Crisis? What crisis?
In the past 5 months, Arsenal have been on an excellent run of form. They have only lost two games, one of which happened to be home to Aston Villa. Scratch that out and everybody would be talking about how good of a side we actually do have.
Is this side good enough to win the league? The answer to that is no, and the fact that Wenger hasn’t done anything about it is why us Arsenal fans are really upset. The media has intensified the first game of the season to a point of a astronomical importance where a defeat would mean that the club is more of a relegation battle team rather than a top four side. The defeat to Aston Villa was an embarrassment and this result has in no way changed that fact. The only thing that has changed is that people may start to realize that we aren’t actually that bad.
The starting eleven for the side was as expected, with Sagna filling the void at centre back. Perhaps the only change that was unexpected was that to exclude Jack Wilshere, who made the bench. Wilshere is still not allowed to play more than two games a week, as he his mom wants him to focus on his chores and school work instead. His classmate Gedion Zelalem also made the bench.
Going to Craven Cottage is one of those places you don’t want to go, but you know you have to. Arsenal doesn’t have that good of a record there, although last season we were victorious in a 1-0 win. The match started out at a good pace for Arsenal, as we pushed to win every ball and made some quick passes. The midfield was entirely dominated by our boys for many parts of the game. It really was a bit of a shock as to how much we were in control. Nevertheless, Arsenal can never fully be in control. Fulham did have a couple of bright spots which could have changed the entire dynamic of the game.
The first goal was a bit of a fluke. Ramsey shot from distance and it ricocheted between Giroud and a Fulham defender and Giroud ended up with possession and had the simple task of making it 1-0. Two shots on target, two goals for Olivier Giroud in the league this season. Unfortunately for Arsenal fans, this is not the time for Giroud to score goals. Wenger will be contemplating who he needs in the transfer window and with every goal Giroud scores, he may hesitate in making a decision. I personally would spend £70m on a striker alone, but that’s just me.
Arsenal were in control for much of the first half but Szczesny did have a bit of work today. Shortly after the deadlock was broken, Fulham forced Szcz into making two consecutive saves in a crowded penalty area. Szczesny is a player that is a mixed package. I like him as a person and I want him to do well, and in the past two games you get the feel that he may be maturing. The less said about Villa the better.
One player who has been linked with a loan move away from the club, Lukas Podolski, showed why we need him. His first goal may not seem that difficult but with a player on the line and in these conditions, Podolski finished with aplomb. Why Podolski hasn’t been starting has baffled me a bit, because if you look at his stats, it really is amazing how much he contributes to the team. He will score goals and make assists. He and Arshavin sort of have the same problem, except Podolski has a six pack while Arshavin has a potato pack. They both can be doing nothing the whole game then score 2 goals. Nothing wrong with scoring 2 goals every game.
Fulham were a bit more threatening in the second half, so Arsenal needed a third goal to kill the game off. Giroud took possession quite superbly and Cazorla picked out Podolski quite superbly who once again finished with aplomb. Unfortunately for the German, it was no too be his day for a hat trick as he was substituted out for Yaya Sanogo towards the end of the game. Speaking of Sanogo, I’m not sure if it is that he has little to no experience playing or he is just not that good, but he seems to be struggling with the big boys. He may need loan time if he is going to develop into a top footballer, as I sincerely hope that Wenger doesn’t make him a starter. Only time will tell.
So overall, the game was a success. The new away kit brings back good memories and looks good as well. Some transfer activity is required and Wenger needs to make 3-4 good signings if we are going to even compete with the big clubs. Things are looking comfortable in the Champions League as well, so at the current moment (transfers aside), life is good for Arsenal.