Arsenal – West Ham a bad start

By Walter Broeckx

Arsenal made two changes compared to the side that beat Chelsea 1-0 to win the Community Shield.

Debuchy came in at right back in the pace of Bellerin and upfront we had Giroud in the place of Walcott. And maybe one surprising name on the bench… Alexis.

The team that started: Cech, Debuchy, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Coquelin, Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ozil, Cazorla, Giroud.

On the bench: Ospina, Gibbs, Gabriel, Chambers, Arteta, Walcott,Alexis.

In the first minute a bit of a late tackle on Özil but Atkinson ignores it. But he makes for that when Noble first slips and then launches at Coquelin and he pulls out a correct yellow card. And another card comes out minutes later when Ogbbonna brings down Oxlade-Chamberlain. The resulting free kick is deflected off the wall in to a corner. Koscielny’s header goes over the crossbar. Oxlade-Chamberlain with a volley but the ball flies a meter over the crossbar. Kouyaté with a tackle on the bal but also clamping the leg of Ramsey. WHU surely know shy of any kicking in the opening 15 minutes. No score after 15 minutes and two deserved yellow cards against West Ham United players.

West Ham a first time with a something that looks dangerous when Payet can keep the ball in play but nobody at the end of his cross. Well no WHU player. Tomkins chops down Giroud but no card this time from the ref. Arsenal with all the possession and attacking but some passing not up to the required standard so far. Coquelin with a great steel and cross to Giroud but his attempt is blocked by a defender. The Ox with a great run from his own half but Cazorla can only put his cross over the crossbar. Still 0-0 after 30 minutes.

But it could have been better the next minute but the diverted shot from Ramsey hits the crossbar. We are getting closer. Per almost can score from a corner but Adrian who completely missed the cross is lucky that the ball bounces back in his arms. Tomkins with a hack on Monreal and now he gets the deserved yellow card. Arsenal pressing and just like last year in this match just not able to find the opening. Last year Giroud did it in the last minute of the first half. Can we do it again? Cazorla with a ball to Giroud but he was just judged offside but the keeper saved it in two times. The ref then gives a free kick for a high foot from Ramsey (rather soft as away from the player) but the free kick is floated in and Cech comes alte and Kouyaté heads it in. 0-1 to West Ham after 43 minutes.

Özil immediately with a chance but his effort is blocked and the rebound from Debuchy is also blocked. Completely against the run of play but Arsenal go in 0-1 behind at half time.

Giroud working on the flanks a lot at the start of the second half and nobody close enough when Adrian spills a cross. Özil with a cross to Giroud but he fires it in the side net. Theo Walcott making himself ready to come on. Oxlade-Chamberlain with a cross to Giroud but Adrian can save his low shot. And then suddenly Zarate with a low shot at the other end and it goes in. 0-2 after 56 minutes. Arsenal losing the ball just in front of their own penalty area costing them dear. Theo comes on for Coquelin.

A header from a free kick but straight at the keeper from Mertesacker. After 66 minutes Alexis came on for Debuchy. All or nothing and as we had nothing for the moment the only thing one can do. Not what he wanted to do at the start of the match I think. Theo on the right and the Ox covering behind him and Alexis on his left flank will have been the tactic now. But first Monreal get a yellow card for a clumsy tackle on Noble. West Ham taking all their time to waste as much time as possible now.

A corner ends up in front of Alexis but it is blocked by a defender. Koscielny with a back header but this time Cech is first on the ball. A shot from Alexis is somehow blocked and kicked away. Giroud and Tomkins clash with their heads and this ends a possible chance for Arsenal as the ref has to stop the match. The long injury lay off broke the tempo from Arsenal a bit. Sakho on the counter but his low shot was saved by Cech. Arsenal with a few half chances but each time a leg or a body from West Ham in the way and a shot from Oxlade-Chamberlain in the side net. Alexis clearly not completely match fit. Arsenal pressing but always bodies in the way.

Oxlade-Chamberlain with a long run but Giroud can only put his cross over. Adrian with a good save after a shot from Alexis.

Two big mistakes cost us this match. We didn’t play great at all but that doesn’t mean you have to concede the goals we did. One time a big error on a free kick and one time losing the ball in front of our own penalty area. Stupid mistakes we shouldn’t make. Attacking wise too many times the wrong option was taken. West Ham parked the buss effectively and was lucky we made the fatal mistakes.

The good thing is that we are only 1 point behind the team that will be champions come the end of the season.

