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Fulham Arsenal: full report and score, hours before it happens

And so it is Fulham who come under the spotlight of  “All Tomorrow’s Parties” – the historic (not to say hysterical) analysis of future events named after a Velvet Underground hit.  (Exciting isn’t it?)

Fulham: who last season caused all the posts of, “This is exactly what I feared would happen” from the people who only see one game at a time, and never look to the future.

Or so I argued at this moment one year ago just before we played Hull Spitty (or Hull City as they were known in those days) on 27 September 2008…

A victory would have taken us top of the league.  And we lost 1-2.

I was at a school re-union in Poole in Dorset, and so watched it on TV in the local pub, and couldn’t quite believe it.  (Actually I couldn’t quite believe how old all the other guys who I had been at school with, now look – a bit like  a team of Tiny Totts.).

Our team against the Spit one year ago was

  • Almunia
  • Sagna, Toure, Gallas, Clichy
  • Walcott, Fabregas, Denilson, Eboue (Bendtner)
  • Van Persie, Big bloke who meandered around a bit.

Average age 24 years 3 months, as opposed to the old timers we faced who were averaging 28.  On shots we won 17 to 8, which showed how we dominated.  Hull had two shots on target – obviously both went in.  The Guardian said, “Corners are to Arsenal what kryptonite is to Superman” which actually I thought was rather clever, although I didn’t admit it at the time.

So where are we now, one year on, as we prepare to visit Fulham…

Arshavin is back, Theo is on his way back and could be on the bench now or on Tuesday, Almunia is another week away, and Denilson and Nasri are making slow recoveries. Djourou is out of contention until the Sun does a report in five months calling him “The forgotten man of Arsenal”

Who have I missed?  There must be more injuries.  There are always more injuries.   Must be because we haven’t had any internationals this week.

Anyway, the back line compared with last year is plus one or even plus two in terms of quality ratings – we have Vermaelen, and that seems to be liberating Gallas.  Plus three maybe compared with a year ago.

Middle three are also of a higher calibre than the middle four of a year ago – Song (who was benched a year ago) is the obvious additional benefit.  We’ll have Song, Fabregas, Eboue or maybe Rosicky (although perhaps he’ll be the sub).

Front three will be plus one or two as compared with a year ago: Van Persie or Bendtner, Eduardo, Arshavin.

The bench looks good too – last year we had Song, Ramsey, Bendtner, Djourou, Silvestre.  This year Ramsey is there, looking very promising, Wilshere looking very Wilshere, maybe Theo looking quite like an English F1 driver, maybe Rosicky Mozart if he doesn’t start.  Maybe Vela wearing his Mexican Hat ready for another little cameo.  Presumably the centre halfs, plus Gibbsy-wibbsy (sorry this is getting a bit childish).

So, one year ago we lost two one, this year we are at least four players better… perm any from this group, and allow for the fact that Denilson and Theo are not there but then counter that with the fact that Vermaelen is worth seven of any other player.  Our ups are…

  • Rosicky
  • Bendtner
  • Song
  • Vermaelen Vermaelen Vermaelen
  • Eduardo
  • Arshavin

So on that basis I would say, we lost 2-1, but here we get another four, so its another 5-2 from me.   Four from Vermaelen, and the fifth an own goal from the ref who was still trotting back to the half way line after the fourth.  Hits him on the knee, bounces onto Gallas’ bum, back onto the ref’s head, and into the net.  5-1 with 17 minutes of injury time left.

27,874 Arsenal supporters are fished out of the Thames half an hour before kick off and spend the whole match singing “Number one is Perry Groves, number two is Perry Groves” etc,  (an entertaining ditty which the Beatles nicked and turned into Yellow Aircraft Carrier – a number one hit in Argentina in 1934.) (Sorry there might be an error there).

Mr Al Fayhed springs a surprise in the second half by leaping down from his box, running to the bench, taking off his goalkeeper, and bringing on a Prince Phillip lookalike, while inviting Arshavin to “do a KGB on the bastard”.   An interesting event totally missed by the Radio 5 commentators, who continue to stress that “Fulham look strong” even at 5-1 down,

The Hull Spitty manager also makes a surprise appearance on the pitch, celebrating the anniversary of the last time his team won a match.  He (the Hull manager, not Mr Al Fayhed who is  an awfully nice gent and has very sound views on the royal family) is arrested for being a prat.

Three water rats are later found on the pitch, and are returned to their spiritual home down the Lane.  Quite a jolly day all round.

“The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom” – William Blake

(c) Tony Attwood 2009

15 comments to Fulham Arsenal: full report and score, hours before it happens

  • Sameep

    You are great at making the perfect lampoon… you make my day..err…rather night, should I say here in India…

  • nicky

    I LIKE THE SOUND OF THIS WILLIAM BLAKE……..COULD BE A GOOD SIGNING IN THE NEXT WINDOW.

