Sunday, December 21, 2008
Player analysis and ratings Vs Liverpool
By 1970’s Gooner
The referee made a mess of his decisions and by sending Adebayor off destroyed the game as a spectacle.
None of Adebayor’s two challenges merited a yellow card especially the second one where he was first to the ball and therefore had every right to shield it.
Arbeloa’s acting fooled the referee which goes to show how naïve he was.
How Adebayor gets a yellow card in the first (debatable in my opinion) foul he commits and Lucas gets his first booking after five fouls of which anyone of them could have been a yellow is beyond me.
Nevertheless I have to say that I doubt it if the result would have been any different if Adebayor had stayed on. Arsenal were not playing their beautiful football, started nervously and Fabregas was once again way below his best.
Still a wonderful individual goal by van Persie gave us the lead and probably would have won us the game but a positioning error by Djourou and Gallas’s inability to guide him resulted in a typical goal conceded.
It reminds me of when Toure was learning his trade. This was a common mistake he would make. If the ball was on the other side of the pitch he would switch off and the long ball would catch him out of position. It was then a race to get to the ball first.
The positive to come out of the game is the spirit shown by the players after the unfair dismissal of Adebayor.
They really fought for each other and Liverpool looked more vulnerable during the last 35 minutes than before. I hope the Arsenal players can maintain that for the games that are coming up in the festive period.
I feel safer now with Almunia than ever before. He is not really disputed by anyone now is he? He didn’t have much to do (as expected Liverpool did not create much anyway) but when he had to make the odd save he was right there. 7
Was the more attacking of the two full backs and put some decent crosses in. He also was resolute in his defending. 7
I was surprised that we did not see more of him in the opponents half. He was more concerned in keeping Kuyt quiet rather than going forward. 6
Did not do much wrong. But I would have expected him to guide the more inexperienced Djourou to take more prudent positions, behind and close to the forwards when the ball is far away. It was the third occasion that the two of them got caught out…6
I like Djourou. I think he will be Arsenal’s centre half for a long time. He has the height, heading ability and is a very good distributor of the ball. Pity he made the one mistake that cost us. 5
I am very disappointed with Fabregas. He is no way near his last season’s best.
One reason may be that he drops back a little bit more this season to cover for Denilson who is not a defensive midfielder.
Another reason maybe that Arsenal’s lack of width and with van Persie sometimes dropping back into the midfield the middle gets more congested thus not allowing him the room to play.
Or his head may be otherwise occupied with Barcelona circling around. Who knows? 5
He had a good game. He came more into the fore and took more responsibility when Fabregas had to go off. I think he has a great future in midfield. 7
He is not a right winger is he? He tries his best and defensively he is much more effective. But going forward? No not for me Mr Wenger. 5
Played well especially when you take into account that he has been out of action recently. He kept the ball well and tried to be creative which was important when you consider that Fabregas was not creative enough. 7
What a wonderful goal. This boy is dangerous in that he creates his own space with his trickery and his goal scoring ability is phenomenal. He did not however connect much with Adebayor. They need to keep close to each other and feed balls between them more. 8
He has been looking sharper recently after his recent absence and led the line well. However he perhaps should not have repeated the same “foul” after getting booked for a similar block. If it's one thing that referees like to brag about it is consistency. 6
It’s obvious why Wenger does not play him in the centre of midfield. He looses possession easily, is frivolous with the ball and thinks that he can beat all comers with his build.
However when he learns to be more conservative, win the ball and then lay it off to one of his own players he will be a great central midfielder. Will he learn though? 5