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:
- The feeling it was just the Carling Cup, so we could stroll through it
- 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!