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Match Ratings v. Manchester City

Match Ratings v. Manchester City

1.Manuel ALMUNIA(c)- Exposed by his defenders, but also offered little in the way of vocal veracity one would expect of an experienced player and captain. Not much he could have done about the goals. 6

2.Vassiriki Abou DIABY- Offered what little threat we offered at times with his quick feet, but once he beats a man he becomes far too ponderous and slow to make a decision with the ball. Faded badly again. 5

8.Samir NASRI- Probably our best player in the first half, but was lrgely anonymous in the second. Has yet to put in a convincing performance away from home, but I'll give him some leeway there as he is still adjusting. 6

11.Robin van PERSIE- 25 years old and he hasn't matured a bit since the day we bought him. On his day, an awesome footballer, but the words 'on his day' should no longer be applying to a player of his age. He probably isn't going to change now, only interested when the chance to serve himself is apparent. This team needs changes and he will bring in a lot of money in the summer, I think that's a deal we have to strike. Talented? Absolutely. Selfish? You bet. Expected more from one of our most experienced outfield players, particularly when we went two goals down. The fact that the captain has revealed he causes in fighting too shows me that the bad is currently outweighing the good. 4

15.DENILSON Pereira de Neves- After a few decent performances this really was the stuff of nightmares, no attempt to track back for City's first two goals, in the first he allowed Ireland to breeze past him effortlessly, gave the ball away ad infinitum and lacked the stomach in adversity. A horrible day's work and massive damage will have been done to his confidence. 4

17.Alexandre SONG Billong- Bought the ball forward well on a few occasions and at least showed a token effort in the second half. But largely, I forgot he was playing for minutes at a time. 5

18.Mikael SILVESTRE- Actually a decent performance, particularly in the first half. However, when it was clear all was going wrong, I didn't see him talking to any of his younger charges. 6

20.Johan DJOUROU- One of our better performers, suffered when shunted over to right back but that was largely to do with the lack of protection afforded him. His part in the first goal was also lamentable, but one of the few players who at least showed a desire to turn it around. 6

22.Gael CLICHY- Made a cataclysmic error in the first goal, two timid clearances that show he needs to be more authoritative in that situation. Flew forward with willing when the game was up, which was a pleasant change, but defensively this is one of the roughest periods in his otherwise smooth Arsenal career. 6

26.Nicklas BENDTNER- Was not helped much by his strike partner and was often crowded out. But let's not put lipstick on a pig, this was a terrible performance lacking in desire and authority. Those calling for the culling of Adebayor have much to ponder. 4

41.Gavin HOYTE- It was unfair to throw him into this situation, he applied himself well but his naivety showed on occasion. I hope his confidence isn't badly damaged. His brother made his Arsenal debut during a 6-1 win over Southampton, how times change. 5


16.Aaron Ramsey- Hoorah! An oasis in the desert, a player who showed alertness, wanted the ball, was bright and looked to make things happen. Alas, the pathetic excuse for a strike force that lay ahead of him weren't interested in reattuning to his wavelength. Note to Arsene, this is usually an effect of a player playing for a place in the side. 8

12.Carlos Vela- Came on on the right in an attempt to cut in on that lethal left foot, but was often crowded out and/ or faced with a pair of strikers who did not twicth a nerve to support him. 5