81 Replies to “Arsenal – West Ham a bad start”

  1. just another bad day in office when plays just seem so disjointed and lots of misplaced passes… some players just trying too hard to impress and made the wrong decision… defence sleeping on two occasions and got punished real hard…

    fortunately, all this can be remedied internally and find the right balance again! on other news… sanchez is looking good again 😀

  2. It proves how correct Arsene Wenger is when he says how important it is to get the first goal.

  3. It reminded me of the match against monaco. We started the match as if winning and dominating would be inevitable and then once we conceded, everyone was in panic mode. after what happened today, im expecting arsenal to be really focused next week, probably go on a good run and then again when you least expect, they are gonna have a shock result. Always happens

  4. A bad day and now we are in the catch up situation.

    We played with a lot of effort, but with too much emotion and too little guile. Lets hope we are better next time!

  5. I was surprised to see that starting left & right back combo. They played well enough but we missed the attacking runs of Bellerin or Gibbs.

  6. The players were complacent and did not have an answer to west Hams resolute defence, we were u imagined in attack and not have enough determination to take complete control of the game. Wake up call for the players!

  7. TailGunner
    Debuchy is a better defender than he is an attacker. Bellerin the other way round. Same with Monreal and Gibbs.

  8. If only we had won, because I have a feeling Chelsea will draw the next game as well. Now the pressure is on to win the next game.

  9. This was always going to be a tricky game. New manager with new ideas and some new players is always difficult to prepare against, but even still if Arsenal had a game plan, one would be hard pressed to discern what that was. Too many floated, hopeful balls into the box, aimed at one Arsenal player surrounded by three West Ham defenders.
    Giroud crossing the ball from the left flank to no one in particular twice, what’s that all about?

    Some players still believe that picking the right option is just an option. Sorry, Ramsey but when your right back makes a dash into open space, you play him in on goal instead of taking a speculative shot from distance.

    Too many erroneous passes and slow movement off the ball , made it far too easy for the Hammers. Whatever the set up and the tactics were today , some of our players looked confused on the pitch.

    Two defensive errors by the defense and Cech.
    When you set up a high line from the free kick, it’s with the intention of attacking the ball and not letting attackers a free run on goal.
    Also, defenders out wide can’t play everyone on side( Coquelin)

    Cech was more culpable on firs goal than the second , where he was unsighted and had to take a gamble to move either way and he got punished.

    In the recent article,Tony listed 10 things that might prevent Arsenal from winning the title and they were all things outside of our control. Today we saw another thing that is more likely to prevent us from winning it than any other reason and that’s not playing up to our standards.

  10. We actually played well(sort of), but just did not finish well and were ineffective. West Ham looked like they played possum and then attacked like they had a plan to win. Seems like we need a kick start as usual. 🙂

    Either we underestimated them(surely we do not do that anymore?), or ….
    Arsene Wenger did not get up once, i wonder if he knew the (end)score already?

    This year is going to be the toughest year ever in the PL. Teams are fired up to stay in PL.

    I was also surprised to see the change, but Bellerin injured apparently. This formation tends to not do so well as the other one.

  11. 5th Gen

    The Match Report at says that Bellerin hurt a muscle.

    Santi had his 150th appearance, and Koscielny had his 200th.

  12. Still concerened that we haven’t addressed buying a decent DM. Coq has been fab in the role since January but it still early days for the lad and we can’t honestlt say he’s established himself as one of the best DM’s in the PL after so short a time. Also, what happens if he gets injured? Arteta?

  13. I’m sure Arsene is still working on a bit of business as Cech was an awesome buy but Ospina gave a good account for himself last season so Cech wasn’t someone we desperatley needed. I exepect a new face before the end of August – We simply cannot be finished in the market and expect to challenge for the title.

  14. We need to protect our home at all costs. Emirates, no one is to come there and beat us in our own house, that’s just not right man. Just not right.

  15. Samrrat Jha
    That’s my point. We went with two more defensive full backs instead of our usual one attacking/ one defensive. Someone else has said that Bellarin picked up a knock so that explains it

  16. para
    for that to happen we need to improve our passing a lot. we don’t seem to score that many from corners or crosses so I think Giroud needs to take his chances a little more regularly.

  17. Very sad to see our supporters leaving early. I’ve never done that, not even when watching in the pub.

  18. TailGunner
    think it’s just a blip. I mean we are expected to see off WHU any day of the week and twice on weekends. They just took their chances while we couldn’t.

  19. Yeah I don’t like to see supporters leave early but in the pub it’s not a big deal, catching the tube is! 🙂

  20. Funny I can’t wait for the start of the season and yet too many times I want to forget the opening game. 🙁 Still we’ll sort it out. COYG!

  21. The result was not a surprise to me at all. I have come to expect games where the players just stroll out expecting to win and cant change it up when they realise that they are in trouble.

    Poor preparation and stupid excuses post match from the manager. ‘nervous’??? West Ham didn’t look nervous.

    I have no expectation at all that we will win the league and find it incredible that any fan would.

    Just another laughable performance in a long list.

    Buy a striker, Wenger.

  22. @Walter, Good match summary. Things were not clicking at all today.

