Arsenal travel to the London Stadium

Today’s pre-match is written by a long suffering West Ham supporter, hope you enjoy the read.

Towards the end of last season, the vertically challenged of the porn brothers was asked whether the club were about to offer Slaven Billic a new contract, given his impressive first season.  In classic Sullivan style, he said not yet as the owners wanted to make sure Slav wasn’t a one season wonder.  Many pundits thought this disrespectful and just plain wrong.

But over in East London, we have a bit of history in this area.

In 2001 Harry Redknapp was replaced by Glenn Roeder.  The supporters were rather perplexed as he hadn’t achieved anything from a managerial standpoint but by the end of that season Roeder led the club to a respectable 7th place .

Unfortunately his second season was nothing short of an unmitigated disaster culminating in relegation.  Quite a feat that with a team boasting David James, Jermaine Defoe, Michael Carrick, Paulo Di Canio, Joe Cole, Trevor Sinclair and Freddie Kanoute to name just a few.  Incidentally, many fans believe the first home game of that season set the seal on what was to come when 2-0 up with 30 minutes to play, goals from Wiltord and Henry denied the Hammers a winning start.  By the time of the return fixture in mid January – won via a skanky hat trick by Henry – we had failed to register a single win at home.

It took 3 seasons and two play offs to make it back to the promised land.

Fast forward to 2008/09 and early in the season, Alan Curbishley threw his toys out the pram following the sale of George McCartney to Sunderland and was replaced by the flair, but managerial inexperience, of Gianfranco Zola.  A respectable 9th place finish was achieved playing an attractive brand of football.  Although there was turmoil off the pitch with the Icelandic owners checking their bank statement and discovering they were more likely to be shopping at Iceland than at Harrods, supporters looked forward to the following season with great anticipation.  Incidentally the Gunners took 4 points from us that season with a 2-0 win at Upton Park followed by a hard fought 0-0 draw at The Emirates.

Sure enough, a combination of off field turmoil, second season syndrome and the arrival of the Porn brothers created enough instability to take the club spiralling back towards the Championship.  The only thing that saved them (and their paltry 35 points) were three worse teams in the shape of Portsmouth, Hull and Burnley who finished with 19, 30 and 30 points respectively.

That season also saw a reverse of the 2003 fixture between the giants of North and East London as The Hammers came back from 2-0 down (Van Persie and Gallas) to draw 2-2 at Upton Park.  Zola was dismissed at the end of that season but it was hard not to feel sympathy for him as that genius football club chairman David (Dildo) Sullivan weaved his magic wand in the January transfer window.  Desperate for a goal scoring forward he recruited Mido and Benni McCarthy who legend has it both signed their contracts at McDonalds on the A13 where they’d been holed up for 6 months gorging on Burger and Chips.  Unsurprisingly, neither registered a goal during their short but ill-fated stay.

Having failed to ensure relegation that season, The Porn Brothers recruited Avram Grant and sure enough, got the job done 12 months later.

So, fast forward again to now and what does the future hold following another successful first season for a new West Ham manager?  Well, to be honest, it’s not looking good at all.  Once again we have ‘off the field’ turmoil, this time between the club and supporters, who have now realised they’ve been sold 2 pups.

The first in the shape of an athletics stadium masquerading as a football ground.  The atmosphere at times is toxic and promises made a year ago by The Duchess, in a video promoting the new ground, have been proved to be outright lies.  A recent survey on popular forum ‘Kumb’ suggests only 35% of season ticket holders are certain to renew their season tickets next season. There is even talk of a protest tomorrow in front of the cameras.

Secondly, the move was sold as our chance to challenge the Premiership big guns by attracting world class players.  At the end of last season, buoyed by a seventh place finish and a prospective European campaign, Sullivan boasted about getting ready to sign a top quality goal scorer spending £25 million plus in the process.  But despite repeated attempts to entice Carlos Bacca and Arsenal target Alexander Lacazette to East London, we have ended up with a promising but untried striker from Man U, a promising but untried young striker from Argentina and a loan (with an option to buy) joke of a striker from Juventus.

