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OUT FOR THE COUNT ... unconscious Dan Potts was treated for NINE minutes on a horrible night for West Ham
WALC ON ... Winston Reid beats Theo Walcott to the ball
COLLY WOBBLE ... Jack Collison fires West Ham into the lead
POD ROCKER ... Lukas Podolski smashes Arsenal level
START THE CA ... Santi Cazorla fizzes one past Kevin Nolan
Arsenal 5 West Ham 1
THE flat-track bullies were at it again in north London last night.
Against a lower-placed team on a poor run, Arsenal delivered some scintillating, incisive and at times, carnival football.
Particularly in a stunning 10-minute burst at the start of the second half which saw them clobber West Ham with four goals.
Yet if Arsenal are to finish in a Champions League place for the 16th year in a row, their new kids on the block — Lukas Podolski, Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla — must keep playing like this every week. For all remaining 15 games.
German international Podolski has lost his fizz since a brilliant start to life in English football.
Yet he cancelled out Jack Collison’s fine opener with a stunning goal, before causing havoc after half-time in his best performance for the club.
Frenchman Giroud grabbed goals number 10 and 11 of the season, Cazorla scored his eighth goal for the club and leading scorer Theo Walcott registered his 16th of the campaign.
After his goal, Walcott pretended to sign a piece of paper. Anyone would think he has just penned a new deal worth £100,000 a week.
So it was smiles all round until towards the end of the game.
The celebrations on the final whistle were muted as both sets of fans had witnessed the sight of West Ham defender Danny Potts, 18, leaving the pitch on a stretcher.
He was knocked unconscious after a clash with Bacary Sagna and needed nine minutes of treatment before being taken to hospital in a neck brace. It was a bad end to a poor night for West Ham who, if they are not careful, could find themselves sucked into a relegation fight. One win in eight is certainly worrying.
After two successive defeats in the league, Arsenal, meanwhile, can once again dream of hunting down their neighbours. They turned around a 10-point gap on Tottenham last season and are now just four points behind.
But if Arsenal are to keep up the pressure, they have to do more than batter teams you would expect them to beat. The Gunners are great at dishing out such treatment to new arrivals who have just stepped up a division.
It is just when they face the bigger mobs that they struggle, as the recent losses to Manchester City and Chelsea prove. The home Premier League clash with Liverpool in six days is crucial.
You would like to think Arsenal will have at least one more arrival by then but knowing Wenger, he will leave it until January 31.
And you worry that he may even use this result as an excuse not to sign anyone at all. It would not be the biggest of surprises.
Podolski, who arrived from Cologne for £11m, is without doubt a fine player with bags of experience but needs to be more consistent.
Equally, Jack Wilshere, 21, was once again superb yet too much responsibility rests on his young shoulders.
Arsenal desperately need a holding midfielder and one of their targets, West Ham’s Mohamed Diame, had to settle for a cameo role off the bench.
West Ham’s 18th-minute lead came after a promising spell. Matty Taylor’s corner was only half cleared and Collison drove home. But his strike was matched by Podolski’s spectacular equaliser four minutes later.
Then Arsenal clobbered West Ham after the break. From a well-worked Walcott corner, Giroud raced in to fire into the roof of the net with a volley.
The third came soon after as a slick one-two between Podolski and Giroud ended with Cazorla coolly back-heeling the ball past Jussi Jaaskelainen.
The misery continued for Hammers and again Podolski was the menace. He picked up a pass from Wilshere and delivered a perfectly-weighted ball for Walcott to score with a classy flick.
The battering continued and started to get embarrassing. Another great pass from Wilshere, another superb pass from Podolski, another goal from close-range for Giroud. This was getting silly.
Both sets of managers used their subs and West Ham were reduced to 10 men following Potts’ worrying departure.
It was a sad end to an otherwise lively, if one-sided, scrap.
DREAM TEAM RATINGS
STAR MAN - LUKAS PODOLSKI (Arsenal)
ARSENAL: Szczesny 6, Sagna 6, Gibbs 6, Mertesacker 7, Vermaelen 6, Cazorla 7, Wilshere 8, Ramsey 6, Giroud 8, Podolski 9, Walcott 7. Subs: Koscielny (Vermaelen) 6, Santos (Podolski) 6, Oxlade-Chamberlain (Giroud) 6. Not used: Mannone, Jenkinson, Arshavin, Frimpong.
WEST HAM: Jaaskelainen 7, Demel 5, Tomkins 6, Reid 5, O'Brien 6, Taylor 6, Collison 7, Nolan 6, Noble 6, C Cole 6, Vaz Te 6. Subs: Potts (Collison 62) 6, Diarra (Reid 62) 6, Diame (Vaz Te 70) 6. Not used: Henderson, Jarvis, J Cole, O’Neil, Booked. Vaz Te.
