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Well...other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?
I'm not going to spend a lot of time on this, because I need to get off of the Arsenal-related internet before I burst a blood vessel in my brain. Honestly, Gooners are straight-up embarrassing themselves on social media today. You'd think it was the 8-2 humiliation at Old Trafford all over again.
Look, here's the deal. West Ham played an excellent away match - they defended with discipline, hunted in packs, rode their luck at times and got a brilliant performance from their goalkeeper. We outshot them 23-5, but they did exceptionally well to block our shooting lanes. They took their chances when they got them.
Seriously, it's like we've never lost a match of association football before. Get a goddamn grip, people.
Don't get me wrong...I get that after a result like this, people want to have it fit in a neat little explanation. It was the tactics, or this, or that, or so-and-so was shit, and didn't show PASSHUN. But, it's professional sports, and sometimes this shit just happens. Any low-scoring sport, such as this one, will always be abnormally dependent on one or two key moments. This match was no different.
Also, before I get any further, please go out and play in traffic if you're already non-ironically slagging off Petr Cech. One match does not define ANY player one way or another, even if he was absolutely at fault for Cheikhou Kouyaté's headed goal in the first half. It was the wrong decision to come out, and somehow he got his angle entirely wrong as well - note how he was flailing out with his arms to try and block it.
However, Mauro Zárate's dagger in the second half was not on Cech at ALL. First, he had nothing to do with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's first touch of a tranquilized plow horse when he was trying to play his way out of the area. Second, the last replay NBC showed confirmed beyond a doubt that the shot hit Laurent Koscielny's knee and changed direction just enough to matter.
It is utterly astonishing to me how people can go right to slagging off Cech for being wrong-footed, and somehow not sparing a thought for just how that may have ended up coming to pass.
I swear to fucking Odin, what people know about goalkeeping can fit in a damn thimble.
Anyway, I've seen worse performances from this from the Arsenal, no doubt about it. I truly think it wasn't down to mental weakness, underestimating the opponent, or anything else you amateur psychologists out there may think it was. A football team showed up and played a pretty good game, but got beat by another football team that also played a pretty good game and got the breaks when they needed it.
Also, a word for Adrian in the away goal. He's beginning to become the poster child for sticking with a guy for more than 5 seconds in this league. He was utterly dreadful in his first season for the Hammers, to the extent where I thought he was literally the worst in the entire division that year. Last season, if there was a Most Improved Player award, he'd have won it at a canter. This season, if he keeps this up, he may end up being one of the best around.
The save on Ramsey's long dipping effort was good, and the kick-save on the otherwise anonymous Alexis Sanchez (allowances made for the lack of a proper preseason, of course) was even better. The pick of the lot though was when, after we had gone down 1-0, he managed to keep one out that deflected off of his defender's leg. I don't recall who took that shot, but that would have beaten most keepers out there. There was an element of luck to it, but it was still an astonishing save and for my money, it won them the game. We get back to 1-1 there, we're having a much different conversation right now.
So, look. Today sucked, it was awful, and there's no getting around that. We're still only one point behind Chelsea, so perhaps we can all take a breath and calm down a little, huh? Crystal Palace away is going to be a tough test, but three points there and we're off and running.
Are you with us, or not?
The Modern Gooner Player Ratings:
Cech 5, Monreal 7, Koscielny 6, Mertesacker 7, Debuchy 6 (Sanchez 6), Coquelin 6 (Walcott 5), Ramsey 6, Cazorla 6, Ozil 6, Oxlade-Chamberlain 6, Giroud 5
Man of the Match: NBC gave it to Dimitri Payet, which isn't the worst shout in the world. But, if it weren't for Adrian's saves, we just might have won this thing.