Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Monday, August 04, 2008

Arsenal Vs Real Madrid: Player analysis and ratings

By 1970’s Gooner

It was important that Arsenal came out victorious against Real as another defeat would have dented the young players confidence.

The team is looking sharper and sharper the more games it plays and I think this will show in the Amsterdam tournament as Wenger is likely to play more first teamers.

I shudder to think what we could do by the time we get to Twente and West Brom.

Manuel Almunia

He didn’t have a lot to do as Arsenal dominated play and restricted Real’s creativity to a large extend. He dealt with what Real threatened quite well. This was a few shots from distance which is his strong point anyway. 7

Gael Clichy

He was full of running again going forward and providing an incisive thrust on the left wing. He also combined well with new boy Nasri, a partnership that looks likely to develop in similar lines as the Cole/Pires and Clichy/Pires partnerships of the past.

He did however misplace his crosses and was out of position in his defensive duties a few times, something that will need to be corrected as he gets more match fit. 7

Bacary Sagna

Strong, purposeful, attacking and tenacious. The perfect right back for any team. I wonder what his value in the market place is now; around 20m? 8

William Gallas

I agree that he should continue as the captain in order to maintain continuity and to avoid placing an unnecessary burden on young Fabregas’s shoulders as he is the leading candidate to assume the role eventually.

Gallas was his better self, playing efficiently and distributing accurately. A big season is expected of him this year and I think he will deliver. 7.5

Philippe Senderos

Philippe had to deal with a lot of short balls on the ground as Real is a passing team and this he did quite well.

He did however have one miscued clearance as he is known to do now and again and also he was slow coming out of defence on one occasion thus playing the opponents on side.

The attack from the left fortunately did not amount to anything but nevertheless in a proper game these are the mistakes that usually lead to goals.

He needs to concentrate more as this, along with his “relative” lack of pace, will have to improve if he is to establish himself in the team. It will be a big year for him this season and I hope he rises to the task if he is called upon. 6.5

Abou Diaby

He was a mixture of good and not so good. He sometimes bossed the midfield by winning tenaciously the tackles and swinging Vieira like from the bunch of players trying to dispossess him.

He did however misplace a fair percentage of his passes and they were of the short distance where you would expect no mistakes.

He didn’t impress much and this may have had something to do with the Schneider incident but also I think with the fact that his role in the midfield was neither defensive nor attacking. It was a bit of both and this he had difficulty adjusting to. 6.5


Denilson didn’t have any difficulty playing a mixture of defensive and attacking midfield play.

He impressed again today with his Flamini like box to box display positioning himself to receive the ball out of defence and laying it off accurately to a forward player.

He nearly scored after a sumptuous move which started from the right and after a series of one touch passes received a lay off by Adebayor only for Heinze to throw his body at the shot preventing a sure goal. 8.5

Theo Walcott

He is looking increasingly sharp and frighteningly fast. He also looks more mature in his play knowing how and when to shield the ball before passing to a team mate rather than haring down the wing. He looks hungry to establish himself in the team this year and that is what we need: hungry players. 8

Samir Nasri

He had a very good game showing why Wenger went out and bought him. He was dangerous on the left wing where he started the game using his very good ball control skills and technique to take defenders on.

He also ventured infield to help out with the midfield duties. He looked stronger than his frame suggested (like Jack Wilshere) and played with his brain.

He assumed a similar role to Hleb but he is not for dwelling on the ball too long as Hleb used to do nor is he averse to shooting. If he can add goals to his game then he could prove to be a far more effective player than Hleb in the end. 7.5

Robin Van Persie

He is coming up to his best with his close control and penetrative passes already beginning to show through. It was his attempt to receive the ball on his chest in the six yard box that led to the penalty. If he hadn’t been fouled he would have scored spectacularly.

I really think that he has the nous and ability to play this Bergkamp role amazingly well. If he can keep fit then we will not worry too much about scoring even more goals this season. 8

Emmanuel Adebayor

He was out to prove a point and boy he did. What an awesome display by a hungry player trying to show the faithful that Arsenal is in his heart. Is it?

Real’s defenders couldn’t cope with him. He was able to receive the long high balls, control, withstand the defender’s pressure behind him and either run at him or lay it off to a team mate. And the guy is only half way in his pre season!

He is very important to Arsenal as he allows the team to vary its play by being able to play the long ball to him and also put the crosses in the box. This is far preferable than passing the ball to death around the box as we have been doing before Afdebayor burst on the scene. 8.5

Various substitutes

Nicklas Bendtner

He is not Adebayor yet but he has the potential to be. He has to improve his ball control and his pace if he is to that. 6.5

Carlos Vela

He is a typical Arsenal player. Skillful with close control and full of trickery which he showed during the 24 minutes he came on for. 6.5

Jack Wilshere

What a find. He is another Fabregas in the sense that he can play against men and not only survive but impose himself on the game.

Just as Fabregas used to do when he was his age. Do you remember Fabregas’s display against Manchester United in a Charity Shield game when he was only 17 or so?

Wilshere has a low centre of gravity which, along with his skill and ball control, uses quite well to trick his way past players. He will be really big for Arsenal and for England in the not too distant future. 8

Aaron Ramsey

He also was not bothered by the status of his opponents. He played the central midfield role quite well for the 15 minutes he was on. His passing and positioning are those of a mature player. 7

Emmanuel Eboue

More of the same I am afraid. Provides thrust, cuts in well but his passing and decision making leave a lot to be desired. I don’t think he will improve on these aspects. He is better being another choice as right back. 5.5

Man Of the Match: The two best players were Adebayor and Denilson. But Adebayor stood out.

Why Wenger will buy no one else

Song’s Olympics could prove Wenger wrong


Anonymous said...

Agree with all your views, except bendtner has a better touch than Adebayor, but what he lacks is the dominating personality (ive seen glimpses in preseason, his goal against stuttgart where he bulldozed into the area and slotted past Lehman).

the problem with Eboue is he quite simply does not have a top quality football brain, he has everything else, speed, touch, tackling, but without a football brain he is reduced to an idiot on the pitch. Whenever he gets the ball, you can see he has no idea what to do next. He will take too many touches often missing the opening to get a pass or cross in. When he has run in to the area he doesnt know what his other options are so shoots wildly. I want him out!!!

Anonymous said...

Your player ratings are pretty much spot on. I'm not sure Jack Wilshere did enough to warrant an 8, probably a 7 or 7.5 would've been fair.

Also, I see Bendtner more as a Berbatov type player rather than Adebayor. Adebayor is all action and hard work, Bendtner is more laid back and classy.

And finally, Mr Eboue. I was at the game yesterday and there was a definite murmur of discontent as he came on. He really does offer absolutely nothing. The only positive thing he did yesterday was back up Sagna well, but the only times he had to do this was when he'd cocked it up and given it away! Eboue is a good reserve right back. He is a dreadful winger and a liability. We can only pray that the boss doesn't pick him ahead of Theo, Nasri or Rosicky!

Anonymous said...

Jack Wilshere has been officially promoted to the FIRST team. I think he is way better than THEO and will cause lots of problems for people in the league. OFFICAL NICKNAME: BLACK JACK!!!

Anonymous said...

The real problem about Eboue is that his haters know very litle about football.

ZafarZZ said...

yes of coz, ade, denilson n sagna hav a good game..

i like to say that 2 weeks bfore i really hope Ade leave arsenal, hahaha bcoz he is not good at all.. but now i pray arsenal to get xavi alonso, he will works well wif Fab.. plz AW buy him.. but liverpool increasing his price tag damn it..