Date: 24th August 2008 at 2:21pm
Written by:

1.Manuel ALMUNIA– Was let down badly by his defence for the goal and was not at fault. In truth, Fulham did not create an awful lot else, they didn’t have to. A quiet day for Manuel and therefore difficult to give him a fair rating…………………………6

3.Bacary SAGNA– Was exposed down the right by Walcott’s inability to track back. Was his rumbustuous determined self, but just had one of those days where his distribution was inaccurate and he couldn’t trap the ball. They happen to every player and I expect this to be a temporary blip…………………………..5

5.Kolo TOURE– Looked understandably off the pace having been rushed through pre season. The fact that he played suggests Wenger doesn’t trust Djourou as much as he pretends……………………….6

8.Samir NASRI– Showed some good touches and was susrprisingly strong with the ball at his feet. Looked more likely than anyone in the second half cutting in off the left. But in a decent Arsenal performance, he wouldn’t have been noticed………………………..6

10.William GALLAS– Was desperately poor for the goal, allowing Hangeland in due to a lack of desire more than anything……………………….5

11.Robin van PERSIE– Looked disinterested, unable and unwilling to collect the ball from midfield, unwilling to fight for it upfront. Berated players who did not pass to him, yet thumped the ball towards goal the four times he actually saw it. Too much of an individual at times. I get the impression that if he doesn’t produce a piece of magic, then he really doesn’t do very much at all……………………………4

14.Theo WALCOTT– Didn’t track back, was harrassed from the ball every time he got near it until eventually he just stopped trying to get it. Was like a rabbit caught in the headlights. Mummy’s Boy Theo is going to have to cut the apron strings and become a man……………………………4

15.DENILSON– Woeful, but it was one of those days for him when his passing, usually crisp and economical, was wayward. He was overawed and over run by Fulham’s midfield, but I felt for him as the manager has put him in the completely unfair position of making him the senior midfield player…………………………4

22.Gael CLICHY– Same for him as Sagna, as is ironically so often the case, the pair decided to have a mutual off day. Clichy was beaten down the left a few times by journeyman Simon Davies and his control and distribution were asinine. Like Sagna, I’d put this as a temporary blip…………………………..5

25.Emmanuel ADEBAYOR– Was starved of service, but then didn’t look particularly interested in receiving it. With van Persie doing a poor impersonation of a linkman, Adebayor was isolated and largely a peripheral figure. Poor dive in the dying minutes………………………..5

27.Emmanuel EBOUE– Still not 100% comfortable in midfield, but hell at elast he tried and drove the team forward on a few attacks. What am I saying? It’s Eboue, he’s rubbish, he’s the reason we lost and we would have won with eleven van Persie’s. Or so most Gooners would have you believe. Heartbreakingly, the mere fact that he gave a shit gives him the man of the match award………………………….7

SUBS
17.Alex SONG– Came on for Toure and won some crunching challenges and tried to push the team on. But it really isn’t for players like Song to come on and win us games………………………….7

26.Nicklas BENDTNER– Did what van Persie wouldn’t and tried to collect the ball from midfield and make things happen, such as the gorgeous through ball to van Persie. Couldn’t make the difference, but had Robin and Ade had half the impetus Nick showed when he came on, we would have had a decent result………………………….b>7