Arsenal 3-1 West Ham: Instant Reaction
Happy Boxing day!
Everyone loves a boxing day full of soccer (even me, half-sleeping listening to Spurs drop points was great and then enjoyed the rest of today). Let’s go quickly through some of the quick thoughts about Arsenal vs West Ham. More later this week as we digest this plus get ready for the transfer market to open.
Headline: Knocking off the rust, but looking like Arsenal
This felt like a bit like Arsenal doing the dominance of area but could not turn things into shots.
In the first half Arsenal dominated the processions but could not turn that pressure into legit shots. Arsenal did get the ball into the back of the net but I think it was rightly called off for offside (it came off Saka and unfortunately that was the right call). Overall creating just 6 shots and 0.4 expected goals is just not good enough given the pressure that Arsenal exerted in this match.
Overall in that first half it was almost all Arsenal, controlling the game pushing West Ham back. In the first half, Arsenal had 36 touches within 25 yards of the goal compared to 8 for West Ham.
You could see that in this match that Arsenal were really working hard to look like ARSENAL but in the first half the final ball just didn’t come off.
Overall, Arsenal generating 16 shots to the 8 is good enough and was good enough.
It certainly looked rusty and with the timing just off. With the way Arsenal play, that last little bits makes the difference in turning deep possession into shots. It looked a bit rusty with players 95% of normal and not quite at the same levels of automatic.
A win is a win.
Even if it came against a team that isn’t lighting the table up (West Ham are still quite good) at the moment. The gap to the chasing teams looks quite solid (even if I have moved my one money to be behind Manchester City) at the moment, it is still very nice to see almost 10 point to the chasing teams. January will be huge (Arsenal had the hardest December plus January) for how the can see this through and I am excited to see it.
Stock Rising: Martin Odegaard
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