West Ham v Arsenal match report and player ratings

West Ham v Arsenal – A win but still big problems by ThirdManJW

First Half

A better, more balanced starting XI from Ljungberg, who was unlucky to lose both full-backs early on. Bellerin’s hamstring in the warm-up, and Tierney’s shoulder in the first quarter.

We dominated possession early on, without creating, but looking fairly comfortable at the back. Ozil then headed over a very easy chance off an Aubameyang cross. Leno had no chance with Ogbonna’s headed goal, as it deflected off AMN. But for anyone who may have missed it, Ogbonna got a free header because Xhaka pulled out of the challenge.

Very poor half overall! Barely even had the ball in the oppositions box, no tempo, no urgency, the majority of our players looked disinterested.

Second Half

We continued where we had left off, with West Ham dominating the opening 15 minutes. Xhaka gifting them an early chance, then turning his back in a challenge from the resulting corner.

Despite their domination, we suddenly scored from a flowing attack. Torreira through to Kolasinac, who actually managed to cross a ball for once, for a lovely Martinelli first time finish.

The goal seemed to open the game up, which quickly led to two more goals. Aubameyang assisting Pepe, for a wonderful curling finish. Pepe then turned provider, with a lovely floated cross, for an Aubemeyang volley.

West Ham only managed to cause any problems from Xhaka constantly giving the ball away.


Very poor first half, and not a shot on target for the opening hour. Still very worrying is that we’re
struggling to create, despite Ozil playing!

Defensively we did look a lot more solid though. I wonder if Ljungberg will have the balls to stick with Chambers, and Sokratis, as they are currently our best partnership, until Holding is fully fit.

Much better in the second half, but let’s not kid ourselves…this was a very poor West Ham team. I still expect a thrashing from City in our next game.

Leno 7 – Nothing spectacular needed, but solid.
AMN 6 – Decent today.
Chambers 7 – Best defender (which he has been all season), so I expect he’ll be dropped again.
Sokratis 6 – Very poor when on the ball, but defending was solid.
Tierney 5 – Didn’t look 100% fit, and soon off injured.
Xhaka 2 Appalling performance! Constantly gave the ball away, and cowardly cost us a goal.
Torreira – 6 Poor first half, but grew into the game.
Pepe 8 – MOTM His best performance so far! Did lose the ball a lot, but a goal, and an assist.
Ozil 5 – Retained possession well, but extremely underwhelming as always.
Martinelli 8 – Worked his socks off, scored, and was a threat.
Aubameyang 8 – Great goal, assist, and another assist missed if it wasn’t for Ozil


Kolasinac 6 – Decent, got an assist.
Guendouzi 5 – Not on long enough.
Nelson 5 – Not on long enough.


Ljungberg – 7
Good line up, but still needs to drop Xhaka, and Ozil. Tactically not great, especially the first hour, but a solid win for him.


  1. “Best defender (which he has been all season), so I expect he’ll be dropped again.”
    Every single manager drops Chambers as starting CB – Wenger, Ranieri, Emery – and ThirdManJW knows better despite a series of massive mistakes Chambers made whenever he played a few games in a row as a CB. LOL

    Also about Ozil: “Retained possession well, but extremely underwhelming as always.”
    This is one of the most ridiculous posts on this site.

    1. Yeah, I don’t know why the writer does want us to have peace, Ozil is no Rinaldo but I feel like that’s what guys want or bust

    2. I am not saying Chambers is a quality CB, but he consistently out performs Sokratis, Luiz, and Mustafi. If you can name a better defender for us this season, I’m all ears!

    3. The most important change in today’s game is the inclusion of martibeli and playing chamber at the CB, it should continue like that, I also notice kolasinic is a more matured player than Tieney. Good win, pls coach, dont “change a winning team”.

  2. I always cried for Martineli to start pl games this season and no guessing his first start gave Arsenal a win. That boy has got goal and big things for Arsenal. Also it seems Freddie is giving these guys competition for places. So these games might be for him to try different combination. So don’t be surprised if he changes he team for the next match. Let’s give Freddie the time tha we don’t have for him to stabilize the team.

    1. Definately he will make massive changes for the next game seeing as next is Europa followed by Man City.I dont think we will see Ozil and Pepe in Europa but Martinelli will probably feature to build his momentum

    2. An 18 year old Martineli after scoring an on his first premier league start, picked up the ball from the net, raced to the center circle while urging his team mates to step up and fight. Reverse back to the Morwich game, after an underwhelming performance, Aubameyang scoring same equalizers (first with the aid of VAR) shushed the keeper, raced to the corner flag and did a front flip in celebration. Compare this scenarios, then you would realize the problem of this team is a mental one.
      Big up to this kid, Gabriel Martineli. If we had 5 players with this mentality in the team we would be closer to Liverpool than relegation battle.

