[PLAYER RATINGS] Fulham 2-1 Arsenal: Tired & Frustrating Gunners Beaten
Arsenal threw away a 1-0 lead to lose 2-1 to Fulham, the home side scoring twice after Johan Djourou was sent off late on. Here are player ratings from the game
So, who saw that coming? When the score was still 1-0 after 30 minutes i told my mates we’d pay for missing our chances and unfortunately i was proved right. Teams like Fulham don’t just roll over for you (unless you’re Man Utd of course) and they were always going to come out flying in the second half.
The sending off was unfortunate but avoidable, and we shouldn’t blame the defeat on just that. Yes Gervinho should also have had a penalty, but we should have got the second when Fulham were there for the taking and we were playing well. We have been riding our luck in this sense in recent weeks, not killing teams off and having to hang on, and today we paid for it.
Our lack of goal-scoring has been a problem for weeks now. We’ve only scored more than one goal in a match twice in the last 10 outings in all competitions, with a total of just 11 goals during those games. That is worrying no matter how many chances we’ve created along the way. Attacking reinforcements are a MUST this month, and i’m sorry but a 34-year-old Henry won’t be enough.
Anyway, on to the game. The first 30 minutes was very good from the Gunners and we should have been at least 2-0 up. The second half performance was as bad as i’ve seen from Arsenal in years. We literally couldn’t put two or three passes together, looked lethargic, lacked ideas and most worrying, looked short of any fight.
Of course hindsight is a wonderful thing, but it’s clear a few faces were not capable of playing another game less than 48 hours after playing QPR. I’m sure i wasn’t the only one surprised by the lack of rotation for this match. Fulham made five changes, Arsenal just two, one of which was enforced due to injury.
Ramsey, Arteta and Van Persie should all have been rested and even Song looked knackered in the second half. Asking practically the same team to perform in a tough away game just two days after grinding out a 1-0 win over QPR was an almost impossible task. But here is the problem Arsene Wenger has left himself with, he knows the replacements aren’t good enough. If he had true faith in their ability, he would surly have made more changes.
Rosicky, Benayoun, Chamakh, Arshavin….are they good enough or does Wenger really believe they are good enough? I think the answer is fairly clear. Hopefully that will mean a few new faces coming in this month, but i’m not holding my breath. Here are my Arsenal player ratings from the game.
Arsenal Player Ratings:
Szczesny – 6.5 – Made a few excellent stops but came and missed a couple of crosses and his poor flap lead to the Fulham equaliser. Could do nothing with the winner though.
Djourou – 5 – Many will saw Johan was unlucky to be sent off, and they would be right. His first booking was a good tackle and didn’t deserve a foul never mind card, but the second was touch-and-go. He did put his hands on Zamora which was asking for trouble. Koscielny was covering so no need to take the risk, especially with a referee who had proved to be as poor as this one. But Djourou was shaky all evening anyway.
Mertesacker – 7 – Dealt with Zamora reasonably well but felt he could have been more dominant for the equaliser.
Koscielny – 7.5 – Good game again from Kos and took his goal well.
Coquelin – 7.5 – Was very good in the first half and looked comfortable at left back but went missing for the Zamora winner. Promising display though.
Song – 6 – Ok in the first half and went close to putting the Gunners 2-0 up but hardly saw him in the second period where he looked heavy legged and drained.
Arteta – 6 – A quiet game from the Spaniard and he looked absolutely knackered in the second half. Should have been given a breather, just had nothing left in the tank.
Ramsey – 5.5 – His passing was off for most of the game and like his midfield colleagues, Rambo went missing in the second half when Arsenal got completely over-run in the middle.
Gervinho – 5.5 – Should have won a penalty but this guy needs to seriously work on his finishing and decision making. Doesn’t look confident when he’s presented with a chance and often selected the wrong option or held on to the ball too long.
Walcott – 5 – Much the same as Gervinho and Walcott’s crossing was abysmal all night. A frustrated Theo was subbed once again.
Van Persie – 5.5 – Was involved during periods of the first half but severely lacked service all evening and hardly touched the ball in the second half as we could barely string 2 passes together. Felt sorry for him to be honest.
Rosicky/Benayoun – 5 – I have no real recollection of Thomas or Yossi touching the ball during their time on the field.
Squillaci – 4 – Nice assist for the winner, shame it was at the wrong end! Why he headed across his own goal like that is anyone’s guess. Total muppet.
Watch video highlights from Fulham 2-1 Arsenal here.
One of those games for The Arsenal and sooner or later these penalty decisions have to go our way. But we can’t blame the referee for this defeat, as we should have put the game to bed in the first half and tired legs resulted in a terrible second half performance and we were punished. Time now to recharge the batteries and come back stronger and better, hopefully with a couple of new signings!
These are just my opinions, feel free to leave your’s and your player ratings in the comments section.
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