Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Player analysis and ratings Vs Villa. A woeful performance salvages a crucial point

By 1970’s Gooner

This was the second worse performance of the season for Arsenal after that woeful display at the Riverside.

Arsene Wenger then opted for a weak midfield which lacked creativity but also started with Eduardo who was then still trying to find his feet in the Premiership.

Arsene Wenger made another similar decision today to start with Walcott up front along with Adebayor. It only worked for a while with Walcott benefiting from Adebayor’s lay offs but then running out of steam.

At half time Wenger instructed Hleb to switch places with Walcott and things improved a little bit.

But it wasn’t enough because this was not the only problem with Arsenal’s performance. The whole team as a unit was way below par with almost all players greatly underperforming.

Fabregas’s passing and energy levels have dropped again after picking up recently, Diaby is not a left winger and kept coming infield all the time and Walcott who is more of a winger couldn’t place his crosses and usually over hit them.

Adebayor himself was out of the game until the 93rd minute when from Clichy’s last gasp cross finally managed to get his head over the ball (rather than under it) and direct it to the unmarked Bendtner to equalise.

Credit must go to Villa and Martin O’Neil who not only defended well but exploited Arsenal’s weaknesses in defence by playing with two forwards who were big and strong.

Senderos and to a much lesser extend Gallas could not really cope with the height of Carew and Agbonlahor’s strength and pace.

Senderos in particular had his worst game so far and this is not only due to his own goal. Allowing either of the Villa forwards to turn him and run at Arsenal’s defense on numerous occasions was almost just as bad.

More importantly by playing two up front Villa made sure that they were not pinned down in their own half defending deep. It wasn’t until the last 10 minutes that Arsenal managed to keep them under sustained pressure that the goal came.

Almunia had a faultless game saving well from an unusually high number of shots that Villa had on target. His save from Gardner’s shot from outside the area by pushing the ball onto the post was the highlight. 9

Sagna was another that had a decent game and he pushed hard on the wing in the second half to give added width. 7

Clichy did ok and got crosses into the box especially the final one that led to the goal. He did however lose concentration (again) and play Agbonlahor just on when he raced down the right channel to sent the low cross that Senderos inadvertently put through his own goal. 6

Gallas had trouble both in the air and in terms of pace. 5

Senderos will want to forget this performance. 3

Flamini was his usual self. 7

Fabregas was below his best and tired in the end. Will he recover in time for the Milan game? 5

Walcott needs to learn how to cross effectively. 6

Hleb was pretty but ineffective. He was largely a peripheral figure. 5

Diaby is not a left winger. 4

Adebayor was very subdued and out of the game altogether until the goal. 5

Bendtner at least got the goal. 7


Benon Lutaaya said...

I'm sorry, but you seem to have a problem. Senderos despite an own goal and missing a seater, he was solid and comfortable. He deserves more than 3.

Its Hleb hwo was none existant, misplacing passes, overslowing the play, lacking creativity penetrating the box. Jus about 4.

Gallas as well ok. At least a 7.

Fabragas was ok. Also around 8.

Sagna deserves an 8. Clichy a 7 too.

Diaby 3. He's just returning from injury. He didn't have any impact at all.

Adebayor a definite 4. I wonder if he will ever learn to control the ball.

Walcott was average 5, but ok in my eyes. Though he should try to always look for a shot at goal instead of trying now and then to cross.

Flamin was fine as usual, 7.

Anonymous said...

Free ticket to the arsenal v newcastle match for the best constructive message posted...competition lasts till friday on -


Anonymous said...

These ratings are way too harsh - the team are clearly still coming to terms with what happened last week.

Carew was kept relatively quiet and did not dominate in the air so I think you were harsh on both Gallas and Senderos. Apart from the own goal Senderos was solid and Gallas deserves a higher score for that one tackle in the first half alone.

Cesc, Hleb and Flamini had an off day with too many stray passes, but were all at least average.

Diaby is just back from injury and judging by the constant criticism he has faced since returning from his own career-threatening injury, it doesn't bode well for Eduardo's return to action if he doesn't immediately find his best form either.

