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Post Match Review

Three Things We Learned from Arsenal v West Ham

In a season where the league means very little, the news that Arsene Wenger would leave at the conclusion of this season, turned this match into an opportunity to begin the farewell festivities the boss so rightly deserves.

Unfortunately for Arsene those festivities got off to a hesitant, rocky start as the lineup contrived to struggle to get a result against an opponent that is struggling to stay up. In the end however, in a span of 7 minutes, Arsenal decided to give the boss a proper send off and turned out an emphatic 4-1 win over visiting West Ham

Let’s take a look at the three things we learned from this match

Arsene Wenger’s Farewell May Not Be So Rosy

 “I was not tired. But I feel personally this club is respected all over the world much more than in England – that our fans fid not give the image of unity I want at the club all over the world. That was hurtful.

The fans were not happy and I can understand – that’s my job, I have to live with that. I don’t know if it was damaging (to the club) – it was not corresponding to how I think we should be perceived all across the world. I want to go on and be respected.”

With those words Arsene lays out for the first time how he clearly felt about the fan acrimony that had arisen through the continued poor performances of the team. To say he wasn’t happy seems to be an understatement here.

I am not going to go into whether he is right or wrong here but its clear he feels unappreciated for where he has taken the club to. It means that all is not rosy as his time at Arsenal comes to a close.

He is still a class individual and I am not sure we will here the full story while he is here or even till he finally decides to call it day and retire.

Wenger has always talked about his memoirs telling all he has kept from the public and the hidden bitterness of his comments from yesterday, point that it may very well be a bestseller we all want to see.

If This Was A Warm Up For Thursday – I’m Worried

When the lineup was presented for yesterday’s match, pundits at least here in the US talked about how Wenger was using this match to get his squad ready for Thursday.

Um, if that’s the case the putrid way we started the match should worry us with a European giant like Atletico Madrid coming in.

West Ham sat in compact lines cutting off passing channels for Arsenal to exploit. Additionally, with Mesut Özil missing due to “illness” the fluidity and ability to break the West Ham low block wasn’t as effective as it should be.

If we know anything about Atletico Madrid its that Simeone will have them well prepared to defend and press the living daylights out of Arsenal. If that’s the case our inability to break down West Ham until we subbed on a player who can’t even play on Thursday should be noted.

Now of course all this changes if as we expect, Mesut Özil can play. He is a player that can find those seams and gaps to exploit, provided we can get him the ball.

Still, if this was to be a preview of things to come – we better hope Atletico’s recent form also shows us that they aren’t quite ready either for this match.

Lacazette is just warming up

A few weeks ago a little event took place that caused quite a social media storm – Aubameyang, sitting on a hat trick with an easy penalty to take handed the ball to Alexandre Lacazette to take it.

The French striker was shorn of confidence and need something to help get him fired up. He buried the chance and since then has scored 5 goals. 2 versus CSKA, 1 versus Newcastle and 2 yesterday.

It was needed boost to a player we need to help us if we have any chance of advancing to the Europa League final.

As is with much of football, confidence is essential to the success of the player. I don’t think Lacazette is a poor forward, it was just the new league, the pressure to perform and other intangibles led to the lad just not putting the goals away.

He’s got good movement off the ball, his touch continues to improve as does his distribution from the front and to me that will make him a valuable part of this squad going forward and as we said – essential to our silverware hopes for this year.

Without the availability of PEA, Lacazette is going to have to carry the burden its nice to see him get a run of form which shows he may just able to handle this load quite nicely.

Extra Time

 Per Mertesacker – I love the guy. Watch him yesterday and he was there cajoling and cheering the players along the way. I fully believe that in 3-5 years the BFG will be sitting in the Big F**KING CHAIR as a manager.

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