Saturday, January 19, 2008
Player analysis and Ratings Vs Fulham. Arsenal score goals from crosses!
By 1970’s Gooner
What we were all asking for from last season was variation in Arsenal’s play. Variation in the built up towards the opponents goalmouth so that defenders and midfielders would not be too sure of what Arsenal would do with the ball.
Too often in the past we would try and knit the pretty patterns and more often than not try to get through the middle of their defence. All they had to do was to pack the midfield and tuck in front of their goal.
Now we are seeing the crosses come in from the wings and we are witnessing headers at goal. And it was from crosses from the wings that all three goals were scored at the Cottage.
The first was from excellent work from the left from the impressive (again) Clichy who put in a beautiful cross in the heart of Fulham’s defence and Adebayor rose above everybody else to leave Niemi stranded. It was a very similar goal Adebayor scored at Aston Vila.
The second was almost a carbon copy of the first with good work on the right wing by Hleb who put in a precise cross in the same spot where Clichy had put his for the first goal. Again Adebayor rose above everybody else to head it home.
Fulham did not offer anything going forward even after they switched to 4 4 2 with the giant Kuqi coming on.
The third goal came after excellent work from the penetrative Eduardo who sprinted into the by line from the left leaving defenders behind him. His low cross was powered in by the on coming Rosicky who made a lot of ground to get into the area.
Arsenal worked the wings well something that was missing against Birmingham where Walcott was pretty ineffective. Against Fulham however Rosicky, although not having a spectacular game, provided that width and Eduardo was also having the same effect on the other side when Hleb was coming in field.
He impressed me with his close control and passing which have vastly improved. He seems to be much more at ease with the way Arsenal play and is beginning to fit in quite nicely.
Not much to do but his handling from crosses oozed confidence. 8
Very good defencively and got forward a lot more than in recent games. 7
Another sterling performance. Did not put a foot wrong and got forward quite a lot. Put in a beautiful cross for the first goal. 9
Another good and strong display. He will feel a lot better for having put in a good performance for the second game running. I have a feeling he will prove equal to the task of filling in Toure’s absence. He has to improve his distribution however. 8
The usual full of running and energetic performance. 8
Still below his best. A few passes still going astray and is not running the show as much as he used to before. He would have found it difficult if the opponent was more physical and more pressing on the ball. 6
A solid if unspectacular display but at least stretched the play on the wing, did not give the ball away, helped back in defence and scored the third goal! 7
Full of trickery and helped organize the play along with Fabregas. Put in the cross for the second goal. 7
Improving all the time as he gets used to the premier League and its tight and physical marking. I can see what Wenger saw in him to pay 7.5 m. Van Persie’s absence might not hurt us that much. Created the third goal with a beautiful run on the left wing crossing for Rosicky to score. 8
Very impressive with his headers for the two goals. But, as with the Newcastle game where he scored a very good goal early on, his contribution for the rest of this game was average to me. He needs to improve his control and hold the ball up rather than try and lay off the pass immediately. Still if he can play averagely and score two goals every game we can’t complain can we? 7
Man Of The Match: Clichy