Arsenal Get The Point In The End

Arsenal 1 – 1 Fulham

0 – 1 Vermaelen o.g.(65)
1 – 1 Vermaelen (82)

Thomas Vermaelen provided a solution to the conundrum of who scores if Robin doesn’t, a shame one of his brace was in the wrong net. It was scant reward for Arsenal in many senses but Fulham came to stifle and succeeded in doing so for long periods of the game. Had Arshavin not been flagged offside – rightly – in the opening minutes, things might have been different.

As it was, the episode signalled the start of a siege on the Fulham half. Zamora and Dempsey provided sporadic relief but in the same way that the Marseille was ‘the morning after the night before‘ following Chelsea, this was the comedown following Dortmund. Arsenal were lethargic of thought. Their bodies may have been willing but the minds could not find the guile to create many clear chances. Walcott’s early effort was all his own work; sprinting down the right before testing Schwarzer with a rifled low shot.

As half-time approached, the visitors had their moment to take an undeserved lead but Szczesny was equal to the challenge whilst Hangeland headed the resulting corner over the bar. Philippe Senderos will have remembered such quiet afternoons from his time in the Arsenal squad; he would not have expected such on his return to the club. As it was, Arsenal nearly snatched an interval lead when the much-maligned Per Mertesacker headed wide.

The second half was more of the same. Arsenal pressed but struggled to create. Dempsey failed to meet Murphy’s cross with the goal at his mercy whilst van Persie outwitted Schwarzer but Baird cleared from the goalline. Arshavin and Santos briefly threatened before their chances evaporated.

The goal that was coming duly arrived with an Arsenal name on the scoresheet. Murphy persisted with his run into the Arsenal area, Riise knocked the ball down and the Belgian’s attempted clearance saw the ball trundle into the corner of the net. Someone, somewhere is working out how to blame Mertesacker for that one.

Wenger decided to liven things up with Gervinho and Diaby entering the fray at the expense of Mertesacker and Ramsey. Arshavin would last another ten minutes before the Paris-bound Chamakh became the final throw of the dice. The Ivorian livened up proceedings, occupying the minds of the Fulham defence as the pressure grew for an equaliser. Djourou’s header was well saved by Schwarzer whilst Diaby shot high, shot wide, sometimes both at the same time.

van Persie then blazed high and wide, proving himself to be as technically inept as he is lethal. The goal machine is human after all. Minutes later the scores were level as Vermaelen angled his run, meeting Walcott’s cross to nod home from close range. Desperation ensued but not from the visitors, the hosts desire for a winner manifested in a lacklustre penalty appeal. It was entirely in keeping with the match.

This was a rerun of many opening games at The Emirates. Visitors stealing a lead, Arsenal equalising late in the game. A point gained is how it felt post-match; it still is and as such many who questioned the mental capabilities of Arsenal had their answer. A deficit was retrieved not surrendered meekly. Yet it is two points dropped against a struggling team. There will be more of those for teams around us; this is not the end of world despite what you may be told.

’til Tomorrow.

330 thoughts on “Arsenal Get The Point In The End

  1. Muppet says:

    Sounds like they have run out of patience at Sunderland. There has been a lot of investment, but nothing to shout about. No UEFA cup place, no semi finals or finals of any cups (or not ?). Perhaps they have a manager lined up as a replacement.

  2. pedantic george says:

    I don’t know how Tom Watt does not tell some of the clowns who phone in just why idiots they are.
    I am angling for a slot but they are not having it 🙁

  3. Jonny says:

    A lot of shocks on the weekend; Big-Spenders PSG lost 3-0, Barcelona lost 1-0 to Getafe, and Bayern Munich were stunned as they lost 3-2!

