Arsenal v West Ham: teams, and what you don’t need to know but is still interesting

By Bulldog Drummond

Arsenal v West Ham: videos of games across the years.

We are now far enough into the season to start making some sense of the number of appearances players have had, and perhaps learn one or two points from this.

The first thing that strikes me is that we are only using four of our homegrown players regularly, but we already have a full complement of 17 foreign grown players in our 26 players who have made an appearance this season (26 because Saka does not qualify for the list of 25 due to his age, so is free to play without taking up a place).

So, when people start clambering for change in the squad by getting rid of lesser used players such as Chambers, Holding, Maitland-Niles, or Nketiah, the fact is that these players will have to be replaced either by players who qualified as under 21s or players who qualify as homegrown.   We can’t sell any of those four, and bring in any old foreigner.

The most likely foreign grown players who could be sold this January to make room for another foreign grown player would be Aubameyang, plus those with only a couple of performances this season. 

Thus it is never as simplistic as the simplistic journalists make out.  This appearance table includes league games only.

Player HG? Starts Sub Goals Pen Yell Red
Bukayo Saka Yes 14 2 2 2
Ben White Yes 14 0 1
Gabriel 13 0 2 2
Aaron Ramsdale Yes 13 0
Emile Smith Rowe Yes 13 1 5
Takehiro Tomiyasu 13 0 1
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang 12 2 4 3
Thomas Partey 11 1 1 2
Martin Odegaard 10 4 4 2
Kieran Tierney 10 0
Albert Sambi Lokonga 9 4 4
Alexandre Lacazette 6 5 2
Nuno Tavares 6 5 1
Granit Xhaka 6 0 1 1
Gabriel Martinelli 5 4 1
Nicolas Pépé 5 3
Bernd Leno 3 0
Cédric Soares 2 1 1
Calum Chambers Yes 2 0
Rob Holding Yes 2 1 1
Ainsley Maitland-Niles Yes 2 6
Pablo Marí 2 0 1
Folarin Balogun Yes 1 1
Mohamed Elneny 1 4
Sead Kolašinac 1 1 1
Eddie Nketiah (ENG) 0 2

Interesting also to note that our top scoring player in the league is Smith Rowe.  Let’s hope he’s fit for today’s game.

Here are the suggestions for the starting line up from the all-knowing all-seeing media…

The Standard goes with


Tomiyasu, White, Gabriel, Tierney;

Partey, Xhaka;

Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli;



So still no Smith Rowe in the starting team.

Sports Mole however provides this selection and they fit in Smith Rowe at the expense of Martinelli


Tomiyasu, White, Gabriel, Tierney;

Xhaka, Partey;

Saka, Odegaard, Smith Rowe;


The Independent offers us a line up without Xhaka


Tomiyasu, White, Gabriel, Tierney,

Saka, Partey, Sambi Lokonga,

Smith Rowe, Odegaard,


Radio Times goes with the same line up as Sports Mole while Yahoo goes with the same as well but reverses positions in the middle of the pitch.  But that’s just a detail.


Tomiyasu, White, Gabriel, Tierney;

Partey, Xhaka;

Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli;


So that is about it.  All that is required is the journey to London while contemplating that the Guardian is speaking of an Arsenal captaincy curse.   I am not really sure that witchcraft really has that much to do with football in N5, and certainly, in attending almost all the home games year on year I don’t really get the feeling that black magic or demonic interference is part of what I am witnessing.

Indeed the nearest thing I find to the dark arts at Arsenal, are those people sitting in the west stand with their own personal entrance, and a desk to put their computers and phones on.   In fact, if we got rid of that section and that personalised entrance, we could get an extra 500 people in the ground.   (Journalists with their desks and special entrance each take up the same amount of space as four regular supporters.)

What would you prefer – 500 extra tickets for home supporters, and the revenue that brings the club, or free entrance with their own desk and comfy chair for a bunch of journalists who seem to be congenitally incapable of understanding the tactical arrangements that Mr Arteta introduces?

Meanwhile, Goal offers us How to watch 2021-22 Premier League in India but I couldn’t find a team selection, but it’s good to know, if you are in India.




