Arsenal vs. Fulham: Gunners Must Earn 3 Points and Reverse Momentum

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistNovember 9, 2012

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 03:  Lukas Podolski of Arsenal in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Arsenal at Old Trafford on November 3, 2012 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

It's been a rough three weeks for Arsenal. On Saturday, the Gunners need to reverse their fortunes and earn a vital three points against Fulham.

In Arsenal's last six matches in all competitions, the team has two wins, three losses and a draw. One of those wins, of course, required overcoming a four-goal deficit to beat Reading 7-5 in the Capital One Cup, while the draw came on Tuesday after the Gunners blew a two-goal lead to Schalke in the Champions League.

The Gunners have also lost two of the last three league games and now find themselves seventh on the table with 15 points. The three points are not only important to keep the Gunners near the top four; it just so happens Fulham is also sitting on 15 points, giving Arsenal the opportunity to kill two birds with one stone.

It won't be easy for the Gunners. Jack Wilshere won't be available after earning two yellows and the subsequent red card in Arsenal's last game against Manchester United. Meanwhile, Gervinho, Kieran Gibbs, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Wojciech Szczesny remain injured.

Oh, and Theo Walcott and now Lukas Podolski both want to play out wide, which is especially a problem seeing as Arsenal is dealing with injuries to wingers. Truthfully, I prefer Podolski in a more central role, while the notion of Walcott consistently playing striker remains amusing.

Against more competitive competition, Arsenal have seemed to find one of two things happening: They either have great difficulty creating chances or they have even more difficulty protecting their own goal.

Yeah, it's been a problem, hence the 2-3-1 record in the past six matches. 

Arsenal fans can live with the defensive lapses. Sometimes, an exciting, possession-reliant style of play can lead to goals being scored in the air or on counterattacks. 

It's the price you sometimes pay for beautiful football.

However, Arsenal's occasional lack of class in articulating scoring chances has been disturbing, if not at times predictable considering the loss of Robin van Persie. At times, the Gunners simply look like they don't have a pure finisher on the pitch.

At others, the team gets a bit too cute, trying to create the perfect chance rather than simply taking a shot on goal to see what will come of it.

Arsenal absolutely needs the three points against Fulham, so they need to find the cures for some of their ailments on Saturday. Walcott should start, for one—he's been in fine form of late, and he'll certainly be aggressive when he gets the ball.

This is a big weekend for the Gunners. It's a chance to keep pace with the top squads, yes, but it's also an opportunity for some positive momentum. They can't afford to let that slip away.


Hit me up on Twitter—my tweets aren't afraid to get emotional after a big win.

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