Meet The New Boss … Same as the Old Boss

We are fortunate to have another of West Ham Bob’s posts about this fixture. Thank you Bob.


It all changed one Saturday afternoon in March. Burnley were the visitors to the London Stadium and there was a palpable sense of anger and frustration just waiting to boil over. Sure enough, all it took was a goal from Chris Wood to put the men from Lancashire 2 up and the game was up in so many ways. A well known supporter, affectionately known as Bubbles, strode onto the pitch and planted a corner flag into the centre circle, recalling a famous protest from the bad old days of the bond scheme. And the rest as they say is history.

The Dildo brothers, as they were affectionately labelled by the president of Sporting Lisbon, realised that two years of zero investment had to come to an end if they were to have any chance of holding together what was left of the club’s historical and loyal support.

Unbeknown to the fans, they had already agreed a deal with ‘that charming gentleman’, Manuel Pellegrini behind David Moyes back. If Moyes could keep the team up, Pellegrini would be in his place by the start of the 2018/19 season and he would be given wonga like no West Ham manager has had before.

And that is how we now find ourselves facing our first relegation six pointer of the season. It’s a little like Norway facing Norway in Eurovision. Nil Points for the Hammers and the Gunners.

Now I’m not going to be so bold as to suggest what’s gone wrong with the Arsenal. I’m sure Big Raddy and co are filling pages of this esteemed fan site discussing the teams failings (albeit against two top 4 teams). No, what I do intend to talk about, is why we have been so bloody awful.

You see, Moyes and the previously departed Bilic failed to solve our most pressing problem and sure enough. Pell has fallen into the same trap. Our midfield and defence is absolute gash. Our fullbacks are either lightning quick but unable to defend (Fredericks and Masuaku) or slow and laborious (Cresswell and Zaballeta). Our centre backs lack positional sense and are guaranteed to make 2 or 3 mistakes a game. We’ve spent £30 million in this area and have ended up with a South American who can’t defend (Balbuena) and a young prospect who is not deemed ready for the Premiership (Diop for £22 million).

One of the problems for our defence is a total lack of midfield protection. In our last match, our central midfield comprised Mark Noble and Jack Wiltshire. Now it’s all well and good investing huge sums on wide players, but when you’re getting overrun for 90 minutes, they tend to do good Stevie Wonder impressions – they never see the poxy ball.

Of course, after only 2 games it’s a little early and harsh to knock Jack and I’m sure he’ll be wanting to show Dick Emery what he’s missing, but I’m prepared to lay an extraordinarily large bet that he won’t be playing in a two with Nobes come November. The balance is just all wrong and Pell had better wake up and smell the coffee quickly.

Felipe Anderson and Yarmolenko cost £50 million between them. Once again early days but they both look like ‘luxury players’, and not necessarily built for the rigours of the Premiership.

Up front, Pellegrini has either played Arnautovic as a 1 or Arnautovic and Hernandez (where Arnautovic also seems to play as a 1!!). There’s a reason why Little Pea has never held down a regular place in the Premiership.

So how are we likely to line up at The Emirates?  In goal will be ex-gooner, Lucas Fabianski.  I expect Cresswell and Zabaleta to fill the full back positions and Ogbonna to get a new centre back partner in either Declan Rice or Issa Diop.

With Arnie up front, I think we will pack 5 into our midfield with Jack playing as a number 10.  Expect Carlos Sanchez and Pedro Obiang to sit, leaving 2 of Lucas Perez, Yarmalenko and Felipe Anderson to provide the pace and aimless balls up to Arnie who within 10 minutes will have a right proper face on.  That’s right gooners – your first three points are a coming.

written by WH Bob

A new feature will be the history of fixtures against our opposition compiled by our resident stat expert GN5.

Arsenal v West Ham United

Our first game against West Ham was an FA Cup game played at Woolwich Arsenal on January 13, 1906 it ended in a 1-1 draw, five days later we lost the replay 2-1.

We first met West Ham United in League Division 1 on August 27, 1923 in an away game that we lost 0-1.

