Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Saturday, April 05, 2008

You are only as good as your bench. Player analysis and ratings Vs Liverpool

By 1970’s Gooner

Arsene Wenger decided to make the changes in order to rest his key players for the Champions League game on Tuesday.

It’s a move that our closest rivals have been making throughout the season and that is one strong reason why Arsenal are stumbling over the finishing line and Manchester United and Chelsea are sprinting over it.

Granted, Arsenal’s squad although high on quality, technique and athleticism is severely lacking in experience and this was a major factor in inhibiting Wenger from bringing in fresh faces throughout this marathon race.

This became more evident when we got our fair share of injuries to key players which forced Wenger to bring in players. Result? We couldn’t replace them with half as good alternatives.

One prime example was Eduardo’s absence; the player coming in? Nicklas Bendtner, good and exciting youngster but not yet ready to step in and make you feel that we will cope. Of course if RVP was available it could have been different.

Rosicky’s absence has not really been filled in adequately. Wenger brought in Eboue who has been abysmal and sometimes Walcott who is exciting but of course inexperienced.

There was a period of three games when both Fabregas and Flamini were out with injuries. Who did we bring in? Two youngsters, Denilson and Diarra and one fading star, Gilberto. We dropped four points, drawing one game (Newcastle) and losing the other one (Middlesbrough).

Need I go on?

So today’s game gave me the feeling that it was a Carling Cup or FA Cup game for Arsenal. I mean fielding Hoyte and Traore in defence, Gilberto and Walcott in midfield and Bendtner in attack meant that Wenger had given up the Premier League and was concentrating on Europe.

On top of that he unbalanced the side by moving Flamini to the left side of midfield which meant that again for the second game running we lacked width. Eboue kept giving the ball away, Flamini couldn’t make any headway on the left and the two young full backs started very nervously.

On top of all that Bendtner was isolated up front with no support coming from midfield as Gilberto was anchoring in front of the defence and Flamini was out wide.

It wasn’t until he started coming in field that this was corrected and chances started to be created culminating in that awful miss by Bendtner when clean through. He did get his goal in the end.

Still all this means that these exciting youthful squad has put in one of a hell of effort this season against all the odds and everyone’s expectations that we would crumple to pieces especially after Henry departed for pastures new.

I feel that the experience gained this season will prove to be the last piece of the building block that Arsene Wenger is putting together for these youngsters education towards the glorious years that undoubtedly will now follow.

But let’s not forget the Champions League. This is not a marathon like the Premier League and if we can get our injured players back (RVP, Sagna and maybe Rosicky) we will have a pretty good chance of upsetting the odds.

Starting with a win against Liverpool at Anfield next Tuesday.


A fantastic save from Crouch in the first few minutes. Assured throughout. 8


Nervous and not match fit. Gave the ball away too often and did not venture forward much. When he did his cross (I think there was only one) was awful. 5


Started nervously but improved greatly as the game wore on. Put in a very good performance both in defence and in attack which was very pleasing. 7


Along with Toure had trouble handling Crouch in the air but who wouldn’t? the mistake was that Crouch’s knock downs were not dealt with adequately. 6


Same as for Gallas. 6


Looked tired to me and maybe Wenger should have subbed him in the closing stages to save him for Tuesday. Even so he was again very influential swinging a beautiful free kick for Bendtner to score. 7


He also tired in the end but he was very energetic till then and was quite influential when he ventured infield. 8


Abysmal again. 4


He is getting better and better and I hope he starts next Tuesday (in place of Eboue if need be). His pace and ability to get passed his man is a tremendous asset to Arsenal now that we need width desperately. 7


Had a good game, much better than his anemic showings as of late. He anchored well and did not put any passes astray like he has been doing recently. 7


Was too isolated in the first half and he should have taken that chance in the first half. But he improved in the second half when support came on and he did start to combine well with those around him. He has the vision to do that which will help him in the future.

Scored a very good headed goal; a kind of goal that we seem to be scoring this season unlike when Henry was around. 7

Team Statistics

Arsenal Liverpool

3 Shots on Target 2

4 Shots off Target 9

3 Blocked Shots 3

5 Corners 3

10 Fouls 10

0 Offsides 1

1 Yellow Cards 2

0 Red Cards 0

85.5 Passing Success 76.4

26 Tackles 36

84.6 Tackles Success 75

56.3 Possession 43.7

47.8 Territorial Advantage 52.2


Anonymous said...

I also thought the players looked very tired today and in the last few weeks.
I hope that Wenger starts rotating early next season so that we are fresh to finish the challenge that we will undoubtedly put in!

Anonymous said...

I think Arsenal are tie-ed (I'm from Wales).

Anonymous said...

Welcome our welsh friend!

Yes the players are tired but we have to ask the reason why.

Anonymous said...

Eboue was pathetic again. get rid of him Arsene call back Gibbs if you have to!

