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Match Ratings v. Dynamo Kyiv

1.Manuel ALMUNIA- Was only really called into action once, but its credit to his concentration levels that hew as alert to make a match turning save from Milevskiy. Had Kyiv scored, there would have been no way back. 8

4.Francesc FABREGAS(c)- Looked slightly more energetic than in recent weeks, whether it was the armband or the weekend's rest or both is anyone's guess. Provided an assist that only he could have provided from inside his own half, albeit it came about in dubious fashion. 7

10.William GALLAS- All eyes were on the deposed skipper and one slip apart, he did his job soldily and organised the defence well. One interception in the area shortly before our goal proved his value. A good night's work when many doubted his professionalism. 7

11.Robin van PERSIE- Bar his set piece deliveries, pretty anonymous, which was disappointing from such a senior player. Might easily have seen red from an overly officious referee for a stupid tackle in the first half. Kyiv forced him to drop very deep to collect the ball, but Vela looked the more effective of the strikers. 5.5

12.Carlos VELA- Was a bystander for much of the game, but offered a potent threat when running at the Kyiv defence. Sought to play on the shoulder of the defender in the second half but did fade. 6

15.DENILSON Pereira de Neves- Too many unnecessary touches which slows the team down inordinately. The Arsenal teams of old would take one touch and then pass, Denilson over elaborated last night on too many occasions, which slowed our attacks. Much more effective when he doesn't overly embellish his play. 6

16.Aaron RAMSEY- Looked lively and hungry as ever, looked to come in off the right and make things happen and had nearly all of Arsenal's chances in the first half. Like Vela, he faded a bit but I am tremendously enthused by what I have seen so far. Let's keep bringing him on slowly and not overhyping him. 6

17.Alexandre SONG Billong- Sound from a defensive standpoint, but like Denilson, takes far too much time on the ball when he should release it. 5.5

18.Mikael SILVESTRE- Looked calm and assured throughout, covers his full back well and his positioning is excellent. Though it has to be because there is zero recovery pace to speak of. 7

20.Johan DJOUROU- A few lapses in concentration, but defended o.k. in an unfamiliar slot. We clearly missed the presence of an overlapping full back and given that Clichy was the only player on the pitch with any experience of playing wide, I'm surprised Wilshere or Vela were not played on one of the flanks. 6

22.Gael CLICHY- A solid, if unspectacular display. Tried to bomb forward but with no natural wide player in front of him, he was often corwded out until Vela moved out there. 6


26.Nicklas Bendtner- Cut a determined figure when he came on, despite ironic cheering from the crowd that greeted his first touch. Shut the morons up with a brilliantly taken goal, one could have forgiven him for celebrating with an erect middle finger. 7

19.Jack Wilshere- Looked instantly at home and willing to take the ball and be incisive with it, absolutely fearless. More minutes from the bench will surely come his way in the coming weeks. 7

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

The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday November 26 2008

Time: 1:58PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
I must admit I thought Clichy was one of our better players, solid in defence and looked to get forwards. Agreed, what has happened to Sylvestre's pace? He was one of the quickest things on 2 legs a few years ago, do you think it is those injuries, age or combo of both that have caught up with him?
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26/11/2008 14:19:00

Fair ratings I suppose. Far too many players not retaining posesion, but I suppose that comes from the lack of confidence. Where I was sitting, Denilson was getting a lot of unjustified stick. Was this the same everywhere?
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26/11/2008 14:36:00

I didn't hear much stick for Denilson where I was, but he is one of the whipping boys, mercilessly sacrificed at the altar of the team's sins. With Bendtner on the bench last night and Eboue injured, I guess someone had to take all the blame.
Little Dutch
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26/11/2008 15:05:00

Denilson has improved immensely over the last four or five games, his erratic passing has all but disappeared and he shows some hunger that others are lacking, I must admit that I do not hear anyone giving him and stick in particular! WTF were people leaving with 10 minutes to go for last night, it really is getting ridiculous, I know people pays their money and makes their choice but come on guys!
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26/11/2008 15:35:00

Can we add 0.5 to Clichy's name please? Agree otherwise, especially how Ramsey and Vela started brightly but faded, and that both subs were good, well, subs. I'm still not sure about Bendtner as a starter though.
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26/11/2008 15:37:00

Denilson a 6? something is wrong with that, the best player on th field last night! Dont agree with a lot of these ratings but what the heck we won!
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26/11/2008 16:41:00

How come Ramsey gets a glowing school report and scores 6 whilst you are highly critical of Denilson who also scores 6? Something wrong there! I am a little tired of the stick Denilson is getting these days it seems to fashionable to criticise him now so I suppose he has taken over from Gallas in that respect. I thought Denilson had a good game he was energetic and committed and it seemed to me that he won lots of tackles and his passing has improved with - I would think - a good completion rate. Overall I thought it was a good solid display against a side which set itself up to be hard to beat. You can't always have Moet and Chandon, sometimes you have to have warm John Smiths, the result was the important thing!
norfolk dumpling
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26/11/2008 16:51:00

