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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Arsenal vs. West Ham

Ashburton Grove

07/04/07

15:00

Arsenal V West Ham

Arsene Wenger could ring changes amongst the Arsenal ranks when West Ham visit The Grove on Saturday after their appauling display at Anfield a week ago.

It will certainly go down as one of the worst performances under Wenger, as Peter Crouch made Arsenal's first-choice back four look like they should be playing for (I hate to say it), Tottenham.

Despite West Ham's terrible league position, it's sure to be a tough game for teh Gunners. This is one of the few occasions I can understand why a team is going to come to The Grove and stick 10 men behind the ball and hope for the best.

Vital Quotes:

Arsene Wenger spoke spoke of the effect the defeat to PSV had on his team, and stated what he expects of his team at his pre-match confrence on Thursday: "After the Champions League exit, subconsciously somewhere [a complacency] came into our mind a bit," he said. "But it is not like that, our season is not over.

"We have to take this disappointment as a challenge to grow. How we respond to this will determine how we do in the future.

"When you start a career as a young player it is difficult to understand that you do not go to a Champions League Final every year. They know and understand that now.

"They can see the teams who are behind us and that there is a difference between finishing third or fourth. We have eight games to go and one match in hand.

"It all now depends on how we respond. But on Saturday we have the advantage that we play at the Emirates. That is where we feel strong."

West Ham defender Anton Ferdinand has an optimistic view ahead of what is a massive match for both sides: 'It's going to be a very tough game for us but we always play well against the big sides.
'I've been there to watch my brother Rio and it's an unbelievable stadium. I'm really looking forward to it.

'They have players that play in big games, so it's going to be a very hard game. But hopefully we'll be the first team to beat them there.'

Arsenal Team News:

Arsenal are boosted by the return of vice-captain Gilberto Silva (hip) and striker Aliadiere (foot).

Manu Eboue has recovered from a groin probelm, allowing Arsene Wenger to play his first choice back 4 for only the 4th time this season!

Player to watch: Gilberto Silva

The Brazilian's importance to Arsenal was once again highlighted at Anfiled last week when Liverpool joined an exclusive club of teams who have out played Arsenal this season.

He will likely be tasked with keeping Carlos Tevez quiet when the Argentine drops deep to make things happen.

West Ham Team News:

Midfielder Nigel Quashie and defender Calum Davenport (foot) are both major doubts.

Defender Matty Upson is definitely out with a calf injury but Yossi Benayoun could return.

Player to watch: Carlos Tevez

The Argie has found some form at last. he hasn't been bad this season but in recent weeks he has shown just how good he really is.

He'll pose a big threat to Arsenal. If the defense plays like it did last week then we'll be looking at our first defeat at The Grove.

Ref Watch:

The ever-competant Graham Poll will take charge on this one. since his dismal display at the world cup he has issued 87 yellows and 4 red cards.

Match Prediction:

I'm going for another bore draw. West Ham are fighting for their lives and will come to The Grove and defend. 1-1 draw. Tevez for West Ham, Adebayor for Arsenal.

Fan's View:

Vital Arsenal youngster 'Super Gooner' has his say on Saturday's game: 'I think we'll be in for a toughie, with West Ham's recent form against ours I'm going to go for a 2-1 away win, Tevez getting a couple and Ade for the Gunners. I hope Wenger tries a 4-5-1, but he won't. I think he will stick Baptista up top with Ade again, and have Rosicky, Gilberto, Cesc and Diaby in midfield.'




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The Journalist

Writer: Nick Simmonett  Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday April 6 2007

