Wednesday, April 16

Daily WHUFC News - 16th April 2014

Podolski double downs Hammers
West Ham United took the lead but were beaten 3-1 by Champions League
chasing Arsenal on Tuesday

Arsenal 3-1 West Ham United
Barclays Premier League

Lukas Podolski's double helped overturn a Hammers lead as Arsenal triumphed
3-1 over the east Londoners at Emirates Stadium on Tuesday night. Matt
Jarvis' 40th minute header edged West Ham in front over a nervy Arsenal
side, who had fallen behind Everton in the race for fourth spot at the
weekend. But Podolski's leveller on the stroke of half-time breathed new
life into their challenge and the visitors were not able to respond in the
second half. First Olivier Giroud gave them the lead for the first time,
before Podolski - with his fourth goal in as many appearances against West
Ham - wrapped it up late on. The Hammers were without their skipper Kevin
Nolan, absent after picking up a hamstring injury in last week's defeat to
Arsenal. He was replaced in midfield by Antonio Nocerino, while Jarvis came
in for Matt Taylor. West Ham made a confident start, as Arsenal struggled to
find an early rhythm, and with seven minutes on the clock Jarvis' cross
found its way to Nocerino at the far post, whose goalbound shot needed a
block from Thomas Vermaelen. Arsenal responded on 14 minutes when Tomas
Rosicky found a pocket of space in midfield and knocked the ball through to
Podolski. The German crossed dangerously and Giroud only just failed to make
contact in the middle. West Ham were looking the more dangerous though and
Mo Diame swiped a left-footed effort over the top after a corner was played
back into the area on 18 minutes. Jarvis was finding space on the left flank
and looked to exploit it when his pace, but Arsenal began to settle around
the half-hour mark as their one-touch football around the box threatened to
unlock the Hammers. With 30 minutes on the clock, Santi Cazola slipped
Giroud in, but with only Adrian to beat, the Frenchman opted to try and
flick the ball over his dive and the Hammers keeper was able to save.
Ironically, it was just as the Gunners were finding their feet that Jarvis
struck to give the Hammers the lead. Nocerino made a strong run down the
right flank and drew a save from Wojciech Szczesny with his shot at the near
post. The Italian kept the ball alive and it popped up for Jarvis to bravely
stick his head in and nod into the empty net.

The advantage was to last just four minutes as the Hammers were punished for
a poor clearance from Stewart Downing. Cazorla picked the ball up and passed
to Podolski, who controlled with his first touch and fired into the far
corner with his second. The Hammers forced the first opening of the second
period when Guy Demel carried the ball out of defence and passed to Downing,
who advanced to the edge of the box and dragged a left-footed effort wide.
Before long though, Arsenal were in front as the visitors failed to deal
with a lofted diagonal ball from deep, and Giroud got in between Winston
Reid and Andy Carroll to bring the ball down and shoot between Adrian's
legs. Just past the hour the Gunners were inches away from a third when they
won the ball off the Hammers and broke with pace. Cazorla received
possession on the right flank and moved inside before unleashing a shot from
20 yards which whistled just past the post.
West Ham could not trouble the hosts after the interval in the same manner
as they did before, and Podolski's second of the game 12 minutes from time
made sure of the points.

Home sub Aaron Ramsey created the goal with a cleverly cushioned header
which fell perfectly into Podolski's path to smash high into the net beyond

Arsenal: Szczesny; Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Vermaelen; Arteta,
Kallstrom; Cazorla (Jenkinson 88), Rosicky (Ramsey 72), Podolski; Giroud
Subs: Fabianski, Oxlade-Chambelain, Sanogo, Akpom, Bellerin
Goals: Podolski 44, Giroud 55, Podolski 78
Booked: Rosicky, Kallstrom

West Ham United: Adrian; Demel, Tomkins, Reid, Armero; Nocerino, Noble,
Diame; Downing (J.Cole 78), Carroll (C.Cole 84) , Jarvis (Vaz Te 78)
Subs: Jaaskelainen, McCartney, Taylor, Johnson
Goal: Jarvis 40
Booked: Nocerino, Diame

