Tag Archives: Fulham

Match Report: Fulham 1 – 5 Arsenal

Fulham (1) 1 Arsenal (1) 5
Premier League

Craven Cottage, London SW6
Sunday, 7th October 2018. Kick-off time:12.00 noon

(4-2-3-1) Leno; Bellerín, Mustafi, Holding, Monreal; Torreira, Xhaka; Mkhitaryan, Iwobi, Welbeck; Lacazette.
Substitutes: Martínez, Sokratis, Ramsey, Guendouzi, Lichtsteiner, Aubameyang, Kolašinac.
Scorers: Lacazette (2), Ramsey, Aubameyang (2)

Referee: Paul Tierney
Attendance: 25.401

Good to visit the newly-promoted Cottagers again after a four year hiatus when they lost their Premiership status at the end of the 2013-14 season after a series of unfortunate results. Of course, older supporters will remember their salad days when Johnny Haynes and 1966 World Cup winner George Cohen graced their ranks; and it is not to be forgotten either by those of us who both know and care when star striker Ronnie Rooke was signed from the West London club at the grand old age of 35. Not only did he help Arsenal keep their First Division status in a difficult season, but more importantly, his 33 goals in 42 matches (which is still a post-war record that holds firm today) propelled us to our sixth championship win in eleven peace-time seasons back in 1948. Indeed, his amazing overall goalscoring tally of 70 goals in 94 matches is surely one that our modern strikers should rightly aspire to.

Despite the absence of Mesut Özil from the team today due to a back spasm, the omens looked good for us in this autumnal Sunday lunchtime by the Thames in leafy SW6, and sure enough everything started off looking as a typical London derby should look to us all. At first The Cottagers looked confident on the ball, but they appeared to have no final product, therefore Bernd Leno had no particular issues in dealing with the shots that came his way in the first quarter of an hour or so. Slowly the tables were turning. Our midfield men were starting to pick up the Fulham stragglers that were hanging around looking for spare balls that never came their way, and within no time at all we left our mark on the match with a superb goal of movement that involved speed of thought and action. Alex Iwobi collected the ball on the left, slotted it to the overlapping Nacho Monreal who wasted no time in getting it across to the waiting Alexandre Lacazette, who held off the Fulham defender, span around and put the ball in the back of the net in the space between the goalkeeper and the near post. We then started to dominate the match; but unfortunately an error in midfield led to Fulham bringing the scores even just before half-time. Within five minutes of the restart, Alexandre Lacazette got his second of the match with an absolute peach of a goal that came about from a botched throw-in from the home team. Lucas Torreira won the ball, placed it high for Danny Welbeck to nod it down into the path of Alexandre Lacazette, who struck it sweetly for 20 yards into the back of the net. And from then on, it was Arsenal all the way home. Aaron Ramsey and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were the substitution pairing after the hour, and the game changed yet again; Aaron Ramsey arguably got the goal of the game after a series of clever headers and neat flicks from his team-mates found him just outside the six-yard box and he nonchalantly himself flicked the ball past the goalkeeper into the net. Now the turn of our other star striker, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. He collected the ball from a cross by Hector Bellerín, pirouetted and smashed our spherical friend into the net for Arsenal’s fourth of the day. After more sterling work in the midfield, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang got the final goal of the day, with a low shot into the corner of the net. Fulham 1, Arsenal 5. Nine wins in a row, six in the Premiership. Wow.

At last, the genie is out of the bottle, as the real Arsenal have finally stepped up to the plate with style and class. Utterly ruthless, this is the mark of performance that we need to see from now on. Every man played their part, every man was well drilled and completely professional. So many great performances across the pitch, it is almost impossible to pick out an outstanding player, but it has to be said that Alexandre Lacazette was immense today. He was coming back to assist in midfield, collecting the ball in the channels and running with oppostion defenders taking them out of position for his colleagues to have a chance to shoot at the goal; a wizard, a true star. A message for the Premiership; Arsenal are back. Be scared, be very scared. Remember everyone, keep the faith, get behind the team and the manager, as these early days are going to be crucial for our future success in all competitions. Stick with the winners.

Victoria Concordia Crescit.

Steve

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Arsenal’s Messy Numbers, Cristiano Ronaldo & Riyad Mahrez, and Jean Michael Seri

Messy Numbers

Lucas Torreira finally joined Arsenal yesterday and took the number 11 shirt. This caused a lot of fuss from traditionalists who dream of the days when players wore 1-11.

