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Fulham 1 – Arsenal 3: no midweek hangover

By Walter Broeckx

On a very very busy day for me between our annual course as a ref and a training session added to it, then rushing home to see the Arsenal game at Fulham before having just one hour before I go to my match…

And it is a rather special match.  For the past two seasons I have chosen only to be an assistant-referee together with one of my sons. And I don’t want to brag too much but this has brought us an amazingly promotion in a very short period of time.

But what will make my game even more special is the fact that the ref will be another son of mine who is a promising young ref. Getting 2 promotions in his first senior season in the football league. So doing a game together with 2 of my sons is something that makes me very proud. So I have to rush, and forgive me if I write a few mistakes in this article in my excitement and pride.

Before the game I was a bit afraid to be honest. Despite a rather good win record at Fulham the games never have been very easy. And with only a very short time to recover from our trip to Turkey I wasn’t sure that we would have enough in the tank for the 90 minutes.  So I felt it necessary that we would be in front before the closing stages of the game.

I felt we started well and had most of the ball. Fulham sat deep tried to defend and catch us on the break. The usual tactics against Arsenal one could say and without Arteta this is always a risk for us. Jack Wilshere was on the bench and Podolski started his first game of the season. Jenkinson started at right back as expected and Sagna moved to central defence.

We had the upper hand and our opening goal was not really a surprise. Ramsey tried a shot from outside the penalty area and with Giroud (on side) following up the shot to see if there was a rebound (will have been his first thought) suddenly found the ball between his legs and clipped it over the keeper in goal. A good decision from my colleague the assistant. Thumbs up.

We then had one moment where Fulham almost equalised but Szczesny with two consecutive super saves kept the ball out his goal. Great saves. But then again we took over and we should have done a bit better going forward I felt. Gibbs should have scored after a Walcott run but scuffed his shot.

Fulham then got a few free kicks close to our penalty area but not much came from them and when it got past the wall Szczesny was there. And shortly before the interval we got the second goal. Walcott had the first shot that was pushed out by the keeper and the on-rushing Podolski hit it like a rocket in goal.

Seconds later he should have made another one but he chose to give a pass instead of thundering it in. I think Wenger will have said a word about that at half time. Like the German can produce a cannon ball (after all he is a Gunner) he should try it more I feel.

The start of the second half I felt Fulham tried to get some momentum going and they forced Szczesny again to a good save.  But again Arsenal took the control of the game back into their own hands but Fulham brought on Bent and the possibility of Arsenal getting tired was something to still worry about.

But then Arsenal started a break and when Cazorla had the ball at the edge of the penalty area I couldn’t see Podolski in the picture of my TV.  But suddenly he was there and got the ball from Cazorla. And this time he did what he should have done in the first half: thunder it into the goal. And his low shot went past a line of Fulham defenders and the keepers. 0-3 after 68 minutes. Now everything had to go wrong to lose this game.

Jack came on for his 100th game for Arsenal in the place of Rosicky and Monreal came for Giroud.  I think we got tired at this stage as you could see some wrongly placed passes from Arsenal. Too many for my liking.  And then suddenly Berbatov got a yard of space, his shot was well saved by Szczesny but the ball ran across goal and who else but Bent to put it in for the 1-3.

Fulham tried again to force something but Szczesny was not in the mood to concede any more goals. Per-Bac closed the shop up well in the centre and Arsenal threatened a few times on the break but nothing more was scored. Oh, I almost forgot Sanogo came on for Podolski  to make his PL debut but he didn’t get much of the ball. He could have scored from a Walcott pass but Hughes the Fulham defender could stop the cross.

A good and solid win certainly after having a midweek game on Wednesday and a long trip from Turkey. Ramsey was chosen official man of the match. I most of all enjoyed Cazorla to be honest. He surely is getting back to last season’s form for the moment and that can only be great to see for Arsenal.  Szczesny was solid in goal just like in our midweek match.

And the away Gooners? They once again showed that they are the best of the best.

I’m off now, to my own match. Catch you later in the comments. COYG!

