Fulham Preview: Arsene Is So Accommodating

Fulham arrive at The Emirates with a frankly appalling record in this fixture. In twenty four previous visits to Arsenal, they have the sum total of three draws to show for their efforts. Indeed, they have failed to score in half of the fixtures and when they do manage to score three goals, find Arsenal scoring four or five in response. This season though, is not one where records such as this can be taken for granted.

Recent home form has been distressing. The win over West Ham seems so very long ago. The midweek victory in the Carling Cup was a step in the right direction but needs to be built upon if a title challenge is to be forged. The point was not lost on Arsene yesterday,

Our away form got us in a good position in the table but of course we want our home form from now to take off. If we can combine the two we have a good chance and that is our target.

Focus has been on the past two results for the manager, ensuring that the wins are not ‘wasted’ in being followed by a defeat at home. Not so long ago, such an outcome would have been unthinkable; recent performances have been inhibited, a state of affairs which needs to be shaken from the system.

Arsene believes Robin van Persie is three weeks away from his ‘best level’, believing that the Dutchman and Chamakh are suited to playing together in whatever formation he chooses, be it 4-3-3, 4-4-2, 4-3-2-1, 4-1-3-2 or the old favourite, 4 by 2.

Pre-season, he noted that the favoured style would be 4-4-2 if the pairing were to work together. With Fabregas’ injury record in the past twelve months, van Persie’s return could be crucial as the goal threat diminishes without the Spaniard, the reliance upon him to create or put the ball in the net is at times an uncomfortable echo of the Henry era.

Chamakh has settled quickly noting in the week that supporters appreciate his efforts, knowing he is putting his heart into everything. We appreciate his goals as well as the creative element of his game, providing for others to score is a key priniciple on which the squad is built.

That is emphasised by his recent admission that he is not a prolific goalscorer, hoping to weigh in with 15 to 20 goals this season. He should take note of his two immediate predecessors now departed from the club. Neither was prolific before joining Arsenal; neither has been prolific since leaving either.

Chamakh has settled faster than many expected. He puts it down to the absence of a large transfer fee, the weight of expectation lifted from his shoulders. It is an interesting observation because those demands were there, irrespective that it was a free transfer. He is expected to deliver the goals which contribute to silverware adorning the trophy cabinet although it is ironic that the first trophy may come from a tournament in which he doesn’t participate.

To this afternoon. Mark Schwarzer faces Arsenal for the first time since the summer shenanigans, motivated to prove why Wenger wanted to sign him but also for the calamitous May afternoon suffered on the final day of last season. Expect ninety minutes where the ball appears to be magnetically attracted to his gloves.

Fulham though are struggling. Without an away win thus far, they have dropped into the relegation battle, principally because they have only won twice in the League, Wolves in September and Wigan in October – and you thought our November was bad. Away from home though, they have only lost twice, adept at drawing having done so on five occasions. Given their manager, obduracy should be expected from them.

Arsenal are more than good enough to beat them but must concentrate from start to finish and be as clinical in front of goal as they were in the final hour at Villa Park. Wenger had good news on the injury front and I would not expect too many changes from that team. The line-up likely to be:

Fabianski; Sagna, Squillaci, Koscielny, Clichy; Song, Rosicky, Denilson; Nasri, Chamakh, Arshavin

I suspect the only change might be Denilson dropping out with Walcott coming into the right side. It would be an extremely attacking starting line-up from Wenger with the possibility of going top realistic. Winning by four more goals than Chelsea will do the trick…

Enjoy the match wherever you are watching it. ’til Tomorrow.

Posted on December 4, 2010, in Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 201 Comments.

  1. Well done Muppet! I knew you had it in you.

  2. I think that looks every bit a winning line up. Fingers crossed that the crowd show maturity and don’t groan at every misplaced pass (“he who never made a mistake… and all that)! If the concentration and confidence are in equal measure, I’d hope that we’ll be clinical enough to make this tantamount to abuse.

    5-1 is my realistic hope but a win of any hue would be beautiful. Watch out for Hughes snidy verbal assault on Arsene.


  3. Desi, well done on that complaint. Good stuff…

    …and thank’s be for Frank.

  4. I would like to see RVP continue his captaincy. I was really impressed with return and he is not even 50 % of his best.I’m looking forward to a Chamakh-RVP partnership. I have a feeling they will have something special for us.

  5. Wilshere will start, nice post.

  6. Nice preview Yogi / Fluff,

    An early goal is needed to ease the home tension.

    Chamakh has done very well for us all things considered. Yogi makes a good point about his predecessors though – he`ll never have as many chances as he gets at Arsenal.

    That said, I still don`t think we`re using his power in the air as much as we should. I`d like to see more crosses from the by-line (Sagna at Villa) for him to attack.

  7. Fascinating response from Wenger to the World Cup debacle. He obviously didn’t want to voice everything he thought, but that one admission, that he “turned it all off” after England failed to win, demonstrates the full measure of his disgust with FIFA. He knows more about FIFA than any of us, so he saw more clearly than any of us that FIFA has finally overstepped the mark, that they have finally allowed avarice to override any lingering sense of shame. They banked on a continuation of the indulgence that has always been shown to them in the past. Yes, of course FIFA is corrupt; but the real villains are the ones who say they are corrupt, or the ones who are taken in by their false promises. We have had plenty of these covert supporters of corruption on this blog. Wenger, however, has joined the side of justice. The head of the F.A. has apparently sacrificed himself in the name of justice. Let’s see how many more choose justice, and how many continue to support the Ancien Régime.

