What a week for football journalists. The media's been close to meltdown, starting with a record round of scoring last week in the Prem, El Clasico, the events of Zurich, now it's Arsenal.
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If Fulham can find their first ever league win away to Arsenal this Saturday it should merit headlines a big as any we've seen this week. The odds are stacked against us and with our current problems you'd be hard pushed to find many brave enough to forecast an upset. But we travel in hope, as we have done since that last away success 26 games ago - yes, 26!
AJ is fit to return, still seeking his first goal after the long lay-off. Expect him to replace the underwhelming Kamara up front. Salcido is unfit so let's hope Pantsil continues in defence. Brede's winner in 2008 is our only goal against Arsenal in the past 5 meetings.
It will come down to our usually reliable defensive unit to stifle the free-flowing Gunners style and pray for a goal on the break. All I can say is it comes down to 11 against 11 and a ball, and Arsenal lost both home games in November (Newcastle and Spurs) while winning all three away. In all honesty, I'm not optimistic. A heavy loss will increase jitters in the boardroom and heap pressure on Hughes. A blast from Mo failed to produce a win last week against Brum, and two extra badly needed points.
So to events Thursday in Zurich. Everything went to script as outlined on this blog. The only surprise the unpalatable truth of just how few friends England now have. As with the USA in 94 FIFA has logically followed its remit of taking the World Cup into new territories. On that basis few surely can deny the case for Russia and Qatar. I've visited both countries in the past 3 years and they will each stage a great spectacle in their own way. The Qatar award for such a tiny state is the end of a journey for the Arab world begun by Morocco in the 90's.
To conclude on a lighter note, I have enjoyed reading responses to the "Arsenal Offer," as much as crafting it. Note to posters. Keep your comments coming, but do check the definition of 'satire' before hitting your keyboard.
Enjoy the weekend if your game's still on!
COYW - It's a London derby - go out and shock us!