Arsenal beat West Ham 3–0 on Saturday, giving them eight consecutive Premier League wins at home. Josh Getman provides his Yelp review for the match.
ATMOSPHERE — As usual, the vibe in Emirates Stadium was as electric as
an East German Stasi Christmas party. Thanks to the sound-dampening
technology apparently installed in this state-of-the-art football
biodome, one could safely bake a soufflé on the sideline of an Arsenal
home game without any fear of collapse.
This could have been a game of some promise, had it been played before West Ham’s tumble down the table from unlikely European contender to blah mid-table fodder. But, hey, you can only cook with the ingredients you have. Arsenal, meanwhile, are on the inevitable ascent that tricks faithful Gooners into dreaming of a third-place finish, before the inevitable descent that tricks faithful Gooners into dreading a Europa League place, followed by the inevitable retention of fourth and the promise of an exciting Champions League qualifying tie in Albania.
STYLE — We need to talk about Arsenal’s choice of kit during the 2014–2015 campaign. One has to question the wisdom of adopting the skin-tight wetsuit look. First and foremost, new jersey styles exist for the sole purpose of being purchased by the supporters. And in this era of unprecedented obesity, do we really want 60,000 Arsenal fans squeezed into $100 Puma casings like so much North London haggis?
The players, of course, are in incredible shape, but even they look ridiculous. I don’t need a constant reminder of how many ribs Per Mertesacker has. I’m going to assume it’s the standard amount. It’s surely too late to atone for this fashion crime until next season’s kit unveiling, so the North London Nipplepokies will have to soldier on like the football equivalent of the SI Swimsuit bodypaint section.
APPETIZER — The opening stanza gave Nipplepokies supporters the thing they love even more three points in the bag: a reason to complain about the refs. Collins’ clumsy (or crafty, depending on your point of view) challenge on Walcott in the box was a legitimate penalty shout in the fifth minute that surely had Gooner truthers in priapisms. If there’s one thing an Arse fan craves more than victory it’s validation of their long-held referee persecution complex.
MAIN COURSE — An emphatic Olivier Giroud stoppage-time goal eased tensions in the Emirates at the end of an otherwise bland first half.
DESSERT — West Ham surged in the second half but achieved no
breakthroughs. Arsenal, meanwhile, played nearly 600 passes and looked
to grind out a game that was far closer than it should have been,
until they finally broke through with two more goals after 80 minutes.
Mathieu Flamini, apparently still employed by the club, scored the
FINAL RATING — Sometimes you take a chance on a new restaurant in the
hopes of a transcendent experience. Mostly, though, you want to eat at
the neighborhood diner where you know exactly what you’re going to
get. Watching the Nipplepokies in their North London library may not
be spectacular, but at least you go home stuffed like a Gunner in a
spandex Puma blouse. Three stars.