Date:Monday September 24 2007
Well good day too ya'll! I am quite sure that today is a great sunny Arsenal day where ever you are, From Iceland to South Africa.
A very professional display by the Gunners yesterday, although County were poor to say the least. Still we all need to rewind to last year when teams from the bottom half of the table would come to the Emirates, park the bus and snatch a point or three (West Ham), despite the 30495 shots on goal by Arsenal.
Some of the explanations of the ratings will be quite brief and some of the ratings themselves might be dubious. Read on.
Manuel Almunia - anyone who can come up with a rating for Manu, please feel free to fill in. He had to catch a few cross-shots, punch one and see a few efforts sail wide. Compliments to the defence.
Sagna - 7 - as most of the defence, had very little to do at the back. Overlapped and tackled and not troubled much.
Clichy - 7 - I have to write just: see Sagna
Senderos - 6.5 - It is very difficult to get a relatively bad rating in a game where our defence was very rarely troubled. Phil Senderos managed just that, mainly because of his mental lapse and a pass straight to a Derby teammate, whilst still in his own box. I wonder what would have happened if we were playing Manyoo, Liverpool, Real Madrid...
Toure - 7.5 - stark contrast to Senderos. Not only he was excellent at the back, but he contributed to the attack with surging runs through the middle, and was nearly rewarded with a goal. Had another 'wild' freekick.
Cesc - 8.5 - Marvelous - 6 goals in as many games, assists and generally acting like a general. He is bossing the MF, making passes, runs, scoring. Should get a rest against Newcastle on Wednesday. Subbed by Neves Denilson on 70 mins.
Diaby - 7.5 - under much criticism (by myself as well) in the recent weeks due to his performances. Probably deserved a slightly higher rating, but I am still unconvinced as this was only DerbyC. His goal was incredible and the way he opened space for himself was sublime. Sometimes he dribbles too much. Faded a bit towards the end. Worked much harder and looked more confident than last couple of times. I would play him and Denilson in the CC.
Flamininho - 8 - someone give him a new contract! Quick! He is no more the Flamster as that refers to players such as the Grimster (absolute legend) who lacked a bit of skill. Not this Matthieu. Another assured display from the ex-Marseille man. Subbed by Alex Song Bilong at 77' mins.
Walcott - 6.5 - I opted for the lower rating this time although he was between 6.5 and 7. His final ball was rather dreadful, but the build up play through the middle is excellent. Often gets himself stuck on the right wing without the clear idea what he wants to do. He should be going around the likes of Griffin every single time. Looked better down the middle dancing around the opponents but could not produce a final ball/shot. Play him in CC as well. Subbed by Lassana Diarra 15 mins before the end.
Ade25 - 9- the first senior hat-trick at the Emirates, and taken with aplomb. He is oozing with self-confidence now, and is popping up with goals against big teams (united) and small ones (sp*rs, derby). I heard what Billy Davies had to say about him and I wholeheartedly agree. The 3rd goal was special, having to jump high, chest the ball, compose and slot home. Keep it up big man. Man of the match.
Eduardo - 7.5 - a gritty performance by the Croatian international. Created a penalty, nice pass interchanges, runs off the ball and an excellent header saved in style by Bywater. Pity he didn't get a goal and was in some excellent positions only the ball (usually from Theo) never reached him. Another one that should play against Newcastle.
Team rating - 8.5 - read Wenger's statement coz anything I say would be an understatement or a paraphrase of the great man's words.
Denilson, Diarra and Song - good run out for all three, after the game was long finished result-wise. I expect them to play against Newcastle and it looks to be a solid line up:
Fabianski, Hoyte, Nordtveit, Senderos/Song, Traore, Denilson, Diaby, Diarra, Walcott, Eduardo, Bedtner + some from Gibbs, Randall, G. Hoyte, Emmanuel-Thomas, etc.
As I was writing this I had an eye on the events at that half-full stadium up at Bolton. A game considered a relegation battle, or a 6 pointer finished 1-1 and the two teams placed 18 and 20 seems to be quite right for me.
Something else I noticed during the match was a 4-3-3 formation during the 2nd half. The boss had Diaby and Flamini as Cesc's side-kicks in the midfield, while Walcott and Eduardo were playing on each side of Adebayor, who was THE man in the middle. It seemed like a little experiment which saw Theo make some nice turns and movement.
Nevertheless, three points in a bag and I would modestly like to extend my congratulations to the team for the excellent start and encourage them to become even more ruthless and clinical in the coming games. The new sheriffs are in town, and let's see if they can fend off the challenges from the rest of the league.
Date:Monday September 24 2007
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