Arsenal’s Premier League away woes continued on Wednesday as they were held to a goalless draw by West Ham United at the London Stadium.
The visitors dominated possession for much of the game, but chances came at a premium, for them and David Moyes’ men. Marko Arnautovic was the first one to come closest to scoring, but his header from Arthur Masuaku’s cross was ruled offside.
The visitors had a few chances too, with Alexis Sanchez and Alex Iwobi going whiskers away from breaking the deadlock. Olivier Giroud’s acrobatic effort was denied by Aaron Cresswell’s hands, although the defender escaped any penalty for the incident.
In the dying stages of the match Mesut Ozil and Jack Wilshere unsuccessfully attempted to grab the lead for their side, but the biggest chance of the game came for the Hammers. Substitute Javier Hernandez’s effort struck the woodwork and only bounced on the goal-line before it was eventually cleared.
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) December 13, 2017
With the game ending all square, the Gunners are now winless in each of their last three games, with just two wins out of their nine away games in the Premier League this season. And after they fell down to seventh in the table, The Hard Tackle runs the rule over Arsene Wenger’s men.
Petr Cech: 5/10
After being one of the heroes in Arsenal’s draw at Southampton over the weekend, Cech could nearly turned into the villain on Wednesday. The veteran shot-stopper was extremely shaky, and looked uncertain in aerial situations in particular.
Fortunately for him, the poorest of such moments didn’t result in a West Ham goal as Marko Arnautovic headed off the target. Nevertheless, he ended up earning a clean sheet, but improvement needs to be made.
Hector Bellerin: 6/10
Another underwhelming performance by Bellerin, who is arguably able to start week in week out because there’s no viable backup for him. On Wednesday, Bellerin was poor going forward once again, although he was much improved while dealing with the threat of Arthur Masuaku. There still remains a huge scope for improvement.
Laurent Koscielny: 5/10
The Arsenal skipper was much improved on the night, but he still looks a long way off his best. While he wasn’t tested much, his no-nonsense style of defending helped keep things tight down the middle. However, he almost conceded all three points in the dying stages of the match as his cross field pass led to Hernandez’s late chance.
Nacho Monreal: 5/10
Arsenal’s Mr. Reliable seems to be going through a bit of a slump at the moment, and he was shaky once again on Wednesday. The Spaniard looks slightly out of place in a back-four, although he did defend well for the most part. Aerial situations get the better of him, and Arnautovic looked to exploit that weakness.
Ainsley-Maitland Niles: 6/10
Ainsley Maitland-Niles (4) has more successful crosses than Hector Bellerin (3) and Sead Kolasinac (2) in the Premier League, despite playing 15 games fewer than Bellerin and 13 fewer than Kolasinac. pic.twitter.com/zvCpyo4RRe
— Arsenal TSN (@ArsenalTSN) December 14, 2017
Maitland-Niles made his first appearance in the Premier League this season as Wenger rested Kolasinac. This outing was another example of just how far he has come in the role of a full-back/wing-back as he defended diligently, while supplying some fantastic balls. He really could become a full-time defender if he continues developing in such fine fashion.
Granit Xhaka: 5/10
The blow-hot-blow-cold saga continued for Xhaka on Wednesday. After a steady performance over the weekend, Xhaka was poor once again, thanks to sloppy passing, shaky defending and poor shooting. He only looked in control for a short span in the game. Needs to arrest this inconsistent tendencies.
Alex Iwobi: 6/10
Another player who received a rare Premier League start on the night, Iwobi gave no indication as to why he needs to be used more. While he was quite the threat in the first half, his form petered out in the final 45 minutes, although he could have had a goal for himself from the game. Still, like many of his teammates, he needs to make improvements.
Jack Wilshere: 7/10
The day finally came when Jack Wilshere got the chance to start a Premier League game, after nearly 600 days. The Englishman was a creative workhorse for the Gunners on the night, combining ever so well with Ozil, with the duo creating most of the chances.
Jack Wilshere’s first-half by numbers:
100% passing accuracy
5 duels won
— BBC 5 live Sport (@5liveSport) December 13, 2017
But, he was among the guilty party for the difference between three points and one, as he lashed a shot over the crossbar from close-range. One of the few areas that he needs to work on – finishing.
Mesut Ozil: 6/10
It wasn’t a poor game by any means for Ozil, who worked hard all through the night. But, the little space that was left by the West Ham defence didn’t help much as he failed to create a glut of chances, as he is expected to. The German playmaker could have and should have had a goal for himself too, when he pulled his shot just wide.
Olivier Giroud: 6/10
In what was his first Premier League start of the season, Giroud did all that he could, despite chances coming few and far between. The Frenchman did look quite frustrated up front due to the lack of service, making it hard for him to make much of an impact. Remains a fine option for Wenger, though.
Alexis Sanchez: 5/10
A run of bad performances continued for Alexis Sanchez on the night. The Chilean just can’t get to his best at the moment, with his wastefulness now becoming utterly frustrating, especially for teammates on the pitch. He was rightly taken off in the dying stages of the match, and the decision should really have been taken much earlier.
Danny Welbeck: 5/10
Listless. There really is no other word to describe the performance of Welbeck, who is failing to shrug off the rust following his return from injury.
Alexandre Lacazette: N/A
On for the final eight minutes, Lacazette had very little time and opportunities to do much on the night. The Frenchman really should have been introduced much earlier.