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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.

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The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday October 22 2008

Time: 1:23PM

Your Comments

Agree with pretty much all of those ... though you will be struck down after giving the lord our Eboue anything less than a 17!!!
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..
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.
I watched the game last night and enjoyed it very much. The Gunners have some wonderful young players.
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
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
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???
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
I agree LD.
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.
On another positive note - - I wish the boys would emulate our ladies - kudos
I used to agree LD, Ade was pivotal to our play, but as of the last month or so to be pivotal to our play you have to get involved somehow. Aside from his goal he did nothing. He didn't hold up the ball, he didn't draw defenders, he didn't even work hard. And his variation once he gets the ball in or round the box is now zilch. I'd prefer he gets benched sooner rather than later till he at least gets his work ethic back.
LD if Ade had the intelligence to beat the offside trap he would have done so long time ago. For a player to be offside time and time again when he has two three or even four defenders between him and the linesman to use as a start point to time his runs but only to be flaged 8 times out of ten simply is not good enough.
Armory, the fact is that Ade simply doesn't have a football brain. He just doesn't have the intelligence for the game -- how long does it take to learn to time your runs? Never mind that, Ade doesn't seem to even understand that in football it's a necessary part of the game that you HAVE to learn to time your runs in order to score a goal.
Fair ratings. On Ade, I have to agree with Rocky that he hasn't put in the high-work-rate performances that we had come to expect from him. I agree that Manuel was the best performer yesterday.
I only disagree with the part where you said Song was erratic coz of Silvestre's lack of composure. I'd put it the other way around (where Silvestre not only had to cope with his own rustiness but also a weak partner and that proved too much for him to handle), and a more solid partner for Silvestre will see a more solid performance from him. To be fair, he did win a few aerial balls. Apart from that, fair ratings. I agree with Rocky about Ade, there are questions to be asked about him, ironically in a game where he converted every chance he got. I was shocked to see him called offside from 2 Almunia goal kicks !
But we were told before kick off Silvestre was the one who would be expected to lead the defence. Song has played five games at centre half in the Premiership, Silvestre has 250 Premiership games in defence. With regards to Adebayor, he's off form. But I met my ********* to a barn dance, he gets sent off on Sunday, we lose him for three games, I promise you'd notice. Even though he's not playing well, I promise you'd notice the effect on the team.
Little Dutch
I think Silvestre needs a run of games to hit form. Put him alongside Song 5 games later and it will be different. As for Ade, there is no doubt that the effect will be felt if he was absent, which is a sad indictment in itself. Perhaps a break will be good for him. He might be off form, but he does not show the desire at the moment which is of more concern. Bendtner is raring to go, and can fill in for 1-2 games.
I wouldn't disagree with either point there. I hope Silvestre can hit form after a run of games and I think Bendtner could and should be given a chance on Sunday. But sweeping write offs are not the order of the day for either, that I acknowledge. I don't think the desire was missing from Ade yesterday more than the confidence.
Little Dutch
what makes it even better was that the first 4 goals were scored by adebayor,walcott ,diaby and what did arragones call Henry again?
fran merida
United didn't win anything with Ronaldo and Rooney ROoney and Ronaldo aren't target men and Man Utd won plenty with just those two and still don't have a target man. Brendtner has been better ion the small cameo's arguably than Adebayor has been all season. He let us down last year when we needed him the most in that rocky spell, he dissapeared. Should be sold asap imho
Adebayor carried us through January virtually single handedly. The connection most people don't make is that Ade's goals dried up when Eduardo got injured, as the two forged a formidable partnership. He had to go back to being a lone striker after that which was bound to affect his goal tally, but his all round play stayed impressive. As for disappearing when it matters, goals at Anfield, Old Trafford, San Siro, WHL x3, St. James' Park, Villa Park and Eastlands suggest otherwise. As for what have we won with a target man, how far do we take that? What have we won with Cesc in the side? What have we won since Clichy became a regular? Should these players be sold on that basis?
Little Dutch
@number14 - Pedantic, but... Petit had left Arsenal before Edu joined.
I am fully aware of where he scored and when LD. The fact is, he is highly disliked by the fans, he's gpot lazy and tends to stroll through games (when your form is bad, surely hard work would be the way forward to beat the slump?) he clearly has an attitude problem, Togo, Monaco and now at Arsenal and thinks he's a little better than he really is. I cannot think of one good reason for him top stay at Arsenal when we have abtter footballer waiting in the wings who imo is ready to step up to the plate, aswell as having ample strikers in the squad, we could do with the cash to put towards a proper CB/DM perhaps? I have never said that is asole reason and for you to say that is very flippant and non constructive. It was part of the reason and to be honest i think you will find you are in a very small minority as the lads I go regularly with and many others would rathe rsee the greedy tosser sold after whoreing himself around like a cheap tart all summer!