Coupled with the obligatory Andy Carroll injury before the second Premiership game of the season (he may be on the bench tomorrow) and a sulking Diafra Sakho who came back to pre-season in a shocking physical state (is now injured again and out for 6 weeks having only just made his seasonal bow) we have had zero cutting edge.

We also failed to solve the problem right back position and managed to destroy the confidence of one of our best attacking players, Michael Antonio, by playing him in a back four where he clearly struggled. (and NO – we don’t want Jenko back).

Payet, without a target man to find, has failed to reach the heights of last season (there is actually a feeling that he has pretty much thrown in the towel and will be off in January), Ayew, who the club had a chance to sign for free last year, but stupidly paid Swansea more than £20 million at the start of this season has been out for pretty much the whole campaign.  Creswell has only recently returned from 4 months out only to get injured again at Old Trafford on Wednesday night (and also looks like missing out tomorrow).  Mark Noble, outstanding last season, has been poor and Lanzini, also injured before the season began has struggled to recapture last seasons’ impressive form.

We sit in 17th and with matches against you boys and then Liverpool away, we could soon be sitting in the bottom three as we head towards Xmas (and we all know what that means).  So the prospects for tomorrow are not great.  Our defence are unable to keep a clean sheet and we have no one to put the ball in the back of the net.

Big Raddy tells me he has a bad feeling about the game but I’ve known him for close to 50 years and he’s one of the worst predictors of a football match I’ve ever come across – I’m expecting a 2 goal win for The Arse with Walcott getting one and Ozil the other.

I also think Bilic will be gone by the end of the season (sadly) and the Porn Brothers and The Duchess still there (a bigger shame) but we will retain our Premiership standing (just).

Enjoy the game.

Written by WestHamBob

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141 Responses to Arsenal travel to the London Stadium

  1. TotalArsenal says:

    Brilliant short modern history post, WHB, and you even managed not to mention Sammy Alerdici 😜

  2. LB says:

    An extremely well written, informative and interesting read.

    I would bite your arm off for your predicted score today.

  3. Ant says:

    Ant and Duck are on their best behaviour with the home fans at the London Stadium today!
    Are you available as Minder, Eddie if it gets nasty?

  4. chas mobile says:

    Very interesting West Ham Bob.

    I’m always a bit wary of opposition supporters with exceedingly low expectations for their team. Probably because it’s what I do myself. ☺

    I would bite your leg off for your predicted scoreline.

  5. Ant says:

    I’d bite the cap off my beer bottle for that score

  6. Ant says:

    Don’t mention Andy Carroll

  7. Ant says:

    Has anyone any tips for how to keep quiet and look miserable if we score today and how to smile if they score?

  8. chas mobile says:

  9. Eddie says:

    I am busy, sorry Ant. Time for the two of you to man up.

    thank you WH Bob, always good to see it from the enemy’s side

  10. chas mobile says:

  11. chas mobile says:

    Eddie
    Can I borrow your Docs?

  12. Ant says:

    How can you be busy when we need you?

  13. chas mobile says:

    I think I’ll go on social media and abuse our own players.
    That should make them buck their ideas up, just like when I booed at half time and they won the game.

  14. chas mobile says:

  15. Rasp says:

    Ooh, does that mean that Aguero and Fernandinho get 3 match bans and miss the game against us?

    I wonder what Fabregas said to Fernandinho – must have been pretty bad 🙂

  16. Ant says:

  17. Ant says:

  18. Red Arnie says:

    Thank you Bob. 🙂

    Just made me realise how lucky we are. 🙂 I wish for your predicted scoreline. COYG 🙂

  19. Red Arnie says:

    shameful oilers. shame shame shame.