  8. I’m never quite sure when you are playing it stariaght Pz but, on the uncertain assumption that this is one of those occasions, I agree with you.

  9. i think Wilshere will play, especially at home –
    He got taken off early against Wigan, Denilson stayed on, He’s basically first choice now (unless maybe when Fabregas gets back AW also wants to play Nasri in midfield), he scored against Villa.

  10. cbob – You echo my sentiments exactly. Pz – That was a a masterful, insightful post. Unlike Frank’s post in yesterday’s thread, very few, if any of the regulars at ACLF hate England. In fact we applaud the the English and all the many other nationalities that have made possible the marvel of Arsenal FC and all that is positive in English football. But we hate the hypocrisy that has accompanied this FIFA charade. The English establishment (government, monarchy, FA, big business and the media) were quite prepared to go along with the robber barons of FIFA simply to get the world cup. Thankfully a minority in the media were willing to put their necks out; mind you I think they were merely irritating the elephant’s arse. Now they have no alternative but to cry foul. But will they be willing to take the necessary steps to reform FIFA, to stop these robber barons from sucking not only the surplus but the life and spirit out of football.
    I sincerely wish so, but in truth I wonder.

  11. Could we please avoid turning this blog into an anti-Fifa moan site? I’m having more than enough of that already in the mainstream press.We all need to move on.

  12. Unto Fulham. Someone needs to pay for our recent losses at home.
    Focus, Concentration, Belief!
    Come on You Mighty Gunners.

  13. Frank | December 3, 2010 at 11:20 pm |

    Football in England is about the many millions who turn up to watch and/or play the game every weekend and sometimes on a weekday. Don’t let the money men fool you into thinking that they own it….they don’t.


    Well said Frank. I tip my cuppa to you.

    Football belongs to us fans, Blatter and Adrian Durham & similar maniacs will never take it from us. It’s our passion that drives it and we’ll only tolerate them for so long before they have to answer to us.

    By the way that also applies to the people who tell Arsenal or the Premier League they have to do so and so for the sake of the national team.

    No they don’t. No we don’t. It’s unacceptable to me that Arsenal should lose 1 pt in the league so that England fat cat XI can play against Trinidad & Tobago Fat Cat XI.

    The real football is the League, the Championship, Blue Square, Sunday Leagues, whatever else. England organises that better than (or as good as) ANYBODY else.

    Come see the mighty Arsenal sometime, Sepp Blatter. But you’re a Chav so Chelsea would suit you better.

  14. Good post Yogi. After the great debate yesterday nice to be back to what makes us gooners. 4:0 to the Gunners.

  15. I agree with Ole.

  16. ..and shotta.

  17. Well said guys. Football belongs to us all, from the bottom of the Sunday League (I know it well) to the very top of Lord Bergkamps finely but thinning, coiffured hair. Some of the best posts ever so far today, can we freeze it there please Yogi before the melts get on and spoil it.


  18. I do wonder what the average Russian makes of all this.

    Any average Russians around?

  19. fabianski

  20. stream sportstream24.com/england_football/watch_online_9

  21. Good Start.
    Fulham are playing well deep.

  22. What a goal……….. Nasri

  23. As cool as liquid hydrogen. Great goal by Nasri.

  24. Was that Samir Nasri or Diego Maradona?

  25. Great take by our keeper from a corner.
    Fab is looking like the real deal.

  26. Again we concede too easily!

  27. What a feat to be 1-1 after such a number of chances !

  28. Can’t really blame anyone for that though.

  29. Well, Kos was not able to track the run because he is hurt. Hope it’s nothing serious …

  30. The clash of heads was the cause of the goal.
    Why didn’t the ref stop play?

  31. We shouldve been up atleast 3-0. We have been too wasteful.

  32. Seems we’ve lost the rhythm we started with.

  33. The chavs have gone one up.

  34. Great save from Fabby.

  35. 2 great saves by Fab …

  36. Hurry up half time.
    They could do with cuppa and a chat.

  37. Defensively we look confused.

  38. That was just wrong, came into the match just as Nasri scored an amazing goal!! I most have jinxed it or something, I need to get lost and do something else I am just pure bad luck!!

  39. IMO ref should have blown too, it was a head injury! A serious one too.

  40. Spurs and Mancity also leading. We’ve got to win this.

  41. Limestonegunner

    Koscielny is a victim of his courage. Go down and force a call or try to carry on? Well, we must applaud the effort to stay in the play rather than rely on the ref. On the other hand the back line as a whole looks like it is trusting too much on the linesman to get it right every time. Really living on the edge. Would it be too much to expect a couple more goals from the chances we’ve created? We tried to respond to the goal but after missing a few chances we have lost rhythm and it is going to require real energy, determination, and clinical ruthlessness to get a goal or two in the first 20 minutes. After that, if we haven’t scored, you know Fulham will park the bus for a draw (they lead the league I believe in draws) and make it very difficult for us.

    I’d like to see RvP come on for Rosicky. I’d rather go all out for the three points that see us draw at home.
    Come on you Gunners!

  42. Limestonegunner

    rather go all out THAN see us draw at home.

