Pre-Match Report

West Ham United v Arsenal: The Brief

“Maybe our movement going forward was not quick or sharp or fluent enough… and the early goals are frustrating.”

Arsene Wenger knows that we weren’t at our best in attack or defence at Southampton, and he knows we need our A game in every game to climb the Premier League table.
Not least at West Ham.
We may have an imperious record against the east Londoners - Alexis inspired a 5-1 win in this fixture last season - but the Hammers are buoyant after beating Chelsea at the weekend.
Wenger may freshen up our team in an attempt to lift the standard from Sunday. Watch our exclusive interview to see what he might do, and stay on this page for team news, classic goals, match facts and a chance to test your knowledge.

Arsène Wenger on Alexis


Aaron Ramsey’s absence with a hamstring injury could prompt a tweak to the starting formation - and certainly the starting personnel.
Jack Wilshere or Alex Iwobi could assume Ramsey’s forward-thinking role and the boss is mulling over his options.
“Jack has that ability [to make us unpredictable going forward], of course, but he’s not the only one,” said Wenger. “We have many offensive players. People forget Iwobi, they forget Welbeck - they should not forget these players who are exceptional talents going forward and can open defences.

“Iwobi has been good this season. He has not started as many Premier League games but I think he’s one of the players who can be very efficient and can help. He showed that when he came on against Manchester United, that he can help on the creative side of the team.
“I have to [freshen the team] because you have to do that when you play games of that intensity every three days, especially away from home.”


ARSENAL: Mustafi (thigh), Ramsey (hamstring), Cazorla (plantaris)
WEST HAM: Kouyate, Collins (both hamstring), Carroll (knee), Byram (thigh), Fonte (ankle) 


Former Gunner Adrian Clarke: 

“They were much, much better with more organisation and more fight. You could just visibly see that they were running around with more intensity. It’s taken a while to get the fitness up, but they are clearly fitter now under David Moyes. It’s going to be a physical challenge for Arsenal in this game and they are going to have to be on it from the start because West Ham have their tails up. 

“That victory over Chelsea will have undoubtably put a spring in their step and they will feel that a double derby victory, the Chelsea and Arsenal scalp, could reignite their entire season. For them, they will be highly motivated. Arsenal cannot, I repeat cannot, afford another slow start.”


“Of course we are concerned, but we are also an attacking team so it depends on how many goals you score,” said Wenger. “We want to improve our defensive record, of course, but we’ve just come back from Southampton. We have seen how difficult it is because we had 70 per cent possession against a team who stayed at the back and tried to get us on the break.
“They refused to play, so if you take the gamble to play then you have to be cautious to defend very quickly when you lose the ball. Football has changed a little bit because the teams are better prepared physically, accept that they will only defend, which was not the case 10 years ago.” 

Matchday Show: West Ham (a)

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