Fulham Preview |A Chink in Man City’s Expensive Armour?


Today is our 3rd London derby in a month that has consisted of straightforward London derbies. Seems an odd sentence that one, as though it ascends a perfectly symmetrical hill to immediately fall down the other side. Anyway.

Little has changed for Fulham since they appointed Muelenstein, or at least that seems to be the case. A Fulham fan might give you a more nuanced view and a journalist might pretend he had a more nuanced view. But, alas, no nuance is to be found here. Not on my watch…

Berbatov was linked with us a few weeks ago and though his style is enjoyable, he and Ozil might have an extremely languid, but attractive duel – which would probably be detrimental to team morale. Could be something to write about, mind…

Observations on Man City

 Little has been made of our midfield depth or what that may mean for the title race. Whilst people are rightly impressed by City’s collection of forwards, or Chelsea’s capacity to pay 20 million for a man they sold for 3 – they forget what has been most characteristic of modern football. Spain, Barcelona and Bayern (to a lesser extent) have all based their games on dominating the midfield. If you win the midfield, more often than not you win the game. (winning the midfield is not always characterised by possession…)

I am convinced that Man City will falter. Possibly as I’m an optimist, but also because, as their schedule congests, Toure will be unable to maintain this form. He’ll be rotated or he’ll be injured. Whichever way, it puts them in Javi Garcia territory. Not a good place to be; as City fans will tell you.

Garcia isn’t a bad player, certainly not as bad as he is often made out, but he is far less dynamic, or complete than the other two. City’s success is built on the intensity that radiates from Toure and Fernandinho. They are a rare kind of duo, in that they often appear to do the work of 3 players. Reminiscent of Gilberto and Vieira in that sense…

Whatever flaws we have in our squad, an unhealthy reliance on certain players isn’t one of them.

For our competitors it is different. Liverpool depend on Suarez; Chelsea on Hazard; and Man City’s recent success is founded, in some part, on the form of their midfield duo.

They are the only players in the City squad that can make a 4-4-2 work. Lose one of them and they’ll have to change their tactics fundamentally. Can they persist with the two strikers, a tactic that has been so vital to their success? Do they have to compensate with a more cautious Milner-shaped flank?

Interesting questions if nothing else…

Wilshere you may have noticed is good again; impressive when you consider just a month ago he “was overrated and overhyped”.

 Form is temporary; idiocy is permanent as they often say.


I can see nothing but an Arsenal win today, to the extent that few areas of the Fulham team feel worth typing about. I expect that if any frustration is to be felt today, it will derive from Sidwell and Probert.

Unchanged team from Villa I’d expect:


        Sagna               Per              Koscielny          Gibbs


                                Wilshere           Flamini


               Cazorla                     Ozil                Gnabry                      



Monreal, Vermaelen, Arteta and Ramsey are all injured. Rosicky is a doubt, as he ‘had surgery with a general anaesthetic’. Monreal’s injury, judging by the press conference was not as bad as it first looked. Which is better than I first thought (after I first looked).

Cheers, enjoy your weekend







24 Replies to “Fulham Preview |A Chink in Man City’s Expensive Armour?”

  1. Milner although he has played many times on the flank is actually a centre midfielder who believe it or not scores the odd goal, Garcia isn’t as bad as made out but more defensive but needing a run which has happened a little recently leading to a softening towards him. The best replacement for Yaya would be the young Rodwell, injury allowing of course. Maybe you forgot about him? Zabaleta has also played centre mid well many times I say city are well covered not only there but everywhere.

  2. This is all pretty speculative really. IF Toure gets injured then MIGHT not be as good. There is no chink at the moment though. They look far and away the best team in the league after a sluggish start where they dropped points at home. Over the last 10 matches they have picked up 28 points – thats 9 wins and a draw – and they have won their last 6 matches. We have picked up 23 points from our last 10. City’s poor (ish) start and our superb start to the season is currently why we are top, but there is no doubt that City are the form team right now.

