Official AFC News
We progress to the fourth round of the FA Youth Cup following victory at Meadow Park
Read extra quotes from the Arsenal manager as he discusses the performance against West Ham
Arsene Wenger reflects on our goalless draw with West Ham United at the London Stadium
Ainsley Maitland-Niles discusses his first Premier League start as we drew 0-0 with West Ham on Wednesday
Watch the best of the action from the London Stadium
Arsenal have some very exciting youngsters on their books at U18 level and amongst them is Xavier Amaechi, who has produced some excellent performances since returning from injury. Capable of playing as an attacking midfielder but most frequently deployed on the right wing, Amaechi, who turns 17 in January, possesses excellent close control and poses […]
Jack Wilshere says the all he knows about possible talks over a new contract comes from what Arsene Wenger says in public. The midfielder, who started his first Premier League game of the season in the 0-0 draw with West Ham last night, says he’s pretty much in the dark about when anything’s going to […]
Ainsley Maitland-Niles says making his first Premier League start was the ‘best feeling’ although he admits he was left disappointed that Arsenal could do no more than draw 0-0 with West Ham. Arsene Wenger selected the England Under-20 international on the left of a four-man backline for the trip to the London Stadium and the […]
Arsene Wenger says that the Gunners lack of firepower at the moment could be a psychological problem, and with just one goal in the last 180 minutes of football, the Arsenal manager pointed to all the chances missed against Manchester United as a contributory factor. That day, despite 33 attempts on goal, Arsenal could only […]
Weird stats against West Ham 4 – Offsides called on Arnautovich 3 – Number of times Jack Wilshere was fouled (that were called) 9 – Number of total fouls by West Ham in this match 92 – Successful pass rate by Wilshere, Koscielny, and Monreal (led all players) 15 – Bad passes by Wilshere, Koscielny, […]
Only Laurent Koscielny knew what he was doing in the 90th minute when he chipped a high-risk pass inside from the Arsenal defensive right, but the panic gripped in a heartbeat.
It was shocking to see how Arsène Wenger’s team lost not only the ball but their structure and when Mark Noble produced a rare moment of quality with a slide-rule pass for Javier Hernández, the scene was set for the West Ham United substitute to steal all three points. Hernández’s shot hit the underside of the crossbar before bouncing down and away. Petr Cech appeared to have got his fingertips to it.Continue reading...
West Ham picked up another valuable point in their battle to beat the drop, frustrating a toothless Arsenal in a tight goalless draw at the London Stadium
West Ham will surely look back on this as a valuable point against one of the Premier League’s best sides, although they’ll think that Javier Hernandez should have won it for them at the end. He hit the underside of the bar, though, and a draw was a fair result. West Ham have kept clean sheets against Chelsea and Arsenal in the space of four days and picked up four points in the process. They stay in the bottom three, below Crystal Palace and West Brom on goal difference, but you can’t deny that Moyes is making progress. As for Arsenal, they’ve dropped more points on the road and drop to seventh, a point below Tottenham, Liverpool and Burnley. They had a lot of possession and played some decent stuff at times, but they were largely disappointing. They lacked ideas in the final third, failing to summon enough intensity or incisiveness, and didn’t create enough chances. Alex Iwobi hit a post and Mesut Ozil missed a good chance, but West Ham can point to Hernandez’s shot against the bar, Marko Arnautovic’s early disallowed goal and a lot of stout defending. Thanks for reading. Bye.
Mesut Ozil can’t get the free-kick over the wall and that’s it!
90 min+3: A loose touch from Zabaleta gives Welbeck a sniff. Reid dives in to bring him down around 25 yards out. Reid’s booked and Arsenal have one final chance. Reid will miss Saturday’s game at Stoke.
90 min: Incredible! Koscileny plays a ludicrous pass across the face of his own area from the right, gifting the ball straight to Hernandez. He slips, but the ball runs to Noble. He gathers his thoughts before coaxing a pass through to Hernandez, who crashes a shot over Cech and against the underside of the bar! The ball bounces down and on the wrong side of the line from West Ham’s perspective! No goal! But it should have been! Hernandez should have won it! There will be two added minutes and West Ham absurdly think they can win this!
89 min: Cech punches Cresswell’s corner away.
88 min: Arnautovic dances past a couple of tackles on the right and shows good persistence to win a corner. Surely not?
86 min: Ozil threads a pass inside Arnautovic, but it’s too heavy for Maitland-Niles.
85 min: Wilshere’s shot from 20 yards is blocked. Arsenal continue to pass. They still can’t pick the killer ball.
83 min: Arsenal make another change, Alexandre Lacazette replacing Alexis Sanchez.
82 min: Masuaku defends brilliantly against Welbeck on the right, just like Ogbonna did a minute ago. West Ham make their first change, Javier Hernandez replacing Michail Antonio.
