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West Ham vs. Arsenal

Upton Park



On Sky

Preview: West Ham v. Arsenal

After drawing their first game of the season in a sleepy match in Holland on Tuesday, Arsenal travels to east London hoping to secure the three points needed to vault over our north London rivals ahead of next weeks's Halloween clash.

I'm never very confident going into this match. Last year we won thanks to a late cameo from some bloke from Togo, and the year before that, we survived with a one-nil win courtesy of a rare header from Robin van Persie. West Ham has played very well against us in recent years, and without being fully concentrated for 95 minutes today, the Arsenal players could find themselves as stunned as Jens Lehmann was after Zamora's chip three years ago.

Ouick Vital Quotes:

There is a fantastic interview with the Verminator in the Telegraph today.

Abou Diaby weighed in on the comparison between himself and Patrick Viera.

'He (Vieira) is a big idol for me and I learned a lot from watching him.'

'The way he defends and the way he penetrates defenders to get in the box - he has been a big influence. People make the comparison between us because I'm tall like him but I believe our game is very different. He is much more aggressive than me and much stronger.'

West Ham Team News:

According to West Ham official site they have nobody out injured, but from what I've heard Dean Ashton is definitely out injured, and Danny Gabbidon and Kieron Dyer are doubts. Midfielder, Scott Parker, however is back and will start for Zola.

Player to watch: Scott Parker

After gathering the 08-09 player of the season award for West Ham, Parker has started this season at a snail's pace. He has no goals or assists in 9 starts in all competitions. He has recovered from an injury that kept him out of West Ham's game with Stoke last weekend, and he be looking to use the high profile nature of this game to get his season back on track.

Arsenal Team News:

For once I don't have any new injuries to report, and I even get to say we have a returnee to the squad. Eduardo has recovered from a thigh strain, and he might get pushed straight back into the starting lineup thanks to several other injuries. Bendtner and Samir Nasri might make the bench, but Walcott, Rosicky, Denilson Fabianski, and Djourou are all still out.

Predicted Starting XI: Mannone, Sagna, Gallas, Vermaelen, Clichy, Song, Diaby, Fabregas, Arshavin, Eduardo, van Persie

Player to watch: Whoever starts in goal!

I've never seen anything like this before. Almunia was dropped after a bad start to the season, and even though he is the better keeper, he cannot displace Mannone. If Vito keeps his spot today, then I think Almunia is done at this club.

Match Facts & Stats

West Ham haven't won since opening day.

van Persie has scored in the last three league matches.

West Ham have won only two of their previous 14 Premier League home matches against the Gunners.

Ref Watch:

Chris Foy will be the head official for today's match. He averaged 3.4 cards per game last year.

Match Prediction:

I'm not confident, but I think we can shrug off the poor result from Tuesday and get back to winning ways. Arsenal has been beating the bottom half teams with ease this season, and we will continue that trend tomorrow. 3-1 to the Arsenal.

Next Fixtures:

28/10 (Wed) - Liverpool (H) - Carling Cup

31/10 (Sat) - Tottenham (H) - Premier League

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The Journalist

Writer: Brice Coffer Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday October 25 2009

