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August 2021

Arsenal – West Ham, business as usual

By Walter Broeckx

After having played a long semi final on Saturday evening the main question would be how the legs would react to the fatigue.  So it was no real surprise to see a lot of changes in the team. Half the team to be exact.

Gibbs wasn’t even on the bench after having to play with an injury last Saturday.  Vermaelen was put on left back and Koscielny who returned from injury came back to partner Mertsacker. Sanogo was replaced by Giroud. And Oxlade-Chamberlain and Ramsey were put on the bench to give them some recovery after having played half fit and half injured last Saturday. Kallstrom made his first start for Arsenal and Rosicky who only just recovered from injury himself completed the line up. Oh and we had another Pole between the poles this time.

West Ham who had enjoyed a nice rest last weekend were the sharpest in the opening minutes. Some dangerous crosses went past the Arsenal goal mouth but Vermaelen came twice to the rescue with good blocks. It took a while before Arsenal could produce something going forward. The team that had never played together in this formation needed some time to find each other on the field.  But gradually Arsenal got more of the ball and West Ham did what we expected them to do and that is drop deep, defend and then hoist it forward to Carroll and hope he could do something with it. Giroud missed the biggest chance for Arsenal when he was a foot offside but could go on but his shot with the outside of his foot was too weak.

That West Ham took the lead was a bit of a surprise at that moment. They didn’t look as threathening as in the opening stages but suddenly Nocerino found himself in space on our left hand side. His shot/cross was blocked by a combination of Szczesny and Koscielny (couldn’t see it clearly on my stream)  and fell kindly on the head of Jarvis who could head it home from a few meters out.

Disaster? Not in my book. Going behind against West Ham is the natural way of things in this universe. Last season, this season, we always fell behind and then came back and won. So I wasn’t too worried about going behind. I was more worried about the legs of our players and if their muscles would be able to do the job.

West Ham couldn’t enjoy long from being in front. After some pressure on the corner flag Arsenal could recover the ball high up the pitch. Podolski surrounded by 4 defenders was found and after a bit of controlling the ball he smashed it home low in the far corner. 1-1 at half time. Just as last season.

Would we get a repeat of last season when we crushed them in a few minutes? Not exactly. But we became better and better. Stronger and stronger. As if West Ham was feeling tired. Santi showed his desire to perform well. And he others joined in and controlled he midfield. Kallstrom who had a hesitating first half found his team mates better and better and I found that his positioning from a defensive point of view became better and better. He was in the right place on many occasions to win the ball back when it bounced of Carroll.

After some 10 minutes in the second half Arsenal got a corner but it was punted forward to Vermaelen who was the last defender. One look up and a long West Ham kick in the direction of Giroud was his option. Giroud was strong, had an amazingly control and smashed it home with his right foot. Should have used that one in the first half also. 2-1 to the Arsenal.

West Ham tried to punt the ball higher and higher but Szczesny was hardly troubled by the West Ham attacks. The whole team worked their socks off and had a few chances to break away.

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Ramsey came on for Rosicky with some 18 minutes to go. Ramsey tried a shot from distance but it went high. But he was lively and joined in the hard work from the rest of the team. With some 13 minutes to go we killed the game off.

Ramsey with a ball to Giroud on the left flank. Giroud waited a minute and Ramsey as usual wanting the ball back. Giroud with a cross to Ramsey on the edge of the penalty area and Ramsey headed it in the path of Podolski. And Poldi buried it high and dry! I think Adrian was lucky not to have it smashed against his face. He would have been knock out.

That is the Poldi we want to see more. Only a few chances to score but he can bury them with his dangerous left foot. Twice he was in the left hand channel in the penalty area with the slightest bit of space and then he can be lethal.

West Ham meanwhile continued their kicking it high to Carlton Cole this time who had came on for Carroll. But West Ham didn’t really came close to having a goal chance.

A very important win from a determined looking team. 4 games to go and a cup final after that. Let us continue in the way we did tonight. And may I add that I think this was the first time that the team didn’t panic after going behind in a match in the last weeks.  The confidence after having turned the match against Wigan?

Who knows, just carry on my Gunners!

