Arsenal Back in the Mix With Three Points Against West Ham

Ashish WesleySenior Analyst IOctober 27, 2008

Apologies for no game preview blog yesterday. My internet connection was acting up yesterday and that put paid to any attempts to get anything up.

It was a bit of a laboured Arsenal performance yesterday at Upton Park. All three points nevertheless and that's all that matters.

We started brightly enough in the opening minutes yesterday, enough for the Arsetard to think that we were going to run riot, but that was not how it panned out.

Robin van Persie and Theo Walcott came close on occasion and Almunia had to make a fine save from Bellamy, who was put in by Scott Parker, to completely open us up. Another shot from distance brought about another fine save from our number one.

A super run by Theo on the right channel ended up with him in the box and hitting the bar.

Arsenal came close again when Fabregas floated a ball in for van Persie to beautifully chest down to set up Theo, but Green pulled out a decent save to deny him. A couple of half chances for Arsenal and some pops from distance from the home team meant that the half time score remained 0-0.

I think it was more a case of us being less penetrative than West Ham being overly good. Arsenal picked up the pace towards the latter stage of the first half, but nothing was forthcoming. The central defensive pairing of Silvestre and Gallas did have their "moments" but I would have to admit it was much better than most.

We failed to pick up from where we left off in first, we were bossing the possession but failed to produce too many clear cut chances. RVP hit the post from a free kick and that was pretty much it until Adebayor who came on in the 67th for Walcott. Adebayor danced his way into the box past a couple of defenders to put in a cross/shot which Faubert turned into his own net for the opener.

You will have to admit it, Ade was the spark we needed to get the win and he proved it once more with a well worked second after a sublime pass from Bendtner, who didn't have his best game by any stretch of the imagination. A more detailed match report is here.

After the game Arsene remarked that we couldn’t afford to drop points today, he said:
“It is a big win for us because if we had come out of it with a frustrating 0-0 draw, we would have felt that we had wasted an opportunity to get closer to the top.

"For us it was important not to make a mistake and to take one of our own chances. We gambled a lot and fortunately we had some strikers on the bench and in the end that made the difference.

"We knew before the game that we couldn’t afford to drop points today but I must say that West Ham can feel frustrated because they defended very well and gave absolutely everything today. In the end we got a little opening, maybe they got a little bit fatigued in the last 20 minutes.”

So three vital points it was, especially since two of the usual suspects dropped some this weekend.

Arsenal now lie four points behind Liverpool, who conquered the Russians in their own backyard, one behind the Russians, and one ahead of the Mancs who dropped two points at Goodison on Saturday. That puts us right back in it. We did drop points early on this season, but we are hanging in there, tough games await us and we will have to step up.

Before that however its the rejuvenated Spuds up next at Ashburton. Our meek North London rivals picked up their first win and will be raring to go when we take them on this Wednesday. More on that later.

So long mates!