Theo also had a couple of good shots on target, for which he should be commended.

This is the real world where players (who are human beings after all) have off days. Under the circumstances, a point is a good result.

Anonymous said...

I thought Flamini had an awful game really. Hleb had so many misplaced passes. Diaby did not look match-fit. Adebayor is facing a dip in confidence and looked a bit tired. Senderos was also lacking in confidence. Walcott did not look better than anyone else who could have played on the wing so he was a 6 at best.

Anonymous said...

Tight now, iI wish you and the world and my obsessive/compulsion with AFC would just shut up for a while. But this is like the Asrse in the 70's. You never know what to except but we've got the best ever Arsenal team assembled!
C'mon you Gunners!

MeteorMonster said...

I beg to differ with some of the comments. As I pointed out on this blog yesterday the key match up would be how our central defense managed the interior, and they were woeful, especially Senderos. This was one of his worst games in a Arsenal shirt not withstanding the own goal. He was continually turned by Agbonlahor and looked totally confused. Gallas was better, but just average at best and looked shaky at times.

The midfield was unimaginative for most of the game,frequently gave up sloppy passes and I am unsure who's task it was to cover when the wing backs attacked, but this coverage was nonexistent. Diaby was like a lost soul but his lack of match fitness probably accounted for this predicament. We really missed a fit Rosicky (trainers' need to get this boy fit for once.

I think Ade is regretting shearing his locks as he seems to have suffered the Sampson and Delilah syndrome. His first touch let him down time and time again, although he did work hard and opened up the middle for other players on numerous occasions. Missed a few headers which he would have scored a few weeks ago.

Although we were outplayed, we could easily have won "UGLY" as we created more clear cut chances, but as in the AC Milan game were unable to capitalize.

Gilberto played well in his brief CB spell and I have repeatedly said tit's his best position this year due to being a good header, is positionally very aware and reads the game well.

While Theo may be a star in years to come, currently his decision making is poor at best. Needs to raise his head and know when to pass versus taking on the entire opposition by himself. Think he is trying too hard to fulfill his promise as the next "Great English Hope". All in all he was decentand deserves a 6.

For all the writers who said Fab played well I would highly recommend you watching the game again to see how many mistakes he made.

Anonymous said...

Diaby has been pretty shit all season and I fail to see what Wenger sees in him to ever make him start games. What a waste of a position. That dozey cunt can't stay in his position and is crap with the ball.

As for Adebayor - he has got to be the flukiest player ever and now his luck has finally run out.

Diaby: 2

Adebayor: 3

Was Adebayors header directed to Bendtner or was he aiming for Gallas and accidentally got it to Bendtner... I wouldn't put it past him!!

Anonymous said...

I agree, Adebayor and Diaby were shit, both of them. Diaby should never been played, he was obviously not match fit. I am starting to think again that Adebayor is not that good. It's no coincidence how many goals he has got. It's because he got the best midfield and full backs in Europe to support him.

Walcott was involved in most of the dangerous things that we did. He will start against Milan, even if Rosicky gets back. We need RvP more than ever, 4-1 for Arsenal if he had played. I love RvP, he is simply amazing.

I have to praise Wenger for his subs. I did not believe he was putting Gilberto and Denilson on when we needed a goal, but that was highly effective.

sikatinavra said...

gallas 5? hahahahha

what are you talking about maybe you watched other game

Anonymous said...

sorry dude but have to disagree with you on this one...way too harsh... you seem to hate Cesc, Senderos, walcott and Ade.

I actually cant remember seeing Carew in the game at all...

Senderos was solid most of the game but ofcourse he was shaken when he scored the O.G

Anonymous said...

Senderos and Walcott were both far better than you gave them credit for. Hleb and Fabregas were worse. Gallas deserved a 6 and Diaby and Adebayor were both awful.

Anonymous said...