40 comments to Arsenal – West Ham, business as usual

  • Florian

    Well done to the team, back on track for the 4th place.

    I thought Kallstrom was great. He is able to deliver great mid- and long range passes, and that’s what makes him dangerous. Shame he is not 6 years younger.

    And yes, giving Big Sam a head start is almost a script lately. And he follows it every time 😉

  • WalterBroeckx

    Forgot to mention: the ref was as predicted. He will not go on the field to destroy us. A few little errors but as we predicted and as we have found in our numbers from the past seasons: fair when Arsenal is on the field. And that will probably be the reason why Riley doesn’t send him over to us a lot.

  • elkieno

    Maybe we like to tease him by giving a lead, then taking it back. Or maybe WH are, who cares we won a 4:30am kickoff is hard to do but so is playing football in the epl.
    COYG few games to go, comon Palace and every other team playing Everton now…
    ‘An’ FA Cup victory and 4th is still building on last year…

  • Yassin

    Mr. Kevin Friend, a big thank you for this match. How we played is down to how he ref. No matter how bad we started, we can always come back, as long as its a fair one.
    Today shows how referees can affect a game. Arteta was back to last year awesomeness. So it seems the kicking he used to get was really affecting him. How Cazorla made a miss of the Hammers players. Those players played 120min. 3days ago!
    If all refs are of the calibre of Friend, we would have stayed 1st till now.

    kalstrom was so good, specially second half, defensively magical, bar their goal. Vermailen is a beast, and Giroud is my MOTM.

    What would be safer? A train running your direction or Podolski shooting your way you are the GK?

  • tungee

    Great team effort and brilliant individuals from santi, poldi and kim k notably

  • bjtgooner

    A good write up following a very satisfactory win. It is always nice to get a win against Sam.

    We scored three very good goals tonight, although we could and should have scored one or two more. But with a tired and rearranged team it was a good win against a rested West Ham.
    Well done guys.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Thank you Mr Friend, you and your team did a good job this evening, if only your colleagues followed your example. You were fair to both teams and gave us very little to quibble about. I’m glad you lived up to my billing!

  • finsbury

    Another accurate ref preview? 🙂

  • Jefferson Davis

    Guys and Gals,
    Are we going to persist with Yaya Sanogo? I hope not. Raw or not, the fella has no goal instincts and no shot. Basically he is a LUMP.

    And finally, when will MERSE just FOAD? He is so anti Wenger and dumb about it to that sometimes I wonder if he is Adrian Durham in disguise.

  • Menace

    Friend & co were initially ok but they reverted to PGMOL type. Many fouls ignored and many wrongly given. The going down by players had an effect on the refs decisions, particularly West Hams.

    Arteta seems to have a special place in being targeted whenever he tackles an opponent. It is frustrating but he has managed to overcome that and continue playing. It is time Podolski is played in the middle as his potency is his shooting. Giroud is a great holding player & useful in defence. He lacks pace but is potent in the 6 yard box.

  • Gord

    Complaining about Players – Part 0

    Humans are not naturally accurate. For instance, we have no end of people (mostly older) who will tell you that the weather is about to change, because their joints ache. When they were young, they read or heard about older people saying the same thing. And so as they became older, they proceeded to remember the times their joints hurt before a change in weather and forget the other times.

    I live in a region of Canada which has consistently (decade or more? Sorry, I don’t know how far back it goes) been among the most entrepreneurial communities in Canada. In large part, this is farming country (northernmost farming area worldwide, about the size of Germany), but the industry here is farming, forestry (often employing local farmers or children of farmers) and the oil patch (also employing local farmers, or children of farmers). My family briefly had a large farm (6210 acres) very close to the Rocky Mountains.

    I didn’t grow up farming, this was all high school and university time. But it was a 2 hour drive to get parts and a 2 hour drive back. For me, a quarter of my workday was wasted just driving. There is still the time to find the part, and the time before and after to find the problem and fix it. For most people that work (8 hour days or less), the driving is half their typical day.

    I think some occupations are predisposed to being good at being entrepreneurial (at least in some ways), farmers are one, and fisherman are another (Canada has both). Being able to adapt something that is available “here”, instead of many hours of driving to get the part and back, is important.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    Way to deep for me, mate.

