Ipswich 1 – 0 Arsenal… Yes, we somehow self imploded!

It pains me to write this match report, as we really didn’t show up… and what I hate most out of the Arsenal is when we simply just don’t turn up, don’t play, don’t want to play and don’t have the desire to win a game, let alone take part.

It was clear that the players had devalued the games on two fronts:

  1. The feeling it was just the Carling Cup, so we could stroll through it
  2. The feeling that we can beat Ipswich at home, so why bother on the first leg

And for me, that’s disrespectful to the club…

Normally I summarise the game, the play and the general feeling, I talk about players to some degree but don’t normally give them a rating or such. But today I want to do the whole rating thing. I want to examine the XI players who couldn’t beat a Championship side that were thrashed 7-0 at home just a few days before our game…

The XI that started the game were:


Eboue – Djourou – Koscielny – Gibbs

Wilshere – Denilson

Walcott – Cesc – Arshavin


And it was a front three that are currently seriously off form. With Sagna, Song, Nasri, Chamakh and Van Persie – who have been so very impressive this season missing, there would be a certain lack of attacking prowess – but with Cesc in the team, we knew we could create…

Szcznesy – 6

For me, the young Polish stopper had his worst game as an Arsenal player. The occasion, rather than the opposition looks like it got to him. He seems over excited and never seemed comfortable all night. He didn’t alway come for balls that you would expect – he came for balls and missed them – Fabianski (early days) esque… and he even handled outside the box. It showed that he has a long way to go in quality and experience before he can become #1.

Eboue – 5

Eboue is really not the greatest defender in the world. He likes to attack… and against lower opposition teams, he feels like he doesn’t really need to defend. He is actually quite decent on the right wing, and he could play a big part in our attacking play – but you have to worry about him defensively.

Djourou – 7

In a game where we lost to lower opposition, you can’t blame your defenders, you need to blame your attackers. For me, Djourou was one of the few players who seemed interested and was galvanised to try and win the game. A sloppy moment when he waited for the keeper to come and get a ball that he should have dealt with, but he is really becoming a massive player at the back for us.

Koscielny – 6

Similar sentiments to Djourou. The commentators yesterday were talking about how good our two defenders were – but of course, that’s the last thing I wanted to hear! I wanted to hear how good our attackers were. Koscielny has been improving – he was a little shaky at the beginning of the season, but has now come back to some sort of form – although, I believe he was at fault for the goal – if you can’t win it, then clear it or track back better – positionally, always be aware of the lone strikers position.

Gibbs – 6

It wasn’t Gibbs’ finest evening in an Arsenal shirt, but he wasn’t helped defensively by Arshavin choosing randomly when to track back or not… and he wasn’t helped when he attacked, as the forward players just didn’t move. Still on his way to be great, but experience like this will help him.

Denilson – 4

This season – maybe because he is under the watchful eye of all media and fans more than he was a few seasons ago – it seems like everything he touches turn to mush. His passing was very bad, he tackling was completely off – to be honest, I don’t know if he would cut it in the Championship, let alone the Premiership!

Wilshere – 8

Little Jack was absolutely outstanding. His vision, his passing, his movement. He was my man of the match. Maybe he looked even better because everyone else looked so bad! It was a massive shame when he was replaced by Song – but he will be needed for the West Ham game, and we have to remember he is young and needs breaks!

Cesc – 7

Cesc started very well and had a solid game – some of his passes looked off – but I really don’t think that was his fault – the players around him, the attacking trio of Bendtner, Walcott and Arshavin just did not make the runs, did not follow the though process and basically let the captain down. He ended the game quite frustrated and you could see he just wanted to go it alone!

Arshavin – 5

I honestly think Arshavin has turned rubbish. This was a game where he had lesser opposition and to be honest, so quite bad defenders… it was a chance for him to redeem so face in front of the away support and cameras and fans and manager… but for me, he was a shadow of his former self. Arsene says we shouldn’t be worried about his form, but personally, we should be very worried!

Niklas Bendtner – 3

Yes, I am giving Niklas a 3. He was absolutely – beyond belief – quite bad, in fact, very very bad… he couldn’t control the ball, couldn’t pass properly, didn’t know what to do when he had the ball. Astonishing that he was picked for this game in my opinion. If we have a choice, then he should really be the player going on loan… not Vela.

Theo Walcott – 6

Theo was less than impressive, but he did try and that goes a long way in my book. But he still hasn’t got to the level that we should be expecting of him. But he did make runs, and did have a few shots and could have scored. Still think there is much more from him…

It was hard to write this blog as the anger levels were very high yesterday… but there we go, I’ve said it – that is how I feel and those are the player ratings! Time to do so mind clearing exercises and prep myself for the West Ham game!

  • Fo

    Bendtner and Arshavin should go during the window. They are not good enough for the club. Simple as.

  • Jeffwardo

    i can’t believe that a few years ago i was watching Bendtner playing form Brum and telling people to watch out for him, they played him wide right and he would pick up the ball turn and drive towards goal.

    Lately every ball that sgoes to him he plays backwards, i wouldn’t mind if it was a short pass and he turned and went for the return over top or down the side but he’s passing 20 yds backwards and standing still.

    For a man who rates himself so highly he should be looking at people like wiltshire and wickam last night and should be embarassed.

