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G4L's Player Ratings v Fulham

After a night of Jim Beam I embark on another AFC Player Ratings and boy am I delighted to do so. 3 points in the first round is the right stuff and goes along with Arsenal like Jim Beam goes with Cola on the side.

I hate reruns and there 's only a select few films/directors/actors that I can watch when there's nothing new. I can pick and choose between the Godfathers, Arlington Roads, Guy Ritchie, Star Treks and Wars, however when it comes to Arsenal I have no choice. I am hypnotized and I have to stay there even if the intro is so painful and disgusting as the pathetic lapse of focus of our keeper and his assist to Healy for his 1st Prem'ship goal. Oh well, here we go:

Jens Lehmann - 4.5 - I am sure he is relieved as the Arsenal managed to show why the comeback kings tag was ever so popular last year. I was not really surprised at his brain excursion burdened our back 4 as early as 51st second, but I was also confident that he'll come good in the end. And so he did, managing to come up with some nice saves that came from the Fulham counter attacks. Another one like that and he'll be nailed to the bench.

Bacary Sagna - 6.5 A solid debut for Baca. Was not troubled that much, and played some good attacking football sending in a good 1st half cross for a red shirt to shoot wide and an excellent 1-2 with Manu Eboue that created some openings. Defensively. he was quite safe and did show a few nice tackles. Positionally, he still needs to learn or adapt to the pace, but from what I saw, he seems to be able to cope well with it as well as the power of the EPL.

Kolo Toure - 8 - Kolo amazes me. Julio Baptista should immediately renounce his nickname and transfer it to Kolo, as he truly is a massive presence at the back and a force to be reckoned with. He came up with a couple of mazy runs (probably out of frustration) one of which led to the penalty from Bocanegra.

Bill Gallas - 7.5 - Compliments to Gallas who led this young defence with much authority. No mistakes, very organized and disciplined, Bill Gallas showed why he is a good choice for a new captain

Gael Clichy - 7 - Standard high level, tempo, sprinting up and down the left flank. I am really fond of Gael's game, but on a couple of occasions he was caught out of position or flat footed.

Eboue - 5.5 - one of the worst games I've ever seen him play for Arsenal. Apart from one or two glimpses of his ability, he was a passenger in this game. His passing was poor, he was without ideas, and he rarely was a threat. Didn't do a lot of backtracking either. Deservedly subbed in 62' by Theo Walcott.

Cesc - 7 - some say that he was very quiet, and that may be true, but his touch of brilliance and his pass to Alex Hleb was enough to leave a mark - and give us the 3 pts (along with Alex's cool finish). He did not look settled at all but laboured and put in some strong tackles. Took a couple of long range shots, none on target.

Flamini - 6.5 - Flamini's performance can be summed up with one scene: him (with a little help from Cesc Fabregas) giving Warner a stereo experience of the French-Spanish-English version of 'give-us-the-ball-ye-(c)***' a traditional saying passed on by generations. Booked for this. Again I will say Matty has been drinking something during the off-season, his 1st touch has improved and the short passing is not always too short, on the contrary - his passes are accurate and with pace. He did his usual 110% effort and closed down opponents fairly well. Passionate and hard-working.

Rosicky - 7.5 - Tommy got into great shooting positions but his targeting was off. Especially early in the 2nd half when he latched onto a long ball, chested it down and shot straight at Warner. His link-up play was solid as ever and he did fine in fulfilling his defensive tasks as well. Subbed by Bendtner in 72'.

Alex Hleb - 9 - Man of the Match in my eyes. 1st half was better than 2nd, he had a clear penalty 'not seen' by Dowd, and thus Lawrie accused us of diving. Garbage I say. He was denied by Zat Knight a certain goal, and was killing their RB over and over again, going past him and cutting the ball inside looking for a red shirt. He dropped a bit in the 2nd half as marking was tighter, but how about that finish right at the death? Most of the moves in attack involved him and he took his regular share of kicks from behind. 9 to go Alex.

RvP - 7.5 - When he went down after that collision with Warner I was desperate. He was clutching his knee and it looked scary. Robin was overwhelmed and isolated in attack, and was denied space. When he did find it on a few occasions on through passes, his usually impeccable 1st touch betrayed him and had to settle for a pass where in other conditions he would blast a couple. His free kicks were inches wide and the penalty was unsaveable even for Tony 'Three Hands' Warner. Only after Bendtner was introduced did he have more space to operate. Subbed by Alex Song in the added time.

Subs:

Theo Walcott - 6 - took over from Eboue and continued in a similar manner. I got annoyed when he was isolated on the wing with 6'6 Zat Knight and didn't skin him. I don't know if he was mentally unprepared, was it lack of confidence in his skill or something else. It's make or break for him this season and he needs to find his feet and start attacking opponents with confidence. The sooner the better.

Nick Bendtner - 7.5 - here is one who does not lack confidence AT ALL. Although on the pitch for a mere 20 minutes, he did some great things, won headers, held up the ball well and managed to squeeze a powerful strike in the box from a very difficult situation with his back towards the goal. Impressive.

Alex Song - excellent run to the midfield from the touchline and great celebration with his teammates.

