Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Player analysis and ratings vs Chelsea

By 1970’s Gooner

Arsenal won this game mostly due to Chelsea’s failings rather than Arsenal’s positive and beautiful game.

Fabregas did not dictate play as he normally does and Adebayor did not really connect with van Persie to create goal threats.

Added to this was the apparent lack of width with Denilson and Nasri unable to offer any penetration on their respective side of the pitch.

The relative absence of Arsenal’s full backs from the attacking areas of the pitch meant that Arsenal were not really dominating play nor creating any real chances.

So it took a mistake by Almunia to throw that ball out to Nasri and the ensuing own goal by the otherwise faultless Djourou to gift them their goal. Other than that Chelsea did not create enough and ended up not having another shot on target!

Part of the reason was Song’s influence on the game. He is a much better defensive midfielder than Denilson and I hope Wenger keeps him there now. But a major reason was Ballack’s and Deco’s awful display. They could not create enough nor were they dangerous when going forward to support Anelka.

Another reason was Chelsea’s inability to bring someone from the bench to change the way they played. If Drogba had been available then it could have been a different story, like last season..

But credit must go to the lads. They showed real character to come back form one nil down and turn the game in the space of three minutes.

On both occasions Adebayor had a hand in it or shall I say a header. For the first he kept the move going with a header to Fabregas, I think, who played it to Denilson and then on to van Persie who came from an off side position to score emphatically with his right foot.

For the second, again Adebayor won the header in the area, van Persie turned and shot in one movement under Lampard’s feet and beyond Cech’s outstretched hand.

Let’s hope that on this occasion we do capitalise on the morale boost that this great victory may bring and for all of our sake WIN the next game.


Did not have a shot to save but still managed to hand them their first goal. 5


We need him in the team. He brings maturity and common sense defending. Did not venture forward much, probably on orders. 7


Back to his best. Combative and full of running but he also did not go forward much. Showed a lot of determination in the latter stages of the match to win the ball and keep the opponents out of our area. 8


He is showing real character in putting these fantastic performances for a team he criticised and taking all the flak that followed it. He is now a much better captain than when he was the official captain! 8


Was unfortunate to score that own goal. He was out of position and stretched his foot out to stop it. Still he had an otherwise marvelous game, commanding in the air and standing firm when Chelsea pressed for the equaliser. 7


Did not pull the strings as per usual but still had a hand in the goals. He needs to improve more if we are to sustain a winning run. 7


I really think that he should replace Denilson in central midfield. Kept his position, put in the tackles and protected his defence quite well. 8


He is not at his best recently. He is not creating any width for the team as he tends to come infield rather than go past his man. He is also not tracking back as much as he should, sometimes exposing Clichy. 5


He was not at his best today playing out of position. But you cannot fault him for his work rate. Made the assist for van Persie’s first goal. 6

Van Persie

One of his best games for Arsenal. It was not only his two well taken goals but his overall performance which was top class. He fell back to help the midfield, kept possession well and combined well with Fabregas and co. 9


Looked rusty but still provided that strength and presence that Arsenal have been lacking lately. Arsenal look a much better team with the focal point that he provides. 7.

Man of the Match: Robin van Persie


Anonymous said...

Gallas is playing better now, i think taking the Cap from him was good idea so now he can only play to defend

Unknown said...

biased... way too biased

Anonymous said...

On the idea that Chelsea played poorly; you are only allowed to play as well as your opponents allow you. If Ballack & co were denied space and closed down, then you can't say we did well because they played poorly, instead, we did well because we played well.

Please stop all the Denilson criticism, it's getting a bit tiresome. He's not a winger, but give him this, he's got a lot of stamina and he's up and down the pitch. And this effectively, his first full season in any professional league, playing regularly in the 1st team. He was a reserve in Brazil, and he is only 20.

Some credit for Chelsea in the first half - they had nice movement, but they didn't do much in the 2nd half.

Anonymous said...

I would give Nasri an 8 for his last 15 min alone. He tracked the balls, went forward and broke down Chelsea's attacks. To be fair, I think Bosingwa owned him in the first half but Nasri and Clichy came back strong and did not give much on our left in the second.

Anonymous said...

Wenger summed it up well: we created more chances and took them too, Chelsea did neither of these things. They were by far the better team in the first half and produced only one cross which was luckily deflected in, but were outclassed in the second.

Muppet, the reasons you state for not criticisng Denilson seem reasons not to play him to me. He is not ready for the responsibility he is given. He was out of position today and was poor consequently, fair enough, but when he is playing centre mid he is just as bad. He does work hard, but to be honest that doesn't mean he's good enough.

Phil Scolari's excellent post-match whinge-fest was entertaining... especially the part about Terry's double-footed-studs-up-sliding-tackle being an attempt to play the ball and therefore fine. That ref really was one sided particularly when he was also being the linesman. Poor old Brazillian Gene Hackman.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous - agreed, Denilson is a risk; at the moment he rates as a squad player. People lament the lostt of Flaminim, but he looked pretty ordinary to me for his 1st 3seasons at Arsenal; only peaked in his 4th season. I did think that Denilson has had better games to be honest, and today he lacked composure. Still I think the criticism is ott.

Anonymous said...

