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West Ham vs. Arsenal

Upton Park

26/10/08

16:00

On Sky

West Ham v. Arsenal

After a European seven goal thriller in Turkey midweek for Arsenal, a nice lackluster performance Sunday at West Ham should be in order for Arsenal right? All joking aside there is no doubt that the key to this game will be consistency. That`s been the problem this season for the Gunners and it will need to be corrected for Arsenal to overtake powerhouse Hull at the top of the table.

Vital Quotes:

The only flaw in Arsenal`s win against Fenerbache is pretty obvious. "I do not deny we did not look very sound defensively in our last game," said Wenger.

"Ideally you want to be fantastic going forwards and fantastic defending. But sometimes you have a price to pay. When you incite your team to go forwards, like we did against Fenerbahce, then you will also be a bit vulnerable defensively as well. If you encourage your team to never get out of their position, it is easier to be sound defensively."

Arsene is looking to keep up the good performances since the defeat to Hull. "It is always a good atmosphere when you play against West Ham," said Wenger.

"The supporters always get behind their team when you go there. It is always committed and interesting.

"But we have created a momentum after the Hull game," the manager concluded.

"We beat Porto and Fenerbahce in a convincing way, had a draw with Sunderland then beat Everton.

"We just want to keep that going now."

West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola is confident that attacking Arsenal is the best way to beat them. 'We are going to try to attack. If you sit and wait they will find a way to beat you anyway as they are very good.

'What teams like Arsenal don't like is when someone tries to hit them back. We will try and play our game and see if they are better than us.'

West Ham Team News:

Mark Noble will not be available for West Ham, as he tore his hamstring in practices this week. Diego Trista will also not be ready for the game, but James Collins is back for the Hammers. Dean Ashton, Kieron Dyer, Jonathan Spector, and Danny Gabbidon are all still out.

Player to watch: Craig Bellamy

On the odd occasions that Bellamy is fit he is a talented striker that can finish chances. And with the Arsenal defense looking very shaky lately he will certainly be looking forward to this match. Our defenders will need to keep a close eye on him.

Arsenal Team News:

Both Kolo and Gallas are in the squad, so that should see Song and Silvestre drop back down to the bench. Sagna has an outside chance of playing, but should be available for the North London Derby. Eduardo will be back in full training in mid-November, but we won`t see Rosicky return till probably the New Year.

Player to watch: Abou Diaby

Abou had a marvelous return versus Fener. He has yet to play a total of 90 minutes this season and he has already racked up a goal and an assist. van Persie should return to the starting lineup but it will be hard to relegate Diaby to the bench. Wenger described him as a complete midfielder this week so I see Abou being involved in the midfield this game.

Match Facts & Stats

Today is a day of 50`s

Robin van Persie is one goal shy of 50 for the club

Walcott will be making his 50th Premier League appearances.

If Sagna starts he will be making his 5oth start in a Gunners uniform, in just over one year at the club

Ref Watch:

Phil Dowd is the head official for this game. He has officiated 4 games this season handing out 9 yellows and no reds.

Match Prediction:

I cannot see Arsenal`s attack being slowed down, so I am going to say 4-1 to the Arsenal.

Next Fixtures:

It says fixtures, but there's only one fixture I am looking forward to. Because next up is the lowly Tottenham, a match I am sure all Gooners are looking forward to for all of the obvious reasons.




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The Journalist

Writer: Brice Coffer Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday October 25 2008