Time: 7:38AM

Your Comments

Massive motivation today. The opportunity to stamp over the heads of (what are THEY doing up here?) Spuds to grab 3rd spot and set us up in a very strong title-chasing position with a game-in-hand. To continue the run-of-form ahead of the arrival of next week's demonic visitors is a must. And the players owe Arsene a decent birthday present after falling asleep in Holland. C'mon Arsenal. I like Zola but we need to "hammer" in another nail for WHU today. And two derby games in a row? Oh the joys of being a London team!
To add to that, one of L'pool and Man U (or both) shall drop points, after their game today. This is an opportunity for the Arsenal to put some perspective to their title aspirations this season, by improving their points haul with three more. I expect WHU to huff & puff in the opening hour, only to capitulate late on.
3-1 seems to be the common prediction. I expect it to be honest.
I'm going for a 2-0 win, both goals coming in the last 15 minutes. If we score early, though, we could get 4-5.
With the starting lineup you're predicting GK (and I agree with you), we'll be very much short on defensive balance... if we score early, then this won't matter, but if we don't... we could be in trouble. That said, I do expect us to score early, and like Rob says, go on to get 3 or more
I also predict a 3-1 win, but a hard-fought one! :)
Liverpool go ahead at Anfield. I wouldn't mind a Scouser win.
neither of those teams are all that impressive GK, are they? I still contend that it'll either be us or Chelsea who win the league this year. Quick question, if Song gets a yellow card today, will he be suspended for the next league match, or will it apply to the CC tie with 'pool?
Since the Carling Cup is a FA sponsored competition, then Song's suspension will be served against Liverpool on Wednesday if he gets a yellow today. So it would make sense for him to pick up a booking today. And I agree about the title challenge.
Mannone, Sagna, Gallas, Vermaelen, Clichy, Song, Diaby, Fabregas, Arshavin, Eboue, van Persie. Bench: Almunia, Nasri, Silvestre, Eduardo, Bendtner, Ramsey, Gibbs
thanks for the info GK! well, it looks like all the creative impetus will be on Arsh, Cesc, and RVP yet again... lucky for us that they're more than capable... but just look at those options off the bench!
That's it. Liverpool beat United again. If Fulham can continue to do the job at the City of Manchester stadium, then it could be another fantastic weekend of results for us.
GK what's equally fantastic is that Masch and Vidic were red-carded and will serve 1-match bans. So Masch can't kick our kids in midweek then?
Agh, Fulham go a goal down... Oh, and GK I believe a certain game at Upton Park this afternoon will play a role in how good Arsenal's weekend will be. Don't forget that one!
a bit fortunate for that to fall right to RVP, but i'll take it
Yeah indeed TP! Our Robin's so used to scoring fantastic goals that it's refreshing to see him tap one in like that! ;) And remember what Arsene said about him scoring to celebrate the birth of his daughter last time? He said "I wish he'd have a daughter every week." :D
cole is killing us
Love Gallas, he's so determined to catch up with his CB partner on the club's top-scorer chart eh!! :D
city and fulham draw! clint dempsey is the only compatriot footballer worth talking about :)
lol Lou, what's even funnier is that it looks like Vermaelen will be taking the sorts of long free-kicks that kolo used to take for us, I truly think he's aiming to be top scorer for the year!
RvP would have scored with or without Green's touch (it was harder with the touch to be honest) But Green should have punched it far away.
All in all, good first half. Carlton Cole has been immense. When he's on, he's a very good player. Gallas and Vermaelen have done reasonably well with him. They've kept goal side of him most of the time. I hope we can get Arshavin involved more. Our football hasn't been great, but you can't argue with the result, so far, can you?
Half way there guys, half way there for a perfect weekend! Hang in there, stay awake against Cole and let's take 3 points for Arsene's 'big birthday' (that's how we call it in Chinese)!
It's amazing! Diaby is getting into good positions, skinning people AND then passing it on! What's got into him!?
Rob, he knows that Nasri is back and he won't be playing much anymore ;-)
As LD said, an accident waiting to happen :-(
Diaby and eboue need to come off immediately
Could see it coming when Diaby's fouls led to free kicks... Just as we did with Brum, we had to let them back into the game before we seal it somehow? Let's get that widely-predicted third goal now!!
Oh dear oh dear oh dear..
if wenger doesn't bring on Eduardo and Nasri right now, I don't know what the hell he's thinking
Looks like we're learning our ******** lesson!
10 mins on the roller-coaster guys... brace, brace!
Yeah TP, or Bendtner and Ramsey!