      1. I noticed that too after the goal. Quite impressed!

        Tale of two games – I would have given the lot of them an F for the first hour – sure they had possession but it was sideways and back. They can’t even play out of the back when the other team isn’t really pressing. West Ham was allowing them to have the ball and waited for mistakes, which they made. Torreira was perhaps worse than Granit, not sure what he was doing but they did give the ball away a lot.

        Thankfully they had a great burst and problems solved. Hopefully this will breathe new air into the ballon and they can build on this game. Ozil was on the ball more and people were making space, the results came. Was glad to see Maitland-Niles grow into the game as he needed the boost.

  3. Great win!Something to cheer about at long last!I agree that Xhaka was terrible although I was impressed by AMN and Chambers. Chambers particularly is the only shining light in our defensive set up and hope he is a regular at defence henceforth. Kola also played well going forward. I was always supportive of the idea of starting Martinelli and Pepe along with Auba. Happy that Freddie chose Martinelli over Laca and the kid responded greatly. Laca can now start the Europa game where we need at least a draw to ensure qualification for the next round. Also, Freddie should have the guts and I am sure he has, to bench Xhaka and Ozil if they don’t perform to the expectation. All in all, something to cheer about for all the gunners round the world.

  4. We need to slow our roll…3 points is 3 points, but that’s 1 win in 10…I’m obviously ecstatic that all 3 forwards found the back of the net, but that happened over a 10 minute span and those were our only shots on target up until then…Xhaka at several points played much farther up the pitch, but he was largely wasteful, played scared in the box on the set piece that led to their goal and left again in a somewhat gutless fashion…both AMN and Kols put in a decent shift, considering the circumstances surrounding their inclusions, but I have very little faith in this tandem against the kind of teams we’ll face over the holiday season…uplifted by the more direct approach and one touch play which ultimately led to all three goals, but we’ve seen some of the worst sideways/backwards passing performances in the last 20 years in those first two and a half games under Freddie’s tutelage…there is no doubt we, as fans, deserve a reprieve from this horrible string of games, but we must not let the adrenaline rush of this blip on the radar to cloud our judgement; everyone asked to make their assessment on the scene were a little too eager to praise a team that has stacked a whole series of historically embarrassing performances together…I get it, but this is so far from resolved it’s disgusting…we simply can’t afford to let those in charge rest comfortably for even a second until we have been afforded the same luxury…perspective is incredibly important at this juncture

  5. After the first half borefest I dozed off when VAR took 20 minutes to decide whether that Westham goal was handball or not! I woke up and found us leading 2-1! I could barely stay awake for 5 minutes and I woke up and it wasn’t 2-2..it was 3-1! 😃😃 3 points IN and relegation discussions OFF until further notice!

  6. Nothing new really. The team was not compact and lacked confidence. Had a good 20 min at the beginning of the 2nd half against Norwich, a great 20 min against Brighton and only 30 good minutes against West ham. The difference is in the first two matches arsenal missed chances when they were on top, but were efficient against West ham. The same old problems were clearly not addressed.

  7. Always interesting to read other peoples view of the match.

    Take the rating for Ozil – he got just a 5.

    In the first half, and the early part of the second half, Arsenal were awful. Particularly their passing.

    Ozil received several passes that were dreadful, one bordering on a hospital pass. If he was ineffective in this period it was because the rest of the team are just not good enough to make a simple pass.

    When we finally took control, Ozil was masterful. We are lucky to still have him!

    When Emery was manager, it seemed he had dragged Ozil from the Sistene Chapel, given him a roller and tray of paint, and pointed him to the garage wall. No wonder Ozil thought he was useless as a manager.

    Emery was a blue collar manager. Wenger was a Renaissance Manager.

    I am still undecided on what football the FMM (Former Male Model) wants to play.

  8. How i wish that Ozil header coulda been Martinelli. I felt frastrated with Xhaka constantly misplasing passes.Looking forward to tougher fixtures ahead

  9. Torreria is one of the best in the field, he did a dirty job, xhaka is a waste and shouldn’t start our next match. The front three was the lineup we all are looking for for sometime now, thank God it was giving a consideration yesterday. Well done boys

  10. Ozil was involved in 2 of the goals and was one of the driving forces going forward when we managed to go forward. Also rated for his role in the win by Sky Sports pundit Tim Sherwood.
    A Win is a Win but we continue to try and play out of the back and are too slow to get the ball forward quickly.
    On the few occasions we managed to get it forward quickly we looked a different side and looked threatening

  11. People please.. We arsenal fans have collectively agreed that the only way Ozil can get high rating is if he scores a hat-trick, provide hat-trick of assist and score a solo goal dribbling from our goal to the opposition like Son did that day. If not he deserves a 5. Pffft.

