Arsenal 0 – 2 West Ham: Was it only Cech’s fault? Nope.

Arsenal loss to West Ham 2015 Cech Wenger

BPL Season 2015/2016: Arsenal 0 – 2 West Ham

Review by a Malaysian Gooner

With West Ham punished with two yellow cards within the first seven minutes, I thought this was going to be a stroll in the park. There was even a rare direct ball to Ramsey who was on the run immediately from kickoff but it was too long. We were on third gear in the entire first half and never found a way to shift to the fourth. We had some set pieces and half chances, West Ham fouled us a lot, a great dribbling run by our most dangerous player of the match Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, but there were no real clear cut chances created, and West Ham weren’t just sitting back.

We didn’t really start testing the opposing goalkeeper Adrian Castillo that much until the players began playing with a bit more urgency after we conceded two goals. The first goal was partially Petr Cech’s fault and our supposed world class goalkeeper signed from Chelsea came flying out of his line in attempt to punch the ball away during a West Ham free kick but he was never reaching there. To be fair, our defenders shouldn’t have allowed goalscorer Cheikhou Kouyate the free header. The second goal, on the other hand, was mostly Cech as he was dreaming, caught off guard. He was in the middle of his line without expecting Mauro Zarate to take a shot at the near post from outside the box. My confidence in Cech is now greatly affected. He was world class, no doubt, but is still the same player as he was before? At the age of 33, he’s not old for his position, but mentally and focus-wise, is he still sharp? Let’s hope there wasn’t any hidden reason why Chelsea allowed him to come to a rival club. Wake up, Petr, we expect more than you! Definitely not less than the players we had.

Oxlade Chamberlain Arsenal West Ham BPL 2015 2016

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Sure, Cech was responsible for conceding the goals, but we didn’t score either. The overall performance of the entire team was generally bad. It’s dejavu. Are we back to our usual self? Wenger did make very positive changes earlier than he usually does at this point of the game, putting on Theo Walcott to replace Francis Coquelin and risking the unfit Alexis Sanchez in place of Debuchy. However, like most times, there was never really a Plan B besides making the opposing goalkeeper look good with the decent saves. It seemed as though we’ve underestimated this London rival.

Olivier Giroud started today instead of Theo Walcott who provided the goal-scoring pass to Oxlade-Chamberlain against Chelsea last weekend, and Matthew Debuchy instead of Hector Bellerin who’s out due to a muscular injury. These are fair changes to the line-up if we judged by the previous game’s overall performance but, unfortunately, Giroud was on his usual bad day — not contributing much, not holding the ball, was offside more than a couple of times, and not making the best out of the chances he’s got in the box. This is reason why every fan like myself is screaming for a world class striker to be signed. Enough with the stingy mentality, just bid 50 million pounds to Real Madrid and get Karim Benzema over! Or anyone better! Mesut Ozil was poor in all areas — losing the ball carelessly, his passing was off, he was lazy at times, and he flopped a decent chance in the box, shut down by the 16-year-old defender named Reece Oxford — but Ozil was never subbed out.

So we’ve won the “bad-luck shield”, lost the very first game of the league at home and apparently no team that lost the first game has ever won the league, does it still look good for us? Historically and superstitiously, no, but there’s always a first in every thing no matter how unlikely it may seem. We wouldn’t win all games anyway and we didn’t have a good start last season either, so I wouldn’t panic just yet. I would, however, probably go back from being on the fence to supporting the “#WengerOut campaign again if we drop any points at all next game against Crystal Palace. Get your Gunners together, boss, cause’ we’re up against Liverpool after that.

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