  • Gord


    Possibly going deeper. 🙂

    Complaining about Players – Part 1

    Few teams have deep pockets. Oh, person A is going to be out for 6 weeks instead of 2 weeks, just go buy another player. No, they won’t get much playing time, but we will give them a villa for $10 on the Mediterranean coast.

    Very few teams can afford that point of view, and that is nominally why the FFP rules popped up. Whether they have teeth or can be effective is to be determined. But for most of the world, football is the game played by teams in a league in your locale. It is entirely possible that your football world is U-7 Girls in Podunk.

    Players progress by getting older, by becoming taller, stronger, more powerful, faster, having better balance, having better reaction time, by having better peripheral vision, learning how to throw a ball in further, or even such things as simulating fouls.

    And this happens from childhood until coming to Arsenal (or some other team). They have some natural ability, they have some learned responses, they had a cost, and they have some potential.

  • Gord

    Complaining about Players – Part 2

    People talk about a “first 11”. I don’t believe in a first 11, but I will play along.

    The approximate square root of 11 is 3, which (because of having studied too much statistical mechanics) suggests to me that if any particular team feels it only has a preferred 11 players, that any time more than 3 players are brought in during a transfer season, there will be problems incorporating those players. Sure, they could luck out bringing in 4, or they could have nightmares bringing in 2 (or 1).

    Having a first 11 only makes sense if you want to play the same style of play, every game. If you want to be able to play different styles, you now need most players to be able to play more than one style (well). But you probably need specialists as well. FIFA allows 3 subs, and so 11+3 and playing with square roots says that if you want a team to play more than 1 style, you want a “first 16”, and on the average, you wouldn’t want to be involved in more than 4 transfers per session.

    If you are going to set up a team to be able to play multiple styles, there is no guarantee that you will be able to impose a style on the other team (a game involves two teams). And so you need at least 3 key subs on the bench, in order to change your style to counteract what has developed.

  • Gord

    Complaining about Players – Part 3

    There are teams that will impose themselves physically. And all leagues worldwide (even the World Cup) develop their own level of what ILLEGAL action will be tolerated before fouls are called, cards are issued, or players are ejected.

    All of these pundits (probably with IQs close to their waistline in inches) are out to lunch. If you find yourself arguing a situation, or you find yourself listening to an announcer or pundit arguing the situation; it is most likely that the situation is technically a foul. What they are trying to argue, is if it should be _ALLOWED_. In the interest of allowing the game to flow, of course.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ Gord – Nice posts .Agree with you . Your homework for today is to come up with an equation which uses the following parameters(?) –
    2) AAAA
    3) PGMOL
    4)Transfer Window Panic Buys (TWPB)
    5)Annual Deadwood Clearance (ADC)
    6)Spend Some Fucking Money (SSFM)
    7)Smart Alecky Pundits ( and/or ex-players) & Sycophants (SAPS ).
    8) Bull & Shit Movements (BSM )

    You may use freely such terms as Fuck,nuke or screw them ; as well as add , divide or subtract them as many times as you wish.

    No matter what method I use ,I get the absolute and awesome same answer – Arsenal forever , Arsene Knows Best and Up The Gunners !
    How, I ask you could I be wrong ?

  • gouresh

    OG’s touch for the 2nd was absolutely superdupper. Wonder why no one has made a big deal out ot it. We should! Kim seems to be a neat player and you can see he loves putting those long diagonal balls, Theo would love to run at those. As mentioned in some of the comments, Poldi is lethal up front. How i wish we were not struck by injuries, it would have been so different.

  • Florian

    Sorry guys, been busy fighting player complaints on another thread 🙂

    Also, did anyone notice how the introduction of Ramsey changed the game? He rattled West Ham with his midfield pace, turns and ball circulation. I don’t have the stats, but I thought we created visibly more chances with him on the field.

  • ARSENAL 13

    i thought kim had a decent game. Nothing flashy there. But considering the fact that hez not had enough time to know the team…..

    Its all coming together back again for us now. Ramsey is back, Ozil is on his way back too…..

