New Arsenal system fails to break down hardened West Ham

Arsenal will be frustrated at having failed to pick up the all-important three points tonight, but West Ham deserve huge credit for their performance.

Just like the weekend, David Moyes had his side well organised at the back, and really limited the space we was able to get in their half, while managing to cause us trouble when attacking also.

The first-half saw our side frustrated, with the majority of our efforts coming from outside the box, and we will have been relieved to have seen Marko Arnautovic’s header rightly ruled out for offside after he beat Petr Cech. The goal did ring alarm bells however, as the Austrian forward should not have been granted so much space.

We stuck to our plan, and after 10 minutes of the second-half had passed, we really began to turn the screw on our rivals, and we were starting to feel like the game was going to turn, but it soon fizzled out, and the Hammers worked their way back into the game, and everything began to seem rather nervy…

After 65 minutes of the match, I’m noticing more and more misplaced passes from our key players including both Wilshere and Ozil, and we are allowing the East London side to get more and more up the field.

A scrappy attack a few minutes later sees the cross find Olivier Giroud, but he knocks the ball down for Jack who fails to get his shot on target, and the manager opts to make his first change, and on comes Danny Welbeck for Alex Iwobi.

We finally forced Hammers’ keeper Adrian into a tough save in the 74th minute, when Alexis Sanchez’s neatly taken free-kick forces him to outstretch and knock the ball away, and is by far our best opportunity thus far.

From this point onwards, we are literally having all of the possession, albeit without actually being able to penetrate the defence, and at this point you would fully understand how the Premier League champions failed to score against them on Saturday afternoon.

With 10 minutes to play, both sides bring on their summer signings in the shape of Javier Hernandez and Alexandre Lacazette as we both seeked out the three points, but unfortunately Alexis is sacrificed in our bid to break down this sturdy defence.

Into the dying minutes of the game, and it is our goalkeeper who is being worked the hardest. Javier Hernandez beats the Czech shot-stopper and thinks he has won his side the game, only for the underside of the bar to save our blushes, and thank god for goal-line technology! The Mexican believed he had scored with the ball bouncing down off the bar, but it mustn’t have gone over the line.

We did have one last free-kick at the end to try and nab the win, but it was wasted, and a draw unfortunately appears to have been the fairest result.

Was our formation a failure? Do the Hammers deserve credit or were we wasteful?

Pat J

Tags Arsenal West Ham


  1. miker says:

    Am first

    1. muffdiver says:

      only 19 points behind city


      1. Eat Pie says:

        Lol and not even half way through season, we could end 40 points behind 1st place.

        Now that is progression.

      2. Maks says:

        Wenger OUT!
        Nothing else to say.

  2. gotanidea says:

    It was not 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1, but 4-1-2-2-1. Like the usual 3-4-2-1, Sanchez and Iwobi acted as central attacking midfielders behind Giroud, but Xhaka played as a defensive midifielder, supported the creative central midfielders in front of him (Wilshere and Ozil).

    Wilshere looked really good in the central midfielder position, partly because he was protected well by Xhaka behind him. And too bad Arsenal did not recruit Arnautovic before the season started, because he looked like a more skillful and more mobile version of Giroud.

    Giroud suffered because there was no explosive winger provided good crosses for him, like Mbappe and Coman in France national football team. The crosses from Maitland-Niles and Bellerin were very predictable and too obvious for West Ham defenders. I wonder what happened with the use of explosive wingers (like Pires and Ljungberg) that Arsenal used in the Invicible era?

    1. Viera Lyn says:

      Another season done and dusted and we didn’t even make it until Xmas this time…seriously, what has to happen before the Gunner fans in North London grow a pair and rid our club of these overpaid losers(Wenger & Gazidis) and our absentee landlord of an owner…I warned you plenty of times what was going to happen but, as per usual, the spineless season ticket holders fell for the usual trappings and failed to see the writing on the wall…mark my words, things are going to get much worse come January and beyond

    2. Kedar Damle says:

      Problem is every player we feel that he is good as far as he is playing with other team.. And if same player join our team then his performance getting affected and he becomes average player…

      1. Maks says:

        Very good point.

  3. Arsenal is the most frustrating team in the history of the premiership !!!!

    1. muffdiver says:

      why? were seventh and we can overtake burnley if we win a few games


  4. ThirdManJW says:

    Yet ANOTHER abject performance. I think we’re nearer the bottom of the league than the top now, haha! Wenger is a very attacking manager yet what did the West Ham keeper have to do?

    AKB’s must be loving this!

    1. gotanidea says:

      Attacking? I would say a manager that likes to play safe with faux tiki taka.

      They used to play more bravely, like when they were against Everton and Tottenham, but the guts seemed to disappear. I guess the players have to get used to the new formation, before we can see the result.

