Arsenal vs West Ham: The Pre-Match Preview!

Morning folks… and we’re just hours away from a very very big game – a derby at home – a West Ham team at the bottom of the table, in desperate need of a win… but of course, we’re in need of the 3 points to start closing the gap at the top of the table. This will be a feisty affair… Off the back of the Man City and the Newcastle game, we are on a bit of a high, similar to before we played West Brom at home. We didn’t do too well that afternoon, and it’s essential that we keep our concentration levels and apply ourselves correctly in all areas.

Team news ahead of the game sees the same injuries as there have been for a while, with Diaby and Almunia still out with their ankle and elbow injuries respectively. Jack Wilshere is serving his final game in his three match suspension and will also miss the game – whilst Vermaelen is still out and may be for a while, whilst Ramsey and Van Persie aren’t quite ready yet… so it’s basically, choose from the following players… my guess at a first XI (which is a harder guess now that we have players back from injury) is:

Fabianski

Sagna – Squillaci – Djourou – Clichy

Song – Denilson

Nasri – Cesc – Arshavin

Chamakh

With a bench of Szcznesy, Koscielny, Eboue, Rosicky, Walcott, Vela, Bendtner

The only change perhaps is that perhaps Walcott may start, Nasri moved in and Denilson on the bench. We’ve got one of the strongest teams available, and just imagine if our whole team was fit – yes, I know it would never happen, but who would start and who would be on the bench? Walcott looked very good against Newcastle and really looks determined this year to do well and improve his game. It’s amazing to see Nasri top the scoring charts with 7 and Walcott weigh in with 6 already this season, and we’re still (just) in October!

Interesting to see Arsene focus on the performance and insist that the team is focused – and also mentioned the bad performance against West Brom.

“It was a lesson learned and it confirms to me that if you are not 100 per cent focused, you will drop points against any team in this league,” he said. “In fairness to my team, West Brom is the only game since the start of the season where we didn’t perform well and that is credit to them. But as well, it shows that, just once, if you are not completely there you are caught. I think we have got the lesson now. We focus highly on tomorrow and go step-by-step to try to put every energy in every single game. The success of our season is as well how intelligent we are and tomorrow is a good opportunity to show it. Let’s go for it 100 per cent.”

We’ve got to treat every game as if it’s the most important game of the season and against Newcastle, there was a sense of determination that would good to see. The players closed down the opposition and were quick to react to openings and moving forward, trying to get onto the scoresheet. If we apply that level of tenacity to the game today, we will come out winners. It’s strange to see West Ham at the bottom of the pile, because they do have quality players all round the pitch – the likes of Rob Green, Matthew Upson, Scott Parker and Carlton Cole are all quality players – with the experience of Avram Grant at the helm, you’d think they’d recover – but let’s hope it’s it’s not today!

Arsene spoke about West Ham and Avram Grant:

“I see them getting out of the drop zone because they have quality players. If you lose one or two games you will quickly be down there. The difference in the league now is not too big. I think they can get out of there. The basic target of any manager is to have success with the resources he has at the club and, on that, Avram Grant has done well.”

But despite the positivity, it will still be a very nervy and edgy game… be prepared for a few heart in mouth incidents and a gulp here or there – 6-0, 4-1 or even 1-0, a win is a win and we need those three points… so let’s get behind the team, come on you Gunners!

  • KittyGooner

    Today’s game will be much harder than we may think – West Ham are a good team – I am a bit worried that we will be too relaxed after the last game and not focused properly on todays match.

  • arsenfan101

    @ KittyGooner:
    I don’t think we will be “unfocused” – the West Brom game was an acception to the rule – I think we will be VERY very focused… I am looking forward to it BIG time!

  • vj

    i would stick with ur lineup dev, maybe koscielny for Djourou but the 2 holding mids frees up the 4 attackers and nasri has played really well on right wing. Why change it when we played so well against man city. bring on theo and nicklaus if we need a goal

  • devday

    @ vj:
    I think so – with Nasri, Chamakh and Arshavin all rested against Newcastle, I’m pretty sure they will come in. With the squad we have at the moment, we have options. Nasri has skill and guile, a more patience and lateral build up… Walcott has pace to burn and more direct – so it’s up to Arsene to decide who will work against which team… We’ve got Shaktar away this mid week so it will wise to use the correct players for this game and the next!

  • devday

    @ KittyGooner:
    I made the mistake of talking about who to play now and who we will play against Shaktar – but in reality – we have to focus on this game! Surely after the WBA game, we’ve learnt our lesson!

  • devday

    QF Carling Cup Draw happening now….

  • devday

    We’ve got Wigan AT HOME!

  • devday

    Arsenal vs Wigan
    Birmingham vs Aston Villa
    West Ham vs Man Utd
    Ipswich v West Brom!

  • Bonathan

    Despite still having a few noticable absentees, that is still an impressive squad of players. Very impressive. I usually dread this time of year because i can remember seasons where we’ve faultered badly but i can’t help but think, with our current form, and bearing in mind the players we have coming back, that we are gonna come through the winter in pretty good shape.

    Big game today. One of those that you take for granted when you’re playing well only to be left devestated when you drop points. gotta keep our eye on the ball today.

    When I summed our chances up at the start of the season, there was a few things i mentioned that we’d have to hope for in order to be successful, and well, so far the worries have been eleaviated. I said we may have to hope for a few nice surprises from our youngsters coming through, in particular, fabianski. And look now, maybe i’m spaeking a bit early here, but I have a lot more faith in him now. Wilshire has been like a new signing and walcott and nasri have took their game to another level. Also, the new signings seem to have settled pretty well as we were all hoping. Arsharvin looks fresh, Song continues to get better and better and we still have RVP, tommy v and Ramsey to come back into the squad.

    I looked around and saw the most unimpressive utd squad i’d seen in a while and a liverpool team that lacked depth. Both of those look in even worse shape now. However united have been a bit fortunate that berbatov has finally started to step up his game and hernandez has got off to a flyer, otherwise they would have been up sh1t creek.

    Chelsea still look inmpressive but we just need to make sure we keep on their tail for now. i actually think we have a more impressive squad of attacking resourses than they have and i think they’d struggle at CB with an injury to JT and Alex. they don’t have loads of cover back there but then they don’t seem to get the injuries we do. Man city, despite there defeat to us last week, look as though they could mount a serious challenge and spurs have continued to improve also. It’s going to be an interesting season, especially seen as two of the teams mentioned have to settle for a place outside the top 4 (ok, so liverpool seem to have volenteered for one place).

    Anyway, i hope i haven’t put a curse on us today but i’m feeling good about our chances of winning something this year.

    Oh, and to those who said hleb was better than nasri and dissed nasri at the start of the season, i told you so.

  • Berth

    Hope we win today and Wednesday’s game and next weekends game and he one that follows after. In fact hope we can win till the end of the season. Seriously we can but please Verminator and V.P are urgently needed.

  • Vazy

    great that song has been scoring consistantly! (never thought id say that but i am happy to!)

  • vitus

    WHam is crap deserving exit. The only reason we’ve not smashed em is keeper green

  • Gooner Get Ya

    I must admit west ham put up a decent fight but we thoroughly deserved to win. If it had stayed 0-0 then Green would have been man of the match. Good win and another clean sheet.

  • Bonathan

    Massive win that and yes, great to see we kept another clean sheet. started keeping a few lately. Got some tough away fixtures coming up now. Wolves notched up a nice victory over man city there and everton are starting to get things together after a bad start. i’d probably settle for 4 points from those two games.

  • tom G

    yessssssssssssssssss!!!!!