80 min: West Ham’s 9-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-1 formation has left Arnautovic a bit isolated.
78 min: Javier Hernandez is going to come on in a minute. Arsenal’s pressure is relentless. They still believe they’ll create an opening.
77 min: West Ham look absolutely knackered.
75 min: This has been a bit like one of Arsenal’s Europa League games.
73 min: Noble clips Wilshere’s heels 30 yards from goal. Sanchez whips it towards the left corner, but Adrian dives to his left to push it away. Arsenal will keep pushing, though.
71 min: Danny Welbeck replaces Alex Iwobi.
70 min: Maitland-Niles pops up on the left. The West Ham arms go up, but the flag stays down and the left-back crosses to the far post. Giroud heads down for Wilshere, who skies his volley! What a chance!
66 min: Noble bursts forward and scoops a pass to Arnautovic, who cleverly heads it back to him. He’s got a sight of goal, but the ball won’t come down in time and it’s whipped off his toes at the crucial moment. Zabaleta picks up possession on the right. His deflected cross tempts Cech off his line and the Arsenal goalkeeper bumps into one of his own players, flapping the ball at the feet of Arnautovic. The goal’s gaping! However Jon Moss has spotted a push on Koscielny and blows his whistle. Not that it really matters - Arnautovic scuffed his effort and the ball was cleared off the line by Monreal.
65 min: Noble muscles Ozil off the ball, looks up, sees no one and decides to play it back to Adrian, who has to scamper out of his box to beat Ozil to it.
62 min: West Ham have weathered the storm a little bit in the last few minutes. When will Arsenal introduce Lacazette?
60 min: West Ham finally attack. However Arnautovic can’t do much with Antonio’s cross.
58 min: There’s no quality to West Ham’s play at the moment. Jack Wilshere is pulling so many strings for Arsenal at the moment. They’ll do well not to score here.
56 min: Sanchez’s shot from the left is blocked and the ball breaks to Ozil. The German has space in the area and a big gap to aim for, but he chests the ball down and shoots a few yards wide of the far post!
55 min: Sanchez turns a beautiful reverse pass through to Ozil. Giroud is unmarked in the middle. But Ozil can’t find him and the ball is hoofed away before it reaches Iwobi.
53 min: Maitland-Niles whips in another cross from the right and this time Giroud gets his head to the ball. It hits a West Ham defender, though, and goes wide for a corner. West Ham are under a lot of pressure.
51 min: Arsenal aren’t letting West Ham have a kick. The ball’s being moved around at dizzying speed. Sanchez’s cutback is half cleared. Xhaka tries to place one into the top corner from 25 yards, but his rising sidefooter is held by Adrian.
49 min: Arsenal are trying to quicken the pace. They’re playing with more intensity and the driving rain is making the pitch slicker. Sanchez finds Bellerin, who drags a shot wide from 25 yards.
47 min: Wilshere breaks up a West Ham attack, cutting out Arnautovic’s pass, and Arsenal counter. Sanchez suddenly has Reid isolated. Trouble. Yet Sanchez decides not to take the defender on, instead choosing to slip a pass through to Giroud, who’s stopped by Ogbonna.
46 min: West Ham get the second half underway and immediately attack. Noble chests a ball through to Arnautovic, who hooks an awkward volley on to the roof of the net.
Little has occurred. Marko Arnautovic has had a goal disallowed, Alex Iwobi has hit the post and that’s it.
44 min: This is a drab game.
41 min: Lanzini’s booked for cynically stopping Wilshere from starting a counterattack.
39 min: Arsenal fling a cross into the middle from the left. Giroud goes for an overhead kick and boots the ball into Cresswell’s head. Ouch. Play is stopped so a groggy Cresswell can receive some treatment.
37 min: Cresswell’s free-kick is deep and Cech paws it out for a throw on the opposite flank.
36 min: Noble finds space deep on the right. He tries to outpace Maitland-Niles. Nope. He hangs on to the ball, though, and eventually wins a free-kick.
34 min: Maitland-Niles curls another cross into the area from the left, but it’s too high for Giroud again and Adrian watches it bounce past the post.
30 min: Iwobi has another shot after more sloppy play from Lanzii - it’s from further out this time and it skids well wide.
29 min: This is so scrappy. Sanchez’s backheel goes to no one, but West Ham can’t counter, Lanzini giving the ball straight back to Arsenal. Sanchez slips a pass through to Iwobi, who spins before whacking a low shot against the base of the left post. The ball spins off to safety and West Ham survive.
27 min: Obiang battles hard on the right, doing enough to pull a cross back to Arnautovic, whose mishit shot is claimed by Cech.
25 min: Antonio is having a stinker. He can’t hold the ball up at all.
23 min: Sanchez’s corner from the left is poor, but Arnautovic’s attempt to head clear at the near post is even worse. The ball drops to Iwobi on the edge of the area, but he slashes a shot harmlessly wide. Arnautovic apologises.
