West Ham Preview: Another Test for the Wenger Boys
I must say, I’ve been quite impressed with this West Ham United side. After the club was decimated by the gentle frog, Avram Grant, Big Sam Allardyce guided them from the npower Championship to the Premier League but he had to use the lottery of a Play-off final win to see the Promised Land.
Like Norwich and Swansea last season, West Ham has hit the ground running and they have 11 points from their six Premier League games thus far, winning two and drawing one match in their three home games as well. They are sitting pretty in seventh place, two points above the Gunners and they’ve also recorded three clean sheets.
A lot of stuff has happened in the world of Arsenal, and for those that don’t know, our dear ol’ Aaron Ramsey has been stripped off the captaincy of the Welsh national by that Mowgli-looking wankbasket, Chis Coleman, as Arseblogger described him in his post on Rambo.
Wenger doesn’t think that Ramsey will be affected by it though, and believes that it will help the lad play with more freedom. Ramsey was heavily burdened with expectations for both club and country last season, and it might have contributed to his below-par outings as it was certain that they were too large to bear.
With Abou Diaby still out and Francis Coquelin pulling up short in the Olympiakos game, Ramsey is odds on to score and he should try and convert more goalscoring chances this time, as nobody important died a day after his delicate chip on Wednesday.
To team news, Wenger still has doubts over Per Mertesacker’s flu and he has banned handshakes, kisses and hugs in the training ground to avoid any epidermic the flu could cause. Mertesacker is probably suffering from the
bird flu that kept Thomas Vermaelen out of the Manchester City game and the manager has thrown caution to the wind.
Speaking of caution to the wind, Wenger has reiterated that he will remain cautious with Jack Wilshere, as the maestro is still in a conditioning phase but he’s tipped to play another Reserve fixture next week. On other injuries, the Polish goalkeeping duo of Wojciech Szczesny and Lukasz Fabianski are still out, but Bacary Sagna could play an Under-21 game next week.
To today’s potential team selection, I expect Vito Mannone to remain between the sticks for Arsenal. He has to bring his A-game today and he must do better with his decision making and command of area because I expect West Ham to pelt a few balls to the box.
In defense, Per Mertesacker will face a late fitness test, but if he doesn’t pass that fitness test, we’ll have to stick with the Vermasielny combo that wasn’t too impressive against Chelsea and Olympiakos. We can only pray that the captain would have some discipline to his game today because the team can be punished from any lapse in concentration. The captain has also spoken about the threat Andy Carroll poses and that’ll be a battle I’ll be looking forward to watching.
The young and energetic fullbacks Kieran Gibbs and Carl Jenkinson will continue to bomb down the flanks, and I’m hopeful that they can maintain their consistency in today’s game. West Ham’s Matt Jarvis and Ricardo Vaz Te are tricky and crafty wingers, so Quickie Gibbsy and Lil’ Jenko will have to do their thang to keep them in check.
In midfield, the triumvirate has probably chosen itself as the Spanish duo of Santi Cazorla and Mikel Arteta will be supported by Aaron Ramsey. The Welsh captain…*coughs*…ex-captain will be on the spotlight and you know what they say about the case of the ex,
“The best revenge for an ex is to show them that life is better after they’re gone”
A great performance for Ramsey against West Ham would show that Mowgli-looking wankbasket (lol!) that he has nothing on him.
Then there’s the case for Arsenal’s attacking trio. Lukas Podolski and Gervinho are indispensable to the squad right now with their excellent performances throughout the season leaving one final position up for grabs with the Ox, Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud fighting for that place.
Wenger has clearly been delighted with Gervinho’s impact spearheading the attack but he has hinted that the cry-baby, Theo Walcott, would be given a run-out as a center forward, but he still has to sign the ting. Mr. Sexy, Olivier Giroud, has stated that he wants to pleasure the fans, and we can have a collective orgasm if he nets a goal or two today. With the physical threat West Ham poses, I have a hunch that Wenger would opt for Giroud to help the team’s cause defensively and of course, offensively.
I’m certainly not Arsene Wenger, but this is my proposed line-up for today’s fixture,
Enjoy the game wherever you are.
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