Thursday, November 5, 2009

Arsenal - AZ Alkmaar: Player Ratings

4-1. Not far from the 3-0 that I predicted.

Player Ratings:
Almunia: 6
Nothing much for him to do except for a fantastic reflex save (which then hit the crossbar) to a close-ranged strike. Good to see him back, I believe the back four felt more assured to have him guarding between the posts compared to the less experienced Manonne.

Eboue: 7
I feel that he is getting better and better in recent months. Other than the usual dramatic fall when tackled by the opponents, he is more willing to attack the defenders (in comparison to Sagna) and coming into the middle of the pitch to help out when necessary (whereas Sagna usually sticks to the byline). His passes were good today.

Gallas: 7
I think he really enjoys his partnership with Vermaelen. Gallas is at his usual self, willing to surge forward and cover for Eboue when Eboue could not track back in time. I would really love to see Gallas back to his scoring form.

Vermaelen: 8
I am really assured when he is playing, primarily because he often wins the ball with his head. In the past, opponent teams just have to whip the ball into our half and you can be almost certain their tall sole striker will usually win the ball and continue the attack. Now, you see less of that simply because Vermaelen will head the ball back into their half. haha. Glad to see him surging forward at times too.

Gibbs: 7
Is his Clichy's twin brother? Their style of play is really similar: always charging towards the right winger when the winger gets the ball, sticking close to the winger when the winger is holding the ball, and always so willing to surge forward to cross balls. I just hope that he will be more willing to dribble the ball when he goes in front, cos' he definitely has some tricks in his bag.

Nasri: 7
Good to see him back, but was rather quiet compared to the rest of the midfielders. His goal was beautiful, especially as he paused to caused the defender to wrongfoot, before he scores with composure. I rate him at 7 only because he scored with composure.

Fabregas: 8
I felt the goalkeeper could have saved the first goal, as the ball was basically rolling into the net. But his second goal was superb. He was more mobile today, as you could see him almost everywhere in the opponent's half, rather tha his usual central midfield position. He seems to be taking a more free role today with Arshavin coming into his 'engine room' position occasionally.

Song: 7
He is looking more and more like Flamini, but with better passes and headers. His passes are really good for a defensive midfielder.

Diaby: 6.5
Seemed to be slightly better than usual, not just because of his goal, but because he was more willing to pass the ball quickly, rather than holding to the ball until someone snatches it away from him. However, he still does his mispasses, but not as frequent as usual. Sometimes, I felt that the other players did not want to pass to him too, because they passed to someone in a tighter position while he was open. haha.

Arshavin: 9 (MOTM)
I think we still are not seeing the dribbling Arshavin as often as we would love to, but today he amazes us with his assists. His vision and his quick release of the ball was the key. Today, it was as if Arshavin was playing as Fabregas.

Van Persie: 7
The attacking midfielders stole the limelight today, and Van Persie was relatively quiet. Still, I think we are all glad that Van Persie is really playing well as a sole striker (which was previously the role of Adebayor).

Ramsey - 6 - Was rather quiet today.
Eduardo - 7 - Great backheel!
Rosicky - N/A - Came on too late.

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