Saturday, March 14, 2009
Arsenal purr again. Player analysis and ratings Vs Blackburn
By 1970’s Gooner
This is a performance that had us all purring again. Chances galore, misses galore but also goals scored galore.
The score would have been at least seven or eight nil if it wasn’t for Bendtner’s profligacy in front of goal.
Arsene Wenger got the balance of the team right with two choices that gave the team penetration and height.
The penetration came from the deployment of two fast and dangerous wingers in Arshavin and Walcott.
They provided width but more importantly mobility in the forward positions. The Blackburn defenders did not know how to deal with their movement and when you have players like that in the side chances will be created.
An added bonus that arises when pacy wide men are in the team is the lightning fast counter attacks, a facet of Arsenal’s game that has not been seen for a very long time.
And it was always on against Blackburn, with Walcott (who got his clattering alright) and Arshavin duly obliging. Scoring a quick goal always helps of course.
The second choice was the inclusion of Djourou in the starting line up alongside Toure.
Wenger obviously wanted to counter what everyone expected from a Sam Allardyce team. Long, high balls and throw ins at every opportunity.
Djourou, Toure and Song (who always provided aerial support at dead ball situations) were on the whole equal to this tactic.
I can’t wait for Fabregas, Rosicky and Adebayor to get back. What a bench we are likely to have!
Steady, confident and secure. I never worry that he will make any mistakes and on the few occasions he was called upon to make the saves, mostly from free kicks that Denilson gave away, he was not troubled at all. 8
I was disappointed with his performance today. He looked tired to me and made some mistakes in his passing and crosses. He was also caught asleep when Petersen got through for Blackburn’s only chance of a goal. 6
He had a much better game today when compared to his below par performances lately. He was full of running, defended well and took the right positions in the defence. 7
He has been in form lately and today he was faultless. Great in the air and always there to cut out any balls aimed for Roberts. He is starting to look like the Toure of old. 8
He obviously needed to get some match fitness because he looked rusty against West Brom. He was very good today.
He won every high ball that came his way and he has the added ability to head the balls to a distance thus relieving the defence and gaining important ground. 7
He is beginning to become more consistent in his performances, the sign of a player maturing. He carried out his duties almost to perfection, looking every bit of an authoritative defensive midfielder.
He broke up attacks, defended in front of the back four, won the ball and passed it accurately to the forwards whenever that was on. 8
A much improved performance today from the little Brazilian. He was everywhere doing everything. Winning the ball, creating the time for him to look up and pass it accurately.
I and a lot of you berated him after the Roma performance but today we have to hold our hands up and say that he was immense. He tired by the end which resulted in making a few mistakes but overall I enjoyed his performance.8
The more games he plays the more he is showing us what a fantastic player he is.
He is not yet at his peak fitness but even so he is going to become a massive player for Arsenal football club.
He was there for the first goal forcing the mistake by the Blackburn defender, Oojer, to turn it into his own net.
But for his second his skill in turning Simpson inside out and then scoring from the tightest of angles was awsome.
He also chose to ignore Bendtner’s calls for the ball which if he had the chances were that Bendtner would have missed it! 8
Samir was active and mobile in the first half but tired in the second, the effects of the Roma game catching up on him. He played in the hole behind Bendtner and connected the midfield with the attack very well. 6
He provided the width on the right hand side creating a lot of problems for Warnock. His low ball into the Blackburn area created Arsenal’s first goal and was generally a thorn in Blackburn’s side.
I consider his return to fitness as very important to Arsenal as he provides the width and the pace that we so lacked this season. 7
I will not be that critical of Bendtner. Yes he did miss chance after chance and in other circumstances against a more dangerous team his misses would have been very costly.
But he has been showing great improvement in his game recently. He is very enthusiastic, full of running, his touch on the ball very good and most importantly he gets in those dangerous positions to score the goals.
Let’s be honest about it. The only thing he got wrong today was the putting away of the chances. If he can get that right then you have a very good player. 6.5
He was berated by a lot of us but he stuck to it and he is getting his rewards lately. He wasn’t on for long but he had an impact scoring Arsenal’s third and fourth goal. 8
Come on the Spurs!