All I could envisage was the start of the new #EPL season, when the Fixture list dropped in June I like many other Arsenal fans had high expectations for this opener against Westham, I’d be lying if I were to say I wasn’t expecting nothing but a win. My prediction on Saturday as posted on North London Gooner Lawro Facebook wall was a confident 2-1 victory. I felt my prediction was justified not only by the fact that in the past 6 games of which both Arsenal and Hammers have met, Arsenal have gone on to win all of them but also I was riding off the steam of the FA CUP win against Aston Villa, that victory was so brutal that I could only imagine a repeat performance. However that just wasn’t to be, wasn’t to be at all!
Whilst writing this I’m finding it very hard to fault Arsenal in the first half, we didn’t do too much wrong, not that we done incredibly much right either however we showed flashes of our usual game, slick 1-2 passing, triangles and movement into space yet these moments were too far and few in apart for my liking. The OX had a few opportunities on goal, not quite on target, Rambo clipped the bar with a deflected shot and Santi also had a few slinky runs, which were blocked off just as he looked like he was going to pull the trigger. The Hammer too showed showed their sturdiness and flashes of their counter attacking ability. Sakho and Zarate worked their bollocks stretching Mertz and Boscielny all over the gaff.
The actual turning point came as a surprise, I wasn’t actually expecting things to go down the way they did. Westham Free kick, taken by Payet who lofted it in to the box. Now the decision making of debutant Champions League winning experienced keeper Petr Cech has to be called into question as he came dashing off his line to punch the ball away from the head of Kouyate, but for what I saw live he had more chance of punching the moon. What Petr was thinking I’m not sure but what he must of been thinking after he totally missed the ball I bet I could Imagine (SH^%! I DONE F*&% UP!). This goal came on the cusp of the end of the 1st half which was so disappointing but at this point my belief was, not to worry we got this man!!
The second half didn’t bring too much joy for Arsenal. For a 25 minutes spell they looked like the better of the two sides. Giroud and Ozil having some really good chances to get the boys Level. Yet Westham were doing everything in their power to shut us out, honourable shout out to Adrian who I believed had a wonderful game and was most certainly man of the match. Westham’s second goal is all about perspectives. Either you’re an Arsenal fan and you saw what was an absolutely crazy goal keeping howler or you’re a Hammer and you saw a classy well determined goal by Zarate. Again from my point of view, 10+ million pound man Petr Cech has to take full responsibility for this error here. He may say his sight was slightly impeded but really and truthfully it wasn’t enough for him to make that sort of misjudgement… (Szczesny at this point in time was at home sipping tea like Kermit, I’d assume). After this goal went in the game was effectively over, the lads had no one to blame but themselves. The came in to the game full of confidence but I’m starting to think maybe over confidence made them lazy and unconvincing.
I would love to be able to just sit here and play the blame game, however that’s very hard to do. The only real bud of light which was revealed from yesterday was the performance of THE OX. He was exceptional, seemed like the only person who wanted to keep going for 90 minutes. Even after he was reduced to playing a right back once Sanchez had come on the field! Everyone had their moments of just dire commitment, concentration and conviction, I’ve pointed out Cech earlier for the goals but it would be harsh to blame him only as Boscielny, Ramsey and Ozil had lapses at key times. But I’m going to end by saying, it’s not the end of the world, yes it was a poor loss to London rivals and it was made worse by the fact that we were at home however put all into perspective, it’s only the first game of the season. As we know things change quickly in the premiership so let’s not jump to conclusion to hastily. Wishing the lads all the best in their next game vs Crystal Palace, hopefully we will show up and get a result.
Arsenal Player of the Game: With out a doubt THE OX! (Chamberlain) All of his efforts went to waste today.
West Ham Player of the Game: Adrian made some fine saves and was the all important factor that kept Arsenal at bay.
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