Arsenal beat Fulham 4-1 at the Emirates today, responding well to the previous defeat to Liverpool.

Here are the on the whistle thoughts of James – and if you want to rate the players, check out the player ratings.

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OnAnyBlock
OnAnyBlock

Thank you very much for saying this, and I completely agree on the analysis of both Emery and Iwobi.

A lot of people don’t understand the intricacies of football or how crucial Iwobi is to this team. The balance he brings to our attack (and defence) by understanding the role of the inverted winger, his ability to pluck out long balls from Leno when we can’t play short, feed in an overlapping Kolasinac, take on and beat a man… he is the archetypal Wenger player in that he is multi skilled and works very well interplaying quickly with others moving around him. He is strong, quick, intelligent, rarely ever injured, has flair, and arguably not even playing in the correct position. He was our best player at Anfield, and although he can unfortunately can be frustrating at times, it is difficult continuously being the conductor for the majority of our attacks.
He is an academy product and 22 years old, yet the absolute lack of patience certain supporters have with him speaks volumes.

As for the manager, it is clear we are still filled with the knee-jerk, vitriolic disdain from the previous era hence the incredibly stupid booing. We have a manager who senses danger, has contingency plans, makes changes in an unpredictable manner, and has consistently proven to be correct in both personnel and formation changes. We are leading the table in substitute goal involvement.
He understands the importance of balance (and it is very telling a 17 year old academy winger came on to replace Iwobi) and not just punting on a bunch of offensive players when chasing a game.
He is also clearly extracting all he can from a very limited squad filled with very limited players.

Once again, it says far more about those who don’t understand the nuance than it does Emery or Iwobi.

BODMAS
BODMAS

Iwobi have contributed more than Chanberlin and still THE ARSENAL fans are always bashing him. COYG

DamoDinkum
DamoDinkum

Good job James, absolutely agree with the sentiments on Iwobi. He was really crucial to how we attacked yesterday and if he keeps up those combos with Kolasinac I hope those two continue to be picked together for many games to come. He made a couple of HORRIBLE passes at key moments which really caught the eye, and unfortunately they seemed to put the rest of his contribution in the shade. Most of it seems to be mental – instinctively he’s very good, but give him too much time on the ball and he overhits it or gets the technique all wrong. But then people get on his back, he gets down on himself, and everybody loses. We need to get behind him even when he makes mistakes.

Deejay
Deejay

100% agreed. Great post James!

hesgotyellowbootson
hesgotyellowbootson

completely agree. twitter, instagram, youtube channels like arsenal ‘fan’ tv and even the fifa games to an extent are all culpable for creating this toxicity in football fan bases for teams in the premier league. its really starting to turn me off of football in general.

Homer
Homer

Nice analysis, James. I always look forward to On The Whistle.

Solid defense of Iwobi. (Though, I think if one took a poll of what single word that most often follows “goddamnit,” it would be “Iwobi.” As in, “goddamnit IWOBI!!” after another bad pass, wrong choice, lost ball, etc.)

Now; the same rational objective analytical defense could (should) be made of Ozil.
Of course, the common phrase would be similar, yet totally different stress and context. A la’: DAAAMMMNNN Ozil!

This meedja criticism of ozil – I just don’t see it. And Blogs pole-axing Ozil is just lazy journalism. No thinking; nothing objective or critical. Just going all-in on AFTV B.S. Its disappointing.

Happy New Year.

Knightly
Knightly

If only some Arsenal fans will apply the same standards they judge Iwobi with on Mkhitaryan, Rambo, Ozil, Xhaka, Mustaphi. Both Wenger and Emery couldn’t be both wrong about him.