OUT FOR THE COUNT ... unconscious Dan Potts was treated for NINE minutes on a horrible night for West Ham
WEST HAM boss Sam Allardyce watched in horror as Dan Potts suffered a sickening injury in his team’s crushing defeat.
The young sub, 18, was knocked out cold in a collision with Arsenal’s Bacary Sagna and needed NINE MINUTES of treatment.
Allardyce said: “He hit the floor as a dead weight. He was able to answer questions but not in the right way. They have protected his neck.
“He was out for a few seconds. When you hit the floor like that it might be a problem. He has gone straight to hospital with concussion.
“As he lost consciousness it is a minimum of two weeks I think before he can play again.”
After being taken off on a stretcher, Potts was taken by ambulance to the Whittington Hospital where he was kept in overnight for scans and observation.
RAGE ... West Ham boss Sam Allardyce
Big Sam denies charge
SAM ALLARDYCE has denied a misconduct charge following his blast at referee Phil Dowd.
Big Sam criticised Dowd for awarding Manchester United a penalty for handball and denying West Ham one for a similar offence during the FA Cup third-round replay at Old Trafford.
The Hammers boss was rapped by the FA but he has denied the charge and requested a personal hearing.
A statement from the FA read: “West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce has denied an FA charge of misconduct in relation to media comments.
“The comments followed his side’s FA Cup with Budweiser third round replay against Manchester United at Old Trafford on January 16, 2013.
“It is alleged Allardyce questioned the integrity of the match referee and/or match officials in general, and/or implied that the match referee and/or match officials in general were motivated by bias; and/or brought the game into disrepute in contravention of Rule E3(1).
“Allardyce has requested a personal hearing, the date of which will be set in due course.”
Allardyce’s rant came after West Ham were refused a penalty after the ball struck Rafael in the box.
United were then awarded a penalty following a Jordan Spence handball.
Wayne Rooney missed the spot-kick but Alex Ferguson’s side still won the tie 1-0.
Speaking on ITV after the match, a furious Allardyce said: “There’s no doubt about the difference between Rafael’s handball and Jordan Spence’s.
“Spence plays for West Ham and the away team, while Rafael plays for the home side at Old Trafford. You see it time and time again at Old Trafford.”
Later in his Press conference, Allardyce added: “He couldn’t find the courage to give it unfortunately, and he then went down the other end and there was a very similar incident with Jordan Spence and it was given.
“That is a very big disappointment for me — the lack of consistency in that area.
“I think you have to have courage to play here and to referee here.
“But why are you a professional referee or player? To come to these places to do your job, and do it to the best of your ability.
“Phil Dowd is a hugely-experienced referee and one of the top ones in this country, but today I have to say he did get it wrong.”
DEM 'N DUSTED ... Guy Demel
You’re our Guy
Demel deals in at Hammers
GUY DEMEL has signed a new contract at West Ham until 2015.
The Ivory Coast full-back, 31, joined on an initial two-year deal from Hamburg in August 2011.
Demel will celebrate putting pen to paper by taking on former club Arsenal tonight.
He said: “It’s really good for me and I’m really happy to have a new deal with West Ham.
“I’ve had a good year this season, and even last year was good, despite the fact that I was injured for so long and struggled a bit.
“I’m happy to be at West Ham and in the team. The lads are really good with me as are the people working for the club. I hope I will stay that long to play in the new stadium as well.
“Last year was kind of difficult because when I signed, I had pre-season, and then unfortunately I got injured really quickly and it was hard to come back afterwards.
“But right now I feel good. I had a pre-season, we worked hard and I have to thank the medical staff for the job they have done with me.
“I feel good and I’m quite happy with what I’m doing right now, but I know that I can do even more.”
Frightening: Players from both sides watch Potts receiving treatment
Hammer horror: Potts facing lengthy lay-off following clash of heads and brain scan
Collision with Arsenal's Bacary Sagna leaves West Ham substitute concussed and in hospital after being unable to properly answer medics' questions
Frightening: Players from both sides watch Potts receiving treatment Frightening: Players from both sides watch Potts receiving treatment
West Ham substitute Danny Potts underwent a brain scan after being rushed to hospital following a horror collision.
Potts was stretchered off, needed oxygen and was then taken to the nearby Whittington Hospital after a clash of heads with Arsenal's Bacary Sagna during the Gunners' 5-1 win on Wednesday.