  • Asif

    Great to see the team now back on track…how I wish these injuries had not struck us the way they did. Happy to see Ramsey back and he seems to be picking up from where he left!

  • Blacksheep63

    @JeffersonDavis did you watch the match? Were you unhappy with Sanogo’s warming up? Did you not like the way he sat on the bench? Because he didn’t play… how about supporting the players that pull on the shirt like the thousands of us that were there last night did. Just an idea

    Podolski was lethal (its the best word) but last night he put in a shift for once, Santi was excellent, Rambo’s cameo was encouraging. I thought Verm gave away too many silly balls in the second half and we need Gibbs back soonest. There are harder tests ahead but this was a good performance under a lot of pressure.

  • Mike T

    Was the kick out on Jarvis a penalty? GN said on Sky had he gone down then yes and in truth it looked like a foul to me.

    Did the ref bottle it? Possibly but the worry is that players have to go down in the box otherwise the ref is able to take the easy option

  • jambug


    When I read your 6.23 am post I wondered who it was you had been ‘fighting’ on the other thread. My first thought was ‘Tom’ because he and I had a ‘failure to agree’ yesterday and he seemed to be in a particularly demonstrative mood.

    So I had a look. And knock me down with a feather !!!

    Quite simply he is an anti Wengarian who hasn’t got the balls to stand by his comments.

    Hence his assessment of Kalstrom having a poor game is used as yet another excuse to critisise Wenger.

    As Yesterday, the fact Liverpool are doing well is in fact apparently all Wengers fault.

    Problem is whenever you call him out he starts crying ‘I never said this, I never said that’

    He has an anti Wenger obsession but not the honesty to admit it !!
    He will make positive, accurate posts, but his hatred for Wenger is so ingrained that he just cannot resist turning any negative, real or imagined, into a pop at Wenger.

    A very frustrating individual.

    Any way, As for yesterday.


    A nervy start. Hardly surprising given recent events, but we got better and better as West Ham gradually seemed to lose interest.


    I thought Kallstrom had a solid first game. Corzola seemed to get a bit of his old sparkle back. Podolski and Giroud took there goals well. Kos and the BFG handled Carol very well.

    Ramsey is already showing how much we have been missing his work, his drive and his vision. Having him back and fit till the end of the season could be the difference between 5th and 4th spot.


    I thought he had a very good game.

    (I don’t even read the ref previews before a game as it’s got to the point where I just expect a poor performance. Apparently a solid and fair performance was predicted. Well done. It really does emphasis how accurate and reliable the work on Referees by Untold is.

    If this work was done by any other Clubs fans, or showed a similar bias against, lets say Liverpool, this form of in-depth monitoring of Referees would of been officially adopted and acted upon years ago.

    If the PGMOL really wanted good, fair, unbiased Refereeing, they would adopt it no matter where it originated. Alas they don’t).

    Hull next. Won’t be easy.

  • Florian


    Forgive me for giving people the benefit of the doubt. I had indeed a disagreement with Tom, but eventually he seemed to come within senses, so we called it good. My position wrt Arsenal and Wenger hasn’t changed one millimeter 🙂

  • jambug

    Mike T

    Personally I think Sagna possibly pulled out of it just in time. (I’m sure if Jarvis had felt ‘contact’ he would of gone down). Also I think SKY’s failure to make THAT much of it backs up my suspicions, because I’m sure if they could of shown conclusive proof of some contact they would of.

    I do agree with SKY though, that if he had gone to ground he probably would of got the penalty, because in real time, it did look as if he caught him.

    Without Shearers magnifying glass I suppose we’ll never know for sure.

  • jambug


    I did read that.

    I just think he has an obsession with blaming Wenger for everything, but strangely, he constantly claims to support him. He seems to be in denial.

    I just think he should ‘come out’. It would be good for his soul.

    Conversely, it could be said that I’m obsessed with defending Wenger.

    I don’t have a problem admitting that. I am ‘out’ so to speak !! 🙂

  • Rupert Cook

    @Yassin, that’s right if it wasn’t for those damn refs we’d not have lost 6-0 to Chelsea, 3-0 to Everton, 5-1 to Pool or 6-3 to City. JEEZ!

