Saturday, April 11, 2009
Goals, goals goals. Player Analysis and Ratings Vs Wigan
By 1970’s Gooner
Again it was a game of two halves as it was against Villareal. In the first half it was mistake after mistake. Passes going astray, players stretching to recover as a spirited Wigan sensing this rallied with a strong first half performance.
It was always going to be difficult for Arsenal’s defence as three new players, all youngsters, had to start the game. Djourou in place of Gallas, Gibbs for Clichy and Fabiansky for Almunia.
Wigan exploited Gibbs’s side of the pitch, with Valencia getting the better of the young full back. Nearly all of Wigan’s attacks came from that side.
Fabiansky, who looked unsure all game, looked out of sorts from a corner and it was 1-0 to Wigan.
The referee’s decision not to show a red card to Gibbs was strictly speaking correct as there was Silvestre following up. But the ref could have easily shown a red as Silvestre was a few yards away.
Still this decision helped Arsenal who went in at half time only one nil down. And it was the reprieved Gibbs who cleared off the line when Fabiansky again made the wrong decision and came out for a high ball. Mido beat him to it and the ball was rolling into the goal before Gibbs hooked it out.
In the second half the whole team took the game to Wigan. Song in particular was superb, putting the tackles in, tracking back and distributing well.
Denilson on the other hand couldn’t raise his game and was eventually substituted.
The equaliser came on the 61st minute after an assist from the little Russian demon, Arshavin, who even if on the floor stretched a foot out and passed the ball to the unmarked Walcott who unleashed an unstoppable diagonal shot into the net.
Now it was game on and the substitutions of Denilson and Walcott with Adebayor and Van Persie added more slickness and direct play for Arsenal.
Walcott had a decent game and he did not deserve to be subbed but it seems that Wenger wanted to keep him fresh for Wednesday. Wigan could not keep up with a rampant Arsenal from then on and the goals flowed in like water running off a cliff.
Silvestre scored his second goal for Arsenal (71) when Fabregas rolled the ball into the area slotting it in with his left foot from close range.
Then on the 90th minute Arshavin capitalised on a mistake by Koumas who passed to him rather than to Melchiot. Andrey took his shot from the edge of the area without even looking up or needing a second touch of the ball.
And the fourth came in injury time when the Man of the Match, Alexandre Song, went on a run though Wigan’s midfield and into the area past the static defenders and scoring with ease.
I am worried about Wednesday’s game though. I am worried about Fabiansky but most of all I am worried about Gibbs.
They both looked nervous and made mistakes which could well have been very costly. Villareal is obviously a class above Wigan. They will punish these kind of mistakes.
I would, if Djourou is out (and his injury looked bad) seriously consider bringing Song back into defense and play Silvestre at left back.
Nervous and made wrong decisions. Not a good sign but let’s hope he improves having got this game out of the way. 4
Solid game but not adventurous enough going forward. 6
Nervous and unsure which resulted in mistakes. 4
At least he looked assured (most of the time). 6
Did ok until he was substituted. 6
Needed time to get acclimatised and looked out of sorts until he got it together. Scored the vital second goal. 7
Another wonderful box to box performance. He is definetly turning out as predicted on this site a year and a half ago when we alerted the Arsenal fans to his potential…Scored a fantastic goal in injury time showing how much energy he has. 9
A disappointing performance. Couldn’t get his passing going nor his positioning. 5
Still needs games to get his fitness back. He did not dictate the game as we have been used to from the little maestro. Still you can’t keep him down as he made another assist for Arsenal’s vital second goal. 6
Had a quite game but came to life when the big guns came on for Arsenal as he could then get the passes he was looking for. Scored the third goal. 7
Looks the real deal this season. He has filled up in the right places which means he can not be pushed off the ball easily and his runs are lightning quick. Scored a spectacular equaliser. 8
Had another of those quite games where not much goes for him. 5
Adebayor (8) and Van Pesrie (6)
Both galvanised Arsenal when they came on especially Adebayor
Fabianski, Sagna, Toure, Djourou (Silvestre 35), Gibbs, Walcott (Adebayor 68), Denilson (Van Persie 63), Song , Arshavin, Fabregas, Bendtner. Subs not used: Szczesny, Nasri, Vela, Eboue. Booked: Gibbs, Van Persie, Song Billong. Goals: Walcott 61, Silvestre 71, Song Billong 90, Arshavin 90.