19 Replies to “Arsenal v West Ham: teams, and what you don’t need to know but is still interesting”

  1. i wish …
    but partey in, one among emil-marti-laca out it’ll be, to abide by the 2-DM-dogma (forgetting that in order to defend well, you need players who are good at passing the ball to one another, rather than ball-chasers, calf-biters, once the ball has been given away – again; actually emil-marti-martin-laca are not bad at biting calves either btw)
    anyway, they’ll be a tough nut to crack, these hammers – what a confidence-booster a win’d be!!

  2. They will play with Rice and Soucek in the middle and Xhaka is not quick enough to handle one of them leave alone two .
    I cannot see a safety first manager like Arteta leaving his defence so unprotected .As such I think it will be Martinelli unfortunately that gets left out . Having said that , should we be fortunate to go one up I want to see our defence pushing up and passing them to death , not sinking back hoping to protect a flimsy lead .

  3. Half time in both Arsenal games. No score at the Emirates but one all for our Women in Germany against Hoffenheim. The home tesm scored on the break half way through the half but we equalised when a Beth Mead shot was parried by the keeper begore being put into her own net by a German defender. Mana Iwabuchi would have scored had the defender not got her foot there first.

  4. Hoffenheim retake the lead. We are uncharacteristically sloppy so far.

    Weve just given the ball away again and are now 3-1 down

  5. We are now in big trouble in Germany. Lydia Williams is getting treatment and have no substitute keeper on the bench. We are not 4-1 down so losing bt 3 goals. If we concede another 2 without scoring ourselves then we wont progress

  6. Phew in Germany Hoffenheim 4-Arsenal1. The worst we have been all season but just enough to progress to the last 8 thanks to our better performances in earlier matches. We looked tired and in need if a break.

    Brighton in the WSL on Sunday when we will need to be a lot sharper. Another game where Miedema looked completely out of sorts.

  7. Women okay in the end.

    The men did us proud. Even before the sending off we were much the better team and as we have seen West Ham are no mugs.

    The youngsters are still improving game by game.

  8. I find it fascinating that Auba is not playing anymore…and we are scoring and winning…. ESR leading the scoring table.
    I like Auba, I wish he’d snap out of it. ASAP.
    But let’s face it, the Arsenal management has done a few things right, has it not ? Next man up is working and the young guns are starting to take over.

    Maybe at some point in the near future, Arteta will be called the manager with the golden guns… ;=)

    We ain’t seen anything yet if you ask me.

  9. The West Ham defender did get the ball but then bashed Laca’s shins in the box. My commentator really didn’t think it was worth a call…and made no bones about it. Such bias…appalling.

  10. Just because the ball is touched during the challenge does not preclude the challenge from being a foul.

    Yes he touched the ball, but he didn’t ‘win’ the ball and his follow through took Laca out half way up the shin.

    Basically it was a tackle with a touch of desperation about it and he got it wrong. That in my opinion made it a foul. It’s debatable as to whether it was worthy of a card. That may of been a tad harsh but it wasn’t a terrible call.

    The penalty was a 70/30 that should of and did go our way.

    The second yellow was a 50/50 that went our way. It happens, not very often, but it happens.

  11. Good match against a side above them in the table. Now Arsenal is above WHU in 4th. Top performances all round but I thought Lacazette really put in a shift all over the pitch pressing, holding up, passing (beautiful assist)and always available. Sorry he missed the penalty he deserved a goal. Not a perfect performance but very nice win to follow the one at the weekend. Five days Six points. That’ll do.

  12. @ Nitram

    Nail on the head. It seems to me that most professional footballers and 100% of commentators and pundits don’t have a clue about the concept of “winning the ball”. I have had this “discussion” many times over many years. If when “winning the ball” a player dives in with both feet 3 ft of the ground and both fists aimed deliberately at the opponents head, do they really think that the slightest of touches on the ball makes it legitimate? Utterly ridiculous ……and people who are paid in any professional capacity (often with sums of money most of us can’t even dream about) really should know better or be unemployed.

    @ Potter

    Congrats. Like most of the media, you called Xhaka totally wrong……perhaps because you listen to the media lol

  13. Don’t forget the two possible penalties in the first half, for fouls on Saka and Lacazette. West Ham outclassed. Their star player was Lucask Fabianski – top class keeper.

  14. great game of football, the kind you just want to enjoy, not analyse too much
    thrilling in front of a tv screen – but on nights like this, very, very envious of the season ticket holders
    these youngsters of ours really are a sight for sore eyes

  15. Mikey

    You said

    “It seems to me that most professional footballers and 100% of commentators and pundits don’t have a clue about the concept of “winning the ball”.

