West Ham Preview & New Manager Race Hots Up

For the first time in a number of years, we head to West Ham in the role of party poopers. We’re four points from the bottom three with a win for tonight’s hosts joining us on 19 points. Goal difference keeps us above them unless we lose by four. Stop squirming uneasily; not even we’re that crap.

Despite our hopes of wholesale changes, Freddie is relying on experience, in his own words, which means more tomfoolery in the centre of defence from Sokratis and Sideshow Bob. Holding isn’t featuring as he recovers from injury and it seems Calum Chambers is Mr Utility on the bench. Unless Hec isn’t fit, then he’s the carefree right-back.

Look, Freddie’s thrown us a curveball or two with his team selections to no avail in terms of changing the club around. Duncan Ferguson wrought an immediate response from his Everton team on Saturday but the Arsenal players have given Freddie nothing but a flatulent reaction.

It’s shameful; completely shameful. This group of players ought to be embarrassed by their contributions. There’s no sign of that, however. It’s Radio Silence from Arsenal which as was rightly pointed out yesterday means that the stories in the press are how they have scant regard for Freddie and his ability.

It has more to do with the players not caring about Arsenal Football Club. To them, it’s a paypacket and one they have never earned.

At this point, I’d probably start with my hopes on how we’ll play and what we need to do to win. This picture says it all:

Yes, we need the ghost of John Belushi to save us.

Anyways, here’s hoping to three points.

Managerial Stakeout

There will be some interesting observers at the match. Marcelino, the poor man’s Emery, is reportedly in London to take in the game. Everyone seems jolly convinced that a man who won the Segunda Division in 2005-06 and Copa Del Rey in 2018-19 is the answer.

I must be out of touch with how good he is as a manager to not be overwhelmed by our interest in the man.

News we’re considering Niko Kovac is similarly underwhelming. Winning domestic trophies with Bayern is the same as winning them with PSG; when you don’t, that’s a more telling assessment of your managerial skills. Kovac did win them but was making a pig’s ear of this season. He didn’t last.

Rafa Benitez is in the Sky studio as part of their Monday Night Football so it will be amusing to watch him squirm uncomfortably when asked about being linked with the Arsenal job. Or smirk knowingly because he met with Raul earlier.

Raul won’t be pushing for a manager with the experience of the likes of a Benitez, Ancelotti and Allegri. These are guys who know what they want and won’t be fooled by him. They won’t be puppets.

It’s fairly obvious there is a power-grab going on at the club with board sidelined and prevented from adding football experience to their ranks. Irrespective of whether you like O’Leary or not, that move was blocked to stop people questioning those running the club on a day-to-day basis.

The wait for a new boss goes on with points poured down the drain. Every year, an unsuspecting club is pulled into the relegation battle. By the looks of things, this year is our year.

Emery Wanted What?

According to The Man Formerly Known As Ornstein of the BBC, Unai Emery didn’t want David Luiz or Nicolas Pepe last summer. He had loftier ambitions: Harry Maguire, Wilfried Zaha and Thomas Partey.

At least Kieran Tierney can feel wanted but going from Maguire to Sideshow Bob is one hell of a comedown. Surely there were players in between that we could have chosen?

I get that Partey was deemed too expensive but some of that could have been offset by selling Xhaka and/or Torreira.

Money is a recurring theme with Arsenal every year and is rearing its’ head in the hunt for the new manager. Benitez is apparently too expensive to release from his contract and Rodgers definitely is.

Hence the Poundland solutions of Kovac, Marcelino and Arteta. The latter won’t cost anywhere near as much to release from his contract as a proper manager.

I have serious misgivings about his appointment as Arsenal boss. He has acquired excellent experience as Pep’s second-in-command but his lack of first-hand experience of managing a team will always be a concern.

Mind you, failure is inevitable in football management. The sack is coming; it’s just a case of when, not if.

But those are issues for another day. Tonight, it’s West Ham and three much-needed points up for grabs.

Enjoy the match wherever you are watching it.

’til Tomorrow.

118 thoughts on “West Ham Preview & New Manager Race Hots Up

  1. Jonnygunner says:

    I’ll happily take the runner up spot….

  2. C says:

    Fuck defending, just attack and hope we can outscore them!

  3. C says:

    Line-up I want to see:

    Leno
    Bellerin—-Chambers—–Medley—–Sead
    Torriera—-Guendouzi
    Pepe——-Ozil——Aubameyang-
    Lacazette

  4. Set me free says:

    I just have this awful feeling that you are going to regret that line about stopping squirming because we’re not that crap. This is pantomime season after all, oh yes we are.

