Filed: Thursday, 24th January 2013
By: Staff Writer
A ten minute spell of madness saw West Ham well and truly thumped at the Emirates Stadium tonight.
Sam Allardyce's side, missing a number of regular first team players - yet drawing 1-1 at the half-time interval - conceded four goals inside the opening 13 minutes of the second half to record a demoralising 5-1 defeat.
And to add insult to injury, young defender Danny Potts - who had only been on the field for seven minutes having replaced West Ham's goalscorer Jack Collison - was stretchered off, unconscious, following a collision with Bacary Sagna.
The night had begun promisingly for the Hammers when they took the lead through Jack Collison, who made his Irons debut on this ground on New Year’s Day 2008, with just 18 minutes on the clock.
The Welsh international blasted United into the lead when a corner was half-cleared to the midfielder who lay in wait on the edge of the box, before volleying it straight into the back of the net through a crowd of bodies.
However West Ham's lead was to last for just four minutes; Lucas Podolski equalised for the home side with a thunderous drive from the edge of the box.
Having spent the majority of the opening 45 minutes in their own half, West Ham were limited to sporadic attacks but threatened to add a second goal on a number of occasions - Ricardo Vaz Te and Carlton Cole, who saw one effort bundled off the line by Aaron Ramsey, going closest.
Jussi Jaaskelainen, who had very little to do ahead of the break was finally forced into a save in the final minute of the first half when Cazorla's goal-bound free kick was tipped wide by the veteran stopper. However that was all set to change after the restart.
Just 90 seconds into the second half, Arsenal took the lead as West Ham were yet again undone at a set piece. A corner from the left appeared to have been under hit, but an aware Giroud left marker Tomkins for dead before applying the finishing touch at the near post.
With West Ham still adjusting to falling behind for the first time on the night, the Gunners added a third on 53 minutes when Podolski, who had scored Arsenal's first of the night turned provider as his team countered by rolling the ball across goal for Cazorla to roll over the line.
And less than two minutes later it was 4-1 when Podolski was once again involved, finding Theo Walcott at the far post for the England international to volley home from close range.
Incredibly, there was yet more to come - and it was Podolski who played a major part, again. Just ten minutes after they had taken the lead, Arsenal made it 5-1 when Jack Wilshire's slide-rule pass found Podolski who centred for Giroud to slide in and grab his second of the evening, in what was rapidly turning into a rout.
With the game well and truly lost, Sam Allardyce opted to make some changes - one of which was the introduction of Danny Potts as a replacement for Jack Collison. However the teenager's night was to end in awful circumstances after a collision with Arsenal's Sagna left him pole axed and receiving treatment on the pitch for nearly ten minutes.
Potts, who was unconscious throughout was immediately rushed to hospital and regained consciousness before arriving, although he is being kept in overnight to be monitored. There are no further details as to the extent of his injury at this stage.
The twelve minutes of added-on time - incurred as a result of Potts' misfortune - passed without major incident and the ten men of West Ham avoided any further damage, although that had already been done by the ten minutes of madness at the start of the second half.
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03:18PM 24th Jan 2013
''Again lack of concentration has dealt a severe blow on us. Hammers should realise that they should never lose concentration, at least not against teams like Arsenal. Big Sam needs to fortify this team with a few quality players in defence and attack.''
12:42PM 24th Jan 2013
''Why were we missing so many first team regulars? With Andy Carroll, Ginge and George McCartney out injured, why on earth would you start with Joe Cole, Matt Jarvis and Mo Diame only on the bench? It's not even as though we have a game this weekend to be saving them for.
You might say we were asking for the trouble that came our way. We conceded a couple of good goals, but the rest were just woeful defending. They literally scored every time they came forward and you could see each one coming.''
11:58AM 24th Jan 2013
''And there was me calling Taylor names for a rubbish corner... Wham! We get a belter, for a change, and the media can shut up about "X games since they last scored away". Marvellous! And then Podolski does the same thing back to us. It was that good a strike, I didn't know whether to cheer or cry...
Anything else I wanted to say is entirely overshadowed by the injury to Dan Potts. It took a gas bottle, a neck brace, a stretcher, and a full 10 minutes to get him safely off the pitch after an innocuous looking aerial challenge left him in a crumpled heap. I could comment on the way Arsenal took advantage of the space and time we'd been giving them all game to take us apart and score four goals in 12 minutes at the start of the second half. I could suggest that playing the last 20 minutes with 10 men was no big deal considering we'd already done it for the first 70, so much was Vaz Te a passenger.
More tellingly, the heart seemed to have gone out of both sets of players after Dan was carried off. Despite a couple of chances subsequently, Arsenal didn't really press us, didn't score again, and the 12 minutes added might just as well not have been played. We had a decent first 45, we scored away from home, the Gunners slaughtered us for about 15 minutes at the start of the second 45. The only thing that really matters, though, is that Dan seems to have escaped with nothing worse than a bad concussion!''
by David Mercer
10:56AM 24th Jan 2013
''Firstly, get well soon Dan Potts.
The team selection was baffling; with no game this weekend why was Diame rested (unless he is off) with Jarvis and Joe Cole? Arsenal was on the back of two defeats, low on confidence so why are we not putting out our stongest side? Matt Taylor is average for me.
We are out of the cups so every game should be a Cup Final and play your best team. I know we have had injuries but so do a lot of clubs and after a good start to the season, complacency has really shown. They thought they were safe but there is still a lot to do.
I still would have taken where we are now at the beginning of the season and I'm sure there will be three worse teams, but the early season desire to push on has gone for me.''
08:02AM 24th Jan 2013
''Am I the only one who is beginning to think that it is no coincidence that West Ham have gone down hill since Wally Downes left? I don't know why he 'left', but we have not been as solid or as spirited since he went I think.
We need to get mean again. We need another James Collins type defender for when he is injured, Tomkins just isn't cutting it and we're going to badly need a replacement for Diame.
At the beginning of the season we bullied teams and yet now for some reason we are the ones being bullied.''
06:34AM 24th Jan 2013
''Being generous, at least three of the goals were down to Tomkins' lack of ability . Week after week he is shown up as having very little talent, concentration, positional sense or speed. Get rid ASAP before we are dragged into the bottom three. There are a couple of mug managers like Pardew and Loser Redknapp that might give us some cash.''