All cut but no thrust for Arsenal against defensive Hammers

The proverbial bus made it’s regular visit to the Emirates Stadium as Arsenal fail to break down a defensive West Ham side.


Arsenal 0-0 West Ham United

Before the game Wenger talked about why he wants Andrei Arshavin stating that the Russian could deliver in the final third, individually and collectively. “You need always to have a creative unit if we want to play the kind of football that we want to play. We want to play the ball on the ground, move it quickly and then you need the players who can do that because now we play against teams who have 10 players at the back.”

It was the case once again as West Ham defended in front of the box while Arsenal, for all their neat passing around the box didn’t have the thrust and dynamism to break through. Passing the ball around the box suited such a game plan but the second part of West Ham’s plan, the counter attack, was non-existent. An early goal was required by Arsenal to force Zola’s team to be more adventurous but as the game wore on, mentally and physically his players tired and in the end West Ham had no real option but to defend. Parker, Upson and Collins were the three stand out performers but all players worker their socks off.

Nicklas Bendtner had Arsenal’s best early chances with two headers as crosses looked like the only way through. Emmanuel Eboue showed glimpses of his talent with his interchangeability and fluidity but the play became congested in the centre. Samir Nasri was having the best of joy, twisting and turning and beating Lucas Neill for pace but understandably still not as comfortable with his left foot.

Eboue’s injury in the first half forced Wenger, excluding Robin Van Persie to play the players in the positions the fans were asking for before the game as Vela and Bendtner went out wide while Nasri played behind Adebayor.

In the second half Denilson was pushed forward as the more advanced central midfielder but both changes to the system weren’t very effective. Bendtner was withdrawn for Van Persie in the second half which meant the threat in the air and directness displayed against Bolton went. Adebayor had Arsenal’s best chance from the counter attack which at the time seemed an improbable and priceless commodity. Sagna’s low ball into the box was poked wide by the Togolese striker as one could sense the match was slipping away.

The defensive tactics displayed makes these one of those games which can be analysed by what you didn’t see. Stretching of the play, direct and dynamic attacking from all angles and the movement to force the defenders to be dragged out of position and away from their game plan.

Arsenal: Almunia (6), Sagna (6), Toure (7), Gallas (7), Clichy (7), Eboue (6) [Vela 36 (6)], Diaby (5) [Song Billong 90], Denilson (6), Nasri (7), Adebayor (5), Bendtner (6) [Van Persie 68 (6)].
Subs Not Used: Fabianski, Ramsey, Djourou, Gibbs.

West Ham: Green, Neill, Collins, Upson, Ilunga, Behrami, Parker, Noble (Nsereko 70), Collison, Cole, Di Michele (Boa Morte 83).
Subs Not Used: Lastuvka, Lopez, Spector, Tristan, Sears.

Ref: Steve Bennett (Kent)
Booked: Diaby, Vela.
Booked: Collins, Neill.
Att: 60,109

63.1% Possession 36.9%
22 Shots 2
3 Shots on target 2
1 Saves 2
13 Corners 3
13 Fouls 12
1 Offsides 4
2 Yellow cards 2
0 Red cards 0
28 Tackles 33
526 Accurate passes 270
120 Unsuccessful passes 31
71.1 Territorial Advantage 28.9

5 thoughts on “All cut but no thrust for Arsenal against defensive Hammers

  1. i decided to do my own match commentary for this game. as i went along and watched it. I only could do the first half, as i decided to go join some buddies for the last half…

    worst line up ever..embarament of a line up at home if you want to contend for the title..eboue, bendtner..ade to some degree..gallas/toure combo..all of arsenals problems in one basket.

    10 mins in..

    the commentator – “2 really big players to get on any cross in the box..”just as they say that clichy runs down the wing, pressure free chance and he whipped the worst cross in possible,it lands all the way to the other touchline…

    – wtf EBOUE as our main playmaker????terrible shooting attempts.he was the only one on the ball first 10 mins or so

    EVERYtime he dives (Eboue) he complains..arms flying in the air

    -diaby just lunging for balls and tapping away (does that all he do??)

    16 mins
    denilson IS NOT A FREE KICK TAKER!!!-

    nasri great along the lines one in the BOX at the right positions to receive crosses. nasri crossed the ball to the only arsenal person in the box ,bendtner, and he was in a horrible position..we are terrible on counter because we have no one in the box ever!

    west ham just taking whatever arsenal are giving which is nothing!. lots of possession, passing around, no penetration
    sagna cant cross that well either.. (i have been saying this about clichy and sagna all along.poor crossers..look at man u, chelsea, barca…driven balls, great crosses, great opportunities, many goals!)

    32 mins
    commentator “teams are getting better and its not as easy for arsenal to get through.” dufus.. our team has no creativity or vision, aside from nasri, and he cant be on the ball all the time..especially when he has NO GOOD SUPPORT, aside from clichy standing 10 feet in front of him and denilson in the center, and eboue trying to play the free role..

    VELA!!! YES!!!, hopefully its fro eboue!!
    YES!!!! (After eboue makes a “great” run down the line.bitch)

    instant impact with vela! so much better than eboue already and been on only 2 mins,
    another denilson horizontal pass (wing to center)….nasri hurt???he is pretty fragile

    bendtner is striker. why is he playing behind sagna..why do our strikers not play in the box where they can recieve the cross..bendtner is never in the right position..and ade, seems better..a lil slow though

    another clichy mistake..westham posing threat here..lucky clichy was at the post..bastard saved his own ass…i notice a decent amount of empty seats in the lower portion of the field…

    wow..questionable half…lots of arsenal possession, no final attack in the 1/3.. no creativity, poor positioning.

    i am glad i didnt do the second half..aside for a few good plays, some nice build up and a few headers we did nothing new…
    we need help soon!

  2. Credit to West Ham. They were quite organized and disciplined. Adebayor were presented with 2 sitters but failed to convert it. How many chances does he need? He must buck-up! We can’t always depend RVP to win games for us. Others must play their part too.

  3. It was a disappointing draw but it wasn’t because Arsenal played so badly. In the final third there was no sharpness. The whole team, apart from Nasri and Vela after he had just come on were altogether too timid around the box. It’s all well and good to work the ball around the box looking for the opportunity to play a killer pass, but Arsenal weren’t looking for the killer pass, they just seemed to want to keep it moving around the box. The passing needs to get quicker, more interchanging runs need to be made inside the penalty area, and someone needs to flick the ball into the box. These players are good at the short passes and flicks to set up shots in the area, but no one is initiating these with good passes and movement. On the plus side, defensively we were immaculate. Everytime West Ham had the ball there were players nipping in to win it back. I thought Diaby and Denilson played very well as the 2 man shield. We haven’t seen that recently and its a good platform to build on. All Arsenal need now is some incisiveness in the final third, players willing to take the risk of losing the ball on something other than a cross. Hopefully Arshavin’s arrival will help with this, and we’ll certainly be scoring much more freely when the injured players return.

  4. 526 Accurate passes 270
    120 Unsuccessful passes 31

    23% incomplete passes 11%

    i would rather be westham and have the less pass with higher pass rate. this is the same stat that makes denilson seem like such a good passer..he makes soo many passes, but most of them are 10 feet to the left where no one is man marking.

  5. same o same o, its a knowen fact arsenal want to finish 4th as long as we get in to the chapionship i think the board and mr wenger are happy , but we dont want arsenal to be only a chapion qualified team
    we want to win , when was the last time we won anything? come on people we are not doing good may be its time to say good bye to wenger
    we need a new blood new manager some one who wants to win anything

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