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67 comments to Fulham 1 – Arsenal 3: no midweek hangover

  • Mick

    You are quick off the mark Walter.
    Terrific game and brilliant result. The doomers and gloomers wanted Ramsey sold didn’t they, said he was crap. I wonder what they say now, he has been brilliant so far this season. Must be worth at least £35 million at today’s prices.

  • Sid

    £35m would seem a bit of a steal!

  • Will

    Good result, especially on the back of our mid-week game. The lads are certainly giving all they’ve got at the moment and no Arsenal fan can ask more than that from them. Now if that doddering old tortoise can quit the worn-out Bingo one-liners to the press and steal himself to actually make some decent signings, we might yet just be able patch up this side to resemble something approaching a Premiership squad. For God’s sake Wenger, just do it.

  • Mick

    @Will
    ‘Now if that doddering old tortoise can quit the worn-out Bingo one-liners to the press’
    This is exactly the rude, disrespectful and insulting crap that causes such a division amongst Arsenal supporters. Grow up can’t you, don’t you realize the damage you are doing with this sort of comment. You do not like Wenger and the way he works, absolutely fine but cut out the unnecessary stuff.

  • Stuart

    Will,
    It looks like you have mistaken yourself for a supporter. Don’t worry, there is help, it’s at the other end of Seven Sisters Road.

  • major

    i must agree with mick i get a bit fed up some of the abusive and negative so called fans.good article by walter and thought his article after the fenerbache match was top notch reading as well keep up the good work.

  • Will,

    Are you goonerpip from TeamTalk:

    “goonerpip (Arsenal): Good result, especially on the back of our mid-week game. The lads are certainly giving all they’ve got at the moment and no Arsenal fan can ask more than that from them. Now if that doddering old tortoise can quit the worn-out Bingo one-liners to the press and steal himself to actually make some decent signings, we might yet just be able patch up this side to resemble something approaching a Premiership squad. For God’s sake Wenger, just do it.”

    Tony/Walter,

    I hope you stick to your policy on plaigiarism.

  • Mick, Stuart & major,

    As shown above, Will’s abuse is not even original. He is a “cut-and-paster”.

    I’m waiting for Tony or Walter to take the appropriate action.

  • Will,
    Can you keep your opinion to yourself. Your insolent comments have no place with us true gooners. Our team may have serious internal issues to sort out but civility will always be employed in our expressions.

  • para

    Good win lads, (have to get this in, this would have been the score last week too for us if not for the ref).
    I know this team, although a little thin, is a better team than the last few seasons, they have grown and many are going to be the core of Arsenal.
    It’s funny how everyone seems to admire a total c#unt of a person(arrogant, attacking) and disrespect a really nice(pleasant, calm) person. This seems to be the yardstick today.
    Arsene Wenger is somewhat like a nice person who is forced to “play the game” but as with all nice people who try to do so, it never comes off, for it is out of character. Hence the ridicule and laughter at everything he says.
    Sad world we live in.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    What did Ramsay get the yellow for? WEbb played the advantage (which to be honest he seemed to get wrong a fair bit)and then came back and gave a yellow to Ramsay…but then the BT didn’t show what Ramsay did.

  • nicky

    Two things stood out in this game for me…
    One was the sometimes breathtaking passing movements at speed in attack which, IMO, would have cut through the defence of any team in the land.
    The other was the increased desire to shoot when possible, a long awaited mode of attack (possibly inspired by Ramsey in midweek in Turkey).

  • GoingGoingGooner,

    My thoughts on that card exactly. I saw Ramsey’s foul but it was a regular non-yellow card foul. Even the young man was surprised to see HW flash the card.

    Webb had reffed a World cup final, he should know that you don’t automatically issue the yellow card every time you allow advantage play.

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who noticed it.

  • nicky,

    I remember your comment yesterday when we got that first goal 🙂 Many things can happen when you shoot around the box and most of those things are bad for the opposition. Let’s hope they continue to do this.

    The passing between our attacking midfielders and forwards were at times just sublime today. But don’t forget the lack of knocks and injuries too.

    Long may it continue.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    Nicky,

    I agree. It was nice to see some shots being taken from outside the box. It forces defenders to close down the shooter and then leave space for our forwards in behind.

