Arsenal 3 West Ham 1 analysis: Arsenal still in driving seat for Champions League, plus what else we learnt at the Emirates

Despite playing for 120 minutes in the FA Cup win over Wigan on Saturday, Arsenal had enough to recover from going a goal down at the Emirates

the emirates stadium

Arsenal still in driving seat for Champions League spot

Arsenal do not have to start planning for life without Champions League football yet. Everton host Crystal Palace at Goodison Park on Wednesday night knowing an eighth consecutive victory will take them back into fourth in the Premier League, but Arsène Wenger’s side demonstrated why many feel they are still in the driving seat for a top-four finish. Just 72 hours after a draining 120-minute FA Cup semi-final win against Wigan at Wembley, this had the potential for a slip-up but Arsenal found enough. They would lose out on around £25m if they end up playing in the Europa League next season and missing out on the Champions League would increase the scrutiny surrounding Wenger’s position at the club. Wenger has warned his players against taking Champions League football for granted and there was no sign of them doing that.

Carroll can make late charge into England’s Brazil squad

Andy Carroll can still make England’s World Cup party. West Ham’s record signing was a notable omission from Roy Hodgson’s squad for March’s friendly against Denmark but has since shown that he could offer a Plan B in Brazil. The 25-year-old is not suited to the way England want to play and is unlikely to break into the starting XI. However, he made an impact at Euro 2012 and, while he was quiet here, he might leapfrog Hodgson’s preferred forwards with a strong finish to the season. It appears a straight battle between Southampton’s Rickie Lambert and Carroll, who kept Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny on their toes throughout.

 

Wenger does have better strikers than Sanogo after all

Arsenal do have better forward options than Yaya Sanogo. Wenger surprised everyone by starting 21-year-old Sanogo at Wembley on Saturday but Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski showed why they are still the men to lead the Gunners’ attack. Podolski has said he is “not happy” with being used sparingly by Wenger this season and the German international equalised with a clinical finish before sealing the three points late on. They were only his fifth and sixth Premier League goals of the season but showed his class in front of goal. Giroud has looked tired in recent months but he offered much more of a threat that Sanogo did against Wigan. Wenger will need Podolski and Giroud among the goals for this crucial period of the season.

Kallstrom starts at last and could prove valuable signing

Kim Kallstrom made a long-awaited first start for Arsenal and, if the Sweden midfielder can recover his match sharpness quickly, there was evidence he could make an important contribution in the final month of the season. Kallstrom, who was Arsène Wenger’s only January signing, has been troubled with a back injury since joining on loan from Spartak Moscow but may yet prove a decent bit of business if he helps Arsenal to a top-four finish and FA Cup success. The 31-year-old showed neat touches alongside Mikel Arteta in central midfield and, while he is not as dynamic as Aaron Ramsey, he helped out going forward and came close to opening his Arsenal account in the first half. Ramsey has returned to full fitness but Kallstrom’s performance was an encouraging sign for Wenger.

Tomkins is good, but never England World Cup class

James Tomkins has some way to go before being considered for an England call-up. The defender said before the game that he has hopes of being selected in Roy Hodgson’s 23-man squad for the World Cup and many West Ham supporters believe he could be a surprise inclusion for Brazil in the summer. No, really. “It would be a dream to play for my country one day,” said Tomkins. While he has impressed at the heart of the Hammers’ defence this season and did little wrong here, he lacks the quality needed at international level and there is no chance he will be on the list when Hodgson names his squad on 13 May. 

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
News
Bobbi Kristina Brown, daughter of the late singer Whitney Houston, poses at the premiere of
people
News
people
News
The frequency with which we lie and our ability to get away with it both increase to young adulthood then decline with age, possibly because of changes that occur in the brain
scienceRoger Dobson knows the true story, from Pinocchio to Pollard
Voices
The male menopause: those affected can suffer hot flushes, night sweats, joint pain, low libido, depression and an increase in body fat, among other symptoms
voicesSo the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Life and Style
health
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen
RuPaul interview: The drag star on being inspired by Bowie, never fitting in, and saying the first thing that comes into your head

RuPaul interview

The drag star on being inspired by Bowie, never fitting in, and saying the first thing that comes into your head