The ‘other’ London Derby – West Ham vs Arsenal, Where to Watch and What to look forward to

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The ‘other’ London Derby – West Ham vs Arsenal, Where to Watch and What to look forward to

Poster by Gremin @ AKSC

Where to Watch

The Arsenal Kerala Supporters Club has organized official match screenings at

  • Neighbourhood, Calicut
  • ChaiCofi , Kaloor, Kochi

For more information regarding the screenings, fans in and around these districts can contact organizers at

  • Calicut 7736 333 068 / 9526 066 640
  • Kochi  9895 827 074 / 9037 950 567

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What to look forward to

Arsenal enter December having won 8, draw 4 and lost 1 in the Premier League, however we all know what the month of December and January means for Arsenal.

So the big question is, while Arsenal look to get back to their winning ways, West Ham is not an easy team to get things going against. Will the Gunners find a way to win again?

West Ham and Arsenal, both fresh from EFL Cup exits on Wednesday, will be keen to avoid a winter wobble when they meet at the London Stadium on Saturday.

Neither side enjoyed a November to remember though West Ham’s need for improvement is more pressing as they remain just a solitary point above the relegation zone with over a third of the campaign played.
Arsenal, who got back to winning ways on Sunday against Bournemouth before a drab 2-0 defeat to Southampton in the EFL Cup, will be tasked with playing catch up with at least one of their top four rivals when they kick off on Saturday evening. Chelsea’s trip to Manchester City does, however, provide an opportunity for them to make up ground with at least one of the sides ahead of them in the table.

The Gunners won just two of six games last month, West Ham none of four (though their performances steadily improved against the likes of Tottenham and Manchester United). Both can ill afford to let last month’s struggles spill over.

Team News

West Ham will be without top scorer Michail Antonio and defender Aaron Cresswell after both suffered groin injuries in the midweek EFL Cup defeat.

Diafra Sakho is also out but Andy Carroll is back from a knee problem and the fit-again Arthur Masuaku could start his first game since September.

Arsenal will be without Mathieu Debuchy, who will be sidelined for up to six weeks with a hamstring injury.

Striker Olivier Giroud is doubtful with a groin problem.

Midfielder Santi Cazorla faces three months out after ankle surgery.

Possible Starting Lineups

West Ham (3-4-2-1): Randolph; Kouyate, Reid, Ogbonna; Fernandes, Obiang, Noble, Masuaku; Lanzini, Payet; Fletcher

Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Cech; Jenkinson, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal; Xhaka, Ramsey; Walcott, Ozil, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Sanchez

Pre-Match Reactions

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger on the end of his side’s 19-game unbeaten run: “I don’t think I can moan about the momentum in the Premier League.

“I knew that in the League Cup that could happen, but it was more disappointing to lose the game than the run we had.

“We want to keep the run in the Premier League going now.”

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic on Andy Carroll: “He’s a player that offers something special, he is one of the reasons why we were so prolific last season in front of goal, why we were so versatile, so dangerous, why we scored so many goals and why we finished so high.

“He played a great game against Arsenal where we didn’t start well, we were two down and didn’t play good.

“It was basically him who brought us back in that game before half-time with two goals, and he went on to score a hat-trick.”

 

Fanspeak – Our new section on ordinary, everyday fans and extraordinary opinions

Our new section aims to feel the pulse of Gooners in Kerala by describing their emotions going into the game. In this week’s feature, Akhil Mohan feels the after-effects of the ‘November curse’.

If we look at our poor results so far this season, there are many issues that needs to be addressed and they are:

1. He (Arsene Wenger) is not ready to axe players who are not playing well. Over the period may be he lost that ruthlessness. Maybe some of our players are taking unfair advantage of this. How is it possible to justify the poor performance of our own academy graduates? It is disappointing to see new arrivals are showing more fighting spirit compared to our own players. There are exceptions like Bellerin, Coquelin, Iwobi etc.. up to an extent Walcott is also doing well, but he is supposed to be next Messi, Cristiano, Griezmann, Sanchez level player instead of being a good player.

2. Tactics

Our positioning and pressing were not efficient. Hope Wenger will correct it in coming weeks. Our inefficient positional play and pressing is one of the reasons why we are depending too much on the individual brilliance of Cazorla, Ozil or Sanchez.

3. Goal scoring

If any of these players don’t show exceptional skills, we are screwed. Often we end up goalless or struggle to break down defense. It’s been ages since we scored 5 or 6 goals in a game and it is not because we are unlucky.

4. Really disappointed to see our defensive organization. Both Koscielny and Mustafi were exposed multiple times, thanks to their exceptional talent, they bailed us out. Cech is ageing.

5. Mentality

It is shocking to see a team like Arsenal needs 10-15 minutes to get their eyes in. Often we start slowly and not ready for the challenge straight away or lacks urgency. Is this because of players or manager? The body language of manager from the sidelines shows it is down to players.

6. Temperament

Look at Bournemouth game, despite getting 10-15 counter attacking opportunities, we fought hard to bottle our chances. Each time the positioning of players shows they are not drilled enough. They looks selfish and getting nervous when they have the ball.

Yes, I am ready to believe this is all because of November and I hope December will automatically rectify these mistakes.

Results against Spurs, Manchester United, PSG and Southampton is more of a warning to our manager and players. Let us hope they respond strongly.

— Akhil Mohan

Poster by Gremin @ AKSC

Poster by Gremin @ AKSC

1 Comment

  1. Muhammad NP says:

    Fanspeak is good.but I disagree with akhil’s view after all.sitting 4 th and 3 point behind the leadersin the table isn’t bad it seems for me.keeping in mind injuries to key players and its just 13 out of 36.we faced almost big clubs other than city.lets see where it goes.
    Till then get behind our team and cheer for them..come on you gunners.

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