  • Mick

    I missed the Ramsey carding offence as well, I assume it must have been worse than the one a Fulham player did a few minutes afterward when Walcott was taken out, no card issued.

  • Yassin

    The yellow card for Ramsey was totally correct, it was a counter attack, and he fouled to stop it.

    The point is the way Ramsey played with having in mind he can be red carded, so didnt go into attack as much as he could before the yellow, specially in the second half.

    So u now see how a yellow card can have an effect on a midfielder performence,specially the defensive ones. Thus when we play against a team and he keeps fouling us and stopping our attack and kicking wilshere all day, the yellow card should be there to limit that, but usually the refs dont give them against arsenal, and they keep fouling, and we cant play our game.

    Just compare villa and fulham game, so obvious….. If u cant see this, check yr eyes

  • Mick

    Can you believe these pundits. On 5live this evening, after telling Wenger to spend some f*****g money for God knows how long they are now asking ‘does Wenger actually need to spend’.
    Well they should know, they’re the bloody experts aren’t they.

  • Stuart

    Nicky,
    I saw glimpses today of the team from 2002 – 2004.

    Fast, reactionary, quick off the mark, playing for the fun of it! This is the spirit that won Arsenal so much success under Wenger in the early years and (daren’t I say) I think it is returning.

    Para,
    I think you are right, the score last week would have been the same as today if officiated fairly, this would sit us top of the table currently, instead we have to currently look at half way up the table.

    It was good to see the side has strengthened by way of familiarity and getting off on the right foot. As I have said all along, stability is far underrated, I look forward to confirmation of our other signings also but see a good season ahead.

  • sukebe

    For me yer article is superb, Mr.Walter, good luck on yer match with yer son, i can feel your proud in the air, envy you 🙂

    @will

    You poor bastard, i pray God give solice to your heart.

  • Yassin,

    I get your point. If only the same standard is applied when our attacks are impeded.

    Nice perspective.

  • Pat

    Good article Walter. Arsene Wenger’s positive remarks about Bacary Sagna at centre back were again born out by his performance. Pleased Ramsey got man of the match, although a number of our players could have deserved it. Also pleased Podolski got two goals and Arsene Wenger’s comments about him in the press conference were interesting. I hope he stays too.

    Congratulations on you and your two sons all officiating together, Walter. It must be a very proud day for you.

  • sukebe

    @yassin @bootome

    Yet they will call out the usual “contact sport” rubbish…

  • Malaysiangooner

    Great win from the lads. Agree with you about the away fans. Watching the game on tele the only chants i heard was from the away fans. I mean seriously, i would have thought the home fans were singing with them.

  • Yassin

    @ sukube

    Not today mate, not today.
    Today they will not show up cause Arsenal won, they will be saddened and they wont show up, and am happy about it.

  • Stuart

    Copied this from BBC website. It’s about the all conquering Bayern Munich :-

    “Earlier, Bayern Munich set a new club record of 28 Bundesliga games unbeaten with a 2-0 victory over Nuremberg. It was also their third win of the season.”

    imagine Arsenal setting a new club record unbeaten.

  • Rufusstan

    @Stuart — if we start now, maybe around December next year we can begin celebrating 🙂

    I also have to admit that I misread the terms of the record, and the first thought was ‘has it been that long since we played them; doesn’t time fly’

  • Matt Clarke

    Congratulations Walter with regard to your sons.
    And well done getting this out so quickly!

    From what I saw Cazorla’s contribution was immense – we just need the forwards to ‘tune in’ a bit quicker to what he plots and things will be sweet going forward.

    @nicky: I agree about long range shots. They do open-up other possibilities even if not successful. I do hope that someone (cough *Giroud* cough) learns to spot them and follow them in looking for the tap-ins that can follow.

  • Rufusstan

    @Mick, on seeing the challenge, I thought straight away — crap, thats a Yellow. Was actually impressed that Webb both played on AND came back for the card a couple of minutes later (although obviously wishing he forgot).

    About the only thing that annoyed me today was someone (Riise?) didn’t get a card for something similar.

