Fulham v Arsenal: the injuries, the team… and time to forget the journalism

By Bulldog Drummond

Last season we began the campaign under a different manager.  The general feeling put about among the all-unknowing media is that it was a disastrous start but was it?

Date Match Result Score Competition
11 Aug 2019 Newcastle United v Arsenal W 0-1 Premier League
17 Aug 2019 Arsenal v Burnley W 2-1 Premier League
24 Aug 2019 Liverpool v Arsenal L 3-1 Premier League
01 Sep 2019 Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur D 2-2 Premier League
15 Sep 2019 Watford v Arsenal D 2-2 Premier League
19 Sep 2019 Eintracht Frankfurt v Arsenal W 0-3 Europa League
22 Sep 2019 Arsenal v Aston Villa W 3-2 Premier League
24 Sep 2019 Arsenal v Nottingham Forest W 5-0 League Cup
30 Sep 2019 Manchester United v Arsenal D 1-1 Premier League
03 Oct 2019 Arsenal v Standard Liège W 4-0 Europa League

That gave us six wins, three draws and one defeat.  Not that bad.

You might find those first games hard to remember, what with the ceaseless remorseless attacks that Arsenal come up against and so you might not recall quite where we were after those games…   Seven goals against nil in two Europa games, easily through the League Cup with the reserves and in the Premier League?

Well this is how the table looked after eight games.

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Liverpool 8 8 0 0 20 6 14 24
2 Manchester City 8 5 1 2 27 9 18 16
3 Arsenal 8 4 3 1 13 11 2 15
4 Leicester City 8 4 2 2 14 7 7 14
5 Chelsea 8 4 2 2 18 14 4 14
6 Crystal Palace 8 4 2 2 8 8 0 14
7 Burnley 8 3 3 2 11 9 2 12
8 West Ham United 8 3 3 2 11 11 0 12
9 Tottenham Hotspur 8 3 2 3 14 12 2 11
10 AFC Bournemouth 8 3 2 3 13 13 0 11

Of course we slipped away later once the media and the united complainers of AFTV, Black Scarf and the rest got going, but it is worth remembering where we got to early on, and then where we ended up.  Just in case we get too carried away after eight games.

But still, let’s move on to the injury chart.  The clubs with the highest number of players injured according to Physioroom…

  • Newcastle United: 9
  • Chelsea: 8
  • Crystal Palace: 8
  • Arsenal: 7
  • Sheffield United: 6
  • Everton: 6
  • Leicester City: 5
  • Manchester United: 5

Fulham have no entry in the chart which either means they are injury free or Physioroom.com don’t realise they are in the Premier League now.  Here is our chart however.

Player Reason Further Detail Potential Return Status
Shkodran Mustafi Thigh Injury Hamstring Surgery 31/10/2020 Ruled Out
Pablo Mari Villar Ankle/Foot Injury Ankle Surgery 26/09/2020 Ruled Out
Sokratis Calf/Shin/Heel Injury Calf Strain 19/09/2020 50/50
Calum Chambers Knee Injury Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury Ruled Out
Emile Smith Rowe Shoulder Injury Shoulder Injury Ruled Out
David Luiz Upper Back/Neck Injury Neck Spasm Ruled Out
Gabriel Martinelli Knee Injury Meniscus Tear Ruled Out


As for the line up Sports Mole give us:


Saliba  Holding  Tierney

Bellerin                      Maitland Niles

Xeballos                     Xhaka

Pepe   Nketiah  Aubameyang

If we think back to the Liverpool game in the Community Shield, we included just two other players: Saka and Elneny.  On the bench and used in the game we had Cédric Soares, Joe Willock, Reiss Nelson, Sead Kolašinac 

Elneny is certainly one of those players the pundits and bloggers like to ignore – he doesn’t fit with their image, and yet as the manager showed by playing him in the two games of this season so far that we have been able to see, he rates Elneny.

The Short Fuse has found itself a little challenged in the way that Untold sometimes is, by telling us the game is Arsenal v Fulham, rather than Fulham v Arsenal, but we’ll let them off.  They give us a slight variation:


Holding  Saliba Tierney

Bellerin                      Maitland Niles

Ceballos                     Xhaka

Pepe   Nketiah  Aubameyang


There are stories circulating that Martinez has now earned himself a transfer on a good price, which will give him the first team games he wants and indeed deserves.  Hence I suppose the return of Leno.

The Fuse does helpfully give us the beach which has:

Alexandre Lacazette, Bukayo Saka, Willian, Joe Willock, Sead Kolasinac, Gabriel Magalhaes, Emi Martinez

So still no Elneny then, and perhaps they know of a transfer about to go through.  Someone whispered Milan.

Media Referee however takes a different stance…


Saliba Luiz  Gabriel

Bellerin   Xhaka    Ceballos  Tierney

Pepe  Aubameyang Willian

Sports Keeda goes with

Bernd Leno;

Kieran Tierney, William Saliba, Rob Holding;

Bukayo Saka, Dani Ceballos, Granit Xhaka, Hector Bellerin;

Nicolas Pepe, Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Which pretty much covers all the possibilities.

