Arsenal back on track with easy win against Fulham

The Gunners were reeling from Saturday’s humiliation against Liverpool and simply had to beat a struggling Fulham team to stay in touch with the Top Four, and they did it in style and fully deserved the points, despite our ever-lengthening injury list.

It was an unlikely goal from Granit Xhaka that put Arsenal in front midway through the first half, and when Lacazette scored the second at the start of the second half with a beautiful team goal the result seemed beyond doubt. But of course our defence suffered a usual lack of concentration to give Fulham a lifeline through Kamara, and Emery admitted that we still have a lot of work to do with our defenders. “Our challenge now is to improve defensively.” He said on

“What’s the reason? Maybe different things. First, not with every player, we need to defend more than we did today with different injuries. Today’s the first time we could play with Koscielny, Sokratis and Mustafi – and the injury to Mustafi in the first half meant we had to change to four at the back in the second half. But we are very happy with the attacking players scoring lots of goals like today, but we need to take more balance defensively and to improve. It’s one thing for us to work on, to prepare for the second half of the season. We need to do it better in the second half of the season by working with every player in the team tactically – and that’s what we’re going to do.”

But, as usual we played better in the second half, and further goals in the last 15 minutes from Ramsey and Aubameyang gave us a more respectable scoreline. Ramsey had just replaced Lacazette before he scored, and the fans were clearly not pleased with the decision, but Emery was justified as the Welshman scred 4 minutes later. “I understand the supporters.” Emery explained. “I need to do my work. Tactically, we are thinking that in this moment we needed to change to get more balance. Above all else, we know Seri very well and we needed to get a player close to him, to not let him play with the ball very easily. When Aaron Ramsey came onto the pitch, he could do that and can also help us in attacking moments and he scored. The reason for the decision was this and I need to do my work. Every supporter can think different things tactically, but for me today, Lacazette worked very well today, scored and he helped us. His reaction was very positive.”

So the Gunners are back to winning ways, but with vital games against Chelsea and Man City coming up Emery really has to accelerate the defensive training, or we could easily drop away from the Top Four….

Onwards and Upwards!


Darren N


  1. McLovin says:

    I don’t think our defenders are THIS bad in training. I think a lot is down to their confidence level, since there are none left. Our CB’s are scared, withering, thinking twice. And when your CB partner is also out of confidense, they can’t rely on each other, resulting in shambolic defending.

    There’s a rumor that Kostas Manolas has a £34 million release clause. Why we haven’t activated this if true, is a real mystery.

    1. Sue says:

      How much will we have to spend though? Saw an article yesterday about our wage bill, FFP….. not looking that great if I’m honest

      1. Declan says:

        I saw that too Sue and the size of our wage bill is quite worrying especially with the rules in place regarding year on year increases. So even if Stan did want to invest some of his own fortune on players he basically would not be allowed to because of FFP.
        Regarding yesterday’s game, I watched it all on an excellent NBC live stream via Total Sportek and would hardly say it was an easy win. We were constantly being caught out with balls down our wings because our fullbacks had pushed up as usual. Kola and AMN were both good going forward but our defending was shocking at times.

        1. Sue says:

          It is worrying Declan…going to be restricted now until we lower the wage bill!! All this dodgy defending — nothing will change until we bring in some decent defenders… high wage bill… argh what a vicious cycle we’re in!!!

    2. sanmi.marvellous says:

      A rumour can NEVER be true

      1. jon fox says:

        Oh yes it can and frequently is. Why do you say this provably untrue statement? Many rumours are false and many others are true. That is obvious and fact. Yours is a silly comment. Since little in football is completely without knowledge by at least someone, it is almost( mind I say almost, not certain) that rumours, rightly or wrongly circulate. Newsmedia depends on rumours, SOME of which it creates, others on which it seeks out and which ultimately come to fruition. You REALLY should think more before saying something so obviously false

  2. Peterhos says:

    Back on track? All trains are on a track, some going to Paris, some to an abandoned siding. Our train is running out of steam. As usual we have been slow to replace the ageing players with known injury problems. Our train will soon be closer to West Ham than Barcelona – no longer Eurostar but an unimportant suburban slow train.