I wonder at what other club their top goal scorer is hated so much!
The fact is that our passing was off yesterday which meant we didn't create many chances and the defence was put under more pressue by a good villa team who played to percentages.
We havent won for 2 league games and we are still top. Now is the time to turn it on.

Anonymous said...

I dont think Senderos was as bad as you say but overall I agree with your markings. Also agree with Almunia being MOTM from an Arsenal viewpoint. Definitely saved a point.

Anonymous said...

okay...whatever. But please score a ONE for every fan who left at the 89th minute. The team does not need this kinda of support so leave your season pass on your way out next time.

UPYOURARSEnal said...

I hope we can imporve against milan. i think that if we can get RVP back while top then we will stay there. I read RVP is in line to return at wigan, then we face boro. These games could ease Robin in to the side in time for chelsea.Diaby was shit and should not play in Italy. I like him but he was not match sharp at all. I think 1-1 is a very likely score line in milan. I think ade and Bendtner should start with theo out wide, but we will see what happens. Maybe RVP of the bench to get a late draw. I will be counting down the minutes. COME ON THE GUNNERS

Anonymous said...

As the concensus of opinion here indicates, you have definitely got your player ratings wrong this time. The key to our poor performance was that Fabregas had a poor game (again) and Flamini was not up to his usual recent high standards. They are the heartbeat of the team - when they're not in sync the whole team struggles. Fab misplaced many, many passes and lost possession on numerous occasions - I would rate him at a 5 yesterday. Flamini was a 6 - whereas until yesterday his performances have all been 8 or better. As for Senderos - like many other posters I agree that he had a solid game. Too many people prefer to latch on to him as a scapegoat whenever the team plays badly.

Anonymous said...

Was i at the same game as everyone else? May be im just a nutter! But i reckon...

Flamini was woefull compared to his usual superb standards. Passing was very lose : 5

Fabregas worked hard as usual, but his passing radar needed realigning, as does his shooting :5

Gallas was fantastic defensivley, crap passing though : 6.5

Adebayor, weve grown to love the guy, and on his day he is lethal, but against Villa he showed his tendancy to be 2nd rate : 5

My man of the match was Walcott, he worked hard and has learnt that defending is a key part of being a winger. He really has found his pace and looks more accomplished when running atdefenders, Bouma and Laursen were frightened by him. Good lad Theo, you are starting to looking like the player Arsene knows you are : 7.5

On to the San Siro, we must be hungry for a win?!

Anonymous said...

It's christmas time on this blog.

Not from me. I actually know about football.

Almunia - 7
Senderos - 5
Gallas - 6
Clichy -5.5
Sagna - 6
Flamini - 5.5
Fabregas - 4
Diaby - 3
Hleb - 6
Adebayor - 4.5
Walcott - 5

Subs - Bendnter - 6
Gilberto - 6
Denilson - 4.5

Anonymous said...

Alorah Arsenal Fan!
I think had a fab kind of game...u could see that whener he had a ball the Atonvillas, defender could never give him a chance. I think he should be a supersub in the milan's game and should be on the wings!
Ade is just disgusting, no skills! This was a crucial game and every single chance was vital for a striker to do something...Ade cant turn with the ball at all. He doesnt link with Benter at all. U guys could see the kind of partnership Benter had formed with was always working whenever they had a wonderful midfield...
To me walcott had a nice game and I think Benter just need more games...for sure we need RVP back in the milans game an not forgeting Rosicky too. Of late Helb, Cecs, Flamini have all been overworked same to Gallas.
Senderos in the past three games has been good over there, the problem with him is confidence.. Clichy still need to work hard on his crosses, there are times when he has the ball and just need to think before he crosses, I like the way Helb does it. You know that kind of confidence and patience very vital.
Ade Need to style up guys coz I still beleive he is overworking the whole for heaven sake lets not bring back the disease of targeting Ade with all balls...others need to try as much as possible to score...With Milan's game...we need to score first in the 38th Minute then send half we bring in Walcott, RVP for counter and we'll do it.
Sansiro....we GO GOOONERS
NB: Shame on the fans who walk out before the game is over.....