Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Arsenal’s second string tie Pompey up in knots. Player analysis and ratings

By 1970’s Gooner


Getting better and better with every game. He will, like all footballers, improve with more exposure to first team action.

He made some very good saves, especially stopping a shot from inside the area after a Portsmouth corner in the second half.

He was also very quick to come out of his area on a couple of occasions which made the forward harry his shot thus missing the target when he was clean through. The first one was against Crouch and the second against Utaka.

If he can improve his decision making further then he will be a very good goalkeeper. 8


I was baffled why Wenger played him today with the Champions League semi final only a few days away. He did rest all the others (except Song who played in central defence today).

Sagna looked tired to me and has looked tired as of late so resting him today would have done him a lot of good. Still he is a reliable defender and did his job adequately. 6.5


A much improved player who seems to operate well when playing in his natural position as a full back (today he was at left back). In this way his attacking skills and ability to run with the ball at pace come in handy.

His decision making has also improved releasing the ball at the right time and to the right player. 7


Wenger decided to play him in central defence today as he probably wanted to rest Toure. But why didn’t he rest Song too? Surely he deserves a rest for what is Arsenal’s defining game of the season against Manchester United. Still he performed well marking tightly and efficiently. 7.5


This is one player that will probably play on Tuesday but needed this game as he has been out of action recently (apart from a second half appearance against Boro).

Djourou is also the type of player that needs games behind him to get to match fitness more than the average player. He played well both on the ground and in the air. 7


A much better game for Denilson today but it has to be said the Portsmouth midfield were not really up for the fight today especially in the first half.

In the second half when they came out strongly the Denilson and Ramsey combination started to show signs of being overrun. Still Denilson did what he normally tries to do and that is run and run, harry the opposition and when in possession pass the ball to a team mate. 6


Looked dominant in the first half able to hold the ball, turn with it and find team mates which is a sign of a good midfielder in the making. Like Denilson he needs to build his body up so that his skills are complimented by body strength. 6


Another very good performance from the little Russian demon.

Was involved in all the good moves for Arsenal, providing the cross for Bendtner’s first goal and winning the penalty for his second.

He was honest enough to tell the referee that it wasn’t a penalty by waiving his finger to signal so! 8


Scored two goals and tried to get his hat trick but it wasn’t to be. Was very lucky to score the first as James dropped a right howler when Bendtner’s header, which was not that strong, slipped through his fingers and rolled into the net.

Bendtner did however take the penalty kick very well putting it to James’s right hand corner. Even though james guessed right he could not get a touch to it. 7.5


Looked a menace all day through his pace which the Portsmouth defenders could not cope with. Again I think it was a risk to start him today as he is a fragile type of player and there were a few scares today when he had to receive treatment.

He has the pace and nowdays he has filled in at the right places thus it is becoming difficult for defenders to knock him off the ball. But he needs to improve his crosses and cut backs if he is to progress to the next level. I am sure he will. 6.5


Scored his first premiership goal and generally looked dangerous throughout the game. He scored from a shot just inside the area which went diagonally across James in off the post. This boy is a finisher no mistake about it.

He was playing just behind the main striker today and was able to link up well with Bendtner and Arshavin as these three players were the main focus of all Arsenal’s attacks. 7


Anonymous said...

was arshavin captain?

Anonymous said...

arshavin was the captain.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

agree with you on Fabianski and Arshavin in 100 % !

Anonymous said...

i'm an arsenal fan - where a young bunch of lightweights when it comes to the big team can't cope you'll see on tuesday...wenger has been mugging us off for 4 years because AFC can't afford the big players.

Anonymous said...

If Wenger picks Adebayor and Diaby on Tuesday I will relax because it will mean we have no chance - Ramgun

Anonymous said...

Denilson was our best player! once again this demonstrates another fan who doesn't analyze the game but rates on who he likes and doesn't like.

Watch the game again OBJECTIVELY, and you will see just how good denilson was.

VanCity Gooner said...

Denilson our best player. You must be havin a laugh. I've never seen anyone as poor as he is at actually completing a 10ft pass. I suggest that YOU watch the game again and count how many times he leaves his passes short , ending our move up the field and requiring us to start again from the back. How frusterating it must be as a teamate on the pitch with him. It's nice that he wins the ball , but he gives it away as many times as he wins it.

Anonymous said...

Diaby didnt play today. which means he's in line to start on Tueday, we simply have no luck. Ade is awful, better Bedntner starts than him. But oh well there is next season right? thats all we been saying this days

Anonymous said...

Agree on most points. But if we should have rested Song and Sagna, who do you propose shd have played in their stead? Not too many options I think

Patman said...

you always spell Fabianski wrong, and I've seen many people correct you, is there a particular reason you continue to misspell his name?

Anonymous said...

VAnCity obviously did not watch the game again. What is his problem with Denilson.

Please watch it again, and make notes. Just do stats, he did VERY WELL, take away your opinion and bias that you HATE him, just watch how he plays, a VERY effective footballer.

Arsene Wenger knows much more about football than you and he continues to play him, I would take his opinion over yours any day

Try and take emotions out of your analysis or you are just another sun reader, making sensational comments.

AMFC said...

Adeba-whore said once if we want him to be our henry, he should be paid like henry........plz comment

Englishmik said...

I thought Denilson was crap today. His best passes were backwards, disappeared for long periods and often gave ball away and then jogged back rather than chasing the mistake. I have always been a big fan but have been disappointed with him recently. Ramsay was workmanlike but have yet to see what all the fuss is about. Would like see Merida be given a chance, he could really be special.

Anonymous said...

At anyone slagging Denilson off -yeah I don't really rate him as a player always feel like he's gonna screw up for us, but I checked the stats and he is 2nd in the league for completed passes this season. And it's worked out on the number of passes & percentage successful. Google opta stats if you don't believe.
Look good he doesn't, but the stats say he does do the biz...

Anonymous said...

Denilson is the most underrated player ever, lol.

All I gotta say is this.... tons of people on these blogs hate him, but he has received praise from Wenger AND Ferguson.

I could read 1 million posts in blogs saying he is crap, but if Wenger and Ferguson both think he is going to be one hell of a player.

Like said before, OPTA:

Denilson is 2nd most accurate passer of the ball (87%) in the league behind only Mikel (89%)

He has also made 2213 passes, putting him 2nd only to Alonso's 2297.

Oh yes, did I mention that he is only 21? plz, how on earth can someone think a player with those stats and age is crap is beyond me

He has also scored 3 times and made 7 assists, so hes been responsable for 10 goals... Xavi Alonso has scored 5 and made 5, so if Denilson is crap then Alonso must be having a really crap season.... oh wait... wasnt there tons of people saying he shoulda gotten player of the season? ;)

Anonymous said...

diaby should have played instead of song. how on earth is diaby getting the nod ahead of song ?!

Valentin said...

Ramsey was awful. In a 4-4-2, the role of a central midfield is not just to look good going forward, it means also to track back player.
He kept reacting to midfield runner rather than anticipating their movement.
It was particularly visible during the first 15 minutes of the second half. If you look at the all number of chances John Utaka blew, you will realise that everytime Ramsey is two yards behind him instead of being with him. Song and Djourou being busy with the two other tall forwards.
Arsene Wenger then decided to switch Bentdner on the wide side , Vela on top and Arshavin in the pocket. The two short but agile players Arshavin and Vela troubled Pompey back four and forced them back splitting the team into two.