  • Byo

    Great performance, no doubt.
    A replica of the performance in Istanbul wednesday.
    I never doubted the quality of the team AW puts out.

    I am just concerned about the depth of the squad considering the number of competitions we are in until May. I believe we ideally need 3 players-one each for defense, mid and forward positions.

  • sukebe

    @yassin

    Cheers to that 😉

  • Shard

    Good luck on your match Walter. I’m sure you and your sons will make a winning combination. Congratulations.

  • yes it was a good performance two in a row actually,but anybody that thinks we are all right squad wise needs their head examined one or two more injuries any where on the field and were draughting in the babies,im actually afraid to enjoy the last two victories but if we beat the spuds next week with a bit of style I might start to be more positive about this team.coyg.

  • The font

    The crowd was great today on today’s performance we got to be up there as the best away support

  • The font

    Alan
    I think there are very few who think the squad is adequate and I am positive we will sign two defenders a winger and a striker at least. Before the window closes

  • Mick wrote (@ 6:15 pm):

    “Can you believe these pundits. On 5live this evening, after telling Wenger to spend some f*****g money for God knows how long they are now asking ‘does Wenger actually need to spend’.
    Well they should know, they’re the bloody experts aren’t they.”

    Here is Arsene Wenger’s response on if the last 2 results alter his transfer plans:

    AW: “No. We will be a bit less under media pressure maybe but that will not change exactly. I know exactly what I want to do and that will not change.”

    This is a man who knows what he is doing and is not just shifting as the wind blows or following the crowd. I wish us Gooners would emulate him in our resolution.

  • Yassin

    @ Bootoomee

    Depending on Fenerbache return game, this transfer market may be either a failure ( and the AAA will be as happy as possible) or a master stroke, and i know not, but do you get the feeling Wenger got some kind of a plan up his mind?

    You know after all the media made of this man, if it happens and he make what i believe he is going to make, this person should have all home fans standing and saluting him in the first home game after 2nd of September.

  • Yassin,

    You don’t know these guys. They’ll just change their tune and start whining about some other petty things.

    Ever noticed whiny fans have a mea culpa about a player that they used to insult but who has come good? In the very same comment, they shift unto another player and start raining abuses on them.

    For example: “Ramsey has really proven me wrong as I never thought he was good enough but that Jenkinson is never going to make it at Arsenal. We need to get a better back up for Sagna. AW should get Anthony Taylor of PGMOL United. He is a great RB and we should be able to get him for about £20 million”

    These people must have something to whinge about. Or maybe I’m being cynical about them.

  • Edda

    Great performance tonight in terrible conditions. I must say I am very surprised who Professional and concentrated the players were today, Its not easy to be focused just a few days after the VERY IMPORTANT game in Istanbul. Other top teams that played CL qualifications had much more problems :

    Saturday 24. august

    Verona – AC Milan 2-1
    Heracles – PSV 1-1
    Elche – Real Sociedad 1-1
    Lyon – Reims 0-1
    Celtic – Inverness 2-2

    Quite a few shocks here, so maybe some credit is due for Arsene Wenger who manages to win 2 away games in 4 days ? Not many other teams can do that!

    PS! The useless and poor Fenerbache (at least acording to the world press on wednesday)won 1-0 today one of the few teams that played midweek and won tonight…

  • dean

    Good win by the lads

  • dean

    Pity people like will

  • dean

    Can anyone watch http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xt8g28_santi-cazorla-s-9-goals-for-malaga_sport and explain to me why the hell Theo is taking our free kicks instead of Santi?!! He’s deadly!

  • bjtgooner

    An excellent result and the manner in which we played was very encouraging. Overall it was a good team performance with some very exciting attacks.

    It was interesting that pre-match some of the media were rejoicing in the fact that Fulham are a tough side and we we would have a difficult game. After the match the story was that Fulham were poor. A bit like the Fenerbahce match – pre match the media was telling us how difficult a tie it was – post match Fenerbahce were disappointing. Could it be that Arsenal outplayed the opposition?

    Oh – and where are some of our self-invited AAA twits – strangely absent tonight? But please do not take this comment as an invitation!!

