So, after the midweek craziness in the Champions League, we look back to the Premiership with a game at a ground where we’ve won only one of our last five attempts. This is another game we should win, but after performances like we saw against Fulham and Sunderland away from home, you don’t know what Arsenal side you’re going to see. We need to see another committed performance, against the two aforementioned sides there was no fight in the team, no real urgency, no real desire to win, no desperation to avoid loss. Our first chance against Sunderland, a side that camped 10 players in the penalty area, came after 85 minutes or so. It took a goal to get the players going. With the way our defence is playing at the moment, we need to be scoring enough goals to secure victory, rather than attack cautiously. Obviously we shouldn’t go all out, but the emphasis should be on scoring, so that if we concede a wonder goal or a set piece, it doesn’t matter.
This is an important game to win, not only because due to our start to the season, every game is an important game to win. Chelsea play Liverpool before we kick off, so we will be able to gain points on at least one, possibly both sides, as we currently sit four points behind both. United also have a potentially tricky fixture away at Everton, although I’d have higher hopes for an upset there if I hadn’t watched them roll over and die at home against Liverpool a few weeks back. Also, need a confident win ahead of the North London derby. I don’t want there to be any chance of those cunts getting anything against us, and a win going into the game would help. West Ham are yet to draw a game in any competition so far this season, in the league they’ve won four and lost four. At home they’ve won three and lost one.
Before last season, West Ham had beaten us three times in a row. Last season we picked up six points against them. In all competitions home and away against the hammers under Arsene, we’ve won seventeen, drawn six and lost five.
Our defence will return to some sort of normality, with Toure and Gallas returning to the squad. Sagna is still out injured but could return against Spurs on Wednesday. Eboue could stay at right back with Kolo and Gallas coming back into the centre in place of Song and Silvestre. Diaby could keep his place in midfield ahead of Denilson after an impressive performance against Fenerbahce, although with it being an away derby Song or Denilson could play the holding role. van Persie should return to the starting line up, having scored the only goal in the corresponding fixture last season.
Subs: Fabianski, Silvestre, Ramsey, Song, Denilson, Vela, Bendtner.
Dean Ashton is crocked till next year, Dyer and Gabbidon are also out injured. They’ll probably stick with the team that they’ve been using recently, despite a poor result against Hull (that we can sympathise with).