Arsenal v W.B.A – Player Ratings

By Atishay Agarwal

It was like watching last season all over again. We took the lead against a lesser side, dominated possession and passed the ball around with ease all day, but failed to kill them off. In fact, we wasted so many dangerous positions and some glorious chances, and on occasions our attackers looked bereft of ideas in the final third. It’s the first game of the season, though, and what was most important was to get all three points. Here are the ratings:

Almunia – 6 – He was largely untested, though he made one or two good saves. But he still doesn’t come out quickly enough to collect long balls and help his defenders, and some times rushes off his line all the way till the edge of the penalty area when there’s no need to. He’s a much improved keeper from three years back, but he still needs to improve, I feel.

Sagna – 6 – It was a solid if unspectacular performance by Goldilocks yesterday. He was comfortable while defending but didn’t do as much as he is capable of when going forward.
Gallas – 7 – There were times when our defence looked shaky, but Willy was more than effective in one-on-one situations. He saved us on a few occasions, notably when he rushed back and cleared off the line in the second half.

Djourou – 6 – A bit of a topsy-turvy display by our other Swiss defender, as he was composed most of the times, but lost the plot at times, especially at their ‘almost’ goal. Gallas had more than a word to say to him then. Hopefully, it’ll help.

Clichy – 7.5 – Gael was his usual self, and was even quicker than usual. He made a number of interceptions and bombed forward whenever he could. One electrifying run from the edge of our own penalty area in the second half was simply breathtaking. He coped admirably in defence as well, and was untroubled throughout the game.

Walcott – 5 – A disappointing start for Theo to the season which many say will be ‘his’. He gave the ball away a number of times, and his first touch still lets him down frequently. Maybe Arsene should try him up front, what say?

Eboue – 6.5 – I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw him lined up as a central midfielder, and what left me more baffled was that he looked better in the middle than he did on the right last year! He was quite assured in his play, and distributed the ball well. Having said that, some of his efforts on goal were ridiculous and utterly wasteful.

Denilson – 7 – The Brazilian had an impressive game, and dictated a lot of our attacking play. His intelligent run and cut-back set up the goal, and he tried to up the tempo all game with his passing. A definite improvement on last season.

Nasri(MoM) – 8 – Could he have asked for a better start to his Arsenal career? Neither could I! We usually see new signings from abroad go missing in their early games and not make an impact in their first 3-4 months in the league, but he got off the blocks straight away. Apart from the cool finish, his passing, mazy runs, and general play was top notch. Hleb who?

Bendtner – 5.5 – Nicklas started the game well, and passed the ball around impressively, especially the one to Clichy in the build up to the goal. As the match wore on, however, he faded away, and didn’t do anything of note in the second half.

Adebayor – 5 – He was looking dangerous in the first half and troubled the West Brom defence almost all game, but he was guilty of wasting chance after chance for the team. Some of his play was a bit selfish too, and his decision-making in the final third left a lot to be desired. Also, he got more and more predictable throughout the game, which made it slightly easier for them to defend against him. But let’s not criticize him. We know it takes him 3 straightforward chances to score, doesn’t it?

SUBS

Toure – 5 – Why was he playing on the right wing for Christ’s sake? I thought he would take his place in defence, Djourou would switch to midfield and Eboue to right back. Wenger probably thought of giving him just a run out to regain fitness, but we can’t play our players in just about any position on the field, you know.

Van Persie – 5.5 – Robin didn’t influence the game much after coming on, and looked just a little rusty. Extra points for not getting injured.

  • Russ

    Pretty much agree with your ratings although it was a shocking peice of defending by Djourou. He did redeem himself by clearing off the line after but got a deserved bollocking. We were lucky that gift was presented to fairly weak opposition. It’s early days and we won so no real complaints. A lot of players to come back and a few still rusty from the break.

  • Anonymous

    djourou had a great game considering the factors surrounding his appearance, and I prefer to see him lined up with Gallas then Kolo to be honest. He is dominant in the air, and he can also handle the strong attackers that usually give us problems aka drogba.

    nasri deserved a 9, clichy deserved an 8.5, djourou deserved an 8!

    Now, lets all take a moment to laugh at the other team in north london… and theyre superstar signings…

  • Anonymous

    5.5. way to generous for Theo – he needs to go out on loan because he is simply not good enough.

    I have never like Djourou but fair dinkum he now deserves his place ahead of Kolo for a while at least.

    The thought process AW to bring Kolo on to right wing made no sense especially as he just stood out there. He should have at least run around to try and lose some weight – he looked physically unfit. Anyways surely on that basis either Wilshire or Vela had to come on because there was nothing to lose with Walcott being pathetic and making no contribution at all.

  • leon

    last season we tented to condede goals very early because of lapses in concentration,i was happy with theway we defended and for once we scord early and although it was not a spectacualy performane it was solid,i am not worried about our performances up front its just first game the strikers just need a few more games to get in there stride,i think once we get delison,risisky and edwardo back we be alot more attcking force, and with diaby and delinson we can give fab it more of rest,i do feel that we need a defensive midfielder both diaby and delison are more attcking players,the only defensive mid is song,

  • leon

    last season we tented to condede goals very early because of lapses in concentration,i was happy with theway we defended and for once we scord early and although it was not a spectacualy performane it was solid,i am not worried about our performances up front its just first game the strikers just need a few more games to get in there stride,i think once we get delison,risisky and edwardo back we be alot more attcking force, and with diaby and delinson we can give fab it more of rest,i do feel that we need a defensive midfielder both diaby and delison are more attcking players,the only defensive mid is song,