So close to making history
Fulham have never won away at Arsenal in the Premier League. Whether it’s been Highbury or now the Emirates Stadium, the Cottagers have travelled across London and always failed to leave with all three points.
November 14th, 2012
Whether it’s been because they’ve faced a rampant Arsenal, been in poor form themselves and/or got quite unlucky on a couple of occasions, the Lilywhites are unlikely to get another chance quite like the one that they got on Saturday any time soon. Arsene Wenger’s side are really struggling at the moment; having made a strong, unflustered start to the season, they have stuttered in recent games.
The Emirates seemed to be at the end of their tether with the current side, and after watching the Gunners give away a two-goal lead, their attitude was very different from previous seasons. Instead of trying to roar them back into the match with a swell of support, a few could be seen to cross their arms and simply think – “get yourselves out of the mess you’ve created.”
Fulham, unfortunately, couldn’t capitalise. However, there are many positives for Martin Jol as he assesses the Premier League after 11 match days. Only league leaders Manchester United have scored more than the SW6 club so far this season, and it should be that flood of goals that spurs Fulham on through the season.
Dimitar Berbatov has scored five himself and laid on three others for those around him since joining from Manchester United. No doubt, more than a handful of Premier League managers are cursing letting the Bulgarian slip through their fingers for what was supposed to have been a cut-price figure.
Of course, goals have been going in at the wrong end but they are nothing to worry about just yet. Only when the goals dry up at the other end will that become a real concern for Martin Jol. Until then, he can work with the defence to sort it out.
For now, history becomes the target. With 16 points from their first 11 games, Fulham are exactly where they need to be at this stage of the season; a good, solid platform has been established to kick on from. The departures of Mousa Dembele and Clint Dempsey have been absorbed brilliantly by the team. The style is somewhat different, but the goals that were suggested would be a problem have flown in rather nicely.
History couldn’t be made at the weekend at the Emirates; but there is nothing to say it can’t be made this season with a best-ever finish in the league.