    If he really believes he’s that good i can only come to two conclusions:

    1. He has mental health issues and is clearly delusional.
    2. he still lives with his mother who tells him how excellent he’s been again as she washes his socks.

    I feel his time is up.

  • spanishgooner

    @Fo.Couldn’t agree more – in fact been saying it for a while now – in Bendtner’s case for much more that a while!

    @Jeffwardo. I think he’s actually living with Arsene (maybe the whole squad are)who keeps telling him(them) how excellent they are!

    I have been a hugh Arsene fan but now have serious doubts about his ability to motivate this lot – especially against supposedly “inferior” teams . Absolutely disgracefull and sadly not the first time .

  • theovanasergas

    I’ve been a fan of our great club for some 20 years now and have been reading the articles on WOA with some interest for some time. Never felt compelled to get involved in any for of debate due to the high amount of non-football related personal bickering, but last night’s result combined with the fiasco at the Emirates on Saturday have created a need to let off some steam. An upset against a team like Leeds could be forgiven to some extent, it’s after all the kind of stuff that makes the FA cup such a fabulous competition. It’s what happened last night that’s the problem. I appreciate we’re not out of the competition (still the most likely to reach the final in my book), but when gifted professionals step onto the pitch and show that amount of disrespect for our jersey, my blood really starts to boil. On balance, I suppose I’ve been more of a Wenger supporter than detractor but last night’s display is prompting some very uncomfortable questions. I do think he’s brought/developed some very gifted footballers to the club during his time, I seriously worry that the current batch has been so pampered and had criticism constantly deflected away from them that they just don’t have the stomach for a scrap when the chips are truly down. I think this year represents a terrific chance for us to win the league, but I’d be massively (and positively) surprised if we do. And it’s not because I think our players aren’t good enough, cause I think they are, they just don’t have the instincts as a result of their sheltered existence over the years. And the obvious lack of leadership on the pitch. Rant over.

  • paul

    I think the players have qualities, our style of play is good, we were just not good enough. I think the main issue is we have a full squad, which didn’t happen for a long time. Actually, everyone was used to play “a little” because of injuries. For the first time in years, almost everybody is available, and and “natural” first XI has emerged. And mentally, some players have to go past that mind-hurdle saying “your a substitute, really not the first choice”.
    Let’s remember that last year, Denilson was almost a starter. Of course, he was benched sometimes, but when he was on the starting XI, he wasn’t like “an alternative”. Bendtner had no competition up front, there was no strikers. Arshavin, he was “the spark” of the team, etc. I think what we have lacked against both Ipswich and Leeds is a level of concentration and assurance. Those playing were like, you know how we are before a final exam at school, like the situation is binary: “you fail to impress or you succed in it”. Nope, it should be “you have to play the game, and just win it”.

    And what is amaeing in football, is that everything is contagious. A player a good mood can be contagious to the rest of the team. Tonight, it was the inverse situation. The likes of Arshavin, Delison and Nicklas were contagious to the rest of the team. So what can Arsene do about that? I don’t know? Here, start a new work for him. But definitely we have to win this cup. It’s like a natural step. If we win it, for sure it will be the beginning of something huge.

  • Fo

    @ Jeffwardo:
    Bendtner should be sold, simple as. He is all hype, but no substance.

  • Sam

    There is a word missing in the title; AGAIN!

  • ChrisRizzy

    No need to watch my words.. Arshavin and bendtner always insult the gunners’ jersey.. They should probably go on lone cos vela is more interesting than them… Bendtner should stop praising himself on the media and keep playing shit on the pitch! Cesc suffered alone too but he is only man and thats why he had his flaws at some point. The whole thing boils down to the fact that we struggle to create good chances when Nasri is not playing!

  • yemi

    We are so so good at imploding

  • yemi

    @ yemi:

    I am actually scared of the second leg at the emirates. Under normal conditions we should win, but i have since come to realize that it seems we don’t what to do with the ball while playing with teams with 10 men behind the ball and i feel this is what ipswich is gonna do at the emirates.
    Secondly we find it hard to keep clean sheet and thirdly our home form has not been too impressive

  • devday

    @ yemi:
    Indeed, it’s a one off match and we need to win by two clear goals. We have really put ourselves in a bad position now, haven’t we!!

  • yemi

    We should be able to do it, all things being equal. I hope arsen is in the market for a CB and i thik it is high time we start looking for a backup for sagna, Ebuoue won’t work !!! Imagine him against Nani or CR7 or messi or any team that has fast wingers like W Brom, W ham etc, it would be disastrous.

  • Steve

    Watching the game there was always a little pass back inside for someone. I often wonder if they are passing back to Cesc all the while.

    Chamakh flew out of the blocks when he arrived, taking his chances etc. now he’s had a little break and seems to pass backwards or a little lay off – he’s in the CF position that gives him devine right to shoot!

    I’ve not studied the stats but wonder how we fared with Narsi in the centre/midfield and Chamakh up front with no Cesc. 23 goals between them just wondered.

    I do not think Theo is suffering the same but if hs is – that’s our top 3 scores misfiring. 33 goals ouch.

    When Strikers have confidence play them. Sitting on the bench never gives confidence.

    Do we have s Stato on her?