Confidence was high in the Arsenal camp ahead of our first game of the season, and we were hoping to get off to a flying start against West Ham. Performances like that are unacceptable though, and we won’t even make top four – never mind win the title – if we play like that throughout the season.
We crashed to a disappointing 2-0 defeat at the hands of Slaven Bilic’s West Ham, and with the lethargy prevalent throughout our squad it was no more than we deserved.
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Here’s how we rated the Arsenal players:
GK) Petr Cech – 3.5
Many are already turning on the former Chelsea man, and while that is a little harsh, he certainly didn’t cover himself in glory against West Ham.
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He was at fault for both goals we conceded – racing out and getting nowhere near the free kick that was swung in, and reacting far too sluggishly to Mauro Zarate’s long distance strike.
RB) Mathieu Debuchy – 5.5
Although Debuchy is a fantastic right-back, he doesn’t offer the same attacking impetus that Hector Bellerin does. He was less of an outlet going forward, and our entire defence struggled with West Ham’s pace and power.
Substitute: Alexis Sanchez – 6.0
The Chilean wasn’t expected to make an appearance today, but we certainly needed him after going two goals down. He was showing real signs of ring rust, but was still one of our most threatening players. He had a couple of decent chances, but couldn’t convert.
LB) Nacho Monreal – 5.0
The Spaniard wasn’t terrible defensively, but offered almost nothing going forward. His final balls were terrible, and he wasted a number of decent opportunities to create down the left side.
CB) Per Mertesacker – 5.0
The giant German struggled with the pace of Bacary Sakho, and didn’t seem to be vocal enough or firing the players up.
He made a few important challenges and clearances, but more is expected.
CB) Laurent Koscielny – 6.0
The Frenchman was our best defender, but that isn’t saying a huge amount.
His pace was vital, with a number of other players left in the dust. But we were left exposed far too often, and the defence as a whole must be held responsible to some extent.