Arsenal v Blackburn – Player Ratings

Almunia – 7 – Looks a much more confident keeper now, and is slowly learning when to come off his line, and when to not. He was solid all afternoon, but also showed a mean streak ala Mad Jens during his scuffle with Diouf.

Sagna – 6 – Blackburn didn’t offer much down the wings, so this game wasn’t a particularly challenging one for him defensively, but he really needs to work on his crossing. Sometimes it’s just too poor to accept at this level.

Toure – 7 – He had a very good game according to me, and (touchwood) is slowly getting back to being the defender he once was. I guess the captaincy is having a positive effect on him, and not talking to Gallas off the pitch has certainly helped!

Djourou – 7 – Was fairly comfortable although he was given the tough task of handling Jason Roberts. Make no mistake, his height and presence at the back was of great help to us today. He’s a relatively cool defender, and can certainly be a world class defender in a few years.

Clichy – 6.5 – A routine performance by Gael, who hasn’t enjoyed the best of seasons. Got forward and linked well with Nasri and Arshavin, but like Sagna, needs to cross way better than he currently does.

Walcott – 7.5 – Theo looks as if he was never injured! He used his pace well, and got into many good positions, creating chances for others. It was his run and cross that set up the first goal, which was vital for us to open the game up. Can’t wait for him to score again.

Denilson – 6 – Was a decent performance by the Brazilian, who had a shocker of a game in Rome in midweek. He lacks the requisite passing range that an Arsenal midfielder should have, but is adept at intercepting passes and winning the odd ball in midfield. But as ever, he worked his socks off.

Song – 7.5 – What a revelation he’s been in the last two games! His performance against Burnley was fantastic, and he was immense in today’s game as well. I can’t believe my eyes that it’s the same player who, according to many (including myself), wasn’t good enough to play for us. He wins ball consistently, is strong in the air, and has suddenly began passing the ball around beautifully. Keep it up lad!

Arshavin – 8 – My man of the match, not because he was involved in the game from start to finish, but simply because he produces moments of sheer genius that turn matches on their head. He did it with the second goal, which gets better each time you watch it, and created many more opportunities for others to score. He’s got that vision, that class, and he will surely be a huge player for us in the coming months.

Nasri – 7 – I was delighted with his effort throughout the game, despite having played 120 minutes in Rome. He was energetic throughout, and surprised me with his pace at times. Was also unlucky to not score, as his free kick hit the bar.

Bendtner – 6.5 – I’ve given him that rating, because I think he played really well. I admit I would have given him a lower rating had we drawn this game, but I really believe he’s in good form, and is doing everything right apart from finishing coolly. It was his pass that released Walcott for the first goal, and he led the line well all day. I feel after one or two missed efforts, the pressure from the crowd got to him a little bit, and it all went downhill from there. I’m sure that with more experience and support from the fans, he’ll develop that calmness in front of goal. Keep ‘ur chin up Nicklas, and put those pink boots back on!

Subs:

Diaby – 6.5 – Looked purposeful once he came on, but didn’t do too much of note.

Eboue – 7 for the football, 3 for the dancing – What can you say about this guy? I never thought I’d live the day to see him score a brace for Arsenal. The first one was good opportunistic play in the box, and the second was one hell of a penalty! I actually expected him to blaze it over the bar, but it was a fabulous goal. He needs to learn some real dancing moves, though.

Vela – 7 – Was lively during his short stay on the pitch, and won the penalty from which Eboue scored. I was hoping he’d take the penalty, though.