In recent fixtures West Ham Bob has written the pre-match for this London derby, giving us a view on things Hammery, sadly he is otherwise engaged so you will have to ….
My early recollections of WHU are not good and perhaps influenced my attitude towards our East London neighbours.
In the Days of Black and White, when Spurs had recently won the League, I was a North Bank regular. Every week there was violent competition to “take” the home end at away grounds. At WHU it was the Chicken Run, at Chelsea , the Shed etc etc and at Arsenal away fans tried to “take” the North Bank.
Being a peace-loving long-haired hippy, this violence was not particularly attractive and on Derby Days i would leave my regular spot (towards the back, left side of the goal) and go down the front with the other gentle folk.
The Hammers came to Highbury with fans dressed to kill (literally), a Young Hammer standing by me, pulled out a knife and moved towards me, thankfully an older lady pushed in front of me and told him to desist (in somewhat different language), and called the police to remove the future assassin. He was frog-marched out much to the delight and derision of the North Bank, but I was mentally scarred and have disliked WHU ever since.
The violence both inside and outside Highbury in those Dark Days was terrible to behold – the vitriol shown in yesterday’s post was nothing compared to those days.
Onto tonight’s game: Bilic seems a decent chap and wants to play good passing football in the Academy fashion, sadly he is let down by his players. The Payet saga was awful to watch, imagine how it would have been as a Hammer, to see a man turn from hero to hate figure in less than a season was yet another indication of how morally bankrupt some players are.The WHU fans joy at the removal of Fat Sam is starting to fade as they struggle to get results. What impact will this have on tonight? They will PTB, play hoofball and be dangerous at set plays. The midfield will become a battlefield with the usual rotational fouling. Andy Carroll.
We have to fight in a different way, move the ball quickly, avoid the physical threat, play smart. Unfortunately we seem to have forgotten how.
I would start with the same team as Sunday, perhaps giving Iwobi or Ox a start as we lacked creativity and urgency vs MC.
Bellerin BFG Mustafi Monreal
Ox Xhaka Ozil
Walcott Giroud Sanchez
Giroud adds heights at set plays, especially in defence. Welbeck may be best off the bench. Given Coquelin’s fine performance it may be harsh to drop him, especially in what will be a physical game, but Ox offers more.
BFG? I don’t understand why he is not getting games. Club captain, a fine, experienced player especially at set plays which seem to be both a major weakness and WHU’s main attacking weapon. Mertesacker has not had games in the youth teams like Welbeck etc. Why not? Mr Wenger says he is fit and in the squad but needs game-time. Tonight may well be a opportunity to give him that.
A clean sheet seems to be beyond us this season, so goals for are essential, WHU have more points playing away from home. Arsenal are struggling for fluency and confidence. Should be a good night.
We need 3 points and have the team to take them.
Let it be So
written by Big Raddy