Massive result, but I have some big concerns… Ratings + Review

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It doesn’t seem to matter when we go up to Blackburn, the heavens open regardless and the conditions conspire against us. Yesterday was no exception as the rain poured down in the middle of August. We fielded a very strong looking team going with the usual back 4, sticking Cesc Fabregas in the middle of the park and going with Robin in the middle relegating Chamakh to the bench.

Blackburn started off as we expected them to, firing long balls into the box. Almunia came and claimed the first one with confidence, you could almost hear the sigh of relief from the away crowd. This was going to be a long day for the beleaguered Spaniard, he needed to impress.

Song was back in his favoured position sporting a new blonde hair cut, he was helping the midfield tick along with his short passing and physical presence. Not long into the game, Diaby lashed a shot at the Blackburn goal after some penalty box ping pong. Shortly after that, Theo was adjudged to be offside after he stylishly chipped the keeper from 20 yards.

The game was surprisingly open considering who we were playing, it was real end to end stuff. Blackburn’s tactics were long balls powered into the box from set plays and throw ins, but they were really focusing in on hitting our flanks and whipping dangerous balls into the box.  Something they were having frightening success with… especially down the left.

Cesc had to clear a powerful header off our line and moments later Almunia had to scramble across his goal to tip a floated header wide. A super save, very worrying that the Northerners were able to beat us to many of these balls.

Our defending was nothing short of shambolic, we were positionally naive and there was clearly no leadership at the back.

Our first chance came when Song found some space in the middle of the park, he made a short pass to Arshavin who tapped through to RvP who laid off a superb pass into the feet of Theo… who absolutely buried it into the bottom corner. He hit it so hard he literally pierced the net! A great finish reminiscent of Mark Overmars.

Our advantage was short lived. A speculative long ball was played out wide, Kozzer just needed to shepherd Diouf outwide, instead, he was muscled out the way then he didn’t have the pace to recover… the Blackburn wide man powered into the box, picked out Diouf MKII and we were level again. A very poor piece of defending and a reminder that I was right when I told you weight and experience matter when you’re a top class defender.

Robin went off with an injury. We now know it not to be serious, but it’s still a shame that we know yet again, we’re probably not going to be able to rely on his services for anymore than 30 games this season. He’s a walking crockbomb and we’ve just got to get used to it. When you throw in the news that Nik B might be out for 2010, all of a sudden, we’ve got a striking crisis at the club! Lets hope Chamakh is made of the same stuff Vermaelen is!

I was confident we’d win the game in the second half but our lack of directness worried me in the second half. For all our possession, we really didn’t seem to work Paul Robinson. We fear the shot, which seems to be something that’s crept into our game over the past few years.

Our second came when Sagna worked hard to keep the ball in play, he flew into the box , picked out Cesc who smashed his ball into a crowd of players rebounding off Theo I think. Arshavin was there to pick up the pieces and he slotted it expertly into the bottom corner. We were winning now… could we hold onto the lead?

Well, our full backs weren’t helping us, Blackburn continued to get the ball in from out wide and sloppy mistakes were creaping in. Vermaelen played Kalinic in with a poor clearance and Sagna had to put his body on the line to block a Diouf shot. Dunn was also given a chance to level the score after more shoddy defending…

Theo managed to have a second goal disallowed for a handball, we weren’t getting luck of the draw going forward. Jack Wilshere nearly scored down the other end, it wasn’t to be, the ref blew up, it was a super win for the boys in red and white!


Almunia: Under the circumstances, I’d say he did very well. He was assertive and he was a safe pair of hands today. I’m going to grade him a point higher than I normally would because of the added pressure. However, I’m not changing my opinion. People forget he’s there to play like that week in week out and we know that over the past 3 years, he hasn’t been able to do that. It’s time for a change, time for some quality, time to accept he’ll never be any more than a 2nd string keeper for us. 8

Clichy: I wasn’t impressed with our left back today. He let Blackburn in far too many times for my liking and I thought he was sloppy. It’s not going to be long before Gibbs is taking his place in the team because his performances have been weak for the best part of a year now! He wasn’t in position for the first goal, but you’ve got to expect that when you want your left back to attack. 5

Sagna: A more solid performance than Clichy and a super assist. He seems to have worked hard on his crossing in the preseason because they’re certainly a lot better than they were last year! He’s a good defender, I’d just like to see a bit more discipline in game when the tactic of the opposition is to hit wide positions. 6.5