    1. Sue says:

      Be bloody Thomas the tank engine ?

  3. Grandad says:

    Due to the severe restrictions on our Budget which is due to our wage bill being too high in relation to our income under the FFPS there will not be any major signings during the January transfer window.We are therefore stuck with Mustafi, Kocielney and Socrat is for the season.The thing is no coach on the planet who could improve these guys so we can expect more of the same defensive misery in the months ahead with less and less chance of us making the top four .Sorry to sound so pessimistic but I am merely relating the facts as they are currently.

    1. Xxnofx says:

      And Chelsea have just bought the kid from Dortmund for nearly 60 mil ,great how other teams mean business and there’s us just trotting along like everything’s going to be good in the end .
      Mind you it might mean that hazards off at the end of the season .

      1. I’ve just seen that transfer. However, at 15 goals in 115 games is he any good? He has scored only 3 goals in 18 games this season. I don’t think the guy is worth the money but we shall see.

        1. Xxnofx says:

          I’ve seen him play just from watching a few of their matches .he looks a special player one for the future ,but it’s the fact Chelsea have taken the gamble which is what big teams do .we won’t see him till next season anyway but I would say they’ve done good business and it’s always the way that other teams go about the transfers ,straight in no messing around while we argue over a couple of million everytime and it lasts week just getting a signing over the line

          1. Declan says:

            £60 million for a player with potential, ridiculous price. Rather than trying to compete with prices like that, we should be tapping into the Dortmund markets and have bought him in 2015 for peanuts instead of Dortmund. We do have some excellent young players on our books though and it’s about time we used them, especially as no one will be coming in this window.

          2. Xxnofx says:

            I agree it is a gamble ,every transfer is but it’s a statement from the Chelsea owner that they won’t be left behind ,I know how I would rather my club do their transfer business and it ain’t the way we do ours .
            I suppose there’s no point moaning about it because we all know what kind of owner we have got so probably best let it play out how most of us think it’s going to .which is the club will linger in 6th place until he changes his way of running the club .

          3. Tissiam says:

            We all know what chelsea does,buy all the best young players and then sell them to others for at least 20 times more,you call fair play,they have over 20 players on loan this practice should be stopped!!as for ARSENAL you can,t blame unai& staff they,ve only been here few months can,t work miracles,this is not his squad all we ask is for a couple of transfers Windows by the way yesterday shops must have run out of humble pie thanks to clueless people not fans posting on here,then after the game they,ve gone all quiet until another loss!what kind of supporters want their team to lose just to make a point ?what a disgrace!COYG!!

      2. McLovin says:

        Out of all the wingers we were linked, I think Pulisic was NOT special.

        Wingers have to score goals or assists them, Pulisic hasn’t really done either of them. He’s still young though, much time to develop.

        IMO the likes of Pepe, Lozano and Thorgan Hazard are much more intriguing. They are few yours older though.

      3. Sue says:

        I’ll be glad to see the back of Hazard ?

        1. ToluCOYG says:

          What do we call this? This is a type of player that makes EPL more exciting and appealing to watch. When he’s shifted to Madrid, your cherished league looses its excitement by few points. Stop doing this just so you want our darling Arsenal to become stronger. Advocate for our club to sign better players in return.

          1. Xxnofx says:

            Stupid comment ,ofc she wants our club to be stronger most fans do ??‍♂️
            I for one would rather he does go because of his constant falling over which is a pet hate of mine .

          2. ToluCOYG says:

            Using derogatory words guess is a cultural thing for you man, can get under my skin with that. Kane has been guilty of same falling over from slight touches lately. Should he leave too?
            Sterling was a major culprit of diving this past season, should he leave too?
            So the best way to make Arsenal stronger is for other clubs to loose their better players by any means? Pathetic…

          3. ToluCOYG says:

            Can’t get under….

