Sunday, January 13, 2008
Complacency will get you anywhere but the title (plus player ratings Vs Birmingham)
By 1970's Gooner
There are four points that need to be made about this game.
The first concerns the complacent attitude of all the players in the team who seem to think that they only have to turn up for the game and victory will be assured. This was also apparent at the Burnley FA Cup game.
This attitude is further reinforced when Arsenal go one nil up especially against the so called “smaller” teams. It seems to be a trait that has characterised a lot of Wenger teams in the past especially last season but it has also reared its head during this campaign. Remember the two goal lead that was surrendered against Sunderland at the Emirates?
The second point that needs to be made is Theo Walcott’s contribution during the game: Non existent. It was like playing with ten men.
The third is that Senderos is obviously not to be blamed for the goal. He was busy marking their tallest player Jerome most probably under instructions prior to the game.
It was Flamini that was at fault by attempting to impede O’Connor rather than manage that by jumping with him. In fact Senderos had a very good game, one of his stronger performances.
The goal was similar to the goal conceded at Goodison Park where a corner went through the defence undefended. More work needed on the training pitch again.
The fourth concerns Diaby. This guy is loosing his way. He was brought on for Sagna presumably to stretch the play on the right wing but he did anything but that. He kept coming infield, crowding an already heavily congested middle of the pitch especially in front of Birmingham’s area. The area that we desperately wanted to decongest!
Had another good game. Was not at fault for the goal and he is very quick to come off his line and act like a “libero”. I like that. 7
An improved performance. Got forward a lot more than he has in recent games. 6
Another strong and purposeful performance. He is one of the younger members of the team but he is one of the most consistent. 8
He is another one who is consistent. Went forward at the end to try and get the winning goal. Nearly did. 7
As expected when next to an experienced and fast centre back he upped his performance and had a very good game. Strong on the headers and also in his tackles. 7
A bad day at the office. One of his ineffective performances. Lacked penetration and purpose. 4
Apart from his role in the goal conceded he had his usual strong and purposeful performance. 6
His usual domination of the midfield area is slowly coming back but still not there yet. He tried two shots from outside the area but missed the target. At the beginning of the season these kind of shots were on target. He looked a bit tired by the closing stages of the game. 6
Had a good game full of trickery and positive forward drive. Tired in the second half. 6
Apart form the penalty kick a very average game from the big man. 5
He is getting used to the Premier league and the physical part of the game. He is now able to withstand the defenders and hold the ball up laying passes off to his teammates. This is a good sign as he has not had too many starts. His header in the first half should have been to the side of the keeper but at least his positioning was spot on. This aspect of his game is also getting a lot better as shown by his positioning to accept the ball inside the area which led to the penalty. 6
Man of the Match: Clichy