West Ham 0-3 Arsenal: More quality in the final third

West Ham 0-3 Arsenal: More quality in the final third

This game was an opportunity to get the ball rolling again after a difficult week and that’s exactly what the players did as we cruised to a 3-0 win over bottom-of-the-table West Ham United.

Robin van Persie scored two, including his first from open play this season as well as another well-taken penalty, while Theo Walcott capped a fine performance by grabbing a goal of his own.

West Ham barely threatened at the other end and were gifted their only clear chance to score from an underhit back-pass by Johan Djourou while the score was still 1-0. But the danger was dealt with as Wojciech Szczesny saved well from Carlton Cole and the follow-up was fired over the crossbar.

Van Persie celebrates his first goal

The difference in intensity from the midweek trip to Ipswich was extremely noticeable early on, as was the difference in quality in the final third. Van Persie and Walcott enjoyed terrific days out — both involved in each and every goal — while Samir Nasri also had a good game on the left despite less tangible rewards.

The presence of the duo of Alex Song and Jack Wilshere in midfield gave Cesc Fabregas more freedom to work with the front three an unlike his uncharacteristically poor technical performance against Ipswich in midweek, the Spaniard caused West Ham all sorts of problems. The home side didn’t help themselves though: they afforded our boys too much space in the final third and were punished for their lack of organisation.

Song was impressive in the middle, bossing his area with authority and removing a lot of the pressure from Djourou and Laurent Koscielny behind him. I’m still not sure about the beard but he seems to have put a minor mid-season dip in form behind him and has been back to his consistent best in recent games.

Credit too has to go to Szczesny in goals. Called in late as a result of Lukasz Fabianski’s shoulder problem, the younger Pole put in another solid performance between the sticks and will be happy with the clean sheet. He didn’t have too much to do but everything he did well: stretching himself to save from Cole and organising the penalty area well.

Walcott also looks to be closer to the player that romped through the opening stages of the season since returning from injury and looked unplayable at times today. He gave Wayne Bridge a torrid time on his debut, exploiting the space that was provided to him to set up the first and score the second before winning the penalty for the third.

As far as Premier League wins go this was about as routine as it can get. Thankfully, after the week we’ve had, it was just what the doctor ordered.

Now we just have to decide who to cheer on in the game at White Hart Lane later today…

Thoughts?

Have your say on Arsenal’s 3-0 win over West Ham by leaving a comment.

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32 Responses to “West Ham 0-3 Arsenal: More quality in the final third”

  1. MTY
    January 16, 2011 at 12:56 pm #

    Good report as usual except your exaggerated accolade for Theo; he was average at best for me.
    In fact we will be more lethal if we play Chamakh in the center fwd position & RvP on the left with the freedom to roam (pretty much like Tevez at City in their game against Wolves). Samir will then fill the remaining right fwd position.
    Theo is better utilized when used as an impact sub IMO.
    Lets hope Arsene brings in a decent center-half during this transfer window. Roll on Leeds!

  2. Andrew Weber
    January 16, 2011 at 1:05 pm #

    @ MTY – Oh, that’s a bit controversial. Two assists and a goal, plenty of good movement? I thought his impact was superb and he’s having a great run of form of late.

  3. piresistible
    January 16, 2011 at 1:29 pm #

    Thoroughly enjoyed that and while people will say it was west ham (and they are awful) I think we turned up with a mindset that would have made us a handful for anyone today and hopefully the players and manager have shown a positive reaction to the thoroughly deserved criticism they received after two bad cup games – Keep this up!! Thought our midf was dominant and all played great but jack wilshire was immense at the heart of alot of our moves but doing so much of the dirty work and breaking up play and winning the ball back & he wonders why we fans have taken to him so quickly & fondly!! Love the guy!!

    I thought chesney was very solid again and I dont feel anywhere near as panicky with him in the team. I dont see why fab should be back as number 1 when fit. Also great to see van p getting some goals and looking much sharper for some more game time. Play him weds as well to get him sharper even further. As a side note very much liked cesc bringing up this game last year in the changing room at half time. He gets criticised as a captin a bit on here but that was very good leadership to skip any complacency out of his players. If only we could have this kind of attitude and drive every week. Now have the pleasure of watching spurs or united losing points & can read a paper or watch sky without someone slagging us off. Simple pleasures!!