    @Jayram, I agree it was a bad showing by the team, but think you’re overreacting a bit. Consider West Ham have been playing competitive games for 5.5 weeks already (Their Europa League games started on July 2nd). And consider this:

    Remember the 2012-2013 Manchester United team? They lost the 1st game and ended up winning the league by a good margin.

    The team that won the title has had the top goal scorer only a little less than 40% of the time (9 times out of 23 seasons).

  23. Not so excited about the start of the season any more!
    We’re dead last in the table on the opening day.
    The bright point is that things can only get better from here onwards!!!

  24. @Jerry I believe that is the only occassion in PL history and, lets face it, our team doesn’t hold a candle to that Utd one.

    We just started the season with teh same old issues running right through the team as we have witnessed for nearly a decade.

    Nothing has changed. I admire your optimism, I really do, but I can only presume deep down you know we are not good enough to win the league.

  25. @jayramfootball; spot on mate. Well put. Too mnay people are blinded by stupid pre season results.

  26. Balance in a team equals confidence in a team. Players don’t have to worry about other players, they’re simply focus on their own jobs. When you play Ozil on the wing, the whole team has to work harder because nothing product will come from that position. Ozil is not to blame for the fact that he can’t take on players and track back, his speciality is behind the striker and feeding people. Not only does Wenger not buy players we need(i.e. striker, holding midfielder, centre back etc) but time and time again he puts players in positions that will only make the team unbalanced and worse off. The purpose of a manager is to manage the squad. Wenger doesn’t seem to do that well. He is the problem with Arsenal FC.

    Put them as favourites, and Arsenal will collapse. There is something in the mentality that really pisses me off. The players act, if they are freakin Barcelona, like they have won back to back UCL, and their style of play is so unique, they win with ease. Today’s game was the same as the home game against Monaco, the players were so condescending, complacent, and lacked focus, but at the same time, the moment they conceded, their confidence fall apart. Arsenal fans deserve much better to be honest, Wenger is like a hen always protecting its chickens, they need to feel the wrath, and to understand that this is the year, they can actually win the league, otherwise several of them have to leave. For me today was a collective failure, I hope the media does not disguise it behind the mistakes of Peter Cech.

  27. Certainly very disappointing, especially after all that had gone before in 2015 and pre-season.

    However, one swallow does not a summer make. Let’s see what happens by the end of October.

    In other words, Jayram: chill.

  28. @Robert

    I agree. 1 swallow does not make a summer.
    However, the same damn flock of swallows shitting on us form a great height for 10 years does tell us something.

  29. :jayramfootball: But it’s ok we won the Emirates cup lol…Players were too busy taking selfies and arguing about who has the neatest quiff haircut after the Chelsea match, this was a wake up and a reality check (or should I say Cech) that not only the fans but the team needed after getting carried away after meaningless pre-season matches. The difference between Mourinho and Wenger is that if Chelsea lost 2-0 at home to Swansea after the match he’d be in the players faces spitting and dropping people left, right and centre…Wenger on the otherhand will give the team a cuddle and some Ice lollies and tell them it was just a one off.

  30. @Jayram,

    I only looked at recent times, but doesn’t hold a candle to that United team? It was actually one of their weaker teams, only winning due to RVP. You can’t just flash the cash and then a magical mysterious world class striker appears. Out of all the contenders, only City and Chelsea have pure strikers with a better rate than Giroud.

    Rooney wastes more chances, yet never gets any blame due to the British bias.

    The whole off-season media and what not states we need to buy a world class GK, DM, and CF. We bought the world-class GK and guess what, one can argue that he’s the one that cost us the game today!

    Players will make mistakes, teams will have bad days, it’s how they respond that matters.

    This team needs better supporters/fans to lift them up, not get on their back.

  31. This is agood wake up call for both the players and the fans. We were talking of winning the league based on a few good results instead of taking it one match at a time. Even the usually reserved and circumspect Wenger was talking about targets and premiership. Not that we should not have goals, but getting carried away leads to overconfidence. There was too much pressure on the players by this talk of title and such stuff.
    We will be ok. Just got overconfident. Again, this match highlights that everyone has strengthened this year because of the TV money and there are no easy games.
    Crystal Palace is going to be just as tough. We cant just turn up and expect to get points. The players should take each game as it comes and leave the talk to the pundits and the blogs and the media.

  32. And you completely overlooked that 14 of the 23 teams that won the Premier League, DID NOT have the top goal scorer in that season. Hence you have a better chance of winning if you have a complete team with the goals spread out, rather than relying on 1 individual.