          4. Sue says:

            ToluCOYG….I’m an Arsenal fan, I’m sorry but I don’t share your view on Hazard (or his team!!) So if he does end up at Real, I for one will not be losing any sleep over it!! Let him go and roll around like he’s been shot over in Spain!!

          5. ToluCOYG says:

            Ain’t suprised about your myopic submission, its yours and i respect it. While i’m looking at the bigger picture, you are free to deride other good players outside AFC in the epl. One tree they say…
            Its less glamour now for Laliga since CR7 left, just wait till Messi winds up his career at Barca and see what happens. EPL still got Auba, Kane, Salah, Aguero, Son, Hazard, KDBryne, De Gea, Kante, Pogba, Ozil, Eriksen, Sterling and other high profile players that makes the league worthwhile.
            Mind you, my view is not actually on Hazard, but more on the league. No one would clap eyes even if all the curent players leave for other leaugues, the league will breed new players. But first, we should appreciate our extended territory(epl and its players) before going over protective of our club and its players, that’s being human.

          6. Sue says:

            I just appreciate Arsenal thanks & I’m sorry if that’s too myopic for you!!

          7. Kenny Rolfe says:

            Well said Sue and Xxnofx, Hazards the biggest diver in the Premier League and the sooner he goes to Spain the better.

          8. ToluCOYG says:

            Enjoy mate, no hard feelings.
            Do have a wonderful year.

    2. jon fox says:

      Thank goodness for mature folk with life expereince and ability to see the clear truth. Grandad, I always look forward to reading your sensible and realistic posts. More still, please!

  4. Eddie Hoyte says:

    That score line was and is flattering, I watched a poor game with a defense still so so bad and full of flaws… Even Owen Hargreaves after the first half went on about how Arsenal have been poor by their standard but they took their chance.
    Am I the only one who’s tired of Xhaka playing so many wrong passes and losing the ball in our own half? Apart from the goal he scored, any body honest with himself will know he was poor yesterday.. The last 2 games the only bright thing is seeing Iwobi getting better again, I hope he keeps his head down and keep working hard. Though he got tired and had a poor 2nd half, credits goes to him..
    Like I’ve been pointing out how bad our defense is and how playing the high line is the reason we are getting raped, it was still obvious yesterday.. The first chance Fulham got that Ryan Sessengon blew yesterday after we got caught up field, there were so many chances they blew and our defense as usual was poor, our defenders are hardly in our own half, if you doubt me go watch the replay of the game.. Before the Liverpool game I mentioned how we could get away with Brighton but that Liverpool would take those chances and they did perfectly… Yesterday after conceding 5 goals, I see no improvement, no change, Emery’s doing nothing about it. I could count a few times I saw Sokratis, Koscienly and Mustafi upfield and on the wings…
    Imagine getting caught out like that and Fulham just playing the ball over then it’s a slaughter race between RS3 and Guendouzi or whoever. I find it hard that Pat and I are just the only ones who has pointed out this high line strategy at the back and which is clearly not working. Emery and Bould ain’t fixing anything in the defense, good thing they got the 3 points, but we’ve been here before, I’m passed where I start getting excited again after picking points against a low table team.

  5. ForeverGooner says:

    It’s a LONG road ahead.

    I expect us to be 5th to 6th place for a while longer

    Liverpool, City, United, Chelsea all richer clubs and willing to spend
    Spurs have built a very solid team. It helped them by buying cheap and selling Van Dijk, selling Modric, getting Kane but they built strong defence, midfield, attack

    We have decent players but many average who would not have any chance of starting in any of the above teams (except Aubameyang, Lacazette and Torreira)

    We need almost a whole new defence
    We need a creative central midfielder
    And wingers (we don’t have anyone as good as Alexis, Sane, Mane, Hazard, Pedro, Sterling, Salah, Sigguardson etc). In fact Bellerin May be our best winger LOL

  6. Ethio gooner says:

    I’m glad that fans in the stadium made it known to emery that they don’t appreciate he’s handling of lacazzete. Last thing we need is unai getting comfortable and taking our patience for granted like he’s predecessor! We got to be Demanding like every top European clubs even if we are not it at the moment. So fans who have got the luxuy of going to the Emirates week and week out, please don’t just sit there when emery does something frustrating and take your privilege for granted. There are millions of us around the world whose got no choice but to shout at the TV whenever our Arsenal is taken for granted by the coach or the players. Use your privilege!