Vermaelen: I can’t work out what the problem is here… is it that 23 year old Vermaelen isn’t experienced enough to lead the line and his performances are going to be erratic next to less experienced players, or was it just a one off? He made some poor errors today and he didn’t lead particularly well. 6

Kozzer: I felt sorry for him. It’s not his fault is it? He’s not ready for first team in the Premiership. He isn’t up to speed and he isn’t used to playing in our defence. His weakness is clearly aerial balls and strikers are going to take advantage of his slight frame. If he’s getting into this much of a mess against Blackburn, how is he expected to deal with the Drogba test? He was at fault for the first goal and he was responsible for a host of other errors. Still, why should we expect him to come in and be a world beater? He’s come in from a weak club and he’s only had one year of semi decent football. He’s got something about him… but it’ll take time to adjust and bed in. Keep them crossed Squillaci can be the answer… Kozzer isn’t at the moment. 5

Song: Well, we certainly weren’t opened up down the middle today and there was no bully boy tactics going on from Blackburns side of things. I thought he passed well and he pushed danger down the channels. Hopefully he can maintain last seasons consistency and keep his fitness up to standard. 7

Diaby: Not good enough for me. I don’t care what his passing stats were, he doesn’t do enough for me. He makes wrong decision after wrong decision and he doesn’t really add too much to our game defensively or attacking wise. He’s the type of player who if he were to make the jump, could be immense… it just seems that jump is taking an age to happen. I’d prefer 6.5 in there… sorry, I mean Rosicky! 6

Cesc: Looked pretty moody yesterday. Who wouldn’t after a coach ride to Blackburn? He’s still a cut above anyone else in the Premiership for speed of thought and ability to find space. I thought he looked uncomfortable on the pitch, whether that was fitness or not being in Spain… hopefully he’ll perk up as the season progresses. 6.5

Robin Van Persie: Created the first goal for Theo with a super pass, bar that, I can’t remember him doing too much else bar fall to the ground in a typical crumpled heap. Thankfully it’s only ten days out and he’ll miss international duty. 6.5

Theo: The man is on a mission to become the player we all hoped he would. He had fire in his belly, he has Premiership swagger about his game and his finishing has transformed. He scored a great goal and he had two disallowed. I’m hoping he can score 15 goals this season, if he does, I reckon we could be in with a shout come the end of the season. 8.5

Arshavin: I thought he had a solid game today. For one so short, he sure packs some power. He’s creative and he has that selfish streak our team sometimes lacks. He finished well this afternoon and he worked hard down his wing.  A good showing. 7

Chamakh: I’m not sure why Wenger didn’t have our aerial supremo on from the start. He would have done a better job defending corners than Diaby and he’d give us a physical presence up top. He came on, linked in well and was unlucky with a few chances. 7

Rosicky: I’ll just give him a 9 and leave it at that. I know how you sensitive souls get about player  ratings. I appreciate he was probably on the bench this week because of last weeks score! 9

Jack Wilshere: Only on for 8 minutes. 6

629 Responses to “Massive result, but I have some big concerns… Ratings + Review”

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  1. Pedro

    Dave, I’d have to go with Nik at the moment. He scored some very important goals for us last year and hopefully he’ll continue to this year.

    Carroll is behind him at the moment… who knows where he’ll be after a season of first team football!

  2. Pedro

    Incesc, just before I own up… I have been at SW4 today… I have a life.

    Yes, I’m watching X Factor… Connie Huq is hot as well.

  3. Stu

    Did anyone know KPB is at Milan too. They’ve done quite a bit of business this summer.

    And yes Katy Perry is very hot. I assume you have all seen here topless photo..whether its real or not.

  4. Dan,The Gooner.

    so shaka isslop reckons given is joining fulham on a season long loan,Hmmmm interesting,pedro got any info,mo fo for us????????????/

  5. daviddein

    liverpool is becoming a new fulham with descent players coming in,talented but not spectacular..raul meireless,konchesky,poulsen,etc..
    i reckon they will finish 7th-5th,they are no longer a title contender..

  6. Pedro

    Gambon, Boyz Noise, M.A.N.D.Y, Carl Cox, Erol Alkan and Kissy Sell Out… that’s as far as my knowledge of line up went.

    Total wash out though and freezing!

  7. gambon

    Unfortuantely it always on the same weekend as Creamfields, which is a bigger draw to top DJs.

    But Clapham is a lot better than Merseyside for travel!

    Its all about the shrooms.

