An enigma – West Ham could have scored 6 and Arsenal could have scored 7

Arsenal really are an enigma this season. They are team that went 8 games without a win, losing at home to teams like Burnley, Wolves and Aston Villa, but suddenly become unbeatable for the next 5, beating Chelsea and only conceding twice in that run.

A team that can destroy Leicester and Tottenham but in between somehow only draw with Burnley. A team that can take Olympiacos apart in Greece but don’t turn up in the home leg and lose 1-0. This is inconsistency at it’s finest!

Paul Merson said last night that the West Ham game summed up Arsenal’s season and he is absolutely correct. How can we be awful and concede 3 goals in half an hour, then suddenly start playing and came close to winning by the end of the game. I am at a loss to understand, so we shall listen to what Arteta said after the game instead, when he was asked to sum up this “Crazy” game. “I think you defined it.” he told “The first half an hour was really disappointing, we weren’t at the races. We conceded a goal that they have the quality and the ability to do that perfectly, but we didn’t win enough challenges, enough duels, we were too stretched as a team, not enough urgency, and we showed that with the other two goals that we conceded that were completely unacceptable.

“So we showed a face that we still have, and then after that for the next 60 minutes we probably played the best that I have seen us play against very tough conditions when any team could collapse and start to blame each other and have bad body language and concede four, five or six. We did completely the opposite, we reunited, we did exactly what we had to do and we got better and better. Its a shame because looking at the chances, we should have scored six or seven.”

So how can he describe why Arsenal can be absolutely awful at times but then turn into worldbeaters? “This is my responsibility because before we could not play at that level, now we can. So we cannot go from here to there, we have to be all the time here. That is where we are heading and we have to stop giving the opponents anything, because the last shot that they had – when they hit the post – is from a throw in where we give them the ball and they are through, it’s too simple.

“For the rest I am incredibly proud of the team, the way we played, the courage that we showed, how much belief we had that we could go on and win the game – and I sensed that at half time, which is not easy and it shows me as well how far we have come together.”

I am sure that Arteta had problems sleeping last night trying to work out what went so wrong, and what went exactly right. He could be analysing the West Ham game for the next month and still not come up with the answers. It will be interesting to listen to the players take on this game of two halves as well.

A total and utter enigma!

Tags Arsenal v West Ham Arteta


  1. We’ve done poorly in the first half for years and I disagree with the “Worldbeaters” part. Also remember WH gave us help with 2 goals. A goal is a goal but there was a lot of luck involved

  2. Exciting game for the neutrals. Yes, they scored two own goals but it was our pressure that resulted to the goals. That Chambers cross was terrific….

    I hope we take the positive from the game (second half) and not the negative (first half).

    1. But surely we have to take the negative as well so the team could make sure it wouldn’t happen in the future? And this wasn’t the first time..

    2. Exactly we made our own luck we forced them into making those mistakes even though personally i thought it was a bit harsh on Laca to give the goal as OG.

      Look for reality, not just that which suits your personal wishes, IF you want truth!

  3. I think we have found the CAM we crave with odegarrd. He is a fabregas-hleb- rosiky combined. He was unplayable in d second half.we need to keep him asap

  4. Arteta has no clue, just guessing or he would get why we conceid 3, and we were lucky to not lose.

    It is same thing over and ovee for almost 2 seasons.

    He talks about tram as a bunch of handicaped who couldnt play and now are better but still needs time to devellop them…

    He is the one with no experience, and why we are 10th; not 3 , 5 or even 7 games., but all season long.

    We have a board with as Arteta, desperate for a job…So Kroenke musi wake da hell up, he is losing money big time..

    Fire board and his wannabe coach and bring our boss back as he should be heading & manage this club since not coach

    Look where is at today? Why? Because he his the best football manager, probably in history.

    Not talking about coach but football club….

    Bring Neggelesman from liepzig and call it a day! We missed on Tuchel as we missed on Klopp. Look at Chelsea!

    Not losing one game in 2021 since Tuchel, not out of 5 games, nor 7 but 12 or more… Lampard took them to CL but reached his limit.

    Tuchel was eyeing and hoping to bounce back at Arsenal seeing us bello 10th half season long.

    Well, Chelsea saw lampard falling at 6th, CL ahead, they snatched Tuchel while board & Adu retards back a loser as they are in first place to bring him and keep him, losing cup wouldnt change anything; we out of it already but he is there 10th…

    Cant replace him today, and board will keep him.

    You heard him; we a team in progress, need time!

    Since ‘Wenger and Emery i guess…

    A bunch of losers, takes to fire board in order to change losers…

    Anyway Pat, you are right and realistic, as i’ve been for over a year.

    Been sacked by many here and writers taking it personal.

    Im passionned., a true fan of Arsenal bexause of values that makes us such a loved club worldwide.

    I’m sorry to everyone who disagree, but we are totally falling appart.

    If not for fundation Prof had laid with academy; and titles he won, keeping US in CL 20 years non stop; we would totally fall into average clubs category we are in term of results because we do not have a coach but an assistant with no head coach experience, who actually got promoted to manager not even a year later; shows how unreal this is !