Anonymous said...

here go the red specs brigade again bendtmner is supposed a striker which means shooting he is like ade being well over sx feet he should be good in the air even crouch shoots now and then wenger needs to get orid of at least five players and replace with class and experience I see he has just given an average goalkeeper a new long term contract that is why we are going nowhere get us some class players class gk would mean an extra six points a season hoyte-eboue-glberto-bendtner- shpuld all go also players are not match fit because if they are not playing in the first they do not play in the reserves to keep them match fit I know because I watch the reserves...

Anonymous said...

Eboue was shit until he went back to right back - there he looked more of an attacking threat.. he did well defendning and actually hit his passes...
Think it's time to give Song a nod over Gilberto

Anonymous said...

you see arsenal are a club in comfort zone i'll explain,i pay alot for my season tickets and i think we are being short changed in that we are the ONLY club in the division to make a PROFIT from transfers and all we get is great football this and that etc.. i for one am pissed of with this as i think it is just propoganda from arsenal a guy said to me at a match that you have to renew your seats because this young team will click and you will want to see it!! crap i say the club has money and everyone knows our squad was too small and i mean everybody yet we sell in jan rubbish. yes we play great football but only when at full strenght and only when one game a week in the end the manager is accountable and this my point the board must love him he gets you in the champions league and spends no money he must be a dream but it will end sooner than we think because villa everton and the spuds will get stronger and once we go out of the top 4 we will be up the swanie here is what will happen we will go out tuesday and wenger will give it all the propoganda and stats and we will fall for it then utd will beat us and the stats will come out again but we have an easy run in so could win all the games till the end and then it will be we have great stats!!! lots of points etc... and i dont need players and let me tell you if they are tired this season what will it be like after the euros!!! and this time next year it will be "we are gaining exp.. etc" shit

Anonymous said...

"I feel that the experience gained this season will prove to be the last piece of the building block that Arsene Wenger is putting together for these youngsters education towards the glorious years that undoubtedly will now follow."

The last resort of the eternal Arsenal optomist, I've been saying this for about 2 years now, and it's getting harder and harder to believe it will happen.

Anonymous said...

anon 9.05
this it it will always be the future but rooney ronaldo anderson etc.. are hardly geriatrics and they will buy a centre foward in the summer too we have no hope but the club coffers and property side of club are flying and it will still be sold out with the promise of the future is bright

Wrighty7 said...

1970's Gooner and the guys at Arsenalanalysis, I'm really gutted right now. I've NEVER admitted defeat in this title race until now. I'm finally going to throw the towel in. It hurts to say it but for us Gooners the title is over. All season myself and u guys have believed so much in this squad and we have fallen short. Next season WILL be our year. I really do believe that. Hopefully Wenger will add to a squad high in quality and add more quantity. Trust me my fellow Gooner's have faith, with a couple of extra player's Arsenal will win the League next year.

Anonymous said...

The lack of quality cover has been highlighted in the past.It's very well signing promising and exciting players and players of immense promise.But if they they have limited playing time they won't go on to the nest stage of development.
We cannot complain and would be 2nd best until the basic problems in personnel are solved.

mtd said...

There is a knee jerk reaction everytime Arsenal draw (most of the time lately) or lose (only twice in the premiership) that AW should have spent more, etc.
The question that goes unanswered in any sensible manner is who?
It is all very well coming up with a fantasy list but;
1; are those players even available?
2; have Arsenal tried to get a player but failed,
3; does the player even want to come to the UK, let alone Arsenal,
4; tell me one available English player who you would want?
Finally, the best business done by any club was the puchase of Bacary Sagna, so doom-mongers get real and get positive.

Anonymous said...

5 straight home draws in a row tell the story. we have faded badly. Fatigue, injuries, lack of fresh players, low quality reserves have taken their toll and in truth we were never going to win the title. had we held on for a bit longer you feel at some point there would have been the inevitable collapse that you ALWAYS get with small squads.

Anonymous said...

lets face the facts,the reason we are dropping so many points is bcos the likes of adebayor, eboue and flamini do not love arsenal, they are constantly being linked to other clubs and have never came out like cesc and said they want to stay! gallas is great when we are on fire but a disaster when we are going thru a bad patch. we need to start bringing in players who know what it means to play for our club,like lescott, micah richads, ashley young etc we need the likes of gibbs, lansbury and randall breaking into the team! we need an english prescence on the pitch. we have won nothing since we lost that. look at chelsea and man utd, even liverpool, english backbones to their sides and they win things

Hejaz Kar said...

I agree with your rating but 8 for Almunia? I thought he couldve done better with the goal. Once again a great second half is not enough to win a game against a top side like Liverpool. Cesc never plays well before a CL game but he was rather effective yesterday if not putting alot of effort. Cesc Hleb and Flamini will dominate the midfield against Liverpool but we need better play from Eboue/Walcott Adebayor and Diaby/Van Persie

Anonymous said...

I'm also gutted since our lost at Chelski. Really down.

Arsene: Replace the following until the end-of season:

Eboue with Walcott
Sagna (while injured) with Eboue
Alumnia with Lehmann

Alumnia is so second rate: never yet has he made a game-saving save like the way Lehmann has.

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