Referee: Kevin Friend
Attendance: 59,977

Big Sam laments Hammers' errors
West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce reflects on a 3-1 Barclays Premier
League defeat at Arsenal

Sam Allardyce admitted West Ham United only had themselves to blame after
wasting an excellent start to go down to a 3-1 Barclays Premier League
defeat at Arsenal. The Hammers could have already been in front when Matt
Jarvis bravely nodded the visitors ahead four minutes before half-time at
the Emirates Stadium, most notably when the same player elected to stay on
his feet when earlier fouled by Bacary Sagna inside the Arsenal penalty
area. As it was, the lead lasted only three minutes as Stewart Downing's
loose clearance fell to Santi Cazorla and the Spaniard teed-up Lukas
Podolski to finish into the corner. Into the second half and another bright
opening from the Hammers was wasted when Winston Reid and Andy Carroll got
themselves in a tangle in trying to deal with Thomas Vermaelen's long ball,
allowing Olivier Giroud to control and smash a shot through Adrian's legs
for 2-1. As Arsenal grew in confidence, West Ham's own belief began to wane
and it was no surprise when Giroud's cross was headed by substitute Aaron
Ramsey to an unmarked Podolski, who finished high past an exposed Adrian to
end the game as a contest after 78 minutes. Speaking to West Ham TV, Big Sam
was clearly frustrated by his players' inability to build on their
encouraging play in the opening 40 minutes.
"I can only point at ourselves letting Arsenal back in the game,
unfortunately, after a great effort and performance and getting into the
position we wanted to be in at 1-0," lamented Big Sam. "Arguably, had we
produced a bit more quality, particularly when Mo Diame ballooned a chance
over the bar when he was on his own inside the six-yard box, [we could have
been further in front]. There was enough pace on Andy Carroll's ball into
him to place it and be more accurate, but he's tried to blast it, which
we've been going on about to him for months and months now. "We had lots of
final-third play and crosses and corners and finally got what we wanted. It
was a fantastic run from Antonio Nocerino in behind the Arsenal defence and
Matt Jarvis popped up to head it in after coming in from the wide position,
which was perfect. "Then, to not hold on to 1-0 until half-time was a great
shame, really. Sadly, if Arsenal had scored by one of their players
producing some of the outstanding genius that they have then I can't
complain too much, but it really boiled down to our own deficiency in not
seeing that half out. Mis-kicking a clearance straight to the opposition's
midfield five yards outside the box, you're asking for trouble and that's
exactly what we got.
"It was the same in the second half. We came out and controlled the second
half, looking to probe the Arsenal defence and not in any trouble
whatsoever, then one long ball went into our box and there was a mix-up and
it was 2-1. I couldn't quite believe it on the performance that we'd given.
"Sadly, in the end, we tried to get back in the game, but even when I was
going to put two subs on they went and scored the third just before I could
do so and we have lost. Performance-wise, yes, but result-wise it was not
acceptable and we have got to do better against a very tough Crystal Palace

The timing of the goals, as well as the manner of them, undoubtedly changed
the course of the game. From looking like going in ahead at the break
against an anxious Arsenal, the home side suddenly had momentum and the home
crowd behind them. The Gunners then scored again ten minutes after the
re-start and seldom looked like conceding after that. "Many times you play
at Arsenal and you come away and can't complain about the result because
they have completely outplayed you, but this time I am complaining about
errors we have made at vital times that they have punished. "I suppose the
difference, at the end of the day, was that we didn't punish the errors that
Arsenal made - and they made a lot of errors, for them. They punished us
more than we punished them and that's why they won." Now, attention turns to
the visit of an in-form and resilient Crystal Palace, who have been on a
similar run to that which West Ham have enjoyed in recent months under
manager Tony Pulis. "It's not going to be easy, because Palace are in better
form than Arsenal. In their last three games, they have not conceded a goal
and they have conceded only one goal in five games. They are on a terrific
run, so form-wise they are maybe slightly ahead of Arsenal. "It's just as
difficult game and tactically it will be different because they obviously
play a very good defensive and then counter-attacking game away from home.
We have watched them and it will be extremely difficult to break down, so we
will have to be very patient in how we approach the game and not get
frustrated about the opposition making life difficult for us, which they
definitely will. "Hopefully we will produce enough quality to breach their
outstanding defensive work that Tony has put together with his team and get
the goals to win the game. One thing is for sure, if we can't win it we need
to make sure we don't lose."

