Saturday, May 02, 2009
Arsenal’s second string tie Pompey up in knots. Player analysis and ratings
By 1970’s Gooner
Getting better and better with every game. He will, like all footballers, improve with more exposure to first team action.
He made some very good saves, especially stopping a shot from inside the area after a Portsmouth corner in the second half.
He was also very quick to come out of his area on a couple of occasions which made the forward harry his shot thus missing the target when he was clean through. The first one was against Crouch and the second against Utaka.
If he can improve his decision making further then he will be a very good goalkeeper. 8
I was baffled why Wenger played him today with the Champions League semi final only a few days away. He did rest all the others (except Song who played in central defence today).
Sagna looked tired to me and has looked tired as of late so resting him today would have done him a lot of good. Still he is a reliable defender and did his job adequately. 6.5
A much improved player who seems to operate well when playing in his natural position as a full back (today he was at left back). In this way his attacking skills and ability to run with the ball at pace come in handy.
His decision making has also improved releasing the ball at the right time and to the right player. 7
Wenger decided to play him in central defence today as he probably wanted to rest Toure. But why didn’t he rest Song too? Surely he deserves a rest for what is Arsenal’s defining game of the season against Manchester United. Still he performed well marking tightly and efficiently. 7.5
This is one player that will probably play on Tuesday but needed this game as he has been out of action recently (apart from a second half appearance against Boro).
Djourou is also the type of player that needs games behind him to get to match fitness more than the average player. He played well both on the ground and in the air. 7
A much better game for Denilson today but it has to be said the Portsmouth midfield were not really up for the fight today especially in the first half.
In the second half when they came out strongly the Denilson and Ramsey combination started to show signs of being overrun. Still Denilson did what he normally tries to do and that is run and run, harry the opposition and when in possession pass the ball to a team mate. 6
Looked dominant in the first half able to hold the ball, turn with it and find team mates which is a sign of a good midfielder in the making. Like Denilson he needs to build his body up so that his skills are complimented by body strength. 6
Another very good performance from the little Russian demon.
Was involved in all the good moves for Arsenal, providing the cross for Bendtner’s first goal and winning the penalty for his second.
He was honest enough to tell the referee that it wasn’t a penalty by waiving his finger to signal so! 8
Scored two goals and tried to get his hat trick but it wasn’t to be. Was very lucky to score the first as James dropped a right howler when Bendtner’s header, which was not that strong, slipped through his fingers and rolled into the net.
Bendtner did however take the penalty kick very well putting it to James’s right hand corner. Even though james guessed right he could not get a touch to it. 7.5
Looked a menace all day through his pace which the Portsmouth defenders could not cope with. Again I think it was a risk to start him today as he is a fragile type of player and there were a few scares today when he had to receive treatment.
He has the pace and nowdays he has filled in at the right places thus it is becoming difficult for defenders to knock him off the ball. But he needs to improve his crosses and cut backs if he is to progress to the next level. I am sure he will. 6.5
Scored his first premiership goal and generally looked dangerous throughout the game. He scored from a shot just inside the area which went diagonally across James in off the post. This boy is a finisher no mistake about it.
He was playing just behind the main striker today and was able to link up well with Bendtner and Arshavin as these three players were the main focus of all Arsenal’s attacks. 7