West Ham vs Arsenal… Preview

West Ham vs Arsenal, The Pre-Match Preview
Sunday 25th October, 4.15pm

It’s a classic London derby and it definitely won’t be an easy game. West Ham aren’t doing that well in terms of points on the board. It’s a bit unfortunate – they have played decent football and Zola has installed a certain style of football into their game. I’ve watched a few of their games and they always look like they carry a threat, but they’re just not getting the points at the moment.

One player who has really impressed me – simply because I didn’t think he had it in his game, is Carlton Cole… I really didn’t think he would become the player he has been this season. Some of the goals he has scored have been sensational. He isn’t the finished article, but he is definitely thriving under Giofranco Zola.

Another player who is always someone who I keep an eye is Matthew Upson. Since joining us from Luton as one of Arsene Wenger’s first and few English signings, he couldn’t break into our team. He was later sold to Birmingham and then went on to West Ham, and he’s also won a few caps for England – finally becoming the player that Arsene Wenger thought he would be. Arsene spoke about Matthew Upson in the pre-match conference on Friday and talked about the player’s progress since he left Highbury…

“I knew when he left that he will make a big career. But at that moment when Matthew was here, he was impatient.  That I could understand as well because I bought him at Luton and after a few years he didn’t play here.  I didn’t stop him [going] because I knew he had qualities to play in the Premier League but he had players in front of him that stopped him. I knew he would [make it]. He had Premier League quality and had the potential to be international quality . He is there now because he is at the right age for a central defender and for a few years now he has not been stopped by injuries which was his problem for a while.”

Arsene also talked about whether he had ever thought of re-signing the former Gunner. But think about it, would he have made it into the team ahead of Gallas, Vermaelen or a fit again Djourou?

“It was always in my mind. He has good quality, good attitude, good spirit but of course this is not the best moment to talk about that. He is a player at West Ham. Three, four, five years ago yes, but now he is settled and has a good career where he is. You have two job [choices] as a football player. Your job is to be in the top level of the Premier League. Between the age of 18 to 21 is a very sensitive step for a player. You have to make the step. If you don’t make it you become impatient and you lose the players.”

Some interesting stuff there, and any fan could see why Upson had to move on. He wasn’t getting the games and by moving, he’s managed to establish himself in the Premier League as well as getting into the England squad.

Anyway, time to look at our squad and a few injury worries ahead of the game – Tomas Rosicky is out again and his groin injury is not yet recovered, but Niklas Bendtner is back in the squad and will surely be on the bench. Eduardo is also back, but Theo Walcott misses out.

There is an interesting sub-plot developing at the moment in regards to our keepers – Almunia was fit in the last game against AZ, but Mannone was preferred to the Spaniard, and it looks like Italian may get the nod ahead this Sunday.

Arsene said this about the goal keeping department:

“I wouldn’t say Manuel is no longer our automatic first choice,” he said. “But Vito has come in and done well. It is always difficult with these kinds of decisions. You could say our job is to be unfair sometimes to players. You don’t want to be but some time you have to, no matter what decisions you make sometimes you are unfair to one or two players.”

Okay, so team news… with Arsene being unfair with Mannone….

Almunia

Sagna – Gallas – Vermalen – Clichy

Song – Diaby

Eboue – Cesc – Arshavin

Van Persie

With a bench of Mannone, Gibbs, Silvestre, Ramsey, Vela, Eduardo and Bendtner.

So, over to the comments, what are your thoughts of the game tomorrow… Predictions? Will we keep our winning run?

  • JAT

    Rob Green always has the game of his life against Arsenal. West Ham 1 – 2 Arsenal

  • JDD

    on our premiership form we should win.if we are more concentrated than tuesday then we should win easily.

  • JDD

    prediction 3-1

  • Basil James

    I guess we will win…if not comfortably…but dont we have any fit player to replace eboue?

  • sam

    A tough win, 0-1 perhaps.

  • VJ

    we will win, i think, it wont be easy, maybe eduardo or B52 to start instead of diaby or eboue, note weve never lost when mannone in goal, plus devday forgot that wenger said senderos is to be included, i wonder where though, maybe just a sub

  • Berth

    Ebuoe and Diaby should not be starting in any away match; it could be suicidal.

  • Gooner Get Ya

    There have some random results so far this season so it’shard to predict. I would say 3-0 to us.

  • wills

    I’d predict a tough 2-1 win, as long as we score first we should be okay.

    Diaby needs to use his physical presence well, in the same way he did against Villa away last season, if he can close down Mark Noble and Song can keep Cole quiet, we should win easily.

    2-1 to us, and hopefully United Liverpool will draw with a couple of injuries to each side!

  • VJ

    haha nice one Berth

  • wills

    Anyone know how long Aaron Lennon will be out for? I see he got injured yesterday and it looks like he’ll miss the game next weekend :)

  • Fabrez

    I’m thinking 2-1 to us leaving it late. I guess a draw between Liverpool abd Utd is ideal. And by Monday I guess they’ll make an announcement on Lennon…seems as if he’s done the ligaments in his ankle…so I’d think he’s out. Can’t wait for the N. London derby! Lets just make sure we get
    3 pts 2day! C’mon u redsss!

  • Debs

    Mannone in goal, Almunia on the bench. So who’s our first choice goalie?

  • wills

    Interesting to see Mannone starting, maybe Almunia will play in the CC? Although I’d expect Fabianski to start in that game.

    Nasri also named on the bench, doubt he’ll come on unless really needed, especially with Bendtner and Eduardo on the bench.

    United lose 2-0 to Liverpool too! Not a bad result for us. Win today and we’re a point behind United with a game in hand and 3 behind Chelsea.

    Come on you Gunners!!

  • Pete

    West Ham v Arsenal line-ups:

    West Ham: Green, Spector, Tomkins, Upson, Ilunga, Behrami, Parker, Noble, Collison, Cole, Franco.

    Subs: Kurucz, Kovac, Faubert, Da Costa, Diamanti, Hines, Stanislas.

    Arsenal: Mannone, Sagna, Gallas, Vermaelen, Clichy, Eboue, Song Billong, Fabregas, Diaby, Arshavin, van Persie.

    Subs: Almunia, Nasri, Eduardo, Ramsey, Silvestre, Gibbs, Bendtner.

    Referee: Chris Foy (Merseyside)

    Oh, and Liverpool have beaten United, which means if we win at Upton Park and win our game in hand then we’re on top of the league :-)

  • Debs

    Just what I was thinking, Pete. We’re virtually top of the league, if *when* we win today! :-)

  • Richciebacardi

    Hmmm…yeah…second on goal difference today if *when* we do! (Me thinks)

    Come on!!

  • Pete

    Arsenal 1-0. RvP scores

  • Richiebacardi

    Wills was right my maths is terrible!! ;)

  • devday