We deserve it, we never learn our lesson, always playing far too casually. Players making wrong decisions like Eboue, absolutely ridiculous, we haven't learn for the last 5 seasons, we will never learn. I'm fuming.
We deserve it, we never learn our lesson, always playing far too casually. Players making wrong decisions like Eboue, absolutely ridiculous, we haven't learn for the last 5 seasons, we will never learn. I'm fuming.
What did Parker do? Was it his complaint or what?! I thought Cesc had a little push and he went down, tripping Cesc, that's it.
Lets see how good we really are
Arsene brought Eduardo on for Diaby a bit too late I'm afraid... But COME ON DUDU!!!
Really hate it, perfect weekend for Chelsea, not us. I said "half way there" just a bit too soon. I blame myself now.
Ajwb, THIS is how good we really are.
Lou, don't be sorry you were the one in the right. Our players though we were all the way.
Appalling from Arsenal, typical complaceny, you can't expect this team to win anything when they throw points away SO cheaply. A PRECIOUS 3 points wasted.
Eboue and Diaby were terrible in the 2nd half, they really slow down our midfield creativity
How many errors is that from Mannone? The worst part is Wenger has to stick with him until Fabianski is back. Arsene has already shown Almunia out the door.
******** disgraceful - what an awful performance. wenger should fine the lot of them - total lack of respect for the opposition.... absolute disgrace
I thought Diaby was fine going forward. In a frantic away game like this I think it's not so much of a problem to just slow the game down outside the oposition penalty area and find a team-mate. He did concede far too many free-kicks though and wasn't going to be the one inspiring us in the testing conditions once they had equalised.
GK, I wouldn't be too sure about that. Almunia is a decent guy. Don't forget what everyone was saying about Gallas last November, and those were far more testing times. Personally I think Almunia needed a kick up the backside, but from the moment the teamsheet came out today, you could tell this was just one game too far. Arshavin was again incredibly frustrating. He seems only to really want to impress against the league's biggest names. He had the occaisional moment of brilliance, but really looked cumbersome at times.
cumbersome, testing, frantic - the word is *****... every single one of them were ***** today. embarrassing. dont deserve to win anything with performances like that.
Can't believe Jamie Redknapp is saying it was a definitely penalty. Ridiculous.
All it takes is two results like Alkmaar and this for other teams to always believe they can get something from us and for us to always doubt ourselves.
jamie redknapp is a cock - he knows nothing about anything - ***** footballer, *****ter pundit
Appalling refereeing, Appalling lack of effort in the 2nd half from the whole team, Eboue anywhere in the front 3? Appalling, Mannone's save, schoolboy, Appalling the support giving it the oles with 35 minutes to play. Bit of a crap week really and we havent even lost either game.
I am gutted. Well, Mannone has made that mistake we worried about. When will the team learn?
Redknapp and the SKY clowns are all Cnuts. They condemned Eduardo but say its OK for a 6ft 2in Englishman to crumble with a feather touch on his ankle.
this is why we'll end up short again. ***** man, this is so frustrating. whatever the decisions of the refree, we should have not lost this game. it feels like a loss anyway. Mannone what was he doing with that freekick, putting it on the plate for Cole. lets re-instate Almunia now, enough with the experiment. what a perfect opportunity to win this game and then the NLD and go top of the league and they bottle it yet again. *****ing chootyagiri..
Just hope we dont rue the points dropped in this game, cos this was a certain 3 points, imo. This team needs to be shaken up, big time. Must Arshavin start games?
Very soft underbelly, as the commentators were saying. In Song and Diaby we have two midfielders who really don't have the vision to see danger in advance. Song is less culpable in a way, but Wenger needs to have a word with Diaby about taking the fight to the opposition and closing down opponents. He is dreadful.
Wyn Mills
He's only just come back, but I thought we really missed Rosicky. Very little of our usual creativity going forward today. Can't believe both our goals came from crosses.
I'm glad everyone is fuming about this. I just hope Wenger is too behind the scenes and not blaming it on bad luck. His TV interviews always appear to absolve the team from blame, but quite frankly after watching the effort the Liverpool lads put into overcoming United I feel distinctly shortchanged by that performance.
Wyn Mills
About goal differences with two gaes in hand. It doesnt matter if you are in the losing end of it xD Our win against Balckburn was indeed impressive. Best weekend for Chelsea. As for Wenger, the bench is there to make subs if changes are needed.
German Blues Brother