11 was always associated with a winger. We then have Bernd Leno, our number 1 for next season set to wear number 19.

Mohamed Elneny, who is unlikely to start, has the number 4 shirt, whilst Granit Xhaka, who is likely to start, wears 34.

And the less said about Joe Willock wearing 69 the better. Grow up son.

I guess at least it is not William Gallas wearing the sacred number 10. That is now on the shoulder of Mesut Ozil.

And we have a proper full back wearing number 2 in Hector Bellerin. It always looked odd with Aboue Diaby in that shift.

If Cech go’s, maybe Leno will move to number 1?

I just do not like it.

Cristiano Ronaldo & Riyad Mahrez

Yesterday Juventus sign Real Madrid forward for Cristiano Ronaldo for £99.2m.

Prior to the deal, the record transfer fee for a 33 year old was when Manchester City spent £16m on Claudio Bravo.

I can see why Ronaldo has moved; he is guaranteed winning the Serie A at least once with Juventus which will put him into an exclusive group of players who have won the league in England, Italy and Spain.

With his recent tax case, Ronaldo is set for a huge windfall in the later end of his career. €120,000,000 over 4 Years is the reported salary.

Some will say that he will earn that back for Juventus in shirt sales, but that is a fallacy as Juventus do not get a percentage of global shirt sales – they only profit o nwhat they sell in their own shop.

It just seems odd for Juventus to be spending that much on a 33 year old.

As for Riyad Mahrez, whilst the £60m is not a huge sum in this day and age – and he is probably worth it – it is incredible that Manchester City have spent the same on one player as Arsenal have on 4

What is even more incredible is that Manchester City already have Raheem Sterling (£44m), Bernard Silva (£43m) and Leroy Sane (£37m) in their squad. They have broken their transfer record on a player who probably will not start week in week out for them.

The signing also continues Pep Guardiola’s incredible spending since joining Manchester City.

Jean Michael Seri

The deal taking Jean Michael Seri from Nice to Fulham is an odd one.

After being linked with both Arsenal and Chelsea for the last 24 months for over £30m, to then join Fulham for reportedly half that just feels strange.

It reminds me of in days gone past when Javier Mascherano and Carlos Tevez joined West Ham out of no-where.

Why was he so cheap and why did he join Fulham?

My guess is that the interest from Arsenal and Chelsea disappeared. Neither club wanting to spend on a soon-too-be 27 year old whose hype is perhaps well above his ability.

Seri has been compared a lot to N’Golo Kante, but the feeling was always that this was because he was short, African and played in France; rather than him actually being similar to the Frenchman . Kante was also just 24 when he came to the Premier League.

You have to think his agent has forced through the move, knowing that time is running down for his client to make a big money move to the Premier League. That he had to go now to secure that big signing on percentage.

It will be interesting to see if Seri lives up to the hype in England, or if he justifies why Arsenal and Chelsea decided not to go for him.

Keenos

Ups and Downs – An Arsenal Away Fans Thoughts

As the season is nearing its end, my mind often turns to the bottom of the league table, and top of the Championship. Thoughts and conversations with pals revolve around who we want to go down, who we want to stay up.

As someone who go’s home and away, with an away scheme membership (away season ticket) I travel the length and depth of the country every week with my pals. No agendas. No BS. Just a good group of lads going to the football.

For us, relegation and promotion into and out of the Premier League is important. Who are we losing. We are we getting?

It is always sad to lose a London club. Since the £26 ticket prices, we save a lot of money with easy trips round the capital. Birmingham clubs are similar. Just a little over an hour on the train, cheap train tickets, Birmingham is always a cheap trip up north.

On the other hand, last season the ‘worst case scenario’ came true when Burnley, Middlesbrough and Hull came up. All rank trip to Northern towns. I actually have not made any of them this season.

So who do I want to go up and down?

With regards to relegation, I am happy with it being as is, with the current bottom 3 disappearing.

I am bored of Sunderland now. Their constant battle against relegation year after year. If they were a horse, dog or fish they would be put down by now. Time to put them out of their misery.

The trip has improved recently with a new train from Kings Cross direct to Sunderland. But it is still a 4 hour trip, with no boozers the other end (unless you go via Newcastle). Sunderland station is in a run down part of the city (or perhaps the entire city is run down?). They will not be missed.

