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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

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The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday November 23 2008

Time: 1:29PM

Your Comments

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!
Sorry for the spelling, got a new keyboard today. Its amazing how different it feels with another one.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Totally agree on the Van Persie part. Hurry back Eduardo.
Frosty B
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.
Gooner_Vin 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
Gooner Vin, fine, we don't have the right to win stuff, very well. But why the ***** is our manager carrying on like a delusional spurs fan, talking about titles and *****? Do you hear Aston Villa claiming they're gonna win the title? Do you hear Sunderland claiming they'll play in Europe? Do you hear Middlesbrough say they'll challenge for a top four finish? The only people in this who are delusional are spurs, and I'd like us to keep it that way. If we're merely a top four side but nothing more, say so. If we're a waffer cup team, say so. Intertoto? Say so. Happy to avoid relegation? Just *****ing say so, don't go around acting like something you clearly aren't. I gather Arsene Who? is intelligent, and I suppose he is, but when you look at this team, it's performances, and contrast it with what the manager says (yesterday, to him, the spirit was good. Oh.), he sounds a bit unclever to me. Unclever, or spursy.
just what was with those PINK boots for Bentner?
Van Persie is an unusual case. I agree 100% he can be a selfish **** at times, and he also seems more intent in creating his own video compilation than seeing the team win sometimes. At the same time though, do you really believe that this is an unrescuable case? It's up to Arsene IMO. He just needs to have a good chat with him. It only takes a little dedication for a player of his quality to make such an adjustment.
As for who we'll sign in January, speculation is completely pointless. This is Arsene Wenger we're talking about. Who knows. If he signs anyone, it will probably be unexpected, but personally I fear that he has too much pride in his philiosphy to sign anyone.
Definitely don't believe that RVP is an unrescuable case at all. The guy is top class, imagine how much more unbearable things would be without his goal and 3 assists against Spurs. Given the numerous problems with our team in other areas, RVP is certainly not one of them in my opinion. If he can stay injury free and keep his temper in check we will all see what he is capable of.
ishman - I think RVP has not been up to it recently. I do also think the author has a particular hang up on him though. LD seems to have a pre-fixed idea that he is going to play badly before the game has kicked off and seems determined to slate him in every article. I believe you should judge everyone on the particular game only. Anyway, we'll probably go and win next week with RVP netting a hat trick.
Frosty B
He is not injured and it has been six years of "have a word in his ear", but still, nothing. And are you taking the mick when you go on about his one goal and two assists (not three) against Spurs? I know that was good. Well done van Persie. He used his usual trick of helping nobody but himself all game and it paid off.
Frosty B, check through the match ratings all season, every game RvP has played. Every time he has played well I've said so, every time I've played badly I've said so. Same as I have done with every player. Argue the point without the stupid accusations, you've seen something in the article I've written and really cannot stand and accused me of it because you can't bear to hear your darling RvP criticised so you've just tried to say something to ***** me off. It's worked too. Check through the articles before making mindless statements like that.
Little Dutch
Little Dutch
Sorry LD, no need to be insulting using words like stupid and mindless. Thought you were against people using language like that on these discussion boards. I won't bother posting on here if I'm going to get berated like that. We are all upset at the moment, let's all pull together.
Frosty B
lol LD, easy, dun remember seeing yu wind up at all the millions of such accusations yu've got on VA before..
Frosty B, LD is just frustrated just like how all of us are, he never reacts like that & never will again on too many occasions. it's just that all of us are really *****ed off with whats happening at our club, but it'll all change, so dun take it too seriously & please do not stop sharing your thoughts and opinions here cuz yu & all the other gooners are more than welcomed here..
I can take my opinion being disagreed with all day long, but that was quite deliberate. Ridicule my opinion, disagree with it, but don't cast apsersions on my character because you don't agree. Having pre conceptions/ prejudices/ favourites amongst players is my absolute pet hate, to the point that I've just written a massive peroration on it for another publication. It's incredibly frustrating to be told you are something you are not.