  • dean

    What exactly is wrong with some of you? Do you come on here solely to cause arguments and wind other posters up? There’s a handful of you – and you all know who you are – who either never talk about football or, if you do, can’t do it without some pathetic remark aimed at other posters. Grow up

  • maxim

    just like that, we have more points than we had at this stage last season. My point is not to say that everything’s okay now, but to highlight that the line between a crisis and an acceptable situation for most is quite a fine one. It was a little bit disheartening looking at our bench today, even though I thought Wenger used his resources very well today. But one injury to one of our CBs, and we would really have been in the hot, brown stuff. Wenger really needs to give us a chance to compete this season. And it may not take as much to compete with the top guys as many think. This is a results business and, as long as you have the team, the squad and the tactics to win the next game and to convert losses to draws, you will be there or thereabouts in the final quarter of the season. Then it all becomes a game of chicken with the other top teams. But you really give yourself a fighting chance that way, rather than playing catch up from Christmas! We don’t have a bad first team – and perhaps this is the point Wenger is making. And no one’s arguing with him. But we could always improve. And league titles are won by squads, not first teams. Injuries, fatigue and the strain of challenging on four fronts will inevitably take their toll – we should know that more than most! This is why, come May, no excuse will be tolerated if we don’t show clear improvement from last season ESPECIALLY if we fail to strengthen this summer.

  • Va Cong

    Sexy football again. My favourite 3-0 bet lost me £50 again… But we are shaping up! 🙂

  • Ian Jenkinson

    The last two games have been a fantastic answer to any critics this team and Arsene Wenger has had to listen to. Delighted with the response to being shafted last Saturday. Our doom and gloomers have gone away thankfully. Amazing how these “supporters” won’t come out to even mutter a well done. They are genuinely disappointed at the last two results. It defies belief. Hopefully they just stay away.

    @ Edda

    Fantastic research and info there. Very interesting results. And how many of those teams had their fixture this weekend brought forward to an early kick off?? Highlights how well we did today.

    @ Walter

    Congratulations on today, that is a fantastic achievement for you and your family. And quite possibly a unique achievement in officiating! Well done 🙂

  • Sammy The Snake

    Gr8 win! It couldn’t have been easy for the boys in heavy rain and on back of a CL qualifier. Gr8 work by the Gunners.

    Now for some exciting transfer activity before the Spurs game. 🙂

  • sukebe

    @Maxim

    Yes, we all understand the need on strengthening, wenger also said it so…

    But what if all efforts failed this summer? (Knock on wood)

    Would you still appreciates those efforts or turn over and calling them excuses?

  • Sav from Australia

    @Bootoomee
    August 24, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    You have the AAA sighted and on target. Well said!

    @maxim
    August 24, 2013 at 11:45 pm

    Maybe I’m crazy, but seeing Frimpong, Gnabry and Zelalem on the bench made me quite happy. I am happy with any new players coming in, but I am thrilled with the squad we have at the moment. The potential for greatness abounds.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    That’s What we Practice. Cough it up !

    A dad walks into a market with his young son. The kid is holding a coin.

    Suddenly, the boy starts choking and gasping for breath.
    The dad realizes the boy has swallowed the coin and starts panicking, shouting for help.

    A well dressed, attractive, but serious looking woman in a blue business suit is sitting at a Tea stall in the market reading her newspaper and sipping a cup of Tea.

    At the sound of the commotion, she looks up, puts her Tea cup down on the saucer, neatly folds the newspaper, places it on the counter, gets up from her seat and makes her way, unhurried, across the market.

    Reaching the boy, the woman carefully takes hold of the boy’s balls and starts to squeeze, gently at first and then ever more firmly. After a few seconds the boy convulses violently and coughs up the coin, which the woman deftly catches in her free hand. Releasing the boy, she hands the coin to the father and walks back to her seat in the Tea stall without saying a word.

    As soon as he is sure that his son has suffered no lasting ill effects, the father rushes over to the woman and starts thanking her saying, “I’ve never seen anybody do anything like that before, it was fantastic. Are you a doctor?”

