Wednesday, November 14
The last thing I wanted to hear as I walked out of Saturday's match was a fellow Gooner stating, "we didn't deserve to win the game anyway"! That is down to opinion of course but after everything that had gone before it in the previous 93 minutes or so, to miss a chance to win the game from 12 yards with the very last kick is disappointing enough and comments like that certainly don't make me feel any better!
It was a frustrating end to another topsy-turvy game that, although not ideal, would have gone down in the memory as thoroughly entertaining if only we had come away with the three points.
Fulham certainly came to play football, quite refreshing when so often we are faced by a side simply content to shut up shop. For me this worked to our advantage and made for an extremely open game, our two-goal lead testament to the fact we were able to make the most of the chances that came our way.
To once again let that two-goal lead slip away, however, was annoying, disappointing and worrying. It is a habit we need to break as soon as possible.
A neutral would point out that a draw was probably about right at half time but, having created a considerable advantage, we had ourselves to blame as well as our visitors' ambition.
For me we were much better in the second half and finally took the game by the scruff of the neck. As we pushed forward there looked like being only one winner. As we all know, an unfortunate individual error by someone who makes so few cost us dearly and left us with a minor mountain to climb.
Credit must be given for the way we attempted to make that ascent, Oly's second goal giving us the opportunity to reach the very top. A summit of course we so nearly reached in the very last knockings.
Was it a penalty? In the current situation it was one of those, like with Santi last week, where there seems to be more and more given these days. For me it is a rule that needs to be looked at. I have no problem with referees making their own decision based on interpretation but they must be positive when it comes to intent. Otherwise we are in danger of 'clever' players actually aiming for the defender's arm or hand knowing a penalty is likely to be awarded.
Our fourth and winning goal wasn't to be and we all went home disappointed with a point that could have so easily become three.
The latest north London derby comes next, a match that whatever the current fortunes of both clubs, is always so difficult to predict. A noisy and passionate afternoon beckons as we look to close the gap on those teams currently sitting above us in the table.
Come on you Gunners!
FrankCopyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 14 Nov 2012