  33. I told you apologists we needed a central defender, you said we had great defenders. I told you we needed a holding midfield player, you said we had the guy on loan at Charlton last season. I told you we needed a striker, you said we had Giroud (I’d sooner see Akpom who is on loan at Hull). I said we didn’t have a good enough squad, you said we have 2 players for every position. I said nothing had changed from last season apart from Cech and there was no guarantee he would be better than Szczesny/Ospina, you said he would win us the PL. And finally you apologists said Arsenal will win the PL this season. I said ‘We will never win the PL again with Wenger in charge’. Once again for the 12th season running I shall be right and you lot will worship Clouseau. Pathetic performance, pathetic manager.

  34. Jamie

    I bet you just couldn’t wait to say that. You seem rather pleased to be vindicated. I’m not one of those who subscribe to this aaa rubbish, but when I read post like yours I have some empathy with them.

  35. Jamie

    We are talking in extremes here.Just as winning the charity shield does not ensure success in the league, one bad performance is not the reflection of the quality of the side. It will be judged based on a sustained spell of performance or lack of it.

    The teams which improves as the season goes by and adapts is the one which will win. Everyone is going to drops points, patience is the key. 80 pints may win the title this year.

  36. Jamie,
    You apparently have a lot to say. I say you will never show up here when Arsenal wins and plays well.

  37. We were not pathetic but poor in our approach. There was no hunger!!! Our players need to put through some tough work to feel pain. Their approach is too technical & not ruthless enough. Giroud need to start shooting with venom. Passing the ball into the net needs accuracy.

    We were unlucky in attack & poor in defence. It is not easy to play with the weight of a biased official stopping your progress. Picking on petty pseudo fouls & allowing physical challenges to go without correction.

    Not a big issue yet – we have to adjust and correct quickly.

  38. Jamie – you said? Put some money where your gob is dude. I still think Arsenal will win the League & the FA cup.

  39. Hey Janie, you have said quite a lot here. Which club have you managed? We all would love to know.

  40. @Menace,
    I beg to disagree over Atkinson. After all the pre-match concerns, I feared the worse. But then came 3 early yellows following nasty fouls.
    I’m no armchair referee but I thought overall he did OK. 😉

  41. Lets give AS porkies their due. They played well. As for us, we were not sharp enough. Ozil, wasn’t in the game and too much emphasis on Santi to pull the strings. The defence did well baring 2 mistakes from Peter. I am excited to see the Ox week in week out.

  42. People jumped on me when I said Benteke would have been a good buy. Well he is a man mountain compared to Giroud who was continually outfought. Also Benteke is a better finisher and would do well in our team. Never mind Truelies is happy with the squad and so is Wenger. Terrible performance today. Did the game last week go their heads? One meaningless game and we are title winners. How stupid are these people. Ozil and Ramasy were awful today. Ozil has not justified his fee. He is becoming the new Hleb. Usual start of season service from Wenger. We will not win the PL with this manager but as long as some nerds in a cellar are happy that’s all that matters. It was a gutless performance today which so typifies a Wenger team.

    We got what we deserved.we were poor and the same old story of cutting inside into a rush hour m4 west ham defence.i’ve also said we will need to win 15/16 of our home games and not lose 5 games all season.lost our first with 37 to go.on today i will not argue one bit that we need another striker.but can anyone honestly tell me we still don’t need another centre back and combative midfield player.pre-season was exactly that and i was one who never believed anything in it.shameful performance and on that evidence we don’t need two but three players.

  43. Menace…I will be here I promise..when we win and when performances like this need addressing.

  44. Atkinson was poor. The 3 yellows were blatant. No ref could have ignored them. In fact, Tomkins should have had an earlier yellow, so he should have been sent off. Atkinson was clearly keen to revert to type after the yellows. First West Ham goal from an imaginary free kick. Then second half: a succession of imaginary free kicks to West Ham, whenever one of their players decided to fall over, contrasting with his refusal to see fouls on Arsenal players and his total faiure to deal with blatant time-wasting.

    Overall, Arsenal were not good enough to win, especially against 12 men. Today’s game a perfect illustration of how we will always have to be better by an additional margin, to beat opponents and PGMOL.

    AAA can relish this result. True supporters will hope for an improvement from now on.

