It’s time for us to take yet another trip down memory lane, and it’s certainly a positive journey this time around. On this day in 2010, the Gunners tore through Fulham on their way to confirming that St Totteringham’s Day would be going ahead as they secured 3rd spot in the Premier League above their bitter rivals. It was a long and difficult season, but in the end, they managed to get the job done.
In the grand scheme of things, the campaign didn’t go perfectly after yet another trophyless season, which included a demoralising Champions League exit against Barcelona. Still, finishing above Spurs was good enough for many fans, and when you look at how bleak things eventually got over the course of the following eight years, that makes all the sense in the world.
Arsenal knew they only required a point to seal a finish above Tottenham, and they were assisted by the fact that Fulham were resting players ahead of their UEFA Europa League final at Atletico Madrid. Yes, that sentence is entirely accurate, but we can understand why it seems a bit backwards. Side note: isn’t it odd how Arsenal were knocked out by Atletico this season too? It seems as if Bolton Wanderers truly are the only English team capable of dethroning them.
Regardless of that, we’re focusing on the game: which was brought to life by the Russian sensation Andrey Arshavin. He capitalised on an error from Mark Schwarzer to open the scoring, before Robin van Persie made it two. Chris Baird was then responsible for the third after slotting Walcott’s cross into his own net, before the often forgotten Carlos Vela rounded things off with a lovely chipped effort.
Looking back, it’s actually hard to imagine Wenger staying at the club for eight more years (from the perspective of someone in 2010). After all, things had been moving in a downward trajectory for quite some time and while Arsenal did manage to win a few FA Cups in recent times, that doesn’t exactly make up for their many failures in both the league and in Europe.
The two clubs obviously went in very different directions after this game, but ironically enough, they could meet again in the Premier League next season if Fulham can mastermind their way to promotion through the playoffs.
Do you think Fulham will gain promotion?