  43. Dare i say we need denilson in this game?i knew we were in trouble because we are defending too high.they cld have scored a 2nd from the same position where kamara looked offside.

  44. Squillaci run into Koscielny. It would have been unfair for the ref to stop play!

  45. Time to get out my heart medication…..Come on u REDS!!!! RVP, THEO….mara hiyo hiyo!!

  46. Djourou’s solid thus far.

  47. Limestonegunner

    Home support is sounding good. COYG!!

  48. Limestonegunner

    RvP! RvP!

  49. Goooooooal

  50. Limestonegunner

    Nasri, unbelievable. Always going from that side now!

  51. Limestonegunner

    Commentator says righly, “Nasri, touch of an angel!”

  52. If you thought the first was excellent.
    That was pure heaven in a goal.

  53. Messi just came in his pants.

  54. Samba football from Algeria via France!

  55. Kenyn dnt think it will be 4-0 but what A Goal.Nasri jus does not seem to know how to score an easy goal.The Goal alone deserves to win the game….We need to control n see Game out…

  56. anyone got a link!

  57. Arsenal football

  58. deni for chamakh,come on arsen,please

  59. Shit…had to leave for work during the 70th minute…Are we up 2-1 now?

  60. I just wanted to give credit to our full backs. Their crossing has been spot on this evening!

  61. Limestonegunner

    Quality, quality goal from out of almost nothing. Magic! But Nasri looks like he is sore, knee hurting maybe. RvP staying down… Hope he is okay.

  62. Oh thank god, it’s just Robin’s face. I am always close to a heart attack if it looks like he has hurt himself.

  63. Ras I’m optimistic by nature but maybe I was too ambitious but I’d take any win!

  64. Limestonegunner

    Evil, yes, thank God. I think we all have our hearts leap to our mouths when he goes down.

    Let’s get another Gunners! Stay strong on defense. But good chance now for Theo to nick one on a counter attack.

  65. Limestonegunner

    No foul on Arshavin!! Everton equalize. COYG!!

  66. The chavs have been pegged back.

  67. Any updates in our game?

  68. chelsea 1 everton 1

  69. Theo has been clueless so far

  70. Limestonegunner

    Time for Denilson to come on–do we have one more sub? It’s a possession game now with the possible outlet for Theo.

  71. I am so pissed I had to stop watching the game to come to work early this morning…the game was just getting to a boiling point.

  72. Great save by Fab. Theo’s a passenger. Djourou’s a rock!

  73. Djourou would be man of the match if not for Nasri

  74. Tokala, you can say that again.

  75. Djourou did look immense for the time I got to see him play in this match…

  76. Chelsea’s drawing we could go top!

  77. For some reason Walcott keeps giving away goal kicks!

  78. Hope Koscielny is ok…looks like a possible broken jaw with the impact he took…hopefully not.

  79. Fulham’s manager complaining about time wasting.
    Are you having a laugh.

  80. How much time left?

  81. Limestonegunner

    Djourou is first choice against physical PL sides, for me. He has been an unshakeable rock and dominant in the air.

  82. Limestonegunner

    Good win!!

  83. Game over.

  84. Big win I reckon.

  85. NIIIIIIIIIIIICEEEEE!!! I was worried there for a bit.

  86. Nervy but great win none the less

  87. Whoo! Just ran from behind the couch.
    Focus, Concentration and Belief!

  88. Did Chavs draw?

  89. fucking toppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppp

  90. AFC at Emirates is very bad for your heart condition these days…

  91. 8 added minutes in Chavs game…holy shit!

  92. We are incredible. We can’t win it the easy way, but nobody can tell me that this team does not have fight in them. And just look at Nasri. He keeps getting better by the second.

    Oh and besides: TOP OF THE LEAGUE, YEAH!

  93. did someone get shot at the bridge…sheesh.

  94. Yes Chelski drew!

    For my money, I cant see how it was a penalty on Howard, Anelka plowed into him.

  95. YES! Nasri motm and Djourou first runner up. As Paul N said if Nasri hadn’t played so well… But tonight belongs to the Gunners. COYG!

  96. Have Chelsea won yet this season?

  97. Limestonegunner

    We go top!!!! Despite Fergie time for the Chavs!

  98. The run of victories begins now…RVP getting healthy, Cesc should be back in a week or two…and Nasri looking like a superstar in the making.

  99. Two of the best goals you will ever see by Nasri. Is there a better player in the squad at the moment?

  100. Djourou was man of the match for me. I know Nasri scored two amazing goals but Johan kept us in it with vital interceptions and clearances. He won everything in the air and pretty much got us the three points.

    Chelsea drop points again.

  101. Vice, Nasri is a superstar!

  102. Actually Pz, shouldn’t they have won the league by now?

  103. i thought sagna had a great game too

  104. Everton where unlucky, by all accounts.

  105. Where all the dumb doomers who were slating Nasri at the beginning of the season? Or the dumb shit that Wenger doesn’t know what he is doing by playing him out on the flanks. No, they are all f*cking quiet.
    People we are seeing the emergence of a super star this season.

  106. Chelsea will run away with it this season. Kalou said they’d have it wrapped up by Christmas.

    In the mean time….

    We are top of the league, say we are top of the league. We are top of the league, say we are top of the league!!!!!!!!

    Na na na na na na na Samir Nasri, Nasri. Samir Nassriii!!!!