  45. Jamie;Its all well and good coming on here and barking about what “you told us”(whose >us< anyhow?- plenty of diverse opinion at UA), your comments are a case of misplaced anger; Untold doesn't relay any advice from people through to Wengers office once theyve had their rant or to the culprits of the day or the latest player-scapegoats,you know the ones that have ruined your evening because you cant cope with losing.
    Im pretty sure the players will be angry and Wenger too.Why is it assumed they dont want to win?Its a poor performance, and they lost,and there are lots of reasons,we can go to quantum level and heck we can even bring in some astro people if thats your bag;its really endless and endlessly revised in hindsight, the old blame game.
    Anyone whose played to a certain level, and for a time, knows that this happens,yep,its shit,but its football. I agree they were poor, and couldn't cope psychologically with the first and second goals, but WHU wanted it more and could sense the flaw in the over- confidence of the pre seasons games.So its a wake up, and I hope they do, as do all Arsenal supporters.Yep, its a shock, but people at UA support Arsenal and also like them to win.
    Its always the same on UA when the team lose and people who dislike Wenger come on venting spleen:an inability to discuss and always boiling down to a debate,- one thats based on hindsight.In a debate one is "right" and one is "wrong", in a world of constant flux its impossible to see what might come next or any implications over a long, long time.No I dont like it anymore than anyone else.Maybe we will win the league, maybe not, who can tell?
    Even if this website exists or not, Untold has no true influence over the higher echelons of the club, I think you would be better off writing to the club and Cech and Coq (etc)and telling them what they did wrong,what can we do at UA?.I get the feeling they will already feel ashamed,and then angry at the public humiliation and its internet out pouring of anger and insult,(death threats perhaps?) on quick overview of this and we can see how extreme peoples opinions can be,after the 20th century haven't we all had enough of extremism and where it can lead?Obviously not.It takes a tough person to not be affected by negativity by the way and opinion on social media etc is out of control, or at least is letting people rant to make profiles of everyone.
    We are just a group of people at UA who like Wenger and still think he can do it,its not that a big a deal, its just a blog of decent people who have a similar perspective.Its not really the crime of the century is it to have an opinion thats different from Le Grove?
    I understand you're angry,after all its the next psychological step after feeling the shame of being beaten today on the ladder to feeling better.Calling people on here "apologists" is a bit cheap though.I think also to say we worship Wenger is wrong and misplaced and untrue.This isnt a place of blind faith at all, but week after week most people here are putting forward stats and views that show the opposite of what the anti Wenger people feel is the truth.
    I understand how people see it being so, I just dont agree.I think if you and other people who had a different opinion would see it as more a chat then you might get an interesting discussion, but other wise it seems a bit potty.
    I think that discussions are much more interesting as it underlines everyone being on the same side rather than isolationist/schisms.All Arsenal fans are at the bottom line on the same side arent we?

  46. We were well below our best, made some bad mistakes, enjoyed poor luck, and lost our first game of a 38 game season in a league that could well live up to its billing this year as the most competitive one in Europe. That’s all there is to it.

    The joy we get out of football is largely based on how difficult it is to be great at it, especially as luck plays a role like few if any other major sports, and then we completely lose our shit when, alas, the team do happen to lose one game? That doesn’t add up at all.

    If your joy was based on some sort of near guarantee of winning, and to be denied that pleasure makes you furious and disgusted, that’s your own problem with misunderstanding fundamental reality- sometimes you eat the bear, sometimes the bear eats you. Sport. Football. Life

    Ah, but it’s not about one game, it’s about ten years of games, same old same old.

    That’s just the way of it now. Only those who won a title (and not some measly FA cup) very recently are granted the right to lose a game of football without incurring serious wrath from the outrageously disappointed.

    As I see it, everything hinges on whether it really is same old same old, or if it’s absolute bollocks not to separate the eras of when we were massively outgunned financially from those when we got onto a much better footing.

    Do that correctly- meaning separate those eras ,as anyone with a half decent mind combined with a sense of fairness has to – and we have two years or progress, with two trophies, a better squad than for a long time… and one lousy first game of the season where we under performed and were shit out of luck.

    Onto the next one!

  47. @kenneth I think you are wrong.

    Usually the nonsense comes from those not able to accept any criticism of the team.

    Today we were totally inept from the manager down. Ill prepared and underperforming everywhere. After the game Wenger embarrassed himself with stupid comments about the team being nervous. I saw a West Ham team not nervous in the slightest. Why were our players? When the team play so badly it is perfectly correct they get slated for it. After so many years of these types of performances cropping up with worrying regularity, Wenger deserves all the criticism he gets too. Its not good enough to be confident and free flowing one week, then nervous and constrained the next. That inconsistency will not win titles. It is up to Wenger to sort the team out. If he can’t do it then he should do the honorable thing and resign.

  48. Jayram I think you are wrong. It’s not like we had a good day, there were plenty of imperfections in our game and the result, while frustrating and a bit harsh, is something cannot be changed. But to call the team “inept”, “ill prepared” and giving “stupid comments” is out of line. I hardly contain myself not to call you like that myself. Based on the quality of your posts, you fully deserve it. FFS, it’s only the first of the 38 games, our main rival to the title lost points too, so it’s not all that bad. The vacation was short, even more so for Alexis, while our opponents today were already on a roll, and btw how many of them played last summer in the World Cup? Not too many I would dare to guess. So, why don’t you do us all a favor and stop posting c**p?