    I do think this article is somewhat wishful thinking. If we are to win the league it will be because we earned it, not because City fell away. We simply can’t rely on that.

  3. We have to get as many points as City from today to the end of the season. Do that and we are Champions. It doesn’t matter how many goals they score. Same thing applies to Chrlsea. Our games against both may well be the deciders.

    COYG Three points today vital. Win by one goal or six the number doesn’t matter. The three points do.

  4. Nice one Sanchez bit off topic, I’m watching Sunderland /Southampton but Chris Foy is doing his garbage thing as always Brown tackled Gustavo from behind got his ankle and he had to be taken off field with an oxygen mask on him but this P…. has almost 6 minutes while the medics attended to Gustavo and all the replays could do nothing to change what he presumes was right was completely wrong.
    This is to much, so open that its unbelievable nobody talks about it.
    And the men in the middle are left to commit destruction,terror to other human beings

  5. Fulham at home always give us a headache I hope it does not have to go to that. But if we take our first chances as we did to Aston villa we might score 6 but if we relax with Mr Probert in the middle then we are going to have a hard fight, but as champions to be we have to show the mental strength and survive it.
    Its simple if we don’t win we burst and it will be much more better for us if chel$ea and Man$ity drop points first.
    Fingers crossed lets Enjoy GOD BLESS.

  6. Its still early but Fulham has its agenda timewasting ,frustrate us cool as down and then attack on the counter. We need a goal as early as possible so as to let them play. at least we need a shot on target like them .

  7. Not good so far, Gnabry needs to br more mobile
    Giroud is alone there and I wish some one could do the Ramsey role in finding empty spaces in their box and score
    By the way Santiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii !!

  8. Anyone over there seen Ma$itys first goal cross the goal line!! I never saw it someone who saw it. Im telling you it wont be easy for us.

  9. Another clean sheet, another sweet 3 points. 51 in total isn’t bad from 22 games. That’s 2.32 points per game.
    Good to be a Gooner!

  10. Good win for the team and overall a good performance. From memory Fulham managed to draw this fixture last time, so it was doubly good to put them away. Nice to see Podolski on the pitch again.

  11. @Kampala

    I think the Brown challenge epitomizes everything Walter and the team are fighting against. Brown doesn’t seem like a bad guy, but his challenges have been deteriorating for a while. The refs of course indulge malpractice…end result, exactly what Walter says will happen.

    On a lighter note, 2-0 is so much better than 4-2

  12. It was nice to see Cardiff get that second goal. Can you believe the bottom of the table? At the current rate, relegation is determined by who gets to 33 points.

    The BBC was talking about Mertesacker running into Flamini and getting hurt. Nothing serious? And it looks like Cazorla celebrates Orthodox Christmas. 🙂

    Hoping for a miracle from Villa. 🙂


  13. A miracle required from ManU against Chelski.
    I can’t believe how lucky Shitsky is, playing ManU without RvP & Shrek.

  14. Can’t believe the commentator on BBC said Arsenal are ‘keeping their heads above water’ despite us leading the race, had fewest losses, conceded least and yet I didn’t hear any criticism of city conceding 2 against the bottom of the league.

  15. Arsenal had 50 points after that kind of fixtures last year. Now have 51 points. First time this season Arsenal gained more cummulative points.
    Top of the league!

  16. Stuart,

    Man city can do no wrong but Arsenal is always shit. The media, led by BBC, have anointed the league winners. All Arsenal’s going to do is embarrass them in May.

  17. KampalaGun
    He was outstanding!
    Honestly he was my best player on PES 2012 🙂
    I couldn’t change him even with Mesut Ozil

  18. I know Boo, it just seems so amateurish, it’s as though they get someone to fill a seat but they don’t really follow football – just the media hype.

  19. Loved the analysis on Man Cheaty, I think that they are 100% reliant on Yaya. When he fell on his shoulder I was like “please please” but no…

    And they rested Fernandinho. Fair enough, Toure will not last the whole season and he is definetely what sticks them together.

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