Sunday, 29 August 2010

Blackburn v Arsenal: Player ratings

Blackburn Rovers 1 - Arsenal 2
At Ewood Park

Manuel Almunia - Could do nothing to stop the goal and did much better than I thought he would in commanding his six yard box. First half save where he bashed his head against the post may well have kept us in the game. - 7

Bacary Sagna - A good game and kept E-H Diouf pretty much in his pocket. Might have been in a better position to stop the goal. - 6

Laurent Koscielny - Was out muscled in the run chase with E-H Diouf for the goal. May have done better but otherwise a strong performance from the Frenchman. - 7

Thomas Vermaelen - Was nearly caught out trying to play a cute ball to Koscielny in the second half. Otherwise dependable. Could do little to prevent the goal. - 6

Gael Clichy - Let himself down for Diouf's goal. Should really have done better by watching where the player was coming in from the space behind him or attacking the ball. Lost more tackles than he won. - 5

Cesc Fabregas - Wasn't the usual Cesc but that's down to the fact this was his first start of the season. Worked hard for the team and was creative going forward. Tracked back well to help the defence. - 6

Alex Song - Not sure about the hair but a solid performance, moving forward into midfield. Tackled effectively and gave just two free ticks away in the midfield. Passing pretty accurate. - 7

Abou Diaby - It was important he dominated midfield with Alex Song. Overall a good game. Passing pretty spot on but still takes too much time on the ball for my liking. Needs to work on clearing the ball more successfully out of defence. Of his six clearances only one was successful. - 7  

Theo Walcott - Scored an excellent goal cutting in from the right and shooting into the far corner. The shot broke the net. All round play is improving. Passing can improve. Nearly as many unsuccessful passes as there were successful ones. His back provided the assist for Arshavin's goal. - 8

Robin Van Persie - Didn't look sharp from the start and had both his ankles heavily strapped. Excellent pass for Theo's goal but apart from that did little in the time he was on the pitch. Substituted through injury. - 6

Andrey Arshavin - His only shot on target was the goal he scored in the second half, so hopefully that will increase his confidence. Wasn't involved in the game too much, passing pretty good but could track back a bit more. Substituted. - 6


Maurone Chamakh - Was unfortunate not to start, but came on and worked hard for the team following Van Persie's injury. Had just one shot on goal which was blocked and was fortunate not to have been spotted impeding Samba in our own box which could have been given as a penalty. - 6

Tomas Rosicky - Replaced Fabregas and put in a decent showing. Was unfortunate to have been dropped after his good showing last week. Had one shot from distance which didn't trouble Paul Robinson. Good influence on our game. - 6

Jack Wilshere - Came on for the last seven minutes of normal time and was set up to score our third goal but off balance fired his shot straight at Paul Robinson. Should have done better really. Played positively and wasn't afraid to tackle Christopher Samba. - 5

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  1. What's with all the hate for Arshavin? The guy sets up the first goal (without his beautiful lay off, RvP would never have had the time and space needed to thread Theo in) and scores the second, and he gets a 6!?

    Arshavin's role is not to be a hard working winger who tracks back. He's not Dirk Kuyt and thank G*d for that - we signed him because we needed a creative magician, not a hard worker.

    To put it in perspective, if you look at his Arsenal career, his avg goals/assists per game is higher than Le Bob's. That's got to mean something right?

  2. I certainly don't hate Arshavin, in fact he's one of my favourite players. But maybe my expectation of him is higher than that of other players.

    I don't think he's had a particularly good start to the season. He hasn't been heavily involved and his pass completion rate for yesterday's games (76%) is lower than Abou Diaby (91%).

    Apart from our two goals, we only had two other shots on target (Walcott and Wilshere).

    Arshavin had three shots, the goal, one off target and the other blocked. For a player of his quality you would expect more.

    In our system he does have to tract back and work for the team, otherwise our game fails. Remember how hard Barcelona press the ball, that's how we need to play.