Merry Christmas, hope you enjoyed your day yesterday ‘cos I sure did. Visited my awesome in-laws, only flaw in that family is that they all support Chelsea and I spent most part of the day reminding them who was joint top of the league and how their hapless manager was the S.I unit for boring football anywhere he goes. Only that man can take credit for his team consciously doing nothing to make a football game an uninteresting encounter and turn it into some form of tactical victory. Really have no time for Jose on such a happy morning.
We missed the chance to go top on Monday and with City playing Liverpool today at the Etihad you can be sure Liverpool will drop points. The Etihad has to be one of the scariest places to travel to in football now with the form City show when they play there, so we have an opportunity to return to the summit again today.
West Ham are having a bad season, closer to relegation than mid table, in their last six games they have won just one, drawn one and lost four. Currently lying just above the relegation zone with one point West Ham really should be a place where we can get 3points. Big Sam’s huge investment in Caroll hasn’t paid off with the striker suffering from a long term injury. When you look at Caroll’s career at Liverpool and West Ham you suddenly don’t feel as terrible towards Diaby. Combined amounts Liverpool and West Ham have spent on him is just a little over £50m, to invest so heavily on a player with little or no return on investment must bring huge sadness to any football fan.
Caroll’s injury coupled with other injuries at West Ham have made play without a striker for a huge part of this season. Playing a pretend 4-6-0 formation surely hasn’t helped their cause and coming against Arsenal today with our defensive record, Man City aside you wouldn’t expect them to do us any damage.
The players would know they have an opportunity to go top today and we should expect to see that in the display . We have a good away record at West Ham, winning five of our last six visits and we should make it six out of seven today.
We would expect that the Manager would rotate his side for today’s encounter, Ozil especially considering he is coming from a league where he wouldn’t be playing during Christmas. Santi didn’t get any minutes against Chelsea and Podolski’s return should see him get an opportunity to play from the middle a position where he excelled last season.
You only have to see clips of the game at Upton Park last season to remember how good on the night Santi and Poldi are. Poldolski and Giroud have a relationship on the pitch that we hope they can replicate this season starting today if the manager gives them a chance to play. Giroud scored his first premier league goal against West Ham and should look to continuing his love for scoring in London today.
At the back Sagna had an excellent game against Chelsea, we would expect the same defence line except the manager intends to bring in Nacho Monreal and give Gibbs a rest. Footballers are only as good as their last game in the eyes of many fans and while some people might be quick to call Nacho out for his performance against Man City he actually is a very good left back. Three points in the bag today should make for a perfect Boxing Day gift.
Prediction: West Ham 0 – Arsenal 3
Have a splendid Boxing Day.
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