IF you happen to work in finance, and something to do with markets... then at kickoff of this London derby you, like me, were probably listening to the last press conference of the chair of the federal open market committee. Now, lets not get bogged down in US politics, but suffice to say little old white haired, mild mannered Janet Yellen was never going to be reappointed by the current administration. And as she drolled on in her heavy Brooklyn twang about causation and correlation in the economy, it got me thinking how much in common an Arsenal game currently has to a press conference by the Federal Reserve.

Monetary policy in the US economy is basically on auto pilot... that means every 3 months, more or less, they hike interest rates by a quarter of one percent. Results for Arsenal football club have a similar dull and almost predictable quality. We go on a run of wins, then lose a couple, draw a couple, go on a run, repeat. Hope and excitement build, only to be crushed. We obsess about minutiae of team selections, player's form, rainbow shoe laces... you name it, but Arsenal football club, like the US economy is like a slow moving oil tanker that rarely turns or accelerates... it just keeps slowly moving along in well trodden waters.

On the team announcement for this game, Wenger decided to shake things up, choosing what looked suspiciously like a Christmas tree formation... Wilshere starting (at last) for the injured Ramsey was a forced change, and after the debacle at Southampton, it was little surprise to see Mertesaker dropped and not even making the bench. Maitland-Niles got the look over Kolasinic, who up to now has been picked regardless of form. Giroud got the look over Lacazette, reward for his late equaliser and talks of a move elsewhere in the upcoming transfer window? I'm a big Giroud fan, but playing against a bank of West Ham players I would have thought Lacazette for 60 minutes then Giroud to be the target for the last 30 minutes when they'd tired made more sense? With a reversal to a back four, Iwobi got the nod as the extra midfield player.

As Janet took questions about feminism and women in finance, Arsenal were asking equally banal questions of the Hammer's in form goalkeeper. Iwobi did smack the ball low into the post on the 28th minute, the early highlight for Arsenal. That came after a real square where an unmarked rejuvenated Arnautovic put the ball past Cech only to be ruled offside - a lucky escape for the Arsenal defense. Altogether, the highlight from an Arsenal perspective of the first 45 minutes was seeing Jack Wilshere with 100% pass accuracy and at the heart of movement forward, but one couldn't help thinking Giroud was the wrong player to spearhead the wall of West Ham defenders!

After an insipid first half and FOMC press conference, I was amazed flicking through Twitter at half time just how much negativity and borderline hate was being expressed. Its a funny old game, unless your expectations are unrealistic... Then Arsenal just becomes the punchbag for all your own life's frustrations and disappointments...

The second half started with a big let off for Arsenal, with Arnautovic just knocking it over from close range. Again, we seem to start halves in second gear of late, here we got away with it. We responded well with Bellerin and Xhaka shooting from distance, both spoke more of the massed throngs of Hammers in the box than anything great in terms of opportunities. Maitland-Niles who played well on his first senior league debut, got a nice cross into target man Giroud, but again the goal remained untroubled.

Possesion and chances grew, and on the 55th minute a run into the box by Ozil almost bore fruit only for him not able to hit the target. The 69th minute saw a great storybook chance fall to Wilshere in the box, only for his shot to blast over the crossbar. The lineup changed then with Welbeck coming on for Iwobi. A free from outside the box saw Sanchez test Adrian, only for the current in favour goalie to match the Chilean's effort. Frustration grew, and twitter was burning in flames.

Wenger finally threw Lacazette on in the 82nd minute, Sanchez making way. The final minute of normal time saw substitute Hernández almost snatch an undeserved 3 points for West Ham with a great shot that he thought had bounced off the cross bar into the goal, but thankfully had bounced to the right side of the goal line and saved Arsenal's blushes. It should not be forgotten that that chance emanated from a poor cross field pass by Koscielny - a worrying trend in recent games.

The final goalless draw was no better than the preceding final press conference of Janet Yellen. Thankfully for market watchers, Yellen is out... unfortunately for Arsenal followers we have dropped 7 points in 9 and are closer to the relegation zone than the top of the table... Thankfully we have Newcastle at home next, who are enduring an incredibly poor run with 7 losses out of 8. Anything but a win this Saturday could make Christmas a long and grueling affair I fear.