Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Charlie Nicholas is talking crap. Player analysis and ratings Vs Reading

By 1970’s Gooner

The pressure was off a little bit and the players could play with more (mental) freedom and when this happens the beautiful football gets even more beautiful.

Arsenal dominated throughout the game played with panache and scored two goals at a canter. The first crafted by Toure and beautifully controlled and scored by Adebayor.

The move to get clear and his finish was again reminiscent of Henry.

The second followed after a lot of pressure at the Reading goal. The ball was rolled by the excellent Fabregas to the on coming Gilberto outside the area who slipped whilst taking his shot. A lucky deflection carried it beyond Hahnemann.

Yet this was reminiscent of a lot of games this and last season where we play well, dominate, score the goal we deserve and then proceed to miss chance after chance.

Sometimes this has led to the other team getting back into the game through a set piece or a defensive mistake. Remember this season Birmingham at home and away, Sunderland at home where we surrendered a two goal lead and Middlesbrough at home.

Mustn’t complain though. This was a welcomed win after so many games without.

Gunning for second place must now be vigorously pursued so as to avoid the CL early summer qualifiers in July. This is especially important as some of our players will be tired after Euro 2008 in June.


He had another very good game. For a player who has not played for a long time to be thrust in again in the first team like he was at Old Trafford and today against Reading he performed at a very high level of alertness.

If it wasn’t for his unsettling of the dressing room I would be arguing for him to stay! 8


Looked below his best and tired at the early stages but his assist for Arsenal’s first goal gave him a lift and he improved after that.

I think his form has suffered due to injury and tiredness picked up at the Africa Nations Cup. Playing out of position recently did not help him either. 6


The most consistent performer this season playing wonderful football both in defence and in his attacking forays. 8


The defence was not really under that much pressure so there is not much to say here. He had a solid game doing what he had to do well. 6


I like Song. He has a lot of confidence and marks real tight not allowing his player much room to turn. His distribution is a lot better than Senderos as well and does not lack at all compared to the other defenders either.

Is he a defender or a midfielder? My position is that he is a much better player as a midfielder.

He was very effective for Charlton in the Premiership during his loan period there.

But he was also outstanding for Cameroon in the ANC.

I think he will be a very good player for Arsenal for years to come. 8


Back to his best. Dictating play, spraying the passes left right and center, getting into the box for goal attempts. He was everywhere. 9


He is returning to form but I doubt whether this would be good enough to keep him at the Emirates. He protected the defence well and also got forward getting the goal his performance deserved. 7


Full of trickery again but with substance in his play. He even had a shot at goal!

He should however sometimes cross that ball first time when he gets behind his man. He tends to hold the ball and come back in again giving time for the defenders to get back to their positions. 8


He should start more games now. His pace is electrifying and he is learning to hold his head when he gets passed his man looking for the cut back or the cross.

I hope that next season we change our style a little bit to speed our game up when we are attacking because Walcott will be ideal for that. 8

Van Persie

He has needed four or five matches to find his feet as we have been saying so on this site.

Sadly it is a bit late now but you can see how much more effective the team is with his quality in the side.

He also gives a very effective option for taking free kicks and corners.

This is because with him out of the side there was only Fabregas. 8


I respect Charlie Nicholas both for his history with Arsenal and for his football views. But what he has been saying today on Sky’s Soccer Saturday about Adebayor was crap.

He was slating him for not being good enough to play for Arsenal and that he should be sold in the summer!

I mean the guy has scored 21 goals this season, some of them brilliant goals like the one today.

What has affected his performances lately has obviously been fatigue.

He has had to lead the line on his own this season due to the unfortunate injuries to Van Persie and Eduardo and Wenger’s desire to play 4 5 1 as a result.

He looked much more effective and rejuvenated today and I think he will be an even better player next season. 8

Man of the Match: Cesc Fabregas


Anonymous said...

My pub team could beat Reading, when noone closes you down Arsenal will always prosper but this was no great showing remember this is Reading they let in 39 goals away from home before today and we actually squandered to many chances, yet again. Wenger stated that this was the technical best he has seen in his 12 years at the helm,please Mr.Wenger dont insult us.

Anonymous said...

danish gooner - AW was not talking about this match alone - he means the way we have played this season and I agree with him. Technically this Arsenal team is the best we have seen. Where we need to improve is not in technique, but areas, which come with experience and maturity.

Anonymous said...

Bit harsh on Toure and Gallas... I was actully impressed with Toure.

WE played extremly well and i really hope theo becomes a regular next season... the time is right and he is performing extremly well. Ive also been impressed with Bendtner recently....

Van Persie is also getting back to his best, he played really well and hope he can score some goals in the final 3 games...


Anonymous said...

I really like Song too. But i can't help but wonder how he will cope against the Drogba's, Crouch's and Kevin Davies' of this world. That's where our defenders have come up short rather than against the more mobile frontman. I have my doubts as physically he is smaller than Toure and Gallas and those kind of strikers usually don't allow the defender to get off the ground therefore even if he's got a good spring i think he'd struggle a bit.

Anonymous said...