  49. Sports, especially football, is a funny old game. There are zillions of people following one team or another, and many feel they know more than the manager. In the specific circumstance of Arsene Wenger, it is like a kid in high school telling Einstein that he is wrong about General Relativity. His fingernail clipping has more football knowledge than most of the fans sending advice. Look, go find a job as a manager, or buy a team if you know so much. Don’t tell Wenger what to do, he knows more about this than you do.

    If a better team plays a poorer team 100 times, how many wins do you think better team would get? It is probably not close to 100, it is likely to be something like 60. That shows just how much luck is in this game. The statistics currently at Wikipedia, show that AW has won about 57% of the games he has had at Arsenal, and about 56.3% of the games he has had since Nancy. Those numbers are pretty close to the 60% I through out. Sir F Word is just under 60% as well. If we look at Pep Guardiola, he is 72-73% win rate. But I don’t think Spain has the competition of the EPL. I suspect that if Pep were to come to the EPL, he would likely be somewhere around 60%.

    What is this saying? Something like 40% of a game is determined by luck. You can’t manage it, it just happens.

  50. Jayram, I dont think youve understood the gist of what I wrote. Im talking about misplaced crit.and perspective.Of course you think Im wrong, you dislike Wenger and wish to see him replaced, I recall your comments on the other website last year or so?
    I have a different opinion from you thats all, I also dont like that which I see clearly in the world at the moment as driving forces in society, although in some ways football is an vessel for emotions, and Im glad as misplaced and anger and poor perspective can be channeled into that rather than being the hand maiden of some turd fascist dikator…if you think that social meltdowns like the 20th C are far away, try looking into Britain from the outside then cast a look across the globe,theres some serious shit going on that makes the polemics of football literally childs play.And Im aware that people like me and all I make and do would be shipped off to the chamber pretty quickly.
    I like discussing the in’s and out so of Arsenal, but its the way its done that is all important to me whether pro or anti Wenger,plus speculation is merely that, a bet in the dark…I dont always agree with people on UA either,anymore than many might do with me.But you and Jamie have plenty to say but I think that irritating people or saying certain things seem to taint and bring things to a level where it doesnt become interesting, at least to me. But how other people react to you is their business not mine so I cant speak for them.I just think discussion is better and not debate, and there’s a big differences.Everyone can always read the underlying element in a post and what they are talking about.I think you and Jamie could have made your points and still not pressed other peoples buttons or baiting them because they perceive Wenger to be a good manager.There are very obvious patterns with people who come on UA as a way of feeling frustrated due to a draw or loss in content as well as timing,its pretty boring to wade through if you have a certain perspective.And ironically many anti Wenger people seem rather evangelical in arguments for some reason.
    I like coming to UA, as there are some smart people here,Im sure you can find the exception.Anway, perhaps our opinions are mostly worthless in the long run(laughed the grim reaper).

  51. Gord, hilarious you would liken Wenger to Einstein. This is FOOTBALL. It really is not that complicated.

    The god like worship of Wenger is as I said hilarious. I liken him to a stubborn old fool who keeps making the same mistakes year in year out. Even the youngest of fans with little experience of watching football would seem to have known, for instance, that we needed a player like Coquelin in the team. It took blind luck to get him to come back from Charlton, but maybe perhaps it was the genius Wengers’ master plan all along!

    Wenger seems like a moderately bright chap wasting his intelligence on a simple sport. You can carry on treating him like a brain surgeon, I will consider him a football manager.

  52. Jayram,

    If football were not so complicated everyone could be a manager don’t you think? That’s why we bought StatDNA, because it’s not complicated. And spare me the Coquelin thing, you never mentioned him as our DM solution, so you’re just using hindsight. Yes, maybe it was luck, but like Gord demonstrates, luck is part of the game. Today it just wasn’t on our side.

    Btw, how many foreign languages do you speak?

  53. Jayram

    West Ham might have been less nervous because they played with the knowledge they could lose emphatically, attract relatively little criticism during the next week and not suffer any big blow to their aims for the season (avoid relegation at all costs; hopefully something more than that); as opposed to the Arsenal players who knew the stadium would get twitchy if they didn’t score early, and they’d be in for an avalanche of serious criticism if the game went badly.

    Plus, of course, for Arsenal players it was a game of the type they’re aware they’ll have to win nearly every time if they are to fulfill their expectations/ambitions for the season. Humans,eh.

    Think back to Everton two seasons ago- on a charge, flying in a big victory against us which put them in pole position for the champions league ; next game Crystal Palace at home : nervous, flat, flopped, done. Peculiar human stuff.

    Underdogs in football matches rarely,if ever, look nervous. Unlike even very good experienced footballers under particular pressures where they are expected to win and/ or where a defeat is hailed as some kind of awful disaster.

    We’ll truly conquer the nerves- or as close as you can; these things can rear up from seemingly nowhere in astonishing ways, ask Brazil!- after we’ve won a league title.