    2. summerbreez says:

      We went to an a way match on a horrible cold wet evening to play a game of football were westham were under pressure to perform to defend well and try to nick a goal Arsenal didn’t do to bad the west ham defense did a great job and stopped us so all in all we did not lose an away match before we learn to fly we need to learn to walk we are picking up the pieces and moving forward we need to assert our selves and keep moving I am confident if we keep our heads to the ground we will come out of it smiling on to Saturday and newcastel

      1. Ray says:

        Learn to spell man!

  5. Ackshay says:

    difficult to beat them with 10 men as iwobi was non-existent like his previous start. he’s got a big ass ego that needs to be thrown back in reserve team.

    1. gotanidea says:

      Iwobi played well, despite asked to play slowly and not allowed to use his pace. He rarely lost the ball and showed amazing close control, but seemed to be instructed to play more centrally.

      It was Wenger and his staffs that could not use the players’ strength. Imagine if Salah and Mane play for Arsenal, they might be asked to play as central attacking midfielders like Sanchez and Ozil, not as explosive wingers/ inverted forwards.

      1. Eat Pie says:

        Are you Nigerian? I can’t think of another explain for your defence.

        1. gotanidea says:

          I’m not, just an admirer of great football skills.

          1. ks-gunner says:

            you are giving the word great a new meaning

          2. Rkw says:

            As in making America great again I think

      2. mickmematethemasterfarter. says:

        Glasses mate iwobblie pub player..

      3. Ackshay says:

        Lets assume his attacking flair has been neutered by wenger abject tactics, what about his defending, he cant be bothered to move his ass to defend even when he loses the ball. Atleast the so-called mercenaries like ozil and sanchez do track back and defend.

        Even walcott when he was tasked to help out bellerin this last 2 seasons after a decade of playing off the shoulder of the last defender waiting for a counterattack did it and was praised. Iwobi is lazy and using a much raw nelson would be better at this point.

  6. tatgooner says:

    we are lucly we even have points from our two last games

  7. Uzi Ozil says:

    To think we almost lost it at the end.

    I m feeling weary and frustrated. That’s all I can say..

  8. Roy says:

    Hardened West Ham ?Your having a laugh. That was disgraceful by Arsenal. Absolute shite.

    1. Ray says:

      More like “softened” Arsenal?!

  9. Vijay says:

    what does xhaka bring to this team?
    thought he was a deep lying playmaker, all he does is pass it backwards.

    1. gotanidea says:

      He is supposed to be the DM in the match. The good thing about Xhaka are he is tall, strong and his long passes are good, despite he needs to improve his defending.

      1. Ivan says:

        Xhaka strong? The Xhaka I see is a physical coward who cannot run or tackle. He can pass well when the mood takes though.

    2. mobella says:

      You and others who blame these players need to be objective and direct your blame to who. deserves it. Give that flying man city team to Wenger the comments here will still be the same.. Different players, different tactics but the same system.. Other coaches know how Wenger plays. lt takes arrogance to lose to him.. just lock up, allow his team. to selfdistruct due to their endless passing and punish them. guess what it almost happened again.

  10. Vijay says:

    wenger still hasn’t figured a way to beat teams that park the bus?

    1. Ray says:

      I think he thinks we can make them dizzy by out-passing every team on earth. Of course, goals are just a bonus!!

  11. Highbury44 says:

    This has to be the worse Arsenal team in the last 20 years.Have they never heard of playing the ball while instead of always going down the middle

  12. Frustrating as always. We play too many slow balls around the box and just try to pass through solid defences (again). Too predictable, too slow, which makes our fast forwards look ordinary. It’s how they’re being coached, so only one person is to blame (again)

    1. gotanidea says:

      Better get used to it, because I think Arsenal would use 4-1-2-2-1 again and it would take a while to produce good results.

  13. ks-gunner says:

    Arsenal are just emty. A dead club.

  14. Mitch Connor says:

    Giroud should not start. He scores off the bench. He doesn’t score when he starts. Xhaka is not worth £35 million but that’s not his fault. It’s the fault of the person who agreed to pay that. Start Wilshere and Lacazette over Xhaka and Giroud

    1. Jim A says:

      He should have had a penalty when the WH defender just put his arms up to block his bicycle kick, he dropped off a beautiful pass to Jack that he roofed and basically was really our most dangerous player with his drop offs. He even tracked back to head a ball from inside our own box that was trouble. He should start game in and game out.

    2. Ackshay says:

      Giroud plays well with runners like ramsey or a close second striker like lacazette or griezemann. he also benefits when having good crosses which were not available this match. Niles sent some crosses but the fact that he had to go to this right foot meant the defenders had time to react.

  15. Ray says:

    A team in decline! F***ing s**t season that is already over!! When will AW leave the mess he’s created?