  20. Red Arnie says:

    ha ha ha, lovely vid, Ant. 🙂

    Good thoughts, Rasp. 🙂

  21. TotalArsenal says:

    Aguero could get four games, as it is the second time he’s done this this season. Worried about the Chavs though, they need to lose soon to kill off the momentum.

  22. Eddie says:

    wrong result, completely wrong. we can’t have chavs winning the league, please not again

    What happened to City? Did they have a goalie on the pitch?

  23. Aaron says:

    I said it before and I will say it again, $h*ty are fragile without Kompany.
    Looking forward to neutralizing carol with our hungry Defenders all the while scoring a few goals.

  24. mickydidit89 says:

    Cech, Gabriel, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Coquelin, Xhaka, Walcott, Ozil, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Alexis.

    Subs: Ospina, Gibbs, Holding, Ramsey, Elneny, Iwobi, Lucas

  25. mickydidit89 says:

    Thank you Bob

    Excellent read and much appreciated

  26. mickydidit89 says:

    I reckon Granit Coq will end up being our strongest combo in the absence of Santi

    However… in the absence of an attacking RB as well as the Santi loss, I think the 3-5-2 was the only fits-all-yer-troubles solution.

    Either that, or Ox at RB’ish

  27. mickydidit89 says:

    W’Ham

    Randolph, Reid, Ogbonna, Collins, Masuaku, Noble, Obiang, Fernandes, Lanzini, Payet, Fletcher.

    Subs: Adrian, Nordtveit, Arbeloa, Feghouli, Carroll, Zaza, Ayew

    If Payet is playing for a move, today may be the day he really tries to impress!

  28. LB says:

    Well that team really has put me in my place over the idea that Ramsey is undroppable.

    It’s quite encouraging though.

  29. mickydidit89 says:

    LB

    Yes, but you remain strong, as I’m sure you immediately followed up the realisation with another LB Fact Theory 🙂 🙂

  30. Red Arnie says:

    so. EFF is enjoying extended holidays

    COYG

  31. mickydidit89 says:

    Arnie

    Didn’t you see the agony of the French manager earlier when smashed in the head by paper

    Ollie is French. He hurt his bottom. These things take time.

  32. VP of Oz says:

    sanchez ozil quality goal, too easy

  33. mickydidit89 says:

    Very tidy, very nice

    VP
    What time is it?

  34. VP of Oz says:

    currently 5am over here
    kick-off was at 4:30am
    I was at a christmas party to midnight, then sleep on the couch until kick-off

  35. mickydidit89 says:

    Christmas Party. On the 3rd. Going to be a long month 🙂

  36. VP of Oz says:

    London weather: Capital braced for freezing weekend as cold snap continues… Meanwhile in Melbourne, 34 degrees expected today

    Also Man Shitty’s other club Melbourne City are doing very well this season. Maybe Pep should…

    and methinks Monreal is playing well

  37. VP of Oz says:

    Gabriel was calling out The Knee The Knee The Knee

  38. mickydidit89 says:

    Don’t worry about us VP, it’ll be going warm and wet next week 😦

  39. VP of Oz says:

    Warm and Wet you say… 2:32pm

  40. Red Arnie says:

    Micky. 🙂

    oh dear, fell asleep on the sofa and missed the goal.

  41. mickydidit89 says:

    VP
    I didn’t need to look up to which comment or pic you were referring to.
    You’re Australian and disgusting 🙂

  42. mickydidit89 says:

    Ox, despite a few howlers on the final ball, is threatening. Theo needs to move about a lot more.

  43. VP of Oz says:

    Thats what happens when you grow up watching Benny Hill on the telly

  44. mickydidit89 says:

    Mmm, Ox and Theo switched flanks

  45. Rasp says:

    We are living dangerously. We need to up our work rate or the hammers will be next to score. When Carroll comes on we have to make sure we don’t give free kicks and corners away

  46. Rasp says:

    It should be 1 all, we are inviting them to come on to us. Very poor, our midfield is ball watching when we’re not in possession

  47. VP of Oz says:

    Rasp we should have scored more than 1 goal in the 1st half.
    Hopefully we will prevail but at the moment it is worrying

  48. Eddie says:

    rasp – glad you said it 🙂 I am scared of criticising and being called confrontational or a doomer.

