The points that were up for grabs were snatched away from Fulham in an operation that lacked imagination, drive and pretty much any other popular descriptive word you’d use to communicate a great win.
Thankfully, Fulham had Sidwell on their side who made an outrageous challenge on Arteta after 11 minutes which resulted in a red card. Pre sending off we boasted 91% posession, after 40 minutes we’d ceded that number to 33%. So very poor considering the importance of the game and the advantage we had.
Our goal came courtesy of a whipped Theo freekick that was met at the back post by Koscielny, he nodded it across the box for Per to power a header into the empty net from 0.5 yards. A mega goal that could prove so very, very important.
The second half was tepid. Instead of taking a look at the Fulham jugular and slashing at it with a converted flymo, we tried to sit on the score. Sure, we delivered on that but jeez, it was painful. Our centre backs should not have been that busy. There were far too many anonymous names on that team sheet.
The biggest talking point came when Giroud found himself on the end of an 89th minute red card. He flew into a challenge and rolled over the top of the ball, it was pretty dim. A strikers challenge if you will. He won the ball, but had no control over his body. Yesterday marked another very average game for the Frenchman. He’s ok, he does some things well, but his touch and finish really do stink of average at the moment. He could find himself on the exit roster this summer, because I’m pretty certain he won’t be landing the same game time next year. At his age, is that something a man of his ego could tolerate?
The good news is Arsenal are going strong for a new centre forward. Negotiations are either under way or they’ll be starting shortly and the player will be high caliber. I’m guessing it’ll be Jovetic… but he feels too obvious. So who knows.
The vibe at the club is that Wenger is going big this summer. Why? Because you don’t get a new deal with an empty stadium and an uncompetitive team. The club are talking to a Premiership centre back and there will also be a push for a keeper. If Sagna goes, there will be a right back. The club have to decide whether it makes sense to sell a player heading into the last year of their deal, or whether you take the Barca approach and go with the sporting needs of the club. If you’re in the last year of a deal, you need to play well to get a last hurrah contract. I’d keep Sagna. Tell him you’re building a great side and hope you get the best out of him.
The list of leavers should be pretty impressive this summer. Andrey, Squillaci, Chamakh and JD should see the exit door. I’d imagine Chezzer won’t want to hang around off the back of a very disappointing season and hopefully we can move of people like Nik B and Denilson. If we add the needed ingredients and work on the finer details we could be in a good place next year. I still don’t think the manager has it in him to close 25 points, but he could easily add 10 points to our total just by having a keeper that saves us points and a striker who can covert chances.
Today we have some important games on. Spurs Vs City, which could really nail our north London neighbours fate. Then we have Chelsea vs Liverpool. Both clubs hate each other, so it could churn out an upset. Either way, the sun is out, the pressure is off and the news coming from the club is all very positive…
Shame that performance was so horribly average…