Well that was a pretty good way to kick start the second half of the season. I say second half but this campaign is far from halfway through. Arsene Wenger finally made his return to The Emirates Stadium to watch a Mikel Arteta team turn on the style.
The game itself had pretty much everything. An early Arsenal goal disallowed, a number of hard challenges on Gabriel Martinelli, a terribly soft penalty awarded to West Ham and three classy second half goals for the home team. The fans, well they were fantastic too.
- Eddie Nketiah has scored 11 goals in his last 11 starts for Arsenal in all competitions at the Emirates — those strikes have come from only 16 shots on target.
Eddie Nketiah isn’t Gabriel Jesus, we all know that, so there’s little point in expecting him to do what our Brazilian does on a weekly basis. But, I thought he worked hard, did a lot of good things and scored a goal which had Messi scored in Qatar, the world of football would be talking about for ages. I’m chuffed to bits for him because it’s just what he needed on a night preceded by much talk about how Arsenal wouldn’t cope without Gabriel Jesus. Ha!
I thought Michael Oliver was dreadful. The penalty decision was ridiculous in my opinion, nearly as ridiculous as awarding Arsenal one after the ball clearly hit the face of a West Ham player and not his hands. No surprise when VAR overturned it.
There was too much faffing around with the ball in our own half for my liking, certainly in the first 45 and for a number of reasons, we couldn’t get that much needed goal. Then came the penalty and before long it was half-time. A quick chat with Mikel Arteta and the team came out in the second half with a bit more about them. Then came the goals…
A scuffed shot from distance by Martin Odegaard, dropped nicely for Bukayo Saka to slot home, Gabriel Martinelli then beat Fabianski at his near post for our second before Eddie Nketiah made it 3-1 with the goal of the game.
Mikel Arteta on Eddie Nketiah:
It was a great goal but I think overall his performance was incredible. The way he understood the pressing, his intensity, the way he counter-attacked certain spaces, the composure he showed. And then he stayed patient. And in the box he produced a moment of real quality to win us the game.
I thought all three front players were superb last night, their work rate was excellent. In fact, I thought Arsenal as a team/squad were superb. The old ‘there’ll be tougher tests than West Ham’ words were soon filling the back pages but yesterday, the test was West Ham and the players overcame it pretty easily.
Attentions will soon turn to the transfer window and not just for Arsenal. Liverpool have already agreed a deal to sign Cody Gakpo from PSV, a deal the Dutch club have confirmed this morning and in other reports, Arsenal have made an offer to Shakhtar Donetsk for winger Mykhailo Mudryk. If true, Arsenal really are moving early in this upcoming transfer window. All sorts of fees are being mooted but finances are Arsenal’s concern, not mine.
Next up for Arsenal is a trip to the south coast to face Brighton on New Years Eve..
Catch up in the comments.