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[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

Emirates Stadium

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.



  1. Peter Hill

    January 2, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    I can’t blame the players too much. Our midfield looked dreadfully tired in the second half and Wenger should have been able to put it right with a sub or two. Unfortunately the best midfield option would have been Frimpong to come on and rattle Fulham’s playmakers. Trouble is, Frimpong is at Wolves for the rest of the season! Wenger’s lack of tactical nous is going to cost us dear again this season.

    • Mike

      January 2, 2012 at 11:17 pm

      Idiot – Let me know when you get your job as a premiership manager or just go and support Man Utd where you can pretend to know what your talking about with 60,00 other armchair fans.

  2. Tom

    January 2, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    Agree with most of it. That said we need to get rid of djourou now, not tomorrow now! He is way to inconsistent and how many points has he cost us in 2011. Maybe unlucky with red card but if he was a better player it wouldnt have happened, wewould have got 1, maybe 3 points. Squillachi would not even have need to come on (agree he is a muppet). Coquelin is not even a defender and was in a different league to this points thief!

    • Davi

      January 3, 2012 at 12:11 am

      “Maybe unlucky with red card but if he was a better player it wouldnt have happened”

      How many times do vidic and terry, supposedly better defenders, get away with MUCH worse than that? I can’t accept the idea that a sending off is in any way a measure of how good a player he is – especially in this case. It was down to the ref and only the ref.

  3. Nii

    January 2, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    Arsenal must learn how to take chances.

  4. Spooky

    January 3, 2012 at 12:01 am

    Martin Keown said before the match they decided not to rest players coz they only had a cup match comming and the players would get a long rest after this game. But it backfired, they were clearly too tired to threaten Fulham at all in the 2nd half.

    • Davi

      January 3, 2012 at 12:14 am

      Yes, we should have scored 3 goals in the first half and secured the win earlier. Similar situation with QPR – we could have made it much easier for ourselves by taking our chances better.

      • Alan

        January 3, 2012 at 12:34 am

        Pretty much the same story for Fulham in at least 5 games this season.
        Today we held on (thank you David Stockdale) and our second half comeback was undeniably awesome.
        Good luck to you, Arsenal – I’m right on your side to knock Spuds & Chelskum out of the top 4.

  5. Adm

    January 3, 2012 at 12:53 am

    How on earth was Wenger thinking when he asked Squillaci to play?

  6. Bard

    January 3, 2012 at 3:44 am

    dont blame players and manager,we must support them and love club…good luck arsenal….

  7. Frustrated fan

    January 3, 2012 at 5:23 am

    All FA referees are anti arsenal…it proved!!!

  8. kasaly

    January 3, 2012 at 6:08 am

    Arsene wenger should just get rid of those tired legs and give those young boys chance to prove themselves.

  9. the don

    January 3, 2012 at 6:20 am

    we lost the game due to us having no soild back up.

    we was doing well untill are players got tired

    rosicky, benayou, squillaci

    dose anyone really think they players are playing that can come in and give it there best for the last 30 mins and do well.

    we need players that can come in as subs and do well
    look at city, united, liverpool and chealse

    they can bring in would class players for the last mins of games
    we get to bring in benayo rasoicky

    we have too many players that are not good enought to play at the top leaval,
    but then again we have turnned to a team that is not in the top leval.

  10. mr mosh 4rm uganda

    January 3, 2012 at 7:24 am

    F.A REFEREES. THE WORST IN THE WORLD. PLUS THE ONLY PROVEN WAY TO BEAT ARSENAL IS GIVING THE MATCH TO A RETARDED REF. on many occasions the linesman had to teach the ref how to do his job. Its such a pity

  11. Ken

    January 3, 2012 at 8:57 am

    This result was on the cards we have no one who can hold the ball up the midfield is slow Walcott and gervinio are dreadful we dont have quality back ups.
    Again this transfer window we will wait for quality signings and again be dissapointed
    This manager has taken us as far as he can go

  12. Dino

    January 3, 2012 at 9:01 am

    Why we couldn’t beat walfs when they went down to 10 man , but we lost the lead and we lost the game when we went down to 10 man ? Simply no defending strategy to keep the lead score and I am not surprised when you remember the best come back in history that arsenal can give you Ie Newcastle one will lead is nothing ..

  13. AnotherFrustratedFan

    January 3, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    I think Wenger is equally guilty. How many times has he fielded those players that don’t deserve to ?I must say I have never been convinced by Walcott. He is pure garbage apart from his speed and him being British. For some reason Wenger( i doubt it’s just Wenger) believes he is “the one”. But the poor kid just can’t pass, he doesn’t have good touch, he has no footballing brain whatsoever. (Sell this guy right away Wenger). Also, Gervinho has been wasteful , squandering perfect opportunities time and again. Wenger should show these players to their rightful places on the bench and bring in others like, Miyachi, Park, AOC, even Arshavin who is arguably the most gifted among Arsenal players but recently has failed to win the game single-handedly as often as everyone expected him to.

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