Welcome to Talking Heads.
Before and after every first-team fixture, our MatchDay Show guest and an Arsenal blogger will have their say on the game.
Arsenal took on West Ham United in the Premier League on Saturday and our Talking Heads for this game were Dan Roebuck and Goodplaya.
DAN ROEBUCK, COMMENTATOR
For a while there it looked like being one of those days for Arsenal. They dominated the early stages without really creating anything of note and then fell behind to the first chance they allowed against them. The equaliser was perfectly timed for a number of reasons - it gave Arsenal a lift going into half-time, it affected West Ham's containment policy and it gave Olivier Giroud a much-needed confidence boost. I've been impressed by him because he keeps making the right, intelligent runs even if the end product hasn't quite been there. The second half was all Arsenal and two classic goals secured the points. Walcott proved there are few better finishers when there is space for him on the counter-attack and Cazorla rounded off a good day in style. He is some player.
Arsenal will be kicking themselves after letting Chelsea nick all three points last weekend. After a solid start to the season defensively, the home side weren't assertive enough on set-pieces and paid the price. Chelsea had a gameplan and kept Santi Cazorla quiet but, even so, Arsenal had the chances to win the game. I think they'll create lots more chances at Upton Park and I don't think scoring goals will be a problem - especially if Cazorla gets the freedom he didn't get last weekend. The issue is whether Arsenal can tighten up at the back again against a physical West Ham attack. Andy Carroll will give Per Mertesacker a real test if he is fit to return and Kieran Gibbs and Carl Jenkinson will need to cut off the supply to Carroll from the flanks. If they do that and stay organised, this should be an away win.
Well we came through with flying colours - in the end. It was a slog for a while and after doing well to equalise we went off the boil in the second half and might have conceded a second. But then we kicked on and two clinical finishes made the difference. The most impressive part of this victory was probably less the performance and more the fact it came away to a Sam Allardyce side that was on great form going into the game.
If you were to pick one league fixture as a post Chelsea pick-me-up, this would be just about the last one you'd choose: a high-flying West Ham, away and under the floodlights (in the second half at least), is bad enough. Add in the fact that West Ham are managed by Sam Allardyce, a specialist in kicking an Arsenal side when they're down, and you've got all the ingredients for a very tough evening. Which is what makes this game so interesting. Lose and all the old doubts will return. Win and we'll have hope that just maybe the downward spirals that we've made such a trademark of ours in recent years are a thing of the past. It should be interesting.
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