    Until then, there’ll be some remaining doubts, there’ll be the stadium full of many anxious people who aren’t convinced about the team’s mettle. It’s something that can only come fully once the big battle has been won. Until then…there’ll be some nervousness at times.

    Unless we sack Wenger and the next guy has a few seasons like Grahams’s last couple, people get used to that, and the threat of the consequences of failure on any given day are reduced. There’ll be less chance of nervousness from the players in that scenario.

  54. Jayramfootball, what exactly do you want?
    You’ve made your point even though the regulars here knew your stand point on Arsenal/Wenger. Why flog a dead monkey?

  55. Some really good comments from both sides to read. Glad to see people like Jay and Jamie not just hiding and telling it how it is. On the other hand, I think we can let thus one off as a boo boo. Just did not turn up nothing sinister.

  56. Had to take a few hours off to think through my feelings about the game…

    1. Full credit to West Ham.
    2. The team were ‘up’ for the game…I don’t think they lacked in effort.
    3. Seemed to be not enough runs being made to pull defenders out of position.
    4. The goals were unfortunate but were preventable…the first seemed to be a misread by Cech and the 2nd was a succession of errors including 4 players standing off waiting for someone else to rush in.
    5. The referee was OK. He didn’t make the difference.
    6. The team didn’t play well but we didn’t play really badly either. The sky is not falling, the sun will rise tomorrow on to the next game.
    7. The AAA is out in force…enjoy your gloating Jayramfootball and Jamie…you will disappear when we do well.

  57. I think AW would probably hands up on this defeat. Thinking West Ham would most likely very physical and aerial dominant in this game, he picked a defensive squad, Coquelin and Ramsey in midfield, Ozil on the left and Cazorla supporting Giroud. Very true, against a typical Steven Bilic tactic. I feel playing the FA Cup final squad would have different outcome, but Sanchez not ready, Bellerin injured and Walcott will be physically destroyed. (Even Giroud was bullied and hacked down in turns by West Ham). Well, a good lesson for the players, they did played well in the second half once Cazorla and Coquelin controlled midfield. Bad start and let’s put it behind us and look forward to the next game. I’m sure AW and his players wants to make amends too.

    PS – Jayram & Jamie, get a room and go f**k each other

  58. well, we lost. sad. okay…

    Some people are really having a feast eerhh..!!

    As I saw it, our decision making in the final third cost us the game. Despite the two goals, we had enough quality to make the difference. In and around the penalty area where we usually get things going instinctively, we made late decisions.

    Come on gunners, this is just the first game…

  59. Three points dropped.but we are still only one point off Chelsea who are likely to drop more points next weekUp the Arsenal

  60. It does take longer to get a grip on the Arsenal way of playing than the WH way. Therefore we sometimes get the same old same old in its negative form. Especially at the beginning of the season. What we do is just more difficult and that’s why people who love beautiful football love Arsenal. What West Ham does never will be an art. Qualifying every single year for the CL is the same old same old that others can only dream of. We own that! I don’t believe that we are Barcelona. I want to be better than Barcelona. And that means building on our footballing culture. Not spending insane amounts of money. But luckily some of the world’s best players get it and want to join our beautiful project. And our sane way of doing business for decades means that we have earned the money necessary to welcome these artists. In Wenger we trust?

  61. Am I the only one wondering why carzorla has been shunted out to the left , first against Chelsea and now against west ham.just leave Ramsey out the team, he ruins the balance of the team. Carzorla allows ozil to play , Ramsey doesn’t…..

  62. Jayramfootball…

    How desperate are you… one loss and you’re already beating the “Wenger Out” drum.

    What a miserable existence it must be to be so deluded into thinking you are a masterful football tactician, one able to pass judgement on the likes of Arsene Wenger… and yet deep down know that all you are is an internet troll, revelling in misery.

  63. Jayram,

    you are really elated by fulfilment of your humongous grandiose prophecy.

    Did u ever believed Wenger would win 2 FA CUPS & 2 COMMUNITY SHIELDS back to back?

    Arsenal’s ‘failure” is your opium right?
    Please take it all in bcos contrary to your prophetic prayers, you may need to wait for another donkey long donkey donkey months before you can take another whiff of your drug.

    PS: learn some manners and stop calling people names for having contrary opinions.
    Hitler and Stalin started this way and eventually entered the Hall of Shame for brutality.

    Thank you

  64. I think the major difference is that West Ham played very well defensively. As a unit. They scored two goals as a bonus to their hunger. Our players were not where the Boss want them to be as a collective unit. Santi is far better bursting from deep, next to the Coq, and Aaron could have been assigned the left side. Giroud was occasionally busy on that neglected left flank since he could naturally fill that role because of his left-rootedness. You may also wonder if Ozil on the left flank wouldn’t have pinned their Jenkinson-less defense on the left side of Arsenal’s offense. I saw an Arsenal formation that did not stick to what had been agreed on the drawing board. Ramsey ignoring Debuchy’s run was odd. At the Community Shield, he did not ignore Santi in a similar situation.