  • bjtgooner

    Another unnecessarily corrosive comment from the rupert – twisting a positive comment from Yassin into an anti team snide remark – typical rupert.

  • jambug

    Rupert Cook.

    Totally dismissing the enormous weight of evidence assembled by Untold that clearly shows a distinct anti Arsenal bias, by a very large proportion of Referees, is as ridiculous.

    But I agree blaming refereeing biased for all our ills is also ridiculous. But you seem unwilling to concede it has hardly any effect at all, if any.

    I think you are as bad in your dismissal of refereeing bias, and it’s effects, as Yassin may be in his over stating of it’s effects.

    The truth is possibly somewhere in the middle.

    In my opinion it does have an effect, a big effect, but it certainly cannot be blamed for all our failings.

    Please answer this question.

    Do you dismiss Untolds analysis on Referees as irrelevant, and if so why?

  • ARSENAL 13

    Well the Sagna incident, I thought ref will give it. But ref let it go. It would have been harsh, but ref had a case there.

  • Yassin

    And what does your post mean? What does that have to do with what I said? Or is it that you always want to argue all the time?

  • gouresh

    On the penalty call related to Jarvis and Sanga, i felt the ref got it right. Yes there was contact, but it would have taken some1 like god (not that believe in him/her) to score because the was was kicked well away from the goal. The so called pundits insisted that it was. So much for them being call Pundits, which in Sanskrit means the learned one.

  • AL

    I’m disappointed when pundits like GN (he’s becoming just like the rest) over analyse a situation like jarvis not going down, and concluding that had he gone down he would have got a penalty. First and foremost, players are supposed to stay on their feet unless if absolutely impossible. So congratulations to jarvis for staying on his feet. Secondly, by reaching such a conclusion what message are the pundits sending across? That jarvis was stupid not to go down. Next time he’s in a similar situation he will remember those words. Even Alan Smith’s fellow commentator said Allardyce would be livid in the dressing room at half time. That was my cue to turn the volume off….

  • bjtgooner

    Sky unsports have beating the Sagna/Jarvis penalty incident to death. I wonder who in that organization decides what items to highlight?

    Sagna did not go through with the clearance & the contact with Jarvis was minimal – so Jarvis did the correct thing in playing on. A non penalty was probably the correct call.

    I wonder Mike T, since you decided to raise the question on this thread, what would have happened if Jarvis had been playing for Chelsea? Eto’o would certainly have demonstrated a tripple salco followed by a belly flopper and probably needed oxygen; but well done Jarvis.

  • jambug

    And there I was thinking SKY would still be trying to figure out how Liverpool defenders are allowed to blatantly punch the ball away.

    Or am I sadly mistaken ??

  • AL

    Hope the site is back up finally, this has been a miserable 24hrs.

    The jarvis incident is shocking, not only was it sky, it’s everywhere. Yet like jambug says a more blatant penalty call was ignored in a potentially title deciding match between city and Liverpool

  • AL

    Might as well post all my thoughts before the site disappears again 🙂

    Read somewhere that city fans were not happy they got Atkinson (whose allegiances to a certain club from West London are public knowledge) yesterday against Sunderland. Heard they could have got a penalty or two, plus a red card, but nothing given
    It just may well be sour grapes but I think sending Atkinson to do a city game at this stage of the season sounds a bit naughty of the pgmol.

    Well done Palace 🙂

  • El Gringo

    Regarding the Sanga/Jarvis incident, there are transparent double standards with people harping on that incident without mentioning the blatant penalty denied Arsenal early in the second half when a West Ham defender practically removed Giroud’s shirt to keep him from leaping for a cross (iirc, around the 50th minute). Said defender broke the laws of the game just as much as Sagna did, so why the silence?

  • Ray from Norfolk, Virginia

    Jarvis was more responsible for the contact than Sagna, so no penalty no matter what, IMVHO. Of course, you could picture a cnut like Suarez going down theatrically, and getting a penalty or a yellow card.

  • Mahdain

    Well what do you know… Mike Dean cant ref the final so who should we send them? Lee Probert ofcourse. I was hoping we would get someone who i wouldnt have to worry about but oh well