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October 2020
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WHAM BAM how are they doin’? WHU v Arsenal: the prelude

By Bulldog Drummond

In their final match before the lock down West Ham lost away to Arsenal – a result which meant they only won one of their last ten pre-lockdown.

Thereafter they won three, two of which were against fellow stragglers in the league, lost three and drew three.

Date Game Res Score
20 June 2020 West Ham United v Wolverhampton Wanderers L 0-2
23 June 2020 Tottenham Hotspur v West Ham United L 2-0
1 July 2020 West Ham United v Chelsea W 3-2
5 July 2020 Newcastle United v West Ham United D 2-2
8 July 2020 West Ham United v Burnley L 0-1
11 July 2020 Norwich City v West Ham United W 0-4
17 July 2020 West Ham United v Watford W 3-1
22 July 2020 Manchester United v West Ham United D 1-1
26 July 2020 West Ham United v Aston Villa D 1-1

I think it is fair to say that the natives of the east end with their stadium that the tax payers of the UK paid for, and which as far as the state is concerned, loses money every season, are probably quite satisfied with the deal.  Meanwhile bids are being made for the club and rejected by the current lowly esteemed directors.

And I mean lowly esteemed.  Lots of boards of directors are disliked, but my goodness, this bunch at WHAM appear to be loathed beyond loathing.  And it is hard not to have sympathy with that.

It has been a rumbustious old lockdown as far as the east end is concerned.  Among those saying perhaps not too fond a farewell, are

  1. Sead Haksabanovic: Midfielder — to Norrkoping: undisclosed fee
  2. Carlos Sánchez: Midfielder — Free agent: released
  3. Pablo Zabaleta: Defender — Free agent: released
  4. Jake Giddings: Midfielder — to Crystal Palace: undisclosed
  5. Stephen Hendrie: Defender — to Morecamb: free
  6. Albian Ajeti: Forward — to Celtic: £4.5m
  7. Jeremy Ngakia: Defender — to Watford: free
  8. Veron Parkes: Forward — to Fortuna Sittard: free
  9. Jordan Hugill: Forward — to Norwich: £5m
  10. Roberto: Goalkeeper — to Real Valladolid: free
  11. Daniel Kemp: Midfielder — to Blackpool: loan
  12. Grady Diangana: Midfielder — to West Bromwich Albion: £18m

The only fellow brave enough to travel the road in the opposite direction is Tomas Soucek. a midfielder from Slavia Prague for £19m.

Of course transfers are not everything, but they can sometimes help when the team has ended up towards the bottom of the league

Club P W D L F A GD Pts
15 Brighton and Hove Albion 38 9 14 15 39 54 -15 41
16 West Ham United 38 10 9 19 49 62 -13 39
17 Aston Villa 38 9 8 21 41 67 -26 35
18 AFC Bournemouth 38 9 7 22 40 65 -25 34
19 Watford 38 8 10 20 36 64 -28 34
20 Norwich City 38 5 6 27 26 75 -49 21

At home they were not much better…

15 Crystal Palace 19 6 5 8 15 20 -5 23
16 West Ham United 19 6 4 9 30 33 -3 22
17 Brighton and Hove Albion 19 5 7 7 20 27 -7 22
18 AFC Bournemouth 19 5 6 8 22 30 -8 21
19 Southampton 19 6 3 10 21 35 -14 21
20 Norwich City 19 4 3 12 19 37 -18 15

Arsenal away however had another shocking season

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Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Liverpool 19 14 2 3 33 17 16 44
2 Manchester City 19 11 1 7 45 22 23 34
3 Southampton 19 9 4 6 30 25 5 31
4 Chelsea 19 9 3 7 39 38 1 30
5 Manchester United 19 8 5 6 26 19 7 29
6 Wolverhampton Wanderers 19 7 7 5 24 21 3 28
7 Burnley 19 7 5 7 19 27 -8 26
8 Leicester City 19 7 4 8 32 24 8 25
9 Sheffield United 19 4 9 6 15 24 -9 21
10 Arsenal 19 4 8 7 20 24 -4 20

Four wins away from home was exactly as bad as the last season of Mr Wenger, and it was this failure that was apparently a significant factor in the pressure to get him out of the club, no matter what the cost.  As recently as 2016 we won eight away, and only lost four.  That is the standard we need to get back to.

So this match is the team that won six at home season against the team that won four away.

Throughout their recent run in the top division West Ham’s problems have also been with having a top goal scorer…  From 2014 when it was Kevin Nolan as top scorer with seven to the high point in 2016 with Dimitri Payet with 12, they simply haven’t been knocking them in.