  4. goonerwife
    January 16, 2011 at 1:48 pm #

    Theo rocks. Love Theo. Thank god Wenger is not putting him in a little box like MTY woul do. Theo causes problems for defenders. I guess you cant please everyone. Fortunately ‘everyone ‘doesnt really matter.

  5. 1NilToTheArsenal
    January 16, 2011 at 2:10 pm #

    Simple pleasures indeed. A win was expected and delivered in the form and fashion to which Gooners are accustomed. RvP is slowly but surely coming back. We have not won consecutive league matches since early December, so not only do we need to put together a long run, we need to do so while the Manchester teams drop points. Coming off the back of a decent outing, we now have the distasteful task of cheering on Spurs today and then much more pleasant task of taking our revenge at White Hart Lane at the end of February. At the risk of getting myself banned from this blog – come on Spurs! LOL, 1NTTA

  6. gun 'em all
    January 16, 2011 at 2:48 pm #

    Jack was just brilliant. His movement deep in midfield was perfect. Made himself present for collecting lose balls. Defended well. Besides the poor crosses , i can’t think of anything wrong done by gael. Had a good game IMO. Every one up front were brilliant. Only eboue’s positioning had me worried a little. Was too attack minded to play RB. Became better in the second half though. Great game. Lets hope leeds and ipswich get a thrashing from us . Cheers gooners

  7. hr
    January 16, 2011 at 2:53 pm #

    If Spurs win today, i promise not to insult their team or any of their fans until 17th January.

  8. Nicholas
    January 16, 2011 at 3:10 pm #

    Good result, let’s hope we can keep this level up, I’m really glad to see Van Persie working hard to get at full throttle, Walcott also seems to be profiting from playing constantly, even though I would like him to have more impact on our game. Djourou didn’t have a good day, and I’m thinking he’s just tired and he needs a match off, which points to the next issue on the club’s agenda: signing a central back. We are still in every competition out there and we have chances at trophies, so despite a couple of missteps, this team definitely has the quality to win. Looking forward to our next game, hoping for that new CB to be signed and glad that we don’t have so many injuries as we did last year.

  9. Mark
    January 16, 2011 at 6:07 pm #

    lol @ people who didn’t see the impact Theo had on the game.
    As said, 1 assist, 1 goal, 1 penalty won.
    Just wish he had done more……..

  10. Mark
    January 16, 2011 at 6:12 pm #

    was a beautiful game, and that wasn’t because we were playing a poor side; We just dominated in every aspect.
    Song was fantastic! he found the right balance of offense and defense for a MOTM performance.
    Aside from Djourou’s poor back pass and one instance of marking his opponent in the box, had a very good game without really being challenged much. What I liked most was that he played the game out with great confidence in spite of those mistakes.

  11. Terry
    January 16, 2011 at 9:39 pm #

    Great result and the Spurs v Manure result was good for us too. As you say Andrew after the last two games, just what the doctor ordered. I think MTY is right though about Walcott. To say Theo had two assists is probably technically correct but one was for a penalty where the fullback made stupid challenge when there really was no danger and the other – well I reckon Nasri should get the assist for the dummy that took out two Hammers defender. But that’s splitting hairs. I really want to see Walcott shine but for me he is too inconsistent, his technique and crosses are crap 9 times out of 10. Trouble is Arsh is so out of form there is no replacement.

    But how good was it to see RVP getting back into form – and he had three great shots with his right peg too!

    All round solid performance with much better balance to the team. The next few EPL games are all winnable against lower ranked teams. I am feeling optimistic again! Must be the drugs…

  12. Andrew Weber
    January 16, 2011 at 10:27 pm #

    @ Terry – The thing I like about Walcott when he plays like this is that he makes quick decisions. They’re not always the right one but he makes them before people can react, and it’s far better than the dallying on the ball he used to do a lot of last season and occasionally has done this season. On the whole though he has become more direct and is making more of an impact.

  13. faubert
    January 16, 2011 at 10:38 pm #

    The complete over reactions to the results against Wigna, Leeds and Ipswich were so embarassing, but indicative of a section of our support; whiny, knee jerky, bi-polar fair weather supporters. Shameful really. There was an excellent article on vital Arsenal about a shock cup defeat by the great Herbert Chapman’s team in the 1930s that put it all into perpsective.

  14. Andrew Weber
    January 16, 2011 at 10:50 pm #

    @ faubert – Can we read the article? Have you got the link?

  15. Andrew Weber
    January 16, 2011 at 10:52 pm #

    @ hr – I can’t believe I only just got your joke now! Quite silly indeed.

