Arsenal v Fulham Historical Preview and Line-Up: ME in the Middle and PALs up-front

Arsenal v Fulham – September 12th, 2020

Fulham have played at their current home, Craven Cottage since 1896, here is a little of the grounds history.

The original ‘Cottage’ was built in 1780, by William Craven, the sixth Baron Craven and was located close to where the Johnny Haynes Stand is now. At the time, the surrounding areas were woods which made up part of Anne Boleyn’s hunting grounds.

The Cottage was lived in by Edward Bulwer-Lytton (who wrote The Last Days of Pompeii and other somewhat notable (and moneyed) persons until it was destroyed by fire in May 1888.Many rumours persist among Fulham fans of past tenants of Craven Cottage. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Jeremy Bentham, Florence Nightingale and even Queen Victoria are reputed to have stayed there, although there is no real evidence for this. Following the fire, the site was abandoned. Fulham had 8 previous grounds before settling in at Craven Cottage for good. Therefore, The Cottagers have had 12 grounds overall (including a temporary stay at Loftus Road, meaning that only their former ‘landlords’ and rivals QPR have had more home grounds in British football. Of particular note, was Ranelagh House, Fulham’s palatial home from 1886–1888.

When representatives of Fulham first came across the land, in 1894, it was so overgrown that it took two years to be made suitable for football to be played on it. A deal was struck for the owners of the ground to carry out the work, in return for which they would receive a proportion of the gate receipts.

The first football match where there were gate receipts was when Fulham played against Minerva in the Middlesex Senior Cup, on 10 October 1896.The ground’s first stand was built shortly after. Described as looking like an “orange box”, it consisted of four wooden structures each holding some 250 seats, and later was affectionately nicknamed the “rabbit hutch”.

In 1904 London County Council became concerned with the level of safety at the ground, and tried to get it closed. A court case followed in January 1905, as a result of which Archibald Leitch, a Scottish architect who had risen to prominence after his building of the Ibrox Stadium, a few years earlier, was hired to work on the stadium. In a scheme costing £15,000 (a record for the time), he built a pavilion, the present-day ‘Cottage’ itself and the Stevenage Road Stand, in his characteristic red brick style.

The stand on Stevenage Road celebrated its centenary in the 2005–2006 season and, following the death of Fulham FC’s favourite son, former England captain Johnny Haynes, in a car accident in October 2005 the Stevenage Road Stand was renamed the Johnny Haynes Stand after the club sought the opinions of Fulham supporters.

Both the Johnny Haynes Stand and Cottage remain among the finest examples of Archibald Leitch football architecture to remain in existence and both have been designated as Grade II listed buildings.

An England v Wales match was played at the ground in 1907, followed by a rugby league international between England and Australia in 1911.


We have an extremely strong away record against Fulham in the EPL wining ten out of the fourteen games played and gaining 73.8% of the points. We should go into this game with a high degree of confidence to kick off the 2020/21 campaign on a winning note.

Arsenal v Fulham EPL Away Games
115-Sep-011  31
203-Nov-021  41
309-May-041  10
411-Sep-041  30
504-Mar-061  40
629-Nov-06  112
719-Jan-081  30
823-Aug-08  101
926-Sep-091  10
1022-May-11 1 22
1102-Jan-12  112
1220-Apr-131  10
1324-Aug-131  31
1407-Oct-181  51
Arsenal v Fulham – ALL Away Results
2Total Div 210126
12Total Div 14442222
14Total EPL10133211
28All Results15585639


Le Gall’s predicted Line-Up

had everyone been available, my guess would have been:


luiz being sidelined, what are the options now?
The most obvious to me would be Big Sok, so David’s defending job might be covered; but I think mikel might rue the loss of David’s first touch, first pass, more – the way they ignite the whole team – and the only player in the squad who, imo, could play that very specific part, is … Mo Elneny, which is why, in the end, I’d bet a few bucks on:


64 thoughts on “Arsenal v Fulham Historical Preview and Line-Up: ME in the Middle and PALs up-front

  • Top stuff, GN5. Very informative. I have been a couple of times to Craven Cottage and was lucky enough to see my hero Bergkamp score one of his beauties right in front of me.

  • Anne Boleyn’s hunting grounds and King’s Road make a lot of sense although I’d imagine that Henry VIII would have travelled via the Thames, popping in occasionally to visit his friend Thomas More.

    Great walk down the lane of history with GN5, always a pleasure.