  49. Rasp says:

    Hi VP, we continue with the form of the last 2 months – 20% off our best

  50. Eddie says:

    undropable comes on

  51. VP of Oz says:

    How did we not score, two times the opportunity!!!

  52. Rasp says:

    Right no corners and no free kicks on the edge of the box

  53. VP of Oz says:

    Sanchez, love him

  54. Red Arnie says:

    fecking brilliant

  55. mickydidit89 says:

    Wow
    He deserves everything he gets in life. What a man

  56. Best player on the pitch by a mile. Love Alexis

  57. Eddie says:

    beautiful goal
    I jumped up to celebrate and knocked my laptop off the table. Broken screen again, bloody Sanchez

  58. Eddie says:

    and man of the match??

  59. VP of Oz says:

    Sanchez again, what a beauty again
    Eddie, LOL

  60. VP of Oz says:

    Awesome Ox

  61. Go on shoot. said I 😁😁😁 Well done Ox, a deserved goal

  62. mickydidit89 says:

    ohhhhhhh I love that

    Love the Ox. Had a great game and really worked hard

  63. Alexis hat trick 😁😁😁

  64. VP of Oz says:

    Sanchez hat-trick has now made us the leading goal scorers in the league

  65. mickydidit89 says:

    Wow what a cool dummy

  66. Eddie says:

    I suppose Alexi should get the MotM

  67. Eddie says:

    rasp @6:44 – again, I am glad you said it 🙂 living dangerously indeedy

  68. Eddie says:

    oh shit!!! My mother drank her morning coffee from a red Arsenal mug on an away day. I went mad with her and forbid her using Arsenal mugs especially on match days. I was sure that was bad luck!! I’d better apologise to her and make sure she uses red on on away days and navy on home game days. Sorted, we should never lose again

  69. mickydidit89 says:

    Chas and Ant
    Come in.
    Over.
    Are you still alive
    Over

  70. I hope Chas and ant are sitting somewhere they can celebrate, shouldn’t be too hard there are loads of spaces 😁

  71. VP of Oz says:

    great start to my Sunday
    Sanchez my captain in my fantasy team this week:-)
    1st half we squandered
    2nd half we plundered
    off for a 10km run

  72. mickydidit89 says:

    Absolutely wonderful second half.
    5-1 Damn that feels good.

  73. fatgingergooner says:

    Decent performance. West Ham were truly awful but will probably stay in the league. Could’ve been double figures today quite easily.

    I really enjoyed watching the spine of our team today and the partnerships that are forming. Kos and Mustafi read everything, Coq and Xhaka controlled the game and set up our attacks, Özil and Sanchez ripped them a new Arsenal hole.

    Good result and a promising start to December.

  74. Eddie says:

    aren’t the old regulars blog only when we lose? hi fatty 🙂

  75. mickydidit89 says:

    Guess Chas and Ant are dead

    Oh well, moving on, anyone got anything nice planned for the weekend?

    🙂

  76. Eddie says:

    50k tweets to BT Sports about Sanchez in just half hour

  77. Ant says:

    Oh dear..fatally injured..laughing at West Ham

  78. Ant says:

    We didnot even need Eddie..they had all gone home

  79. chas mobile says:

    Parachute mission behind enemy lines successful. Over.

  80. chas mobile says:

    Arms and fuel dumps secured and now in Allied hands.
    Over.

  81. chas mobile says:

    Apologies to W. H. Bob for doubting his assessment of the abject nature of the enemy.
    Still feasting on his leg.
    Over.

