Forgive me but my creative juice is not exactly flowing. That is the best title I could come up with. This was supposed to be a tight game. West Ham generally raise their game when we come for a visit. Unfortunately for them, no one told new boy Wayne Bridge. He is on loan from Manchester City but surely now Avram Grant is regretting the decision to sign him.
The once back-up for England’s left back position, he was culpable for every single goal the Hammers conceded. First he was not tight enough to Theo Walcott on the right and allowed the Arsenal man time to look for a pass. Walcott took the invitation with both hands and his pass was dummied by Samir Nasri into the path of Robin Van Persie. The Dutchman sure likes to play in this stadium as he slams home with his chocolate foot. His previous includes a headed goal, all of which are rare goals for him.
Bridge’s distaste to get close to Walcott was again to West Ham’s undoing. This time, RvP wriggled free inside the penalty box and looked like he took a touch that is slightly too heavy. Credit to him that he managed to pull back the ball just before it cross the byline, back to almost the penalty spot. Walcott’s speed meant that he was able to ghost in easily on the wrong side of Bridge to turn the ball in. Both RvP and Walcott returning favours to each other with a goal and an assist each.
Two goals up at half time and there were fears for the second half. This is of course base on our collapse against the Spuds and also our draw at Upton Park last season. One can only hope that the team has learnt their lesson. To some degree, we did not collapse. The team took control of the second half as well. Not creating as much but still doing enough to ensure the victory. We were of course helped by a very poor showing from those in claret and blue.
The same two players combined to effectively end the contest. Walcott was just too quick for Bridge to deal with. Nicking the ball just as the former Chelsea player was sliding in. There was contact, it’s inside the box, thus it was a penalty. This roasting that Bridge got from Walcott is karma returning the favour for scoring the goal that knocked us out of the Champions League. RvP needed no second invitation and calmly slotted the ensuing penalty.
Game was over and we just sprayed the ball around, passes after passes. I think there was a period when we kept the ball for a very long time with over 30 or 40 successful passes in between. Good controlled stuff that sucked the life out of the opponent. Wojciech Szczesny was largely untroubled. There were a few nervous moments from Johan Djourou, trying to allow the ball to roll out for a goal kick. Djourou looked sluggish but still did well when called upon. That is to be expected when he is playing games non-stop.
Now for our neighbours to do us a favour.