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Match Ratings v Fenerbahce

Match Ratings v Fenerbahce

1.Manuel ALMUNIA(c)- An inspired display. I am not sure if the captaincy was intended to lend him a greater sense of responsibility, but it certainly worked. Stepped up to the plate and amde several outstanding saves, particualrly decisive ones rushing to the feet of onrushing strikers. An average performance from Manuel would have seen Arsenal ship five. 9

2.Abou DIABY- Who was this person and what has he done with Abou Diaby? Took a lot of the opposition's focus away from Cesc by playing an advanced role, excellent feet, bought players in at the right times, regained possession high up the pitch on several occasions. A surprise selection and a surprise virtuoso display. I have had a lot of criticism for the guy in the past, if he keeps performing like this I'll meerily chow down on my words. Gives us yet another attacking option, if only we had a defensive concundrum that was even half as enticing. 8.5

4.Francesc FABREGAS- With Denilson and Diaby in defined roles in front and behind him, Cesc was able to wield more influence on the game. Still some way short of his best, but got forward impugnly and provided two magical assists in the first eleven minutes. Formulated attacks of a skin tight construction. 8

8.Samir NASRI- A quiet, but solid display. Seemed at his happiest bringing the ball forwards and running into the space afforded him by the clearly unfit Gokhan. Got back to help Clichy when he could, but not quite as illuminating as we have seen him. 7

14.Theo WALCOTT- Embodied everything about Arsenal's performance. Frightening going forward, leaving the most over rated player in the history of the world in Roberto Carlos (a full back who has never been able to defend? How is that world class?) absolutely bewildered. Stayed on the shoulder of the defence and ran forward with purpose. Made absolutely zero attempt to defend, which put added pressure on Eboue and Denilson to cover him. I think the time is coming for Theo to move upfront. 7

15.DENILSON Pereira de Neves- Once again, played the defensive role much better in a five man midfield when his job was actually defined. Got through a great many tackles and was basically a more effective left back than Clichy. Was given plenty to do by certain members of the team and did as much as he could manfully. 7.5

17.Alexandre SONG Billong- Looked completely unsure at the back, the lack of synergy between him and Silvestre was as obvious as it was understandable, but Silvestre's lack of composure translated into Song's erratic display. 5

18.Mikael SILVESTRE- Laughably, horrendously bad. Looked like he was playing for the wrong North London club. A drunk at the bus stop could have defended better. They tell me he's 31 but he looked all of about 13 years old out there. Can you remember a successful tackle or aerial challenge?3

22.Gael CLICHY- Totally uncharacteristic. Looked diffident, disinterested and downright lazy, comfortably his worst performance in an Arsenal shirt. I hope the lack of competition for his place doesn't mean this sort of thing becomes commonplace. I'll chalk this down to a one off. For now. 4

25.Emmanuel ADEBAYOR- Decent early goal, but it still didn't seem to shake him from his entrapy. He looked to get more involved than he had on Saturday, but I would still start with Bendtner against West Ham. Looks like he's carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders. 6

27.Emmanuel EBOUE- The only defender who came out with any credit, Walcott left him very exposed but he set about his job dilligently. Brilliant goal line block in the second half. 6.5


16.Aaron Ramsey- Came on in a good situation with the game already wrapped up, obviously playing with effusiveness following his rave reviews for the Welsh U-21s. His goal was a lovely finishing touch on the night. 7.5

20.Johan Djourou- Retained possession effectively in the last six minutes and even brought the ball forward with purpose. 7

12.Carlos Vela- No time to make an impact. N/A

A couple of questions to close, neither of which I know the answer to without any serious thought. When was the last time Arsenal had a captain uncapped at international level? And when was the last time we had two British players score in one game?LD.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:Tim Stillman
Date:Wednesday October 22 2008
Time: 1:23PM


Agree with pretty much all of those ... though you will be struck down after giving the lord our Eboue anything less than a 17!!!
22/10/2008 13:29:00
Why did Arsene play such a high line? to prevent tiring the midfield? other than this reasoning, i see no strategical use. Of course, Guiza had a field day..
22/10/2008 13:46:00
Silvestre got in a few aerial challenges - notably the one that set up Song for his goal. And he made some decent clearances and interceptions - as did Song. Individually they did ok but as a defensive unit, which is what it's all about, they were really poor and that uncertainty seemed to have infected Clichy too. Not sure that Eboue warranted a lower rating than Ramsey or Djourou.
22/10/2008 14:02:00
I watched the game last night and enjoyed it very much. The Gunners have some wonderful young players.
22/10/2008 14:49:00
The ratings can only really be relative to the time the players were on the pitch. Djourou and Ramsey had better ten to fiteen minute cameos than Eboue was over the whole 90. I don't think Eboue played particularly well, he stood out due to the imeptitude of our other three defenders.
Little Dutch
22/10/2008 14:57:00
Fair enuff...except that Eboue shld hv a higher ratings..and i think u r a bit too harsh on R. Carlos...with the way the defense playes yestesday, a more competent attacker wld have had a field day against us...I don't know if Silvestre is good enough as it is..please bring back Gallas/ least they look more proffessional..IMHO Arsenal is going to have an uphill task this season defensively
22/10/2008 14:58:00
Adebayor couldn't hold up water in a bucket let alone a ball upfront. He gave the ball away trying to retain posession more than he got caught offside FFS! That is some going by anyone standards. Brendtner is a better footballer, but not athlete, although in good shape himself, i would gladly see Adebayor sold in the Jan window and Brendtner brough through as his replacement, although not like ofr like. What the hell have we ever won under Wenger when using a target man upfront, not a very good target man at that???
22/10/2008 15:00:00
United didn't win anything with Ronaldo and Rooney in their team for a couple of years, but both are in fine working order and winning things now. The reason a target man is so imperative is that a) we don't have nearly as much power throughout the team anymore and b) we don't have Thierry Henry anymore, though he often looked good with Kanu playing as a target man next to him. I rate Adebayor's ability to hold the ball up above any other striker in Europe at the moment, when a high ball gets played to him he rarely miscontrols or loses it. Bendtner will provide him excellent competition, but he's not ready at the moment for the responsibility Adebayor has. Contrarily to when we bought him, Ade doesn't panic in the box anymore either and provides a lot more assists.
Little Dutch
22/10/2008 15:33:00
I agree LD.
22/10/2008 15:55:00
I agree too LD...i remember the days of the Viiera/Edu/Petit/Parlour midfield...that was quite a lot of power...Ade bring something in that respect. This is one reason I like Diarby...if he wernt so damn lazy sometimes he really could prove a handfull as he is deceptively powerfull.
22/10/2008 16:26:00
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