  107. Clichy was also brilliant!

  108. Tokala you can say that again.supporting arsenal one is never too young to have a heart attack.nasri is the man!that goal was so mesi-sque.we are top of the league

  109. Can’t wait to see Nasri’s second when I get home tonight…the first was like he had icewater in his veins…cool as ya like.

  110. Oh, and we are top of the league!

  111. No, FirstLady that goal was Nasriesque. He scored two almost identical goals in the same game.

  112. Limestonegunner

    Shotta, who was slating Nasri? He looked good since the preseason–very fit and very determined. Everyone has been saying for months how well he was playing, even before he had his operation. Imagine how many more goals he would have without missing a month?

    How about we enjoy the victory and celebrate this great day for gooners?!

    No looking back–we go to OT determined to put distance between us. We are top and let’s stay there–why not!?

  113. I think this run where we completely dominate teams only to spurn chances has got to come to an end. It’s statistically impossible that we keep it up. When we do click the team playing against us is going to get thumped.

  114. Nasri you thief – LOL! You stole MOTM right under the nose of Djourou.

    But then again, with goals like that – it’s time to retire Maradona and Zidane to a museum.

    Can’t really complain about the Fulham goal. It’s better to fight back for a second goal and focus on Koscielny’s injury. The ref couldn’t have really stopped the game because it wasn’t immediately obvious Koscielny was in distress.

    But I’m thoroughly enjoying the Samir Nasri show – I challenge anyone who will suggest that so far, Nasri isn’t the player of the season – and he has the double figure goals to prove it.

  115. Nasri….What a player?

    I hope he’s not injured because he’s needed for the next few games.

  116. We could use another Nasri special against the Mancs…something of like the one he scored at the Emirates a few years ago would be nice.

  117. Fabianski kept us in it, he had a great game for me.
    I’m glad for him.

  118. Nasri was limping a bit because he got a dead leg.

  119. Wonderful from Nasri.

    That’s the kind of cold blooded shit Eduardo used to do before the injury.

  120. Nasri was out of this world. He has been the best player in the PL this season. And the best thing is that he doesn’t have an itch to return to France !
    He could end up one of the best players in the history of Arsenal.

  121. Limestonegunner

    After his second goal, Nasri looked like he hurt himself. I wish Wenger could have brought Denilson on for him so he didn’t have to run around for 10 minutes or so defending. Hopefully, he will be alright. I want him torching ManU and playing in this form against Chelsea too.

    Djourou, excellent–very calm and composed on the ball, controlled in his tackles, and dominant in the air. He is becoming a very good player. Fabianski had a decent game. But we do look nervous back there in defense. Always on the edge. Bad for our nerves and hearts, this wonderful Arsenal team!

  122. It would be absolutely terrific if we can get a result at Old Trafford…I think that would truly make the entire league take notice that we are no pretenders this year. And, I think it would give us the confidence to push forward the rest of the way.

  123. MOM- Song? Lol

    While I am joking, thought Song was very poor though today, his so much better than that. Really hope someone has a word with him!

  124. Limestonegunner | December 4, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
    “who was slating Nasri?” You must have been asleep during the summer.
    During the brouhaha in the summer about Cesc and who would be his replacement, there was a lot of dumb, uninformed nonsense about Nasri especially because after his return from injury in 2010 he hadn’t hit the heights of his 1st season.
    I may have been quiet but I read the b.s.

  125. we should add jeff stelling to our list of CUNTS

  126. It’s all ifs but……

    If we hadn’t slipped up against Barcodes and spuds we’d be 7 pts clear at the top now.

    If this team need any reassurance that they have the quality to win this league, someone point that out to them

  127. It’s up to Djourou to develop consistency and we’ll be talking of a defender in the mold of Campbell, Adams, Keown, Winterburn! Oh to be a gooner. I don’t drink but I’m high, sky high!

  128. I hoped Wenger to substitute Nasri after the second goal. then i realised he already substituted 3 players. Nasri finished the game and looked in pain. I really really hope he’s ok. He’s the best player of the club at the moment!

  129. LG: TBH, most of this Nasri nonsense was on other blogs, many of which you are familiar. My point is most of these doomers are unable to recognize quality even if it is pressed against there face. Hence they are incapable of comprehending that cream rises over time. This is what is happening with this new team rebuilt by Wenger. Superstar Samir Nasri has emerged

  130. Karim, he is even shit when he does Countdown.

  131. And the spuds drew as well. The day’s getting better.

  132. Limestonegunner

    shotta, he has emerged. He’s got something special for sure. Electrifying player–his goals are dramatic moments of skill and imagination; even a bit of impudence about them. Very fine stuff!

  133. Top of the table is great. Nasri has shown flashes of brilliance before but seems to have conquered the inconsistency of youth. Johan certainly pushing for automatic 1st team. Hope the Los is ok. Worried about CB situation.

    2 huge games this week. Can’t forget partisan but.hard not to think about manU.

  134. shottagunna. Good point about the idiotic criticism of Nasri from other blogs. Nasri has now developed into one of the best attacking midfielders in the premier league. His 2nd goal today was total magic. Some of these sites are just unbelievable the main culprit (we know who) is saying Kos and Fabianski were shit today and we cant win anything with a French back four. Strange that as If I am not mistaken we are top of the league and still in all four cup competitions! Yes we are a club in crisis.

