EPL 2007-2008: Arsenal 2 – West Ham 0

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Football
January 1st, 2008 • 3:18 pm

It was a very comfortable win indeed. Obviously, being 2-0 up within 20 minutes helps a lot, but it’s also crucial to note that we didn’t concede any ground on set pieces, which was expected to be something like our Achille’s heel. There was very little potency in West Ham’s forward endeavours and the Gunners’ lead never looked under threat. They didn’t need to switch to a higher gear, and they didn’t really look too tired, which bodes well for the coming weeks.

Most important, the fluent passing game was back, although both goals were more in the long-ball vein. Eduardo’s third in two games was yet another extremely cool, composed goal, fully exploiting the space made available to him. And Adebayor does not seem to be able to score ordinary goals. Once again, he took matters into his own hands, which a headed flick forward, and then managed to get the ball in off the opposite post from the narrowest of angles. There was a bit of luck involved, of course, with Upson haven’t just run too far to be able to track back and block the ball, but it was a fantastic individual piece of work just the same.

Yes, the Togonator still needs to work on his first touch (with his feet—his chest and his head are doing a terrific job at the moment), but other than that he’s a constant threat and a big, if somewhat lanky, physical presence, something that we have missed in recent years and is still in fairly short supply in our current squad. (Bendtner could also mature into a strong forward player if he keeps working and learns from his mistakes.)

So, two perfectly taken goals and it was effectively game over, as long as the defense was up to it. Apart from a couple of ultimatey harmless mistakes, things went very well for Hoyte, Clichy, Gallas and Touré, and the rested Sagna was not really missed.

Where does this all leave us? At the top of the league, of course, with a 2-point lead over Manchester United. It still looks like it’s going to be a very tight contest, but the Gunners are well positioned, and it looks like they are finally getting over that little spell of insufficient quality over the past few weeks, which fortunately has not cost too many points. There are reasons to be optimistic, even though the season is obviously far from over.

One cannot help but think that the three results at home against Liverpool and away at Chelsea and Manchester United are going to play a crucial part. But these games are still a long way off, and the more immediate concerns are the various cup competitions in which Arsenal is still involved, i.e. the FA Cup, the Carling Cup and, last but not least, the Champions’ League with a double clash with the title holders from Italy.

3 Responses to “EPL 2007-2008: Arsenal 2 – West Ham 0”

  1. MaCinJay says:

    Hi Pierre, it seems we share passions: Mac computers and Arsenal Football Club. Not a bad combination!

    I am glad to see that the latter has recovered from their mini-slump. One reservation though – we are going to be hard-pressed now that Toure, Eboue and Song will not be available due to international commitments.

    It’s going to be true test of our strength in depth.

  2. Pierre Igot says:

    Welcome aboard!

    Yes, it’ll be a bit of a test, especially with Touré missing. Senderos has not been very convincing lately, and it’s a bit doubtful whether Djourou can actually do a good job. But the variety of the January fixtures (FA Cup, Carling Cup) make it probably the best time for “experimentation.” We’ll see. I am reasonably optimistic :-).

  3. MaCinJay says:

    Thank you, Pierre, I’ll be watching this space with great interest!

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