Arsenal v Fulham Player Ratings

Last updated : 02 February 2003 By Nicosia Gooner

Why is it that footballers can sometimes completely switch off because they believe that the games is won before they kick-off and they only have to go through the motions?

I am not suggesting that we were terrible but compared to last Wednesday, we were pretty average. The problem was that although Fulham only had one shot on target, because of our relax style of play, they actually played above themselves and we became more and more frustrated and couldn't brake them down.

The good news is that Ashley Cole and Pires continued their recent outstanding form; Cole must now be in the top 5 left backs in Europe on current form and as for Pires, I would say that he is only about 5% away from last year's brilliant form.

It's also good to see players such as Jeffers, Freddie, Gio, Parlour, Edu, Pennant and Kanu waiting to come in when needed.

Here are my ratings :

Seaman – Had very little to do and can't be blamed for the goal - 7/10

Lauren – Better performance than against Liverpool but nothing special - 6.5/10

Cole – Another great game and lets hope that he doesn't get injured for any important matches because he is now one of the "MUST play" players for Arsenal - 9/10

Keown – Great to see him back in the first 11; his only weakness is his distribution but his strengths more than make up for it.- 7/10

Campbell – Another quite match for Sol; the most surprising point was the amount of headers that Sava had won but I am sure Sol will soon be back to his best hopefully starting with putting Shearer in his pocket next Sunday 6.5/10

Vieira – Down to earth after that great performance at Liverpool; he looked tired so perhaps his not 100% fully fit after being out for 3.5 weeks. I am in no doubt that he will be back to his best next Sunday - 6.5/10

Gilberto – As with Vieira, Gil was also quite compared to the Liverpool match but he was unlucky not to have scored when he hit the post - 7/10

Pires – He is so confident that he even helps the defence with sliding tackles. And what about his pace and stamina? Last Wednesday he ran 50 yards to put himself in the position of scoring the first goal and yesterday he read the game perfectly and ran from about 30 yards to loose Boa Morte to first score a great header and then of course the winner in injury time; can't wait to see him against Newcastle next Sunday – 9/10

Wiltord – No doubt about it, this was his poorest match this season and he seems to have lost his confidence so I hope that he scores a goal soon so as to get it back. Perhaps being rested will do the trick but at the moment neither Parlour or Toure are the answer; it's a shame that Pennant isn't returning for another couple of weeks or that Freddie is only just started training - 6/10

Bergkamp – Had an "o.k." game and to me he did not look 100% match fit; I was pleased however to see him taking the responsibility for the free kicks - 7/10

Henry – We were all hoping that he would continue where he left off last Wednesday; unfortunately it wasn't to be but he still enough to first create the first goal for Pires and scared the Fulham defence to death on several occasions - 7.5/10

Substitutes :

Jeffers – great to see him come on and change the game; could have scored but for a great save from the goalie and created the winner in the last minute (even though some people believe it was a shot rather than a pass). I really have a good feeling about this player - 6.5/10

Gio : Great flick that put Jeffers through that created the winning goal; and he probably takes the free kicks and corners from the right - 6.5/10