Saturday, 24 October 2009
West Ham v Arsenal. No Hope!
The most desperate thing about our current plight is that, leaving all bravado aside, there is not a single reason to even hope that we might achieve a victory against Arsenal this weekend. The terrible, terrible truth is that if we try to defend, we will be mullered because our defence is no match for Arsenal's attack, and if we try to take the game to them, we will be hammered because Arsenal will soak up our passing game and hit us on the break.
In days gone by, we would go into a game like this fearing the worst but holding out some hope. Curbishley might organise us defensively to suffocate Arsenal and a long ball lump might break lucky and allow us to pinch a goal. Under Pardew, we knew the team would play at pace, attacking down the flanks, getting into the faces of the Arsenal team and Wenger and unsettling them. Under Redknapp, tactics might have been used to manufacture a victory. But under Zola?
We know that we are going to see more of the same. If he lines up 4-3-3 he will mirror the Arsenal formation and, player by outfield player, they are hugely superior. In that situation, you have to set up differently to the opposition or they will win the one to one battles all over the pitch. Zola won't. Zola will stick to his failing blueprint and invite poodles to take on greyhounds all over the pitch. And that, inevitably, will result in defeat.
Is there any way we can beat Arsenal? We have to go 4-4-2. We have to sacrifice some of our "culture" and go for the throat - and that means playing long balls over the top for Hines, our only option, to run on to. We have to exploit Cole's strength in the air. We have to win every tackle in midfield. We have to get Ilunga into attacking positions, knocking over crosses. We have to get Collison and Noble into the box. Parker has got to protect the back four. Faubert has got to play out of his skin. Gabbidon has to replace Tomkins. And most importantly, Behrami has to do the job of three players, harrying and hustling. Can we win even then? I doubt it, but at least we would have a chance.
But under Zola? As soon as he goes 4-3-3, forget it; no hope!
Posted by Hammersfan at 10:34