  8. Pedro

    Gambon, I prefer the live bands… but I get dragged along to these things! I thought the line up was quite good from what little I know about DJ’s!

    I’m watching Reading now…

  9. Dan,The Gooner.

    ShakaHislop I’m hearing that Given is about to sign for Fulham clearing the way for Schwarzer to move to the Emirates. I’d prefer to have Given.

  10. Pedro

    Dan, I was told Schwarzer would sign in ten days about a week and a half ago.

    He’s not playing for Fulham becuase he’s told Hughes he isn’t in the right frame of mind.

    I’m pretty sure he’s coming.

  11. incesc

    arcade fire looked awesome at reading last night and the libertines obviously.

    first time i havent been in a while, the sound has been shit for the last few years tho.

    is sw4 that led festival thing?

    notting hill today as well. feel a bit sad sitting in watching x factor and now big brother


  12. tunde

    I’m really surprise that no club has tried to sign luis suarez from ajax, the guy is class, has pace,strength and predatory instinct plus he had a good world cup, maybe we should give him a look-in (no chance we’lld do that I know :D)

    Ps: he jst scored a hatrick as usual…

  13. daviddein

    wilshere is not ready for capello i it is down to wenger to give him enough playing time at arsenal,so that he can prove he deserve a starting place in england..

  14. Gunnernet

    Arsenal and England midfielder Jack Wilshere was arrested in the early hours of the morning following a “fracas”, according to a spokesman for the player.

    Wilshere, who came on as an 84th-minute substitute in yesterday’s 2-1 win over Blackburn, was arrested but released on bail.

    The statement, issued by the Wasserman Media Group on behalf of the 18-year-old, went on to assert Wilshere was “unlikely” to face charges.

    The statement read: “Jack Wilshere was arrested by police in the early hours following a fracas but was released on bail later. The police have made it very clear that he is an important witness to the incident and played the role of peacemaker and is unlikely to face any charges as a result. Jack has made it very clear he will co-operate fully with the police investigation.”

  15. TonyS

    I’m an average guy. If I earned 30K a week I’d be in the presidential suite at the Four Seasons, calling the concierge and demanding that, until he heard otherwise, my suite is to have a constant supply of the finest champagne, cocaine, hookers and lobster available in London.

    Maybe its just me though. I think these boys are showing great restraint.

  16. Big Dave

    Schwarzer also makes mistakes, remember last season when he misplaced a back pass and passed it AA23

    Some gooners think he is going to be our saviour or something.

    AW scouts never scout keepers

  17. Stu

    Who gives a shit about england in this case tbh daviddein. If we play Wilshere it should be for our benefit, not so he can prove to capello he is good enough.

  18. Pedro

    TonyS, they’re all bang on the hookers… it’s about doing it on the quiet! 😉

    Incesc, I normally go to reading, trouble is, it’s a bit violent after the music stops… so I stopped going.

    I’m watching the Libs now… my sisters boyf got tickets to see them in the forum last week… GUTTED I missed that show! It sounded amazing!

  19. incesc

    yeah my little bro went, won the ticket in some ballot and didnt take me.

    We always stay in the strawberry fields these days to avoid the mayhem on sunday night at reading.

    The sound is always awful though for the bands i like on the main stage. They have loads of restrictions, muse paid off a 200 grand sound restriction fine before they went on when they headlined a few years ago with arctic monkeys just so they could do a proper show.

  20. Dan,The Gooner.

    Big Dave says:
    August 29, 2010 at 21:40
    Schwarzer also makes mistakes, remember last season when he misplaced a back pass and passed it AA23

    Some gooners think he is going to be our saviour or something

    would rather stick with almunia dave ????

  21. Dan,The Gooner.

    Pedro says:
    August 29, 2010 at 21:44
    Oh Big Dave… didn’t you hear? Grimandi scouted his every game last year!

    lollllllll that grimandi guy is,EVERYWHERE

  22. Rohan

    jesus christ, girls here are so fucking easy it’s rather unbelievable. College is AWESOME. FACT!

    anyway, any news on the GK front? Been a bit out of the loop as per Gooner talk….Has Walcott really been that great?

  23. Pedro

    Rohan, unbelievable. He’s looked really great so far. He actually burst the net yesterday with a slick finish.

    Glad to hear you’re having a good time you old crooner!

  24. incesc

    yeah worse thing is i took him to see them back in the day when he was broke and got him so pissed on jack daniels that he got arrested for drunk and disorderly at victoria station afterwards on the way back to his uni flat.

