Sunday, January 06, 2008
Player analysis and ratings Vs Burnley. Eduardo can win the Cup for Arsenal
By 1970’s Gooner
It was a scrappy game. There was no rhythm or flow from Arsenal as the players found it difficult to play the passing game as we have come to know it under Arsene Wenger. It was probably due to a combination of attitude and the state of the pitch.
Attitude, because the Arsenal players looked as though they underestimated the opponent and on many occasions were not playing as a collective or cohesive unit.
Indicative of this was the huddle of all the players just before the kick off…..the Burnley players. I didn’t see the Arsenal players going in a huddle unless the TV ignored it. If you were there can you please let us know.
The state of the pitch did not help Arsenal’s passing game and this may have affected the way the players approached the game choosing on occasion to play the long ball to Bendtner and Eduardo.
It was from such a high ball from steady Kolo that Eduardo run on to from deep to find himself in front of Kiraly, the Hungarian ex Crystal Palace goalkeeper.
Eduardo seems to be able to bend the laws of nature by appearing to elongate time.
There is no other explanation for it. He just waited for the ball to drop at a more convenient height as it bobbled in front of him with a defender on his shoulder putting pressure and then, as he did for his goal at Seville which was very similar in execution, passed it into the net.
This boy is very clinical..I would have said a killer but he did miss a similar chance in the second half when Bendtner laid it on a plate for him with only the goalkeeper to beat. He rolled it just the wrong side of the post. He can be human after all.
But this is the type of player that Arsenal needed for a very long time. A player who when the rest of the team are not playing well, when the game is scrappy and fifty fifty, he can get the goal that will make the difference.
This is more important to Arsenal due to the passing style of football that Arsene Wenger’s teams play which can sometimes go off the boil either because the players are tired or having a bad day at the office. Just as it was for the defeat at Middlesbrough.
That’s when you need to score the scrappy, opportunistic goals. The goals that come out of nothing or against the run of play. Goals that will not necessarily win the Goal of the Month competition.
Eduardo was playing at Boro but had not come to terms with the English game by then. He is finding his feet now alright. And as Wenger continues to field variations of the B team for Arsenal in the Cup competitions the more important Eduardo will become.
He will be important in the race for the title too don't get me wrong....
Did not have much to do. 7
One of his worst games for Arsenal. Often out of position and hesitant in his clearances. A lot of Burnley’s offensive play came from that side of the pitch. It wasn’t a surprise that Wenger substituted him for Hoyte in the middle of the second half who brought more experience to bear. 4
He hasn’t been at his best recently and the rest that Wenger gave him recently did not appear to have helped enough. He was steady and without mistakes don’t get me wrong but he wasn’t at his best. 6
Did not put a foot wrong and gave the assist for the goal. He was a real leader and with the experience he has now he is one of the best if not the best central defender in the league. 9
I wish I could but I can’t say the same for Philip. He had one of those games where he displayed his deficiencies in lack of positional awareness and pace. He came more into his own in the second half where he had a good game because Burnley went more direct with more high balls which suits his style of play. 6
He is getting better and better. Opponents find it difficult to get the ball off him (like it was with Vieira). When he beefs himself up a bit more he will be a real tough cookie. Maybe Wenger is waiting for that before he gives him more starts in his natural position in the centre of the field but maybe he will do so when he unloads Gilberto? Faded a little bit in the second half. 7
Had a good game with lots of movement and usually accurate passing. If he continues improving like he has he will be a natural successor to Fabregas. 8
Again looked rusty and unfit to me. Performed the basics well but no more than that. He is probably out of the door either in this window or the next. 6
After a good game last time out against West ham he reverted to his usual game of being active but without substance or end result. Careless in his passing and frivolous in possession. 5
Won most of the headers but was not able to hold the ball as he has shown he can. His control usually let him down and his passing also suffered. He did however combine well with Eduardo to score the second killer goal which he took well going round the keeper and slotting it home. 6
In addition to what I have written above he was also more in the game holding up the ball and connecting with his fellow players well. He also provided the assist for Bendtner’s goal. 9
Man of the Match: Eduardo
Burnley , Arsenal
0, goals, 2
0, 1st half goals, 1
2, Shots on Target, 6
6, shots off target, 8
3, Blocked Shots, 1
5, Corners, 4
7, Offsides, 0
1, Yellow Cards, 0
1, Red Cards, 0
42.3%, Possession, 57.7%