FIVE things we learnt against Arsenal


1: Sam Allardyce’s system is not as defensive as we may have first believed,

I thought West Ham had a real go at Arsenal tonight. Against a team full of world class internationals West Ham tried their best to get forward at every opportunity. The tactical set up from Sam was much more offensive than I anticipated. It seems we are playing the same system as last season however since the additions of Ricardo Vaz Te and Matt Jarvis the system seems more offensive.

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2. Andy Carroll’s work rate is Epic

Andy Carroll was everywhere on the pitch against Arsenal, winning balls against the giant Per Mertesacker, defending corners, chasing back and pressuring defenders. People (most notably Fabio Capello) have accused Andy Carroll of being overweight and unfit. Carroll has proved his doubters wrong. Carroll looks like he means business when it comes to staying in shape and contributing to the team with a high workrate.

3. Kevin Nolan doesn’t have the Midas touch.

Kevin Nolan is the best captain West Ham have had for a good few years. Regardless of what you think of Nolan’s football ability his leadership skills are tangible however Kevin Nolan is in the team to score goals and he fluffed his lines tonight. Sam Allardyce has explained he signed Nolan to score goals rather than create them. Kevin Nolan found himself in at least two good situations against Arsenal and didn’t manage to capitalise. No matter how anonymous Nolan is during open play he usually gets it right when there is a sniff of a chance….. unfortunately it wasn’t the case against Arsenal.

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4. We have a lot of work to do defensively

The game against Arsenal was the first fixture against a genuine top four side and we struggled to contain their counter attacks. I hope West Ham can give a better defensive account of ourselves against other “top 4” teams. As West Ham pressed forward Arsenal exploited the space, Big Sam has famously denied top sides this kind of space in the past I hope we can do more to frustrate top four teams in the future.

5. Theo Walcott might be a centre forward

Theo took his goal very well, it was a composed finish. Theo has made it clear he wants to play up front and if his cameo against West Ham is anything to go by he prove to be a success in a central role if he is given the chance.

Thanks for reading,

Jason Hannen

Follow me on Twitter @JayHannen

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  • Gary Troia says:

    Can’t disagree with any of that.

  • Christian Dailly says:

    Good article mate. Agree with Kevin Nolan comment. He is a great captain but he didn’t have a great game, and missed a couple of great chances which may have swung the game the other way

  • Roy says:

    Good mail. Two things I thought worth mentioning demel gets beter by the game solid yesterday. Carrol was immense and even though I thought the Arse were better than us if carrols header when he outjumped the keeper had gone in or Nolan just after they had scored it would have been a different game. alladyce deserves full credit. arsenal useally smash newly promoted teams just look at S,hampton 2 weeks ago. We matched them for much of the game kept our shape and had chances to win the game. we are not playing like a newly promoted team and it bodes wellfor the rest of the season.

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