Barclays Premier League

Hosts Arsenal crush Hammers

2013-01-24 09:41
Arsene Wenger (File)
London - Arsene Wenger believes Arsenal's 5-1 demolition of West Ham proves they are mentally strong enough to cope with the pressure of battling to finish in the Premier League's top four.

After error-strewn performances in successive defeats against Manchester City and Chelsea, Arsenal's season appeared to be in danger of imploding and Wenger reportedly held crisis talks with his players earlier this week.

VIDEO: Arsenal v West Ham highlights

But the Gunners temporarily silenced their critics with an emphatic victory at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday which ended a troubling run of three games without a win and lifted them within four points of fourth placed Tottenham.

"We got a good response, I watched the Chelsea game again and felt in the second half we were good and we continued that here," Wenger said.

"In the first half we controlled it but West Ham were dangerous on set pieces and we got punished. In the second we played with great pace, had tremendous movement and created a lot of chances.

"I never felt the players didn't know how important these matches were. I was just worried they were a bit inhibited in the big games.

"They have fantastic mentality and ability. That is what we want to show until the end of the season."

Although Arsenal recovered from a 10-point deficit to finish in the top four last season, Wenger had conceded the team's position was beginning to concern him.

And when Jack Collison fired West Ham into a shock lead in the 18th minute, it appeared the north Londoners were set to hit a new low.

But, at the moment of maximum stress, Arsenal, so often accused of lacking character, finally showed some guts to equalise four minutes later through Lukas Podolski's fine strike.

Olivier Giroud put Arsenal ahead with a close-range finish from a corner in the 47th minute and that was the first of four goals in 10 minutes as the Hammers were blown away.

Santi Cazorla got the third with a sublime flick and Theo Walcott added the fourth before Giroud sealed the victory with a clinical strike, leaving Wenger to salute his players' attitude.

"At 1-0 down if you concede the second goal it can go the other way. The Premier League is like that. You are in trouble as soon as you are not at your best," he said.

"I thought it was an interesting test at that moment. It was vital to equalise before half-time.

"When Lukas Podolski is in that form then he is very important. He can finish and give assists, he is a team player."

Wenger also revealed Belgian defender Thomas Vermaelen is likely to miss Saturday's FA Cup fourth round tie at Brighton with an ankle injury, but he doesn't expect the Arsenal captain to be sidelined for long.

"Vermaelen was kicked and he twisted his ankle. He is a doubt for Saturday, but it is nothing major," Wenger added.

For West Ham manager Sam Allardyce, the defeat became secondary to his concern over the health of young defender Daniel Potts, who was taken to hospital after being knocked unconscious following a clash of heads with Arsenal's Bacary Sagna in the second half.

"Danny has gone straight to hospital with a concussion. He couldn't give the correct answers to the questions the doctor asked.

"It was a clash of heads. I think that knocked him unconscious and then he hit the floor a dead weight so it was a double blow.

"You are concerned about the time it took to get him treated, but they have to make sure they get him on the stretcher the right way to protect the spine.

"We think he will be ok. Hopefully there is no more damage to the neck or the spine."

Read more on:    west ham  |  arsenal  |  english premeirship  |  soccer
NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
3 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
08 August 2015
Stoke City v Liverpool, Britannia Stadium 16:00
Norwich City v Crystal Palace, Carrow Road 16:00
Arsenal v West Ham United, Emirates Stadium 16:00
Bournemouth v Aston Villa, Goldsands Stadium 16:00
Everton v Watford, Goodison Park 16:00
Leicester City v Sunderland, King Power Stadium 16:00
Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur, Old Trafford 16:00
Newcastle United v Southampton, St. James' Park 16:00
Chelsea v Swansea City, Stamford Bridge 16:00
West Bromwich Albion v Manchester City, The Hawthorns 16:00
15 August 2015
Liverpool v Bournemouth, Anfield 16:00
West Ham United v Leicester City, Boleyn Ground 16:00
Manchester City v Chelsea, Etihad Stadium 16:00
Swansea City v Newcastle United, Liberty Stadium 16:00
Crystal Palace v Arsenal, Selhurst Park 16:00
Southampton v Everton, St. Mary's Stadium 16:00
Sunderland v Norwich City, Stadium of Light 16:00
Watford v West Bromwich Albion, Vicarage Road 16:00
Aston Villa v Manchester United, Villa Park 16:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Stoke City, White Hart Lane 16:00
22 August 2015
West Ham United v Bournemouth, Boleyn Ground 16:00
Norwich City v Stoke City, Carrow Road 16:00
Arsenal v Liverpool, Emirates Stadium 16:00
Everton v Manchester City, Goodison Park 16:00
Leicester City v Tottenham Hotspur, King Power Stadium 16:00
Manchester United v Newcastle United, Old Trafford 16:00
Crystal Palace v Aston Villa, Selhurst Park 16:00
Sunderland v Swansea City, Stadium of Light 16:00
West Bromwich Albion v Chelsea, The Hawthorns 16:00
Watford v Southampton, Vicarage Road 16:00
Logs
Team P W PTS
Vote

With the season all but done, are you happy with your side's performance?

 
 
/Sport
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Featured

Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Got a burning desire to air an opinion? If so, be sure to sign-up on Sport24's FORUM!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.