Hammers boss Sam Allardyce revealed Potts was conscious but could not talk or respond properly to questions after the terrifying incident on the pitch which led to a long delay and referee Andre Marriner having to add 12 minutes of injury time.
Allardyce said: "Potts has gone straight to hospital with concussion, he was unable to give the correct answers to the questions. When you hit the floor like that it might be a problem, hopefully he will make a speedy recovery.
"As he lost consciousness, it is a minimum of two weeks, I think, before he can play again. He hit the floor as a dead weight. He was able to answer questions, but not in the right way.
"They have protected his neck. He was out for a few seconds. He was not fully conscious when he came off.
"We were concerned at how long it took. They have to make sure they protect the spine the right way getting them on the stretcher; that's why it took the time it did."
Potts suffered a concussion injury in pre-season but West Ham are hoping that he will make a full recovery.
His absence reduced Hammers to 10 men as Allardyce had already used all three substitutes.
Harry Redknapp wants to sign Blackburn defenders Martin Olsson, 24, and Scott Dann, 25, to help QPR beat the drop.
Liverpool have stepped up their efforts to sign Inter Milan midfielder Philippe Coutinho, 20, after making an £8 million bid and hope to beat Southampton to the signature.
Captain Fabricio Coloccini, 31, has told Newcastle he does not want to play for them again.
New Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino insists he is not looking to sign players from former club Espanyol.
Liverpool are set to hold showdown talks with goalkeeper Pepe Reina, 30, who has been linked with Barcelona.
Arsenal are lining up a £20 million move for Fiorentina striker Stevan Jovetic, 23.
Liverpool and Arsenal are set for a summer transfer tussle over Swansea defender Ashley Williams, 28.
Crystal Palace have bid for Swindon winger Matt Ritchie, 23.
Nottingham Forest are close to signing Millwall striker Darius Henderson, 31.
West Brom defender Craig Dawson, 22, looks set to join Bolton while Fiorentina are closing in on Marcos Alonso, 22.
Bradford manager Phil Parkinson is understood to be on just £1,000 a week.
Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho has fuelled talk of a Chelsea return by admitting he regrets spending just three years at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea defender Gary Cahill, 27, believes Arsenal are no longer a threat to the Blues in the race for Champions League places and is more concerned with catching Manchester United in the title race.
London's Evening Standard
BBC 5 live's 606 newsletter reports that in a friendly between Zenit and Shaktar Donetsk, the referee appears to forget his role on the pitch as he goes flying into a tackle getting nowhere near the ball.
Tottenham appear to have cloned Gareth Bale, in the form of spitting image youth teamer, Kenny McEvoy, 19.
ARSENAL are considering a raid for out-of-favour Roma keeper Maarten Stekelenburg.
The Gunners could get the Dutch international, 30, for a bargain £5.5million — with the Serie A side eager to slash their wage bill.
Stekelenburg’s agent Rob Jansen said: “There is no concrete offer but we know what is moving in the goalkeeping market.”
DIDIER DROGBA could join AC Milan for £5million.
Ex-Chelsea striker Drogba, 34, wants to quit Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua after seven months.
Milan manager Massimiliano Allegri said: “We will see what we can do.”
BIRMINGHAM are set to let England keeper Jack Butland go for a cut-price £3.5million.
Cash-strapped Brum want to sell the 19-year-old and Liverpool, Spurs and Manchester City are among the clubs interested.
DAVID JAMES is battling to save his 25-year career after being dropped by Bournemouth for Tuesday’s win at Hartlepool.
The keeper, 42, was not even a sub but boss Eddie Howe said: “He took it like a man.”
WEST BROM and West Ham are both chasing Fabrice N’Sakala.
French side Troyes want to cash in on the £2million-rated defender.
And the French left-back, 22, said: “I just love English football.”[/color
babe of the day
http://www.nuts.co.uk/images/gallery/20 ... ls_50_.jpg
Thanks CH great stuff
Really hope we hear some good news about Dan Potts today
Cheeers CH, as always.
Let's hope for some good news on Danny Potts.
Get well soon Pottsy.
That BOTD is a cracker, best for a while in my humble opinion!
5 rating for Reid? while Taylor, Vaz Te and Nolan all get 6, was the writer at the same match?
i dont think we'll get anyone in. we've been trying for weeks to sign a defender and failed.
Thanks CH, I bet collating that was a thankless task mate. Onwards and (hopefully) upwards. Wishing a speedy recovery to Dan Potts.
Hope Pottsy's all good and a pearl necklace for the BOTD
Cheers CH....Twitchy in for Olsson!! payback for us nicking Joe Cole? or more likely him being a **** again
cheers cockers (©AGxM)
17 posts • Page 1 of 1
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