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