  135. DFG, the sort of crisis we love.

  136. BBC radio 5 live are asking people to call in and debate if there’s been any individual player this season better than Samir Nasri. Only downside is that Robbie Savage is one of the presenters.

    Consolsbob is going to go mad…LOL!

  137. Bill my good friend.

    Is there any time you’re not worried about our defense?

    One way to look at it is that even without Vermaelen and after losing Koscielny – we still have Djourou who can come in off the bench and be such a rock.

    What exactly do you want in terms of being reseliant? We can’t have more than 4 top class CBs in the first team squad. Koscielny couldn’t have tracked Kamara because he had a serious head injury. Come on – let’s get some perspective.

    The team are getting on with the job – enjoy the football.

  138. Finally our full-backs are getting back to their best form!! I thought Clichy was fantastic today, he had many interceptions and a few decent crosses to boot. I find him and Sagna to be among the hardest working players in the squad on any given day; they’re always an outlet and work flanks brilliantly!! Our midfield today for me was a tad below par, and poor finishing again almost cost us (again!) as we had so many chances in the first 30 mins to wrap the game up! Life is never boring supporting Arsenal! Bigups to Djourou, he was a rock, absolutely fabulous at the back today. I still rue the fact that he lost his place to Koscielny for the derby with the tiny tots…

  139. Ancellotti is admitting that they played so badly in the 2nd half – they had to resort to the long ball and this is most definitely not their kind of football.

  140. Kenyan Gunner, Absolutely. I just cannot stand nor understand some of the comments from these fools on other sites. To me they are not true Arsenal fans.

  141. You have to love Mick McCarthy. His team played very badly and his description of their abject defense was that “they were too soft and milky for his liking”.

    This guy has a really dry sense of humour.

  142. Has anyone heard the true extent of Koscielny’s injury?

  143. Limestonegunner

    Arshavin hasn’t been lauded as much as he deserved for one of his better games this season. One assist and several good shots drawing a very good/lucky save from Schwarzer in the second half. In the absence of Cesc the creative attackers have really stepped up. Samir Nasri through his sheer brilliance and genius to get some great, great goals of trickery and touch. Arshavin through penetrative runs and passes, playmaking in the final third.

    That was the test. So far we are passing it and the big game in which we’ll see what we are capable of is ManU away. Our away form has been great so the team will go there very confident. I hope Nasri is fit; I’d certainly rest him for the Partizan game.

  144. Limestonegunner

    Kos is a tough cookie, but boy has this been a rough and tumble start. A concussion is awful but unlike leg muscle or bone injuries, it probably shouldn’t keep him out for more than a couple weeks or so–maybe less, if that is the only injury. Can we give Vermaelen, Diaby, and RvP whatever Eboue is eating, or whatever he has in his bloodstream? He came back so quickly, he is like Wolverine.

  145. Limestone – His Excellency President Eboue is of a different breed.

    He knows that people only go to see him.

  146. Whatever happened to Diaby anyway…was it a result of the Robinson challenge?

  147. http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xfy2li_ful21vj0g3e_fun

    Just incase anyone has managed to recover yet….grab another dose.

  148. Diaby’s injury was compounded by Michael Essien stamping on his ankle in the game away to Chelsea.

  149. Limestonegunner

    Darius, lol! indeed–so he made a special appearance for his people! But onto the other topic, weren’t you pretty worried about how many good chances we were giving away in the latter stages of the first half and second half? Bill probably wasn’t the only one having a case of the nerves over the free headers, good crosses into the box, just offside runs behind the high defensive line (which seemed to be relying very riskily on the linesman to get each of those close calls correct) and bicycle kick (!) that made Fulham look surprising dangerous after their first goal. ( admittedly, it was allowed more easily or even at all because Kos received the blow from Squillaci’s head.)

    All in a day’s work, of course, for a PL defense against any side you might rightly say. But we’ve come to see other teams score quite regularly against us, especially at home, from less. So I can understand his cautions, though all he pointed out was that we do have a CB situation. We need to be a bit concerned to the extent of Kos’ injury as we now face having two CB’s of our 4 out potentially for a little while. Plus Squillaci just came back in from a knock. Song can cover but that isn’t exactly ideal against ManU and Chelsea, where we need his physical size and strength in midfield in those fixtures. Against ManU I’d prefer to start Kos if available (he matches up better I think against their forwards) and against Chelsea I’d start Djourou to handle Drogba et. al. But we might not have Kos for Old Trafford. We’ll see. So there is certainly a difficult situation on the horizon.

    In the meantime, though, I am with you. What a wonderful feeling to get a late, dramatic victory at home from a superb goal. Goal of the season so far?

  150. Great win today, well done to the whole team. I hope that win gets Hughes nearer to being given the sack. Can’t stand the obnoxious twat.

  151. Bradys right foot

    Great result, Super Samir Nasri, special mention to JD well played today son top of the league. Don’t let the doomers get to you DFG their crazy over at le moan, whats quoted as verse over their holds up like Colymores analysis in the real world. Speaking of which if you did a content analysis study of the media coverage given to the spuds and Arsenal since the start of the season with the results and tables blanked out you’d conclude they were miles ahead of us in the league. We live in a very weird time when news outlets create a narrative, some people propagate this others believe it what they have in common is that their idiots. We have conceded 2 more league goals than Man U all season and our away record is the best in the league.