Cole taunts trophy-less Gooners
Filed: Wednesday, 16th April 2014
By: Staff Writer

Joe Cole could have landed himself in a spot of bother after taunting
Arsenal fans for their team's lack of trophies in recent years. 32-year-old
Cole, who won the Premier League three times during his spell with Chelsea
mocked the home fans during a warm-up in tonight's 3-1 defeat at the
Emirates by holding aloft an imaginary trophy after being booed by some
Arsenal supporters as he ran along the touchline. The former England
international, who returned to West Ham in January 2013 played the final 12
minutes of tonight's 3-1 defeat but failed to make much of an impression.
Arsenal, who reached the FA Cup Final after squeezing past Championship side
Wigan after extra time at the weekend last won a trophy in 2005 when beating
Manchester United on penalties in the same competition.

Allardyce dismisses Diame hopes
Filed: Wednesday, 16th April 2014
By: Staff Writer

Sam Allardyce tonight laughed off comments by Mo Diame regarding a move to
one of the Premier League's elite clubs. The midfielder was in the press
last weekend after he told French outlet L'Equipe that he hoped to secure a
move to a "top six" club - such as Liverpool - this summer, two years after
joining West Ham on a free transfer from Wigan Athletic. But Allardyce
doesn't appear to believe the 26-year-old is showing the kind of form that
could potentially interest a club with higher aspirations than the Hammers
presently. When asked what he though about Diame's comments after tonight's
3-1 defeat against Arsenal, Allardyce replied: "What - about going to a top
six club? Well he'll have to perform better, won't he" - before exiting the
press conference. The Hammers boss, who saw his team throw away the lead
once again against the Gunners was also critical of match official Kevin
Friend, who failed to award a penalty to Matt Jarvis in the first half of
the game when it was still poised at 0-0. " The facts are that when you stay
on your feet referees don't give penalties," he said. "The big problem is
that the referee finds it very difficult to give. "There is no reward for
honesty - so what do I do?"

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce frustrated to lose lead at Arsenal
Last Updated: 16/04/14 5:58am

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce admitted his frustration at his side's inability
to maintain their lead until half-time in the 3-1 defeat at Arsenal. The
Hammers enjoyed the better of the play for large parts of the opening 45
minutes as Matt Jarvis headed them in front five minutes before the break,
only for Lukas Podolski to equalise moments later. Second-half goals from
Olivier Giroud and another from Podolski put the game beyond West Ham's
reach and they rarely threatened after falling behind. Allardyce was
encouraged by parts of the display at Emirates Stadium, but says that they
should have made more of their early chances with Mohamed Diame guilty of
being wasteful in front of goal. "I think that we'd done so much up to then
to get the goal - I thought we deserved it," he told Sky Sports. "I think
that the one thing that disappointed me was that we didn't create more from
our opportunities in the first half but we finally got a very good goal. "At
the end of the day, we've lost 3-1 and it's more down to our deficiency
rather than the referee's deficiency." "The key was to hold onto that until
half-time and then say to the lads 'going out there now, there's more
pressure going to come on Arsenal and the home fans expect to beat us
"It preys on their mind a little bit, they've got a bit of fatigue in the
team and a few injuries. "That would've been more pressure on them but we
released the pressure on them by making two errors for both the goals and
allowed them to get in front. "Then, it's a question of whether we could
create another chance in between that and then finally they got the third
and that was the end of today. "Overall, a good performance but it makes no
difference at the end whether you've played well if you go out there and

West Ham had a penalty appeal waved away as Bacary Sagna appeared to clip
the legs of Jarvis inside the area, and Allardyce believes that it might
have been given had the West Ham winger gone to ground. "This debate is that
if people stay on their feet and it's a foul, then you don't get it. And
that's a fact because we've proven that over many, many years now," he said.
"While that makes life even more difficult for referees, they're paid to
give fouls whether people stay on their feet or they don't and in opposite
of that we continue to get slaughtered on simulation or diving and that's a
great shame. "At the end of the day, we've lost 3-1 and it's more down to
our deficiency rather than the referee's deficiency."