    1. Good to see more and more people are noticing Admin’s bias towards Ozil. This is an example: “Ozil then headed over a VERY EASY CHANCE off an Aubameyang cross”. In truth the ball was too high (maybe ok for someone like Andy Carroll etc) and Ozil did his best to get to it. But that simple truth would spoil Admin’s anti-Ozil agenda so it had to be embellished. It happened at around the 32:22 min mark if you want to check for yourself. It would have been different if Ozil had been running in on the ball and could get a jump in but he was at a standstill.

      1. Spot on!blaming ozil because he is not 6ft,I thought anyone could see that the cross was too high for him! ludicrous a rating of 5🤔🤔,I don’t know I might have been watching a different game??

  12. Xhaka almost cost us a penalty.. it looked like a foul to me, the foul on Felipe Anderson..

    I pray Tierney is not too hurt.. Didn’t look too serious because there wasn’t much contact.

    Meaningless match on Thursday (unless we lose 5-0), hope the likes of Auba, Torreira, Chambers, Martinelli don’t play and gets their well deserved rest ahead of Man City clash.

    1. I can’t understand why Xhaka gets any game time if he is not giving the ball away he is committing fouls time to get rid if anyone will have him.

  13. our fans should no that our problem is not ozil losing a ball or not creating chances, our problem lies in the midfield, we don’t have strong midfielders like the like of mancity and Liverpool Shaka is a week point all the and if the management does not look into this, we will be losing many matches like that

  14. Good line up and we get a win. Now Xhaka must be replaced with Guendouzi and Lacazette for Ozil.
    Then we will see speed, work rate and efficiency.

  15. I would not give Guendouze more than 3 – running around on the field like a headless chicken and giving back to the defender he received it from 90 times out of 100 does not make him an effective player. He NEVER turns with the ball although he often does have space (which he ironically created himself). Only once actually saw him actually pass the ball forward yesterday.

    AMN played quite well, actually, was not taken to the cleaners on the outside, altogether a better performance from the defence. Thank goodness Luiz was not there.

    Xhaka was by some margin the poorest player on the park, and Özil the lasiest.

    Lots of work still to do. Go for it, Freddie!

  16. Great Freddie great!Certainly things are getting more clearer each game
    1. Xhaka is a waste of space – expected a goal from either him/Ozil ducking and it happened.And he had the gumption to say foul words to the fans!He should reserve those words for himself.
    2. Socrates, another accident waiting to happen, good Freddie paired him with Chambo, else there would have been another goal if either Luiz or Mustafi played.One theoretical goal saved by Freddie and Chambo.
    3. Ozil? whos that?
    4. Gaby does everything that Ozil doesn’t want to, which means we are assured of a goal.Sure EPL starter form now onward.
    5. PEA is assured a goal/assist.
    6. Pepe will get better with pacey skilled players like Gaby, would hibernate with slow uninterested players like Ozil.
    Good to be in 9th, we can still make it top 6, 22 games more, drop the useless players, sign one CDM, one attacking player and we will be there or stick to the “spine” – Ozil, Shaka, Luiz/Socrates and keep company with the relegation boys.The choice is for Freddie to make, did Okay yesterday, hope he does not get sentimental with the “senior” players and trust them to deliver against City,etc.

  17. A 6 for AMN … Who was atrocious … And sokratis … Redefining the word solid …. And a 5 for ozil … who was the only assured player on the ball and surrounded by oafs for most of the game … Tells me why wenger and Emery were both able to cling on for longer than was appropriate … Ridiculous assessment … The only player who played for 90 minutes decently was martinelli and that merits a 7 max … All the are well below that

  18. I used to support Ozil very much in the beginning, but of late he is becoming so lazy that he thinks the match will be played from sunrise to sunset and he has all the time in the world. Had it not been for Martinelli, we would have lost this match as well. He does all the hard work and Ozil just watches like he is guiding a orchestra or like a traffic policeman on a busy highway whilst vehicles speed past him. I don’t know how many poor performances Xhaka needs before being benched. He and Ozil must play only EUL and FA matches and the search must be on for a DM, CB and a proper midfielder. Torreira was great today and I feel either Nelson, Willock or ESR should play instead of Xhaka and Ceballos for Ozil. All in all hope there are happy moments ahead. Younger players must be given a chance in place of the Seniors and we shall see more passion and commitment, the Arsenal way.

