At least we’ll be heading into this match with a morale boosting win on our back.
That’s my immediate thought as soon as the Fenerbache match ended. Had we go into this weekend’s match staring at 2 consecutive defeats to kick-off our season, I would be terribly worried. Thankfully, the team responded well to the fierce criticism from all angle including yours truly. Not for a second do I think that my criticism specifically had anything to do with it. It’s just that, it’s good to see the team standing for themselves.
Aaron Ramsey played a blinder and got the second goal, for which is just reward for his efforts on the night. The clean sheet achieved inTurkey would also increase some form of confidence for a pair that has a 100% record of in competitive matches. Bacary Sagna and Per Mertesacker last played together in a competitive fixture in that away win at the Stadium of Light.
With Laurent Koscielny suspended, Sagna will once again step into the breach. With advancing age, it is not hard to foresee the Frenchman moving into the central role permanently. When Koscielny is available, Sagna won’t be first choice but then again, form plays a big role in helping a manager to decide. At least, Carl Jenkinson won’t need to come off the bench for the 3rd match running.
If you take a look at Martin Jol’s side, he has got a lot of experienced there with a fair few players who could trouble us. In new signing, Scott Parker (if he plays), Jol has someone who’s been known to kick lumps out of our players. Then there’s Dimitar Berbatov and Darren Bent up front who has both hit the back of the net, when playing against us.
Craven Cottage is not an easy place to get a win. Their away win at Sunderland would give Jol’s charges the boost they need going into this match. We only won their narrowly last season and this time, we have the disadvantage of travelling midweek and being scheduled to play the first Premier League fixture of this weekend. Good going PL.
Which is all the more reason that we need to at least match the efforts that we produced against Fenerbache. Whether Jack Wilshere can play his third full 90 minutes, remains to be seen. The manager has said that he’s going to take it easy with Wilshere’s reintroduction into the team but so far, injuries has forced his hands. Maybe Emmanuel Frimpong picked up all the secrets during his loan stint there last season and could be trusted to play. I don’t even trust that last sentence.
On Wednesday, I was critical of Theo Walcott’s contribution in the first half but he proved me wrong in the other half. I just couldn’t understand his anonymity in the match but on the two occasion he turned up, we scored twice. No complaints from me if he continues to provide that sort of input to our game. With Olivier Giroud looking sharp, he’ll be looking for 3 in 3. Goals, that is.
Even though the squad hasn’t been added to since the last game, we do have a reasonably good enough team to beat Fulham (yes, I dot realise most of us said the same about Aston Villa). I hope there will be reinforcement soon because we are already running some of the players to the ground because the manager has no choice but to select them.
Now that we’ve stopped falling, lets try standing up.