LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 26: Thomas Vermaelen of Arsenal scores their first goal past Mark Schwarzer of Fulham during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Fulham at Emirates Stadium on November 26, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
0 - 1 Thomas Vermaelen OG 61'
1 - 1 Thomas Vermaelen 82'
An Arsenal side that looked plain flat and tired drew a well-organized Fulham side today 1-1 at the Emirates, after Thomas Vermaelen made up for his own goal with a header from a Theo Walcott cross at the other end.
[I had a nice match report all ready to go for everyone, but my computer has just died. So...that won't be seen today, sadly. Instead you get this, from my work laptop].
Follow me below the jump for some hard-hitting analysis.
Arsenal were crap. There's no other way to really put it. Aaron Ramsey's passing was all over the place. For most of the first half, nobody was moving; Andrei Arshavin looks like an ancient Lich out there, even if his passing and invention are still quality. All due credit to Fulham, too; their back four, featuring former Arsenal man Philippe Senderos, was strong all game, heading away danger and generally sandwiching Robin van Persie out of play. The only bright spot for the Gunners was Theo Walcott, who was giving John Arne Riise all he could handle up the right for the Gunners.
The second half was no better, and when John Arne Riise ran onto a ball over the top, Vermaelen was unlucky to slide tackle and poke it past Wojciech Szczesny and in. Things were looking bad until Wenger brought on Abou Diaby and Gervinho, shifting to something more like a 4-2-4everyoneattack as Per Mertesacker came off, Alex Song sliding back to cover for him. Marouane Chamakh came on as well for Arshavin, and suddenly Arsenal looked urgent.
It paid off 82 minutes in, as Walcott was able to float a fine cross to the far post where Vermaelen arrived to head it past Mark Schwarzer, who had been excellent all match long. Between him and Chris Baird clearing a van Persie effort off the line, Arsenal were perhaps unlucky not to have more goals, but they were crap enough that nobody should be aggrieved.
1-1, club in crisis (??).
Some rotation might be nice.