    1. ks-gunner says:

      How mad must one be to get on the managers back knowing that he is already under so much pressure and frankly over performing with the little he has.

      1. ozziegunner says:


      2. ToluCOYG says:

        The reward for work is more work, success has no limit. Registering displeasures doesnt explicitly mean more pressure. Its not madness when the fans shouted. Football is more than 90 mins with the players, the stakeholders, fans, coaching crew, sponsors and other units are all involved.

      3. jon fox says:

        I am in a halfway house between your post and the one you disagreed with , above yours. There is validity in both viewpoints and a sense of balance and overall perspective is wise . I would add that all fans are fully entitled to their views and to openly express them in the stadium. BUT that many fans rush to overreact when things do not IMMEDIATELY turn out as they wish. There is, clearly, in life as in football, a whole younger generation of fok who are impatient and will not wait for things to turn our as they wish. I speak of the so called “snowflake” generation who OFTEN expect all they want and who want it NOW. It should be fully acknowledged by all that Emery is financially hamstrung by KROENKE.

        1. ToluCOYG says:

          Absolutely agree with you. Thats another view to further explain the saying that no system is perfect. To someone, it could be “6”, to another it could be “9”, both could be correct.
          PATIENCE is key.

          1. Lanert says:

            @Tolu…. That was on point?.

    2. ThirdManJW says:

      @Ethio gooner

      I have to admit, I was a little surprised when Emery took off Lacazette, but I thought the booing was out of order, and damn right ignorant!

      If Arsenal fans know their stats (which clearly they didn’t yesterday), they’ll know that no manager in the Premier League is more effective with their subs than Emery. In fact, I think Emery is the most effective in the entire country! So where’s the trust from the fans? Clearly he knows what he’s doing, and his decision was vindicated with Ramsey scoring, and sealing the game!

      He took Lacazette off because they’re was only one goal in it, and Fulham were doing okay at that moment. We needed another midfielder or defender on to regain control, so it made sense to take a striker off when we had 2 of them on the pitch, and this is where Emery got it right again! Taking off a striker was the correct thing to do, and he even made sure to take off the correct striker out of the 2, as Aubameyang went on to score, along with Ramsey!

      How many times under Wenger had there been 1 goal init at the back end of a match, and yet we would continue attacking, and then concede on the counter, or even 2, and draw, or lose the match? That happened countless times! I was always so angry, because we should have just sat back at the end, stay compact, and protect what you’ve got, yet Wenger refused to, and it cost us, so many times! Now we have a manager that is proactive, who is actually watching the games unfold (unlike Wenger) and reacting in real time, and some fans are still not happy!

      1. jon fox says:

        ThirdManJW, you make a good point about Emerys subs, taken as a whole this season. You make an even more entirely accurate one about Wenger. I am still amazed and still, even now, dismayed that he was not sacked FAR sooner. We COULD by now be far ahead of where we are, now that we have not only Emery, but Raul, Huss and Sven, real pros in charge. Except that , of course, OVERALL financial control STILL lies with Scrooge Kreonke.

        1. Kenny Rolfe says:

          I think you’ll all find it was more of a disappointment “boo” than a disrespectful “boo”

          1. Kenny Rolfe says:

            And ThirdMan was correct, It was purely to bolster the midfield, which was needed.

      2. Tissiam says:

        Well said,even after the game unai said he played very well and scored,it was just a tactical change,I found unbelievable that nowadays a coach has to explain his substitutions!I guess the refs need to be the next ones!!

      3. Ethio gooner says:

        I understand your point of view, but the fans frustration I believe didn’t come from that specific game, it came from the previous games when Emery took lacazzete off when we most needed him like the Brighton game when he replaced him with ramsey while we were chasing for another goal and the Liverpool game after that when he came off the bench after the game was done and dusted.