    1. I went through a rollercoaster of emotions watching that… bored… annoyed… angry… gutted…amazed.. happy…buzzing!!

      I really was worried after the first half.. was so pi**ed off with all the backward/sideway passing 😴
      Then, we finally woke up… and that 10 minute spell was brilliant!!
      I just hope it’s given a much needed confidence boost to them all.

      Pepe – finally from open play!! Please kick on from here!
      Martinelli – What a player! Needs to play every week imo. We have a serious talent on our hands
      Aubameyang – So happy he scored!
      Kolasinac – Came in at the last minute and looked mighty fine 😍 and assisted 👊

      I hope Tierney will be ok.. that looked nasty.

  19. I can see that must people here don’t know football and don’t understand it. Ozil was one of our best players on the pitch yesterday. I think people on this site only rate players based on who gave the final ball, who scored, who ran the most without end product. Take ozil out of that game yesterday i bet you we would have lost the game.

    1. I take your point CP, Guendouzi was getting praise initially for for the energy he brought to the the team, unfortunately his end product was poor and his support has suddenly dried up. Ozil will always get criticism because of his languid style which tends to overshadow his effectiveness. In general we, in this country, tend to favour players who wear their hearts on their sleeve, to coin a praise, and run around till they drop. That said Ozil was fairly ineffective in the first half because the whole team was equally ineffective. The second half was better especially after the first goal and I can’t think of one occasion he lost the ball, his close control was excellent. Not a great game from him but many players had worse ones. A player like him needs an effective midfield that can both shield and provide good ball for him, for instance since Santi Cazorla left his game has suffered (my opinion only). He would be a different player if he was blessed with pace but he is not and his game has been developed to compensate for that. I just do not think that the modern style of football suits his style.

  20. Ozil will not be appreciated on this or other Arsenal sites as his role of a classic #10 is becoming more and more rare, unused and controversial in modern football.

    The smooth, silky, needle-threading passer of the ball in the CAM position who does little to no defensive work is all but extinct today as football has become faster, more physical and increasingly athletic.

    Think Juan Roman Riquelme or Pirlo, though the latter played a bit deeper than Ozil does.

    Most teams simply can’t afford to defend with 10 players nowadays, so players like Ozil are less and less used, or forced to change their style of play.

    This is why Ozil isn’t appreciated by many of the fans, either.

    Picking him means defending with 10 as he walks around when we are not in possession.
    Going forward, however, based on his eye for a pass we’re attacking with 12, so to speak.

    This is why he dominates against so-called smaller teams and disappears when playing against the “big six”. You just can’t defend one man down against teams with quality in every position.

    Love him or hate him, that’s what it is.

    I personally think he definitely has a place in our team, but he would benefit from a stronger CDM to provide him and the team additional defensive support.

  21. If you check the goals, basically they started from Ozil’s passing around. so 5 is not fair.

    Xhaka must be out, Guendozi IN !

    Martinelli is in his best, with this performance from Pepe –> should be kept playing.

    Chambers and Mustafi as CB they are working better.

  22. If we can judge from this one game where we played one of the two (Auba, Laca), the second half of the season without Auba looks promising. It sucks we’ll probably rely massively on Martinelli to work the left flank and should he get injured, we’ve got a situation we had at the end of the last season when Ramsey got injured and we failed to reach top 4. The lad’s a workhorse and a poacher. This performance was promising and I believe we’ll be back to top 6 by the end of the season.
    Even though Auba has saved our season so far, I’d sell him in January all day, especially if he can go for more than what he was brought in for. Happy days (from a perspective that we could be in the relegation battle this season).

  23. So Martineli first start in pl, first to score for the team, first win For Freddie. So if he had played earlier in the season, how much could he had contributed. Overally the win should be credited to the players. Let’s support them. Some may give negative views but the most important thing now is to win

  24. Ozil is overrratted player doesn’t offer anything like other players in other clubs,debrune,benado Silva,even old da Silva is a better than Ozil,what special thing has he done for the past three matches, Ozil can single handedly win match like Sanchez used to be,….Ozil won’t make man u,Liverpool, spur,Leicester and city team cos of their style of play and the quality players around them…we are wehere we are today cos arsenal still accommodate lazy players and mostly average players….how many of you here will agree with the board to offer Ozil new contract?

