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Match Ratings v West Ham United

1.Manuel ALMUNIA- Growing in stature, wasn't given a great deal to do by the home side, but commanded his area and made an excellent save from Bellamy in the first half. He is very close to convincing me, November's games against United and Chelsea could do it. 8

4.Francesc FABREGAS- Somewhere close to his best form, played some of those telescopic passes we know he is capable of and got through his fair share of tackles too. 8

8.Samir NASRI- A quiet and largely ineffective game. I suppose its understandable given that he is still acclimbatising to the league, the fact that I was so surprised by his anonimity speaks volumes of just how well he has fitted in so far. I would suggest he learned a lot about a typical Premiership away game. 6

10.William GALLAS(c)- I was speaking to friends before the game and I suggested that we needed to see what Gallas was made of. By and large he responded to midweek criticism with a solid display, marshalling his defence well. That said, I don't think West Ham tested him unduly, would have been interesting to see how he would have dealt with Ashton. 7

11.Robin van PERSIE- Drifted in and out of the game, but when he was in it he was our biggest threat. van Persie was at the centre of all of our most dangerous moments until he went off, but looked much more effective on the right flank with Adebayor ahead of him. 7.5

14.Theo WALCOTT- When he has the ball he is such a huge threat, which he showed several times. However, his positional play still leaves something to be desired, I think the time is coming to move him further forwards. 7

17.Alexandre SONG Billong- I have expressed several times that I feel he should be playing in the anchor role. I thought he had a thoroughly decent game, quietly and effectively going about his job. He still picks up needless bookings though. That said, I won't use Song as a stick to beat Denilson with, Fabregas looked a lot better, maybe that had something to do with Song, but Cesc put a fair few tackles in too. Mind you, that probably shows they have the potential to be a mutually beneficial partnership. 7

18.Mikael SILVESTRE- Started shakily yet again,maybe that's to do with rustiness. Lost his first few aerial challenges, but grew into the game. But there again, West Ham did not overly stretch him. 7

22.Gael CLICHY- A much better performance after his shoddy showing on Tuesday. Solid, confident and offered Bendtner a good overlap in the dying stages. 7

26.Nicklas BENDTNER- I thought Bendtner had a terrific game, the more I see him the less I think of him as a simple target man, comfortable with the ball and always looking for openings. Two late assists for Adebayor said as much. That said, he's not quite ready to carry the burden Adebayor does just yet, but the two seem capable of playing together. Especially now they don't seem hellbent on killing each other. 7.5

27.Emmanuel EBOUE- Generally sound at right full back and offers penetration going forwards. For a player so comfortable with the ball though, I don't rate his temperament. I'm not just talking about the histrionics of which we saw none yesterday, but he sometimes loses his head and gets involved in areas of the pitch he's not needed, leaving his own position unstationed. 6.5

SUBSTITUTES

2.Vassiriki Abou Diaby- Offered us more penetration in attack which was precisely what we needed at that time. 7

25.Emmanuel Adebayor- You cannot argue with the difference he made. Perhaps some serendipity with the first goal, but he made it happen and really went to town on West Ham's tired defence. Linked up with van Persie and Bendtner very well. 8

3.Bacary Sagna- No time to make an impact, other than the fact that his appearance meant Alex Song no longer had the shittest haircut on the pitch. N/A




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The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday October 27 2008

Time: 4:58PM

Your Comments

I'll agree with all save the dig at Sagna's hair. You're just jealous he can pull off such a sweet 'do.
smithdj74
Good ratings apart from Bendtner. I didnt see much from him all game rally until thats assist to Ade, but thats just me. Excellent performance!!!
Paulsito
I thought Bendtner played well. Some of his passing was off, but he made good decisions and worked his butt off, I like to see entusiasm in young players and this kid has got it in abundance.
Rocky7
Fabregas didn't seem on his A game and so far has only shown glimpses of his talent this season. I thought he could have been subbed early against fenerbace to give the boy a breather.
Gael-Force
Personally I thought Bendtner was the Arsenal's worst player yesterday. Don't want to be too negative here, but I can not understand what good you saw in the first 70 mins of his preformance till Ade came on. van Persie was our only attacking threat for that time because Bendtner was completely absent.
gunnerkid107
Eboue definitely looks more comfortable at right-back and that's his best position. Whenever you see Gallas wheezing for breath after a long run you're bound to start thinking it was probably too many fags in the days before!
Gooner_Vin
Its easy to say "I think the time is coming to move him further forwards" but who would he repalce? I would happily see him and Adebayor play up top together. I think that could be awesome. But when Eduardo comes back it is wing or bench for Theo.
Tom14
I also have to stick up for Sagna's hairdo! I thought Bendtner had an off day when I watched it live, e.g. stray passes, running into dead ends with the ball without passing, etc. But then the highlights showed that he worked hard and tried to vary the ways we attacked. Still not ready to lead the line playing Ade's role, but he did well as a 20 yo. So reflecting on it again, I think he deserves the mark above. On Theo, I again thought he's showing a bit of inconsistency that you'd expect from a 19 yo. I'm still not sure when to move him up front - and like Tomf said, replacing whom, with Vela ahead of him in the striking department. Agreed otherwise.
GoonerLou
Theo will never learn if he is moved up top now. He has issues with ball retention and his off the ball movement isnt intelligent enough for me. He looks best when he makes his runs at the defence, rather than when he has the ball with defenders close to him. These are skills he needs to pick up if he is to become an effective centre forward, and I can now see why Theo is being played out wide by Wenger. I do agree with LD that he will be more effective up front, but that will be at the detriment of his long term learning.
prits
Fair ratings overall, reflected in the fact that no one had a poor game (the lowest was a 6 rating). Bendtner had a good game, neither terrific nor poor. Clearly not ready to lead the line, but the more I see of him, he is not in the same mould as Ade, not built to lead the line. The team does not play the long ball to Bendtner as an alternative plan, which they do with Ade, so that says a lot. The Song-Cesc partneship needs a few games, coz the 2 good games of the season so far (Blackburn & West Ham) have seen Song in the middle.
prits
It was a decent alround performance with no outstanding candidate for MOM.
LondonGooner
I thought Bendtner was good. The penalty area was very crouded, so he didn't pose much of a direct threat on goal, but he did well when he came deep to keep the momentum on our attacks. And you could tell he worked very hard.
ArsenalRob
But I think Sagnas hair is good, if your taking votes. He looks more intimidating with it.
ArsenalRob
 

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