During the same era we have never had a top striker with less than 17, (Lacazette, 2018) but all the other seasons from 2014 the numbers have ranged from 22 to 31.

In their eight years since returning to the top league their top position has been 7th (2016) and the lowest 16th (last season).  Over the years they got into the Europa twice (not quite sure how) and went out once in the third qualifying and once in the play offs.  One can understand why native thinking is of the restless variety.

The problem is, at least as I perceive it, and as you will know, I am often mistaken, with a stadium gifted to them, and crowds of 59,925 on average the fans do have a right to expect better than this regular ending up in the lower section of the league.  Only once in the last eight years have they finished above 10th.

Worse, in six of the last eight seasons they have scored under 50 goals.  For Arsenal it is once in the last eight seasons has the team scored fewer than 65.  In five of those seasons we have scored over 70.

Despite the windfall of the stadium (which is a windfall in terms of finances, even if not in terms of the running track and distance from the pitch) WHU have just not made the most of the change and have been jogging along at the old position.  Of course I don’t know the intimate goings on of WHAM but I’d say the directors have a lot to answer for.

My guess is the only thing that will shift them would be a complete supporters’ strike, but I doubt that the fans are willing to contemplate that.  But if they started this season with a campaign which said, “unless there is a significant improvement this season we’re not renewing tickets next year” that might have an impact.

But what am I saying?  I don’t want WHAM to do better.  Tony can you scrub that last paragraph?

Tony: Sorry old boy, once you’ve written it, it is carved in electricity.

4 comments to WHAM BAM how are they doin’? WHU v Arsenal: the prelude

  • Mark Armstrong

    Surely it’s Arsenal vs WH

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    That last paragraph has already been seen and read. But I must say it is not a smart thing done to corningly attempt to instigate the fans of a fellow Premier League club side West Ham to rise up in protest boycotting their club matches to force the hands of the club directors to accept their demands.

    That aside, but comes tomorrow night in the PL at the stated 8 pm kick-off time at the Emirates Stadium, I will say with total conviction that I believe Arsenal will beat the West Hammers unfailing in the PL match that will be played between the duo clubs.

    But having say what I have said above, I want Arteta and the Gunners to be careful not to underate the Irons getting anything out of the match. Because they might be thinking the lost West Ham suffered at home against Newcastle last weekend in the PL in the opening day of the season will turn the Irons to an easy prey of meat for Arsenal to devour could turnout to be a wrong assumption by the Gunners leading them to get careless in the match and become wasteful in their goals scoring attempts in the game.

    Being overconfidence in the game by Arsenal to beat West Ham will lead to the Gunners to underestimate the likelihood of West Ham getting a point in their match against Arsenal.

    For, the Hammers will try by every possible means to get at least a point in the match to save their faces by avoiding losing twice in succession in the PL.

    But if the Gunners allow this to happen to them in the game, the Gooners will not forgive them for dropping 2 valuable points they should have collected with some easy to it to remain on top of the table.

    Remaining on top of the table after week two matches played in the PL this Saturday is a paramount job task the Gunners have no choice other than the choice take up arms and execute the battle in their game against the Hammers to the very latter and achieve a win success and remain a top of League absolutely before they engage Liverpool at away next week.

    For Arsenal to get the maximum 6 points and to continuing to have a perfect start to their season in the PL this season after their West Ham match, the Gunners must be up and doing in discipline and be discipline in their game strictly adhering to it throughout the time of playing the match by converting the chances they’ll create in the match to to goals scored. And convert the ones that fell to them into goals as well.

    And importantly. The Gunners must be resolute in defence to prevent the Irons breaking through their defensive barrier to score. And come out of the match with a clean sheet at full-time.

    My 3-4-3 Arsenal starting XI team and the 7 Gunners on the bench for the West Ham match are as per below.

    Starts:
    Leno;
    Bellerin Maglhaes Tierney;
    AMN Willian Xhaka Elneny;
    Pepe Lacazette Aubameyang:

    bench:
    Macey Saliba Kolasinac Cebbalos Willock Saka Nketiah.

    My predicted final score-line is: Arsenal 4-0 West Ham.

    By the way, has David Luiz recovered from his neck strain injury to have a hand in the match?

  • Ben

    If WH does terminate Jack’s contract i would love to see him under Arteta’s wing. It would be brilliant to see the old Jack.

  • Menace

    SAA have you sold Holding?

    Arteta thankfully is in charge and will have Holding in defence.

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