When Arsenal won 3-1 at Craven Cottage last season, the midfield consisted of Fabregas, Hleb, Flamini and Rosicky. None of the quartet featured on Saturday (two sold, two injured) and the team subsequently flopped in a match that they would normally be expected to win.
Let’s give Fulham some credit for the victory. Brede Hangeland was well placed to score the winner from a corner, while the performances of Jimmy Bullard and Danny Murphy were excellent. The whole team played well as a unit, closing the Gunners down and continuing to attack during the second half. Arsene Wenger has refused to overreact to the defeat, stating that buying new players is not always the solution after this type of performance. Do you agree with the Frenchman’s words on the official site?
“When you lose a game the solution is not always to buy,” said Wenger. “Did we play at our best? I say no and so we have to look at why?
“We had problems to win our first few games last year but we won them. This year we did not win – that is the reality. We had 60 minutes to come back on Fulham and we did not do it. Is that down to Fulham’ s quality or the fact we were not good enough? Only the future will tell us that.”
It’s a strange one to figure out as Arsenal have sent their reserve team out in the Carling Cup in recent seasons and delivered fantastic performances and results. Therefore, perhaps it’s less to do with the personnel on the pitch and more to do with the fact that the players didn’t gel as a team. Or should Arsene get signing some new talent to replace Hleb and Flamini straight away?!