    Can anyone can point to him that he is the one who needd to learn.

    Not Auba tl become a damn LW all season and be golden boot contender he has been for a decade.

    The issue was defense, in that central area for years; we have many options as Holding Gabriel Mari Chambers, but he keeps playing Luiz who ruins it all for everyone.

    You saw Xhaka at CB and xhat about Chambers who had to keep covering, filling up holes Luiz lives.

    He is ordering players to defend while he watches! Even Tierny often finds himself covering up.

    Forget about Partey right above Luiz;, he is a DMCB,!

    He has to show us & world wrong, a hard stubborn head.

    He has potential but not as a head coach; not wise naturally, lack of experience doesnt help…

    So, please let him know: The problem is him, and keep playing Luiz or Auba all season as a LW confirm that.

    1. I agree with every word. The club of Arsenal size to let someone using it to learn how to coach is unexplainable.
      Correction it is explainable, sad! If he was such a wonderful prospect other teams even small ones should’ve gone for him before us.

  5. We started to look good with Holding Gabriel, then one added to Mari worked well.

    We all thought he will keep him out after games whithout. But gradually he imposed him in almost every single game, EPL, EL…

  6. Pls ,can arteta tell us why he’s shooting himself with favouritism. We have hungry beast Martinelli always wanting to do his best, he kept on fielding our non challant captain with no spirit. We are done in the Europa if cares not taken. Just luck against OLYMPIACOS .

  7. Question is, will Auba finally be dropped?

    There’s a strange pattern on MA starting XI. Favoritism almost.

    So Auba got dropped for being late (rightly so), but then starts the Olympiacos game, in which he was extremely lethargic and still played the full 90. Martinelli comes in for 15 minutes, gets opposition player sent off and creates our best chance. Still won’t get a start.

    Next match, Auba is magically starting again, we struggle and isn’t subbed off until 80th minute.

    Then I remember Pepe had his best match in an Arsenal shirt against Leicester. His reward was the bench for 2 weeks. His next start wasn’t until against Olympiacos!

    Then we had Willian who had been TERRIBLE ever since he came here. He got to start every match, week after week but never picked form. He got in form some weeks ago (few assists) and BAM, he’s back in the starting XI just like that (until his injury).

    Why is that certain players can start match after match until they find form, but some who give in great displays, gets dropped for no good reason?

  8. We could only win the ball possession after West Ham became tired and complacent, because the Gunners were nervous due to West Ham’s high pressing and the opponents’ physicality. The Gunners obviously couldn’t keep up with West Ham’s incessant long crosses and height

    In the first half, our forwards/ midfielders lost almost all aerial duels and our defenders couldn’t keep up with Antonio’s/ Lingard’s intensity. Liverpool also pressed us high up the pitch last year, but we were set up to soak up that pressure with a three-CB formation and Liverpool didn’t have Soucek/ Rice to score from midfield

    We need to be ready for this high pressing tactic from the oppositions, because not all teams will sit back like Spuds

  9. I’m still not entirely sure how I should be feeling over the result. A real Jekyll and Hyde performance and not for the first time either!

    Note to players: Matches last 90 minutes, not 45…

  10. Football is played in 90mins, we need to appreciate, the effort our team showed yesterday. If it was certain clubs people will be showering praise like ,this is what Champions are made of! But just because it’s Arsenal people have the guts to say all superlatives they can think of.

    1. please. spare me. if we were second or near man city I would agree with you that this is what champions are made of. We are 9th, so in my words this is what 9th place is made of. we are not the first average team to claw back a result from 3 down and certainly wont be the last.

      1. Truth is Kori, yesterday is the reason we are in 9th place and people are still blind to the reasons, even when it slaps them hard in the mush.

        1. Spot on … anyway the position of real fans is simple arteta has between 11 and 14 games to either get us in to top 6 or bring back el cup .. otherwise this will be the worst season for the club in decades … if not he has to go as a risky appointment … which I supported … gone wrong

  11. Incinsistency is in Arsenal’s DNA it’s not a new thing. Even the great sides of the early 2000’s underperformed we should have won more EPL titles and at least one Champion’s League with the world class players we had. So I’m certainly not surprised.

  12. Just watched the match again (glutton for punishment). How Antonio missed and hit the post!! Phew..
    I had a look on a West Ham blog earlier. Amusing seeing their take on us, as well as the match. Some of the comments had me thinking I was on JA 😂

      1. Hi HH… Many things were said from us being ‘average’ to any point against us is a great result..
        Most weren’t happy with their ‘capitulation’… It was refreshing seeing how other fans saw it, HH, as we’re often told we’re the worst fanbase out there, always moaning about our players and the ref, never happy etc… but that’s exactly what I read on there. Antonio was slated for hitting the post! Jon Moss – well you can imagine what was said about him😂. They even slated the spuds (& Kane’s diving) so that was good!! One reckoned their comeback against the spuds derailed spurs’ season, and will our comeback derail theirs?

        They’re 5th, 7 points above us, what’s not to be happy about?!!

        1. Thanks Sue it was a wonderful read. Considering where they were last season funny that they should have something to complain about. It must be true then that a fans have short memories.

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