But we kept the neutrals entertained didn't we? And that's priority number 1 nowadays. I've seen plenty of less talented Arsenal sides than this but I;ve never seen one so stupid. Liverpool in the CL, Spurs last year, Birmingham at St Andrews, Alkmaar on Tuesday. What is it actually gonna take for this bunch of braindeads to learn their ******** lesson? Arrogant *********s the lot of them.
Little Dutch
Oh and can we stop the kiddywinks experiment and actually try playing our best keeper? Or even our second best one if that's too simple........
Little Dutch
....and start Arshavin and Diaby from the bench; bring in Eduardo and Nasri/Rosicky (whoever is fit) earlier. 'Arrogant' is flattering them; clueless, this lot!
Have to say Arshavin looks disinterested half the time, he's almost too arrogant and can be sloppy with his passes. Diaby just doesn't know how to tackle/defend and so there's too much reliance on Song to do all the dirty work. Clichy can't cross a ball to save his life. And what was Eboue doing trying to shoot at goal when he went past that player on the right hand side of the penalty area?!?! And he still hasn't stopped the diving.
Arsene is quoted as saying after the game "as long as you don't score the third goal, you know the game is not won". Is it just me or should we have more defensive solidity against a team without any confidence to hold out for a win when we're leading 2-0...?!
Those flJcking players dont know they're giving pple high blood pressure by their lackadastical displays. what a bloody game
Wenger cant really complain about a lack of killer instinct when he insists on playing Eboue as a forward, the guy is a fantastic Right back but has the killer instinct of a seal pup. Disagree that Diaby was at fault in this game, he was in the right place at the right time to make the block when the ref gave the ridiculous decision for the 1st goal.
gutted...what a terrible way to throw two points least we moved up the league,after the spuds embarrassment...we can make up for it next week and slam another nail in their league campaign
fran merida
I thought Song was brilliant today. Diaby was not at fault for that freekick as he just ran in to him. Manone has to hold his hands up for palming back in to the 6 yard box. I dont think we played badly, just we dont learn from mistakes.
coles peno was very soft imo, in the box and went to to easily, maybe ref gave in after dismissing parkers peno, if that wasnt a peno why didnt he book him, same with keane against chelsea, also fergie was complaing that pool got most of decisions, doesnt he realise that he gets all those decisions when teams travel to old trafford,
hey fran, spurs embarrassment, stoke are in top half of table an also. an for a so called top team tryin to win the league drop 2 point from a team in bottom 3 who we beat, be carful with ur comments ur the embaressmed one
we both were diguested we didnt get 3 points, theyll be days like this, good luck in cc cup n look forward to nld again
if we had won this game and the next we would have been on top of the table...i couldnt believe what was happenning after the 70th minute.. i even had a fight with my partner for no reason.... need to sleep on the couch now
Invariably there will be finger pointing at Mannoneís error leading to w.hamís 1st goal. Almunia would have punched the ball away rather than back into play, that I agreed. But Iíve my doubts he would have got himself to the ball in the first place, hence a goal would still likely be conceded, just how. I donít think AW is experimenting with the keeper position. If it is pre-season, yes but not when the season is already underway. More likely, like Amos had touched on previously, I think it has become clear that AW is deliberately benching almunia for reasons that would be known only within the club.
I donít think the overall displays of Eboue and Diaby were any different from the rest of the team, itís just that when things go wrong these 2 are popular scapegoat choices of most. Aside from gallas and vermaleen, collectively, I think the team lack the desire and fighting spirit of the hammers especially epitomized by diamanti. The lack of urgency was especially evidenced in the closing stages of the game when parker was sent off, we were basically strolling to take a throw-in instead of rushing to find the winner.
Diaby and Song don't know how to control midfield defence. And by that I mean putting in the sort of controlled sliding powerhouse tackles that that lets opponents know you not only have the ball, but them as well. Guys like Vieira used to put a couple of hard but fair tackles in early in the game to assert authority. Diaby cannot do this because in my opinion he ultimately lacks the awareness of what's going on 360 degrees around him. If you're wondering what I'm talking about just look at Cesc. Song, although more successful, isn't really fast enough to deal with the pace of the premier league.
Wyn Mills

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