  5. Bufallo says:

    More sensible planning from above….lash out 70 million on Pepe a player we don’t need and then claim we don’t have the money for a manager who isn’t a free transfer or as good as. Never mind the fact it’s the most important appointment at the club. We are being trolled by the Kroenkes by the hour.
    But let me say Josh i share your excitement (about the value of your investment being massively eroded by your families totally incompetent management record). It will be wonderful if we lose tonight and wonderful if we are drawn into a proper relegation fight. More damage for the Muppet Show the better. Worst owners in the league, I’d rather have Mike Ashley, at least he will sell sooner rather than later (he’s currently in process with a buyer right now)

  6. Woolwich Freddie says:

    Wrote a comment on how we should play, then deleted it. Let’s be realistic: if we play with any semblance of a plan and a shred of pride, it will pleasantly exceed all expectations.

  7. Blue Yonder says:

    I read something on the weekend that posited that Freddie has lost the dressing room. Fatuous to think that after two games, but, on the other hand, it does speak to the players and their lack of gung-ho spirit which seems to be at the heart of the matter. And as long as that remains the problem, bringing in a new manager in a vain attempt to stop the rot isn’t likely to accomplish very much.

  8. Blue Yonder says:

    It’s been said before but I can’t help comparing the lack of desire evident in today’s Arsenal (particularly at the back) with that of the the early-Wenger years. The big difference today imo is the lack of a strong British component. Back then, the likes of Seaman, Dixon, Parlour, Keown, Winterburn, Adams, Wright, Platt, Bould (have I forgotten anyone?) were a strong core over a number of seasons and they led by example.
    Today, apart from Holding and Chambers, both of whom have had injury and form problems during their their development, there is no-one.
    MU in their glory days were similarly blessed with a strong core of British players but not so today and we see how they have struggled.
    We need foreign players – it’s an international game – but the EPL is a uniquely British game and to excel we need a British core.
    Here endeth the lesson for today.

  9. C says:

    Official team news:

    Leno
    Bellerin—Chambers—Sokaritis—-Tierney
    Torriera——Xhaka
    Pepe—–Ozil—–Gabriel
    Aubameyang

    Subs: Martinez, Luiz, Maitland-Niles, Guendouzi, Saka, Lacazette, Nelson

  10. andy1886 says:

    Don’t see how anyone can big up Arteta when he works for a club with the biggest budget, the best players, and the best manager in the country (if you believe the hype about Pep). Not sure how you can rate his input against all that. Funny thing is that he seems to have given them a dose of the old ‘Arsenal Defenderitis’ this season. It’s a ‘no’ for me.

    I encourage everyone to read up a bit on Raul (hope you don’t mind me posting a link YW) and see what we’ve lumbered ourselves with as Head of Football.

    http://youaremyarsenal.com/raul-sanllehi-right-guy-lead-arsenal-right-now/

    Would you trust this man to turn things around? Worrying stuff.

  11. andy1886 says:

    C,

    Actually not too bad given our options. Still wouldn’t give Xhaka the time of day myself but it could be worse.

  12. C says:

    andy1886,

    Tend to agree and I would put Guendouzi but it could work. I don’t think Xhaka is a bad player, and I do think a proper DM beside him could help cover for him. Xhaka HAS to be better positional wise because even though he is slow, positional he can be and do so much better.

  13. Bufallo says:

    Well that’s a more likely lineup but jesus xhaka, just shows how poor
    our options are. but don’t worry there’s over a hundred millions worth of
    substitutes in the wrong position..

  14. Arsetralian says:

    Yep that is the line up of hope
    Finally a balanced top 3
    A deserving start for Martinelli
    Ozil must pull the strings in his fave position
    Only doubt is 2 CBs but hey we are not spoilt for choice and DL plays best in back 3 to deselects himself
    COYG

  15. Dalm says:

    Some hope with the lineup – attacking promise

  16. C says:

    Leno as Player of the Month; rightly deserved. If he had a stable and reliable, in a good way, CB pairing infront of him, I think he would show that he is one of the best in the PL. He might not be Ederson or Allison, but he is definitely in that next tier and I even think top of that next tier alongside Schmeichel.

  17. C says:

    Bellerin hurt himself in warm-up so Maitland-Niles starts and Bellerin goes to the bench

  18. Alex Ice Cream says:

    Excited to see Martinelli in his first Prem start.

    COYG!

  19. Dalm says:

    Change from purple training tops to red jackets for pre match line up – must buy both now….

  20. C says:

    YW,

    Yea, just heard that. Bellerin seems to have felt a bit of tightness in his hamstring. Sounds precautionary.

