O'Brien rues timing of Giroud's goal

West Ham United defender Joey O’Brien said conceding just before half time took the wind out of the Hammers’ sails as they slipped to a 3-0 defeat away at Arsenal.

French international Olivier Giroud opened the scoring in the 45th minute when he struck a fierce shot in off the far post to break the deadlock.

Late on in the second half, the Gunners sealed the three points with goals from Aaron Ramsey and Mathieu Flamini.

Speaking after the game, O’Brien identified Arsenal’s opener as the turning point: “I think conceding right before half-time knocked the wind out of our sails a little bit.

“If you go in 0-0 at half-time you have a different game plan in the second half. But with that goal, the pressures off them a little bit, they can sit back and we’re chasing the game. They have some quality players in their side so it was always going to be difficult.”

The Irish international has had limited first team opportunities due to Carl Jenkinson’s impressive form this season, making ten appearances. However, the 29-year-old put in an assured performance against the likes of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez.

“It was nice to be back out there. I haven’t played as much as I would’ve liked and it’s been tough. But these are the games you want to be involved with.

“As a kid growing up I was an Arsenal fan and I’ve always enjoyed playing against them. This is a great place to play football, if you can’t enjoy playing at the Emirates, you’re in the wrong job.”

“It’s hard when you’re not playing but you have to stay professional and train hard, do the extra bits of work with the fitness coach after the game. It’s not something you want to be doing but you have to make sure you’re match ready.”

Despite the defeat, O’Brien is confident that the Hammers will bounce back next weekend when they host Sunderland. With Carl Jenkinson eligible again, O’Brien will also be hoping that his performance against the north London outfit was enough to keep him in the side.  

“We need a big win next Saturday against Sunderland. We haven’t won in a long time and that’s taken the shine off how well we started the season.

“We need to kick on for the last nine games. We’ve got the big boys out of the way now so hopefully we can kick on and get some points on the board.

“With Carl not eligible to play, it was my opportunity to show what I can do and hopefully I’ve done enough.”