West Ham remain seven points above the drop zone in 11th place and although
slipping out of the Premier League appears highly unlikely, Allardyce is
keen for a positive end to the campaign with four games remaining. He said:
"I think I've got a lot to do and we've got a lot to do between now and the
end of the season in terms of making sure this season doesn't peter out and
making sure that we try and get as many points as we can and try and get as
many victories as we can on the board. "Crystal Palace is going to be a
massively tough game on their run at the moment. They're in top form at the
minute so it's going to be one at the Boleyn on Saturday that we want to be
on top form again but make sure we win if we can. "If we can't win, make
sure we don't lose. That's two on the trot we've lost and we don't want to
lose any more."

Arsenal move back into fourth with 3-1 victory over West Ham
By Rob Parrish - Follow me on Twitter @RobParrish75. Last Updated:
15/04/14 10:48pm

Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud fired Arsenal back into the Premier League
top four as the Gunners came from behind to defeat West Ham 3-1 at Emirates

Best of the Match:

Man of the Match: Santi Cazorla was at the heart of every Arsenal attack and
he was instrumental in securing the three points.
Goal of the Match: Olivier Giroud showed great composure and strength to
bring the ball down from the air, holding off Carroll before firing through
Adrian's legs.
Miss of the Match: His fine finish certainly made up for it, but Giroud's
casual first-half effort with the outside of his boot when through on goal
summed up Arsenal's early frustrations.
Controversy of the Match: West Ham's penalty claim was waved away as Sagna
clipped the legs of Jarvis who stayed on his feet, perhaps swaying the
decision in Arsenal's favour.
Talking point: Arsenal are back into fourth but will they be there in a
month's time?

Giroud's superb strike early in the second half helped secure a first win in
five Premier League outings for the FA Cup finalists, who are now a point
ahead of Everton in the race for the last UEFA Champions League berth, but
have played a game more.

Matt Jarvis had nodded the Hammers into the lead late in the first half, but
that appeared to rouse Arsene Wenger's men from a sluggish display and
Podolski levelled before the interval, with the Germany international adding
a third 12 minutes from time.

Giroud had a good chance to break the deadlock with 14 minutes gone, but
there was a lack of conviction in his attempt to get on the end of
Podolski's cross on the edge of the six-yard box and the opportunity went

West Ham had started strongly and came close to finding the net twice in the
space of 60 seconds, with Thomas Vermaelen forced to head Jarvis' deep cross
away under pressure from Andy Carroll, before Mohamed Diame slashed over the
bar when well-placed from the resulting corner.

Giroud then missed a glorious opportunity when he was played in behind the
Hammers defence by Santi Cazorla, with his ponderous touch and attempted
flick with the outside of his boot making it too easy for Adrian to gather.

West Ham made the Gunners pay five minutes before the interval. Antonio
Nocerino was not tracked by Kim Kallstrom as he burst into the box and,
although his initial effort was saved, the ball looped up for Jarvis to nod
home bravely, with Laurent Koscielny's flailing boot only narrowly missing
his head.

Arsene Wenger was delighted with his players after they came from behind to
win 3-1 at home to West Ham.
Arsenal responded and Kallstrom forced Adrian to save at his near post
before Podolski levelled with a drilled low finish across the keeper after
Cazorla seized onto Stewart Downing's poor clearance and threaded a pass
through the defence.