    It seems neither do referees. This from MARK CLATTENBURG FOR THE DAILY MAIL:

    “We had another VAR and penalty controversy coming on the back of the weekend — and this one at Arsenal was wrong, no doubt about that.

    West Ham’s Vladimir Coufal won the ball from Alexandre Lacazette”.

    2 points:

    1) He touched the ball. Whether he ‘won’ the ball or not is contentious in itself, and

    2) in any case irrelevant.

    I will exaggerate just to make the point. If the defender launches a 2 footed tackle from 3 Metres away but takes the ball, and doesn’t even touch the attacker as he leaps out of the way does that make it not a foul or not a red card ?

    Of course not, it’s both a foul and a red card. Therefore ‘winning the ball’ is completely and utterly irrelevant and undermines Clattenbergs analysis before it starts.

    He obviously doesn’t even know the rules. What an idiot.

    Now I’m not saying the challenge was anything like that bad. Yes he did touch the ball, but it’s extremely debatable as to whether he ‘won’ the ball, and in any case as I have said, that is irrelevant, what matters is did he foul Laca after touching the ball, and he clearly did, half way up his shin.

    I concede it is subjective but for Clattenberg to state categorically it wasn’t a foul, especially using such a flawed defense is out of order.

    It is also subjective as to whether it was worthy of a card, but again to state categorically it wasn’t is again out of order.

    One thing we could be certain of is that the post match analysis would side against Arsenal.

  16. Now Dermot Gallaghers argument is much better. I don’t agree with him as I still think it is a penalty and possible red, but he does put a much better argument and he at least concedes it is all subjective and just a matter of opinion.

    This is what Gallagher says:

    “For the second yellow card and therefore a red, it’s a massive controversial decision. It’s a very debatable decision and for me I feel he’s very, very unlucky to be giving the penalty away. What Anthony Taylor sees on the field, he sees Coufal get the top of the ball and the player then goes through and catches Lacazette on the shin”.

    “Taylor will have said that he felt it was a reckless challenge because he got the ball but he also took the player”.

    —-So as I said, Clattenbergs defense is totally flawed. The fact he ‘won’ ‘got’ ‘touched’ the ball is irrelevant. Very worrying that Clattenberg didn’t know that.

    Gallagher continues:

    “He (Taylor) can only go to the screen for the penalty judgement. He would have spoken to Peter Bankes about whether or not it was a penalty. They will have had this conversation and Anthony Taylor will have said that he felt it was a reckless challenge because he got the ball but he also took the player”.

    —So reckless, not reckless, a matter of opinion.

    Even Moyes has little sympathy with Coufal. He says:

    “For the red card, he does get the ball first, but I thought he should have got more of the ball. But his timing means he catches the top of the ball and follows through.

    “I thought he should have got more of the ball. He should have tapped the ball away. The timing of it means he catches the top of the ball and followed through. I think that’s the reason the referee had to think about a decision”.

    Well done Mr Moyes, very fair.

    As he said, the referee was given a decision to make. This time it actually went in our favor.

    It wasn’t a terrible decision but it was debatable due to the subjective nature of it.

  17. @ Nitram

    Nice work. And fully agreed. It is extraordinary how much controversy is involved when a decision goes in our favour yet when Saka was clearly kicked from behind without the ball being near him a few weeks ago, hardly a mention. It certainly seems there is little or no fuss when a decision goes in favour of our opponents!

  18. Mikey

    There certainly seems to be an imbalance in media reaction between decisions that are perceived to of gone our way and those that have gone against us.

    I have mentioned this myself many times before because I don’t think it happens just by chance. Quite the opposite.

    I think it is a premeditated media tactic to highlight the fact that we ‘got away with one there’….again !!! and we are therefore due some payback, or at the very least cant be getting any more ‘favors’.

    Conversely they underplay it when we are wronged. Heaven forbid anyone should get the idea we are hard done by.

  19. I was amazed that Taylor gave the penalty, as he had ignored numerous fouls on our players
    Also at first sight I did not see it as a penalty, but was convinced by seeing the replay.

    Mr. Moyes was fair in his assessment.

    No doubt about the media bias. Never a mention of the Everton stamp on our player’s face.

    Also BBC pissed off with Arsenal being fourth, so have to focus on goal difference.

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