    Overall, a few kinks that the Boss should iron out. Likewise, Bould should be able to address the defensive concerns. I am still very optimistic about this season. I just hate to lose to Bilic. He was on that 1998 World Cup semifinal Croatian team that led France 1-0. Then, Lilian Thuram scored his only two goals ever for the French National Team. In the dying minutes, Croatia had a free kick from the left side of the offense, about 15 yards from the corner spot and not too far from the sideline. Bilic was being marked by Laurent Blanc across the surface. He pretended to be poked in the face by Blanc. Blanc was sent off and missed the final. Luckily, Frank Leboeuf was good enough in the final to not cost France the title. Bien entendu, Monsieur Zidane was there for 1-0 and 2-0 and Vieira & Petit combined to make 3-0 at the death. So, my memories of Bilic is that he is the kind of guy that will do anything to gain a fair or unfair advantage to get a result.

  65. Florian

    Motd and Danny Murphy were spot on with his analysis last night. He showed numerous examples over overcrowding on the edge of their box. Their RB was on the right hand corner of the 18 yard box. The left back on the corner of the left hand side of the 18 yard box. In between them were the CB and in front of them were Noble, Oxford and Kouyate. The example showed us with 6 players between those lines as well. No one was providing width.

    It is extremely difficult to play through that congestion. I know we missed Bellerin’s over lapping but the Ox should have hugged the touchline. This is not to throw aimless balls into the box but to draw the fullback out to him providing a space for one of our players to run into. If their back four slid over then we had the opportunity to switch the play to the other side quickly. We just didn’t make the pitch big enough. Arsene has to take some of the blame for that.

    On another note he seems to be trying to shoehorn Ramsey Santi and Mesut into the team. It doesn’t work unless Ramsey plays on the right. That is not ideal but Ramsey there is better than a 30 year old Santi being on the left. It nullifies the Spaniard and he is less effective for the team. Santi was fantastic last season playing alongside Coquelin and was experienced enough to find space to receive the ball. His two footedness and passing range mean he can control things

    Ramsey and Coquelin provide high energy but it doesn’t work Ramsey works better with Arteta and that is why Schneiderlin would have been a great signing. He is powerful, defends well and currently passes the ball better than Francis and would have been an ideal foil for Coquelin.

    I thought we would sign one marquee player each summer. We’ve organised the club so that we now have these funds. A world class player lifts the whole squad. Sadly it seems unlikely we’ll get one this window. Disappointing.

  66. Off the bottom already. Things are looking up already. The comeback begins.

  67. Pat,
    I have no access to YouTube.
    I am on vacation and the Internet connection is too poor.
    I remember this was posted on YouTube as “Bilic the diver” and it features Blanc roughing Bilic on a Free kick in the Croatian surface (my mistake on the previous post) and Bilic pretending he was poked in the eye, while he initiated contact and Blanc brushed him away, not realizing that he was so low (pun intended) that he actually pushed him on the chin/neck without looking at him. The referee reacts to Bilic’s holding his left eye as if had been poked by Blanc. Why is this so important? Lifetime French National team fans like me never really liked Leboeuf and he had to replace Blanc and partner Desailly due to the Red Card to Blanc. By the way, many French National team fans prefer Giroud to Benzema. The reason is that Giroud always gets A+ for effort while Benzema looks gifted but not really arsed to do much. But, who knows? I could be wrong and part of the OMG (Olivier Motherf**king Giroud) unconditional fan club. Well, I think I am!

  68. Yes. It was a poor match. Fact! It’s bad enough to lose a match so gallantly but worse to get to where solace may be found and all you get are ramblings of those that wait tirelessly for the team to slip so they can say “I told you so”. Pathetic. It was a bad day but I find it impossible to believe that the heroics of last season had quickly been forgotten. Two mistakes and I really don’t understand how people conclude that it’s over before it began. Nobody forced nobody to support Arsenal or Arsene so if you wanna join the winning team, they’re a few candidates not so far from us. Leave us be to support and cheer for our beloved Arse… We will do well this season. Mark my words. Maybe I’m overly optimistic or gullible, we’ll see I in a few months time.


    Just wanted to correct you – I have not called anyone names for having a differing opinion. If you could kindly reference what you are talking about then I will gladly retract.

    Thank You.

  70. Always harder when the season opens.. the weaker team have plenty of time to drill their moves and set up … And they are all fresh.

    Arsenal probably lacked some focus. Also Wenger try to use these games to test his settings and give rusty players game time.

    Anyway losing that way looked comical…

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