Downing fired a low shot wide early in the second period before Diame got
away from a weak Mikel Arteta challenge far too easily only to balloon his
long-range effort way off target

Sam Allardyce says his West Ham side only have themselves to blame after
suffering a 3-1 defeat away at Arsenal.
Giroud then made amends for his earlier misses in stunning style, bringing
down Vermaelen's deep ball to the back post with a deft touch from his left
boot and then firing beyond Adrian with his right despite the close
attentions of Winston Reid and Carroll.

Arsenal were keen to press home their advantage and Adrian was forced to
fist away Podolski's powerful free-kick from the right corner of the box,
before Cazorla cut inside after a swift Arsenal break with his shot curling
away from the keeper but also inches beyond the far post.

Lukas Podolski and Santi Cazorla both spoke of the importance of finishing
fourth after they beat West Ham 3-1.
Aaron Ramsey, who suffered a thigh injury in the win at West Ham on Boxing
Day, was sent on in place of Tomas Rosicky for his first Emirates appearance
since late December in the 72nd minute and he lashed a long-range shot over
the bar with his first meaningful contribution soon after.

The Wales international then played a key role in Arsenal's third, with his
fine cushioned header from Giroud's cross releasing Podolski to fire over
Adrian from 10 yards out and make the points safe for the Gunners.

West Ham's James Tomkins targets survival ahead of England
Last Updated: 15/04/14 2:35pm

West Ham defender James Tomkins has prioritised Premier League survival
despite his dream to play for England. The 25-year-old has impressed at
Upton Park this season and has helped Sam Allardyce's side to keep 13 clean
sheets. His form has prompted suggestions that England manager Roy Hodgson
should look at Tomkins, who has represented the national team from the
Under-16s and through to the Under-21s. However, despite an ambition to play
for the senior team, Tomkins' eyes are focused on West Ham's quest to
guarantee their Premier League status. He told the London Evening Standard:
"It would be a dream to play for my country one day but just at the moment
my entire focus is on West Ham and helping make sure we are still in the
Premier League next season. "I think we can take great heart and confidence
from recent games, including Liverpool despite the ultimate defeat.
"Liverpool have been scoring very freely from open play but, against us,
their two goals came from penalties. I feel like I'm playing well, improving
every game. Being picked for England is my ultimate goal." West Ham take on
Arsenal tonight at the Emirates, and it will give Tomkins another chance to
impress against quality opposition. Tomkins added: "We're looking forward to
this game. "We believe we have a good chance, especially now that Arsenal
have been involved in extra-time at the weekend."

Big match verdict: Failure to test shattered Arsenal shows West Ham have
much to work on
Apr 15, 2014 22:12
Darren Lewis was at the Emirates to see Sam Allardyce's men take a
first-half lead... and then fall apart
The Mirror

The game plan was obvious from the outset. Start fast, start hard, get into
the Arsenal ribs and find out whether or not they fancy it. Sam Allardyce
sent out his men well aware that many of the Gunners were cream-crackered
from being taken to the wire by Wigan 72 hours earlier. Five of the Arsenal
team - including key men Santi Cazorla and Mikel Arteta - played all 120
minutes of that stamina-sapping semi-final at Wembley. And just four days
earlier, Cazorla himself had expressed concerns that his side had lacked a
winning mentality. The Hammers fans played their part too, their cries of
"Top of the League and you f***** it up" referring to the fact that just two
months ago their hosts were indeed leading the title race. Now they are
battling to finish fourth. So the plan was simple. Rough up the Gunners in
midfield and bombard them from wide areas. It worked too. For all of four
minutes. Matty Jarvis bravely stuck his head in where it hurt five minutes
before half time to put West Ham ahead. Had the Irons held out until
half-time the stretched patience of their fans could have created a caustic
atmosphere here at the Emirates. Instead they committed the kind of unforced
error that had them in relegation trouble earlier this season. Lukas
Podolski and Olivier Giroud scored either side of half-time and that was
that. Their failure to exploit ailing Arsenal also highlighted something
that West Ham need to work on for next season - when Plan A fails they have
no Plan B.


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