Undeserved

Undeserved.

That is what nearly every media pundit is calling our result from Saturday.

They claim that it if it wasn’t for Mannone, we would have hardly deserved even a draw, let alone the three points. While that is fundamentally true (I suppose), we do have Mannone. And we have a striker who can convert a crucial chance that tends to decide contests like this.

Make no mistake about it, Fulham were professional and organized. I have gone on and on about how good of a manager Roy Hodgson is. But to call this contest one-sided is largely unrepresentative of the match itself.

Were it not for a pebble on the pitch, Arshavin would have put away a chance in the first half. As much plaudits as Vito is getting, he made the saves that needed to be made. They weren’t necessarily jaw dropping saves. They were a step up from perfunctory, but it wasn’t Seaman-esqe (a la FA Cup final against Sheffield United).

The main point I want to bring up is this. Were Manchester United have done the same thing we did on Saturday, the English press would have called it a result that champions tend to grind out. The fact that we are not champions doesn’t preclude us from earning such praise. Craven Cottage is a tough place to visit, and the match played out to my expectations.

Granted, we weren’t passing well, but I’m happy we have the three points. As Roy Hodgson so pointedly said, “in six months time, the only thing people will remember is that Arsenal got three points from this fixture.” Right you are.

As for today, Olympiacos presents a standard challenge. You can’t overlook them, but when their most dangerous player is Matt Derbyshire (and he isn’t even playing), they’re not the type of team that should give us major problems. That being said, keep an eye out for Diogo, a striker we were purportedly interested in. He’s a decent player.

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