  21. Noon Gunner says:

    We play slow motion chess as we advance into their final third. I’d be the first to applaud if this turned out to be a revolutionary new way to win PL games…but I ain’t holding my breath.

  22. Noon Gunner says:

    C,

    Sickening bad luck for the youngster.

  23. C says:

    So let me get this right, Cresswell goes flying in THROUGH the player both legs scissor and its not even a foul?!?!

  24. C says:

    Xhaka ducked out of that challenge!!!!!! Nasty deflection or I think Leno saves that.

  25. Andy says:

    I cannot remember the last time we was ahead in a game.

  26. Noon Gunner says:

    I’m afraid AMN should have stood in the way of that, not squirmed out of the way.
    C,

  27. C says:

    Noon Gunner,

    Yup, couple that with Xhaka at the last min ducking that header and you have us down 1-0.

  28. Spike says:

    C,

    Xhaka is the symbolic gleaming turd that represents everything about the Arsenal, right now.

    Fucking pointless.

  29. Adam Singh says:

    Do I need to change my sky package to watch Championship games? 😉

  30. Noon Gunner says:

    Ozil looks as if he’s convinced he should be in a better team…great for morale.

  31. Spike says:

    Noon Gunner,

    Ozil can fuck off as well.

    I dont care how much he is on. He shouldn’t be playing either.

  32. Spike says:

    For some reason, I was positive about tonight. I had faith in Fred and am prepared to give him time to turn things around. I also quite liked the line up (Xhaka excepted of course).

    But, now?

    Theres no fucking way we are scoring two goals in 45 minutes!

  33. Bill says:

    Plenty more useless ball possession and meaningless passes. They outshot us 5-2 and out score us even though we had close to 70% of the ball

  34. G4E says:

    1 more Defeat and a Draw and we will be in Relegation Zone. Which can happen very easily in the next couple of games.

    Something happened and those players don’t really want to play for this club, or maybe the leadership.

    They just can’t all turn into lemons?

  35. Dukey says:

    Can anybody name three worse teams than us? I can’t. We are pitifully woeful and if I see another six passes in a row between our keeper sokratis and torriera I think I’m gunner throw up.

  36. Paulie Walnuts says:

    Desperate.

    The same players letting us down continually.

    I’m not sure what Freddie can do. Look like he’s interested maybe.

  37. Birdkamp says:

    This level of ineptitude needs humour. There’s no other way to cope.

  38. Dukey says:

    Ozil needs to come off he is shocking. Put saka no 10 or Pepe no 10 and put saka out wide.

  39. andy1886 says:

    £350,000 a week for Ozil is £349,999 too much.

    Xhaka should be paying us, and we’d still be being robbed.

    Both out in January please (is there anyone stupid enough put there?)

  40. Bufallo says:

    Well done Xhaka…..really bleeding for the shirt, i’m sorry but FL is clearly incompetent if he think it’s sensible to select him over a piece of fudge.
    Manager bounce, every club but us. We are a managerial quick sand.

  41. C says:

    Pepe is clearly lacking in confidence, I may pull him off for Lacazette.

  42. Bufallo says:

    We are so f-ing good, it’s an achievement.
    Get these ghastly crooks out of our club

  43. Paulie Walnuts says:

    Birdkamp,

    Looks like most of our lads are involved in some kind of betting fraud.

  44. C says:

    Gabriel!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Torriera has been giving everything and is buzzing and he made that happen.

  45. Bufallo says:

    One player at the club worth keeping, that’s something i suppose.
    The kid is extraordinary. Mentally head and shoulders above the entire squad.

  46. Bufallo says:

    disgraceful by ozil
    375k per week, too scared to shoot.
    just what we need

  47. Paulie Walnuts says:

    Haha. . .football. ..bloody hell

  48. Bufallo says:

    delighted for pepe, lots of crap being talked about him. he’s had a relatively decent start. but doesn’t change the fact he was a moronic buy given the whole picture
    how on earth are we winning this game ?

  49. Bufallo says:

    okay i take it all back FL is a genius, we’re going to finish top four.
    but how has this happened….it’s so random.
    well done lads, thought you had totally bottled it

  50. C says:

    Aubameyang!!!!!

    Ozil driving forward with pace, Pepe with a lovely assist and Aubameyang does what Aubameyang do!!!!!

    3-1 and what the fucked spurred this on, Torriera buzzing about and Gabriel’s desire to get that goal.

  51. C says:

    My god this team was so lacking in confidence, and now you see the confidence returning.

  52. Spike says:

    C,

    Takes a second to lose confidence and weeks to get it back.

  53. C says:

    Spike,

    Yea but that goal and assist might be just what Pepe needed confidence wise and if he pushes on from this, it will be worth it.

