Liveblogging Fulham v. Arsenal

The Full American: Eggs, hash-browns, and soy sausages.

Good morning, few little bits and bobs to get to before the match. First off, congratulations to the Carling Cup Kids for drawing Liverpool in the next round. At the start of the season I openly hoped that they got an easy schedule but the reality is that unless you get insanely lucky, you’re going to have to play a top club on the way to any trophy. Since you will eventually play a big club, then what you really hope for is a home draw. So, the congratulations are not because they drew a top club, but because they drew another home match.

By a strange set of coincidence, that Carling Cup match falls just in front of the home leg of the North London Derby and that game is followed by another home match to AZ Alkamaar in the Champions League. So, if someone was inclined to spend a week and a half in London on a trip, and they wanted to see a maximum number of Arsenal matches, I really can’t think of a better home stand than this. In fact, I’ve looked and this is the best home stand this season and I can’t remember a better chance, any year, for a foreigner to get over and see a Carling Cup, a League Match (Tottenham to boot), and a Champions League match.

If I had the money my flight would be booked right now!

Back in a minute…

Well, crazy match results today. 6-1 to Liverpool, 5-0 to Tottenham, 3-1 to Wigan over Chelsea, Blackburn over Villa, it’s a crazy day! Arsenal need to take maximum points and gain some space back on Chelsea.

Question of the day, will Phil Brown be back to selling used cars now that his team has only won 2 matches in 29? 9 wins in 44? Ugly!

Oh hey, you can either comment in the traditional manner or use the chat room over to the right. Try it out.

Lineups according to the Telegraph:

Starting for Arsenal: Mannone, Sagna, Gallas, Vermaelen, Clichy, Diaby, Song, Cesc, Arshavin, Robin, Bendtner

Bench for Arsenal: Szczesny, Rosicky, Vela, Ramsey, Silvestre, Eboue, Gibbs

Starting for Fulham: Schwarzer, Pantsil, Hughes, Hangeland, Konchesky, Duff, Etuhu, Murphy, Dempsey, Zamora, Andrew Johnson

Bench for Fulham: Zuberbuhler, Baird, Gera, Kamara, Riise, Smalling, Greening

Of course, the Telegraph also has us listed as playing a 4-5-1 so take the fact that Eduardo and Walcott aren’t in the lineup with a grain of salt.

Matt, Denilson should return in early October. It’s a back injury though and we know Arsene’s record predicting returns on back injuries.

Arsenal get us started…

1′ — Arshavin wins a free kick and all the cameras focus on TV5. In the end nothing comes from it, but the threat is there and everyone knows it.

4′ — nervous seconds there as Fulham puts some pressure on our young keeper. He does well to smother and cover.

7′ — Arsenal are starting to find their feet and moving the ball around quite well, still no shots but the right side and Konchesky looks ripe for a plucking. Some injury is forcing a change for Fulham already. Gera on for Duff… Uhhh, Charlie on Facebook predicted Gera would get the first.

10′ — Crap. Gallas and Mannone collide trying to cover a Gera cross. Gallas is down and needs treatment. Come on Willie… I don’t have to remind everyone that SILVESTRE is backup.

13′ — Gallas back on the field, Song back in midfield.

15′ — GREAT SAVE MANNONE! Two saves actually, first off and Andy Johnson header, and then he picks himself up and claws away a second shot. I didn’t think he had it in him. Get in SON!

18′ — Cesc with a wide open shot 10 yards out, blazes it high over the goal. He should have done better, Arshavin was waiting.

20′ — Patient build up from Arsenal, probing passes lead to a 1-2 with Bendtner and Cesc, nipped away by Fulham defender for a corner. The corner doesn’t clear the first defender. Oh my. Diaby needs to show some industry damnit.

Another 1-2 between Cesc and this time Arshavin, looks like Gera got a foot in and cleared the shot, but ref gives a goal kick. Arsenal look really dangerous.

24′ — Bendtner with a shot straight at the keeper.

25′ — Song gives a way a cheap free kick in a dangerous position and Danny Murphy takes a free kick too early and earns a yellow. Song should have done better on the first challenge, it was lazy defending on his part.

29′ — Arsenal getting all the calls at the moment but that’s because Fulham are committing all the fouls! Robin gets a free kick in a dangerous area and just loops it over the goal. Attacking set plays look very poor so far for the Arsenal.

33′ — Arsenal very tidy in the midfield at the moment, Fulham can’t get anything started and are playing route one football at the moment.

36′ — GREAT SAVE MANNONE! Johnson slots in Gera who has a good shot saved by the brilliant Mannone. I have to say that that’s three saves that Almunia might have let in.

