Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Monday, February 11, 2008

Player analysis and ratings Vs Blackburn. The young guns can prove everyone wrong

By 1970’s Gooner

It was a rather nervy performance but it was understandable really considering how much was at stake. Yet these young guns have proved everyone wrong. Yes they can win the League and they can do it in style, which is not something that a lot of teams can do.

What these "Mr know it alls" underestimated of course (not here though) was the room for improvement and the speed with which these young players have been improving week by week.

Getting an early goal I felt should have helped settle the nerves, but it didn’t.

It rather had the usual effect an early goal has for this Arsenal team which is to relax them too much and lull the players into a false sense of security. But Blackburn were depleted and not at their best. They kept possession but had no threat up front as Arsenal’s back four played very well.

Sagna was very good once again bombing forward getting past Warnock with ease. He was also pretty good in his defensive duties not putting a foot wrong. 9

On the other hand Clichy, probably by design and under instructions, was not that forthcoming in his offensive duties. His brief was probably to look out first and foremost for Bentley who in the end had a pretty average game. He is after all in my opinion an average player anyway (he stands out in Blackburn’s team because a lot of his teammates are not even average). 8

Gallas was strong and forceful once again. Consistency is his game and he was also foraging forward trying to get that second goal which would have killed the game off. 8

But Senderos had one of his better games for Arsenal. The way he got his goal showed that he must have been practicing at London Colney how to get free of his marker from a corner. And he had to twist in mid air to get a proper header on target which hit the back of the net with force. 8.5

So good was Arsenal’s defensive play that Lehmann had hardly anything to do. But he was very safe coming out of his area to catch the ball and relieve the pressure from corner kicks. 8

Hleb was fantastic tonight returning to his best form. He was always looking for the ball and once he got it they found it difficult to get it off him. His contribution was even more important as Fabregas was wasted on the wing (especially in the first half) and Hleb, coming infield was able to direct play more than he normally would have.

He even had two very accurate shots on goal and was unfortunate to see the first hit the post and the other saved acrobatically by the impressive Friedel. 9

Fabregas I thought was rendered ineffective on the right wing but when he drifted infield in the second half he was much more influential and got into some very dangerous scoring positions.

His shots were nearly there and it looks to me that he will get amongst the goals soon. His passing was again not at its best and he did look very weary but Wenger has said that he was ill for the last three days and he got out of bed to play tonight. 7

I can understand why Wenger chose to keep Flamini in the middle and push Fabregas on the right. His energy and covering in front of the defence is second to none. But also Gilberto is not really up to playing that role these days. Another box to box from the Flamster. 8

Gilberto had a decent game but he has slowed down a lot and I don’t recollect any tackles that he made tonight. Wenger has to let him go in the summer so that room for growth is created for the younger gunners such as Diaby, Denilson and Song who proved to everyone in the Africa Cup of Nations that he has bright future. 6.5

Eduardo is now very used to the Premiership and its fast pace. His all round game has improved and it showed tonight. However I thought he was reluctant to release the ball when it was called for, especially in dangerous areas where Adebayor was in a far better position to do something with it. 7

Adebayor improved in the second half where the game required him to receive the ball and hold it up so as to relieve the pressure. But in the first half after the goal was scored he was playing as though we had won the game already.

He came close to scoring before he did but what a goal he scored. It was similar in a way to the second goal he scored at Tottenham in the 3-1 win. He was inside the area on this occasion when he allowed the ball to bounce off his foot before swiveling round to hit it first time in the air into Friedel’s bottom right hand corner. 2-0 game over! 8

Man of the Match: Alexander Hleb

Match Stats

Arsenal Blackburn

55% Possesion 45%
7 Shots on target 1
6 Shots off target 7
2 Offsides 5
7 Corners 5
12 Fouls 7
1 Yellow cards 0


Anonymous said...

A fair analysis. I thought that gilberto has passed it. Sagna is my man of the match though. What a defender and also an attacking full back!

Anonymous said...

i thought gilberto played his best match this season. well posisitioned, passed simply to clear up the mess, had a relaxing aura.

Anonymous said...

hleb! goodness me. every touch and surge is a joy to watch. give him the nickname godfather! cos he can pull the strings!

Anonymous said...

I thought Gilberto was lazy and totally out of sorts. I was nervous every time he touched the ball. How he manages to captain Brazil, only god knows. It's almost as if we play with ten men, when he plays. Hopefully he should not get too many more games for the Arsenal. Blackburn managed just one shot on target in the 90 minutes. Arsenal could have easily scored 5, and Hleb was fantastic.

Anonymous said...

I thought Gilberto played a simple and good game, definitely his best game for the season by far!

Anonymous said...

I'm so happy that we won this game, and I must disagree with you about the ability of Sagna in getting forward, in some games it appears that we need Eboue to play instead of Sagna so we might have more threat from the wings, Eboue can try and lose his marker, but Sagna mostly will just play a pass with his teammates and no one dares dart forward, just Hleb is doing that, so if so one stop him from playing no one will try and go past his marker?
We need more shot and crosses like how we started the campaign, don't let the score fool you, we should have ended any resistance from Blakburn in the first half hour we just tried to keep possession and didn't threaten more with shooting or crossing and that gave Blackburn the confidence that they could come back in the match and nick something.