  16. Eat Pie says:

    Arsene FC are now in 7th.

    Arsenal FC no longer exists.

  17. shark says:

    Looks like the players are selling the matches or don’t want to play for Wenger anymore.

    1. Maks says:

      and some of them wants to leave asap.

      1. Tdg1944 says:

        Then they should hurry up but PLEASE take Wenger, Gazidis and Kroenke with them. How can Arsenal fans be criticised? No other set of fans would have accepted the last 10/11 years.

  18. COYG_CA says:

    A very hurtful and sad -JOKE!!

  19. Ozil world class don’t make me laugh we don’t have players who can take shot from outside the box and score

    1. gotanidea says:

      He is world class, at least in his mind.

  20. Paul says:

    I was about to analyze ozil’s poor performance compared to Wilshere, how ozil kept passing the ball sideways, 2 poor through balls, shaken off the ball, he kept passing to Wilshere, thank God he knows Wilshere is d deal, that he’s just over-hyped
    But our poor performance and our upside down thinking manager and being frustrated with the way we played has zapped energy

    I wish Wenger just gets sick, real sick, that he won’t be able to manage arsenal again

    1. gotanidea says:

      Wilshere was full of energy and spirited. I hope he could maintain his stamina in the next match.

      1. Maks says:

        Yes, but soon he will go gray like any other player under Wenger.

  21. Kenny Rolfe says:

    Disgraceful, How can you have 70-80% of possession and hardly create a chance? Appalling tactics, the manager has not got a clue, so many terrible performances Cech never look comfortable, kept flapping at crosses, Bellerin useless, Xhaka ,a joke, How much did we pay for him? Laughable. Brings on laca , our top scorer, with eight minutes to go when we’re attacking non stop. So frustrating, surely Wenger’s got to go ASAP, and to think we almost lost. One more thing, Wenger, Bould and Akkers, what did they look like? The Three Stooges

    1. Ivan says:

      The trouble is Kenny, Wengers training is what brings this inability to create chances. I know this seems hard to believe but in training he awards a goal to a side if they pass the ball 10 times in their opponants half. It does not matter if no chance is created as he is happy if the passes are side to side. Hence in a match situation we have no cutting edge. absolutely mad.

      1. Kenny Rolfe says:

        Well that’s incredible Ivan , I don’t know where you get your information from and I don’t doubt you but it just shows why we are struggling. When you get packed defences you have play with wide players but he doesn’t see it. The main reason for the early success. DB10

        1. Ivan says:

          Absolutely Kenny. As for where I get my information from, it is there in the book about the Invincibles called Invincible by Amy Lawrence (available in all good bookshops) and an acquaintance whose son is in the youth set up at Arsenal told me the same back in January even before I had read the book.

          1. Kenny Rolfe says:

            Thanks Ivan, I’ll definitely buy the book.

  22. tatgooner says:

    monreal has been so terrible this season and so has koscienly.
    Bellerin is only quality is pace.
    Defensively unconvincing and has no attacking brain
    xhaka is not even a footballer 30m wasted on crap
    Sanchez and ozil dont feel like playing for arsenal anymore
    giroud on the pitch means you are playing with 10men unless you walk the ball to him for tap ins or cross for headers

    The fact that wenger adds niles and iwobi to the mix and expect to win against a team that beat the previous champions shows that age is a danger in football

    1. Kenny Rolfe says:

      Agree with everything you say tatgooner but Monreal is not a central defender. He first got the position as a makeshift but Wenger’s now converted him, he thinks it’s a master stroke like converting Henry from wide man to a central striker. Trouble is we miss Monreal’s quality as a left back. If I had my way I’d switch him with Kola who I feel could do a job in the centre of defence

  23. Ivan says:

    Another cr*p performace.
    At the weekend Wengers incompetance made Sothampton look good (Leicester showed Wenger how to do it) and now this.
    Wenger has no shame so will not resign no matter how far he drags us down, he needs sacking now so we can get in somebody who has some tactical knowledge, can motivate players and stop embarrassing the club.
    Actually I have an idea, all the AKBs form Arsene FC and Wenger can go and manage them and they can worship his old bones away from Arsenal.

  24. DANDY GUNNER says:

    Arsenal haven’t a clue in the last third of the pitch. Arsenal are now 7th we are no longer a Top Club in the Premier League. Under Wenger Arsenal are an also ran team. There needs to be Changes made and it has to start at the Top. PLEASE SANTA CAN WE HAVE New Board, Manager,and backroom staff this Christmas.

  25. Durand says:

    Akb’s where are you? We fail to put away inferior team, yet again. Sheer ego and arrogance from Wenger, thinking no other manager could accomplish more with this squad.

    Should have sold Sanchez for 60 million; not like city could improve on their form this year. Sanchez done nothing; bench the damn guy.