41′ — HA! Arshavin gives Clichy the death stare for not getting forward fast enough. Though exactly why Arshaving didn’t have a shot I can’t figure. Fulham are putting two men on Song. Is that a credit to him?

43′ — OK, who is marking Gera? He’s been left wide open to put in crosses all day. He’s got to be someone’s man…

45′ — 3 minutes of added time, is this being played at Old Trafford?

47′ — Well done, Yellow to Zamora for a dangerous tackle. Arsenal are scrambling in front of the Fulham goal — COME ON YOU GUNNERS! Ugh… Fabregas with a SHIT corner followed by a decent attempt. And that ends the half.

Half-time Observations

This match reminds me so much of the Arsenal of last year it’s not even funny. Arsenal with loads of possession, plenty of chances, and no teeth up front. Meanwhile at the back, the high line is being exposed by a team who couldn’t care less about playing the ball through the midfield. Frankly, the only think keeping this match tied is Mannone’s Man of the Match performance.

For Arsenal’s part we need to find a way to get Arshavin in the game a little more, someone needs to kick Diaby up the ass, the whole team needs to pressure Fulham so that they don’t have time to make the long pass, and Wenger needs to put a marker on Gera who is floating in behind the defense after the first ball over the top.

We can do it. We are the better team but we need to step up all over the pitch and protect our young keeper and Center Backs.

46′ — Second half starts like the first, with Diaby jogging back as Zamora has a wide open shot. FOR FUCK’S SAKE DIABY.

49′ — I do want to mention that whenever Diaby has a nightmare, he scores.

52′ — And that’s all it takes. Cesc sees Robin making a fantastic diagonal run, picks him out perfectly, and Robin finishes low and around the keeper. With his chocolate leg! One-nil to the Arsenal. Now, let’s break this shit open boys.

55′ — This is possibly the best job I have seen from an Arsenal keeper since Seaman had a blinder against the Blades in the 2003 FA Cup semi-final.

62′ — Bendtner takes the ball and turns into Fulham’s non-existent midfield, but his shot is poor and doesn’t bother the keeper. We’ve got to get Arshavin in the game.

65′ — Diaby dribbles across the end line, and I have now officially seen enough Abou for the day. Put on Rosicky NOW.

67′ — Mannone comes and punches on a Fulham corner, continuing his absolute dominance in the box. Rosicky comes on… for Arshavin, meaning Diaby is going to get to stroll around for another 25 minutes.

69′ — HA! The announcer says Rosicky is LIKEANEWSIGNING!

71′ — Rosicky has a shot off a lot of hard work from Robin. Diaby has officially been moved back to the “holding” midfield spot. Lol, I’m pretty sure that’s what he was supposed to have been doing the whole time. Of course as soon as I say that he’s up front having a shot.

75′ — Cheap shot by Andy Johnson “challenging” for a header sends Gallas tumbling and onto his back.

77′ — Diaby caught in possession in our final 3rd and then gives up the stupid foul for a really good chance to Fulham.

HOLY INCREDIBLE SAVE! I am speechless over the performance that Mannone has put in. Andy Johnson has a shot at the near post well saved by the Godfather. No doubt about MotM at this point.

79′ — ho hum, another great save from Mannone of the Match.

83′ — @Kevin, it was Diaby’s piss poor marking on Zamora that left him wide open for the header that Mannone pawed off the line. Robin off, Eboue on .

87′ — Eboue misses a good chance, credit to Schwarzer with the good save.

90′ — 5 minutes of Old Trafford time. Nervous final minutes as Clichy has his traditional moment of madness. At least nothing came from it. Meanwhile Bendtner has missed two good chances in the last minute. All the stuff that everyone complains about!

94′ — Eboue inexplicably dribbles into the teeth of the defense and the result is a good counter by Fulham. Fortunately, nothing comes of it!

96′ — Eboue gets the last “shot” of the game, as Cesc sets him up with a perfect pass, which he predictably screws wide. And that’s it folks: one-nil to the Arsenal.

If you wanted Arsenal to win ugly games, you got your wish today! Anyway, I’ve got to take the family to the fair today so this is me signing off. See you all tomorrow for the Good, Bad, and Ugly.

Have fun tonight!

64 Comments on Liveblogging Fulham v. Arsenal

  1. Hey Tim.

    You know, for the sake of Arsenal’s position in the table, it would have been nice for Hull to draw or beat Liverpool.

    But for my own, personal, sake, it is an absolute necessity that Phil Brown gets either sacked or regulated this season. A bloody NECESSITY. Thanks to ‘pool for not only beating him today, but for f*cking EMBARRASSING him, too. Woot!

    No Walcott and no Eduardo in the 18 today, weird.