So our history goes back 112 years overall and 95 years in League play.

Record in Division 1.

Record in the Premier League.

Our last 18 games. 

Based on our past record our home game against West Ham is very winnable and may be just the tonic the team needs.



93 Responses to Meet The New Boss … Same as the Old Boss

  1. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Great stuff from Bob. Could be about AFC couldn’t it.

    Daft Defence, Muddled midfield and Absent attack. Things waiting to happen as the new manager gets to grips with his squad.

    The stats are encouraging

  2. LBG says:

    Thanks Bob
    Look after our man Jack for us! (He will get a fitting massive welcome today, but we hope that’s all!)
    Good luck to the ‘appy ‘ammers for the season, except for today.

  3. LB says:

    Excellent read

    I have difficulty being sympathetic as the image of one of your lot running across the road to smash my brother in the face after a
    game long ago continues to hurt.

    I am sure, or at least I hope, my brother has forgotten but my helpless inability to do something at the time shames me to this day.

  4. Gööner In Exile says:

    Poor Jack, a midfield two with Mark Noble is not the place for him, he surely needs a minder and to be released where he can do some real damage to the opposition.

    I think Noble and Jack could be good together but with one other. But that one other is hard to find, we have struggled for years.

    Unlike LB I have always had a soft spot for West Ham, first because my Grandad gave me that white kit on my 4th birthday in June 1980 (those of more longstanding support will know what happened a month before and why my Dad was quite so upset). And also spent many Saturday afternoons as a teen on The terraces of the Boleyn with my West Ham mad mate. He’d also visit Highbury with me too.

    On to today unfortunately for us I think Pelligrini will spy a chance to stop the rot and play for draw and time. He knows (as do most clubs) that Arsenal are in a precarious position, and if this is the day the fans have marked to kick start the season then if they can frustrate us and deny us momentum the fans in the ground could turn quick and if they do then West Ham will start dreaming of more than a point.

  5. LB says:

    And back to happier things.

    This is my first game of the new season and I am jumping up and down with excitement, it is made all the better as I am going with my youngest son.

    We should win today but it is not a given. Losses against City and Chelsea were no real surprise but anything less than three points and toys could start coming out of the pram.

    A reverse would make Emery finally play the team he most favours; that’s to say, damn an individuals reputation I am now going to pick a team that will play the way I want. I don’t think we are there yet; he pandered against City and Chelsea and will do so again today to a lesser extent so with that in mind this is the team I think he will pick.


    Bellerin, Mustafi, GB, Monreal

    ——-Torriera, Guendouzi

    ——–Mykhitaryn, Ozil, Iwobi


  6. chas says:

  7. chas says:

    Gonna read the post on the train.

  8. LB says:

    The Wilshere thing is interesting. I have said to the point of boredom that he does not have what it takes to be an attacking midfielder — he doesn’t score enough goals.

    So if you look at Bob’s proposed set up for him above the only way it is going to work is if he converts into a Kante kind of player and attempts to give the defense some real cover. Failing to do that there is no reason for him to be there and also as Bob says — he will be gone by November.

    I expect him to have another kind of game we saw for so many seasons with us; that’s to say, underwhelming and probably subbed on 70 minutes.

  9. LB says:

    Is that illness in inverted commas or illness, ilness?

    If he is unable to play, Ramsey will start instead.

  10. Ants says:

  11. Ants says:

  12. LB says:

    A fine array of beers.

    You guys always look like you have great fun.

  13. Rasp says:

    Great work WHB … there is much to empathize with there … stopping short of sympathy though as I hope we put you to the sword today to kick off our season.

    Pace is an ingredient needed from back to front in the modern game, Wham seem to be lacking as much as us in that department.

    Let’s hope it’s an entertaining game full of memorable football …and the best team wins ….. us 🙂 🙂

  14. Ants says:

    Back on the train gang.
    Thanks BR, WHB, and GN5.
    The season starts here…

  15. chas says:

    Cheers WHBob.

    I love how Jack’s surname becomes the county name regardless of what shite team he plays for. 🙂

    Liking the description of the hammers’ defence, midfield and attack. I’m so hoping you are as shite as you make out.