Any descent forward in the prem would score 26 goals with the supply he receives. The only plus in his favour is his age. We need someone special. Against Manure last week we would have won the game if we had a Tevez or a Rooney in the team, to me he's more Adiby-eeeooor a f@*@ing donky. I would'nt get rid of him but I dont want to rely on him.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Can you please refrain from making racist comments on this site.

They will be deleted.

Please dont bother coming here again.

Anonymous said...

I think arsenal will come stronger next season no matter what and who knows better than arsene.

Unknown said...

rooney?! he's very good, but no goal scorer. he's squandered more chances than any1 else. if rooney manages to be as effective as, say ronaldo, he'll be among the top scores.

Anonymous said...

Not enough match winners on our team. Do we have a Rooney, Ronaldo, Gerrard, even Berbatov for that matter?!! We have VERY good players yes. But we don't have GREAT players like our top 4 challengers. Stevie G wins European Cups for Liverpool. Ask yourself honestly if you ever felt confident going toe to toe with Liverpool Chelsea or United this season. Yes I hear some gooners say how great our football was and how much we entertained....right yeah, but did we win?
I cried at Anfield in 89 with more emotion than I can ever remember. I don't feel enough passion in this squad right now. Which of this young crop is going to be our Adams, Keown, Vieira next year. I don't see it - do you?

84allstar said...

fuckin sick of everyone havin a go at arsene and arsenal the amount of times i have heard that it is 3 years since we won a trophy nothing about mu who went 4 years up to last year without the title and theyve spent a fortune also all these fucks goin on about how bad our season has been are the same ones who said spurs would get 4th and we would be nowhere another thing utd chel and pool have won nothing yet and at least one of them if not 2 will win nothing lets see phil thompson and the likes go on about them when that happens

1979gooner said...

spot on,

I agree with you on Ade, great season overall,

Song looks solid too, good prospect,

I think some of the cynics should take note:

Song took a battering from some gooners when he first came in, and if it had been up to them they would have sold him by now,

JUst look what a bit of patience can do.

Anonymous said...

Arsenal were great today! reading or not.

I believe there is greatness in Ade however i do not buy the tired arguement. I wish he would have been as cool as he was today against Man U and Liverpool. I think he just rushed his chances and was trying to be a little too much like Henry. someone asked about confiedence against the likes of Liverpool, Man u and Chelsea! yes until the end of the season where all the calls went against us! All in all we have a great team which will only get better!

One more thing RVP is the best player in the league. only dissapointed that he could not prove it this season!

God Bless!

Anonymous said...

Adebayor cost only 3 million pounds scored like 27 this season now

scored 9 games in a row

i cant believe people are complaining about that kind of value

save your critzism for Eboue

Anonymous said...

Song looks like a very solid footballer. He marks you very tightly. Something that the United defence do. Songs going to be one hell o player.

I think the physical side of the game is still missing from the arsenal squadm only Flamini adds to it but he leaves there wont be anyone.

we actually need someone like him and will need to buy a real rottweiler of a player in midfield.

Anonymous said...

like someone else sed ade does get too excitied and rush until he fuks up

but overall hes been excellent this season

like that other guy sed excellent value

Anonymous said...

Theo did well today, but no better than eboue has done, and eboue gets berated, theo gets complimented. Eboue is very good at playing the one twos and getting behind the defence, but then ultimately his final ball more often than not diappoints. Theo does exactly the same thing time and time again, but defensively is much weaker. I'm not trying to slate theo, he will be a fantastic player for the club, but just ridiculing the stick that eboue gets in comparison to theo, when they have near identical performances.

Also, charlie nicholas is kinda right about adebayor. Ade was signed and kept as our plan B. VP is our top forward, and Ade is not really capable of playing the style of football Arsene would like when we have a full team. He's still a very very good plan B, but next season it will be interesting whether he'll accept not being the main man. He isn't good enough to start regularly for arsenal, as he gives the ball away too much. Arsenal's game is built on possession, and although he has scored alot of goals this season, overall as a team we would have scored more goals had he not been playing and VP or whoever had been in as much less moves would have broken down due to his poor passes/controls, and such like. He has little or no ability to partake in build up play around the box, and will not be an Arsenal regular for long as a result

Anonymous said...

Song is a good player.He's solid and the most important thing, he loves to attack. That is what AW wants from his player. For me he is a good back up for Flamini play as the def mid and if Flamini failed to seal a contract at the end of this month, AW should give the position to Song. As for Adebayor, he needs to improve more and i believe he's getting better now. This season quite a burden for him due to RVP and Eduardo injuries. But credits for him as he tried his best in every match. Hope to see Bendtner and Walcott improved as well and crushed every single team in the world.

Anonymous said...

Adebayor is NOT a top class footballer. He is one of the worst players I've seen in over 30 years in an Arsenal shirt when trying to control a ball. He has the touch of an elephant and if you say any different you obviously don't go to Arsenal games.
Any half decent premiership striker would score 20 goals at Arsenal as we create so much. Ade is a good 'second' striker but we need a top quality one alongside him.

Anonymous said...

