Date:Thursday May 10 2007
Sorry for the lateness, my fault.
I am not a football expert, but when I see a midfield comprised of 4 central midfielders, I can be 100% accurate that this team has NO WIDTH. I have the utmost respect for AW and have been his staunch supporter throughout the years, I got over the signings of players such as Stepanovs and Malz in a blink of an eye, but sometimes... sometimes I just don't get the man. I hope it is all a piece of a master plan he is developing which will one day come into fruition and I will just shut up in awe. Until then, I will start this one by giving AW a 4.5 for handling this game quite 'strangely'. So
Arsene Wenger - 4.5
Jens Lehmann - 7 - solid today. I felt he could not have done anything to stop the glancing header from Essien, but everything else (bar a few goal-kicks) was up to standard. He bailed us out in the end tipping Kalou's shot over the bar. Prior to that had a few nice saves, especially the one from triple F (Fluffy Fat Frank).
Manu Eboue - 7 - let me limit the critics on Manu to a few snoozes he had when Cole/Bridge got behind his back and Kolo had to bail him out. Otherwise tackled well, with incisiveness, precision and determination, and did his usual marauding on the byline. Was not helped AT ALL by having Cesc in front of him, and ended up on the flank after Diaby was replaced by Hoyte. Could have been a hero but his clean strike crashed off the bar in the dying minutes.
Gael Clichy - 8 - just awesome. I feel that very soon we will see similar stories about GC to the ones we keep seeing about Titi and his imminent departure from Arsenal. Easily MOM for the Arsenal.
Kolo Toure - 7 - most of the time he was in total control of the situation, and also had to close down when Eboue was AWOL. Looked shaky a few times in the box.
Billy Gallas - 7.5 - I know I'll get slated for this one. Essien eluded him for the equalizer and he missed a few glorious chances, the free header and the failing to connect on Ade's cross-shot come to mind. He was burning with desire and handled Kalou very well most of the time.
Gilberto - 7 - another great penalty by Berto just prior to the break. His tackle on Essien in the 1st minute really set the tone for his entire game. Made sure there was no problems in front of the back 4, but made a couple of silly fouls within shooting range.
Cesc - 6.5 - he had a more-less average game for his high standards. It is obvious that he is nurturing a marvelous hatred for the triple F, and had a go at him whenever it was possible. Escaped a booking. I really think someone ought to tell him: Shoot son!
Denilson - 6.5 - Cesc's twin brother had a solid game until Paolo Fereira's two-footed desperation lunge took him out in a 2007 version of Diaby @ Sunderland. He was the most mobile and central MF of all four, and although small in stature did not back down from any 50/50s. Replaced by Alex Hleb in 59th minute.
Diaby - 5 - Very disappointing. Is he off form or lacks motivation? Last few games he looked a bit lazy, too. Did nothing worth remembering. Alex Song should keep him on his toes next year. Replaced by Hoyte in 79th.
Adebayor - 6 - the 'Touch of a Beast' bacteria is rapidly spreading along our front line. 110% effort, little end product. Received a reprimand from AW after being too fancy for his own good. He had at least 3 good opportunities but his shooting boots, he left at home.
Julio Baptista - 5.5 - yes he created the penalty, that's why he has 0.5 more than average. Most of the time was anonymous where mattered - in attack. He did get involved in several scuffles and dog fights around the Chav's box, but apart from his regular 20 misplaced passes his contribution was a big zero. What a disappointment.
Hleb - 5.5 - I feel sorry for this guy. He ends up playing on the left flank, tries really hard in attack, and even attempts a 20-yarder with his left peg that ends up blocked, although I doubt that it would have reached Cech. He takes a trademark Jens Lehmann mental lapse in defence and allows Wright-Philips to whip in a great cross to Essien who converts. I expected him to start and why he did not will remain a mystery to me.
Hoyte - none - played 11 mins and told Alex to move to the left. That was about it from him.
All in all, they were there for the taking... it really feels as two points lost. And I could not give a flying f**k if we handed the title to the Mancs. Mourinho is a drama queen and Clarke is a pri ck. John Terry is a hideous person. Roll on Pompey and moreover, roll on next season. Arsene, please sign Ribery.
Player ratings submitted by G4L
Date:Thursday May 10 2007
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