Little Dutch
Just checking the archives I've given van Persie motm for Blackburn away, Newcastle home, Tottenham home and Fenerbahce home. Frosty, I don't want you to stop posting, the reason I get *****ed off is one of the biggest travails of your work being made available for comment, people will go for the personality and not the writing. Usually it doesn't bother me too much, but I've spent my evening writing a piece on how Gooners are so frustrating because so many have pre conceived ideas that they can't wait to wheel out the second things go wrong. I make a massively conscious effort not to do that so when someone who doesn't know you or your character tells you are guilty of it unfairly, it is very frustrating.
Little Dutch
Hi everyone. I'm up for for the Wigan game on the 6th December, taking my 2 boys for their first ever game Haven't been to the new ground yet and not been to Highbury for over 6 years since I moved to Dorset. Sorry for rambling on but I used to drink in the Highbury Barn before games. Is the pub still open? if so will I be able to take young children in there, or is there a better watering hole closer to the ground which is child friendly. Thanks in advance
Dorset Red
well if you count the through ball to nasri for ade's goal it was 3 assists - silvestre headed home his corner, gallas his free kick. although we haven't scored in the last 2 league games we have scored over 50 goals already this season which indicates that our attacking options are not bad. midfield and defence appear to be areas of greater concern in my opinion at this moment in time.
Dorset Red, the Barn is still about but they only let season ticket holders in last I heard. I drink in the Tavern personally, pretty friendly, not too rammed. Other than that, The Herbert Chapman on Holloway Road or the Tollington Arms aren't bad either.
Little Dutch
ya LD take it easy, yu dun have to justify yourself, cuz the majority of the members on VA know how yu really are. your opinion & articles are widely appreciated here, yu know that too alrite. n i know it's frustrating when yu get unfair criticism, but chill now, dun react like Willy Gallas lol..
Thanks for the swift reply, I'll probably try one of those. good luck
Dorset Red
but i really wanna give yu a sliding tackle from behind for making me stop reading ArseBlog hehe. i used to really enjoy some of the stuff arseblogger would write, but he really is a very biased nutcase & just dun feel like reading his blog anymore..
Little Dutch, thanks for the reply, just an add on, my boys have Fabregas and Van Persie on the back of their shirts. Will the latter one be safe if I go in the Barn? :-)
Dorset Red
I'm sure he'll be fine, I bet he won't be buying any drinks for anyone else though. Expect a scowl if you don't buy him one :-)
Little Dutch
Dorset Red, he'll probably eat him alive then, only joking.The Arsenal Tavern used to attract a bit of trouble when I used to drink there. For a quieter drink try the top end of Upper Street, The White Swan, lots of room and you can have a reasonable meal in there too.
Frosty B
I don't think you can criticize arseblogger too much, its just his opinion. The problem is whatever he says is taken as gospel by so many fans. in regards rvp we have never had a full season out of him, as frustrating as he can be I will judge him come may after he hopefully stays fully fit for the majority of the time. If he has 20-25 goals there can be no doubt we have to keep him.
iceman10, RVPs overall goalscoring ratio is quite good really. Let's hope he can catch fire again soon and lift us out of this slump.
Frosty B
The Tavern did use to carry a bit of a reputation, but they closed it for a few years and since it reopened it'sbeen quite different. I think the nutters have gone to the Gaslight. With regards RvP, there's no doubt he brings a lot of goals, but he's far too inconsistent. At the age of 25 that shouldn't be an issue anymore. RvP has become like Stveen Gerrard to us now, on the face of it seems invaluable, but really he does not fit into our style of play, he is too selfish to fit our ideologue. Plus, I find it amazing that it's all but been revealed that RvP has been insulting his own team mates and causing fights in the team and nobody comments. Had it been revealed Bendtner or Eboue had done likewise, I imagine the reaction would have been somehwat less restrained. Likewise, when RvP dived against Spurs everybody stuck their hands over their eyes and fingers in their ears, when Eboue does it it'sl ike somebody has committed genocide.
Little Dutch
LD - But surely you can see RVP has more about him than Eboue and Bendtner? I'm afraid you are in the minority here but everyone has an opinion. What is it about Dutch players that people on here seem to want to attack? First Bergkamp and then Van Persie. You really are no different from that Bergkamp Myth bloke in your blinkered rantings and obsessive behaviour on one player. Get behind the team.