I didn't hear Denilson get much stick especially as the fans around me are the most vocal in the stadium! Maybe it was a small section elsewhere. Although I do think he gets too much grief everyone has their "whipping boys" for when things aren't going well.
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26/11/2008 17:06:00

I thought Denilson had a shocker last night. 5 from me. He was falling all over the place, passing was late and when he eventually did pass it was wayward. I am a big fan, as is LD, so don't accuse us of bashing him.
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26/11/2008 17:10:00

It shows that people see different things from the same picture. It is all about perspective, view point and preconceptions of which we all have a unique angle on. No matter what Bendtner does some people will slaughter the lad or Denilson or Almunia or Gallas. There are plenty of out players who I believe are unfairly criticised, but that is the same at most football clubs...
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26/11/2008 17:14:00

I was just about to say the same thing LG.
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26/11/2008 17:16:00

Denilson played well enough, but it's true; he does dwell on the ball sometimes, but in his defence, Kyiv were very effective at closing out the passing opportunities. I'm not sure he's grown in stature over the last few games though - Man City was a truly woeful display (he was not alone) from the Brazillian. He's a little inconsistent, but he's not the only one guilty of that. I still would prefer to see him in the centre as opposed to out wide (??), but we didn't really have an alternative, did we? I mean Wilshere is a better option out wide, but I very much doubt he'd have enough in the tank for the whole game in that kind of high pressure environment - twenty minutes is about right at his stage of developement. Still, gotta love the lad - here's hoping we can keep hold of him long enough for him to become a vital part of our team. I've heard he's a Chelsea supporter (anyone else heard this?) so we'll need to keep the blues from prying, in particular.
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26/11/2008 17:16:00

Chaos, the Chavs can go take a running jump, he has more class than to consider those Russian puppets.
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26/11/2008 17:19:00

I'm sure he will know that his developent is better off at Arsenal, where he knows he's got a chance to break through (as proven by being named in the first team squad already). I don't want to denigrate Chelsea (not today, anyway), but I'm quite comfortable assuming that at Chelsea his opportunities would be limited to reserve/U18 appearances. Whereas with us, he's already featured in the Champion's league, which as a 16 year old tells us that he's pretty blinkin' special, and tells him that Le boss truly believes in him. Come January I'm confident he'll sign his first professional contract with us. Longer term, though, he might have ambitions to play for the club he supports. Can anyone confirm what I've heard is true? A gooner mate told me, and he said he'd read it on the Arsenal website.
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26/11/2008 17:37:00

I thought Den started brightly, as did Ramsey and Vela. But you know one thing with young players is that they could fade quite significantly in a game and that's what happened. I don't want to take away the good work in running the ball back and putting in good passes in the 1st half just bcos he faded noticeably in the 2nd. These guys are in the stage - and Bendtner and Theo too - where they're trying to stay consistent for longer and longer, 90 mins and beyond; a good run of games and then we talk about consistent seasons, etc. I know someone's gonna say we shouldn't be having so many players who're in this stage, and at the squad planning level, that's fair enough too.
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26/11/2008 17:55:00

Oops, -running +winning
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26/11/2008 18:06:00

Poor old RVP, if he scored a hatrick he still would have got 5.5..LOL
Frosty B
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26/11/2008 19:26:00

Personally,I thot Denilson was horrible epitomised by a beautiful 1-2 pass instigated by OUR SKIPPER Fabregas which had opened up the tight Kiev defence but frustrated by Denilson's indecisiveness. Wilshere showed instant quality when he came and I will start him on the left before Denny,but he is not a wide player and we won,so Wenger was right. RvP had a decent game and I disagree that he was the worst Arsenal player according to your ratings. Clichy was my MoTM. I would love to see Denilsons OPTA indices on passes attempted/completed,assists,tackles won,nos of times he lost possesion.Maybe da stats will convince me dat he is not a player we should loan out with an option to sell.
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26/11/2008 23:15:00

Or maybe RvP got a 5.5 for putting in a performance that merited a mrking of 5.5.Imagine what he'd have to do for me to give himplayer of the month, like the last player of the month award I gave out for example. Unthinkable. ND, my rating of Ramey, seeming as so many of you want a forensic mathematic examination, is based on 7 for the first half 5 for the second. He started brightly, but burned himself out, to be expected for a kid his age trying to impress. I didn't slag Denilson off at all, I felt I made valid points about him holding the ball toolong. But as a long standing member, I'm glad Tom made the point that I clearly rate the boy and that comes across in most of my reports. I think by aged 23 Denilson will be one of the top midfielders in the world. But by then, I've a suspicion he'll be plying his trade in Madrid or Catalunya going by the club culture we are creating at the moment. Lou at least got my meaning without being oversensitive. ND, look on the match report thread for my thoughts regarding Denilson being a whipping boy. What people have to realise with these ratings is that they are based on a player's TEAM contribution, I don't give a flying fick about individuals, team, team and team. If one of your favourites has a bad/ indifferent game and you can't take reading about it, don't click the link.
Little Dutch
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26/11/2008 23:20:00