    1. Look at the players Ozil is surrounded compared to man city,pool,even spurs Leicester,his teammates are dragging him down, unable to put 2 decent passed together we all know good players make other players play better and vice versa, mediocre players will drag you down with them,the case as srse

  25. Chambers was very good and Xhaka very bad, in fact he was apalling.Torreria had his best game for some time and was well supported by AMN and to be fair Kolasinac.Both of the full backs showed more defensive responsibility and as a result West ham created precious little.Ozil was a mixture of good and bad and as I said on this site before the match our front three caused them problems.To be more effective however, they have to interchange more and make diagonal runs to pull defenders out of position.Martinelli did more of this than the other two and was rewarded with one of the most important goals we will score this season in that it gave us an immediate uplift in confidence.Finally we need to rethink this obsession of playing out from the back as to do so against a high pressing team like Man City will be suicidal.They will almost certainly look to isolate and regain possession from Sokratis who is very limited on the ball.Hopefully FL will realize this.

    1. Grandad, my heart was in my mouth every time they played out from the back. They got away with it (just) against West Ham but agree against Man C they will come unstuck in a big way.

  26. You had a real opportunity to talk through some very interesting points in this game. Instead you decide to slam Xhaka and Ozil, IMO unnecessarily. There were plenty of mistakes by lots of people, along with many good things. Fans like you and articles filled with rubbish like this are the reason why we’re so disjointed at a time when we need as much unity as we can get. If you’re going to talk about the negatives, do it in a balanced and fair way, not trying to throw a couple of players under the bus to use them as scapegoats because you clearly don’t like them. There were lots of poor things that happened today but also plenty of really good things from EVERY PLAYER. Now is the time, when we clearly need it, to back our players. We all saw how well we payed when we had confidence: Quicker, one touch passing and better movement (yes against a weak WH side but still!!). I don’t know about everyone else, but i preferred watching that! Lets do what we can to instil confidence in our players when we’re given the chance. We haven’t had many opportunities recently!

  27. People that are calling for Ozil to be dropped, can you think of one player that can take his place today??? Who? Willock? Gendouzi as 10? Please elaborate…

  28. Well said!! It’s a start like you said there were some mistakes but we got the win and that’s all that matters.
    Now that we have got the win our confidence will be alot better, I do think we need to stick with chambers at centre back tho he tries his best and that’s all we can ask for and to be honest if he keeps playing there he will improve game by game. The best thing is as bad as we have been we are still only 2 points off 5th and 7 off 4th so let’s keep winning and see what happens.up the gunners😁

  29. OZIL gave the ball away 15 times during the game, how on earth can you say he retained possession well. Ozil and Xhaka are letting this team down, Freddie needs to get them out, we are poor out of possession and so are they. If he keeps relying on them we will not progress any further. Good win for Fred but the need for a top manager who can get this team organised is even more important. NO ROOKIES.

    1. Well Reggie, as you obviously counted how many times he gave it away, please enlighten us on how many times he found on of our players – then we will see if he retained possesion well.

      Seems that the pundits thought he did, but I guess they weren’t counting the 15 times that you, so dilligently, did

      They looked at his overall performance, how he was involved and, funnily enough, how his teammates reacted with him after the game…anyway, look forward to the figure you have recorded so dilligently.

      1. You notice Reggie’s wearing dark glasses!! Everybody gave the ball away in the first half (apart from Leno) it was dire. But 15 times, come on enough of the hyperbole I don’t think he got the ball that many times. In fact in the second half I noticed only one occasion and that was well in our half. I suppose it depends on what criteria you use, for instance getting tackled and losing the ball is not giving the ball away that is what defines the game. Giving the ball away is what Xhaka does in every single game i.e. a misplaced pass. And, by the way, Torreira was guilty of this on a few occasions in the first half, so was Pepe and the list goes on. Let’s just be grateful we at last won a match even if the performance was imperfect, if the players continue the the commitment they showed in the second half we will be OK. A ray of hope for the future, Martinelli (if we can keep him), Leno and Pepe. I’ll be the first to admit I have questioned Leno’s ability in the past but have been proved wrong, his recent performances are close to world class especially playing behind a shaky defence. Pepe’s class is there for all to see, an unpolished diamond, given time and good coaching he could be a superstar even the £72m we paid could prove a bargain. As for Martinelli (only 18) he reminds me of Anelka but perhaps without his pace but an immense talent who even impressed Klopp recently. With a top manager and the addition of a quality CB and DM we can start to play as a team again and with confidence which has been missing for a long time until the latter stages of last night’s match.

        1. They were his stats, i didn’t count them. I would have nothing against Ozil, if he actually was good for this team but he hasn’t been since he got his big contract. Im waiting for his stats in the last 18 months from his supporters on how many prem goals has he scored and how many assists has he got because that is what he is in the team for. I can tell its not great reading.

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