I think without Denilson this season we would be mid table - maybe with a better player (Flamini) we might be top, but take nothing away from Denilson's contribution this season.

I thought Song looked awful in the 1st half but he recovered with a monster 2nd. Nasri didnt go forward as much but battled hard and won some key tackles. Also it is hard for an inverse winger (right footer on the left) to attack if you have someone as bionic as Bosingwa bombing up the line again and again.

I thought Gael was magnificant, showed Cashley who's boss.

Ivanovic and Terry should have been sent off. What was Dean playing at? He gave so many 50 50s to Chelsea.

Overall, magic day to be a gooner.

Anonymous said...

Two great finishes especially second one, although 9 out of 10 a bit over the top! Im glad to see Arsenal managing to grind a result! and also glad to see Djourou played well and didnt let the own goal effect him! Djourou could be the answer to our defensive problems - or at least help them!

p.s its' Cech not Czech!!!!

Anonymous said...

It would be interesting to read an Arsenal blogger who could actually think outside the box and rate Denilson's actual contribution rather than their prejudiced stereotypical view of him, but I guess there has to be an Arsenal scapegoat and Philippe Senderos is a bit far away in Milan and Eboue is out of sight and out of mind on the treatment table.

leon said...

delinson is mearly an understudy to fab he is not dm, he is very good at tracking back is clearly a more attcking player,infact song is the only densive minded [player but he is dm either he is centre half,i think wenger will try an buy a winger and dm and free up diaby who very good,i think arsenal had wilcatt for this game he would been real impact

Anonymous said...

about time playing poor but won

Anonymous said...

we won and it's great... esp against chelsea

let's be honest though... we didn't play well and had not the lucky (long overdue!) offside decision, we might not get bsck in; who knows?

densilson is still awful... pls tell me how many balls he lost and failed to pass properly? i lost count... he was chasing shadows and hardly got a tackle in/ right... when he tried he fouled the players, at least the ref said so [and for this game, i support the ref's decision 100%!!]

song is just a touch better than densilson... again, chasing shadows most time and didn't [can't probably] tackle and when you had denilson and song lacking pace and couldn't tackle, our MF was crap, as it's for all to see in the first half and part of 2nd as well. We didn't seem to be able to string half dozen passes in/ around MF ... it's that bad.

i thought during 1st half... it's doomed; we're over-powered, out-classed, and had no chance building up an attack [just recall any half decent attempt going forward? not once]... indeed our set pieces had more bite and we nearly opened the score line by gallas.

a win is a win and our luck in recent seasons had surely deserted us in key games, and i'd wholeheartly say we benefited from a ref mistake [just as other teams] and won... so what?

Fresh said...

sagna silvestre Gallas Clichy
Walcott Fabregas Song Nasri
Van Persie Adebayor

Lets Stick with that for now.

Anonymous said...

I think you're generous giving Adebayor a 7 tbh. He was shit the whole game through and was deservedly replaced by Nic IMO. Think he's still thinking about going, Huntelaar would be a world class replacement.

This game was similar in ways to the Man U game. Against Man U we should have been blown apart but nobody in the Man U team could shoot straight at all. Chelsea weren't trying to win at all, especially so when we equalised. And as soon as we went 2 up they stopped trying.

Really pleased to see that we sat back and defended the lead, hopefully this is down to Wenger following the 4 all with Spurs. Song sat back and we more or less played a 5 3 2 towards the end.

Very pleased with the performance and the result, I agree that Nasri was anonymous again, he tends to either be the star man or not there, but so was Henry in many games. Think we're starting to turn a corner, we'll hopefully see our kids rip Burnley a new one on Tuesday, then it's Wigan and we know our reserves can beat them so it should be a piece of piss.

Come on you Arsenal!

Anonymous said...

Arsenal defended well and took their chances in what was a surprisingly not very exciting game.
Chelsea were poor in the second half but in the first apart from a 10 minute period in the first half didn't give Arsenal a chance of possession.
They lacked real chances and it showed Anelka is not as good as playing in such a formation against the big clubs.

Clichy had a really quiet first half as Kalou penning Clichy inside by making diagonal runs from the touchline in to support Anelka. This frees up space for Bosingwa to run into while the Chelsea midfielders profit from gaps left behind. Also Nasri and Denilson contributed to this defficiency by playing too narrow allow the space on the flank.
I think RVP did well to cose down Mikel by dropping deep.

Anonymous said...

im sorry to say youl probably disagree with me but i may be being harsh but Song nor Denilson are good enough to play for Arsenal and we need to sort out our defence as it is a shambles, but lets buy a 17 year old african in January. We need experience and above all quality we played a poor chelsea side on sunday and apart from rvps class we would have probably lost against any other side that day

Anonymous said...

Denilson is more important than a lot of people realise. If we want to attract the best young brazilians in the world, they'll be more attracted if we have brazilians in the squad already who are trusted and played at a young age.
Wenger Knows!!!
He's already lining up a brazilian...

Anonymous said...

Ade was coming back from injury so you can't look too much into his performance. Denilson and Song are fantastic footballers for 20 year olds. I think Denilson has more potential because he has better technique and usually better passing, but Song's an important utility player that is competent at centre back and centre mid.

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