Tuesday, January 01, 2008
Player analysis and ratings vs West Ham. The rhythm is back
By 1970’s Gooner
A much better performance with the passing game returning at last and all the players finding their form again.
The long balls were few and far in between although it was from a carbon copy Clichy through ball from deep in defence that set up Adebayor to race on in between West Ham’s central defenders and score from the acutest of angles in off the far post.
But what was a joy to watch was Eduardo’s electric finishing again as early as the 70th second which set the tone for the rest of the game. It was from then on very difficult for West Ham.
Wenger said some time ago that Eduardo will come good after Christmas…. Wenger knows….It was also Bilic that said that once Eduardo gets a goal his scoring rate will come in a glut. He was also right….
The most pleasing aspect of the game for me however was the return of Arsenal’s passing game and the rhythm that was so missing in the last few games. This will be very important in the important games to follow.
Didn’t have a lot do but what he did he did very well. I am increasingly feeling very safe with him in goal especially in his shot stopping and lightning fast excursions outside his area. 7
Looked rusty and in need of games. Made a few sloppy passes but improved in the second half. 6
Again for me the most accomplished player on the field. Never put a foot wrong and another assist to his name. What a find by Wenger. I have said it before: Ashley Cole, thanks for leaving Arsenal mate…. 9
Again strong and purposeful. A real leader. Did all that was required of his position: Covered well, won the headers and distributed simply. 8
Another rock in defence and with pace to burn. The same can be said of him as for Gallas. 8
Back to his best. Probing, challenging, winning the ball and bursting forward when required. 8
Near back to his best but getting there. The absence of Hleb helps him I think to assume centre stage. His passing has improved but still a few went astray. Tried a few shots something we have not seen recently. Once he gets back to his best so will Arsenal. 8
Continued his very good performances of late into this game. Looked hungry for the ball and was very energetic coming off his position infield dragging defenders with him and opening up space for the full back. 8
A performance which left me very pleasantly surprised. He was involved in a lot that was good for Arsenal from the right wing and for a change was precise in his passing. He also, like Rosicky, kept coming infield just behind the main strikers and found a lot of space in that hole. I liked him and lets hope he continues from here. 8
Looked a lot better now he had a supporting striker near him. Scored a very well taken goal from an angle that looked very prohibitive. If he can improve his passing and choose the right pass he will be even more effective. 7
The real deal; the real fox in the box that we have been missing. What a goal. Control with the chest a little swivel of the feet and bang one nil up! He obviously will get a lot better the more games he plays which will allow him to get acquainted with his fellow players and the ferocity of the Premier League. In Adebayor, Eduardo, Bendtner and Van Persie, Arsenal can now boast that they have a much more potent and in depth strike force than its main rivals. 8
Man of the Match: Gael Clichy
Hleb: Looked useful and purposeful when he came on
Walcott: Used his pace to get round defenders but his decision making still needs to improve