Back on form! Review West Ham – Arsenal 0-3

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Jan 182011

What a return to form! Three away goals; a team performance; a clean sheet good individual performances – you couldn’t ask for much more. Well, five would have been nice, and made me substantially richer, but you can’t win everything. But all my unremitting joy was, err, remitted with the new that the best defender we had last season, in his first year at Arsenal, Thomas Vermaelen heads off for surgery. I wich him well.

We dominated West Ham and created a decent amount of chances. The midfield and front 3 all put in a good shift, with some excellent attacking play.

Here’s some individual ratings.

Szczesny 8 Solid. If he keeps putting in performances like this he’ll put pressure on Fabianski. Vocal – I like that.

Eboué 6, Needs to concentrate on defending if he’s playing RB and not R midfield

Koscienly 6 Still needs some time in the gym. in the air?

Djourou 7 Another solid display.

Clichy 7 No glaring mistakes a welcome positive on his return

Song 7 Solid, good passing. Played his part in the goals. Still makes me nervous when he gets forward

Fabregas 8 Ran the show. Great to have the captain on top form

Wilshere 8 Great triangles with Song and Fabregas. Lovely ball to Nasri for first goal.

Walcott 8 (Gibbs 88 6) Tore Wayne Bridge a new one

Van Persie 8 Scored with his right foot! Emphatic penalty; denied hat-trick by the post. Set up Theo’s goal.

Nasri 7 (Arshavin 88 6) Not quite top form, still awesome at times.

Bridge 9 Brilliant. Star Man. Had a part to play in all goals. Without him, would Arsenal have won?

It was a comfortable win, made a whole heap easier by the non-performance of West Ham’s new £90k-a-week star Wayne Bridge. Not to jump on an anti-Bridge bandwagon, but the guy’s always struck me as a bit over-rated. He had a good season – but a good few years ago. He’s now just seems a classic case of an once young and over-hyped English player.

I’ll grant that he’s a hard worker, and reasonably good technically, but he switches off defensively, having caught Clichy’s Syndrome and developed extensive symptoms of being complete unaware of his surroundings and being pants. Everyone sides with him over the lumpen thug Terry, and says Bridge is a nice guy. But Chris, one of my Hammer mates – you’ve got to worry about your latest signing gifting the opposition not just a goal, but the whole game. They

West Ham are paying £90k a week for Bridge. If we want to sign a top CB, which we will definitely need to do, we’ll have to fork out a similar amount in wages in the current climate, and that’s just a loanee. With the market bent out of shape by the oil slick in Manchester, we’ll be lucky to sign a decent centre half for a reasonable fee. No, strike that, it’ll be a miracle. It will be interesting to see if we actually pay over the odds for someone when we really need them. We can’t have another Chamakh situation. We need someone now.

Various names like Mertesacker, Samba, and Gary Cahill have been bandied about. Of those, I think I like the sound of Mertesacker the best. If only because his name sounds like the name of a commanding, hard and rugged defender. He’s also an experience international, and some German efficiency would be welcome at the back. However, he lacks experience of the English game, which would come as a shock to anyone.

Chris Samba would be a safe bet. He’s got plenty of experience in the league, and is built like a brick sh*tter. My only reservation would be that he’s not the quickest.

All this is mere speculation, as usual the club won’t make any official statements, but anyone else got any ideas, or genuine gossip?

I’ve been doing a bit of research into Vermaelen’s likely achilles tendinopathy treatment, so that will follow soon, with a preview of the Leeds tie. I’m nervous we’ll rotate the squad. Please let’s stay in a trophy…

Arsenally Yours,