comfortable picking the brains of a rival fan when your club is down in the
doldrums. The Aston Villa game had everything going wrong for Arsenal so
horribly which only happens to the hero in a Bollywood movie!
Whether Arsenal can fight the odds like our hero though, remains to be
seen. Nevertheless, I managed to pick myself up and got in touch with Kyle Bonn of Fulham’s Finest, who was quite bullish when it came down to
Kyle felt Fulham are treading mediocre waters at the moment while he
also discussed Fulham’s new signings, Martin Jol and us, the Arsenal fans.
1. There is
a new owner in place so are you expecting any changes to how the club is run?
A lot of fans were excited about the possibility of being able to spend
that always can accompany a transfer of ownership. However, it seems like
Shahid Khan is going to run the club in an almost identical fashion to Mr.
Fayed. Mr. Khan has always, even with the Jacksonville Jaguars, held a very
hands-off approach to personnel decision, having publicly stated that he will
leave that to those he hires for those reasons. However, with that comes the
added expectation to perform. If the management does not do their job, he will
Jol has been in the dugout for some time now. What is the fans’ take on the
Martin Jol is generally well liked. Obviously fans are fickle, and
kneejerk reactions to positive or negative events come with the job. However,
he has a reputation of being very inflexible when it comes to changing his
tactics to fit a squad. This will be tested this season with a heavy influx of
players that don’t perfectly fit into his formula for a squad.
3. With Darren
Bent arriving, how do you think Jol will integrate him with Dimitar Berbatov,
not to mention the likes of Adel Taraabt, Bryan Ruiz and Hugo Rodellega?
It’s a good question, because they all play in the same area. Speaking
tactically putting personalities aside, there is a general consensus that while
Berbatov plays well as a target man and true number 9, he may move back and
slot in behind Bent, which is a scary combination when on. However, this bumps
Ruiz out of the secondary striker position he has so far held down. Ruiz, an
£11m acquisition, has impressed but not to the level his price tag should
suggest. He could be moved out to the wing, but he hasn’t been overly
successful there in the past. Rodallega is squad depth for the time being.
Parker comes in after a season plagued by injuries and poor form. Do you think
the move will benefit the squad?
Absolutely! The only issue is that he and Sidwell are relatively similar
players, but Parker should get the nod once he trains. Martin Jol has shown a
heavy tendency to sit new players on the bench in their first match with the
club, so expect Sidders to start this weekend and Parker to make the bench.
weaknesses in the squad that Arsenal could exploit?
Martin Jol plays a possession game, and they have yet to acquire a true
passer. It showed against Sunderland, as Fulham usually maintain most of the
possession, but did not last weekend.
6. Fulham’s MVP?
Berbatov! No question there.
Arsenal player you’ll like to have in your squad?
Always have admired the youngster, and his knee injury has to be a big blow.
8. Arsenal fans
are a furious lot currently. Do you think the anger is justified?
Oh absolutely. It’s maddening and makes zero sense. It’s worse now that
fans are angry, and it’s lit a fire under Ivan Gazidis’s arse. Now he’s tossing
money in every which way to see what sticks. It’s a shame that it took this
much to kick him into gear, and now there’s not much time left to take a
methodical approach. Feel for Arsenal fans.
Predictions for the season.
Fulham will finish 13th. We are spending little money. With a massive
quantity of talent in the youth system (just you wait and see), the club seems
to be treading water – avoiding relegation – until that talent is ready in a
year or two. It’s an interesting strategy.
As far as Arsenal, I think it’s hard for anyone to argue that they will
finish ahead of Tottenham Hotspur in a Champions League position with the
current squad. Leaving room to change my mind once Arsene Wenger tosses money
at something valid, I would say 6th.
10. Score line on Saturday?
We always play the Gunners well, and between the depleted squad and the
home match, I think we’ll get something out of it. However, I can’t imagine Arsenal
losing two in a row to midtable sides, so I’ll go with a relative goal fest
ending 2-2. Think this one will be exciting.
Thanks so much for having me! Hope this gives a
glimpse into the club of Fulham.