Fulham v. Arsenal: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Mike Hewitt

Three points is three points and there's not too many who'd ever pass up a victory, no matter how it's earned. It's our job to weigh out what was yay fantastic, what was meh indifferent and what was utter Luis Suarez in Saturday's victory at Craven Cottage

A side note: yesterday kinda sucked, right?

I was on the way to get my oil changed in my swagger wagon when I took a peek in on scores and saw City up one. Hooray, right? I was high-fiving myself in the driver's seat and acting hard and tough by pretending to be up in someone's face while swearing things like "Boy, stop! Don't even come up in this bitch, yo!" I was elated; Arsenal's path to a top-four finish was getting easier as the minutes ticked away at White Hart Lane. By the time the greasy, up-selling mechanic was finished, so was City. Three goals in quick succession basically ruined the last day of the weekend for me and had it not been for plans already made in the afternoon that didn't involve being a fugitive of the law, I would have lit that Jiffy Lube up in a fit of uncontrollable anger.

Thanks goes out to Manchester City, Roberto Mancini and the Gallagher brothers. Thanks for nothing, you meek, only-good-on-paper egomaniacs. Loves, Your New Nemesis.

Onto the bueno, the malo and the feo.

Good: Who said we suck at set pieces? OK, so maybe we still have some work to do, but that was sure a purdy goal now, wasn't it? Whether by intention or just recognizing that Per Mertesacker slipped into space, Laurent Koscielny headed down a well-placed free kick to the exact, right spot for the BFG to head it comfortably past Mark Schwarzer. Taking advantage of our height on the pitch needs to occur more frequently; here's hoping we can continue to utilize this aspect of our squad in the remaining four matches of the season.

Bad: Olivier Giroud's overall play, again. Look, he's a talented player. It's not as if he doesn't have prior goal-scoring success, or that this is the first time he's lead an attack on his own, in the center of the pitch. But my God, he's looking like he's in dire need of a rest. Apparently Andre Marriner thought the same; Giroud's late tackle ended up high on Stanislav Manolev's foot, eerily-similar to Steve Sidwell's challenge that saw him sent off early in Saturday's encounter, and an early exit for the Frenchman. Arsenal appear set to dispute the sending off, but given Wenger's comments afterwards and the similar nature to Sidwell's challenge, I'm not too optimistic in the FA overruling Marriner's decision.

Ugly: Arsenal's extremely lackluster, wanting and toothless play when a man up for the majority of the match. My hope is they had one eye on this Sunday's encounter with Manchester United because that might have been one of the worst displays of man-advantage I've ever seen in soccer. Fulham played deep and with the aggressive intent on countering when retaining possession, forcing Wojciech Szczesny into far too many desperate saves given the match situation, and Arsenal seemed lacking of answers even with the substitutions of Jack Wilshere and Lukas Podolski in the second half. Combined with the lack of an effective attack last Tuesday versus Everton and it makes for one Nervous Nelly as the days tick away until Sunday. Hopefully enough shoes are thrown on the training pitch to correct whatever blerghivitis that's suddenly made its home within our squad.

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