Saturday, January 12

Rice cracker defeats Arsenal

Declan salutes the fans at the final whistle…      Picture: Michael the Whovian
West Ham 1 Arsenal 0

Well, a great team performance and lovely to see Declan Rice get his teenage kicks through scoring the winner. Credit to Anderson for the initial pull back from the goalline. A weak defensive header saw Nasri lay it off perfectly into the path of Rice who scored with a thumping shot. Declan celebrated like he enjoys playing for West Ham, the first teenager to score for WHU in ten years since Junior Stanislas. It was also a good moment for Nasri who looked like he can still be a quality performer against his old club.

It's in to the Best Cafe early doors with a tardy daughter Nell for a late brunch and a dash to the London Stadium, where disastrously we find the programmes have sold out. Matt and Lisa are sitting at the back of Row Z to allow his nephew and wife to join us along with Nigel, Fraser, Scott and Aussie visitor Connor.

At the kick-off a pessimistic Michael mentions he's never seen us beat Arsenal. Fabianski has to make a decent stop from Lacazette early on but the Irons improve for the rest of the half, with Antonio causing problems, Nasri hitting the side netting, Anderson shooting just wide and Rice missing with a free header. Arnautovic is involved although looks understandably preoccupied at times, but the side look up for this and so does the crowd. And without the Vicar's Son alongside us even the ref seems to be having a good game.

We wonder if West Ham have scored too early after 48 minutes. But Arsenal don't threaten that often and Pellegrini makes sensible substitutions with Carroll on for Arnie (who gives a farewell clap to the crowd?) and Snodgrass replacing the tiring Nasri. 

Cresswell has a fine game at left-back and makes one great saving tackle and Obiang replaces the crocked Antonio. The Gunners' best effort sees Iwobi shoot just past the post. Nigel says he can see us getting at least a point as we enter added time, which is usually the kiss of death, but despite a disallowed header from Koscielny we hold on as Bubbles envelops the stadium and then Twist and Shout comes on the PA. An early day tonic. Irons!

PLAYER RATINGS: Fabianski 7; Zabaleta 7, Diop 7, Ogbonna 7, Cresswell 8; Anderson 7, Rice 9, Noble 7, Antonio 7 (Obiang 6), Nasri 7 (Snodgrass 6); Arnautovic 6 (Carroll 6).

4 comments:

Mj said...

We need at least 50 mill for Arnie and we've only got 2 weeks to replace him. Hopefully Ricey will stay until he's Zaba's age and still be playing as well as Zaba is!

Pete May said...

Zaba had a great game yesterday. £50m would be good money and we'd probably have to take it for Arnie. Though don't want to pay over the odds for a replacement. Could we get through the season with Hernandez, Antonio and Carroll and buy big in the summer? We could go for Callum Wilson but doubt if Bournemouth will sell right now.

Rob Graham said...

What a game of football and a great result, and we looked quite able to give Arsenal a good game, they are a good team of footballers and we easily matched them.
Arnie wasn't really at the races in his head or body, he made so many uncharacteristic passes rather than driving at the goal it reminded me of Payet sadly, but if he wants to go sell him and replace him with someone who wants to play for us.
yes it was great to see Cresswell back to his best, they all played well and seeing Antonio sprinting hard and fast also great.COYI

Pete May said...

Yes there was a look of Payet in Arnie's body language. You'd think he'd want a move to a top six team if anything rather than a retirement home in China. But as you say a very enjoyable game... and Nasri looks like he will relieve the burden on Anderson. Irons!