  16. JJ Pittman
    January 16, 2011 at 11:24 pm #

    Wonderful result, outstanding play by everyone. Djourou was everywhere, so one mistake is not a problem. In fact, physical mistakes, while painful, are always understandable. Wilshere and Song were absolutely dominant in holding midfield. Thought Clichy was outstanding(other than that one cross he almost put in the stands). Clichy did make several sweeper type clearances in the back as would be expected of a center back, not a left back. Both goals from play scored off “wrong” foot! Walcott does need work on finishing skills, but I thoroughly endorse your comment about his making quick decisions.
    Spuds showed today why they are beneath our contempt. Manure are still the team to worry about, but they are not impressive at all. We do have them at home and should not worry about Man$hitty. We should worry about Leeds and Wigan, but goals are the answer!

  17. kel
    January 17, 2011 at 12:19 am #

    Westham are an absolute rubbish team for sure. The jury is still out on us playing against teams who park the bus, grant didn’t do his home work.

    But still a win is a win, and much sterner tests to come.
    Am not getting carried away with this at all, cause we can win today and loose to Preston next week.

    I made a bet that no new defender will come in, strangely enough all kinds of names are being branded around, wenger will never buy cahill, or samba (too expensive). The cheap man is looking for someone like sol to come in, old, slow AND most of all cheap

    Did i mention cheap.
    By the way spurs are getting really close to us, they are a good team with some fantastic players, particularly their wide players. Imagine MAU taking off nani.
    For me the team with the best wide players will win the league, i guess that rules us out.
    BUT heck what do i know……

  18. Gruggy
    January 17, 2011 at 12:22 am #

    Damn girlfriend commitments preventing me from watching football..

    I’ll hopefully catch the replay on Fox over here today, but from all reports it sounds as if it was a completely different Arsenal side to the one who capitulated at Ipswich. Which is the most important aspect and result from the game imo.’

    ‘Off days’ are affordable in two leg cup-ties, but against quality league opposite, they’re nothing but unacceptable.

    Maybe Titi’s training spell is reaping Theo-rewards already?

  19. Terry
    January 17, 2011 at 1:20 am #

    Hi Andrew, I take your point about Theo and agree when he is more direct he is more of a threat. The trouble is, for all his pace he is not a winger so Wenger has to work out how best to play him when he has RVP and/or Chamakh/Bendtner in the team. For me he just needs to be more consistent as he clearly has the potential. in fact he is kind of like a microcosm of the whole team from that perspective. The next five games are all definitely winnable – home to Wigan, Everton, Wolves and Stoke with an away trip to Newcastle in there too. It’s a real opportunity to put a winning streak together and sort out that home form!

  20. leftcoastgooner
    January 17, 2011 at 2:04 am #

    Well done,well done and a clean sheet to boot. Very nice really.
    It sure would be nice to bottle some for Leeds but I guess we’ll have to crack open a fresh batch of whoop-ass for the Yorkies.
    @Gruggy.Dames in lieu of The Arsenal doesn’t get it dude even here on the laid back Cali-coast. Maybe surf when it’s fetched and boomin’ but broads never! That’s like not being able to score cause you got pram-full.

  21. Gruggy
    January 17, 2011 at 4:04 am #

    @leftcoastgooner,

    True that, it’s the same here most of the time and luckily due to the timezone, when the surf is up Arsenal games are never close to being interrupted.

    I toyed with the idea of getting pay-tv installed at my girlfriends for the football season though…maybe next year.

  22. ^_^GUNNER^_^
    January 17, 2011 at 10:58 am #

    @kel: Why are you so silent about “vanpercy” ? Apparently that is the spelling you use for “VAN PERSIE”. You should have noticed something wrong yesterday too. LOL ! He IS a class act and he is gonna prove that through the course of this season 🙂

  23. Gruggy
    January 17, 2011 at 12:19 pm #

    As per Andy’s post on FB :

    http://soccerlens.com/the-round-up-arsenal-zero-in-on-mexes/64377/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=facebook

    I’m not the only one who’s taken notice of Mexes’ availability and suitability to Arsenal..

    Here’s hoping the gaffer has too.

