The word would appear to be true. The rumour circulated around Upton Park before kick-off that Avram Grant was for the chop after Arsenal's visit, and nobody in authority at West Ham made any serious attempt to dismiss them. Martin O'Neill, according to reports, has agreed in principle to takeover, although he must possess a strong, previously undiagnosed, masochistic streak if he has answered the call. Despite having lost just one of their past seven games, the team Grant is set to leave behind are in a sorry state.
Admittedly, Scott Parker was missing and Mark Noble, their only other decent midfielder, limped off the pitch after 20 minutes. With those two gone, the rest of West Ham's squad are a mish-mash of average footballers with no backbone – O'Neill will deserve every penny he earns if he's to keep them in the Premier League. He might well ask Robbie Keane, a player he tried to sign in the summer for Aston Villa, to help him out. The Irish captain isn't exactly racing to the Midlands to sign for Birmingham City and O'Neill's arrival might be the catalyst for the striker to join the club.
It was all embarrassingly straight-forward for Arsenal, who stay third in the table, a point behind Manchester United, and two behind Manchester City. With Samir Nasri pulling the strings, their football was both clever and clinical, the latter quality too often a rarity. Their opening goal on 13 minutes epitomised their efforts. Theo Walcott played a ball to Samir Nasri who had the presence of mind to allow the roll run between his feet. Directly behind him stood Robin van Persie and the Dutchman walloped the ball to the net.
Sweet football, and there was more to come. Van Persie rattled a low drive off Robert Green's left-hand post when put clean through. But Arsenal's second goal duly arrived. Van Persie beat West Ham's faulty offside trap and pulled the ball back for the Walcott to finish.
The only moment of worry for Arsenal was of their own creation. Carlton Cole and Zavon Hines both had opportunities to punish a lazy backpass from Johan Djourou with what would have been an equaliser but credit to the assured Wojciech Szczesny for a fine save from Cole's initial effort. And that was effectively that. The second half was a non-event. Arsenal could have had as many goals as they wanted but settled for just the one, a Van Persie penalty on 76 minutes after Wayne Bridge had taken down Walcott. Grant departed the arena, and the West Ham job, with boos ringing in his ears.