Time: 9:06PM

Your Comments

one game at a time...hope we show a good attitude for westham
anonymous
Abou Diaby plays like a different player this year. Good Luck.
ArabianKnight
wat to do wit denilson now dat diaby is fit
gunnerchi
Don't drop Silvestre please !!!! Toure needs to be dropped.
Will-i-am10
and ramos is fired!!!! tiny totts are there to be stuffed we shud stuff them good. palyers that should be dropped = denilson and toure diaby and silvetre should feature as much as possible.
akenyangunner
Imagine Tony Adams at the lane
paul_ownz
lol! they've just asked Harry 'more strikers please' Redknapp if he's going to be taking his backroom staff to sp*rs! pmsl!
TR7
Agent Adams will follow in the footsteps of Agents Graham and Comolli! lol
TR7
Hopefully West Ham will play attacking football, so we will be able to pick them off. It's very interesting all those 50's around, I hope RvP gets his 50th goal for The Arsenal, and that Walcott plays very well for this 50th start for The Arsenal, but I didn't think that Sagna will play today.
hackneyval
Heard about Redknapp being spuds manager. I'm surprised and disappointed in Harry, honestly. He talked about challenges with managing the spuds but Pompey has better challenges of their own with UEFA Cup and retaining the FA Cup. Wenger always respect Harry and vice versa. Wenger has no problems selling and loaning players to Harry, but looks like that will stop now.
BMF
I bet Levy at Spurs made the change now because he couldn't stomach the thought of us stuffing them at the Grove on Wednesday which, lets face it, was odds-on to happen. Now, a change of manager might just give them a little boost and they could believe they're capable of a draw.
Gooner_Vin
I expect to see quite a few goals. 3-1 to the Arsenal! :)
GoonerLou
It will be interesting to see how Zola sets up West Ham. We need a solid, professional win. 2-0 would be perfect.
Gooner_Vin
what a perfect build up to the game. the chavs finally losing and with it their dreams of going unbeaten through the entire season well & truly shattered hahaha. The Class Of 2004 is still the best ever team in english football & i'm so glad that record is still our's. now hope go on n get the three points. COME ON YOU GUNNERS..
luckys_10
Cool - Nik's starting with Robin!
GoonerLou
This is an interesting line up. Song in the middle is what know a lot of people wanted. Lets see how it works out.
TPowell
Anybody else get the feeling Green is going to have one of those "I'm superman" games today?
Kutch
How obvious was it that Green was outside of the box when he caught that?
TPowell
Almunia saves us again.
ArsenalRob
Both keepers are playing great!
GoonerLou
With his new confidence Almunia looks like a different player. More commanding than ever.
ArsenalRob
Listening to the West Ham crowd you'd think we were playing volleyball.
Kutch
This is an awful performance.
Gooner_Vin
we have to win today..........
ZakGunner
taking off walcott was the wrong decision by wenger - what he is thinking?
D4NNYT
For those who said Bentdner is so much better than Adebayor. In 3 minutes Adebayor has been more dangerous and looked better than Bentd in the whole game so far.
paul_ownz
and robert green shouldnt be on the pitch - officials have been ***** poor today
D4NNYT
finally
ArsenalRob
wooooo!
Kutch
we deserve the lead, and they should have 10 men, that was such an obvious red card by Green earlier
TPowell
I think that Nik has done alright today, but played a bit too deep to pose a huge goal threat. But, yeah there's no doubt to my mind that Ade is still ahead of him. He's a bit out of form and some people still have their views of him tarnished from the summer, but I still think he's good enough, and I do still think that his heart is in it too.
ArsenalRob
Yayyyyy!! And Vin, to say this performance is "awful" is a bit harsh. We lacked a bit of sharpness up front, but that's mainly Bendtner. I think RvP and other attacking players are doing ok!
GoonerLou
this is when u need walcott on the pitch - west ham have to come out now, there will be acres of space to run into and he isnt there - think wenger made the wrong move there
D4NNYT
I also think Alex Song has been brilliant today, playing a bit like Gilberto did.
ArsenalRob
I agree Rob. Although apart from Bellamy's pacy runs, there wasn't much threat from them, I thought Gallas and Silvestre looked much more solid than we've been this season, including heading. A bit of a surprise. Song's also busy and complementing Cesc quite well.
GoonerLou
