Saturday, April 19, 2008
Charlie Nicholas is talking crap. Player analysis and ratings Vs Reading
By 1970’s Gooner
The pressure was off a little bit and the players could play with more (mental) freedom and when this happens the beautiful football gets even more beautiful.
Arsenal dominated throughout the game played with panache and scored two goals at a canter. The first crafted by Toure and beautifully controlled and scored by Adebayor.
The move to get clear and his finish was again reminiscent of Henry.
The second followed after a lot of pressure at the Reading goal. The ball was rolled by the excellent Fabregas to the on coming Gilberto outside the area who slipped whilst taking his shot. A lucky deflection carried it beyond Hahnemann.
Yet this was reminiscent of a lot of games this and last season where we play well, dominate, score the goal we deserve and then proceed to miss chance after chance.
Sometimes this has led to the other team getting back into the game through a set piece or a defensive mistake. Remember this season Birmingham at home and away, Sunderland at home where we surrendered a two goal lead and Middlesbrough at home.
Mustn’t complain though. This was a welcomed win after so many games without.
Gunning for second place must now be vigorously pursued so as to avoid the CL early summer qualifiers in July. This is especially important as some of our players will be tired after Euro 2008 in June.
He had another very good game. For a player who has not played for a long time to be thrust in again in the first team like he was at Old Trafford and today against Reading he performed at a very high level of alertness.
If it wasn’t for his unsettling of the dressing room I would be arguing for him to stay! 8
Looked below his best and tired at the early stages but his assist for Arsenal’s first goal gave him a lift and he improved after that.
I think his form has suffered due to injury and tiredness picked up at the Africa Nations Cup. Playing out of position recently did not help him either. 6
The most consistent performer this season playing wonderful football both in defence and in his attacking forays. 8
The defence was not really under that much pressure so there is not much to say here. He had a solid game doing what he had to do well. 6
I like Song. He has a lot of confidence and marks real tight not allowing his player much room to turn. His distribution is a lot better than Senderos as well and does not lack at all compared to the other defenders either.
Is he a defender or a midfielder? My position is that he is a much better player as a midfielder.
He was very effective for Charlton in the Premiership during his loan period there.
But he was also outstanding for Cameroon in the ANC.
I think he will be a very good player for Arsenal for years to come. 8
Back to his best. Dictating play, spraying the passes left right and center, getting into the box for goal attempts. He was everywhere. 9
He is returning to form but I doubt whether this would be good enough to keep him at the Emirates. He protected the defence well and also got forward getting the goal his performance deserved. 7
Full of trickery again but with substance in his play. He even had a shot at goal!
He should however sometimes cross that ball first time when he gets behind his man. He tends to hold the ball and come back in again giving time for the defenders to get back to their positions. 8
He should start more games now. His pace is electrifying and he is learning to hold his head when he gets passed his man looking for the cut back or the cross.
I hope that next season we change our style a little bit to speed our game up when we are attacking because Walcott will be ideal for that. 8
He has needed four or five matches to find his feet as we have been saying so on this site.
Sadly it is a bit late now but you can see how much more effective the team is with his quality in the side.
He also gives a very effective option for taking free kicks and corners.
This is because with him out of the side there was only Fabregas. 8
I respect Charlie Nicholas both for his history with Arsenal and for his football views. But what he has been saying today on Sky’s Soccer Saturday about Adebayor was crap.
He was slating him for not being good enough to play for Arsenal and that he should be sold in the summer!
I mean the guy has scored 21 goals this season, some of them brilliant goals like the one today.
What has affected his performances lately has obviously been fatigue.
He has had to lead the line on his own this season due to the unfortunate injuries to Van Persie and Eduardo and Wenger’s desire to play 4 5 1 as a result.
He looked much more effective and rejuvenated today and I think he will be an even better player next season. 8
Man of the Match: Cesc Fabregas