Arsenal 1-0 West Ham: THAT’S why we love Alex Song!

Arsenal 1-0 West Ham: THAT’S why we love Alex Song!

There was something particularly satisfying about Arsenal’s 1-0 win over West Ham.

Much like last season’s heart-pumping late win over Wolves our boys were forced to wait until the last moments for a goal by a West Ham team that defended stoutly and grew in stature as the game progressed.

But when it came, what a moment! Gael Clichy’s trickery was clever, his clipped cross sublime and the hungry, determined Alex Song throw his body at the ball to snatch the points. His adrenaline-fueled celebrations with last year’s Wolves hero, Nicklas Bendtner, said it all.

Song had another imperious game

While watching the game, particularly in the first half, my feelings towards the performance were not particularly positive. I thought the general effort and energy bore some resemblance to the West Brom fiasco just a few weeks ago.

But on review of the highlights this feeling was probably misplaced: we created a number of very good chances with Song, Bacary Sagna and Cesc Fabregas combining to draw a wonderful save from Robert Green. In short, we were perhaps a little unlucky not to go into the break with a lead.

Up the other end Lukasz Fabianski, Sebastien Squillaci and the recently-returned Laurent Koscielny were rarely tested and coped well with what West Ham had to offer. At no point did I genuinely feel that West Ham would score and they didn’t, an outcome that ensured our third clean sheet in a row (!).

With the West Ham offense well-controlled the second half became a story whether or not we would score.

Andrey Arshavin dragged a show across the face of goal, Samir Nasri rattled the frame with a brilliant free-kick while Theo Walcott, on as a substitute, repeated the trick after being put clear by Fabregas. The urgency was much greater and it was telling: West Ham were camped back into their half and a goal seemed inevitable.

Bendtner joined Walcott on the pitch, the pair replacing Arshavin and Denilson respectively, and it was their influence that effectively changed the game.

Bendtner’s introduction alongside Marouane Chamakh meant a more consistent penalty-area threat as one could wander wide and the other stay central. Meanwhile Walcott’s presence panicked West Ham into blocking up the right side of our attack, leaving Clichy with acres of space to move into on the left, a luxury he took full advantage of for the goal.

Although the final score was narrow and the deciding goal came late, we fully deserved the win on Saturday. The improvement in effort and urgency after the break was encouraging and the discipline to stick to our game-plan right up until the final whistle, was admirable. These are the sorts of games that we absolutely have to win to stay in the title race and despite going close to dropping two points the boys got the job done.

As for the match winner, Mr Song, he is just on fire right now. He’s in a real purple patch in front of goal at the moment and when you read his post-match comments, it’s hard not to be delighted with his success.

“When you play in one team for a long time, with the best manager in the world, you want to give your best every day, that is why you can see it when we are on the pitch – we showed very good character against West Ham and never gave up, which is very good for the future for us.”

That’s we we love him.

Thoughts?

Have your say on Arsenal’s 1-0 win over West Ham by leaving a comment.

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14 Responses to “Arsenal 1-0 West Ham: THAT’S why we love Alex Song!”

  1. elbizarron
    November 1, 2010 at 9:55 am #

    A bit of a nail biter for me. The team would have dropped points in years past, but they now seem to be finding ways to win. On a lighter note, who is styling the players’ hair? First Song and now Denilson…

  2. wenger
    November 1, 2010 at 10:24 am #

    i hope it may be turning point to gael clichy’s career the same thing that happened to fabianski. the one penalty save that gave him confidence. this can make clichy improve his crosses i hope.overall a good game it was

  3. Femi Jacobs
    November 1, 2010 at 11:37 am #

    Just love the Arsenal this season, confident and pushful. They should always play as if they are one down. The coach should let them know that even before a march starts, they are one zero down. And so, they should fight to score first.

    God bless gunners. I see Liverpool winning Chelsea this weekend because we need to catch up soon.

  4. Darragh
    November 1, 2010 at 12:50 pm #

    Hasten to add that Rob Green kept West Ham in the game for most of it – he was brilliant against us, yet again.

  5. Charlie
    November 1, 2010 at 12:56 pm #

    A real nail biter, and I really didn’t think we’d win, but somehow we pulled that off. More satisfying afterward, but more infuriating and stressful during.

  6. Lazarus Machevele
    November 1, 2010 at 1:16 pm #

    I can still recall the last game of Cameroon during the 2010 World cup in South. An old man with gray hair and beards sat on Cameroon’s bench. I asked a number of spectators who were watching with me whom the Guy was? Nobody gave me the answer. The answer came in the dying minutes of the game when a sub was introduced. Do you know who the substitute was? It was the famous Rigobert Song. So dont be surprised to see Alex Song on such style(hair). he is following the footsteps of his uncle.

  7. pradyumna
    November 1, 2010 at 1:27 pm #

    To be honest, I was shocked when I saw the starting eleven. Song AND Denilson in a home game [that too against West Ham] is too defensive. I wondered why Walcott did not start! Don’t tell me that Walcott was not fully fit because in any case Rosicky could have started [he gets so less chances by his standards]. Our defense was good. Song was great [the importance of this goal can’t be stressed in our quest for the title].

    This result caps a great footballing week for Arsenal FC. The poles between the poles were brilliant to keep 3 clean sheets. Our defense is looking strongest so far this season. We also have Vermaelen coming back and of course Robin Van Persie and Aaron Ramsey.

    We should be getting silverware this season ๐Ÿ™‚

    Party On!

  8. billi
    November 1, 2010 at 1:52 pm #

    I haven’t much to say, but though it’s a repetition again and again: your match-analysis are the best for me ๐Ÿ˜Ž (most of the time I read yet three others, I can identify mostly with your personnel point of view)

  9. Lil Weezy
    November 1, 2010 at 3:13 pm #

    Match of the Day highlights:
    Enjoy
    http://www.espnafrica.com/index.php?option=com_jomtube&view=videos&Itemid=58

  10. GunnerBoss
    November 2, 2010 at 11:57 am #

    @Praduma – Good observations about the defensive midfield pairing. I would’ve preferred if someone else( an AM or someone more creative) were to replace Denilson so we create more chances and get the early goal. I would’ve preferred Rosicky instead. Good news is that The Jack will be back.
    U know if we didn’t play Denilson against Citey, the score might have been different? But against the bottom team at home, come on….

  11. gbenga
    November 2, 2010 at 12:59 pm #

    the midfield pairing of song and denilson wasnt too badif you ask me, there are some games we need to grind out ven if we are not playing the grandedt football, alex’s definitely on a roll, lets see how we take it on from there

  12. anywar francis
    November 3, 2010 at 1:12 pm #

    i think song play a good game and all the arsenal squad are playing very well, i think arsenal will take premiership and champion league.

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