        1. ThirdManJW says:

          I get what you’re saying in regards to Laca always being subbed, and that he was having a good game as well. I suppose Emery’s thinking was that, if he’s going to take one of the strikers off, then leave your best one on, which is Auba. But Laca was playing well, and had scored, so he could have stayed, and Auba could have been subbed instead. It would be nice to see Laca get some full games under his belt.

  7. Jah son says:

    @ ethio gooner
    I like your point of view interesting never looked at it from that angle as it also gives the board a little more say when fans aren’t happy.

  8. Goonster says:

    I keep hearing about this problem with the wage bill.
    This is the problem we have had for the past fee seasons. Even during one of my favourite time (Cesc Era), we bought cheap Unknown and young promising players then paid them too much (in the 10’s of thousands of pounds) just yo attract them. Then when they developed to a stagr where they had some what made it then we couldn’t better their already inflated wages, so they run for the other clubs that offered them more than double and trophies.

    For the last 5 or so seasons it has gone the other way, now we buy already established okay players that other big clubs want to offload off their wage bill (Ozil, Sanchez, Mkhi etc) or not so coveted somewhat big names ( Auba, Laca etc) and then pay the ridiculous wages that other clubs might now have offered them.

    Since when have we gone for a so called big name being fought for by other big clubs? Never, we always wait for the othee big clubs to pick and choose who they want then the leftovers/ crumbs are left for us.

  9. jon fox says:

    Darren N, So then , you thought the Fulham game was “an easy win”. I doubt many were saying that immediately before our third goal, late in the game. Fulham could well have been ahead at the interval had they taken clear chances. I would more truthfully call it a flattering scoreline win and a curates egg of a performance, at best. Our defence remains, regularly, all at sea , even against weaker sides like Fulham. With this “defence” winning is rarely “easy.”

  10. Grandad says:

    Spot on John.

  11. Kingojode says:

    Was it the same match I saw that the writer of this topic has just given us a review of, or was it some other match that took place on planet Mars?

    Did you watch the entire game? Did you not see how we would have been two goals down, goals scored by thesame individual, if he (Sessegnon) had had his scoring boots? A clinical team would have killed the game even before we knew what was happening. We would have lost by a big margin if our opponents were good enough to know how to put the ball away. How easy was that game for us? Maybe you did not watch the contest, and perhaps someone had told you that we won by that score line and you quickly hurried off to feed us with a review that is in contrast with what I saw. You can go ahead and feed others with this false information, but I personally and vehemently refuse it.
    The Match was 2:1 by 70 minutes and you call that an easy win? A match that we had to bring on Ramsey to curb the opponents’ incessant forward play that could have brought them the equalizer, is what you call an easy win? You make it look as if those on this site do not know football. No way!! Maybe you have to re-caption it.

    Again, just like against Liverpool, the defenders started loosing their men. You can call me whatever you like but that guy(Kolasinac), by the way he defends, is not a defender at all!!!! He thinks himself more of an attacker than a defender. He lacks the awareness needed of a defender. Going forward, no doubt, he is one of the best around, but his primary duty is to defend. Did you see the way he was unaware of Kamara’s run into our 18 yard box when he scored?
    Xhaka is always giving me reasons to believe that he is not good enough. I am not going to be fooled by his goal, because before and after his goal he misplaced a lot of passes that will make a big team punish his team. Let him not think that he is safe because of the contract extension; anyone can be chopped off by Unai’s axe if you become dispensable.

    A gunner from Nigeria.

  12. Jah son says:

    Since Emery took over 6 months ago we haven’t controlled and win a competitive football game.
    I personally don’t think our squad is that bad we cant even retain possession any more everybody’s nervous with countless miss placed passes. Team’s no longer show us any form of respect hence defense under constant pressure.
    Every premier league game we’ve won since season have been hard fought wasn’t expecting to go backwards before we can go forward.

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