  54. C says:

    Then again, Xhaka’s passing is more than capable of gifting West Ham.

  55. C says:

    Xhaka is down and saying his head from when the ball was banged against him

    On comes Guendouzi.

  56. Buffalo says:

    good touch from FL with Pepe there…

  57. C says:

    What a ball from Ozil there.

    Gabriel or Torriera are my MOTM

  58. Spike says:

    Oh my god!!!

    I’m all a quiver!!! Cant remember feeling like this!!!

    We’ve actually won a game!!!

    Come on!!!

  59. Paulie Walnuts says:

    Always great to win a relegation 6 pointer.

  60. Bufallo says:

    Good moments at the end with players and FL….encouraging.

  61. G4E says:

    Wow…I can’t believe it, did we actually win. 3 goals in 9 minutes?

  62. Alex Ice Cream says:

    That was so badly needed.

    Yessss!

  63. SV says:

    I’ll be happy with just staying up as long as there is a clear direction and hope.

  64. Jonnygunner says:

    Ozil needs to fuck off…and soon.
    He had a chance of at least putting his left foot through the ball…and…sideways/backwards pass.
    Granit needs to share the taxi with him.

  65. Fell says:

    And breathe, great result if not a great first half performance… or was that my stream?

    But am I the only one to notice at the end Torreira running over and making a point of giving his shirt to a fan’s son?

    Who was the fan?

    DT of AFTV notoriety which begs the question of how much attention do the players pay to it?

  66. Woolwich Freddie says:

    Nice to win for once. I feel Pepe could be good given a chance to get used to the league. Martinelli sharp again.
    Obvious reservations but I think they can wait til tomorrow. Except this one: Xhaka can still fuck off.

  67. nicky says:

    A poor game except for the last 40 minutes. We persisted in passing the ball as though the game might be won by their number.
    Our equalizer came from Martinelli, who continues to shine.
    The goal seemed to revitalise Arsenal, as though the team needed a rare boost. Passing became crisp and positive and was rewarded by two individualistic goals from Pepe and Pea.
    Whether this result will represent a revival remains to be seen.
    Next Monday night’s home game versus Man City suggests though, that it may not now be the pushover that the pundits forecast.😎

  68. Welsh corgi says:

    Wow, the second 45 was something else. Like we’ve found some belief and that we can play possession and control a game. It’s the best 45 I’ve seen since we beat the spuds 4-2!

    I think we’ve turned a corner. Chambers as cb and no sideshow bob, Torreira as dmf and no nr 10, Auba as striker and Pepe as right side and Martinelli on left. Maybe Ozil can find his mojo after some games?

  69. Jonnygunner says:

    nicky,

    Well Nicky….you forward me your number,and I’ll ring you on Sunday evening and tell you the result……

  70. Blue Yonder says:

    What a relief, and not just another 1-0 nail-biter! And this is the kind of result Arsenal should be getting against the lower clubs. Well, let’s see if we can build on it.
    I’m puzzled how Xhaka continues to start but at least he can’t say he isn’t getting every opportunity.
    Ditto for Ozil, who, it seems, has hung up his boots, He just forgot to tell anyone.

  71. Freddo says:

    Torriera, Torriera, Torriera. He defends; he slip through beautiful through balls and he gets into the box to shoot. I thought that Emery playing him high was sensible because it improved the press. Wrong! Then you lose his ability to tap the ball a couple of times to find space and hit a lovely through ball that opens up the opposition. A possession side like arsenal has to have someone like him at the base. Xhaka is useless at that because he’s got no quality on the ball.

    As for Pepe. Yeah, you can close down his left foot. But then he has that beautiful shimmy that takes him straight to the by-line. Dunno how you defend him one-on-one.

  72. Woolwich Freddie says:

    Sorry, I don’t think we’re out of the woods yet by a long shot. Maybe we should just enjoy tonight for what it is: a rare win with some nice goals but plenty of problems. Thursday is a good chance to build on this before a chastening at the hands of City.

  73. Bill says:

    Hopefully this will be the start of the run of good form I have been expecting. The problem is Man City Chelsea and Man U coming in the next few games make it unlikely we can put together a run of good results before the new year. A 10-12 game unbeaten run in early 2020 should drag us back into the Europa league spots.

  74. Tony Ikpo says:

    Spike,

    Hey Spike, couldn’t see us scoring 2 goals could you?

  75. Wailesy says:

    Swap Xhaka out for Luiz and Ozil out for Ceballos and we might nick a point in the next 3.

    Let’s not lose sight of how poor West ham were 2nd half.

    Not to mention they were unlucky not to be 2 or 3 up by the time we found the net!

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