West Ham v Arsenal. All the things you don’t need to know

By Bulldog Drummond

This rather jolly picture shows the WHAM players celebrating winning the play offs in order to climb back into the Premier League in 2005 after a period in the second tier.

Moving back to the present, however, I must say I am finding the increasing use of “All you need to know” in a headline incredibly annoying, since I seriously do not like people telling me that they know what I need to know.  How do they know?  Are they inside my head?

And so, I choose not to offer this at all.  Instead I offer information you almost certainly don’t need to know but which might just help pass the time before the game.

HITC run the headline “Phenomenal player returns” and then offers the team below.  I’ll let you work out which play is actually returning and from where.


Cedric, Holding, Mari, Tierney;

Partey, Xhaka;

Pepe, Odegaard, Smith Rowe;



Sportslens give us a different take however.


Cedric, Luiz, Gabriel, Tierney;

Partey, Xhaka;

Saka, Odegaard, Smith Rowe;



The Guardian has a different version


Bellerin, Luiz, Gabriel, Tierney;

Partey, Xhaka;

Pepe, Odegaard, Smith Rowe;


Football London have the “news” that “Winger Bukayo Saka is fit and available for selection for Arsenal’s London derby with West Ham United at the London Stadium on Sunday afternoon, the club has announced.”

That of course doesn’t mean he will play and the Guardian has him listed as “Doubtful”. Everyone else with a team prediction is offering minor variations on the above.

However there are some very interesting figures coming from WhoScored.  Their statistics have West Ham outdoing Arsenal on virtually every statistic they measure except for player height!  More dribbles, more tackles, a lot more aerial duel success, average playing ratings.  From which they conclude that Arsenal will score as a result of a through ball but WHAM will dominate in the air.

Our best rated player from their rating system is Lacazette with a rating of 6.89.  West Ham, according to Who Scored, have four players rated over 7.00: Soucek, Rice, Lingard and Antonio.

If West Ham were to finish fifth in the league this season (their current position) it would be their highest position since returning to the premier league in 2012.

Since that return from the lower levels they have only got into the top half of the table twice.    In 2013 they were 10th (which just squeaks in as top half) and in 2016 they were 7th.   Last year they were 16th.  This century they have had 12 separate managers, and one who has done two separate spells.

Finally, one other little thing I noticed in this little gander at all things WHAM, in their last set of accounts which go up to 31 May 2020, the club lost £65.3m which is rather careless.   Now it is true that those figures do include the start of the pandemic, but only the start.   And we have to remember they have got their stadium for free, compared with some clubs that have had to borrow money and pay it back in order to build a stadium.  (If you are a UK tax payer you are paying for that stadium, and will be quite probably for the rest of your life).

And they still lost £65.3m.  I think that’s a bit careless.

Anyway, on to the match… although if you want to pass the time before hand we do have…

The Arsenal video collection: free

42 Replies to “West Ham v Arsenal. All the things you don’t need to know”

  1. I like WhoScored for their statistical analysis (i.e. facts) for anything subjective I find their methodology rather dubious. I went through all the stats from the NLD last week and compared each, player by player. A complete waste of my time (although I do have quite a lot spare nowadays!). I was still left no wiser as to how on earth they had Lucas Moura as man of the match by some distance!!

    I also wonder why people bother trying to predict the starting eleven any more. Squad rotation has been the norm for years now and it is complete chance. All I want to know who’s definitely available and who definitely isn’t. (And seemingly, many ‘forecasters’ can’t even get that right.) What an inept reporter or amateur blogger thinks the team might be is of zero interest; although I must admit, I have no idea whether others find it interesting……..I’ve never been interested enough to ask!

  2. The only 5hong you need to know is that useless tool Atkinson is in charge of VAR today.Be afraid. V.afraid.😱

  3. Here is the team


    Chambers, David Luiz, Mari, Tierney

    Partey, Xhaka

    Saka,Odegaard, Aubameyang



    Ryan, Cédric Soares,Holding, Gabriel, Elneny, Ceballos,Smith Rowe, Pepe, Martinelli

    All things considered that’s a pretty strong group of guys on the beach.

  4. Mikey, it is the case that different people do find different aspects of the game of interest, and within the general parameters of Untold, I do try and take note of what people say. In the ancient times when we used to be able to go to games, we could have some interesting debates in the pub before the game as to who would be playing, which is why I’ve kept the predictions of the lineup running. Not because anyone gets them right very often but because it helps debate along a bit when people are discussing who ought to be playing.

    What it leads onto is the fact that the amateur predictors are no more or less accurate in their predictions of who will play than the journalists writing for the media, and this in turn leads to the point that virtually all pundits, be they journalists or ex-players are any better at predicting who will be played in which position than amateur scribbles such as those of us who write for Untold.

    Which is something to ponder, at least for me, if no one else.

  5. If we don’t give anymore goals away I think we’ll get back into this game , we have opened them up .

  6. We’ve been pretty terrible, took 35 minutes to wake up. Can anyone tell me what the free kick that led to the second goal was for. Leno definitely at fault for that goal. Nothing we could do about the first. Saka should have scored to make it 3-2 and unlucky his shot was deflected just before half time.

    Just seen a replay of the second goal and there was more contact than I thought so probably was a foul.


