After watching a depleted Fulham side capitulate at the Emirates a few points come to mind,
- Everyone at Arsenal must have been quite certain we will finish third and that could explain the sorry performances at Wigan and Blackburn, although that doesn’t make it acceptable.
- It’s very difficult to play, especially away from home, once you lose a majority of your first team. Only a lack of incentive for Arsenal players saved Fulham from humiliation.
- Why doesn’t Arsene try Eboue in goal?!!
There is no point in analyzing the game as the visitors just played to complete a formality and Arsenal cruised through. I have a feeling Arsene knew this will happen and so did the players. It could be that after the loss against Spuds our players lost the mental strength that was pulling us through. I can’t think of another reason for our lacklustre 100 minutes (10 at Wigan and 90 at Blackburn).
Fulham looked like an amateur side and it just highlights the depth we have. With 8-9 first team players missing no other team can be competitive in the league. Some people assume Chelsea can be but there is no factual evidence to support that, at least I don’t know of any. United certainly can’t as we all saw how bad they were at Craven Cottage. Sadly for us, none of our competitors had a lengthy spell with multiple injuries. I know fans are tired of injuries but that doesn’t change the facts.
The only notable aspect in the game was a poor game for Fabianski. I thought he had a great outing against Blackburn and was seriously tested at Ewood Park but against the Cottagers he failed. If he can’t be consistent even over two games then he will struggle to make it at the top level. The fans’ reaction wasn’t very good but players at the top level have to deal with it. Fabianski probably needs a little psychological help more than any technical improvement as he seems to be suffering from a bout of the Yips!
Lansbury’s introduction for the final few minutes was a delight. Apart from his skills I really like the youngster’s body language on the pitch. It seems the loan has done him a world of good and hopefully he will play a small but significant part for us next year. Eastmond could also improve if he goes away for a few months to a Championship side.
The season is over now and everyone can take a break except Le Boss. He needs to really look back at what’s gone wrong this season. Arsene will have to make some tough decisions. The gaps in the squad and the problems we have are not as simple or obvious as some clueless writers on the internet tell us. I think Arsene needs to fine tune the system we play, our tactics, and the squad. He also needs to get to the bottom of our mental issues, especially those against bigger teams. More than anything else he needs to sort out the defensive mess we get into and it won’t be a simple matter of signing a Centre Back and a Goal Keeper, although that could be a start.
Over the next few days I’ll attempt a season review that looks at facts and details. Hopefully, we’ll have a few more meaningful discussions before we close the book on the ‘09-10 Season.