Nah D4NYT, it's arguable but Arsene knew that we weren't going to get much success from the wings, and at the time West Ham were sitting deep, so there wasn't much space for theo to run into behind them. We needed the physicality of Ade and Abou to break them down.
ArsenalRob
ADE!
ArsenalRob
Job done. Lovely.
Kutch
Brilliant! Phew! :P
GoonerLou
Good to see Bac Bac.
ArsenalRob
why dont they congratulate bendtner for that? he has been poor today - but what a ball - do they not like him at arsenal??
D4NNYT
And I'm sure Gallas will welcome the sight of Baci. Sorry, I just couldn't help it.
ArsenalRob
I can imagine the Hammers would feel hard done by. THere's a few complaints of handballs in our box. It looked to me like Diaby did touch the ball. And wth was Cole thinking?! Anyway, phew, let's just be happy with the result and the improved defensive performance. The attack and goals aren't our concerns anyway.
GoonerLou
Lou - you're probably right, I was a bit harsh with the awful comment. But at the time it was looking like a match we would draw or even lose 1-0. Maybe it was tiredness but didn't our play seem lacklustre compared to normal? Perhaps that has something to do with West Ham just sitting deep. We're going to have to get used to that though.
Gooner_Vin
Yeah very very happy to see Sagna back! His counterpart on the left hand side was again awesome today - Clichy dealt with the Hammers very well, even headed the ball to safety a few times considering he's the shorter guy on that side of the pitch. Yay, if Arsene plays Sagna-Gallas-Silvestre-Clichy against Spurs next, with Almunia in this great form, and sends on Kolo towards the end like Bac today, I'll be very happy! :)
GoonerLou
I'm watching the highlights on an American TV channel. It's crazy. One guy is talking about the Arsenal vs West Ham and is claiming that Tom Huddlestone plays for WH.
ArsenalRob
No surprise that you young-gunned the Hammers today. If you didn't have an average age of 22 and had some more experienced players you'd be up there with Liverpool. What has Wenger got against 30-year-olds anyway?
Sindbad
help: anyone seen my grandfather? last time seen sneaking in Upton Park, wearing a black uniform and carrying a little flag.
G4L
Walcott was pretty poor today and that is why he was subbed. He may have one or two good runs on the wing and a few shots but the guy needs to at least double the amount of penetrating runs off the ball and dribbles on it. Great managment form the big man (Wenger) and just proved how inportant my bum chum (Adebayor) is.
Tom14
I thought we looked nervy, theo and nasri not clicking enough in midfield. Ade on the bench ? think wenger was proving a point to his ego inflated striker ! but it got the right response and we got there in the end, they better play from the word go on wednesday night, an spud side who seem to have found their confidence !
PUREGOLD
Good performance, I feel. We always threatened the West Ham goal. Theo is not useful if he doesnt make his runs at the defence. He did improve his ball rentention today.
prits
I hold my hands up for this one to Wenger. I was shouting at the TV, 'why are you taking Theo off?!' as I thought he had been our most potent goal threat up until then, but Arsene knows more than us mere mortals! Ade came on and made an instant impact. I have been critical of him in recent weeks, but he showed true class in the 25mins or so he was on the pitch and hopefully make that impact from the start on Wednesday. Couple of minor negative points in the fact we were extremely slow in our build up play which was really infuriating, but we ground out the win when we weren't playing well and that is the sign of champions. Also against Cole and Bellamy I thought Gallas looked a bit slow against both of them, but had a solid game none the less, as did Silvestre who had a couple of minor slip ups but recovered well. Bring on Spurs!
itsup4grabsnow
yep me too my eyebrows went up when Theo was taken off I thought that Bendtner would and should have been taken off. But Wenger show why he's the Manager! As Adebayor and Diaby changed the outcome of the game.
hackneyval
paul_ownz - So you can pan everyone who thinks Nicky B should be starting over Adebayor because of one performance??? No wonder people think Arsenal fans are fickle!!! When they play the same amount of games and the same amount of minutes can any players be compared fairly mate! Nicky B was p*** poor yesterday, but then so was Nasri and many others. Only the imcompetence of the grandad like official/linesman stopped wetspam being down to 10 men after Green clearly handled outside the box. The best team won, simple and easy! Bring on the spuds!
LondonGooner
 

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