Feels great to win again. It’s a struggle to remember our last win and confidence was short going into the game for most of us fans. Mustafi confirmed before the game how all the animosity from fans gets to them as well especially as they are very active on social media. I think it showed in the first half of the game as we struggled to play with freedom.
Second half performance was way much better, and the results showed. I think as much as football is a game of technical ability and formations, it simply is also a game of confidence. Once, you start scoring and winning; everything else comes easily to you. Once, we got the first; it was easy to see the real ability that we have in our players.
I really liked our midfield today, and I think Elneny was spectacular. I like the fact that he creates spaces for himself and calls out for the ball, giving Xhaka and Ozil and extra body to pass the ball to. It helps that he also moves the ball forward very well which meant our transition from defence to offence was excellent. How much of this was down to West Ham being a mediocre team I do not know, but no one would have remembered that if they had put us under any kind of pressure.
Ozil was great again and his combination severally with Sanchez was good to watch. He showed confidence with his goal as usually, we would expect Ozil to try still to find a player to pass to even when he is front of an open goal. The fact that he tried to score from that distance shows how much he wanted to have an effect on the game. Theo has now scored 20 goals this season, and it is an impressive number, I think he is not getting enough credit for his output because of the general performance of the team, but 20 goals from a wide position is stats most players would be jealous of.
I think our defenders also deserve special mention. The threat from West Ham was always going to be aerial, and not long ago we suffered terribly in the hands of West Brom from aerial situations. It was nice the way Gabriel and Mustafi ensured the threats to Martinez was seriously limited.
Speaking of Martinez, great game by the youngster. Coming into the team in the situation we currently are in, is tough for an experienced third choice goalie and for him at 24 to come in and do an excellent job, is something noteworthy. It’s no wonder he is rated so highly by the club. I think his distribution is also very great and he made three great saves tonight.
Overall, it was more of a confidence-restoring victory rather and going into the last set of games we can only hope that the players draw from this win to exert themselves against future opponents. For now, I will forget the worries of tomorrow and enjoy tonight. It’s been a long time coming.
Interact with us on Twitter @canoncrested