Charlie Nicholas was out of order. ADE has been magnificent this season. The problem has been in the midfield where allmost all the ball jugglers seem to think they do not have to score. Pires, Lunjberg, Bergkamp all had goals in them. The current crop need to be told that scoring is part of their role. The main reason we have not done well this season is the central defence partnership. Too predictable. Against Chelski all GRANT did was to instruct his man to pump them high and that was it. Some crucial decisions though did go against us along with the injuries. My only complaint with ADE is like GALLAS they both want to talk too much in the newspapers. Sometimes it helps to just say "I have nothing to say". Gallas' primary role is defending yet he spends most of the time attacking then he gets caught, no wonder Maurinho preferred to play him as a left back and left proper Centre half (Terry & Carvalho) to do the business. WENGER is primarily a coach. Cannot understand why he concerns himself all the time with financial issues. He needs to sort out FLAMINI's contract, and everybody else. ARSENAL want their players to be recognised as big players but their salaries do not make sense at times.

Anonymous said...

I'm afraid I agree with Charlie Nicholas A LITTLE.

Now before you start running your mouth, listen to this. I'm not saying Ade needs to go. But he does need to improve his finishing. And finishing only! He hassles defenders, he can hold the ball and he can run all day! But that's not great if you can't finish. Sure, he's got 21 goals this season. Sure, he got a goal yesterday. When you get 5 chances, you will put one in.

What I'm concerned is the big games. Games in which you get just one chance to decide it. For games like that, we need a top class finisher like Eduardo. In fact, I don't see why Ade can't improve his finishing. He's done that already, but he needs to do it a bit more.

Ade shouldn't go. But he needs to learn to be clinical. To take every chance that comes his way. And I think he can very well do that!


Anonymous said...

GunnerPete Says...I have been very impressed by Song this season. But I really feel that Arsene could use him just in front of the defence. He is a good defender, he could man to man the super stars out of a game before they get to our back four, and he could be ideal as the link between Fabs & Flams...indeed he could be our missing link.

So Arsene Buy a world class centre back...sell Gallas, use Kolo as the other centre back long with Djuorou and then we have a team bloody hard to beat but with a fantastic base to springboard from.

Anonymous said...

How well do you think Eboue played?

Anonymous said...

I think Ade can be summed up in the following way:

He makes the difficult look easy, and the easy look impossible.

He can pull a 40 yard pass out of the air, dropping the all down in his stride - yet when a ball is played to him on the ground, he 'traps' the ball so it ends up 5 yards away from him!

Still, I think a lot of the stick he's receiving is unfair, and our problems have come from being unale to keep a clean sheet in ANY of the big games apart from chelea, when they missed a load of guilt-edge chances.
Sort out the defence, and we can start talking about turning a challenge into silverwear because we will always be able to score.

That turned into a bit of a rant, I meant to stop after the first few lines...oh well :)


Anonymous said...

Oh, and comparing Theo to Eboue...are you sure??

Theo has created important goals (Milan, Liverpool) and even chipped in with a few this season, whilst being unlucky when hitting the woodwork etc.
Eboue has one assist, and no goals from around 28 starts this season.

The difference between them is as great as the difference between a rifle and a water pistol - one is dangerous, the other is simply not an effective weapon!


Anonymous said...

Ade just needs a rest and can return when his hair grows back :D. I think hes a descent player just a bit clumsy sometimes. He needs to improve his touch and control and needs to stop txting Henry. Hes pretty young still tho.. As for Eboue I like him but he needs to learn to cross. We need a few dirty players like Eboue to roughen up the opponents.

I think most are players are burnt out - we dont have enough cover in midfield or upfront due to the injuries. So goals have just dried out which I see as somehow related to fatigue. A few additions will do no harm. I think the present squad has a lot of potential and quality. I can bet the season would have been very different had Van Persie played. I hope hes around next season.

Anonymous said...

I think the racist comment that was deleted shows the mentality that is at the bottom of the unreasonable criticism Ade receives.

He is not meant to be the main striker, he is supposed to, and works better with a partner like RVP or Eduardo. Unfortunately both his partners have been missing for large chunks this year, but instead of settling with 15 goals, which you could have expected from a second striker, he over achieved and scored 27 goals in all competitions, but still he cannot catch a break. You people who continue to slate him, disgust me, with your thinly veiled racism. And you can protest all you like, but it is patently obvious where you are coming from.

Anonymous said...

The comment about Adebayor are out of order.
In interview to France Football and other French TV, newspapers and other media outlet Adebayor said that he was tired, but because of the injuries to our strikers (Van Persie, Silva) he had to play every game.
That is the reason why he looked jaded in February and March.

He scored again Man United, Chelsea, Milan, but some people still do not rate him.
No first touch, looks at his goal last year again ManUtd, against Spurs this years, on Saturday against Reading. If Henry had score those goal, people could not stop drooling over it.

Anonymous said...

wake up lads

Charlie was spot on

Unknown said...

i agree with those who say song should play in front of the back four. he's proved hos doubters wrong over the two games he's played so far, adding to his showing at the ACN. possible replacement for flamini?

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