Arsenal v West Ham: Fan verdict with Danny Coyle aka Grampian Gooner
PUBLISHED: 09:34 27 August 2018 | UPDATED: 09:34 27 August 2018
We’re introducing a new post-match reaction piece by fans this season writes Layth Yousif. For this Bank Holiday weekend we’ve got Danny Coyle, aka Grampian Gooner, who regularly travels down from Scotland with his wife Ali, to watch The Arsenal. Read on for his verdict on Unai Emery’s Red and White Army’s 3-1 victory over London rivals West Ham.
Having been caught up in the torrential down pour en route to the North Bank my wife Ali and I were looking forward to being suitably warmed up by a dominant free flowing Arsenal performance.
We started our first traditional Saturday kick off in what seemed like an eternity sluggishly.
Aside from a decently worked but disallowed goal, Arsenal didn’t create much in the first half and failed to impose any sustained superiority over The Hammers.
In what seemed like a hauntingly familiar passage of play which led to Marko Arnautovic’s goal, Arsenal had to do better in response before half time.
That soon came in the shape of Nacho Monreal who dispatched his goal with the ice cold instinct we’ve come to recognise when he gets half a chance in and around the opponent’s box.
You can see what Unai Emery is trying to achieve and going into the second half the glimmers of quality developed into sustained periods of dominance and better worked attacks.
Henrikh Mikhitaryan was involved in several of these along with the outlet of Hector Bellerin down the right caused West Ham problems.
Soon enough we forced an own goal to make it 2-1 yet with what Bellerin offered going forward, he still underlined his defensive frailty and awareness when we didn’t have the ball.
Thankfully Jack Wilshere et al couldn’t capitalise on some defensive lapses on our part. Playing a West Ham team very much bereft of thrust and ideas was just what this Arsenal team needed as we are starting the new Emery era.
Especially our midfield. Which is undergoing an upheaval with a refreshed style of play to get used to while absorbing two big signings and the uncertainty of Ramsey’s future still hanging in the air.
Matteo Guendouzi continued to impress despite his tender years and offered us much needed industry during occasional tricky moments.
When Lucase Torreira came on it definitely gave us the defined shape we need to see out games like this.
I’m looking forward to him gradually making that midfield anchoring position his own – the question is at who’s expense?
For many, Granit Xhaka is favourite to make way and I’d be inclined to agree.
In any case, the added competition in this area is so very welcomed after so many years of seeming unaccountability.
Danny Welbeck’s quality late finish topped off the victory, albeit a somewhat uninspiring one.
But its all about the three points and Emery has his first win which is always important.
With a kinder run of fixtures coming up, I’m looking forward to seeing how this Arsenal side can take develop in Emery’s image and getting some winning momentum going.
As has been mentioned by many in the pubs around the Arsenal the last few weeks, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”, we still need to be patient with this team. UTA!