I have read some other fans views regarding the home match with Fulham on other blog sites and some I agree with and some I do not understand at all! Of course, the whole stadium were stunned into silence in the first minute by Lehmann’s terrible miskick right into the path of David Healey who scored probably one of the easiest goals of his career! I thought Arsenal’s defence seem to pass back the ball to their keepers more than any other premiership defence – a tactic which I am not really in favour of and which only works if the goalkeeper and his defenders are always on the same wavelength – this time the goalkeeper was obviously on another planet!
Unfortunately,our defenders continued with this strategy right through the match tempting another disaster! Like most of the fans in the stadium (and after the usual very late substitutions from Wenger), I had more or less given up hope of us even snatching a draw when the countdown showed only about 10 minutes to go in normal time when we snatched victory from the jaws of defeat! Obviously, there is definitely a real bonding feeling in the squad compared with last year as shown by the” rugby scrum” before and after the match! However, before the last 10 minutes in which we scored , I was thinking about Deja Vue after last season when we had 60/80% possession in most of the home matches but could not convert the many goal scoring chances we created or shot straight at the goalkeeper. A bit disturbed to find that at theÂ start of the match 2 of our forwards, Adebayor and da Silva, were missing through injuries picked up in training and it made me think again that Wenger should buy another forward as back up. The set up chosen at the start – RVP up front on his own with Hleb playing a forward role between RVP and the 4 midfield players did not seem right and appeared, as the match went on, to play right into Fulhams defence plans. As usual,Wenger made his sustitutions very late into the second half although this time he was lucky that they did have the desired effect of turning the game around, albeit with less than 10 minutes left of ordinary time. Walcott was the first substitution for Eboue but did not seem to make any more impact than Eboue had in the game. Eboue has got to work hard in training to show that he is an effective wide man who can set up chances for the forwards or is capable of scoring himself. Walcott does not seem to be making much progress – plenty of pace still but needs to work on his skills and also his crossing which has to be more accurate. When he was clean through at one stage on his own – he seemed to have little idea what he was going to do and chose the most ineffective option of shooting from the wrong angle – a wasted chance which might have cost us the game!
Bendtner who came on as a sustitute 10 minutes later than Walcott was much more effective and gave the Fulham defenders a greater physical threat than they had faced in the previous period before he came on the scene. Wenger will obviously persist with playing Rosicky on the wide left position of midfield but the latterÂwill need a lot more practice before he builds up an effective partnership with Clichy. There were more promising signs for the Eboue/Sagna partnership on the right hand side but both will have to work on this new role in training. Fabregas had a fairly quiet game but set up the winner for Hleb who maybe , at long last, be more prepared to take a shot at goal himself as well as set up chances for others. Will never be convinced that Flamini is a top midfield player and feel the same way about Song who came on as a late substitute. They are not good enough for Arsenal and assumed that they were both chosen for this gap me due to injuries to Diaby and Denilson.
The centre of the defence still does not look comfortable – especially with high crosses – but as Gallas and Toure are the captain and vice-captain – Wenger definitely regards both as first choice in their positions.Senderos looks to be the only reserve we have now for CH with Djourou on loan to Birmingham although I suppose Gilberto can play in that position, if needed. Gilberto , by the way, was sorely missed in midfield on Sunday as there appeared to be no shield at all for the defence. Lehmann redeemed himself a little bit by making two good saves later in the match. On the subject of Djourou, why has Wenger loaned him out (in many ways he is better than Senderos) to another premiership club – particularly one run by that MU loving burke Steve Bruce whoÂ kicked up a big fuss about Arsenal in a cup tie several years ago when he was manager of Sheffield United. Still have the vain hope Wenger will surprise us with one or two more signings before the deadline – another forward who could also play left wing would be good – but the realist in me knows that will probably not happen now!