On the face of it, Arsenal would be clear favourite for today’s game given our history against newly promoted team and Fulham and also given our current form but we must not underestimate this Fulham team who has yet to lose this year and is playing smartly, bravely and directly and has a few tricks in its sleeves…
Fulham is probably going to play the same way they did against Liverpool: absorb pressure, counter-attack in number and put pressure on set-pieces. They have some quality players in Leno (whom me know well), Diop, Pereira and of course Mitrovic. They will also play more long balls too and fight for second balls. They are physically ready for the fight and for the 90 minutes…
However, they do have some issues too as concede quite some goals and Jesus should be able to capitalize on their central defense gaps.
So here is the deal:
- Saliba and Gabriel are going to have to face a lot of crosses and long balls so their aerial strength will be tested and Ramsdale will also need to command his area nicely
- Partey and Xhaka are going to be crucial today in challenging for the second ball
- White and Zinchenko would also need to watch the movement at the far post but also try to limit the opposition’s crosses
- It can be another game with a goal from Odegaard or Xhaka
- Gabriel Jesus is going to have chances but will also create space for both Saka and Martinelli, we need to finish our chances to avoid a nervy game
All and all, we are playing at home and we are in good form. Keep the discipline defensively and we should be able to see this game through. A 2-1 game with Saka, Ode and Mitrovic on the scoresheet.
COYG! Let the good times continue
Predicted line-up…well we know it, no?
Ramsdale – White, Saliba, Gabs, Zinchenko – Partey, Xhaka – Saka, Ode, Martinelli – Jesus
I think it is going to be a high scoring game, I don’t think they defend that well and will come at us with all guns blazing and because of that they will see the light, praise the lord, Jesus to score a brace…………4-2
Keep a clean sheet and we’ll be on easy street, Fulham will put it about and the referee is that Aussie fella who is a tad lenient to the odd lunge but we have the tools to do the job.
Interesting that people are telling that Man Utd have got an easy draw in the Europa – Velodrome easy?
Good luck with that…
Leno better and don’t have one of those days
Partey and Zinc out, took an entire 3 games.
Man, we better purchase a back up for Partey, no, Elneny is not even close to a like for like.
Very fast and quick game.
AFC, especially with Ode ticking, have managed to carve them up, however, just not getting the final touch over the line.
Ref, utter garbage, everytime Saka touches the ball he is fouled, yet no cards, first foul by White, carded, where was the card when the guy smashed Jesus knee…
Let’s get a goal early in the second half and force Fulham to come out from dropping deep.
Of course, 1 damn mistake, typical AFC.
Come on Mikel, make some changes to get this going back in the right direction!
Will take it.
Got the score spot on RC, almost got the scorers, respect.
Top of the league n that. Piece of piss.
LB – seems m getting better at, at least, getting the scorers right. Last week I also had Ode in there…Need to start betting now…lol
Anyways – it s good to see that when our CBs mess up, they rise to the challenge and try to amend with goals…
I thought Nketiah was great when he came in and overall, Odegaard was clearly dictating the tempo. We could have won this game 4-1 and it would have been fair but Leno was in good form and Saka, Jesus and Nketiah missed some good chances too…
If we continue to dominate play like this, we will soon be winning with larger margins and I think that G. Jesus will be ending the season with 15-18 goals and close to 10 assists…
PS: We really missed Partey and Zinchenko, especially Zinchenko today. El Neny did ok but we do need a player to better cover for Partey…Also, what a signal to Sambi: El Neny was picked ahead of him
There nothing in that sambi is more xhaka backup while elneny is partey back up
Yea the finish was more like dey we nervous infront of goals and day trying to be to precise and not hitting shot with enough power
I agree with Fred about the Elneny/Partey back up.
Tierney was rusty, I expect him to play again in the week, play better but Zinchenko to return for United.
[video src="https://fred1266.files.wordpress.com/2022/08/wp-1661690934550.mp4" /]
There was also a Balogun – Lacazette reunion 😛
Tavares is on a cloud in Ligue 1 – he is playing phenomenally well so far, especially going forward.
Anybody up to write the post-match?
Arsenal vs Fulham: some retrospection
This result has been portrayed variously in the media and the blogosphere – but generally, those not sympathetic to the Arsenal have called it lucky, and nothing to write home about. However, I think it is massively significant.
Firstly, let us agree that there are no easy games in the Premier League. It’s a cliche that’s trotted out when your team has lost or drawn against considered lower opposition. That does not diminish its central truth. There are eleven good players trying their damnedest to negate your superiority. There is a referee who is only human (except, possibly, Mike Riley and Mike Dean), and whose calls on one day might lean your way, and on another, might favour your plucky opponents. There is the capricious bounce of the ball. Critics who call down the Arsenal for only beating four also-ran teams heretofore, conveniently ignore that other aspiring leaders have come up short against these same teams already this season. Have Man City, Liverpool, Man Ure, Chelsea or even the mighty Sp*rs stuttered against the best opposition?
So a well-coached team spearheaded by the excellent Mitrovic was always going to prove difficult. The first half developed as one of those days, of which Arsenal has had many down the years, where possession and movement should have had us out of sight by half time. But the final pass/shot/movement frustrated. In previous seasons, we would have gone behind to a silly goal and hung on to lose luckily 1-0.
Then, early in the second half, we did go behind to a silly goal. At this point, I imagine I was in the majority anticipating the aforementioned anti-climax.
But this new team are made of other stuff. There is a steel, a confidence, a certainty about them – and that is why this was such a significant game. Not only did they keep going, keep ramping up the pressure, keep biting into challenges, keep exchanging crisp passes all over the pitch. They did it with a clarity of purpose that made victory likely. Significantly, doggy-fashion, they came from behind.
Odegaard’s deflected shot may have been lucky, but no more than half a dozen previously blocked shots had been lucky too. Gabriel’s redeeming winner may have been scruffy, but his focus was exemplary.
As to player ratings – well, I’ll give them all “tens”! With some added observations.
Arteta: unfairly criticised for his substitutions, bringing on Eddie for Tierney in the sixtieth minute. Simultaneously reactive and pro-active, and the young forward seized his moment with brio.
Saka: everyone jumping on the bandwagon that asserts he’s not the same player so far this year. Rubbish. He’s being double and triple marked and he’s still frequently wriggling clear to make telling incursions and passes. He has opposition defenders demanding brown underwear.
White: how can anyone be critical of this star? Filling in out of position, he has got better and better with every game. His defence is monumental; his attacking play increasingly varied and telling. He is undroppable – which makes Tomi’s situation interesting.
Xhaka: quite simply re-born. Moving him upfield has liberated him, and (pace LGB and LB) his contributions are a joy to watch.
Obviously, we will soon lose a game. It might be to the dreaded Manure next weekend. But whatever the results, this team are the most enjoyable and exciting Arsenal side for many, many, many a year.
I wonder what would happen if we moved Zinchenko further up………hmmmm……goals perhaps?
Good read Maxwell, thanks for making the effort.