Arsenal vs West Ham, 1-0: Full time analysis and player ratings
Written by Chris on October 30, 2010 21:15
With Chelsea getting all three points against a determined Blackburn side, not doing the same would have been very bad for us but luckily, our mission was successfully accomplished.
As what you would expect from a bottom-of-the-table team, West Ham made sure to park the bus and work hard to earn a draw which they would have earned if it wasn’t for Alex Song. And that’s admirable to see because on a day when our creative midfielders failed to produce the magic, we managed to get all three points from an unlikely source although let’s face it, Alex is making it a habit of scoring important goals lately.
To be fair on them, the Hammers were very organised at the back and Robert Green’s phenomenal performance was one of the reasons why we had to wait so long to break the deadlock although it is fair to add that we again lacked sharpness in the final third where Marouane had a very disappointing game, Andrey did well but was disappointing with the end product and with Cesc and Samir who could have been involved more in my opinion.
Our defensive department – however – was top class and I can’t remember the last time I was satisfied with all five players back there. Lukasz was always ready to deal with high balls and those in front of him were incredibly focused and did their job to perfection, especially Bacary and Gael with the latter producing the so-important cross for Alex’s winner.
My only disappointment is again having to wait so long to see Arsene shuffling his cards. Clearly, West Ham were dealing well with whatever we were throwing at them so we needed something special, reason why I believe Theo and especially Nicklas should have been introduced earlier.
All in all it was a deserved win for us and even though we didn’t score as much as we did in our last couple of games and though it’s still early to conclude that we’re finally perfect at the back, all these clean sheets will go down as a tremendous achievement from the lads.
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Match Video Highlights
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Fabianski: 7 – Another very solid performance from Lukasz and as Arsene said on Friday, he is indeed growing in confidence as the instructions he gives to the other players clearly shows.
Squillaci: 7,5 – Brilliant game from the Frenchman who was rock solid at the centre, made sure to cover for Bacary when he pushed forward and forced Green into making a good save with a header.
Koscielny: 8 – The game in mid-week was the perfect warm up for Laurent who was again brilliant from start to finish against the Hammers.
Clichy: 7,5 – Didn’t push forward as much as he usually does but the run he produced in the final minutes of the game was simply outstanding.
Sagna: 8 – Yet another outstanding game from the Frenchman who was rock solid in the defensive department but also produced some very good crosses when attacking.
Denilson: 5 – Bad game from the Brasilian, especially in the first half, guilty of giving away the ball cheaply four times in less than 20 minutes. Recovered in the second half but not enough to put pressure on Jack Wilshere who will be back next week.
Song: 8,5 – Some of the things Alex produced this afternoon were simply top class. The through ball to Bacary Sagna in the first half was a ball Cesc would have been proud of and was of course the match winner as he again finds the back of the net.
Fabregas: 6,5 – Disappointing game by his standard. Twice denied by a superb Green and involved in many of our moves but looked out of sorts for long periods of the game.
Nasri: 6,5 – Went very, very close with a brilliant 35-yard effort and was at the heart of many of our moves when moved in a more central position though I feel he should have been involved more, especially in the first half.
Arshavin: 6 – Started really well, working incredibly hard and creating chance but very disappointing end product.
Chamakh: 5,5 – Very poor game from the Moroccan who did work hard as usual but should have done more, especially with his movement to meet crosses from both wings.
Walcott: 7 – Five minutes were all he needed to produce a great run and go close. It is clear Theo adds something special to our striking forward, can’t wait to see more of him.
Bendtner: No Vote – Eleven minutes on the pitch for Nicklas, full of runs but no real impact.
Eboue: No Vote – Only a couple of minutes for Emmanuel.