22 min: Arsenal heed your MBM reporter’s advice, Giroud and Wilshere combining to make space for Sanchez, who sees his fierce shot deflected just over the bar.
21 min: Arsenal are in walk-the-ball-into-the-net mode. They might like to try a few long-range shots, because West Ham are set up to frustrate them by staying deep. There isn’t much space.
19 min: Obiang tries a straight, driven pass over the top of the Arsenal defence, but it’s just too far ahead of Arnautovic.
18 min: Obiang has left a couple of late ones on Wilshere. It won’t be long before he’s booked if that continues.
15 min: Arnautovic was a 0.0000000000001cm offside, but that was encouraging for West Ham, who know that Arsenal might be vulnerable to their aerial threat now. Andy Carroll should be making notes.
14 min: West Ham’s midfielders are struggling to get close to Wilshere at the moment. But then the hosts muster an attack. Masuaku swings in a fine cross from the left and the unmarked Arnautovic heads into the top left corner. But his celebrations are shortlived: the flag is correctly up for offside.
13 min: West Ham get the ball into the Arsenal area for the first time. But Antonio’s long throw’s headed away.
12 min: Wilshere scampers down the right, reaching a slide-rule pass from Xhaka, and he finds Iwobi. The Nigerian is crowded out, though. Arnautovic is back helping out.
10 min: Antonio puts the ball out of play to allow Sanchez to receive some treatment. He’s feeling sore after being caught on the foot by Noble, but he’ll be fine to continue.
9 min: It’s all Arsenal. Iwobi bursts through the middle, driving to the edge of the area, before seeing a shot blocked by Noble. The ball breaks to Sanchez on the left. He has one shot blocked before testing Adrian with his second effort. The West Ham goalkeeper dives low to his right to hold the Chilean’s attempt. Arsenal fancy this.
8 min: Maitland-Niles shifts the ball back on to his right foot and sends an inswinger into the West Ham area. Giroud leaps, but he can’t rise high enough and the ball drifts behind for a goal-kcik.
6 min: Ozil wriggles into the area on the left and tries a cutback. Hoof! The ball’s walloped away. West Ham are very deep, but that seems to be part of their plan.
5 min: Obiang steps in to win the ball in midfield and he tries to release Antonio. Arsenal’s defence is high, but Antonio hasn’t timed his run properly and the flag goes up for offside.
4 min: Another attack from Arsenal, Wilshere probing and finding Bellerin on the right. Reid heads the cross away. Arsenal have settled well, though, and Wilshere is looking bright and inventive.
2 min: Arsenal are on the attack straight away, playing a give and go with Sanchez and breaking behind Zabaleta. He knocks a low cross into the six-yard box and Ogbonna stretches to turn it past the near post. Nothing comes from the corner.
Peep! Arsenal, in businesslike black, get the game underway. They’re kicking from right to left in the first half. There’s a good atmosphere at the London Stadium.
Here come the teams! Here come the bubbles! It’s almost time for more football at everyone’s favourite stadium!
If you’re looking for news in the night’s other games, Clocko Baz is your man.
David Moyes speaks! “We need to do it again tonight. We’re up against another really good team tonight. The level of opposition, we need to do good jobs on them. We need to be very concentrated around the box. They have a different dimension with Giroud. There might be a few more crosses. With three games this week, the managers all have decisions to make with players. We had a really good result on Saturday and we thought the best way to go was with the same team.”
Martin Keown reckons that Arsene Wenger’s best night in football was winning the first leg of a last-16 Champions League tie against Barcelona in 2011. His fellow pundit on BT Sport, Rio Ferdinand, has just exploded. Keown says that Arsenal outplayed Barca. This is untrue.
Arsene Wenger speaks! “Ainsley Maitland-Niles has done well in the Europa League and training as well. In the Christmas period you rotate a bit more than usual. Jack had an injury problem at the start of the season and slowly he became stronger. For him it is his first start and a good opportunity. Olivier Giroud is doing well as well. He is a regular player for us. He came on the other day and gave us a point. You prepare for your opponent in the Premier League to be committed.”
Is David Moyes 90 minutes from re-appraisal @JacobSteinberg? Outside the elite, the Premier League is much of a muchness (and, whisper it, full of ordinary players). Do we underestimate the value of old school coaches getting the basics right?
West Ham are unchanged from the win over Chelsea. That’s not much of a surprise, although it will be interesting to see if they’re running on empty. It also doesn’t suggest that David Moyes is entirely happy with his squad.
Arsenal make four changes from the draw with Southampton and have altered their shape from three at the back to what looks like a 4-2-3-1. Per Mertesacker drops out altogether and Aaron Ramsey is injured, while Sead Kolasinac and Alexandre Lacazette drop to the bench. Jack Wilshere makes his first Premier League start since April, Olivier Giroud makes his first league start this season, Ainsley Maitland-Nile makes his first ever league start and Alex Iwobi is also in.
