Sadly, Tottenham’s defeat to Sunderland is the only consolation Gunners fans can take after a dismal performance at Fulham. In their first away match of the season, Arsenal continued their spluttering start to the seaon with a defeat.
With a huge midfield contingent at the treatment table, Arsenal started the match with Denilson and Eboue in midfield. Robin van Persie and Kolo Toure were restored to starting positions. The match was played at a flat pace from the kickoff, with neither side producing anything spectacular. Arsenal dominated possession, but found it hard to get past a midfield expertly marshaled by Danny Murphy. Most of their attacks were launched down the flanks through Clichy and Sagna. Nasri caught the eye on several occasions by spinning and speeding past defenders on the left wing – he looks like a quality addition to the squad.
Ade managed to rattle a post with a header while RvP missed a golden opportunity after some good work by Walcott and Nasri. We were made to pay for our misses by Fulham’s towering Hangeland when he powered past Gallas to get on the end of a Bullard corner.
The second half brought no improvement, and Denilson went from bad to worse, passing the ball almost exclusively to Fulham players. Bizarrely, he was not replaced throughout the entire match. It’s hard to imagine that Ramsey or Wilshere could have done worse. Thankfully, Cesc should be back for the next match, and we can look forward to a very different Arsenal then.
The fault was not all Denilson’s though. RvP produced some shocking free kicks from dangerous positions, and Theo had another ineffectual performance. On the bright side, Eboue did what he could by making some useful charges towards the end and Song had a great cameo, showing both good defense and spraying some accurate passes.
It is almost a certainty now that someone new will be joining Arsenal’s midfield before the close of the transfer window, and it just remains to be seen who this long awaiting signing is. We need have no doubts that this WILL be our worst game of the season. Once we take care of Twente, Newcastle should get a taste of the real Arsenal. I hope.