Arsenal vs Fulham, 1-1: Full time analysis and player ratings
Written by Chris on November 26, 2011 23:30
Arsenal could only manage a draw, at home, against Fulham as they failed to take all three points from the Emirates Stadium.
To start with, chapeau to Fulham, they didn’t sit back when they had the opportunity to surge forward, created a number of chances and were dangerous throughout. Also, it was nice to see Philippe Senderos enjoy a solid game at the back, he did exceptionally well against Robin this afternoon.
As for the result, I don’t want to archive this draw as a disappointing result as the players have been doing well for a number of weeks and sooner or later fatigue had to play a role. Also, when you have an effort cleared off the line and Mark Schwarzer produces a phenomenal save to deny Johan Djourou, well, you can’t really call these chances missed ones, can you?
Having said that, my only concern is that with Arsene continuously saying that he has a big squad at his disposal, I was disappointed to see that only two changes were made when the likes of Aaron Ramsey and Mikel Arteta looked like two who needed and need a rest.
The two mentioned above, as well as Andrey Arshavin were very disappointing and one has to wonder what Yossi Benayoun has to do to earn a regular place in Arsene’s formation as I believe the 31-year old would bring more on the pitch as he is of course more fresh than the Spaniard and the Welshman.
As for Andrey, fatigue is not the reason why he didn’t perform and as I said weeks ago I wouldn’t be surprised if he leaves during the January transfer window. I mean, you know that Gervinho is now the regular in the side, you get a chance, and you blow it like this? Shame.
But anyway, again, the scoreline is a disappointing one but I wouldn’t overreact as this will hopefully make our manager understand that if he really has a big squad as he keeps saying then it’s time to use it. Yossi Benayoun, Ju Young Park and why not, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain were signed for a reason and the reason, hopefully, was not to warm the bench.
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Szczesny: 6,5 – Overall quiet game for the Poland International who was however ready when called into action, such as when he made a brilliant save in the 41st minute to deny Clinton Dempsey.
Djourou: 7 – Pleasantly surprised. Johan, as we all know, is not at all comfortable as full back but today he was incredibly solid as he produced a wonderful block in the 5th minute of the game and was full of confidence when we surged forward, going very close on minute 73 with a header.
Vermaelen: 6 – Uncharacteristic below-par performance from Thomas who was twice easily-beaten in the first half with Fulham going close. Inexplicable, the way he tried to clear the ball when the Cottagers took the lead as he however bounced back immediately when he headed the equaliser on minute 81.
Mertesacker: 6 – Substituted in the 68th minute of the game, Per had a good game in central defence.
Santos: 7 – Brilliant start to the game as he made two very good interceptions in the defensive department but struggled against Bryan Ruiz as the game progressed(getting a yellow in the process) and this is a big worry going forward. Offensively, however, he was excellent as he tried his luck from long range and turned provider with a number of good crosses, when required.
Ramsey: 5 – Disappointing. Make no mistake, Aaron, lately, is making a number of very interesting runs in the box, placing himself in great positions but unfortunately he was today very poor with his first touch or final shot.
Arteta: 5 – Also very disappointing as I believe Mikel and Aaron are starting to show signs of fatigue which is not a good sign considering that the Christmas period is fast approaching.
Song: 6 – Sit deep and helped the defensive department when Fulham entered our half but was still guilty of giving away possession on a number of occasions. Did well, in the 6th minute, to find Andrey Arshavin who found Aaron who had his effort saved.
Arshavin: 5 – Produced a fantastic finish on minute four only for his effort to be ruled out for off-side, great pass for Aaron in the 6th minute of the game with the Welshman having his effort saved and then … vanished. With Gervinho warming up after only 30 minutes one would have expected Andrey to improve in the second half but he didn’t.
Walcott: 8 – Top class. Phenomenal run in the 23rd minute of the game concluded with a very good pass for Aaron Ramsey who missed. Right-footed effort on minute 25 saved by Mark Schwarzer, good cross for Robin on minute 33 with the Dutchman heading backwards for Andrey who missed and more of the same in the second half as he delivered the cross for Thomas’ head when we equalised and produced another very good pass for Robin minutes later.
van Persie: 6 – Sooner or later his run had to end. Overall, Robin’s game was a good one as he produced the pass to Andrey for the aforementioned moved on minute four and had an excellent effort cleared off the line on minute 58.
Gervinho/Diaby/Chamakh: 6,5 / 6 / No Vote – You could see that we improved when the first two came on with Gervinho adding pace to our moves, showing why he is one of the most important players in the squad and with Abou not shy to dribble his way into the Fulham penalty area. The Moroccan only played 15 minutes but it was great to see him tracking back to win the ball, showed heart.