  25. Pedro

    Rohan, get some Libertines in your ear… then share it with your Uni mates… you’ll get plenty of birds!

    Incesc, that sounds like a powerful night… Jack Wilshere would concur!

  26. Rohan

    Good to hear that. have to admit that I didn’t think he would make’s early days still, but if he continues like this and we can keep the core of RvP, Arsh, Cesc and Vermalen fit and play 85 percent of the games, we’ll be in with a shout.

  27. zeus

    Based on this game, Madrid has a lot of work to do.
    I know Mourinho said he only has 2 CFs in Benzema and Higuain, but Benzema is not up to the task at all.

    The move to madrid was too big a jump for him.

    A couple of those players at least will be moving in the next 2 days that is for sure.

  28. Big Dave

    Not really Dan, but in a a way I actually feel sorry for him, think the whole saga over the position has been done in a shabby way and should had been addressed a whole lot better, how long with MS have with us year, 2 year ?

    If it is to be Almunia last time with us, then he handled himself very well yesterday and his handleing was actually quite good even taking a long throw very well. However I do remember his cock ups, will MS be our hero? wait and see I suppose

  29. Pedro

    Zeus, they’re not shifting either of them on… under orders of top management. He has to deal with what he has.

    It’s staggering he is moaning about only having £90mill to spend!

  30. Stu

    Yea thats what i was thinking too Pedro. If im not looking at the ball the whole time i havent a hope of connecting properly with it.

  31. Rohan

    I looove the Foals but not too keen on the Cribs..Never heard of the Maccabees though..will give them a listen though.

  32. Pedro

    Rohan, if you’re feeling real crazy… give Wild Beasts a listen… they are amazing, though an acquired taste.

  33. Pedro

    Being in San Fran, you’ll get all the best British bands playing in the tiny venues before they flop state side!

  34. zeus

    How about listening to Bob Marley?
    Have to say I have NEVER heard of any of these bands you guys are talking about.

  35. Rohan

    How can you not have heard of Snow Patrol. That’s like saying His Royal Pinkiness Nicklas Bendtner is a mere mortal.

    Not a great analogy, I’ll be the first to admit.

  36. Rohan

    Wildbeasts is absolutely horrendous…maybe it’ll grow on me???

    I’d just like to let everyone know that I’m now in possession of the FASTEST internet download/upload connection speeds in the world. Yes, the FASTEST…70MB/s that’s like a proper 700MB DVD rip movie in 11 fucking seconds.

  37. gambon

    Jedward are the best, I think Stu knows them, or is related or something?

    So if Barca get Torres and Cesc, like they want, they will surely have the best attack in club football history?

  38. Stu

    Gambon, if i knew them i would kill them. I fucking HATE those twats and Simon Cowell for giving them any air time in the first place.

  39. zeus


    Not that I know anything about ‘Rock n Roll’ or anything, but these bands that you say you love, is that because their music is any good, or because they are under ground artistes and therefore unknown to many, so its like their your very own.
    (Don’t know if you understand that last bit)

    Its like when you say you don’t like Kings of Leons last album, which I thought was good incidentally, is it cause the rest of the world know them now so its not ‘cool’ anymore?

  40. choy

    I don’t know Gambon,

    They just want to go to Barca because they are a fantastic team, Fab and Torres don’t see the work every player regardless of the position puts in.

    Messi defends more than any EPL striker!

  41. Pedro

    Zeus, it’s becuase the Kings of Leon were amazing for the first 3 albums, then they sold out to stadium rock. The album was ok, but not for me…

    The bands I’ve mentioned are bands that I’ve been to see all over the place… I like them because I think they’re amazing.

    There aren’t many bands that go mainstream and maintain the same excitement… so there might be an element of that in there!

  42. arsenal4ever

    yeah Pedro but more pop electro indie but worth a hear, trust me :-). Did you see Pendulum live yet or not that kind of sound for you. Saw some vids they are rocking the crowd!

  43. Stu

    KOL didnt sell out, they just changed. Whats the point of always playing it safe by never trying to make different music? Its just so happens that their 4th album was more popular because their label managed them differently and chose which songs to release as singles to intice the public.

    Their new album will be different to their 4th. Its constant evolution by them and much better than a band who play the same shit for years and years.

  44. Pedro

    Stu, that last album was playing it safe! Stadium rock I believe it’s called!

