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Player Ratings v Bolton Wanderers

Player Ratings v Bolton Wanderers

1.Manuel ALMUNIA- Was very impressive in the second half as Arsenal came under pressure, aerially commanding and authoritative, which you need at this stadium. Made an excellent stop from Nolan, my only slight moan would be that he perhaps should have left Sagna to deal with the clearance that led to Bolton's goal. 8

3.Bacary SAGNA- As you would expect from Banger, solid, immovable and admirably coped with the switch to left back in the second half. What an outstanding signing he has proved to be. 8

4.Francesc FABREGAS- Struck up an excellent understandng with Denilson which certainkly wasn't apparent at Ewood Park. With the assurance of Song, Cesc knew when to sit and let Denilson go forward, even making some crunching tackles in the process. Similarly, he let Denilson sit and joined the attack. Fabregas created the first, Denilson the second, that reveals a lot. Cesc faded in the second half largely due to fatigue. 7

5.Kolo TOURE- After looking slightly unnerved early on, comnposed himself to put in an assured no nonsense performance. Didn't dither, as any reticance at the Reebok will likely be pounced upon. Stood firm to the second half pressure. 7

10.William GALLAS(c)- Once again looked like his head was elsewhere for the first twenty minutes, but after Wenger berated him fromthe touchline for Davies' goal he appeared to shake the early season malaise away and looked the authoritative and determined figure he had prior to his slow start to this season. I think Davies' goal was the kick up the backside he needed, or maybe it was Wenger's verbal volley? 7

15.DENILSON Pereira de Neves- A goal and an assist reveal everything we already knew about his offensive display, but his willingness in the tackle was crucial in an encounter that was always likely to be physical. He understood went to drop and let Cesc pull the strings and when to bomb forward and let Cesc drop. An excellent display, the assist gives him man of the match marginally over Eboue. More of these performances please young man. 8.5

17.Alexandre SONG Billong- Gave Denilson and Fabregas an excellent insurance policy. Gave us an aerial dimension at the back that we have missed since Gilberto's demise and was always on hand to harry Bolton'sless than gifted ball players. Just a little cumbersome in possession sometimes but is really growing into a player with first team potential. 7

22.Gael CLICHY- Struck up a good understanding on the left with Eboue, even if Gael didn't attack as he usually does, There again, I think Clichy's offensive displays are a consequence of his peerless stamina and we therefore see the best of him going forward late in the game. Kevin Davies put paid to any chance of that. Glad to hear the leg's not broken, one day Davies will pick on the wrong man. 7

25.Emmanuel ADEBAYOR- His work rate was insatiable, particularly in the second half when he provided us an outlet when under pressure. With Bolton's clogger centre halves uncomfortable in possession, Ade made sure our spells of pressure were sustained and held the ball up excellently. His assist for Denilson elucidated how much more mature and composed he has become compared with the awkward, gangly striker that joined us in 2006. 7.5

26.Nicklas BENDTNER- Had a tremendous first half, unselfishly covering the left flank when Arsenal lost the ball and helping the defence with set pieces. van Persie was very disappointing on Wednesday night due to his reluctance to be a team player, Bendtner justified his inclusion on that score, adding a goal and an assist. Faded badly in the sedond half though. 7

27.Emmanuel EBOUE- You all know I'm not a serial Eboue basher, but seriously, is this the same player from last season? Tireless work rate, dangerous on the left flank, taking on defenders, excellent covering challenges and a goal to boot. (End product!?) Amazingly, he might just be our player of the season so far. Could he be this season's Flamini? Will evolution make fools of us all as pigs sprout wings? Will Ferguson be generous in defeat? Will the Pope denounce woodland defication? I'm terribly confused. 8.5


20.Johan Djourou- On at right back at half time and coped impressively in a good defensive display second half. Bolton focussed most of their attacks down Arsenal's left, but other than one occasion when he was too casual on the ball, slotted in seemlessly. 7

14.Theo Walcott- The ace tucked up the manager's sleeve, made a huge difference when he came on as Bendtner had nothing in the tank. The last thing tired defenders chasing a game want to take on is fresh pace and Theo used his intelligently, as exemplified in his virtuoso run for the clinching goal. It's been quite some blossoming in recent weeks, thus far the England hat trick has not gone to his head (imagine what would have happened if Bentley hit a hat trick against Croatia), but he has instead used it as a springboard. His decision making and the timing of his runs has improved ten fold in a matter of weeks,long may it continue. 8

16.Aaron Ramsey- Not a great deal of time to make an impression, but played wide and in the centre and kept things ticking over with little fuss. 7

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Writer:Tim Stillman
Date:Sunday September 21 2008
Time: 12:59PM


The England game hattrick really changed Walcott. can't wait to see Ramsey, Vela and Wilshere play in the Carling Cup game vs Sheff Utd next week.
21/09/2008 13:55:00
fabregas rily wasnt up to 60percent of his usual self
21/09/2008 15:28:00
i agree with everything apart from eboue, granted 1st half he did really well for his goal and created a couple of chances but his decision making was wrong on a few occasions.. and his blocking of crosses was absolutely shocking, that really gets me when a player runs half the length of the pitch to chase a winger/full bakc and doesnt make an effort to stop the cross. but other than that he was good.
21/09/2008 17:38:00
I'm just watching MOTD2 and Hansen just said, "I thought this was a serious programme" when Chiles was making a decent suggestion. What in the name of ***** gave Hansen that idea? ****.
Little Dutch
21/09/2008 22:17:00
lol yeah it's an easy trick, whenever I have no answer to someone's question, I can now say (frowning in disgust), "I thought it's a serious discussion."
21/09/2008 22:31:00
That's the thing it was a sensible thought I thought. (For those who didn't see, Chiles suggested instead of fining teams like United a measly £25k for six bookings, why not make them take a player off from the team?) Hansen refused to discuss it and just said, "I thought this was a serious programme?" He gets paid by public money to do his job, as do I and if I did my job in that manner I'd be collecting my P-45 sharpish.
Little Dutch
21/09/2008 22:41:00
Hansen really makes Lee Dixon look such a well balanced, insightful, worth-listening-to authority. And btw, omg those Spurs fans' faces are priceless! Haven't enjoyed MotD so much for a long time lol You just have to feel for them!
21/09/2008 23:00:00
Agree with most of it but would've given Bendtner a higher (or atleast the same) rating as Adebayor. He deserved it just for his first half's performance. He was involved in everything we created in the first half.
Spartan Gooner
22/09/2008 00:03:00
Haha I like these ratings, more than half of our team got 8, only Gael who played one half got 6:
22/09/2008 01:30:00
Very fair assessments. Can't fault them. The squad to me seems much stronger (one year more experienced!) than last year. Nice, concidering Nasri, Diaby, Rosicky and Eduardo have to come back, and Cesc is not at his best yet.
Bradys Chips
22/09/2008 09:08:00
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