Roll on Sparta Prague and hopefully we'll have Dudu up front as well. Cheers,

G4L




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The Journalist

Writer: Rocky7 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday August 13 2007

Time: 2:16PM

Your Comments

I agree with most of your comments but Flamini was poor he never provides the platform for Cesc to do his stuff. All he does is run about like a headless chicken 5/10. You gave walcott a better rating than Eboue WTF were you watching? Theo was shocking AGAIN
gunner1981
alex song rating lol...
protocal
Flamini was solid it should have been 7 for him but agree with the rest
afghenry
I rated the Flamster as well.
hatespur
What did flamster do apart from run around alot? he certainly didnt provide any attacking threat nor did he provide any defensive cover for cesc to do his work. I admire his effort but feel we have much better options in song diaby denilson and bert. Flamini and Theo will cost us points just like Freddie did last year. I seriously doubt Theo would be near the first team squad had it not been for his huge transfer fee - Gibbs showed much more promise when played pre-season.
gunner1981
I suppose you didn't see all the matches in the preseason then g1981, where Theo looked quite good, with and without ball, plus he scored and assisted. As for Flamini - au contraire, he did the exact things he is required to: run a lot, break up opposition play, string a few passes - he did the lot. He is also not short of experience; compared to Diaby, Denilson and Song he has the upper hand, and as I am sure you know - he would not play if Gilberto was match fit. His job is not to provide an attacking threat either - Hleb, Rosicky, Cesc and even Eboue should cover that. And even that is not true as he was our 2nd goalscoring MF last season behind Berto. Lay off of him I suggest.
G4L
you should have included bendtner in the poll,im sure he would have taken some votes off hleb
fran merida
You guys are really dramatic with this "same as last season team". Arsenal was just unlucky of conceding a goal in less than a minute. Fulham took advantage of that, defended , used counter attack, and their keeper was superb. Fulham is annoying sometimes when they play against big clubs.Arsenal are stronger than I thought they would be,
k_chelski
i agree with your comments G4L ... although a 4.5 is a little harsh on lehmann, i think his blunder was more an act of clumsiness rather than eccentricity whats funny is the fulham vitalfootball group gave their team an average rating of 7.1 .. higher than what G4L gave us !
yazz
I read David Pleat's chalkboard on guardian.com and he pointed out that with Hleb playing off the van Persie, he was occupying the space and play in which Cesc would normally operate, which explains why so many, me included, thought he was relatively quiet. He still kept demanding the ball though and made that killer ball to Hleb. I thought that Flamini did alright, think some of the criticism is unfair. Not good enough to command a regular place, but he reminds me of Ray Parlour and we sometimes need that kind of player who keeps running and fighting. Something not right with Theo - never seems to play with real convinction. Maybe he needs to get more aggresive and nasty. Bendtner is going to be an asset - he's an unknown quantity and has a great physicque to cause problems for defences, a la Drogba. I'd like to see Bendtner in a physical battle with John Terry or Rio Ferdinand!
Gooner_Vin
I think a 5.5 is a bit harsh on Eboue. He played pretty good and combined well with Sagna. Nothing ever devolped on the right side. Because they were both there to shut it down. But for me Theo was the most disappointing one. Big fan of the kid but RVP but him on a break away and he tripped over his own feet, I expect much more from him. Good result though and agree with K_chels. Some Arsenal fans are being a little harsh on the team we still won.
gunnerkid107
Good effort G4L. I feel you give RVP and Hleb a bit too much credit though. For man of match on our side, I feel that Kolo deserved it more, with his defending and running. Another thing I remember feeling yesterday was how Clichy has become so consistently good. Watching him snap into tackles, as well as pass the ball even when he's deep is a joy to watch.
Andy-bayor
I generally agree G4L, except on 2 points: 1 this season is not make or break for Theo, he's still a baby; 2 cola should never be allowed to ruin whisky/bourbon. As for Flamini, I like him, and not just because he looks like Noel Gallagher but because he's a valuable player.
JakeB
Kolo's the man today! Still think we need to meld a bit at the back, especially from set pieces. Had a few heart attacks there, and when you look at our defence they are surely up to the task. Does anyone get the feeling that there are going to be goals this season?
darinb007
Well done Baca. The man ensured a colossus at the heart of the Arsenal defense which quite prevented a determined Fulham from adding on to their tally on his debut. 7 Should be the least don't you think?
Migire
being linked with gamst Pederson this morning chaps....just what we need IMO
TR7
JakeB, that's why it is on the side ;)
G4L
Nice G4L, but where's Alex Songs rating??? He wasted those final moments for us!!!
stukazufuss
his ratings will be announced tonight after a board meeting in the pub
G4L
u think pedersen is a good signin...i mean he has got a gud left foot.....but i dunno if he is arsenal quality..wat do u guys think?
karley
oh god gibbers seems *****ed that he was not made captain......this is bad..really this is .......neway it seems blackburn want flamini and cash for pedersen i say we give it to them
karley
"I found out that evening when I saw it on the Arsenal website. I wasn't upset about not being captain, but I was about the way I learned about it."
k_chelski
...He added: 'I will give the same commitment to the club that I always have. This is an important season.'
SUX2BU
will theo live up to his price tag this season???
daspecial1
Lay of Theo the guy is only 18, when he finishes growing ( 21) comments about his price tag can be made.
Gunners
Id really love gamst to kick it for us but dont let flamini go... he's good for the team
Migire
 

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