  24. delano
    January 17, 2011 at 1:34 pm #

    Am wondering no one has praised the marvel of having Persie, Nasri, Walcott and Fab, Song ,Wilshere in our attack.They make complicated games look ordinary unlike the two morons in CHAMAK AND B42.My love for the Russian maestro is diminishing each day. I just hope Wenger will be sensible enough to buy a defender as early as he can.Gary Cahill looks the best option as he is not cup tied.Dont be fooled by P.Mexes. If Roma can off load him how foolish can you be to take a dummy.We made the same mistake on Silvester and Campbell only to be tormented by Messi.Cahill

  25. Gruggy
    January 17, 2011 at 1:50 pm #

    Mexes is a class above 2009 Silvestre and Campbell. For starters, he’s only 28.

    He’s quick on his feet, yet possesses the height (6’1) we dearly need as well as the experience -18 caps for France and nearly three hundred first team appearances in France and Italy.

    Personally I don’t watch enough Serie A to know why he is preferred over Burdisso in central defence this year, but IMO Mexes is a proven and very classy defender. Who wouldn’t look out of place at any club in Europe, and would easily partner Vermaelen as our first choice CB pairing.

  26. kel
    January 17, 2011 at 6:03 pm #

    @GUNNER

    Sadly Arsenal & vanpercy, I mean (vanpersie) won’t play against westham every week, westham are absolutely rubbish, they gave us so much time on the ball no wonder vanpersie scored.
    Any team can play when they have time on the ball, Its when people put you under Pressure like MAU, spurs, Newcastle, westbrom, chelsea, and Barc have done to us in the past that really states how good you are.

    Goals are goals no-matter who you score against but rubbish is rubbish and westham are rubbish, lets see vanpersie be consistent.
    1 free kick scored in 200 attempts and he got a deflection thats world class for you

    By the way i never said he is not a good player i just said he is not the world class player you guys make him out to be AND he is not a lone striker simple as that.
    I hope he scores lots of goals But i wont hold my breath.

    Also “Gunner” if he misses sitters like he’s done this season i hope you have the guts to say the same thing.

    We need to be consistent and STOP making excuses

    The best of the lot is Bendtner having a child how does that apply to football. All we do is make excuses.

  27. theicehammer
    January 17, 2011 at 8:37 pm #

    Is it all over yet………what an abject performance, if one can use the word performance. Shambo what the FUCK is happening at my club. I sat in the DM stand with my son, who by the way im beginning to question where his true loyalties are. Im beginning to think being part of your Academy at Hale End is starting to confuse him. That game might have lost him for good. We were shit.
    What the hell is Grant up to, im sure even you could do a better job of making us play better what ever the final result. To tell you the truth, I expected you to score at least 6-7 goals which tells me you are still missing that killer punch. Can you imagine how many goals manure or chelski would have banged in?
    I think im going to give football a miss for a few weeks, just to clear my head. See you mate.
    Down de ammers. By the way do you still what Parker!

  28. Wan
    January 18, 2011 at 2:26 am #

    Just A good result coming from a lower Team. Where is our class now. Even though we are lying 3rd placing. We still are not consistent. We are just depending on the first eleven to win. where is our reserve that can do the same job? This 3 month is very critical to Arsene. Do we still need to wait for another year to be on the Top. Come on Guys . Please send the message to the Top. We need to be Champion.

  29. ^_^GUNNER^_^
    January 18, 2011 at 2:53 pm #

    @kel: I reiterate my stance. Van Persie IS a WORLD-CLASS player. AND he will prove it. As for the misses of the sitters, you need to keep in mind that he was back after a long injury. It is tough for anyone to play 100% straightaway. As I have already told you, he will prove that he is a class player throughout the course of THIS VERY SEASON 🙂

  30. Thierry Bergkamp-Wright
    January 19, 2011 at 3:30 am #

    @Gruggy Mezes at 6ft 1 won’t add anything to our center of defense, height-wise. As he would still be shorter than Djourou (6ft 4.5), Squillaci (6ft 1.5), Koscilney (6ft 1.5) and marginally taller than Vermalen (6ft). We need strong, dependable ball-winners, technically competent defenders of 6ft 2- 6ft 6. Mertesacker (6ft 6), Subotic (6ft 4), Vertonghen (6ft 2.5) and Sakho (6ft 2) all fit the bill, heightwise and technically.

  31. Gruggy
    January 19, 2011 at 4:50 am #

    @TBW,

    I’d take the latter batch of names before Mexes in a heartbeat. The only problem being, each of those mentioned would cost substantially more than the rumoured 4.5 million pounds that Roma have slapped on him.

    Maybe it’s too many hours playing Football Manager, but Sakho consistently is in my top three “wishlist buys”.

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