As a side, i think he is one of THE most over rated players we have ever had in our starting 11 and to think he is garaunteed a starting birth every week makes me very uneasy when you think of the true legend sthat have played that role before him. To see someone so arrogant and greedy wearing the shirt when others around him more deserving of a top level salary don't create half the fuss he does. Not fit to wear the shirt.
The concerns you raise are fair enough, but most of them aren't to do with his contribution on the pitch. I happen to rate his contribution on the pitch very highly, when Cesc gets the ball in midfield, who's the first person he looks for? There really aren't many strikers that give their team as many options as he does, being able to play a lone role so effectively is a precious commodity that you won't find in many players in Europe, given our recent successes playing 4-5-1 (both of our best away results this season came playing that formation). My other point was that he produces in big games, tough away games. That's one thing Henry for example, never gave us. Van Nistelrooy's record at those sorts of places wasn't great and neither is Ronaldo's. I thought he was lazy in the Everton game, but I don't think he has been idle so much this season as lacking in confidence. Being in minorities has never worried me, I was in a minority about five years ago of people who liked Gilberto when he used to get some stick at Highbury that was close to disgusting. I was also in a minority of people who thought Baptista would make it, in the long run, I guess we will see. But I would wager that if we lost Ade for a significant amount of time, the team would feel it in a massive way. That said, I would still give Bendtner a go on Sunday. Interestingly, people used to say he had an attitude problem before this season.
Little Dutch
Agree with most of that LG, what i would say is to err on the side of caution re Nicky B. I aint too sure if he's ready to step up to the plate yet, i reckon he's got the ability, but he just doesn't seem to play that well for us. I wouldn't be comfortable with him being our no 1 striker this season for sure. Adebayor is a berkely hunt, FACT. On another note, i realised the other day i know Glen Helder's brother....what a claim to fame that is, eh?
Bendtner's not ready to be our first choice. Ade does give us a lot, Terry and Ferdinand (?) said he was the toughest to play against in the prem.
I was in the same minority the rated Gilberto as one of the most efficient DM we have ever seen at Arsenal. As much as his contribution on the pitch has been pi** poor this season, last season he DID contribute, but not as much as he would like to think and as far as I was aware. If Ashley Cole could score goa Wenger wouldn't stand for stroppy pre madonna's of which he definatly is one. So why stand for him? He could be getting hatricks each week LD, doesn't mean he should be wearing the shirt (I'm not one of those win at all cost fans) he was so happy to toss aside like a cheap rag at the first sign of another club waving a few extra spondoolies under his nose. What happened with Baptista? We had the money to buy him and he was a very useful player, direct aggresive and could play in a multitude of positions. Although he looked like the village idiot out there sometimes it's not like he had an adjustment period or anything, he was thwron straight in the deepend.
Glen Helder's brother. LOl Probably thebest debut by an Arsenal player I can remember, then he dissapeared quicker than a whippet with a bum full of dynamite!
***ignore the Ashley cole bit, was typing something else!***
I personally think Nicky B is ready. Although never 100% convincing, he would hold the ball better and his link up play is on a different planet to Adepaymemore's. When has Ade ever 100% convinced with hisplay either shewore?
Answer - he hasn't really, came close to it a couple of times last season - Spurs away rings a bell, but i remember him blazing one over from 5yds before that screamer to put us 2-1 up... truth is i'm just not convinced with Bendter, imo he played far too much football last season than he was entitled to, didn't exactly cover himself in glory in the run in.
Brendtner did get into double figures with goals last season though and set up a few himself, not bad for a regular substitute. He's got a couple this season already with minimal playing time. I reckon he's gonna have to get back to back hatricks to convince you mate! lol
Yeah 'spose! Or maybe i'm still choked about last season... can't wait for Eddy's comeback, canny wait. Love seeing him in on the keeper on that left peg of his.
Yeah, you know it's pretty much going to be a goal if it falls to that foot one on one. Will he be even half the player he was before that fat sack of s*** at Birmingham "did" him? I truly hope so, he was find of the season for Wenger and a bargain to boot. But then look what barst*** challenges do for players long term fitness, has Diaby been the same, ditto Larrson, Cisse etc?
It'll all be in Eduardo's head. With medical treatment today, his leg will be fine. He might lose some pace, but speed was never his key asset anyway, he's a clever player who ghosts into positions unnoticed. I'd compare him to Larsson in a lot of respects and Larsson came back from a similar injury better than ever. The only real factor will be pshychological, how will he react when that first tackle comes in? Given the mental resources he showed moving to Croatia at such a young age and his quick adaption to the Premiership from the Croatian league (a massive jump) I'd back him, but we'll have to wait and see.