We’re not allowed in the ground, and Untold has cancelled its Sky and Sprout subscriptions in protest against their journalism, so it is down to the pub.  The table is booked (how funny that is – phoning the pub to book the table to have a beer, but we shall cope) and we are just about ready.

21 Replies to “Fulham v Arsenal: the injuries, the team… and time to forget the journalism”

  1. We won 4 of our first 13 games in the pl last season, so yes, the start was disastrous. I am totally in for optimism and seeing the positive in everything, but this is cherry picking. Maybe after 8 games we were third with tons of luck and an aweful goal difference, but after 13 games we still just had 4 wins and were eighth already.

  2. Absolutely, but just picking the first 8 rounds can be conceiving, even more so in the last one. From the ninth game onwards we slipped down the table. And I already mentioned that those 4 wins came mainly by luck and our goal difference was just awful as well. So I keep saying that even the start of the season was disastrous, though we had a good league position after 8 games. Mainly because a lot of teams were underperforming except from Liverpool.

    Once more, I am at the optimism and positiviy train and I think Arteta can lead us to new heights. But Emery was a disaster. Even at the start of the last season.

  3. The sale of either goalkeeper would be the worst move for our squad. We will be competing in everything and need quality in duplicate in every position.

    Our squad will be changing from competition to competition and losing either one of our keepers will be resignation to mediocraty.

    We have to set up to win everything despite the obvious hurdles of bias that we face. We have the talent and the probablity, if only our owner had the belief.
    In all honesty if the owners do not want to help power the team to glory, they might as well go back to the US and sit under Donald waiting for a golden egg.

  4. Sad line up! Leno in goal and Macey on the bench. Martinez tears now in my eyes.

    Auba Laca Willian
    AMN Xhaka Elneny Bellerin
    Tierney Gabriel Holding

    Bench -Saka Ceballos Nketiah Willock Macey Pepe Kola

  5. What to say…
    I think our back 5 (really 4 because they passed mostly to the left side) had the ball for about a half of that 45 minutes just passing it side to side. We really missed Luiz’s presence and heads up passing either crossfield or just up the middle to a midfielder. Maybe it was a lack of runs…

    Having said that, Fulham did nothing with the ball and were unable to break down our defence.

  6. Yet again we see a transition set up by the official and the pundits not aware of the reality.
    The ball is stopped by a Fulham winger and his momentum drops him beyond the ball. Tierney the reason for the players panic is deemed to have fouled him!!!!! This is the kind of pathetic officiating that is missed by the pundits. The resulting free kick just before half time means the whole Fulham team can be on the offensive and could very easily result in an equaliser.

  7. Don’t doubt that Bellerin deserved a foul…but it seems all our first fouls result in yellows regardless of severity…

  8. VAR should have advised the ref to card Hector as he has consistently fould some with leg breaking possibility.

  9. Funny to hear the dunce heads on french tv proclaiming that Arsenal will go unbeaten, will make the top 4….

  10. We have to keep some perspective. We showed a resilient, well organised defence and that alone is cause for optimism and we were able to dispatch a weak team. Last year we might have drawn this match. However, IMO, we still have a ways to go to compete with the top teams. Our runs weren’t sharp and in the first half we passed sideways over 90% of the time, it seemed. We didn’t have much of a pre-season so hopefully we get on the same page with more time on the training pitch.

  11. GGG my thoughts exactly. How VAR did not look at it for a possible Red Card is another thing. It is Arsenal after all.

  12. @Chris do not underestimate anyone who says Arsenal can go through a season undefeated. Problem is our defeats will be manufactured by PGMOL.

  13. Don’t know if anybody noticed, but we won 0-3 and with good performances by our new guys (and Elneny).

  14. A good competent win. Lots of tasty passages. With Arteta working the squad PGMOB are going to have to overstretch situations, as in that free kick they gave Fulham just before halftime. A corner resulted from the freekick. I seriously thought an equaliser could result from the corner right on the stroke of halftime, PGMOB throwing Fulham a way back into the game The look on Laca’s face as he got into position for the corner and looked at the ref was priceless.

  15. Fulham were really up for this game and were organised defensively . First couple of games promoted sides are always dangerous. They are strong- prepared. Today we didn’t give away our customary defensive gifts to such opposition- and looked a different team defensively and more confident and coherent than I had seen for some time. Very unlucky not to score more. Some very good passing and movement for such an early game.
    Not to get carried away- but some genuine reason for optimism. Really hope we don’t sell Elneny and Bellerin.

  16. We are off the charts…the whole game was.
    Fulham : 12 fouls, 2 yellows
    Arsenal :11 fouls, 2 yellows

    Used to be with 11 fouls we’d get 4 yellows….

    This is the type of game we used to lose or luckily tie….3-0 is a good start, there were splendid moves reminiscent of Wengerball. And Gabriel looks like the whole deal. Elneny was excellent as well. As for Willian, guess he adapted well mooving from one London stadium to another.

    We’ve got options. This is really a big big plus.

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