  4. Limestonegunner says:

    Listening to 606 yesterday there were lots of ManU fans criticizing the Newcastle penalty decision. One was quite honest and sharp, I thought, about feeling that his job along with the other supporters was to make life tough on the referees so that it affected their calls in favor of the home side. It reminded me of the discussion we had a few months ago about home field advantage and different views about what factors contributed most to it. The research showed that referees were most affected, more than the players. So, in a real sense, the ManU fan was perceptive in describing his role in helping his team win. Someone from another club called up objecting to that as against fair play and wanted to say that the main thing was just supporting your players and manager, “getting behind them.” ManU gets the benefit of calls more often. Perhaps their supporters understand how this works better than others, among other factors.

  5. Jonny says:

    I’m hearing the Bruce thing might be a myth…nothing concrete one way or t’other that’s for sure.

  6. Limestonegunner says:

    They have moved the forum from Fridays now to Mondays.

  7. Limestonegunner says:

    Jonny, Bayern are a self-sustaining club. I wouldn’t put them in the PSG, Barcelona category of fiscal malfeasance.

  8. Limestonegunner says:

    Yes, Auclair. (And I hardly think saying Borg was one of the greats is dismissing him, but I can see you are a big Borg fan and know your stats so I defer to your characterization of his great career Muppet. But I still like Federer better, sorry!)

  9. korihikage says:

    Limestone,

    well i just feel that at the moment, everything is open, and we have clawed ourselves back into the fray. so i was hoping for more belief and optimism.

  10. Limestonegunner says:

    As I said, the journalists are actually the low point in the forum show, and I liked it better when there were fans in the chairs as well. Like Iyare and so on. I think they could bring in a celebrity fan and a regular fan/blogger each week to discuss the calls and so on. That would be much more interesting than having a journalist on. I am not sure why they bring them in but I don’t understand many of the Arsenal media choices. Why is Robson still giving his tactical analyses and doing commentary? It is a mystery.

  11. Limestonegunner says:

    Tom Watt, however, is really wonderful and he makes the show work. He’s really the best part about it, in my opinion.

  12. Limestonegunner says:

    Jonny, I’d distinguish them further as clubs. What were you trying to observe about the weekend’s results by characterizing them together as “big spenders.” I don’t think of Bayern as excessive spenders, though they will go in and pay some large transfer fees on occasion and clearly do pay their top players well. From some perspectives, we are a big spender too. Not so much in transfers but certainly in wages.

  13. Muppet says:

    Limestone,

    lol. No problem. I’m not arguing one over the other. Just surprised the case for Borg was a little understated on here. I think it’s only since we’ve got the Internet that I’ve had the opportunity to watch some of Borg’s matches on YouTube and do some more research into his career. I had previously believed that he was a bit of a one dimensional baseliner, but what I saw was truly astonishing. There are actually a lot of parallels in his style of play to the way the majority of players play today. But what astonished me was his win loss record on all surfaces. Watching his game on Youtube..some of the matches in 1981 and 1982, I remain convinced that he could have won further slams had his heart been in it. He was lightning fast from the baseline, was mentally tough with unlimited reserves of stamina, had a deceptively good serve and also a very good volley when coming into the net. It was a tragedy that he didn’t play until he was 32/33, which would have meant he was still playing around 1988. Of course it was from around 1985 that we saw the era of the big hitters – Becker/Lendl, the beauty of Edberg, and also Wilander/Mecir.

  14. Jonny says:

    Limestone calm down, the ‘big spenders’ comment clearly and obviously refers to PSG not to all three clubs. The only point in listing all three is that they were all surprise results.

  15. Jonny says:

    Not that it matters, as it is grammatically correct, but I didn’t write it anyway – cut and paste from Twitter.

  16. shotta says:

    pedantic george at 11:39 pm
    “Its official. Arshavin is this years Denilson.”

    Too true. It is remarkable how fans and bloggers who should know better are quick to join the pundits and condemn players as lazy and dis-interested simply because they are not blood and thunder types.

    Don’t feel bad George. Arteta is fast coming up on the outside. On this blog or elsewhere he was being condemned for too many sideways passes.

