Assistant manager Neil McDonald said that the absence of several key players was the reason why West Ham failed to deal with Arsenal and succumbed to a 3-0 defeat at the Emirates Stadium.

Arsene Wenger’s secured the home team’s ninth win in a row against the Hammers. the Olivier Giroud’s piledriver in the first half brought his tally against the Irons to five goals in five against West Ham.

Aaron Ramsey’s drive and Mathieu Flamini’s finish from close range ensured the Hammers have recorded just one win in their last 12 games in all competitions.

With the injuries mounting, it could have been worse for the east Londoners after first choice goalkeeper Adrian dislocated his finger in the pre-match warm up.

McDonald said: ”Every team has to deal with missing vital players through injury, but we lost two when we come back from Dubai on Thursday and Friday. Playing one of the best teams in the league when you have to adjust is very difficult. Even Adrian dislocated his finger before the game and he was brilliant today. They just finished us off.

“Adrian said he wanted to carry on. He made some great saves in the first half and he got beaten right on half time. We didn’t really pass the ball as well as we could to try and move up the pitch. That was the game plan for the second half and I thought we did that.

“We created a few chances and got behind them, but we conceded two goals at the end which was very disappointing. They always try and get another just to finish the game off and that’s exactly what they did.”

Despite the defeat against the North Londoners, McDonald is still optimistic the Boleyn Ground outfit can turn round their poor run of form.

“We’ve played five of the top six teams”, said McDonald. “Our performances have been good. We’ve been disappointed with the results when we’ve been ahead. We have to look forward and have to be positive. The next bunch of games give us the chance to compete where we were at the start of the season.

“We’re keeping the pressure on the players to get as many points on the board as we possibly can. Our half a dozen games have been rough against some of the big teams, now the next six or seven games gives us a chance to put more points on the board.”

Despite the defeat, one player the performed well and is still playing for his future. Matt Jarvis time and time again had the better of Arsenal right back Calum Chambers.

McDonald said: “He’s run his socks off for the team. He created a few chances and we need to see more of that.”

Next week’s game at home to struggling Sunderland side has now gained even more significance.