  82. LB says:

    Well that was very enjoyable, when it was 2-0 I was thinking, poor old West Ham Bob is going to loose an arm and a leg and Ant is going to hurt his gums opening the top off of of a bottle, however, at the same moment I did wonder if Bob might have a suggestion for the lottery numbers this evening.

    As it turned out it would have been money wasted as the 2-0 score line quickly evaporated but what is winning the lottery compared to watching Arsenal thrash West Ham 5-1, not a lot is the answer.

    I am out tonight having a life so I won’t be able to spend two hours writing a match report. Anon.

  83. Ant says:

    West Ham fans can be as moaney as the Arse ones..

  84. Ant says:

    I was thinking the same LB at 0-2 but then we disappeared majestically beyond the horizon..

  85. Ant says:

    What a super day

  86. chas mobile says:

  87. chas mobile says:

  88. mickydidit89 says:

    Agents alive. Good news 🙂

    Why do they always give Ant a plastic drinking vessel?

  89. chas mobile says:

    4 goals down our end.
    Good job really, the other goal was about a quarter of a mile away.

  90. fatgingergooner says:

    Hi Eddie,

    Not been on for a while and not been reading either (sorry!). What’s the general feeling towards the lads so far this season?

    I like our chances this year. Our consistency bodes well compared to other teams who are having tall highs and deep lows. We’ve had to change a lot of players recently compared to the beginning of the season yet our results haven’t suffered that much. Looking forward to watching Xhaka, Ramsey, Bellerin and Giroud come into the side and take us forward in January and February at a time when we usually drop off. If all teams had to play the same amount of games then we’d win the league this year (our squad is by far the strongest), but the fact Liverpool and Chelsea have no European games will probably see us fall short once again.

  91. Ant says:

    Cheer up fat and enjoy the ride in a plastic glass

  92. fatgingergooner says:

    I’ve no idea what that means Ant!

  93. mickydidit89 says:

    FGG
    We’re second three days after Nasty November. That is good news. Very good news.

    Liverpool have at least two more games in the League Cup, while we may only have two in the CL and one of those, Basel, may well feature the 2nd XI

  94. mickydidit89 says:

    FGG
    Any may not be feeling very well 🙂

  95. mickydidit89 says:

    Ant may not…..

  96. chas mobile says:

    I asked for a lid cup, but they’d run out.

  97. Ant says:

    I am feeling chipper and dandy thanks Michael

  98. chas mobile says:

    That beer was 6.8%
    Highly recommended.

  99. Ant says:

    After 44 sherbets Chas does not understand me either FGG

  100. Ant says:

    And we are re-loading on the way back!

  101. chas mobile says:

    Chipper and dandy

  102. mickydidit89 says:

    Is that blanket an opened up sick bag?

  103. fatgingergooner says:

    Had a couple of sherbets myself Ant!

    My comment wasn’t meant as a negative! I think we have a good chance of winning something this year and don’t buy into the Liverpool or Chelsea hype (are either really as good as is being talked about?), but I do think a lack of European football is a huge advantage these days. It’s not just the fact that you aren’t playing the games and the extra training time, but it’s also the emotional impact that you avoid when losing said European games and going out of the competitions.

  104. Ant says:

    I do not have a nice blanket and a red mohican!

  105. mickydidit89 says:

    FGG
    Wasn’t disagreeing. No European games is a massive advantage. Normally means you’re not very good either 🙂

  106. chas mobile says:

    Away colours. Vary sensible.

  107. Ant says:

    That’s great FGG. We can do it! But if we don’t, then we can all have great fun on the way!

  108. Ant says:

    Have you seen that ghostly figure behind..is it George Best?

  109. chas mobile says:

    The snoring is deafening.

  110. mickydidit89 says:

    Good top, sensible colours. Must have been an epic day.

    Nite all

  111. fatgingergooner says:

    How awful were West Ham today!? Even before we scored they didn’t look interested. What is the opinion of the new stadium? Suddenley doesn’t seem such a good deal for Hammers fans.