  152. I have also read the ridiculous slatting of Nasri on certain other blogs. I came away scratching my head and just accepted that some people just do not know anything about football whatsoever.

    Even in his early days at Arsenal when he perhaps did not have the end product, you could tell that he was just a total natural footballer who was 21 years of age and would grow into a fantastic player.

    Well here he is. I have been saying for a while that we missed a player who could weave his magic single handedly when games where tight and Nasri is certainly that player. He did the same against West Brom when he dragged the team back from 0-3 to 2-3 with similar amazing close control.

    Top of the league and we still have the most creative midfield player in the Premier league to come back. Arguably our best center back is still out and will come back at some point.

    Anyone remember Walcott’s form at the start of the season? Well that is still to come. Van Persie hasn’t even started the season yet and he is very possibly the best striker in the league on form.

    But hey, we cannot win anything with our soft under belly and lacking the strength of depth of Chelsea.


    Hahahaha I am so envious.

    How about the second string of the Mancs? Spanked out of sight by West Ham hahaha.

    If we do not defeat ourselves then there is only one team in this league.

    The Arsenal

  153. The comentators on the channel i watched the game on said we had conceded as many goals as manu an chavs combined.thought he was stretching it because if we had conceded that many surely we’d be far behind on goal difference.clichy had a great game,our mid was way below par and i was praying for denilson to be introduced by half time.

  154. I am still watching Nasri`s goals, over and over and over and over again. What ability that boy has, no wonder they call him the new Zidane!

  155. what a game..

    nas showing what a wizard he iz..

    nice link dups love the passion of that arab commentator “ALLAAAA!!!! ALLAAA!!!! summink Samir NASRI summink summink Maradona ALLAAAA!!!! ALLAAA!!!! ALLAAAA!!!!

  156. I hope Koscielny’s okay. I’d like to see him and Djourou start against MU.

  157. Just back from the game thanks to delays on the underground! I have to agree with Bossman

    “Our midfield today for me was a tad below par, and poor finishing again almost cost us (again!) as we had so many chances in the first 30 mins to wrap the game up! ”

    Rosicky was not up to his usual standard so I was not surprised he went off, just surprised he stayed on as long as he did. I’m also surprised about how much playing time Jack Wilshere is getting. He is a good player and it helps his development, but this should not be at the expense of the team. For once I think his nationality is influencing Arsene’s decision to play him, when today’s game was crying out for Denilson especially with Song off-song. The midfield was definitely the weakest link today and therefore put the defence under undue pressure.

    But thank God or Allah for Super Samir Nasri – MOTM by a country-mile. The boy is real quality and both goals are contenders for goal of the season. His close c0ntrol is phenomenal and how he scored the second goal from that angle is beyond me.

    Poor old Kos has certainly had an eventful start to his Arsenal career, but he should have gone down right away then the referee would have had to stop the game. Despite allegations to the contrary it is the Arsenal players honesty that is often our undoing.

    Chamakh needs to learn to be more selfish. A couple of times he had good chances to take a shot, but his first instinct always seems to be to look for the pass. There is a time and a place for that, but sometimes chances are hard to come by and you have to grab the opportunity when it arises.

  158. Limestonegunner

    I agree Passenal that Chamakh needs to be more greedy for goals, direct. It is admirable how much a team player he is, but it is his job to take shots as a striker. If he gets it in the box, it isn’t selfish play to try to shoot and score. He’s been great, but it is a good point on which he could improve.

    I thought Jack had a decent game though. But I did want Denilson on later for his possession skills.

  159. Jack didn’t play badly, but from the upper tier you could really see that his positioning was not quite right and there were a lot of gaps in the midfield for Fulham to exploit. I have seen him play better and today there was just something missing from his game.

  160. Limestonegunner

    Interesting impressions, Passenal. Watching from tv you really can’t get a great sense for issues like that. But do you really think the manager issomehow biased in favor of Jack, as an English player, ad a homegrown academy player, or for whatever reason? I think he has deserved his starts, though his form hasn’t quite ad good since his three match suspension. For a while, I considered him absolutely indispensible and meriting his position ahead of Denilson and even Diaby.

  161. Limestone (and Bill).

    The reason why we have 4 centre backs for the season is that like is happening at the moment, there will be injuries, and also suspensions. Anything over 4 is over-kill and it doesn’t make business sense to “stock pile” defenders just in case.

    I’m not particularly worried for the simple reason that Arsenal has the following 13 options in central defence for the season to cover short term injuries, long term lay-offs and suspensions.

    1. Vermaelen and Koscielny
    2. Vermaelen and Squillaci
    3. Vermaelen and Djouru
    4. Koscielny and Djourou
    5. Koscielny and Squillaci
    6. Squallaci and Djourou
    7. Djourou and Song
    8. Vermaelen and Song
    9. Squillaci and Song
    10. Sagna and Song
    11. Sagna and squillaci
    12. Djourou and Sagna
    13. Vermaelen and Sagna

    If we were to be blunt – we need to get away from the defensive pessimism and let the current squad do the job they’re doing at the moment. We haven’t even touched on reserve players like Havard Nordveit, Ignasio Miquel and Kyle Bartley. Suggesting that Arsenal should even buy additional defenders in January with the above 13 options to Wenger is just ludicrous.

    Koscielny had a head injury for crying out loud – it wasn’t a defensive slip up that led to the Fulham goal. When we played Wigan on Wednesday with Eboue, Djourou, Koscielny and Gibbs – Szczesny did not make a single save. Not a single save. We seriously need to get some perspective.