  7. 4 great goals and one very bad tackle not ‘seen’ by the blind mouse. The pseudo foul resulted in the second goal – prepared by smart officiating.

  8. Laca pulled before entering the box and then foulde after putting the ball up over Fabianski. VAR is still munching on a burger!!

  9. Quick free kick leads to a cross by Chambers that’s put in by Dawson.

    3-2 and theres something happening.

  10. Cannot believe the poor backpass and brilliance of Leno really trying to get out of the way to allow the ball room to burst the net!!

  11. Brilliant sub by Arteta taking Saka and Auba off for Pepe & Martinelli. A brilliant move for Pepe to cross to Lacas head and the game is all square.

  12. Antonio gets a yellow for a kick on by the Fatboy who Red carded Xhaka for less.

  13. I suppose it was a fair result , we did make plenty of chances , got to buy Odegaard magnificent

  14. Spirited fight back actually means more than the point earnt. But to progress we have to improve on these dire starts to games For neutrals at least you got your money’s worth today

  15. How does one eat his hat ? Let me count the ways !
    Can I suggest a large splash of wasabi ? Heard its fiery and the memory lingers long !
    A very good point today.
    Up the Gunners !

  16. Rudolf…send picture of crash helmet!!! 😉

    We were pants the first half hour…couldn’t touch the ball, when we did, we gave it back. Don’t know what to think…keep working, I guess!

  17. Who is Odegaard ……he is on a different planet. He has been magnificent because he doesn’t know how much protection he is lacking. There are going to be some nasty kicks he willhave to suffer under the PGMOL.

  18. Phew, after an appalling start we managed to come out with a point which at three nil down after 30 minutes I think we would all have settled for. Not the three points we wanted but better than none.

    Chambers put in an immense shift at right back and thoroughly deserved MOTM.

    Moss his usual PGMO self but at least issued WHAM players some deserved yellows at the end of the game.

  19. Whatever is said for the 2nd goal, Moss reaches into his pocket for his marker spray while talking to Saka and does not see the game start and has to stop play. To allow advantage while engaging an opponent is unfair advantage.

  20. I am reluctant to admit it, but I felt that Moss wasn’t biased against us, – merely incompetent.

  21. Menace

    That’s basically what Arsenal.com said. They thought it was unfair, and you are both dead right. I have just seen yet another replay and Moss is definitely talking to Saka and under such circumstances you cannot allow the free kick to be taken like that. I would understand the attacking side being a bit miffed but that would be tough. Plus it was a harsh foul in the first place.

    Was any of that discussed on SKY ? What do you think ? Just criticising us (which I kind of get even if it shouldn’t of been allowed) and praising Lingard (which again I get) but of course no mention of the dubious nature of the free kick.

    They’re also banging on about play being brought back when Moss blew for a head injury when Lingard was through. SKY claim it wasn’t. Well ‘A’ it was, and ‘B’ it should of been a foul to us let alone them playing on.

    Was that even muted as a possibility by SKY ? Again, what do you think?

    Yes they are giving us credit for the fight back but again they insist on making it seem as if we ‘got away with one’ again.

  22. John L

    My mate (West Ham fan and extremely fair and gracious (just like me 😉) it has to be said) thinks Moss was terrible because he gave West Ham nothing.

    I didn’t really say anything as it’s not worth it, but as you say, apart from allowing the quick taking of that free kick he was pretty balanced. I actually think he was okay. Best performance I’ve seen from him for along time.

  23. I think the amount of games Arsenal are playing is taking its toll , finding it difficult to start games , once we started to play we were opening them in nearly every attack .
    Our movement and passing between their lines was fantastic , this team is work in progress and what we are seeing in glimpses bodes beat for the future , it’s slowly coming together .

  24. Have to agree Steve, apart from that first 35mins (WTF?) we looked a very good team, again.

  25. Tierney seemed the only Arsenal player to start the game properly. Then after 30 minutes the others decided to join in.

    Chambers, Odegaard, Lacazette were then superb. The whole team played well. I don’t share the negative views of the commentators about our captain, but the subs all added value, especially Pepe.

  26. Man Utd are struggling against Leicester , l don’t think we realise how much it takes out of the players playing Thursday and Sunday especially when your playing against a team that has had 6 to 7 days between games which has to Arsenal and MU haven’t had that luxury .

  27. John L

    RE Aubameyang

    I’m not being particularly critical of him he just seems to be struggling to get into games, and personally I think when he’s not scoring goals he doesn’t bring enough, at least not at the moment, to the game.

    I still think he works hard. He closes down, he chases back. He just doesn’t seem to be able to get on the ball enough in and around the box.

    I’m sure it’ll come back.

  28. Just watched the Spuds on motd.

    It’s interesting how the ball went out of play and Kane was brought down. Not one person suggested that it shouldn’t have been a penalty because the ball had already gone, after the ball had gone out of play..

    We spent a week with the newspapers and tv falling over themselves telling us that we shouldn’t have had a penalty when Laca was fouled far worse when trying to play the ball. Motd say nothing……

    I seriously think having to put up with this shit every week will the death of me ……literally!

  29. The mess by (£70m) Maquire and (£47m) Fred around their own area was worse than pub football. Let’s see if the media give them as much grief as we get for less.

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