    I’ve only been to Craven Cottage once, mainly because of the situation with tickets because when you could just simply rock up to the turnstiles and get in Fulham were always in Division 2 or the Championship as it is now, so Arsenal never played there in my youth. My only visit was to watch Fulham vs West Ham with a Hammers friend of mine and my only enduring memory is of a floodlight failure – is was a midweek game.

    The stand in Stevenage Road is a wonderful example of football architecture.

  • Yeah Kev I was lucky to have a colleague who was a Fulham season ticket holder, one of those matchday booklets collectors, for a while. 🙂 Through him I saw the Arse for the first time at Highbury, in the Fulham away end. I just could not believe I was there. They scored first and I remember the fans around me saying… now we have woken up the bees’ nest… and yes the boys were all over the Cottagers after that. It was scary to see the likes of Henry and Vieira running towards you at full speed, even though I was obviously supporting those boys. Such physical presence they had.

  • Morning all, I must admit that even being a Londoner I have never been to the Cottage – shame really. Less than 24 hours to game time and I’m already keyed up to hopefully see our new additions and of course the start of newly promoted first team manager Arteta’s first (of many) seasons in charge.

  • Sad to see him go, GN5. The money is a bonus of course and I can see why the club will have to let him go given his desire to play first footie regularly.

  • Very, very sad for Emi too. I’d rather Bernd had been sold – but it’s like choosing between your father and your mother, really.
    Great Laca interview in L’Équipe today – he’s not going anywhere but North London, full of praise for Mikel the tactician, acknowledging how gutted he is when Eddie’s picked ahead of him (but humble enough not to point out how he takes the lad’s competition like a man), making clear his slightly disappointing season had something to do with fitness problems, ….
    What a clever lad he is, something tells me 2020-2021 might be HIS season. Starting tomorrow? I can’t wait.

  • Just read the Guardian article about Emi. £20m????? How much did Chelsea pay for Kepa, who’s not worthy of tying Emi’s shoelaces?? Someone’s gotta be kidding me!!!

  • Fine preview, GN5; as always, love the historical perspective on the opponents’ grounds you serve up and this one is no exception.

    I saw the Fulham side in the championship play-offs and note they are a well drilled side that can cause us problems. So, we would need to go there with our A game while being humble, Scottie Parker being an ex-spud adds some spice to the contest too. Always nice to get one up on a Spud (ex or not). I think they will battle us hard but we should overcome in the end.

    I fully expect Arteta to come with one surprise starter but no way Mo Elneny starts in the middle of a back 3; rather throw one of the new buys in at the deep end to get the taste for it. Hopefully, Gabriel rather than Saliba (don’t want the kid to get burnt so early and lose confidence). The rest of the predicted starters should be okay unless Arteta surprises us by starting Mesut Ozil, in which case, we will have a back 4 in a 4-2-3-1 variant of a 4-3-3. So, it could also be Holding and Tierney as CBs and Kolasinac and Bellerin as full backs. Front 3 could be Auba, Laca and Willian. Surely, Saka or Willian get to start ahead of Pepe?

  • Shame about Emiliano. He will make some club very safe at the back. I’d say he deserves to play regularly but need not have sounded off about not wishing to be patient any longer. That attitude cannot be helpful in a dressing room as Arsenal’s, so maybe he does need to go. We should hold out for a better bid. Time we started to insist on good fees for our players; like other sides do to mug us off during negotiations for in-coming players. I think Emi is worth £30m, at least, but we can settle for £25m, owing to the times we are in, at the moment.

  • PS: Hi TA. Still in Abuja, Nigeria; and yes, the family is in Canada. Soon as international travel starts in ernest (we have a partial resumption now, for select airports only), I shall be take a trip to spend time with them.

    Don’t know what I would have done without FaceTime and WhatsApp video.

  • great stuff GN5 and co. I feel like the season never ended haha.

    The Emi stuff is quite funny in my opinion. A few months ago we would have bitten a team’s hand off if they offered 6 million for Emi. I like him. He had an excellent close to the season. It was however a honeymoon period. We aren’t sure if that form would last so it’s a risk (buy low sell high). Leno has more runs on the board. To keep Emi we would have to pay him a ridiculous salary to keep him happy. He wants game time and fair enough – he’s been 2nd fiddle for years and is 28 now.

    Take the money and run. Use it to get another target. If we keep him on the bench we risk it becoming a Ospina situation and we get half that money in a years time. Get a promising young local lad or experienced type – what’s Jens doing 🙂

  • Lots of comments and news about Emi, but if i am in his shoes i will also think about leaving for a team that I can play in the first team week in and week out.

