Arsenal make the short trip across the capital to take on West Ham United at their London Stadium. Both sides are short of results as the Gunners come into this match having won two of their last 13 Premier League matches, the Hammers only one in their previous nine.
Good day all. It goes without saying that Arsenal find themselves in a bit of a crisis and in need of a win to lift both the players and supporters. With so much happening behind the scenes in recent months, mostly baffling stuff, results were bound to suffer and it culminated in interim boss Freddie Ljungberg receiving the proverbial hospital pass. There’s general unhappiness with the way Raul Sanllehi and the Kroenkes dealt with the Unai Emery situation but for me that’s a fight for another day as Freddie and the boys need all hands on deck to help navigate the club through a chock full festive fixture list.
It’s always said that supporting Arsenal is like riding a rollercoaster and guess what, we are still on the ride so just make those straps a bit tighter. We are not always going to the scenic route.
Whilst the Gunners have given us little, if anything, to crow about all season, the Hammers are one of the few sides not doing any better, especially in front of their own crowd where they are winless in their last four home fixtures (D1, L3). The West Ham faithful have grown extremely frustrated, which has only increased pressure on their players and manager Manuel Pellegrini.
Pellegrini has been around the block longer than most though and will look at Arsenal’s recent results and feel that we are there for the taking, especially considering that two of their four league wins this season were against Man United and Chelsea. If they win today it will move them level on points with the Gunners and how much of a tonic will that be?
Freddie can do with one himself. Picking up just one from a possible six points, in the two matches following Emery’s sacking, hasn’t done him any favours if he got any designs on making his interim job a fulltime one.
Recent reports tells that Arsenal are stepping up their search for a permanent candidate with talks about an “Apprentice-type” grilling. Of course these should be taken with a pinch of salt, but one can’t help but think that if the run of poor results continue, the scope of the job for the new man will just get bigger and bigger.
For those as myself supporting the Arsenal for the last 20 to 30 years these are certainly “interesting times”, but I do take counsel from those that have been doing this longer and recognize it as the ebbs and flows of being a football supporter. So if we expect the players and coach to go out there doing their best, perhaps as fans we should step up ourselves and help them through this difficult period. It’s winter baby… we always knew it was coming.
Thankfully there’s no new injuries as both Dani Ceballos and Rob Holding still remain the only two absentees.
This is a meeting between two dismally out-of-form teams; one of the league’s worst home records in the one corner versus one of the worst away records in the other. Almost as if each will find the other a welcomed opponent. Somewhat difficult to split on current form, but if I have to put my hand up… I’ll go Gunners all the way. COYG!