It was fantastic to see West Ham get their tactics right, nullify Arsenal’s free-flowing passing game and then have a pop at them towards the end (culminating in an excellent goal setup by Etherington).
It was just as good seeing the weight of 8 defeats lift off Pardew’s shoulders – the man has suffered a lot of abuse recently and the two wins will do his confidence a world of good.
Tevez was benched, didn’t play at all and we’ll have to wait for some more time before him and Mascherano set the Premiership alight – a pity really, I was looking forward to Tevez scoring some goals for West Ham.
You just had to see yesterday’s game to see that West Ham’s problem isn’t about scoring goals – in Zamora and Harewood they have two very talented strikers, plus Ashton is there, Sheringham’s hanging on and Tevez is there too. Their problem has been confidence, and now that they’ve beaten Arsenal they are bound to be better off this season, although we shouldn’t make too much out of the win just yet (they’re not getting into Europe again, mind you, unless Ashton returns and him and Tevez score 20 goals each).
But when you look at Arsenal’s reaction to the match and the result, you have a team that’s just not willing to adapt. Against Everton and Moscow, you could make a case that they were getting things right but just not scoring. Against West Ham even the slick passing dried up a little and you were treated to a skilled team unable to beat a limited team just because West Ham tried harder to play effective football instead of pretty football.
The coin-throwing incident – enough’s been said about it, most of it right.
Wenger vs Pardew – I think people forget that Pardew’s entitled to some relief after the hell he’s been through in the past 2 months.
Wenger’s reaction to Pardew – doesn’t really matter what was said, was understandable as well. It was unfortunate, and the key thing is that if at the end of the day both managers can come away shaking hands (if not today than maybe afterwards), that’s the end of it.
My guess is that Pardew made a comment about ‘this is how you play football’, and Wenger blew his top and called Pardew / West Ham cheat(s).
Oh well, whatever. Let’s not obsess over it, videos are below if you choose to ignore my advice though 🙂