Also in the north-east we have Middlesbrough. Another dump. Whilst I will not be making the Monday night trip this season (thanks Sky!) I have done it before. It is another place that is not high on the list of places to visit in the UK.

Making up the north-east trio is Hull City Tigers. One of only 2 current Premier League grounds I have not yet visited (the other is Burnley). I have no plan to visit it. I went for a wedding in Hull 2 years ago. I do not plan to go back.

I would not shed a tear if all 3 went down.

Also in the relegation dog fight is Swansea.

Swansea is a decent away trip, if you are doing the night out. Full of Welsh slags. But if you are not doing a night out, it is a long old trip up their with Sunderland. Around 4 hours, their is usually delays, often engineering works.

In the last 3 years we have been re-rooted vie Gloucester, held just outside Swansea station for over an hour, and had to get a rail replacement bus service from Port Talbot. A good night out, but a tough old journey.

West Ham and above are probably fair enough ahead to not be dragged into it. Whilst the Hammers going down would be hilarious, going to the London Stadium is the easiest trip for me to do.

Leicester fall into the Birmingham category of being a nice easy, cheap train trip.

Sandwiched between are Burnley and Crystal Palace.

Palace have the London thing in their favour, although it would be nice to get rid of their embarrassing ultras. Burnley can also disappear off the face of the earth. A nasty little racist town.

Sunderland, Hull City Tiger, Middlesbrough, Burnley & Swansea. 3 of those 5 gone will make away days a little more enjoyable next season.

As for who comes up, it looks like Newcastle and Brighton are almost certain to have their Premier League status secured for next season.

Despite my hatred of the north-east , I actually do not mind Newcastle.

Whilst in terms of time the train journey is not too much different from Hull and Sunderland, there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, or a pub at the end of the train journey.

Newcastle has some decent boozers near the station. The ground is a short (but hilly) walk from the station. Plenty of options home (trains back to London every 20-30 minutes). It is a decent away trip. Add in that it is a decent night out too.

I am not so enthused about Brighton coming up.

We have done the trip down to the Sussex coast a couple of times in the FA Cup in recent years and both times, I was not too impressed.

The journey is not the issue, but I just do not like Brighton as a town. It just is not set up for football fans to turn up en masse and have a pint. We are looked at by locals as the scum of the earth. They do not want us in their establishments and seem like they can not wait for us to leave.

Add in that horrible little train to Falmer – Brighton are not actually based in Brighton – and a stadium which comes out of the identikit stadiums that sprung up in the late 00s / early 10s and all in all it is a trip I will not overly look forward too.

Everything could change, however, it we get scheduled to play them in August or September. Bit of summer sun and beers down on the beach.

It looks like a 5-way battle for the play-offs.

Huddersfield, Reading, Leeds, Fulham & Sheffield Wednesday.

Right off the bat, I do not want Reading.

Like Brighton, it is one of these grounds not built in the city or town it resides in. Instead it is build on an industrial estate which you have to get a bus too. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt, not bothered about going back.

Sheffield Wednesday is another I would right off. After the League Cup defeat, I do not have great memories of the ground. It is falling apart. And is a pigs-ear to get to. Trains planes and automobiles come to mind as you have to get a combination of trains, trams, cabs and walking to get to the ground.

That leaves Fulham, Leeds and Huddersfield.

Despite having done Fulham plenty of times before, it is always an enjoyable trip.

Another London day out, easy to get too, plenty of decent boozers. I do not think I have ever had a bad away day to Fulham. Even when it was torrential rain. They would be my favourite.

Huddersfield and Leeds are two trips I have never done before so I honestly do not know what either would be like for an away trip.

It would be nice to have Leeds back in the Premier League. A proper club who were ripped apart by improper owners.

A nice easy journey into Leeds, with a bit of a horrid journey to the stadium ,it would be nice to have a proper club with proper fans back in the Premier League.

Huddersfield, whilst one many have not done in recent years, is probably bottom of the 3, purely because of the train journey. You have to get to Manchester Piccadilly then across to Huddersfield.

I think I will stick to my original thoughts and welcome Fulham back to the Premier League with welcome arms.

Despite everything that is going on at the club at the moment, I go to football for the day out. That involves the train, the beers, the mates, as well as the game.

When you travel up and down the country following your team, there is much more important things that make it a great day rather than just the football.

Keenos