Wednesday, 23 January 2013

West Ham (H)

We once again fell foul of our bi-polar issues again at the weekend, a first half that in the end cost us a result. You can say we were unlucky, with Coquelin being fouled in the build up to the first and then Ramires diving to win the penalty, but we were caught feeling sorry for ourselves and they punished us. Sagna had possibly the worst game I've ever seen him play. When Giroud went through and missed his chance 5 minutes in, I thought we'd rue it and seconds later we did. Now I like Giroud, don't get me wrong, but in a game like that you have to take chances like that. I still think we need another striker.

The game tonight is arguably more important than the one at Stamford Bridge. It's our game in hand and a chance to close the gap, nothing but a win will do. Every time I look at our position I keep thinking, if we win our game in hand it isn't a catastrophe yet. Maybe that's me being in denial and optimistic but either way, 3 points tonight is an absolute must.

Wenger has said that Diaby may miss out tonight, this isn't due to injury, more due to the fact after being out for 4 months, he's played 3 games in a week. We're still without Arteta and Coquelin has picked up a hamstring problem. Podolski returns from illness and Oxlade-Chamberlain has a chance of being fit. With all of this in mind I think we'll go for a lineup like: SZCZ, Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Ramsey, Wilshere, Cazorla, Walcott, Podolski, Giroud.

West Ham post a different threat from Chelsea and Swansea and tonight will be a physical game. It looks like Carlton Cole will lead their line as Chamakh is unavailable due to the conditions of his loan. Either side of him will be Jarvis and Joe Cole both can be a danger on their day. Of course Nolan and Noble in the midfield can also cause problems. There is no doubt that we should be beating teams like West Ham every day of the week but I've been saying this all season.

Basically we need to go out and respond to everyone, make a statement that we aren't just going to roll over and let the top pack run away with it. It really is a must win. If we do we'll be 4 points off of Sp*rs which as last season showed us is more than attainable. COYG!

Prediction: Arsenal 2-1 West Ham