    Wondering what board consider failure?

    OT. Guess Laca let slip top 4 is goal not title; something we all knew, but at least new guy is honest, thanks guy.

    Wenger blamed refs yet? Weather? Money spent by other clubs?

    Season can end now, give city trophy. We’re not in city and utd’s class anymore, we’re level below honestly

  26. Twig says:


  27. Sue says:

    What a load of crap that was! Must say Maitland Niles played better than I was expecting. Iwobi was his usual rubbish self.. as was Xhaka. Glad to see Wilshere playing but as for the rest all piss poor!

    1. Ray says:

      Damn right Sue! Xhaka for me has to be the most dissapointing signing for me. His average displays five us little going forward. Hes happier going the other way ffs?! Unfortunately, there are a few more like him and not one of that team tonight would make it into City’s! Guess that’s why City are way ahead of us!!

  28. Avenger says:

    well well well another Arsenal show of incompetence and lack of
    vision 7 position and counting,,

  29. Ronny says:

    Forget where we are in the table we are one point only behind 6 5 and 4th. It’s the gap to 3rd and above that’s worrying 5 points behind Chelsea.
    I honestly believe that playing in the europa league is moulding us into a side of this level.
    And teams have sussed us out a long time ago that we like to go through the middle. We are just not smart you look at city and Liverpool they set traps and then pounce in numbers to press and win the ball back we don’t look coached at all. Kos is even looking lost but as known and ferdinand said Wenger keeps messing around with the back line.
    Monreal is not a cb he’s not bad on the left as a 3 but one of 2 no no no! Why not play holding or even chambers with kos? Then Monreal at lb, no disrespect to AMN I thought he didn’t do too badly tonight. Also was pleased to see Jack at least try ring to create something.
    Also can no one shoot from far out? I thought xhaka, sanchez and giroud all had powerful shots so where they? It’s dreadful being a fan under Wenger. It says it all when you see our players high fiving abd joking with the opposition pre game, I don’t want to see that EVER!! There’s time after or even off camera.

  30. Aussie Jack says:

    Arsenal players:………I`m no psychiatrist but the Arsenal team mix seems to be mentally
    wrong. There are players who seem afraid to open up for fear of upsetting the team plan, we need a vigilante in the mix one not afraid to break the rules. I`m hoping Wilshere will be our `Dirty Harry`.

    1. Maks says:

      Not for long. Wilsher will go gray like any other. Remeber how Ozil was playing when he came to Arsenal? We though we have our new Berkamp, but not for long under Wenger. He is a master in disaster. Now Im really unhappy that we won the FA Cup. It was just another delay to inevitable fact that Wenger HAS TO GOOOOOO.

  31. Nothing changed says:

    I said it before the game and I will say it again, Giroud is not a starter and slows us down too much. He is not the only reason we failed to win but he didn’t help.

    Either Arsenal needs to abandon their City like aspirations to pass their way into the box when we start Giroud and just bombard the box with crosses and keeping they defenders spread out by staying wide, or we pass our way into the box but don’t play Giroud. Today we played Giroud but made him useless by sticking to our preferred style of passing the ball into the box something better suited to Laca or Sanchez as central strikers, Giroud doesn’t have the skill or speed or game for that.

    1. Jim A says:

      He should have had a penalty given.

      1. Maks says:

        I dnt care! We should won 1:3. West Ham is crap, Moyes is not a miracle worker. Bilic is not a bad manager, This West Ham team is mentaly very simular to Arsenal’s. They will strugle all to the end.

  32. Aussie Jack says:

    Dedicated supporter of Arsenal and friend of Arsene Wenger Henrietta Hinchliffe passed away Dec 2nd. R.I.P.

  33. Ross says:

    New Arsenal System? System Malfunction more like, same old bullshit side to side with no conviction or killer instinct. Wenger is so predictable it’s unreal look at the history of his substitutions. Tactical genius our Wenger tactical genius!

  34. Alelbrto says:

    Let arsenal sign zaha, nzonzi, shaqiri, maharez,bring bach either joel Campbell or perez from loan and add a good defender as we let sachez and ozil leave ,they can add some power to our team

    1. Nothing changed says:

      New players won’t help my friend, only a new manager can bring change. We have had numerous new players over the last 13 years and what did that do for us?

  35. Jim wall says:

    Next game………. Cheq
    ….. Bellerin…. Kos.. Chambers.. Moneral..
    ………………….. Kola…………………..
    ………….. Ramsey if fit……. Willshire
    Wallcot…….. Lacazzette…… Sanchez

  36. Jim wall says:

    Or how about this system..
    ………………………… Cheq……………………..
    Bellerin………. Kos….. Mustafa…… Moneral
    ……………….willshire…… Ozil……………………

    …………….. Lacazzette……… Sanchez……….

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