Superb Declan, Fantastic Nasri and Was that a goodbye from Arnie?- 5 Talking Points from West Ham v Arsenal

West Ham claimed their first home victory over West Ham since November 2006 as Declan Rice’s 48th minute goal, his first ever senior one for the club, helped them beat Unai Emery’s side 1-0. It was a fantastic achievement for the Hammers, who had won only one of their previous 23 games against the Gunners, and also made the 50th Premier League game at the London Stadium a memorable one.

Here are our talking points from the game

Superb Declan: Declan Rice gave another example of why he could become the next best defensive midfielder in the Premier League. Timely interceptions to thwart several Arsenal attacks, fantastic tackles, great strength on the ball, and a superb finish for the goal- it was a brilliant game for the teenager (only 2 days short of his 20th birthday!), and a very well deserved Man of the Match award for him. That shot of Rice hugging Mark Noble at the end is something that will remain etched in many a Hammers supporter’s mind for a long, long time.

Fantastic Nasri: Many fans, us included, were somewhat doubtful when Pellegrini signed Samir Nasri. On the evidence of this performance, it’s a fantastic one. The 31 year old was excellent for someone out of the game for 18 months- pressing hard, some nice interplay on the edge of the box between Anderson, Arnautovic and him, and providing an edge in attack that West Ham have sorely missed due to the absence of Manuel Lanzini. Despite his high work rate, Pellegri mentioned in the post match interview that Nasri could’ve played longer (he was subbed off), and that was a compliment to the Frenchman. Also provided the assist for Declan Rice’s winner. [Read more…]

West Ham v Arsenal Predictions- How do the pundits reckon the Hammers will fare against Unai Emery’s men

GW 22’s first game after the FA Cup weekend sees West Ham host Arsenal at the London Stadium. The Hammers last suffered defeat nearly two and a half years ago under the referee for this game, Jonathan Moss, but haven’t beaten the Gunners at home since 2006.

West Ham can be difficult to beat when they raise their game, as the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United will testify. Arsenal have a shaky back four and ship in quite a few goals when on the road (4th worst away defence in the league). The Hammers will certainly fancy their chances, but is Marko Arnautovic’s head in the right place? There has been talk of the Austrian wanting a move to China, but the Hammers have publicly announced that their star striker is not for sale. Fabian Balbuena is not also available for the home side, which is a big blow to their hopes, given the Paraguayan’s great form this season.

Let’s take a look at what various pundits think of the Hammers’ chances later today against the Gunners [Read more…]

Referee for West Ham-Arsenal game announced, Hammers unbeaten for over two years under him

The referee for West Ham’s Premier League clash against Arsenal this weekend has been announced as Jonathan Moss. The 48 year old will be assisted by Marc Perry and Andy Halliday at the London Stadium with Stuart Attwell set to be the fourth official.

West Ham’s recent home record against Arsenal is quite poor- the last time they managed to get the better of the Gunners on home soil in any competition was back in November 2006. Since then, Arsenal have been unbeaten in 11 away games, and can make it 12 in a row if they complete a double over Pellegrini’s men on Saturday. [Read more…]

Media Player Ratings- How did the media rate West Ham’s performance against Arsenal?

This was always going to be a tough fixture- West Ham had lost more Premier League games to Arsenal than any other side, which meant that the Gunners were strong favourites coming into this Round 3 clash, despite themselves losing to Man City and Chelsea. All the pundits had backed Arsenal to win, and win they did, on the back of an impressive second half performance following the introductions of Alexandre Lacazette and Lucas Torreira into the game. [Read more…]

4 changes for West Ham against Arsenal- Arnautovic captain, Diop & Antonio in XI

West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini has announced his starting XI to do duty at the Emirates against Arsenal for their Round 3 fixture. The Chilean has made four changes, with Ryan Fredericks, Issa Diop, Carlos Sanchez and Michail Antonio coming in for Pablo Zabaleta, Angelo Ogbonna, Mark Noble and Javier Hernandez respectively.

Fredericks and Antonio had started the opening weekend loss to Liverpool, but were dropped for the next game against Bournemouth.

Angelo Ogbonna drops out of the matchday squad completely, meaning a new partner in central defence in the form of Issa Diop for Fabian Balbuena. [Read more…]