Little Dutch
Speak of the devil
Little Dutch
..and thee shall appear! Cracking news. Poor old Tommy Gun, imagine what'd happen if he broke his leg?!
Would u belive LD that eduardo will return sooner than rosicky after his horrifying injury!!!
Pretty much what i just said Prince, but cheers for re-affirming the point.
In many ways i would sooner have a broken leg than completly messed up hamstrings. A broken leg can usually be prepared. Dodgey hamstrings can be for the rest of your life
After all this time, Rosicky's professional career has to be in doubt!
Spot on mate, ligaments and muscles are very hit and miss when it comes to repairing themselves. A broken bone unless it's a spiral break can heal and often does, stronger than befor eit was broken.
shewore - If he had broken his leg we'd be currently awaiting the result of his post mortem lol
I can't wait to see Dudu back playing for the Arsenal. Imagine how he and the team would celebrate when he scores the first goal since Feb! :) Like LD said, the only concern would be psychological. But he's a really tough guy. I said so when he got his leg broken, and I'll keep saying it still: he WILL come back just as good as ever.
Let's hope he does, im inclined to agree with yourself and LD hat he has the mental reserves to overcome this set back, but it is never garaunteed. So fingers crossed for the lad and when he does get that first goal (which he will) i'll raise a glass of 'Old Wallop' to the bloke!
shewore sorry mate i didn't read ur commentm,i can't wait for his return either and i'm pretty sure that he will be back banging goals as he used to
Gallas and Toure available for West Ham trip SWEEET.
Youngest in Charge
Hehe YiC, what's even sweeter is that David Bentley is available for Spurs but sitting on the bench now, watching their team concede a stupid penalty to go 1 goal down in UEFA Cup, a competition that they were so so proud of getting into through, well, Carling Cup. HAHAHAHHAHA
There seems to be an opinion that Bendtner is ready to take over from Ade, which I disagree with. I rate the lad, highly, and I think he has improved quite well. Last season, his contribution was under-rated a bit, his return was good for a 19 year old sub. However, he still lacks the maturity to lead the line like Ade does. Although he is strong in the air, I doubt Bendtner can perform Ade's normal (not the *****e ones we've seen in the last 2 games) role TODAY. I think he will be ready by next season, but no sooner.
Ade is a big game player. Teams recognise that so they make a bigger effort to try to mark him out the game giving theo, nasri van p more space a little more space hes like a scoring heskey?! Also back to the report i thought sylvestre had an ok game - nothing to moan about.
I am not denying his on pitch contribution last season was immense. How the f*** he has got 5-6 goals this season so far is beyond me, he's been utter pants so far. After the summer rubbish, he has burned his bridges with me and a lot of Gooners and I feel he could be sold in the summer allowing the more talented Dane to help us play the traditional Wenger expansive game rather than the target man style (although not direct football i agree).
I think that the thing about Ade is you can play the expansive game and with a target man for a bit of variation. He has been by no means brilliant, but his presence, hold up play and aerial attack complement an otherwise one dimensional arsenal team with no power.
He does provide variety in atack, but regardless of his onfield prowess and contribution, after this summer and his off-field actions I just can't see past getting rid of the toad and getting someone else to take over that role. I feel the conduct off the pitch is as much to do with what happens on it as a supporter. I know Adams and Merson had their problems, but they were Arsenal through and through, from start to finish nearly and wether that is right or wrong that earns them a little break here and there from supporters like me.
I understand where you're coming from, but I think those days are gone now. Is anybody in the Arsenal side really Arsenal through and through? Is anyone in the Chelsea side Chelsea through and through? Terry and Lampard didn't mind pointing to the exit door when renegotiating their contracts. For all of the bluster about Carragher, he grew up supporting Everton, but when Liverpool offered him a shot he couldn't turn his coat quickly enough. Gerrard flirted with Chelsea ad infinitum. It's not just football though, generally employment is more mobile nowadays, it's now very rare for people to stay at the same company for most of their working lives. Those that do are often derided in fact. I'm not defending Adebayor per se, just pointing out that we have to accept the way the world is today. Hell, even Charlie George admitted he nearly signed for Spurs before Derby swooped in, he's quite unrepentant about it too.
Little Dutch
All very true, i blame the parents(agents)! Didn't know that specifically about Charlie George, but he aint as much an Arsenal legend as he's made out to be imo. And Merse grew up a Chelsea supporter.
But Chelski suporter or not shewore he was an arsenal lad and a true arsenal player. I know what LD means, and he's right, but I would also have the same opinion of any player that acted like a total and utter ****. Any of the guys now that pulls an "Adebayor" would get the same treatment I would hope. Imagine Jack Wilshire doing all the things we hope he can for us as he grows up playing for us, then at the age of 29 says he's undervalued, fine, i would understand. Im not saying it is going to happen and those days maybe far, far behind us, but i miss the way it was and nostalgia isn't what it used to be.......

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