    However, i am sad to see him leave and hope he will stay and fight for the number 1 spot.

  • Clubs are missing out on gate receipts this season whilst costs remain roughly the same, so I expect the sale prices of players to have come down,perhaps even by 50%. No way would for example Iwobi have been sold for 35m this summer.

    So 20-25m for Martinez Happinez seems the going rate. We got a vert promising Gabriel for that money, and it may pay half or more of Partey’s arrival.

  • Yes Eris, Parker donned the shirt with the skinny chicken on a ball but then he played for almost every London club except the red and white ones it seems.

    I cannot believe he is only 39 years old, though. It feels like he has been around forever.

    Sorry to read you have been away from your family for that long and you will get reunited soon.

  • Eris, there is an interesting story re Abuja. Not even 30 years old but growing so fast and some stunning scenery and big rocks by the looks of it. At 800m above sea level is it a bit cooler than Lagos?

  • Just read the arseblognews piece about Edu’s StatDNA strategy
    Very interesting – it sure sheds a different light on the scout department redundancies
    Thanks for the link, jw1

  • Gabriel Central, flanked by Rob and The Glaswegian Menace?

    XhakA, Elneny Central and AMN and Hector on the wings… Willian in the middle and Auba and Laca the attackers?!!!

  • I just love Mikel Arteta, just when you think you can predict him he throws you a curved ball.

    When I first saw the line up my eyes went immediately to Willian on the right flank alongside Lacazette and Aubameyang. That doesn’t mean that Pepe has fallen down the pecking order it just means that maybe our man from the IC or CdI isn’t as sharp after the close season.
    That’s fine, he’ll come again for sure.

    Then I saw Elneny instead of Ceballos, again a fitness/sharpness issue but a great slap on the back for Mo, non negotiable’s and he gets it.

    Finally I thought wow, how did I miss that, Gabriel at the back, two left footers in our back three, no problemo mio amigos, but a positive decision and confidence booster for the boy from Brazil.

    Yes Total, I love this team, in fact I love this squad, never mind that we’ve been written off by you-know-who, let them talk, that’s all they do.

  • yep, hard to figure out, TA
    it’s either:
    (“diamond midfield”)
    anyway, like the lineup too
    if i’m not wrong about ainsley DM, i’ll be very happy for him, he deserves that chance in his preferred position – don’t even remember the last time he was picked there

  • I appreciate Emi as a person as well as an excellent goalkeeper.
    But if he insist on being a guaranteed #1, with contracted minutes week-in-week-out, than he must go. In professional football competing for the starting spot is a given.
    I would wish him all the best to become Argentina’s first choice goalkeeper, but to play for a lesser team is far from being the fast lane. Tim Krul delivered the 2nd highest number of saves last season (132, second only to Dubravka), and nobody doubts him being a fine goalkeeper, but he made only 8 appearance for the Dutch team, and hasn’t been involved for the Oranje since 2015.

    Emi is not in the squad today…

  • Cheers LeG, I am pretty convinced that Arteta will play Willian centrally, especially with safe pair of hands XhakA and Elneny in central midfield.

  • Good point PB, although if I’m honest I don’t blame Martinez at all, he’s just maximising himself while his stock is high and as much as I’d love him to stay and see him battle it out with Leno, if I take my Arsenal hat off for a moment and think what I would do if I was him then I would probably do the same. He may never get a better opportunity to make his career and whose to say that he’ll be at Villa or Brighton for the rest of that career, a stand out season and he could be off again?

  • What’s Macey like? A second goalkeeper is a necessity but key is they accept that they are Not first choice. If the latter is not the case then let’s cash in and buy half a Partey. 😉

  • Macey is very very tall Total.

    You could say that he’s at a stage similar to where Emi was a year ago, we don’t really know quite how good he could be, but his contract expires in 12 months so I guess that the club are looking ahead.