Time: 9:10PM

Your Comments

Well the spammers will come with alot to prove on paper they dont stand a chance but the way you lot are gong they may pull off a draw!! Im not gonna bet on it though they are the spammers..
cusop
I feel we will win, not gonna predict the score never get it right. I`m glad to Arsene has stuck with the defence and not panicked like others would, he will get it right. I also fell Baptista is owed a good performance, the man dont stop trying.
gunnerb
yes they have a lot to prove but they will be well beaten, Gilberto is back and Arsenal are at home...
49ers
We're going to need a better game from Aliadiere if we're going to win this
Farhan
3-0 Arsenal win...westham will play high up the field, leaving room behind ferdinand and gabiddon. Balls over the top from toure to adebayor will prove decisive
49ers
Predicting a hammers win?????!!!!???? Have you seen us play? Are you trying to tempt fate? www.westham.vitalfootball.co.uk
Adam Mansell
Dont ever accuse a spurs fan of being delusional again .. Spamers are not even on planet Gypo
cusop
A win is desperately needed to stop the poor current form.
AB_Arsenal
When we unluckily lost at West Ham earlier in the season and had that incident with Pardew, I was really looking forward to the return game at The Emirates for our revenge and was confident we would be West Ham. Now I'm a little more nervous...don't think we'll lose, but a draw will feel like defeat.
Gooner_Vin
Get out of it cusop... deluding yourself that you are not delusional only confirms that you are indeed beyond recuperation... that and the fact that the Chavs will spank your butts today should have shut you up, but no! You can't help yourselves... I just hope that the seats at Stamford bridge are properly secured to the stands...
Andy-bayor
West Ham are surely going to try and batter us with crosses and try to cause us trouble in the air... having got the better of us last time, they wont be so scared now and unless we properly get at them, we will be in trouble... we need 2 forwards to unsettle their jittery defence...I'd like to think we'll batter them 5-0 with a bit of luck, but its hard to predict what mood our boys will be in.
Andy-bayor
I think the hammers will be cautious going forward, and probably will look to nick a goal via a set-piece. Tevez is the danger man. I am just hoping to see a few goals from our midfield.
G4L
3-1 to the arsenal !!!
HENRY`14
ARGGG !!!! WEN WILL FABREGAS SCORE !!!!!!
HENRY`14
How can you miss so many one on ones its amazing :(
AB_Arsenal
just put the ball in the efffin net !!!!
G4L
: ( we betta win dis one !!!!!
HENRY`14
oh no this looks bad :(
AB_Arsenal
im goin bald !!!!!
HENRY`14
this is very dissapointing , we shud have scored atleast thrice !!
HENRY`14
ohh !!! *****KKK
HENRY`14
Why do i feel like we might lose this one.
AB_Arsenal
The feeling is rewarded :(
AB_Arsenal
There are no points for missed chances...I'm stuck reading the highlights on a gamecast and it still hurts to WATCH!
SUX2BU
OFFSIDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. that goal should matter because it should be 3-1. i'm gonna have heart failure soon SERIOUSLY.
Youngest in Charge
Why do opposing keepers all of a sudden become world class when they verse Arsenal.
AB_Arsenal
I've seen lots of peculiar things in my life, but this is beyond the unbelievable.
G4L
We are *****ed big time now....bolton and liverpool both won and we are *****ed.
AB_Arsenal
I have to give credit to AG. Where are you man?
G4L
we really were a disgrace !! i am soo *****ed ,,...!!!!!!
HENRY`14
Wow....30 shots to 6! 64/36% poss...and we still LOST! Pathetic. Clearly nothing was taken from Liverpool.
SUX2BU
what were you watching Henry? We were a disgrace?
G4L
Same old story.. except we perfected it today.. We finally lost at home.. to West Ham.. who are 19th (i think).. and we are seriously in a pickle now. Profligacy was all over the pitch.. I still am not convinced that the players are interested.. Ljungberg is past it, period. Hleb is trying to show that he's better than Tevez in his own half.. near the corner flag! I just hope that games like this will make us alter our style.. its all fun to watch a perfect goal.. but its not happened for us...... we need to be efficient... and it is pathetic to watch our team play like this!!!!!! THIS STINKS!
arsenalrulz4ever
This was a perfect illustration of our season... no luck, no finish, no efficiency.... most of all.... another loss!
arsenalrulz4ever
Oh dear!
Westl
eufa cup here we come!
Joe_@**
No comments. It hurts too much.
questforavalon
Murphy's Law. But there is also a saying "What goes around, comes around." I just hope it comes sooner.
questforavalon
1+1=2. very simple. playing us is just like that. if a team has a specific game plan of which i have repeated so many times in the past, they are almost guaranteed of not losing if not winning
Joe_@**
15 shots on target... 3 headers wide from point blank range... hit the crossbar... hit the upright... and yet... no ****ing goal. THIS SUCKS... I don't even want to think about us not qualifying for the CL... but lets face it... it looks more likely now.
Spartan Gooner
you lost to west ham?Who scored the goals?
k_chelski
k_chelski, for one i'll take your sarcasm in stride. zamora scored 45'. yes we sucks. yes we are a team not in transition but on a decline
Joe_@**
