired a gooner!
    Off the subject but we’ve just drawn Barcelona…first leg at home. That should be fun!

  • simon bailey

    nice one Phil. i would love to see us do whu without cesc or rosicky. i know we have to play each game as it comes, but with 2 games against barca added into the mix in april, we really need to suffer no more injury setbacks.

  • Rhys Jaggar

    Gf60

    Sir Alex must be cracking open the champagne with that ECL draw. Bayern are no mugs, but no lions either. Then it’s his good friend Laurent Blanc! He clearly sees Rooney as his rampaging red bull in Madrid……..

    Well, if Arsenal are to win the Champions League, they’ll do it the hard way. Barca, then most likely Inter, then most likely Utd. Thierry Henry back at the Emirates. And a chance for us all to see Messi in action. A good test for the back 7 that, based on Wednesday night…….I guess AA will be up for it!! Show him his LFC exploits at Anfield to get him in the mood…..one or two of those would do nicely…….

    As someone who once knew a bit about DNA, I’m afraid the football gene is mostly nurture, not nature. And I guess Hammers were Ok fom 1964 to 1984, so it wasn’t a death sentence to support them then. That’s what I’d brief my brief to say, anyway……….

  • c.u.r.s.e

    jus sin it, got faith tho, they’ve bin beaten by a lot worst. reckon theyshould use a lottery type contraption tho.

  • Phil

    What a draw. Hoping to get to the away leg, with the small matter of my girlfriend’s birthday on the 6th. What I did to deserve that karma, God only knows!

    Win or lose, enormous game and it will be a true spectacle.

  • prick

    I’m sure most of the world would love to see this draw 🙂

    Bring on your best shot Messi, and welcome home Henry.

  • Paul C.

    Yes, after the shenanigans regarding Ade earlier this season people should get an idea how Arsenal fans welcome back a true hero when Henry walks onto to the pitch. What a brilliant moment that will be. Then I hope we stuff him out of sight!!!!!

  • Wonderman

    Phil, I hope we do beat West Ham 3-0 but I cant see it, especially as they were beaten so heavily last week, they will be looking to keep it tight and get a point, but I think we will win maybe 2-nil late on.

    I maybe one of the minority who are pleased we have drawn Barca. For me it is win/win. If we lose we lose to the favourites..big deal. If we win, pretenders to the throne collect their crown, the boost for the rest of the season becomes immeasurable. I think they will let us play as they know no other way…and we are at our most dangerous when we are allowed to play. I also think we have more goal threat than they do….take out Messi what is left, Henry will be torn mentally in this game ( as Vieira and Pires were before him) and I cant see him performing optimally

    But lets deal with West Ham first!!!

  • Abhishek

    Somehow most of the Arsenal fans are happy about it.. Here will be a team which will try to outplay us in the Emirates and also a team which will try to outplay Barca in Nou Camp…

    I guess any one who loves good football would love to see this match..

    Cant think of anything else..

  • walter

    First thing first and that is West Ham. Barcelona is fot later but what a game to look forward.

    West Ham is another important game. If there is the slightest doubt about Cesc or Rosicky I would not let them start the game. There are very important games in front of us where we really need them.
    Just hope that we get no more injury’s from now till the end of the season. A win would take us to first place on Saturday and will add pressure to MIOU and Chelsea.

  • george rodger

    im with Wonderman .its win win for me .people forget that Barca look so good because ,maybe,they dont get kicked to death every week.Least we forget how crap and lucky they were last year against Chavski.

  • AnonymousGun

    3 points. No Injury.

    Nothing else matter… Well, except maybe Pool winning this week ? :p

  • LRV

    Three point is more important to me in this match than a huge scoreline.

    Barcelona, ehn? We’ll see.

  • Paul C.

    I agree with others that there is no reason to be “afraid” of Barcelona. But we also have to be realistic. They are the best team in Europe, EASILY. They are the best team in the world, EASILY. They have the best player in the world, EASILY. It is going to be a huge challenge. But as someone else says above, it is win-win for us. A couple of games to savour and who knows? We can certainly win, of that there is no doubt.

    But this weekend and the Birmingham match first. It would be great to take a lot of momentum and positivity into those matches by winning our next two. I couldnt care less if we beat West Ham with a goal in injury time that comes off the backside of the referee as one of our players sneakily pushes the opposition keeper over and our full-backs blind the linesmen with frantic waving. I just want a win.

  • montreal_gunner

    Tough CL draw . First Barca , then Inter then Man UTD , we will overcome no matter what

  • critic

    hey, is gallas already with roma???why isn’t he is in ur physioclub.
    @ LRV
    yes u can only watch and perhaps pray may be….
    after travelling to nou camp ars face spurs, bidding two championship goodbye in 1 week?? who cares….go ars…

  • Naif

    Against West Ham, I’ll take any win, though it will be nice to bridge the gap in gGD with Chelsea and Manu, just in case u know.
    CL: considering that we’ve been criticised of late for not turning up in the really big games…i think this is one great opportunity for us go out there and show the world what we’re made of…
    and 1 small statistic might be of use: No Club has Ever Retained the Champions League.

    Can someone tell me whats happening to Fran Merida? No news on his injury? or is he not played because he’s leaving in the summer?

  • Phil

    Good point Critic, I missed him out accidentally. I drafted the article without any mention of him, waiting for the latest news and then forgot to add him. My bad, but well spotted!

  • jazbo

    2-nil with only 10 men on the pitch, what a team Arsene Wenger is building, now lets see what chelsea and Utd are made of.

    The Barca draw in the champions league is hard but not impossiable, they (barca) will be thinking it’s the worst possiable draw.
    So come on you gunners the double is on !!!!!

  • goonergerry

    Some players were fantastic in this game- Alex Song and Clichy for 2.
    Can we step up against Barca? Depends who is fit and which Arsenal turns up. Are Barca unbeatable?

  • AnonymousGun

    How many backbone players do they have to take from us before they admit that we are a very strong team.. very strong team indeed.

    We going to Bham next week WITHOUT our first choices CB (BOTH) and WITHOUT our first choice striker.