Frosty, thats a bit unfair. I expect more from RvP simply coz he's one of the senior bunch and I actually thought taking him off was a better idea than Vela, as Vela looked more dangerous than RvP.
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26/11/2008 23:20:00

RvP and Song got the same rating, but Song is a certified, pre approved whipping boy so nobody will complain about that. The other thing many of you will ahve to understand is that I have to write this in mylunch hour, so I don't exactly have a lot of time to ruminate over the whys and wherefores at massive,massive length. If you don't like them so much, go onto the forum, start a thread, do your own and I will print a selection of different members versions from now on. I did say that at the beginning of the season too,just to reiterate, this is as much your site as anyone elses. If you want to put across a view, you're more than welcome.
Little Dutch
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26/11/2008 23:24:00

LD please dont take your bat and ball away. I enjoy your comments and like you say we all have a chance to comment on different opinions. In general I would agree, I felt the first 10 minutes or so they all seem to be running on empty. I usually don't put much credence on what is printed in the papers but i do feel that there is an element of truth in the comments from Gael that the sides morale is somewhat shattered a the moment. At the end of the game I felt there was a building of a team once more. I watched the sigh of relief when they scored. The team spirit has been reignited in my opinion Considering they were without 9 'senior' team members the display was a pass. Please keep giving your reviews of the whole team.
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27/11/2008 00:49:00

Hello LD - please don't get the 'ump! I enjoy reading your reviews and think that they are amongst the most objective available. I know that you are a 'supporter' rather than just a 'critic' and that is important. Perhaps surprisingly, apart from a spell in the second half when he looked totally lost I thought Song had a decent game - covering and sweeping up - we all know that he still has a lot to learn as do most of the team which is hardly surprising given their ages and the speed at which they have been thrust into the top tier of football. Come on the Arsenal!
norfolk dumpling
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27/11/2008 08:20:00

Basically your ratings were crap LD and everyone deserved atleast 11.5/10 for their efforts! lol
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27/11/2008 08:59:00

I'm not asking for an arse kissing. The posts above were badly worded on my part, composed as they were at half past midnight after six pints of Samuel Smith's finest bitter (I guess I realise now why they call it bitter!) My point is I get a decent opportunity to express my opinions about any given player in the match report and I will continue more in that vein instead of producing a separate article for match ratings. The problem is, there are so many players and so many people have their favourites and something that's become a trend on this thread is not to argue the rating of the player and put forward a case for why it should be different, but to instead attack the writer for having some imagined ill intention behind the ratings or some imagined bias for/ against that player. Then I have to end up repeating the same argument after every game, which is not condusive to decent debate about the match or the players. Not only is it not constructive, but it's not a lot of fun either. Like I said, I'll put this sort of thing in the body of the match report and people here can feel free to go over to the forum, post their own match ratings and we'll front page them. I just thought this would be an interesting thing to try this season, I was right, it was interesting. But ultimately, it wasn't successful in the way I wanted it to be.
Little Dutch
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27/11/2008 09:20:00

Im a fan of RVP but he didnt have a good game the other night. Taking a few decent free kicks during a game is the kind of thing Disneylands David Beckham is still nicking caps for and a 25 year old RVP needs to produce more than that as a senior player in our team. The ratings are up here for us to agree or disagree there is no hidden agenda from the author.
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27/11/2008 11:05:00

I agree with LD in that Song and Denilson hold on to the ball too long. Song I thought had a good game apart from a bit of a wobble in the second when he thought we were playing in blue, but was an improvement on saturday, made a few tackles too, but still needs to up his work rate. Denilson I didn't think was very effective at all, and he just fell over alot, but he is not a winger and never will be so you can probably point that performance to that fact. I respect LD's ratings because ,as always, he is actually at the game and has a better perspective of things to those such as myself who don't have the luxury of a season ticket!
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27/11/2008 11:36:00

I don't see anything wrong with the ratings, but then maybe that's just because I agree with the score, pretty much. Keep 'em coming.
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27/11/2008 14:40:00

I am sorry to hear that you are no longer going to do match ratings and I am not kissing your arse or anyone elses for that matter. I am not sure the ratings were badly worded, summarising any players contribution during a match in a few short sentences is always going to be difficult and there will always be different perceptions of the same thing and as you say most of us have our favourites!
norfolk dumpling
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27/11/2008 16:41:00

Blimey these "24 and so much more" year olds are so touchy and sensitive." In another piece he has boasting how he was giving a fellow supporter some grief and shut him up because he had the audacity to complain about a player he paid good money to watch. LOL....Like the Arsenal kids, he'll mature in to a man one day.
Frosty B
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27/11/2008 21:22:00

Like I said, the forum can be accessed by clicking the green icon. Post match ratings for the Chelsea match and I'll have no compunction about front paging them completely unedited.
Little Dutch
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27/11/2008 22:05:00


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