    My first game of the season too, so I’m as excited as LB.

    I’m hoping we scrape a win.

  16. Red Arnie says:

    ha ha ha, thank you Bob, thank you GN5. 🙂

    I learnt a lot. COYG. 🙂

  17. Red Arnie says:

    excellent, Ant n’ Duck. 🙂 Let’s keep the travelogue going. 🙂

  18. Ants says:

    Hi LB, I’m on black velvet (draughty Guinness and cloudy cider) and it’s gorgeous. How could we not be happy?

  19. Ants says:

    Red Arnie!

  20. Ants says:

    Hows the beard oh coat less one?

  21. chas says:

    our East Midlands train today turned up with 5 carriages when it was meant to have 8.

    Result – standing room only. Anyone else get the impression the country’s infrastructure is falling apart?

  22. Ants says:

    Chaos on the train.. 8 carriages reduced to 5 at the last minute.. people hanging off the roof..
    But free snacks in compensation, sour cream pretzels, nuts, fruitcake and biccies already purloined..happy days

  23. chas says:

    Anyway, back to the match and something important!

    Laca for poorly Mesut – two up front to blow them away?

  24. Ants says:

    We’ve got a nice seat though and plentiful refreshments.. so no harm done

  25. Ants says:

    Mesut’s not ill.. Twitter claptrap
    Might as well play Laca anyway against Wet Spam
    Please Torreira plays..and no Ramsey as no 10

  26. chas says:

    But Rambo’s born to play number 10!!!!

  27. Ants says:

    He’s never played there!

  28. Ants says:

    The photo was from Market Harborough..

  29. Red Arnie says:

    ha ha ha, wonderful photo Ant. Brings back such happy memories. 🙂

    I am doing well, thank you. I see senior Vines LBG is very active here these days. How is JC doing?

  30. Red Arnie says:

    I have given up on trains in England long time back. too crowded and too expensive. in Botland much better

  31. RockyLives says:

    Thanks WHBob and GN5

    Exile’s comment at 9.13 sums up my feelings (fears) about today.

    LB – you big tease – you told us the team you think Dick will pick today, but you hinted at knowing the team he would really prefer to pick if it wasn’t for player reputations etc. Go on – what’s that line-up?

  32. Ants says:

    How’s the didgeridoo VP?

  33. RockyLives says:

    As for Jack, I liked his role when he was playing as a deep lying (Pirlo-style) creative midfielder for England when Woy was manager.

    Trouble is, you need good defensive support around you to play that role – maybe a 4-4-2 with a couple of defensive-minded players in there.

    Anyway, it’s Wham’s problem now, not ours.

  34. Ants says:

    RA – in terms of JC, he recognised who LBG was after about ten mins on phone. He then said “regards to your brother”… so we are debating which of Chas and I have been erased from the memory.
    Obviously it’s Chas as I am the one with the huge head.

  35. Ants says:

    When’s your next day release from Botlandd for a match RA?

  36. chas says:

    For Modric and Mandzukic read Douzi and Auba.

  37. Red Arnie says:

    top comment Rocky 🙂 had not thought about Jack this way, but now that you mention it. ditto

  38. Ants says:

    Ohhh Rocky Rocky

  39. Red Arnie says:

    November? any chance in November, Ant?

  40. Ants says:

    Walkers sultana and cherry cake from Aberlour on Spey as a complimentary is the nuts Arnie

  41. Red Arnie says:

    Just remembered the first time I met the Vines duo at a game. I had not booked a hotel overnight. you suggested Eddie’s garden may be safer than sleeping rough under the bridge. ha ha ha 🙂

  42. RockyLives says:

    That booze line up is very impressive chaps.

    I’d love to see your version of Great Railway Journeys of the World.

    (Great Railway Journeys of the Blurred, perhaps?).