Frosty B
van Persie is talented, but he doesn't fit the team because he's too selfish. Perhaps you should compare the rating I gave Bendtner to the one I gave van Persie. I'm not being obsessive, you bought it up. As for get behind the team? Well I was at Eastlands on Saturday singing "we love you Arsenal" for the last ten minutes of the game, I was in Kyiv, I'm going to Burnley I'm going to Porto. If that ain't support, I'd be interested to know what is.
Little Dutch
And read the link I posted above. Who did I give player of the month to last month?
Little Dutch
dorset red...what ever you do dont go to the herbert chapman...that pub gets very busy...unless you like drinking or standing in the street
fran merida
I also travel as much as you. But moaning at the player is not supportive. Get behind the team when things are not going well, they need encouragement, not negativity. I hate it when one players gets barracked at games, save it for afterwards. Everyone of your posts seems about one player, there are 10 others on the pitch too. Anyway I'm off to bed so goodnight to you Sir.
Frosty B
fran merida, good advice, not for young children
Frosty B
But this isn't the football stadium is it? This is after the game isn't it? Again you're casting aspersions about how I behave in a football stadium without knowing. This article is about thirteen players, look, their names are in bold.
Little Dutch
If you read my posts as much as you say you'll see how often and how vociferously I criticise those that get on players backs during a game, it's not even that you've got the wrong end of the stick, you've thrown the stick away and have started accusing me of everything I stand against. I would say deliberately too.
Little Dutch
RVP is different, he is more likely to shoot on site than any other player in our team and as a pure talent only Fabregas can match him IMO thats why I feel he has a part to play. He is inconsistent and doesnt stamp his authority on games as much as he should thats possibly why the dutch use him in a wide role. In regards to his attitude, I would wager there is a player like that at every club across the land its just their club captains havent told the world who they are.
Nobody could or would dispute his talent, you're right to say his natural ability matches Fabregas, but he simply does not have the mentality to play at Arsenal for me. His shooting doesn't bother me so much, he's oretty good at it,what bothers me is his unwillingness to run off the ball and help his strike partner. He rectified that in the Porto game and was massively effective, but now he's slipped back into his Stevie Me impersonation. I'm sure most clubs have a trouble maker, but we have a squad that does not get on with one another and it shows, that has to be sorted and if a few trouble makers have to be removed, so be it. Gallas clearly has to go now and I think van Persie does too. Remember that awesome goal he scored at the Valley a few years back, a breathtaking goal. He had alrwady been booked and celebrated by running to the crowd, Henry had a quick word to remind him to remind him not to pick up another needless booking. He clearly tells Henry to "***** OFF!" quite forcefully. What we know now, wrongly, but we do know, is that he is still showing that kind of insolence.
Little Dutch
Robben, Snijder, Ruud van cheats alot, Davids, Seedorf. Attitude Seems to be a dutch thing! They do tend not to hang around at the same club too long (The mythical Bergkamp apart!). This is a big season for RVP he has to stay fit and he has to deliver, also if he isnt doing it then Wenger has to use Vela as he is a guy I feel could apply real pressure on Robin.
To be fair RvP did show much better team work last year before he got injured again. That's when we played well as a team and were on a great run together. It could be that a team player RvP contributed to the good performances and results, it could be the other way around. But now that things are looking ****, t's a big test not just for him, but the whole young team. We'll see how they respond (we keep saying that I know). Den/Song/Diaby were just as guilty of not taking responsibility when we had to be decisive and committed. It's as if they'd just pass the ball (slowly) for someone else to try and make a difference. When the entire midfield's doing that, we created nothing. That's an attitude problem too. What we need is for the manager to speak with the players on all attitude issues, not just selfishness. If he has to drop someone to make a point, so be it.
To all the wailing mob take this short trip down memory lane. Football League Division 1 Arsenal P14 W 3 D 3 L 8 Points 9 Luton town the only team below them and the scum the team above them. The next match we won. The team had Rimmer Storey Mcnab Kelly Mancini Simpson Rice ball Radford Brady Kidd. Now that was a time to worry.