  112. Ant says:

    I know how to keep people amused!

  113. chas mobile says:

    Anyone’d think our company was boring. ☺

  114. Ant says:

    FGG, Wet Spam were awful. We won at a canter. The Stadium is excellent for next to nothing cost and they just need a few results. When they did have a chance the crowd did sing and would be really good if they start playing well. But they didn’t and we had a great time, but I think we may have hidden that!!!!

  115. Ant says:

    It’s like an old persons rest home around here

  116. chas mobile says:

    FGG

    I thought the stadium was pretty good, but it’s so far removed from Upton Park it might as well be on another planet. The fans near to us were oozing frustration at the lack of atmosphere.
    The Duchess’s rebranding exercise might take some time. If they get relegated (doubtful), it may begin to look like a white elephant.

  117. chas mobile says:

    The train from St Pancras to Stratford International takes 6 minutes. Absolutely brilliant for us. Two of the bars we went to had obviously been set up only recently to take advantage of the new matchday custom. Both were in old warehouse type premises. Shite toilets but magnificent micro brewery beer.

  118. fatgingergooner says:

    One of the worst home PL performances I’ve watched in recent years. Not taking anything away from us, but I’ve seen far worse teams give us a better game. Fair play to the fans if they gave some support because I would’ve been fuming. It should’ve been at least 8-1.

  119. fatgingergooner says:

    Can’t see them going down with the likes of Carroll back and Payet in the team. Not sure Bilic will see another season though which is a shame because I quite like him.

  120. Ant says:

    No they won’t go down. Nearly home in Blighty Nottingham. Love supporting Arsenal..nitey

  121. Ant says:

  122. chas mobile says:

  123. Red Arnie says:

    ha ha ha ha ha. great fun. missed much of the fun because of network issues. but look forward to vid clips in the motning. 🙂

  124. mickydidit89 says:

    Morning all

    If your tail wasn’t already bushy enough after yesterday, I just looked things up.

    Since losing to us, Chavs have won their last eight games straight in the league, yet we’re only three behind, and that after November.

    They cannot keep that up.

  125. chas says:

  126. chas says:

  127. chas says:

  128. chas says:

  129. chas says:

  130. Eddie says:

    what happened in that game? After the first goal it all looked wonky and I (and one other) started to despair preparing ourselves for a draw at best.

    And then something changed and we looked much better and that translated into 4 more goals.

    Was it Theo and Ox changing positions?

  131. Eddie says:

    ant – the biggest difference between you and I is captured in the photo @9:14. If it was me sitting in your seat the man would not be snoring.

  132. Ant says:

    I think there are a few more differences than just that! What would he be doing if you were there?

  133. Eddie says:

    he wouldn’t be there, sitting next to me.

    on a good day I would move to another seat
    on a bad day I would wake him up and ask politely to move seats

  134. mickydidit89 says:

    Thank God the sea is flat and surfing off. Bloody hell that’s a cold easterly, and taking all my clothes off does not appeal.

    Lighting a massive fire does.

    Where are the footbally bloggers and post writers. Have we scared them off? Do we care? What should we do? Anything?

  135. If anyone wants to do some player ratings I’ll put it up as a post …..

  136. Red Arnie says:

    “ask politely to move seats”. politely? 🙂

  137. VP of Oz says:

    whilst on the subject of trains…

  138. fatgingergooner says:

    Just seen the Spurs highlights this morning and they really need to change the penalty rules. How does Dele Alli being fouled whilst he’s heading towards the corner flag warrant a free shot at goal from 12 yards? Wether he’s dived or not is irrelevant, it’s the fact that the box is so big that you can give penalties away whilst players are facing away from goal and going nowhere. Seems daft to me.

  139. chas says:

    I’ve written some hurried ratings as I didn’t want today to pass without some acknowledgement of our fantastic day yesterday here on AA.

    New Post

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