By Dan Ferguson
West Ham 0 Arsenal 0
It was a really poor game that lacked punch and final ball excitement.
There were plenty of mistakes and individual errors. Lots of hard work and intensity, though very little finesse. A few bad fouls and some strange decisions. The basic ingredients to a normal game.
However, many games are elevated by a little bit of spark from a few players. Not this one.
The game had very few proper goal scoring chances. Wilshere should have scored, Chicarito should have scored. Ozil should have scored. That’s it.
So I cannot really go into more depth. Instead I’ll make a few comments.
Arsenal is the benchmark for West Ham’s aspirations. A team who win more often than not, rarely flirt with the danger zone, win a trophy or qualify for a European competition regularly.
On any given day. Arsenal can surprise you, but they will drop points against lower teams and not beat enough of their peers and better.
Arsenal have become a facsimile of West Ham at their peak. They have a soft underbelly, don’t trust each other, star players won’t commit and want to leave, the manager sees everything differently to what is out on the pitch. It is vintage West Ham through and through.
So while Moyes turns their woeful season around and gains their safety, Wenger is transforming the Arsenal into a meaningless team not worthy of properly interpretation or alternative analysis. They are running to stand still.
Wilshere played really well and was refreshing in his directness. I liked him today a lot. And Maitland Niles also looked good out of position. Well done them. The rest can jog on.
Though Arsenal has become the new ‘happy’ Hammers, Arsene Wenger is sending out this team like Marvin Gaye approached writing his 1978 album Here, My Dear. Many within the club and fans seek a divorce citing irreconcilable differences. Wenger knows there is integrity in quality, but he just cannot find the consistency, passion and aesthetic.
The difference between Wenger and Gaye is that years from now, no one is going to be reevaluating this Arsenal side as an overlooked classic. They are schooled in disappointment and are the stuff of a certain type of sad love song. Gaye’s aforementioned album has some perfect examples:
When did you stop loving me, when did I stop loving you?
And my favourite: You can leave but it’s going to cost you