3 positives & negatives from Arsenal's 2-0 defeat to West Ham

  • Leandro Trossard struggled to replace Kai Havertz, Arsenal failed to keep a clean sheet again and Oleksandr Zinchenko was erratic, but David Raya earned some plaudits

Arsenal FC v West Ham United - Premier League
Arsenal FC v West Ham United - Premier League / Marc Atkins/GettyImages
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Negative #3: Oleksandr Zinchenko's poor form

Arsenal FC v West Ham United - Premier League
Zinchenko had another tough night / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

A first-half booking underlined ZInchenko's sketchy performance in defensive areas. He's looked increasingly shaky as a defender in recent matches, but Arsenal's left-back isn't necessarily counted on for defending.

While that reads like an odd statement, Zinchenko offers Arteta's side tactical flexibility in possession. Specifically, the ability to overload midfield areas and boss the ball.

The tactic works like gangbusters when Zinchenko's passing is on point. Sadly, his radar was way off the mark for 64 minutes against West Ham, before Arteta introduced an equally ineffective Reiss Nelson.

Zinchenko plays a key role, but that role often hides his deficiencies in other, core areas of the game.


Positive #3: David Raya's penalty save

Being the man who replaced Aaron Ramsdale because of the manager's whim has often made Raya an easy target for Arsenal fans. So it was timely for the Spaniard to earn some plaudits by turning away Said Benrahma's penalty in stoppage time.

Raya needed the moment to quiet some of his doubters. The fact is he's a highly capable goalkeeper who only suffers by comparison with Ramsdale. The latter has his faults, but not enough to merit him being replaced so ruthlessly.

Arteta has been granted complete freedom to indulge every decision that takes his fancy. Those who have backed the manager to the hilt can hardly abandon faith simply because they like Ramsdale.