thats a bit strong Joe, I dont think we're in decline somehow... I cant quite believe what I have just watched though, a good show of football it was, but once again no goals, this all too familiar scenario is getting beyond the ridiculous! all this bad luck must surely end soon, and I believe a massive element of it is bad luck but there were several occasions today where we, once again, passed the ball once too many times which needs to stop. we're still surely in the driving seat for 4th place though, but its going to be a bumpy ride!
TR7
So it's 1 nil to the west ham?Talk about irony...
k_chelski
STOP PRESS - WANTED - GOALSCORER - APPLY EMIRATES STADIUM - SEND CV TO A. WENGER
radar
Arsenil are in decline,not transition....!!
chalky76
2 Defeats on the trot - all going pear-shaped
merlin
THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE HERE WE COME!!!
EvertonMike
Watching today's game reminded me so much of the CSKA moscow game, except we got punished for it. No one can say we tried to walk the ball in; because we did everything you have to do to score a goal, headers, crosses(low and high), long range efforts, close range efforts all that and goal. You've got give credit to green, he was simply amazing. someone said it earlier that goal keepers have the one of the games of their life's against arsenal.I really hope our luck ends soon.
Youngest in Charge
actually its three defeats on the trot...everton,liverpool and west ham
fran merida
I think arsenal are turning into the spurs of the 90's. how does it feel to be on the receiving end for a change gooners? and before you say that we lost to the chavs, we are used to it and it dont really bother us, but you lot must be in real pain atm. dont worry, you can always redeem yourself at the lane next week. goodluck though, you'll need it.
powerspur
welcome to the WAFER CUP!!!!!!
powerspur
The report i just read said the only time Arsenil fans were heard is at half time & full time when they were "booed & heckled" off the field of play..!!He he he
chalky76
I went to the game and have never ever in all my years seen an Arsenal team play so well. We will start banging them in, its down to a little bit of luck now, so fellow gooners titter not. Its not as bad as the result would suggest.
gunnerb
yeah thats true,we played them of the park,just check the stats,it was so one sided,thats why im not worried,if you dominating play,creating 20 plus chances,and your losing by the odd goal,which would normally be a consolation,why panic we know all we need is a fit henry or van-persie,or someone else with the confidance to put it in the net,we are gong to spank the rest of the teams if we continue to play and create like this,we cant keep having this much bad luck,unlike spuds who are just average,and wont even make next years wafer cup,let alone progress in this seasons.
fran merida
It's stating the obvious but we have two problems. We generally create several chances during a game but can't put them away. At the same time we seem to be incapable of keeping it tight at the back to give us any chance. I don't think the answer is adding more players like Robinho etc. Wenger should get George Graham back to work as our defensive coach!
Gooner_Vin
buy anelka. lol
k_chelski
I think Wenger should reproduce his cloning techniques and make Ian Wright twenty years younger.
Little Dutch
"We will start banging them in soon" Oh my, hasn't that been on this site every week since October? Maybe it's time for plan B? Oh, sorry, there is no plan B? How well did Gallas play?
Westl
Someone reads too many tabloids. 30 attempts on goal does not sauggest an alteration in style is needed, it's quite simple really, we need to put the bloody ball in the net. In the words of the great Brian Clough, "football is a simple game made complicated by idiots." It makes me laugh when people trot out tabloid buzz terms like, "plan b" or "more width is needed," in a vague attempt to try and appear knowledgable about the game. Put down the newspaper, watch the game. You'll see our style of play cuts teams open time and again, so plan b is a bit of a misnomer because we were very direct yesterday. It's just that last part that's missing, the important part.
Little Dutch
No finishing again today...Clearly the lack of finishing is attributed to crushed confidence. The excuse of "having such a young team" gets thrown around a lot, but it's usually aimed at lack of experience. We all know the damage these kids are capable of enflicting on opponents, so it can't be a lack of experience or talent - the problem is confidence. These kids have gone through a rollercoaster of knocks this season, and the boss has thrown them right into the front car for the ride. TH leads by example and without him on the field definitely has its effect (why did they beat ManU without him then? Because TH was coming back at that time...his season is over now). Losing RVP & TH for the year; out of 3 cups in 10 days; the post Carling Cup final nonsense/suspensions; losing to PSV; getting ass raped by Lvrpool - the kids haven't seen any light at the end of the tunnel in a long while...that's bound to kick the cr@p out of a young players' confidence - and put a lot of weight on their shoulders. It's a catch 22 - that first goal that breaks this rut will boost the team I'm certain...however while they are in this rut, gaining back the confidence to get that important goal is the challenge....and time this season is quickly running out!
SUX2BU
 

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