I just want to know how can Adebayor plays as bad as he did in this match, it Arsenal look bad with a player playing like a ***, he doesn't know how to control the ball, doesnt know how to get past a player one vs one, doesn't know how to place a shot at the huge goal (only in the middle).
The suddenly he produces a world class control ball! and a world class finish in the bottom corner!
So some one tell me please how can this player do all these things in the same match? how can we rate him?
If Bendtner got the same chances as Adebayor tonight wouldn't he scored too and be labeled a hero?
I wish he take a look again of the match and see how bad he played and how many opportunities he wasted, because he can't have that luxury against ManUtd in the Cup or we'll be out for sure.

on another note is Fabregas really suspended for the next to matches? I've read it somwhere form a while ago?

Anonymous said...

Eboue has 1 move to beat people and it's average at best. Sagna has more speed, and is much better in defense. I find it funny that you criticized him after this game when he actually did beat a man. I will admit that it's rare, but his speed alone gets him into positions that allow him to get crosses in that no other back in the league could get to.

Anonymous said...

Sagna is not Cafu, not yet anyway. He's young and very effective. If he's tired or ill or weary or what have you he may have an off night. Why bomb forward from the back. Are we getting suicidal in our overconfidence?

Anonymous said...

I thought Gilberto was lazy and totally out of sorts. I was nervous every time he touched the ball. How he manages to captain Brazil, only god knows. It's almost as if we play with ten men, when he plays. Hopefully he should not get too many more games for the Arsenal.

Gilberto should be out of the team very soon. He must be doing things intentionally. He is not playing at all.

Anonymous said...

Gilberto cant manage the pace at the moment, and i would say he had his best game of the season coz of the simple pace we had tonight. true, he should leave the place to likes of Denlison, Diaby and Songo. thx for your service Gilberto, i will always remember the time you parterned with Fabregas at the start of 2003/2004, i reached an extent of thinking we nolonger needed our sensation captain then, Veira.

Anonymous said...

I have been pretty harsh on Gilberto all season (we've lost almost all the games he's started). But last night I thought he played ok. Much more like his old self. He didn't give the ball away as much as in previous games and he had a spring in his step that was missing from his substitute appearances.
I'm not saying we should not sell him or that he was one of the best players on the pitch but I think we should lay off the guy. The formation worked, a central midfield duo of Gilberto, Flamini will always be safer that Gilberto, Fabregas and unless Fabs recoveres by the weekend that is what we'll play at Old Trafford on saturday.
I hope Gilberto continues to improve as he was magnificent for us last season and he deserves a Premiership medal to say goodbye and thanks for all his hard work over the years!

Anonymous said...

For OT

Sagna Senderos Toure Clichy
Eboue Flam Cesc Ros/Hleb
Bendtner Eduardo

rest Gallas and Ade. Ade can come on later.

Anonymous said...

For OT


hoyte senderos gallas traore
hleb gilberto flamini rosicky
bendtner eduardo

Anonymous said...

Gulberto isn't a Flamini type, nor a Makelele type midfielder. Bertie is the 'invisible wall', he's been out of sorts through obvious lack of match practice, his turning and sharpness just isn't there because of his obvious lack of motivation sitting on the bench when he knows he has the ability to win titles. Gilberto desn't do crunching tackles, i've barely seen him do one ever, whatr he dpes is look around him and cut out the angles.

In the first half against Blackburn Bentley was breaking and flamini went chargin at him, Gilberto look around saw two runners out on the left and cut the angle so bentley had to drift wide into Hleb and Clichy, instead of releasing to MGP and warnock breaking out left, that's what he does.

If we are going to o win a cup competion Gilberto will certianly be needed, whilst Flamini is crucial to our style of playing, agianst better passing sides he can be undone by sheerly being human, he can't be more than one p;lace at once, Gilberto's positioning however can give the illusion of this at times.

I can't beleive people have a pop at him when he clearly loves the club, and has been pretty hard done by Wenger (rightly so, but still). I for one will certianly miss him when hes gone, in his prime alongside Vieira , Bertie was the finest holding player in the world, he he's the defensive equivolent of DB10 intelligence wise.

Anonymous said...

well i watched the match as well and at what point was Ade as bad as that (1:59). no one else seems to agree with u!hold up, Bendtner has played and has not been as effective as Ade. Sir do u remember the Spurs CC match? who came on and scored a wonderful goal? and i dare say that if Ade played from jump the match would not have been so bad. GEEZ the dude is joint top scorer and we still make these comments!

God Bless!

Anonymous said...

Agree with paulsito.
but to some extend, ade cud have scored atleast two.
his finishing can be improved.
but yet hes the top scorer in premier league.
nicklas have lots more to learn. dont compare with ade.

still remember last season ade misses lot more chances.

he was useless (last season) but wenger noes better. he watch them in daily training.

gilberto. best DM. but too slow. with our style of game.
bottomline again wenger noes when to offload him!!!