We have a treat as our season opening Pre-Match-, Young Bob has written another post. I hope you enjoy his analysis of today’s opposition ……
Big Raddy and I sat in a bar/restaurant in the Malmo sunshine last Wednesday eagerly anticipating Mission Impossible II (Malmo needing to win by three clear goals vs Red Bull Salzburg) and our thoughts turned to the season opener back in blighty where the mighty hammers are due to arrive at the Emirates as cannon fodder for the 2015/16 Gooners.
Following my article last year when I described 10 memorable Arsenal vs West Ham clashes, Raddy posed the question as to what I might like to write about this time. “How about a look at players who have played for both clubs” I replied. We then sat and named at least 10 players who had worn the finest silks of North and East London clubs (can you?). And interestingly we couldn’t think of a single player who moved from East to North! Anyway on my return home I decided to do a little more research and found some other smart arse had already written said article. See link below.
So, as an alternative, I thought it might be interesting to preview the game from the perspective of a die hard hammer.
The Hammers arrive at the Emirates with a new manager – ‘Honest Slaven Bilic’ (just ask Laurent Blanc) and the promise of a return to The West Ham way, something Big Fat Sam decided didn’t exist. And the pre-season signs have been promising with build ups from the back and short passing through midfield.
At the back will be a debutant by the name of Angelo Agbonna, signed from Juventus for approx £6,000,000. The jury is out as he’s looked a little ropey in pre-season, but an Italian defender can’t be all bad can they? Joining Angelo at the back will be Arron Creswell (great going forward and average at the back) Joey O’Brien (just cack at everything he does) and one of James Collins, Winston Reid or James Tomkins with Reid being the pick of the three.
Our midfield is expected to feature two holding players in Mark Noble and Cheik Kayoute and three more forward thinking players in Mario Zarate, Matt Jarvis and Dimitri Payet. Up front, ploughing a lonely furrow will be Diafra Sakho.
Noble will look like a decent player for 30 minutes or so, but for all his positive attributes, he’s incredibly one paced and chasing Arsenal’s quick moving passing game around the Emirates will end up with him looking like Hattie Jaques chasing Benny Hills Angels around a hospital car park. Kayoute is an excellent player with leg’s longer than Jerry Hall’s. I expect him to move on to better things within the year.
Moving on to the attacking prowess of the rip roaring hammers.
Jarvis used to be one of the best crossers of a football since Georgie Armstrong. Now he just runs down blind alleys and the end product is non-existent. Zarate could be anything, but most likely shit! Signed by the porn brothers, discarded on-loan to QPR by BFS at the beginning of January, he was deemed unfit by Rangers, and nearly sent back to West Ham before the end of January. Loves to pass, mostly to himself. Payet however looks to be different gravy. Top of the assists stats in France, he looks more like a Gooner than a Hammer, but if he sees enough of the ball, may just cause your lot a few problems.
And up front will be our outstanding success of last season. Sakho could of course turn out to be a one season wonder, but I’ve got a feeling he’ll score another decent number of goals, ably assisted by Payet.
So, to my prediction. Unfortunately I think Walcott and The Ox are likely to rip us a new one and I expect Arsenal to win by 3 clear goals. However, in the spirit of last Wednesday when Malmo beat Red Bull 3-0 to progress to the next round of CL qualifying – you just never know!!
written by West Ham Bob
As to Big Raddy – well my initial focus this afternoon will be the team selection. Mr.Wenger has the “luxury”(?) of JW and Sanchez being unavailable, however when all are fit how will he arrange the team? Will we play with a front line of Walcott up top and Ozil, Sanchez and Ox zipping about behind him. Or will it be OG who is the fulcrum with Theo terrifying the opposition FB’s? Personally, I would pick The Ox as our right sided forward as I think he is about to develop into a true world-class player which will bring our complement up to 4 (Kos, Ozil, Sanchez or 7 if you include Santi, Cech and Aaron)
This is Cech first PL game as an Gooner, a fine signing and a top player. I wish him well.
Whomever lines up in the famous shirt will be expected to start the season in style and with 3 points. We need to win games like today and not give our rivals a head start as we did last season.
My hope and expectation that Bob is right ….. Theo and Ox will rip them a new one (but I expect OG to start)
BTW Can you think of any players who have moved from West Ham to Arsenal, we couldn’t!