When it comes to fighting for fourth spot, there are no better warriors than Wenger’s men. They’ve been down this road in each of the last three seasons now and shook off a poor first half performance to suggest they have the know how and spirit to prevail again.
Conceding a sloppy goal on 40 minutes would have been disastrous had Podolski not levelled just before the break. There would have been booing from frustrated home fans and the Arsenal players would have emerged for the second half under tremendous pressure. Instead, they came out relieved not to be behind after a lethargic display which produced only two dangerous goal attempts, and pretty soon they had the lead.
The much-maligned Giroud showed he does have some genuine quality when he held off Andy Carroll to smash home the decisive goal on 55 minutes. He may not be the world class striker we need, but he has scored some vital goals for us this season and should be retained next year as back up to a quality new purchase that Wenger simply must make up front. No more Sanogo’s Wenger, do your job properly.The spirit and desire drained from West Ham after that and the rest of the match was a formality as West Ham offered little going forward while Arsenal grew in confidence, fully deserving their sweetly struck third goal from that man Podolski again.
Everton will be feeling the pressure right now because they know Arsenal have it in them to beat all the sides they have left, even when they’re not at their best like during the first half last night. Just as last season, an ‘easy’ run in should yield pretty much maximum points for Arsenal, meaning Everton probably need 13 points from their remaining five fixtures which is a tough ask.
Let’s see how Martinez’s men respond tonight in a tricky fixture against resilient Crystal Palace. Meanwhile we need to make sure the improvement continues against Hull because they will give us a much sterner test than Allardyce’s blunt Hammers did.