West Ham took advantage of an overly confidence Arsenal in the opening game of our season.
As much as this was a bit of a typical Arsenal loss, I’d be lying if I didn’t say I thought we’d turned a corner and I believed it would be different this season. I didn’t see the loss coming and, to be honest, I’m still a little lost for words.
It wasn’t good enough, that’s a given, but I can’t help but keep questioning what happened, where did we go so badly wrong? We shouldn’t be losing at home at all, let alone 2-0 to West Ham.
Did we just fall for our own hype and assume the match was already won – something we’ve been guilty off more than once? Or were we genuinely just not at the races today?
Petr Cech – 6
Our big, shiny new signing who was supposed to be saving us 12-15 points per season may have cost us three today. Of course, it’d be harsh to place all the blame at Cech’s feet – or hands – but he was disappointing for both goals we conceded.
The first, he came rushing out too far, too soon, and it was poor judgement on his part.
The second, he was caught sleeping, not in the right position and unable to reach what should’ve been a simple save.
Mathieu Debuchy – 7
Standing in for an injured Hector Bellerin, the Frenchman wasn’t particularly notable. He didn’t attack as much as the youngster but many would argue this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
His delivery into the box in the first half was decent.
Per Mertesacker – 6.5
Still a little rusty, the big German was slipping and tumbling all over the pitch today. Although he made some decent interceptions early on, notably in the first couple of minutes with West Ham’s first attack of the game, the ball for the second goal really should have been cleared earlier.
Laurent Koscielny – 7
Although he’s usually quite strong in the air, today he was heading clearances, heading shots at goal and finally heading the ball terribly to Cech almost resulting in a third goal. Swings and roundabouts.
Nacho Monreal – 7
I clapped like a seal when I noticed his sneaky little shoulder drops he may or may not have been practicing during training. In fact, they led him to get us at least two free kicks after the opposition player thought he was going in the other direction and put their leg out.
He was also keen to get forward, as usual, but was a little sloppy with his passing.
Francis Coquelin – 7
King of the switch. Early on he was determined on the ball and seemed to have a presence. However, as the second half wore on, the wind was taken out of his sails.
Aaron Ramsey – 7
Although his passing was sloppy in places, he did make an effort to drive play forward and was involved in pretty much every movement we made. His frustration was clear to see on his face but getting wound up doesn’t get us goals when you’re passing the ball to an invisible man.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 7.5
Early on, the match had the makings of a superb Ox performance. He was looking sharp, almost scored a stunning volley in the 11th minute and was twisting on the ball with a confidence we haven’t seen from him.
In the 28th minute he made one of the best runs I’ve ever seen, dribbling past five West Ham players and crossing into the box.
Unfortunately, as the game wore on, although he rattled the side netting late on, as with most of the players, he looked tired.
Mesut Ozil – 6
Some promising short passes early on but he was soon kept quiet, which was worrying. I don’t think the problem is so much his ability but his confidence and the only thing that’ll fix that is more games.
Santi Cazorla – 7
Sporting a sharp new hair cut, our little Spaniard was like a terrier in the first half. He was chasing every ball and made a decent delivery into the box from a free kick early on. However, I’d love to see him just pull the trigger more often. His shooting ability is a lot better than he thinks.
Olivier Giroud – 7.5
One of our slightly better performers today. He had shot after shot but nothing was working. He was also working well charging up the wings and crossing the ball but more often than not, no one was in the centre to get on the end of it.
Something I categorically disagree with, however, is him being kept on after getting knocked out. If you have to be put in the recovery position you should not be playing on and, whether the player wants to or not, Wenger needs to step in and intervene.
Theo Walcott – 5.5
Came on and was mostly anonymous. He was making the runs but his touch was heavy.
Alexis Sanchez – 5.5
When we threw a barely fit Alexis on, you knew we were getting desperate. The poor bloke shouldn’t anywhere near a football pitch at the moment and it showed.