    Our defensive record is no worse than Chelsea or Manure – the table doesn’t lie. Fabianski has the 2nd best save to shot ratio in the EPL after Petr Cech and we have stupid people calling the radio stations saying we need a new keeper. As of today, the league table suggests that Fabianski is the most in form keeper in the EPL. Better than VDS, Cech, Hart, Gomez, Reina, and the constant roll call of EPL keepers we’re told are better than what we have.

    My take is that a lot of this is that we have “soft and milky” supporters as Mick McCarthy would say. Supporters who demand that the team show bottle and courage, yet they cowardly crouch behind the sofa whenever the opposing team approach our goal. They demand that the team show determination and maturity in the face of adversity, yet they show how spineless they can be whenever our goal is attacked.

    Djourou was immense today – Sagna and Clichy absolutely ruled the flanks – Fabianski made 2 match saving saves. They did their damn job – what the f*ck more do we want?

    Yes – the midfield could have played better – but 2 of the starting midfielders were substituted. Yes, we could have scored more goals – but we actually did score more than the opposition and bagged the 3 points.

    It was a good day at the office – and our collective focus should move absolutely to the Partizan game. Let’s of course enjoy the Samir Nasri show – we must do so – otherwise, what is the point of watching and following football and the Arsenal.

  162. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    What a fucking monster Samir Nasri is. Is there a better player on the planet right now? The Magician from Marseille.

  163. You’re right Darius. I don’t know why we get caught up in the media disease of fault finding even when we’ve won! The current received wisdom via newsnow is that we were lucky and our defence is still a worry because Fulham created some chances. That gives no credit to the opposition, but the fact is, they didn’t score despite creating chances. When manure or chelski scrape through a game the focus is only on the result whereas unless we win in style the result is always denigrated. It seems unfair that we are held to a different standard. But maybe that says more about our quality that we are expected not just to win, but to win with style.

  164. LOL Passenal.

    We’re told champions are able to scrape through and win even though they play badly. But no no no – Arsenal were just damn lucky that Fulham didn’t take their chances.

    I’m also bemused by the expectation that teams should never attack our defense, create chances against us or God forbid, even score a goal against us.

    We’re on top of the damn league table and people are still bitching.

  165. I agree Darius. Bless them for trying though.

    I don’t see people making excuses for us missing our chances.

    Great team, great strength in depth.

    Roll on December 13th…..I really want us to break United.

  166. Limestonegunner

    Just to be clear, Darius, I wasn’t calling for a new CB signing in Jan or new keeper. I don’t know if Bill was either. I was more concerned that we will have a crunch this month in particular fixtures where we can’t afford moving Song into the back line and weakening the midfield. He didn’t have his best game today as Passenal pointed out, but we need his defensive presence against the title rivals.

    As I said, parrying the attacks of other decent teams in the PL is to be expected. The bigger issue is versus tougher sides who can exploit disorganization even more. But I feel we can do it, and I echo deano. I am so looking forward to dec13; the team is going to make us very proud.

  167. Can only echo the comments made by Darius and Passenal.

    The media and “pundits” just want to roll out the lazy analysis and will try to fit any supporting evidence during a match that supports their theories. The irony today was that Djourou and Fabianski both excellently fulfilled the role of party poopers. Still, no matter, that’s not going to change the script. Talk Shite were trying to orchestrate a phone in of what players Wenger needs to bring in during the January transfer window to mount a title challenge, as it was wobbling. Huh ? Fuck me – is it my imagination, or are we currently top the league ? Sky ran the rather negative “Nasri Papers Over The Cracks” match report, whilst a couple of hacks stuck the knife into Koscienly for begin assaulted prior to the first goal being conceded by us.

    Plus ca change. Well – let the hacks prepare their scripts, and let’s see the embarassment and confusion on their faces when they slowly wake up to the realisation that a sea change is happening. Particularly with the chavs. The lack of squad depth has been excellently exposed with the absence of Terry, Lampard and Alex, but that’s ok… once those players return they will win the league.. and things will resume. Well chaps, I’ve got news..we’ve had our own players out, double the amount of the chavs in fact, and when they come back, they will give us even more options than before.

    As Darius has pointed out, our defensive record is not as bad as is made out. We have conceded just 2 more than the chavs. Fabianski is confounding the critics. So much so that all they can moan about is that he had a bit of wobble when coming out for one ball.

    Onwards and upwards.

  168. I concur that we should get off of this defensive over analyzing. Its pure crap to tell you the truth. The only club thats at the top that has an above average defensive record is City and thats only because they play a defensive style.

    We have 4 wonderful CB’s and we are better defensivelt than we have been in years!


  169. Darius | December 4, 2010 at 8:52 pm |
    I am just catching up on your post-of-the-day:
    “My take is that a lot of this is that we have “soft and milky” supporters as Mick McCarthy would say. Supporters who demand that the team show bottle and courage, yet they cowardly crouch behind the sofa whenever the opposing team approach our goal.”
    Excellent, my friend.
    BTW – I must confess I NEARLY ran for the sofa in the last 15 minutes as I feared that we might let them back in the game. But it was the fear of a supporter who lives and dies with this team. (Chuckling and smiling all sunny, Caribbean afternoon. How sweet it is.)