For those who do not know that was 1974 1975
We, as a club now find ourselves in a rather awkward situation and I don't mean because we are struggling either.......If the team picks itself up and turns things around, we know this will be a temporary measure as the deep underlying problems will still be there (lack of quality, poor players, no leadership, defensively naive etc) We would move up the table nicely as we all want, but this would then mask those deficiencies enough for Wenger to not buy anyone in January. Now buying in Jan is always a gamble as it is midseason and all that, but if you don't buy in the summer you have no one to blame but your self. We have money to spend and obvious, nay, glaring weaknesses that need addressing. We can all see them, we can all write about them, but only one man can do anything about them and that's Arsene. He has done enough for our club for us to allow him time to address this situation, but, if he fails to address this obvious and rather pathetic team currently. Starting, in favour of molly coddling the lot of them when a facking big kick up the ‘arris is probably what is in order then we must consider one thing, he is more concerned about the players than he is Arsenal football club. Previous actions for the club by him mean nothing if it is devaluing the club and its supporters by allowing us to slip back into mediocrity due to his inaction then we must part company and go our seperate ways. This of course would be the last in a series of scenario's I would wish to see happen, but it IS a possibility if this alarming trend that has been going on for almost 3 years continues, for the sake of us fans and OUR club!
I am not one to get easily riled up about anything but for god sake Frosty (never thought I would say that!) what is your problem with LD not giving van Persie whatever rating you want? he is very much telling the truth. he and Gallas need to go. the two troublemakers within the squad. van persie has not yet formed a partnership with any player than has played at the club. He is injured most of the time, he does not get on well with most of the team it appears. he is too obsessed about being a youtube star rather than helping his team mates and he does not score enough goals compared to Adebayor or Eduardo. Sell him and sign a new striker who is more concerned about Arsenal than himself.
There seems to be a lot of people thinking we should buy in January. Sure we should but it won't change anything this season. Given it took Henry, Pires 6 months to get going, it is unreasonable to expect signings to turn our season around beyond raising moral a bit. We are stuck with our lot, let's support them. They are still very good footballers who led The PL for majority of last season. Just a shame Arsene didn't strengthen the squad.
We don't have to sign foreigners (to the league). We could get Upson/Distin/Wheater/Laursen and Alonso/Parker/Reo Coker for example and improve greatly!
MArtin Laursen would be a very solid signing, isn't his contract up soon? Parker just gets too many injuries, just what we don't need, but I understand your examples, people who won't need an adjustment period or if so a minimal one at the most!
To be fair to RVP, I think he is Arsenal at heart. I've seen pictures of him when he was 6 years old wearing an Arsenal shirt. But he needs to pull his socks up, no doubt. And if he is a gob*****e, that's fine so long as it's not malicious or dividing. If he is causing division or ostracising himself, then sure, he has to go. Gallas has to goo too, but it's a shame, I believe that he, Fabregas, and Adebayor are the only players who can turn this around before christmas, which if things don't improve could feel like a mighty long time.
T14, I agree a player with a PL experience would improve us but Wenger just doesn't buy that type of players at the top of their game.. He'd rather go for the unearthed talent.
The question is will he change his purchasing strategy now that it is very obvious it has failed him this time round. He has built other teams but also brought or currently had expereince in the team at that time. Gilberto, Campbell, Lehmen, Ljungberg, Pires etc, etc he HAS purchased experienced quality players before and he will damn well need to soon otherwise we could be in for a world of hurt this season. Im dreading to think what a fired up Chelski could do to us, especially missing up to 9 players through injury like against Citeh this weekend!!
LG, I am not so much worried about Chelsea. The players seem to fire themselves playing the Top3. It's the likes of Stoke, Hull, Fulham, Sunderland that I am worried about.
I will settle for anything other than a defeat right now. Chelsea's home record maybe a bit shakey recently, but don't forget it was awesome before that and won't be far off that again in the future. We are playing like pooh at the minute, not a good prospect in store for the travelling fans!
Although the fact it is away from the Grove is probably a good thing as if they play anything llike they did this weekend they would, rightly so, get slaughtered by the crowd for playing like a bunch of tarts!
And our survey said! Arsenal name Fabregas as captain
Yep, Cesc the new captain on a permanent basis. Gallas to play tomorrow night sans armband.
Little Dutch
I am glad that this has happened. The stupid fans will not accept Gallas, the idiots are already phoning up and saying they will boo him.
London Gooner, whats goin on mate?.... Not givin it the large about how great your team is today ....instead i see new side to you, a rather worried and scared LondonGooner..hehe..
I Bling Red
After saturday, i havent seen you on Vital come mate?
I Bling Red

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