After the cup games, that was one very refreshing performance from Arsenal. There were a few hiccups at the back but upfront and in the middle we were just brilliant. The way we moved, passed the ball and created openings was a delight to watch. The whole team helped each other out and showed great understanding amongst each other.
The defense was a bit shaky yesterday but only the right side and it was mainly due to bad positioning of Eboue compounded by some bad decisions from Djourou. However, they both improved in the second half.
In middle, we passed the ball around well and kept a high tempo. We never gave space to West Ham and whenever they got the ball, Song and Wilshere would cut them off nicely.
Upfront, the movement was also very good. Everyone combined nicely and the finishing was excellent.
Coming to player ratings:
Szczesny (6.5): An overall good game from him. Made some excellent saves and his distribution was also fine.
Clichy (7): Another one of his better games. Defensively was good and helped in attack by providing good width. His pass to Van Persie that led to the second goal was brilliant. However, needs to improve his crossing.
Koscielny (7): Brilliant game from the Frenchman. No usual mistakes and was always quick to close the opposition down and clear the ball. Made some vital tackles and clearances and aerially was also better.
Djourou (5.5): He was the guilty party in defense yesterday after committing a lot of uncharacteristic mistakes. His decision making was very bad. However, he did improve in the second half. I hope it was just a one-off.
Eboue (5.5): He leaves his side very exposed and I feel it was the main reason for an uncharacteristic performance from Djourou. Was always caught out of position in the first half. Did improve in the second half and made a couple of good runs. However, he needs to be aware of what is happening around him as at times he looks aloof.
Wilshere (7.5): An excellent game from the young Englishman. Great in cutting off the west ham attack and he always found the right pass. Was never afraid to hold the ball and was involved in every move upfront. Could have also scored a goal. However, he needs to improve his touch and off the ball movement.
Song (8): Another dominating game from Song. Was a beast at the back and skillful while going forward. Broke up west ham’s play with ease and linked up play with the forwards nicely.
Fabregas (8): Another captain’s performance. It wasn’t anything flashy but a very effective game. Didn’t get any assists but was at the heart of everything. Dropped back deep to bring the ball out, combined brilliantly with Nasri and Van Persie and showed good work rate.
Walcott (8.5): Had a slow start but went onto have a very influential game. Got an assist on the first goal, scored the second and won the penalty for the third. Enough said!!
Van Persie (9): This is what we have been missing. He really is a treat to watch. Linked up play nicely, created space and openings, scored goals, got an assist and played the full 90 minutes. He needs to stay fit for sure.
Nasri (7): Didn’t score goals or get any assists, but still he showed his brilliance. Combined really well with Fabregas and Van Persie. Made some good runs with and off the ball. And a great step over on the first goal.
Denilson, Arshavin and Gibbs had too little time to make an impact. No ratings for them.
In the end I would just say that the result speaks for the performance itself, ‘Three goals and a clean sheet’. I only hope that we continue with this in all competitions and whoever starts for us in the coming games puts up similar displays.