By Bulldog Drummond
We have over the years had the better of things with West Ham beating them 65 times, losing 34 times with 39 draws. But some of these games have been quite remarkable.
Historians will particularly recall the games in the Cup in 1923…
|14 Jan 1925||West Ham United v Arsenal||D||0-0||FA Cup|
|21 Jan 1925||Arsenal v West Ham United||D||2-2||FA Cup|
|26 Jan 1925||Arsenal v West Ham United||L||0-1||FA Cup|
These were the games which 21 years after the event Arsenal’s manager of the time claimed were the ones where he had experimented with giving the players drugs to enhance their performance.
Unfortunately, according to him, the drugs had terrible side effects and so by the time of the last game the players wouldn’t take them. But as the review of the matches show, much of the tale doesn’t make any sense, for Knighton claims that he twice gave the players the drugs only for the game to be called off.
However a look at the weather report for the days in question show that the dense fog that caused the two postponements was prevalent all day, and there was very little doubt that the games would not be played. Details of these bizarre allegations (which were pretty much par for Knighton’s autobiography are given in our review “Managerial Fantasies about West Ham”).
In recent years we have not done too badly against West Ham… Here are the results from 2008 onward…
|01 Jan 2008||Arsenal v West Ham United||W||2-0||Premier League|
|26 Oct 2008||West Ham United v Arsenal||W||0-2||Premier League|
|31 Jan 2009||Arsenal v West Ham United||D||0-0||Premier League|
|25 Oct 2009||West Ham United v Arsenal||D||2-2||Premier League|
|03 Jan 2010||West Ham United v Arsenal||W||1-2||FA Cup|
|20 Mar 2010||Arsenal v West Ham United||W||2-0||Premier League|
|30 Oct 2010||Arsenal v West Ham United||W||1-0||Premier League|
|15 Jan 2011||West Ham United v Arsenal||W||0-3||Premier League|
|06 Oct 2012||West Ham United v Arsenal||W||1-3||Premier League|
|23 Jan 2013||Arsenal v West Ham United||W||5-1||Premier League|
|26 Dec 2013||West Ham United v Arsenal||W||1-3||Premier League|
|15 Apr 2014||Arsenal v West Ham United||W||3-1||Premier League|
|28 Dec 2014||West Ham United v Arsenal||W||1-2||Premier League|
|14 Mar 2015||Arsenal v West Ham United||W||3-0||Premier League|
|09 Aug 2015||Arsenal v West Ham United||L||0-2||Premier League|
|09 Apr 2016||West Ham United v Arsenal||D||3-3||Premier League|
|03 Dec 2016||West Ham United v Arsenal||W||1-5||Premier League|
|05 Apr 2017||Arsenal v West Ham United||W||3-0||Premier League|
|13 Dec 2017||West Ham United v Arsenal||D||0-0||Premier League|
|19 Dec 2017||Arsenal v West Ham United||W||1-0||League Cup|
|22 Apr 2018||Arsenal v West Ham United||W||4-1||Premier League|
21 games and one win to West Ham, four draws and logically the rest to us. I suspect in the light of this, and their two initial defeats this season (exactly as we have had) they will be dogged and go for a draw.
On the injury front Physioroom have changed the design of their injury page which means we can’t copy it so I’ll have to report it to you…
They are showing Arsenal with four injuries – exactly the four that we know about: Jenkinson, Maitland-Niles, Kolasinac and Koscielny.
West Ham also have four injuries with Noble possibly returning from a back injury, but Carroll, Reid and Lanzini all definitely out.
In terms of the teams Football.London is saying that Bellerin and Ramsey are out of the squad while Lichtsteiner will play in a 4-2-3-1 line up.
One interesting stat shows the shots thus far… Top of the list as you might expect is Manchester City with 49. Arsenal are in ninth with 24 shots while West Ham are 18th with 16 shots. West Ham have however made more passes than Arsenal: 853 to 830.
I am still waiting for the Aubamayang Lacazette Mkhitaryan front line that we sometimes saw last season, and when I saw it it looked really good. But the best thing in this situation is that Arsenal have a whole range of options in the forward line and midfield. Not only does that give the manager choice, but it also gives the boss the chance to keep the opposition guessing until one hour before kick off, by which time both team sheets are with the referee.
That might just be what swings it.