West Ham: Adrian; Reid, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Zabaleta, Noble, Obiang, Masuaku; Lanzini; Antonio Arnautovic. Subs: Hart, Collins, Rice, Ayew, Sakho, Carroll, Hernandez.
Arsenal: Cech; Bellerin, Koscielny, Monreal, Maitland-Niles; Xhaka, Wilshere; Iwobi, Ozil, Sanchez; Giroud. Subs: Ospina, Chambers, Kolasinac, Coquelin, Elneny, Welbeck, Lacazette.
Hello. West Ham haven’t had much joy in this fixture in the Arsene Wenger era. Since the Frenchman’s arrival in north London 21 years ago, nothing much has gone their way when Arsenal have travelled east. They have enjoyed a couple of famous wins, the best of which featured Paolo Di Canio making Martin Keown look very stupid indeed in October 1999, but they haven’t beaten Arsenal since Wenger got annoyed with an exuberant Alan Pardew on the touchline after a Marlon Harewood winner 11 years ago and tend to approach this game in fatalistic mode, always worrying that something’s going to go wrong. It could be something farcical, like losing an FA Cup quarter-final on penalties to 10 men or Freddie Kanoute setting the tone for a relegation season by rolling a Benteke-esque penalty straight at David Seaman, or it could be more straightforward, like getting beaten out of sight and hearing the Arsenal fans taking the p1ss by urging West Ham to give the ball to the hapless Scott Minto at every opportunity.
Last season was a beating - Alexis Sanchez scored a hat-trick, Mesut Ozil impressed and the London Stadium had emptied out long before the final whistle - and it was one of several that Slaven Bilic’s West Ham endured in home games against the big six after leaving Upton Park. But things have change a bit since then. Bilic is gone, his fate sealed by last month’s pathetic hammering at the hands of Liverpool, and his replacement is starting to make his presence felt after a worryingly slow start. Watch out, Arsenal, here comes Moyesie, who’s toast of the town in the East End at the moment after helping West Ham beat Chelsea on the weekend. Having picked up a point from his first four games, Moyes certainly picked a good time to get his first win at his new club and suddenly there is fresh optimism about West Ham’s chances of staying up. For the first time in a while, they look vaguely fit, organised and disciplined, and they’ll be in with a shout of getting another result this evening if they’re not completely knackered from their effort against the champions.Continue reading...
Today’s rumours have a spreadsheet
Chelsea are, according to Antonio Conte, very tired and need some help. They did not show it at Huddersfield Town on Tuesday night but perhaps Conte just meant they required something to set tongues wagging on the long schlep home. In which case, the chatter at the back of the bus would have been thus: the champions-for-not-much-longer have entered the race for our old friend from the summer, Thomas Lemar. It appears Monaco will have to part with one of their few remaining stars of last season sooner rather than later; the question is whether they can fend off the longer-term interests of Arsenal and Liverpool, who will almost certainly be back in.
It being almost January, though, there are irons smouldering away in roaring fires. Chelsea’s pursuit of a wide man has also taken in the Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey, with an opening bid apparently being rejected. Liverpool, Manchester United and Barcelona are others keeping their eyes on the situation.Continue reading...
• Arsenal manager says time in Japan taught him value of being level-headed• Wenger looking to extend fine record in games at West Ham
When Arsène Wenger lived in Japan as manager of Grampus 8 in the 1990s he watched sumo, and the experience taught him a few things he feels can benefit the tinderbox atmosphere of elite football. “When the winner doesn’t show any emotion out of respect for the loser, that is something that surprises all of us,” Arsenal’s manager said.
Sumo proved an interesting topic of conversation in a week when overspilling passion was on football’s agenda, and Wenger found it particularly fascinating that manners play a crucial role in results. “Every day for 15 days you have a fight and the guy who wins the most fights is the winner of the tournament,” he said. “To become yokozuna – that means the top of the top – you have to win at least two tournaments out of the six, and what is very interesting is you go in front of a committee to have an ethical judgment as well. If you did not behave well, even if you won the tournament, you cannot become the yokozuna, the master of masters.Continue reading...
• Mukiibi: ‘I need to talk to him about his starting line-ups’• Arsenal’s Swedish opponents have enjoyed meteoric rise
It is a measure of how far Ostersund have come that the Swedish side who will face Arsenal in the last 32 of the Europa League were formed a month after Arsène Wenger’s arrival in north London.
But having already eliminated Galatasaray and Hertha Berlin on their way to this stage of the competition under their English manager Graham Potter, a visit to the Emirates Stadium will also represent an opportunity for defender Ronald Mukiibi to get a few questions off his chest.Continue reading...