  170. YOW….Paul N, my Jacan bredda. Seems we are the only ones on the blog at this time of the day. Nearly 7 pm in my part of the Caribbean,

  171. Cascarino “if they add that (keeper) then they would really be competing”

    They are all utter twats.

  172. Good stuff from Passenal, Darius & Muppet.

  173. Mi Bredrin Shotta! sarri, mi did hafi tek care ah some house wuk!

  174. dupsffokcuf | December 4, 2010 at 10:51 pm |
    Cascarino “if they add that (keeper) then they would really be competing”.
    What nonsense! Fabianski, next to Nasri, was my MOTM today. His handling and decision-making was top drawer. His save at the end, of a shot from Gera , diving and safely palming the ball on the half volley around the post was the stuff of great keepers.
    As Gadget alluded, the continued nattering by the plundits that Arsenal needs a keeper is just additional proof that the football media in England bases itself on a certain pre-ordained narrative that has nothing to do with empirical data. The various journos then simply seek to to to twist and shape the facts to fit into their pre-ordained conclusions.
    After all we are playing badly. That is why we are top of the league.

  175. This call for a goalkeeper is so dumb, who in the PL has been better than Fabianski.

    Its as if these folk just cannot admit to the fact that Arsenal look serious for the title, they have to keep some rubbish going!

  176. Brilliant individual and team goal.
    Nice substitutions.

    Denilson got the start against $iteh. A rotation of sorts?
    We’ll see against ManIOU I guess.

  177. Another great roar from Fabianski after that save.
    He knows it was good!

  178. I just saw Super Samir’s goals moments ago and I am just drooling.
    “The feet of an angel”, indeed.

  179. Do you think he is as good as Bale though Shotta 🙂

  180. To answer that question is beneath me dups. LOL.

  181. Great game today. Edge of the seat action. Nasri, Clichy and Djourou were awesome. Completely unlucky goal to concede.

    Will be interesting to see AW’s team selection for Partizan with ManIOU next weekend. I know it’s an important game but maybe Squillaci should get some rest.

  182. you know what they will say, “fabianskis form is a fluke, he may preforme good this season and next, but what then?” “we need Akinfeeve or Steklenburg or someone els the times and the sun and the daily mail pros write about. Cos they know best, they are after all ex players. Also i have read about this keepers, i have not seen them play, but what i have read is that they are really good! Does AW not read papers??”” Aw is so stubborn, if he just read papers he would know who to sign too. ”
    Yay, hoooray for intelligent gunners fans 😛

  183. He’s tall, he’s Swiss, he rules the air, Johan Djourou, our own Black Alp

  184. On to Partizan then … shall we …

    The only little problem is who to pick, given bruises and strains and weary legs from Fulham, and a big, big encounter on the weekend. Impossible to say without knowing. Denilson seems somehow a maybe for fresh legs. But who to be the pivot, Rosicky seems a little tired, Nasri might have to be rested, Cesc not ready and RvP may be asking too much. Maybe we shall see Denilson and Walcott both starting, with RvP, Song, Cham and Arsh, and a 4-5-1 approach.

  185. One down, two to go. I would have thought AW and the team really are thinking of beating ManU to gain the edge, and Partizan is a must win.

  186. I miss Diaby.

  187. Yesterday I dared to hope:

    “Fingers crossed that the crowd show maturity and don’t groan at every misplaced pass (“he who never made a mistake…” and all that)! ”

    We started phenomenally well for the first 25 mins. They score and the “groan” brigade start up. Confidence is replaced by fear and our performance becomes increasingly disjointed as players fear trying that inspirational pass or demanding the ball in difficult situations. Thankfully, the magic of Nasri and dominance of Djourou (not to mention the one-on-one save by Fabianski) gave us what we deserved. The chorus chants:

    “We are top of the league. I say we are top of the league…”

    I have shared in the involuntary release of the odd groan myself and so do not exclude full acknowledgement of the temptation. I just hope we can reflect and decrease these outbursts. The fact that our home record has been so poor recently must be addressed and I am certain that we supporters have a real part to play.

    Oh yes, did I mention, we are top of the league and rumours of the death of AFC and Wengerball seem somewhat exaggerated?


  188. Nasri. He’s blossoming so!
    I ‘ve always liked his style. Proof? His name is on the only Arsenal jersey I bought in years!

    I hope AW focuses on qualifying for the CL game and plays our best team against Partizan. Won’t mind if we lose away to Manu due to subsequent injury/tiredness. It won’t be the end of the world, and the way this season is going we’ll have many other chances to catch up.

  189. Zim Paul.

    I miss Diaby too. Before that oaf Robinson ruined it for us he was looking special. Any word on when he’ll be back?

    Us being top is wonderful. Lets hope for a good December! With the match postponement, Man U have a chance to linger on their 4-0 drubbing at the hands of West Ham..

  190. eltelmoore-basingstoke

    our manager is very shre wed by saying we ar not buyin in jan because we hav enoth players but with big rumours vela ,amunia,bentner,rosicki an eboue of to italy we will hav 5 players gone so he is gonna suprise us all

  191. etelmoore-basingstoke,

    I’ll bet you we don’t buy anyone in January and that the nominated players do not leave. As long as Kos recovers, I don’t feel we need any additions: unless a ready-to-go world class player miraculously becomes available for a very good price in the next few weeks. Unlikely to say the least!

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