  17. goonerkam says:

    Borg for me too. he was a artist on the court. like AA. now a days its all about power,power and more power. borg had amazing shot placement. and a beautiful cut shot that curved like crazy. and he was a gentleman. can’t believe they let Bruce go. i guess martinez is next and probably one more before the new year. why can it not be ferguson.

  18. Limestonegunner says:

    Thanks, Jonny, I missed that. (I was calm, btw!)

  19. Dgob says:

    Gary Speed

    A true servant to football, RIP

  20. Matoo says:

    I’m amazed that it actually took until the next day (MD Gunner at 12:54am) for the first mention of the great Rod Laver. Or maybe I’m just biased because he had ‘A Cultured Left Arm’ lol

    I felt like we looked a bit off the pace to be honest. Ramsey looked tired, but he is still learning. Diaby and Gervinho gave the game a massive injection of pace, and make a strong case for us to rotate more. We have a better squad in depth now, and I hope we utilize Diaby, Rosicky, Arshavin, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Park more. I’m not the biggest fan of Chamakh, but admittedly this is because I liked Bendtner a lot and felt Chamakh’s arrival pushed him out of the team

  21. Irishgray says:

    When I was 23 I reconnected with an old girlfriend from Dublin. We had dated on and off from when I was 17 until I left Dublin when I was 21. For those two years we had no contact. Then at a party in a friends apartment, a mutual acquaintance of ours mentioned she had recently moved to NYC. I asked him to pass on my number and a few days later she called. We met for lunch and a glass of wine, which then turned into dinner and a bottle of wine, which then led to a nightcap, which then led to breakfast at my favourite diner. We laughingly called it our first date in NYC. I will never forget asking her why she moved to NYC and her replying: “Does it matter, I’m here!” I laughed and let it go, thinking she was right as all that mattered was we where together. I was wrong. It did matter. I just did not know why. Three weeks later she took her own life. That was August 9th, 1999. It was a Monday. (It was a Tuesday this year) At the time I was one of the many illegal Irish immigrants living in NYC and as such I could not attend her funeral. I still do not know why she did what she did.

    On a trip home a few years ago, I finally got to see her graveside. I went with her older brother and we laughed and cried. Being Irish, we mostly laughed. But it was a painful mirth, one I would not wish on anyone. Watching Shay Given breaking down as he tried to play the very game that introduced the world to Gary Speed was truly moving and heartbreaking for me personally. Yet, just as at a young Ladie’s graveside, I bore a pained smile rather than a tear. For though I never met Gary, I have met Shay. I like Shay a lot. I think I would have liked Gary too. I know I did respect him. I know his family will never read this but my heart and thoughts and prayers go out to them.

    I remember a Christmas several years ago when, putting the lights on a friend’s tree, one of his roommates noticed some of the bulbs were not working. He fixed them all. Save one. When I raised a rather puzzled eyebrow, he shrugged and said: “For Shane”. A recently deceased, very close friend. A week or so later when I arrived at their apartment it was the first thing I noticed. It has been my own little tradition ever since. Some years there may be more then one, but there is always at least one. I like to think that when she sees me puposefully twisting a bulb loose so that it will not light up, she throws her head back and laughs the way she used to do. I loved her laugh. I loved making her laugh. This year I think I shall be twisting two bulbs loose. I wonder will Gary laugh also? I like to think they both will.

    Be at peace Gary.

  22. goonerandy says:

    Irish – Tragic tale mate. Thanks for sharing.

  23. team spirit says:

    @ Irishgray….

    Quite touching and obviously heartfelt write up; Things like this always put all other things we moan about in perspective! I wish his family could see this and know that the world over there are people praying for them.

    How i wish that it was rather foul play, at least we can direct our anger and sorrow at the perpetrators! Otherwise, I always do wonder why people do this to themselves as well as to friends and family! What is that serious that they cannot cope with? it really is always a cause for wonder!

  24. Jonny says:

    That brought fresh tears to my eyes Irish.

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