    Also, how long is Denilson out?

  2. Oh my god… couldn’t stop laughin’ at Phil Browns Orange face… ah that made my day and also Torres scoring a hat-trick which is gonna help my fantasy team in 7amkickoff league. Anyway this could turn to an important win for us. Come on u gooners

  3. Yup, the Torres hat-trick is good for my fantasy team too, which it needs to be as I’ve got Cech and Cavalho (one or both of whom were sent off?). Come on Cesc, Vermaelen, Ramsey and Eduardo, goals please.

    Phil Brown: who says payback isn’t sweet?

  4. Mannone has arrived so far in this game. He’s the story of the 1st half.
    Diaby has been the weak link and as the announcer said was owned by Murphy.
    Our passing is a little off so far.
    Gera for my money is the more dangerous player than the overpriced Duff

  5. Abou is completely low on confidence. It shows, he just doesnt trust himself with the ball. He seems to be the weakest link on the field today. Need one of those magic shots, that arsene gave Song and Denilson, for the lad!!

  6. Yep time for some speed on the wings. Bendy definitely needs to play centrally or not at all because he’s not that effective out wide against good defenses.

    Diaby is still rubbish and not impressive in the middle………..

    • @WC, Yeah, i really don’t understand why Rosicky doesn’t get Rosicky some game time over Diaby. Or even Ramsay ffs. Diaby can be great, but until he develops some semblance of consistency (like being able to not suck three games in a row) he needs to move to the bench.

    • @Mia, he’s had three very good saves and an excellent run-out-of-box-and-give-me-a-near-heart-attack-before-clearing moment. Almunia would have had them too, since his weakness are the moments where there shouldn’t be a problem, but yeah, pretty impressive for a 21-year old so far.

  7. the only thing I can think is that he wants to keep diaby on for his height to defend corners and set plays, but he doesnt really do much of that anyways

  8. agreed tim, i was just fishing for the reason wenger hasn’t brought him off yet today, because he has been absolute crap

    • @WC, 6 games in and his season is over? That was quick! Since the season’s now over and we’ve finished in 5th place, I guess we’ve got the Europa league next year, eh?

      • @Tim, No, his season is over because the chances he does get he can’t even put in a shot on target. How he misses the goal completely from the penalty area is beyond me. It’s not just 6 games, he has the same problem as Adebayor – needs 10 chances just to score 1. If he was really determined to make a statement of intent he’d have buried more of the few chances he’s had.

    • @WC, he won’t have a breakout season on the wing. He’s never going to be a one chance, one goal kind of striker, but he needs time up front to score.

  9. Well, that was our worst playing in the season. We could get worse, but I don’t think that will happen. It’s only upwards from now on. Come on the Godfather!!!!

    • @Yan, I disagree. Fulham at home is always a tight game – they did have the 5th best defensive record last season, most of which came from clean sheets at the Cottage. Really I think we needed to be a bit more ruthless with the chances we got and Arshavin definitely shouldn’t have started – he looked unfit and should have been given the last half hour instead.

      Cesc looked hungrier than last week – that’s a relief.

      • @WC, Agreed on Fulham@ home, but even cesc was loosing the ball in dangerous areas and TV5 had a very dangerous mistake. The simple fact that the Godfather was MOTM speaks vnlumes of our performance.

  10. I must credit Fulham for pushing us today. I must credit Arsenal for responding to the challenge. What was all that crap from Murphy pre-match about our team lacking experience. Murphy can now suck our grit(s).

    Chelsea it must be said looked like shit today. Nice bounce back from Wigan after our spanking.

  11. Christ that was bad. Couldnt pass wind and we got lucky at the back. Keeper kept us in it yes, but on another day 2 of those that he pushed out fall to a striker who burys it. Solid reliable keeper next season please Arsene. Great to see Tuesday is general sale now as well (!) Not going myself so i cant really say anything, but the run of general sale games is getting worrying

  12. Still looking for a 7KO teeshirt tagline? How about:

    “We are all North Londoners”

    (wasn’t able to post a comment on the teeshirt competition article any more…)

  13. They (who?) say you should be careful what you wish for. Well we’ve got Liverpool in the CC. We’ll put out our usual lineup but I expect the same full strength line up from Liverpool (minus Gerrard and Torres as Pool must have bigger fish to fry).

    Consider this about our CC lineups: we have burgeoning talent in our reserve ranks that we can reward w/ this showcase event. The likes of Liverpool and Chelsea don’t really have much down on the ‘farm’ and so they must go w/ almost full strength squads.

  14. On a day when when Pool, Sp**s and Wigan (!) absolutely teed off on their hapless opponents, we resembled a team able to ‘just’ grind out a win.

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