Sunday, October 07, 2012
For the neutral it must have been like watching Barcelona play Getafe or Rayo such was the class difference between Arsenal and West Ham last night.
Having enjoyed the briefest of Premier League honeymoons by beating the likes of Aston Villa, Fulham and QPR and drawing with Sunderland it was our first game against one of the teams we would expect to finish below in the league.
Arsenal were great to watch, unless you were a Hammers fan, pass and move all over the pitch whilst we decided to abandon the passing game that had made QPR look so silly for an hour last Monday and seemed to be contriving every possible way to get the ball in the air for Andy Carroll. It was like watching a man who is having an affair with his secretary trying to think up new ways to deceive his wife whilst not realising that she knows whats going on. Arsenal simply passed the ball around West Ham's static midfield, at times it looked as if we'd already decided to let them have the ball and simply feed of scraps. Having said all that West Ham took the lead with a goal of real quality, Mohammed Diame beating two players on the edge of the Arsenal box before curling a shot with this right foot beyond the Arsenal keeper.
After that though it was a story so often told by West Ham supporters that you sometimes wonder whether it's real or myth. A player who so far this season couldn't hit a cow's arse with a banjo, Olivier Giroud, scored his first goal after five hours and fifteen shots trying. Then after a flurry of second half substitutions, worryingly for West Ham Demel was injured, less worryingly so was Vaz Te, the boy without the football brain Theo Walcott, scored with a well taken shot from the edge of the penalty area. West Ham huffed and puffed but couldn't blow the Gunners house down and fittingly the best player on the pitch, by some distance, Santi Cazorla, scored the sort of goal that is worth paying your ESPN subscription for - pity he wasn't still doing it for Malaga.
Football managers always tell us that the table starts to make sense after ten matches, this was match number seven and we are eighth with eleven points, this is our second best start to a Premier League season and we have been playing some good football. My worry is that the good work that has been done on the ground could be abandoned in favour of the Carroll-Nolan plan. The good news about Vaz Te being out, sorry but he's one of those players whose effort is not matched by his skill, should mean that Yossi Benayoun is recalled which will increase the number of creative players in the team to three.
Nex month there are games against Man.City, Spuds, Newcastle, and Man.Utd - followed by Chelsea and Liverpool so the next two games against Southampton and Wiggie are cruical. As for Arsenal well I suspect that as was shown against Chelsea they can still be out muscled in midfield but as they showed yesterday and as Barcelona's dwarfs have been showing for the last four or five years there is more than one way of winning.
Posted by Paul at 8:48 AM