  43. Red Arnie says:

    ha ha. Speyside has had more useful exports IMO. 🙂

  44. Ants says:

    Arnie- I love your world with no hotel booking .. but confidence in friends wherever you are.. staying anywhere near Eddies would be petrifying!
    Even Micky would be scared…plimsolls or not

  45. Ants says:

    London next after tube

  46. Red Arnie says:

    “petrifying” ha ha ha. 🙂

  47. GunnerN5 says:

    Morning all.

    Looking forward to the game, I’m hoping to see our team come alive. I remember well the Cup final of 1980 I drove around 400 miles through the mountains of Northern Idaho to Cranbrook B.C. to watch the game (no TV coverage in the US) which we lost 1-0. The only thing good about the drive back was that the clean mountain air cleared my poor aching head.

    Jack should receive a rousing welcome today, I always liked him and he was, yet another, of our potential greats whose career was wrecked by injuries – such a shame.

  48. LB says:

    An 800 mile round trip……………….

    I am left speechless.

  49. RockyLives says:

    That’s just an afternoon on a bike for you isn’t it LB?

  50. fred1266 says:

  51. fred1266 says:

    Mesut not even on bench

  52. RockyLives says:

    He’s “ill” Fred

  53. GunnerN5 says:


    I’d booked a hotel room in Cranbrook so I could watch the game. I arrived the night before the game and left the night after it was a beautiful drive.

    I was on 2 year managerial transfer to Idaho and stayed in a hotel alongside Lake Coeur d’Alene – absolutely stunning.

  54. fatgingergooner says:

    Expecting a fabianski masterclass today!

  55. Gööner In Exile says:


    German transfer window and French and Spain closes on 31/8. I do hope I’m wrong.

  56. fatgingergooner says:

    Odd seeing Wilshere in that blue kit. Feels like we are playing away and he’s still with us!

  57. fred1266 says:

    Ok thanks rocky

  58. fred1266 says:

    As always, fabianski always tutoring us

  59. Aaron says:

    Enjoy that kind of winning perspective!
    Part of the lineup is very strange-know Mesut is ill.
    Xhaka, Ramsey and Guen. Miki. Where is the pace there?
    Must be difficult at time to play with Iwobi and Miki as the enjoy many a touch and dribble. (3-6 touches, but who know how many at times)

    3 offside goals scored already this season..

  60. Aaron says:

    All off of Iwobi’s dribble into nowhere! FFS.
    Where is our bite in D? Can’t Bould just show them how to take on for the team now and then?

  61. fred1266 says:

    Get carved open to easy damn

  62. fred1266 says:

  63. fred1266 says:

    Finally Iwobi off let’s never see him in lineup again

  64. fred1266 says:

    Interesting how ever half time we have to make changes is they guy even know what he doing

  65. fred1266 says:

    I seriously fed up with this high line bullshit the FB no were to be found when a ball is lost

  66. fred1266 says:

    All arsenal players gone West ham

  67. Aaron says:

    Laca up top has really made a difference! Like Torierra’s crisp passing too.

  68. fred1266 says:

    Fabianski is a wicked man

  69. Aaron says:

    Did I just see the Arsenal slow up a counter? My goodness..

  70. Aaron says:

    Then Ramsey just let’s his guy go clean through on the counter. 1 step forward 2 steps back….

  71. fred1266 says:

    Are players even pressing?

  72. fred1266 says:

  73. fred1266 says:

  74. RockyLives says:

    Good to get the win.

    We looked much more dangerous with Laca on (and Torreira), but the openness at the back is a worry. We could have conceded three or four to WH breaks today.

  75. GunnerN5 says:

    A win is a win is a win but our defense is just shocking and we could have and worse still we should have lost the game. For the 3rd week in a row Bellerin abandoned his defensive responsibilities and left gaping holes behind him – which nobody seemed interested in covering.

    Two very calm finishes from Monreal and Welbeck were our salvation.

  76. fred1266 says:

    People keep sky bellerin has abandoned his defensive duty but I believe emery has told him to play that high up the pitch

    I saw no pressing today so him being high up is irrelevant

  77. Ants says:

    Superb win, always in control……( after 94 mins)

  78. Ants says:

  79. Ants says:

    Did you have the tv on Fred? ……no pressing

    It’s not a Chinese launderette

  80. Ants says:

    Fred, just put up the goals

  81. chas says:

    Majestic win, didn’t need to break sweat.
    Thank fuk West Ham were as shit as WHBob predicted.