  • joe

    i just love anything u write on u are just the type of arsenal fan i want 2 here froma true gooner u really are

  • Finsbury

    Could this fabled ‘Excess’, that all the gnarled gumbless, slightly jittery veterens tell me about,
    be described as the Footballosiphy of AFC under the Wise stewardship of our humble Lord W?

  • Sykegooner

    Looooooool. I really love your optimism .though its very unrealistic, it is very welcome. Vermaelen to score four? C’mon. I hope we win emphatically cos away wins build confidence. Though i respect chelsea’s record,and it seems we are playin catch-up, i think ancelotti hasn’t been given a proper welcome. That will come soon,i believe.at this time last season chelsea had carried the league, deco won the pfa award, anelka won the golden boot and scolari won the manager of the year award. Was it the same at the end of the season? No. Its not all doom n gloom for us. Lets be optimistic like tony here. C’mon gunners!!

  • LRV

    Good job Tony. I hope it’s not too late for a sunny smile, because that’s what I’ve got right now. As always, a minimum of 2 goals advantage will do me fine. However, if we get more, all the better.

  • pig

    it will be interesting to see who starts in goal. i think chesney (sorry, but its how they were pronouncing it in the carling cup game)looked really good against wba.

    its important to start getting some clean sheets to go with the high number of goals scored.

  • walter

    On the goalkeeper position I think Szczesny is the best of the lot in a few years time. In preseason he catched my eye in the games he played. And against WBA he played very decent. Only one wobbly scene on a corner but that is understandable and this happens to every goalkeeper. I remember my own playing days in goal…. Jesus that was centuries ago, at least one…. ,-)
    For the rest good on his line with quick and sharp saves, goes good and fast to the ground. He looks calmer then Manone. I trust him also more with his feet then Manone.

  • F. Frederick Skitty

    I can’t really comment on Chesney, but I must say I’ve noticed Mannone standing with his legs wide open to gather ground balls, on several occasions. I thought you were supposed to go down on one knee. I always fear him letting one go through his legs, which would definitely put him last in the pecking order. I can’t say Almunia is my favourite either. With any luck he’ll develop from a decent ‘keeper into a top-class one, which is what we deserve.

    Btw this is definitely one of the best blogs out there, chapeau to you Tony.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Nice post Tony.An apt observation about Arsenal defending corners ,though
    this season we are scoring from corners -although its the centerbacks who are on target-a sight not seen since Adams,Bould, Keown and Linigan .
    But Arsenal still do not know what to with throw-ins .Just count the number of times they gift it away.

  • When I quoted Blake (from “Heaven and Hell”) I just did it as it popped into my head and seemed to be a way to round off the piece. But the notion of Arsenal signing poets from the past… wow.

    And not just poets. Socrates as a defensive midfielder. Plato in goal (although obviously fighting for that spot with Camus).

    Oh yes – I can feel a whole book coming on.

    Tony

  • sammy

    What is the point of Arsenal? They never win anything and their only ambition every year is to maintain their Champions League qualification, they are basically just one step up from the Wigans of the world who only have the ambition to stay in the Premier League. I really hope Man City take over their top four residency because frankly Arsenal are boring and so far Man City with Hughes at the helm are much better entertainment.

  • Abhishek

    They never win anything and their only ambition every year is to maintain their Champions League qualification
    —————————–

    Son its very complex for you. The real aim for arsenal is to maintain its books while building a new stadium, to play in a beautiful way and give chance to youngsters.

    In short, this is called sustainable development. i guess its a bit clear now.

  • I think the point of Arsenal is to be entertaining without being the laughing stock.

    But then I suppose that could also be said to be the point of life.

    Or maybe that’s just my life.

    I’m still trying to work out how to fit Geoff Chaucer into the new philosopher/poet team. As for that bloody Shakespeare character – its all just “reputation, reputation, reputation” (Othello – Tony Blair misquoted it with his “education, education, education” bit).

  • walter

    Sammy I guess you just go to Manchester and support the Sjeiky then. There are no laws against changing your support to another team as far as I know. So I wish you luck and hope you never return to the Arsenal. That is if you ever been or considered your self as an Arsenal fan.
    I wonder wich will be the next team you gonna support once the sjeik has lost his intrest in football.
    On the other hand how can you say Arsenal are boring ? I think we scored more then any other team in the PL, we even let more in almost as well so a game with Arsenal = entertainment.
    And on your question “What is the point of ……” one could ask what was the point of Man city the last 20 years or so ? Or Fulham ? Or Wigan or … fill in as you like.
    Just the fact that the question comes in to your mind shows that the only thing that is important for you : are big shining silverware things. You seem a bit like a glory hunter to me and don’t consider this as a compliment.
    I once tried to write down what the point of being an Arsenal fan was to me, but I never send it over to Tony to publish it because it is in fact rather a personal feeling and although it is important for me that doesn’t mean other people have intrest in it.