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

Writer:Tim Stillman
Date:Sunday November 23 2008
Time: 1:29PM


There can now be no arguments made against Adebayor. None whatsoever. van Persie must be sold in the summer. Childish prat (no need for *'s is there?) who needs to be shown the door. Gallas was right, we all knew it, but he should not have said it out in the open. But to leave him out altogether? What a shambloic decision! Silvestre and Gallas had soemthing going. Atrip him of the armband, fair enough, but do not force us into playing Hoyte against Robinho! Song, van Persie, Gallas and Rosicky (if he is not "healed" bu January) should be sold. We really need to bring in a player of Flamini's quality. I hope to god that PG is telling the truth. Frey, Didtin, Yaya and owen would be a brilliant January. RAMSEY NEEDS TO START EVERY GAME!
23/11/2008 13:46:00
Sorry for the spelling, got a new keyboard today. Its amazing how different it feels with another one.
23/11/2008 13:47:00
as i said, Adebayor looks poor when service is lacking. He is a target man. send the ball into the box he will deliver. you don't, he comes deep looking for the ball, he looks poor, and we blame him even if its not his natural game. run channels BLAH! he's 1.9m . whip the damn ball in!
23/11/2008 14:22:00
Agree with koro- Ade's best spell last year was when he was always in the box. But yesterday he was invisible- oh right. Agree with your ratings LD, although maybe a bit generous to Bendtner and Denilson.
23/11/2008 14:44:00
Tom, is there a PG's Winter Transfer Rumour thread I can't find? You're right, that would be a good January. As for RvP, maybe there is a reason that of all our top players, nobody ever seems to be in for him in the transfer window. I wouldn't mind seeing Gallas going as a makeweight in a deal for Benzema either.
23/11/2008 14:49:00
The last thoughts on my mind as I dosed off reading Arsene Who?'s take on the game, on my mobile, where he says that we will turn it around, the spirit was good, blah blah blah, were that I'll keep supporting The Arsenal, coz that's all I can do. I'm not in a position to make the changes that my armchair management instincts tell me need to be made, I cannot drop the players that I feel need dropping (I'd have taken off v. Persie yesterday, as well as that game he got sent off), I won't pick the players that I would have picked if the decision was mine (if you're going 4-4-2, then I'd have gone with Ramsey and Denilson in the middle, no Song there, after all the manager has faith in these players, right?).
I'm always an optimist, but even I have given up on us as the squad is currently constituted. It won't break my heart if we crash out of Europe at the next hurdle (since it would appear we are more or less through from our group), and it also won't break my heart if we don't qualify for Europe next season. And by Europe, I mean the UEFA cup. It's been coming all season. Even when we'd "only" conceded two goals, and those from set-pieces and Wenger was gloating about our defense, I wasn't convinced, but I was optimistic. Hey, Wenger, still feel like gloating about our defense?
So for me, the weight of expectation is off my shoulders, and what will be, will be, like they say in Latin or whatever.
Another thing, I've missed all our "good" games this season, while watching many of our bad ones. I missed Man U, 4-0 vs. Porto, 5-2 vs. Fenerbahce, while I watched Fulham, Stoke, Hull, Villa, and now Citeh. Must be me jinxing the team. But at least I watched Blacburn, so maybe I'm not that much of a jinx. I'll watch Chelsea.
And that's where I am. All I can do is support my team, so that's what I'll do.
23/11/2008 15:26:00
I have to say, the basic problem is summed up in your assesment of Van Persie in that report - he's 25 years old and you call him one of your most experienced players. Not the right thing to do. Youth players as a whole offer the fans hope, hope that they might be the next Giggs, Scholes, Gerrard, Carragher, Terry, Neville (the rat-face variety) in that, the hope is that they will become one club superstars who will give their entire brilliant career for their favourite team. At least settle for the players giving you the best years of their career before retiring at some lesser pasture like Henry or er...Jason Wilcox. There's absolutely no point in developping youth players if you just sell them when they're 24/25. Seriously, none at all. If you sell them when they're 18/19 then all fine, because they won't have been so integral to your team that you can't afford to lose them. But again I reiterate, if you are just playing youth players for youth players' sakes, and selling them before they even reach their peak (whether you want to or not) then you are just becoming the English Ajax: a selling club. Gallas at least showed some fight, even if it was misdirected. Instead of stripping him of the armband and dropping him, Wenger should have had the balls to admit there was more than a tiny element of truth in his captain's statements and should bite the bullet with some of your larger ego'ed players.
23/11/2008 16:49:00
Totally agree on the Van Persie part. Hurry back Eduardo.
Frosty B
23/11/2008 17:33:00
Thanks Naoise, interesting to read an outsiders take on things. You know, even the greatest talent in the world, Diego Maradona, needed to have a solid team around of hardened pros in order to achieve things. I mean Barcelona also play a similar brand of football but they have Xavi, Iniesta and Yaya Toure/Kieta in the middle - and Denilson and Song aren't in that calibre and might never be. But I'm not going to throw the toys out of the pram. It's very disappointing but we have no divine right to win trophies every season or two seasons or whatever.
23/11/2008 17:40:00
0 are right we have no divine right to win trophies. It's just a shame we were so close last year, if only Wenger added in the transfer window last January we could have won the title and/or the Champions League. Always buy from a position of strengh, and not wait until you are in trouble.
Frosty B
23/11/2008 17:47:00
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