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Teams News: Arsenal vs West Ham

For the past month I`ve been talking about how the best way to bounce back from defeat is to get on with the next game as quickly as possible.

Well after a pretty horrific January, and the latest loss to Chelsea, we have only had to wait a couple of days for the next match courtesy of a rearranged fixture vs. West Ham. However the result tonight is no longer just about bouncing back, it`s about trying to save our season.

As it stands we`re closer to the bottom of the league (in terms of points rather than positions) than we are to the top, and we`re a hefty 7 points behind our great North London rivals. Tonight`s game however is our game in hand, and 3 points would bridge that gap a little.

Of course the gap isn`t even as close to being as wide as it was last year, but the possibility of The Spuds making a big an arse of it as they did then is remote to say the least …. Even if history does paint a different picture.

So let`s check out the starting XI and bench for this all important game.

Arsenal team: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Ramsey, Wilshere, Cazorla, Walcott, Podolski, Giroud.

Arsenal subs: Mannone, Koscielny, Jenkinson, Santos, Frimpong, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Arshavin.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: Rocky7 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday January 23 2013

Time: 7:09PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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23/01/2013 19:17:00

Started well (guess WHU isn't a "top side", so we can start well). Ramsey must cut out the frequency with which he loses the ball in dangerous situations.
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23/01/2013 19:50:00

What a nasty challenge on Jack there. And the commentator goes "one nasty challenge apiece". Morons.
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23/01/2013 19:54:00

I feared the worst after conceding early, can't afford to be slow out of the traps against these mugs. But the boys did well after that. Decent half and a sweet strike from Podolski. I'll be disapointed if we don't go on to win this now.
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23/01/2013 20:41:00

The worry for me is no game changers on our bench. Not sure how fit the Ox is. Arshavin, maybe? Hopefully, we don't need the services of a game changer.
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23/01/2013 20:46:00

It is rocking at the Emirates! Great football.
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23/01/2013 20:58:00

I will say it. Ramsey has been our stand out performer today. Of course, some will disagree but I thought he kept control of the midfield better than he has done in a while. Good job lad.
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23/01/2013 21:22:00

I thought Rambo was great, but Podolski with 1 goal and 3 assists on top of a great performance means he takes my MOTM.
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23/01/2013 21:52:00

MoTM would be Poldi, Ramsey did a job out there in the middle today; make no mistake about it. He covered every blade of grass and appeared to dictate the tempo when we initiate our attacks from deep. I guess all the players shined, to be fair. Very sweet 3 points.
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23/01/2013 21:59:00

Hard working players with desire and hunger for the game like Podolski and Giroud can only be a great example for the rest of the team. Even if I had doubts about Giroud's quality, there is no doubt if he continues to work as hard as he does he will continue to get dividends, and he'll only continue to get better as he goes on, Podolski may get tired occassionally, but a proper player. I think with these two old heads and players like Wilshere working their socks off, soon the days will be gone when Arsenal players were known as lazy and unable to see a game out. Can already see the effect as players like Ramsey start to pull their socks up.
Arsenales F.C
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23/01/2013 22:07:00

West Ham played nicely into our hands with a negative team selection, but that 15-20 minutes of football at the beginning of the second half was as good as anything Arsenal have played in two years. Fast, incisive, one touch. Let's hope this gives us the confidence to see more of it.
Little Dutch
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24/01/2013 08:12:00

Great goal by Poldi. Sometimes it pays not to overcomplicate matters in front of goal. In general a much improved team effort. The recent criticism obviously stung a bit because the players looked like they had a point to make. Especially Sagna. Here's hoping we can continue that sort of momentum in our next matches against Brighton and Liverpool. Have to say West Ham played into our hands a bit by committing so many forward. We had space to run in behind them. The counter-attacking game suits us to a tee.
Wyn Mills
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24/01/2013 08:23:00

@ LD. True. I was surprised to find Jarvis, Diame and Joe Cole on the bench. Turned out well for us. Very sweet 3 points indeed. Our counterattacking was breathless and a joy to watch. Well done Gunners. The only way is up! Lets go Gunners!!
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24/01/2013 11:12:00

Podolski a proper player! I like that. Indeed he is. Wilshere did a good job too. I was concerned about our midfield because often when we play with three strikers Poldo, Giroud and Walcott the 3 man midfield gets neutered. Maybe the way West Ham set up was intended to do that but if so it failed. At least it did for the first 15 minutes of the 2nd half though we were creating chances throughout.
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24/01/2013 11:21:00

@ LD - very true. I still think that's the only real problem. If we play with confidence, we play at a high tempo and we do all the other stuff right as well. Do you still think the squad is unbalanced? Genuine question, btw! Right from the start, I've felt the opposite. I also was intrigued when I read a comment of yours that we have too many ball hoarders in a generally rather similar midfield. I can't see either of those points, would you expound in more detail? (I do accept that we could do with another tall-ish midfielder to add to Aaron and Abou.) Overall it seems to me that the squad is very varied in the striker department, and the midfield is full of versatile players of different styles, all of whom can play at least three of the five mf possiblities (wide right/left being the fourth and fifth). Not counting Frimpong as I think he is due to go on loan. But please let me know what you think - I'm far from being expert on these matters.
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24/01/2013 11:24:00

Once again I thought Jack had a superb game. Beginning to think the real reason Cesc left was Jack embarassing him on the training ground!
Wyn Mills
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24/01/2013 12:23:00

Fun Gunner there is undoubtedly a need for an additional striker, you cannot let eleven good minutes mask the problem. But the further problem is that it is unlikely that a really good long term striker is going to be available between now and 31 January, unless the David Villa loan deal should prove to be anything more than wishful thinking. I agree that the midfield is sufficient enough to get fourth place but as long as AW has enough confidence to use the firnge elements such as Coquelin, and Rosicky otherwise there is never going to be the cutting edge provided that competition for place brings.
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24/01/2013 17:16:00

Great performance. It's no coincidence that Ramsey had a good game when played in the middle, rather than out wide. It's another option for us, in the middle, I would like to see him start 2-3 more games. Poldi was great, his 1st goal really got me out of my seat. Terrific finish.
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24/01/2013 20:29:00


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