Positive #2: Martin Odegaard scores
It may have been nothing more than a mere consolation goal, but Odegaard’s stoppage-time strike could be exactly what the Norwegian playmaker needs to rediscover his best form.
The 24-year-old has largely struggled for form in recent weeks, possibly partly explained by fatigue given he has been rested in our last two fixtures. But, fatigued or not, his form hasn’t been good enough of late and that must change.
Perhaps this goal, coupled with the rest afforded to him by Arteta, can be the catalyst for an upturn in his form.
Negative #2: Lacklustre midfield
Before kick-off, I was already worried about how this game would go after I saw our lineup. In my opinion, a midfield three of Jorginho, Fabio Vieira and Kai Havertz is simply too lightweight, especially against a physical and direct side such as West Ham.
As the game progressed, it became clear that I was correct and while those players were adept at keeping hold of the ball and recycling possession, David Moyes’ side were bypassing them with counter-attacks, both with far too much regularity and far too much ease.
It has become clear, in my opinion at least, that without Thomas Partey or Declan Rice, our midfield options lack the physicality needed to effectively control a game.
Continued on the next slide…