There’s a familiar pattern which punctuates every West Ham and Arsenal encounter, that pattern happens to be West Ham take a shock lead and Arsenal come storming back and win the game comfortably and its happened in each of the last four league games.
On Tuesday night after Matt Jarvis headed the Eastenders in front it was vital that they clung onto that lead until half time; the home fans (those that could be bothered to turn up) would in all probability have booed the Gunners off and cranked up the pressure on top four chasing Arsenal; a pressure West Ham could’ve exploited into a desperate situation; because defeat was truly unthinkable with Everton at the time sitting above them in the league and this is Everton not Spurs; unlike the lilywhites they’re not guaranteed to bottle it.
As soon as Lukas Podolski equalised mere minutes after Jarvis had put the Cockney boys 1-0 up it gave license for the all too familiar and all too predictable West Ham/Arsenal pattern mentioned at the start of this article.
The first half performance at the Emirates was full of promise and good football; the 2nd half had an air of inevitability about it. We do seem to lack the attacking quality/cutting edge required to chase a game as the 2nd half was played almost exclusively in the West Ham half. And the rare forays up field didn’t exactly have the Arsenal back-four frantically back-peddling.
Not to criticise Andy Carroll too harshly as he didn’t have much in the way of support but…in successive games against Liverpool and Arsenal he’s been shackled too easily in my opinion, he has been out all season so perhaps he’s not quite firing as we know he can but for 16.5 million you don’t expect your star man to be so easily neutralised by the opposition.
I as I’m sure many Hammers fans couldn’t help but notice Ravel Morrison’s dazzling display for QPR in their 5-2 win over Nottingham Forest. His pace, guile, direct running and vision caused Forest problems for the entirety of the contest, not to mention his very well taken goal. There are rumours and counter rumours surrounding our young prodigy and why he joined Harry Redknapp’s band of promotion pretenders but none of us really know the truth…and if the situation is retrievable then he is someone who could make a seismic difference to West Ham’s attacking play next season; for he is someone who could run beyond Carroll and could create chances for him.
One more victory will be enough to finally banish any lingering doubts concerning relegation and for that reason the sight of Crystal Palace at the Boleyn on Saturday will be a welcome relief from the quality and decisiveness of Liverpool and Arsenal.