    “No,” the woman replied, “I work for the Income Tax Dept.”

  • Brickfields Gunners

    There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside you. ~Maya Angelou

    You either do what you want in life and deal with all the stuff that gets in your way. Or you live with a regret in your heart. The regret of untold stories.

    http://www.prolificliving.com/blog/2013/08/22/keep-going-when-scared-insecure/

  • jax

    It’s good to see the return to the countering game that was so successful in the early & mid Wenger years. Shoot on sight is also proving very productive.
    @dean…yet here you are.

  • Lanre

    How come no one mentioned Giroud’s contributions. His hold up play, movement and link up. He might not be the fastest but he sure have put in good shifts the past 3 games. 3games-3goals, what out for the big man this season. I heard he is usually explosive from his second seasons.

  • para

    What’s up with MOTD? I watched it today because i could not see Ful v Ars only hear it, and lo and behold i hear no Arsenal bashing, and something that closely resembles praise. Praise? Well well, i am shocked.
    Anyway i still won’t be watching it, only in the circumstances mentioned above.
    Forward Arsenal, forward.

  • Matt Clarke

    http://blog.emiratesstadium.info/archives/30676/comment-page-1#comment-658095

    Great point Sammy – we are usually poor in bad weather. Good to see that change.

  • Dec

    Walter, don’t leave us all hanging in suspense.
    How did the match go for you and your boys?
    Will be reading a ref review article anytime soon?
    Hope it went well. The result at Craven Cottage must have capped a wonderful weekend for you and your family. Well done to all concerned on both fronts.

  • WalterBroeckx

    For those who have asked: Our match went very well. 😉 Thank you for your interest in our affairs 😉

    And yes all in all a great weekend for the ones I love. And yes a proud father. And a lucky father.

  • Stuart

    Has everyone written in to the club praising the performance and asking for more of the same?

  • HenryB

    Really enjoyed a great game. Big contrast to last week end.

    Good Post and I am glad you and your family are also enjoying the week end.

  • maxim

    The defective Feneberche and the unaggressive Fulham gives Wenger a hope of non-expenditure but the aggressive Villa proves ineptness and ill-vision of Arsene FC. The summer came and nothing came from keeper to striker, the team and club is still short handed. Moyes has suffered the wrath of arsenal for far too long and now with a better and stronger team, Manu vs arsenal is about Moyes vs Arsenal and with manu doing some finishing touches wenger is sits on his backside preparing his boys for another a**s whopping, ensuring Arsene boys are kicked off the pitch to give Moyes that long overdue sweet revenge. Old Trafford will be bloody and painful period! but spuds are serious bigger stronger and more focused whilst Rogers at Anfield wants to flex his capability. This season will be more torrid, too horrible and very humiliating. The manager still believes in the dead. Solace will come from the defective Feneberche before the heat and lies start to cascade. Lord have mercy

  • maxim,

    Are you ok? You sound really sad, hurt and despondent.

    Reading your comment made me very grateful for my state of mind. Thanks!

  • WalterBroeckx

    Agree bootoomee, Maxim surely could do with some help.
    Maxim do click on the link provided by Brickfields Gunners in another post. But also read the warning before you do.

    You might smile for a moment. It might hurt so be careful. You might enjoy life for a short while so do be careful and know that it might change your life.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Hope this helps .

    We must always think about things, and we must think about things as they are, not as they are said to be.
    George Bernard Shaw

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ Stuart – have to admit that I’ve not , but will do so when we beat the Spurts 5-2 !

  • maxim

    For people to come here and get excited by beating fulham and a poor mans galatasary is just sad.
    ust read in the mirror website that wenger blames the media for BRAINWASHING AFC fans…im honestly speechless and totally outraged…does he really think that AFC fans dont have the intelligence to figure it out for them selves.. this really confirms that this man is delusional.. whats scary is that someone with this mentality will never leave regardless of the circumstances…just like Clough/Forrest and we all know how that story ended

  • WalterBroeckx

    I think we have a new one.

    The last ones appeared after our first defeat in 12 games in competitive football and most went away after two consecutive wins. But they have sent on a sub I think.