  • Gabe MCB
    gebe must have already made a big impression on mick – MCB on a fist game is quite a burden
    come on you red machine

  • 09′
    1-0 to the arsenal
    Laca the poacher – I like that, he doesn’t score enough of those
    nice move, great ball by mo over FFC back four – a bit of luck in the end
    i find the lads really focused, like: “this season we mean business”
    very impressed by gabe’s first minutes in red
    keep up with the good job, lads

  • HT – 1-0 to The Arsenal
    The (nice) feeling of a job being done, like the boys know this is just the first half-mile of a marathon
    Scoring another one ‘d be nice for this old heart of mine, though
    Gabe looks like the real thing, a human fortress – I’m trying to hold my horses here, but there’s been something Vandijkesque about him
    Mo-Granit make for a very interesting partnership indeed; I’m not sure Mo’s gonna be taken out anytime soon. On French tv, the comments are off, but you can hear the sounds from the stadium: Mick is always asking the defenders to touch him first.
    It’s been pointed out before, but the way our headcoach switch between languages is very impressive
    Willyboy would have deserved a goal when his cleverly taken FK hit the post – I find there are hints of a very interesting connection between him and Laca, something that looks more “natural” than the Laca-Pépé one
    Rob’s towering, Ainsley’s a little bit too laid-back, Auba’s like a sleeping elephant who’ll trample everything under foot once awoken, Hector’s crosses are sloppy, but so far it’s been a very pleasant start of the season

  • Solid and focused performance and yes nice poach by Alex. Still sitting a bit too deep at times but Fulham are pressing high and isolating XhakA. Need to get him more involved, but surely Fulham will tire in the second half.

  • A bit of a lost in translation moment between Gabriel and Leno, but overall to me our boy from Brazil has done ok, Fulham are really pressing Tierney and that’s stifling service to Aubameyang.

    We seem to be morphing seamlessly into a back four with AMN almost as a spare man on the left, Willian has done ok in spells, very unlucky with the free kick but not yet the influence I expected – early days of course.

    Elneny has to do better with that chance, just put your bloody foot through it.

    Great touch and cross by AMN at the end.

  • Looks like I was alone when I called it, re Gabriel and Willian starting. Without David Luis and in a back 3, he was the obvious choice, I felt. He has been steady, but for that early mix up, which he can be forgiven for, being his first game in the first game of the premier league. As for Willian, it is a no brainer that he starts and gets some 60 minutes to bed him into his new side. Elneny was the surprise for me, but understandable since he has been in all pre-season.

    We have controlled the game so far, but the home side has some very nippy players upfront and they are yet to introduce Mitrovic so a second goal should help calm the nerves.

  • We’re going to have a lot of games like this during the campaign, Fulham quickly drop into a solid block in front of their goal, but as you say Total, fatigue should catch up with them in fact I think their level fell of during the last 5minutes of that half.

  • Hey, TA, looks like you do know a bit about Nigeria’s two major cities (Lagos, the former capital and Abuja, the new capital). You are right about the pace of growth and scenic Beauty of the city with rocks all over. It was a city built from scratch as the nation’s leaders decided we needed to have a more central location as federal capital territory, instead of the coastal city of Lagos (there is more to that decision, though, bordering on survival instincts of the military leader of the time, after he survived a coup plot).

    Abuja can be hot too yet breezy but, yet again, is cooler than Lagos, on the average all year round.

    Second half is on the way.

  • Credit to Elneny for the pass that resulted in our goal. We didn’t threaten before that. Annoying that stubbornness kept us from having extra subs though. I like our attacking depth, and Mikel would have used extra subs well.

  • 49′ 2-0 to The Arsenal
    Gabe on the scoresheet – just like Van Dijk on his 1st game for you-know-who
    I loved Rob’s juggling cameo that ended up with the corner – he’s really an amazing kid, both fierce and happy-go-lucky, the perfect combination
    think we wrapped this up; confidence-boosting goals for our attackers wouldn’t hurt

  • I’d never heard Abuja but from a political stance I guess if it’s right dead central then it’s aimed at the three major communities and in a better position to keep the country unified Eris.

    Isn’t Lagos predicted to become the most populated city in the world in the next decade?

  • J, great point about the subs, it’s the stance of a Luddite to revert to how it was, the extra subs and water breaks raised the quality of the games imo.

  • Correct, Kev. That was the sentiment that sold it. Central location, no man’s land and Lagos’ threat of a population explosion; great reasons to build a capital from scratch and a fine idea it turned out to be. Still, there was a bit of a selfish interest behind the speed with which the movement was done.

  • goals galore in beatles land
    “their” mo’s on fire already, but the bielsa boys put up a real fight
    something’s very wrong about the gomez-van dijk partnership imo – i hope they’ll stick to it all season long
    bad news would be:
    – klopp takes inspiration from the best PL headcoach, and play van dijk on the right, with a left-footed player by his side
    – lucas hernandez (unhappy in munich) is that left-footed CB

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