  82. Big Raddy says:

    Some of our interplay was superb but there is little consistency. I didn’t like PEA being pushed out wide even if Laca gave us more “thrust”.

    The defence? We only conceded one, so things are improving.

    7.02. Beer (or in your case) cider talk 😀

  83. Gööner In Exile says:

    Raddy I often thought PEA gave some of his better performances coming from wide…..this I think is to do with how other teams setup in PL, they won’t give him space behind, so they drop deep, he loves running off shoulder of defender so out wide he has more opportunity to do this, and catch centre backs unaware, although the smaller player Laca is a better back to goal forward than PEA from what I have seen.

    As for the defensive frailties, if they are holding a high line on instruction then it is not their fault, it is the fault of the guys up top not pressing. Emery has said it is up to the whole team to defend without the ball. If they don’t press its too easy to get the ball on the counter.

    Which brings me to one of last seasons departures…..Santi…..he was quite good at pressing. Because in my view pressing requires a knowledge of the game and the ability to read the game. Understand the easy pass that needs to be cut off, so where to press, and awareness of teammates positions helps too.

  84. fred1266 says:

    Getting a bit tired of u cynics everytime I voice my opinion

  85. LB says:

    I’m tired, I can’t write anymore.

  86. Well you certainly wrote a lot LB, thank you. Nite nite

  87. fatgingergooner says:

    Observations after quite a few pints of stella!:

    Xhaka was good! I thought his passing was progressive, especially in the 2nd half, and he was disciplined defensively (for the most part).

    The left to right balance of the side in midfield was a real problem at times and cost us a goal in the first half. Geundouzi seemed to want to favour the left side but with Xhaka being left footed he also naturally drifted to that side and the West Ham goal came as a result as Anderson was allowed the freedom to run through the pitch untouched and feed Arnoutovic. I think when Torreira came on our balance from side to side was much better.

    I saw that Iwobi was blamed for the first goal but i would be very disappointed if we stopped our attacking players trying a dribble 70 yards from their own goal. We would be a boring side to watch if we didn’t let our attackers try to dribble at the edge of the opposition box. With 7 players behind the ball and 70 yards to go, Iwobi losing the ball shouldn’t have resulted in a goal.

    There were a couple of times in the first half where I felt we lacked urgency in midfield. We know Xhaka can be relaxed at times and i get the feeling that without the ball Geundouzi can go to sleep as well. I’d like to see more urgency in the middle. Torreira gives that.

    I thought Mkhitaryan’s movement in the first half caused West Ham a lot of problems and allowed Bellerin space to move into. Mkhi’ send product isn’t always what I’d like but he showed a much improved performance today.

    I felt we got a bit desperate at times when 0-1 and 1-1 and we lacked shape in attack. There were plenty of times where we had a straight line of 5 or 6 players across the box. When we got to 2-1 this changed with Ramsey, Mkhi and Lacazette happy to drop slightly deeper and all of a sudden we were able to sustain attacks rather than being countered on. This is something that City are so good at and it’s because the likes of De Bruyne and Silva stay behind the ball rather than getting in line with the attackers. It means that if the ball comes out of the box they have numbers there and they immediately get the ball back. With us, at times we had Monreal, Auba, Iwobi, Ramsey, Mkhi, Bellerin in a straight line with our CM’s 20 yards behind the ball. This left us prone to counters and gave us a lack of options when moving forward.

    I feel that reputation is a real problem for us. Teams know that they can leave 2 or 3 up against our defenders and they will create opportunities on the counter. You don’t really see this with the likes of City and Liverpool as teams know they need everyone behind the ball to stop them scoring. At the moment we don’t have that fear factor and it’s giving sides confidence. We need to become more ruthless and finish teams early to get a situation where we are dominating games again.

  88. chas says:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: