I’ll choose to echo Wenger’s words while beginning to write this, by saying that there were many more positives than negatives coming out of the game at Old Trafford. On another day, we would have won the game by two goals, but awful refereeing, and a few lapses in concentration cost us the three points. However, unlike in previous seasons, when a defeat at the hands of a major rival has deflated us, I think the performance will give the lads, the boss, and the fans, many reasons to be confident about the season ahead. The ratings:
Almunia – 5.5 – You could make out from the penalty incident that he’s still rusty, which can be attributed to the fact that there hasn’t been much action in our own penalty box this season. Very bad decision to come out when he could see that Rooney would have gone nowhere. Rooney did dive, but Almunia eventually made contact. I don’t blame him for the second goal though.
Sagna – 7.5 – Strong, solid performance by our right back, and kept Nani quiet for the majority of the game. A superb tackle early in our box in the first half helped keep the scores level.
Gallas – 7.5 – I would have given him an 8, if not for how Rooney won the penalty. Unfortunately, he didn’t anticipate the situation well enough, but other than that, he had a fantastic match, especially in the first half, when he was immense.
Vermaelen – 7 – He said he came to England to play in such games, and he’s got through the test with ease. It was a very assured performance, even if not spectacular, and he rarely looked troubled. His passing is very impressive as well. Will be a big player for us this season.
Clichy – 7.5 – Fantastic performance by Gael, and he virtually kept Valencia out of the game. Got forward well too, but his crossing wasn’t up to the mark at times.
Song – 7.5 – This was a big test for the lad to show that he has indeed stepped up his game since last season, and he passed with flying colours. He bossed midfield for most of the game, and showed that he definitely is the reason Wenger hasn’t bought a midfielder in the summer.
Denilson 7 – Was solid for most of the game, and tracked back efficiently, but still gets into dangerous situations when trying to retain possession under pressure. Also, should have released Van Persie on the counter attack in the second half, but took a touch too many and we missed the opportunity.
Diaby – 6.5 – In the morning, I had a sneaky feeling that Diaby was going to have a bad game. He’s always been like that, an enigma, so to speak. Outrageously good one day, and equally frustrating the other. However, he was very impressive throughout, until that moment of horror which only he can make some sense out of. Could have made amends almost immediately, but rushed his left-footed shot well wide.
Eboue – 6 – I was just beginning to like the guy, and then he goes and does that. Like what has been written in many other blogs, he couldn’t have done it at a more inappropriate time. Had a decent game, but that dive has left a bitter taste in the mouth. Why can’t Wenger tell him directly not to dive on the pitch? I’m back to not liking him.
Arshavin – 7.5 – Super, super goal. He was clattered shamelessly by Fletcher moments before, but he got up, dusted himself down, and showed everyone how it’s done. Also did well to set up Van Persie, but drifted in and out of the match. Hope the injury isn’t serious.
Van Persie – 7 – He had a good game, but just can’t seem to get the ball in the back of the net. Struck the bar, forced Foster into a wonder save, and had a goal ruled out as Gallas strayed offside. Should be a serious threat once he scores his first of the season.
Bendtner – 6.5 – Didn’t do much except turn in a superb cross which Eduardo almost got to.
Eduardo 6 – The home fans shamelessly booed him onto the pitch, as they’re the same bunch who cheered Ronaldo every time he collapsed to win a free kick. To Dudu’s credit, he seemed to handle it well. This whole saga will help the entire squad come together.
Ramsey 5.5 – Didn’t look comfortable on the ball. Was probably too nervous out there. Wilshere would have been a better option.