    Their label didn’t manage it at all… they produced it themselves in 4 weeks.

  45. arsenal4ever

    I know Pedro MC`s most time annoying. Try if you like Arcade Fire for Bell Orchestre. Some band members of Arcade Fire are in their.

  46. Stu

    Well i mean their label or whoever it was chose sex on fire and use somebody as the main songs. They werent KOLs choice like it had been with the previous albums.

    I do agree that their first 3 were better but i dont think OBTN was bad. It just wasnt as good as the others and seems bad (to some). Even their B siders are better than most bands best songs.

  47. zeus

    You guys ever listen to Bob Marley?

    I always find it strange that whenever there is talk of musical tastes, there is NEVER a reggae, or hip hop fan on here.


  48. Pedro

    Zeus, I think BBK likes that stuff… as do the Jamaicans who come on!

    Jack Penate is the closest I get to to Reggae… which is pretty shocking really! haha!

  49. Stu

    I listen to Bob Marley Zeus, but not very often. And hip hop is shit. As is the majority of music nowdays but what can you do eh!

  50. gambon

    So what are people expecting us to do on tuesday?

    I think Scwartzers a certainty, and I think we may just sign a top player, foolish i know, but ive got a feeling.

    I think Traore will be sold, and the 2 young keepers loaned, as well as Barazite to Rangers.

  51. Pedro

    Gambon, I think we’ll get Schwarzer… and I’d love it if he nicked M.Diarra for the middle of the park on loan for a year.

  52. Marko

    Really Gambon? Well certainly Schwarzer and I love a sneaky “top” signing but just has well I’d give my left nut for a Mamadou Diarra or Blaise Matuidi loan. OR Montolivo or Asamoah.

  53. gambon

    Id love Capoue, but dont think itll be happening. He would certainly show Pulis what physical footballs all about.

  54. patjn

    about the ratings at the top!? I agree with most of them but diaby, saying he is not good enough? You cant be serious he was unlucky not to score, he was gliding past challenges all afternoon like he usually does, he sent arshavin away with a glorious ball and he also set up the move at the end which ending in wilshere missing. Bit of a joke that one

  55. incesc

    going back

    love keles stuff too pedro, I agree on kings of leon their first album was best.

    Bob marley is basically god zeus!


    pendulum at reading in the tent was funny, raving on a massive hangover in the daylight.

    oh and nice to see wilshere carrying on the arsenal tradition from adams and parlour

  56. incesc

    and zeus i love hip hop i grew up on songs like this


  57. zeus


    Finally. Nice to hear. And to the Arsenal fans worried about whether we’re gonna get a keeper or not……

  58. ruelando

    I will say it again Diaby had a excellent game yes his decision making in delaying the pass was bad, but carrying the ball forward and defending was good

    Kos made a error and it cost us, u said Kos was weak in the air which match were u watching, i think he did pretty well

  59. AzamHassan

    i still believe theo is kind of ‘on off’ performer..after the shot, he dont do much in the game..his decision n crossing still the same theo from last season..

    but..i always wish im wrong..

  60. LeProf

    I got bad feeling that Cesc on purpose will play poorly and indirectly thats mean to demand a transfer yet again. Therefore Wilshere and Theo got 4 months before January window closes and step up to jointly replace Cesc. The best way to hang a traitor is to sell Cesc to Real Madrid even for at least swap BOTH Van der vart and Ramos or Sneider!

  61. angeausarsenal

    LeProf, if I was Cesc I would play shit too with idiot fans like you. It amazes me that people like you can comment about Cesc’s attitude and performance like you have some psychic link to the lads brain.
    Cesc is probably disappointed,but I doubt he’ll be giving anything but 100% every time he steps onto the field.
    It was his first game FFS!

  62. angeausarsenal

    and Cesc you must not have watched much of the world cup because bringing Sneider into the team would piss Robin off. Sneider is an overrated hog.

  63. Ssamir masri

    does anybody watch Soccer AM?

    cos I saw this fucking hot arsenal babe.and I could’nt fucking stop thinking about her.cos yesterday all I can think of was shagging her.

  64. Ssamir masri

    does anybody watch soccer Am?

    cos I saw this hot arsenal babe on sky sports.and I could’nt stop thinking about her.cos yesterday all I can think of was shagging her.

  65. samir masri

    does any watch soccer AM on sky sporst?

    cos I saw this good hot arsenal babe.and I think that she was a sort of babe which any of us would ever dream of.cos all I can think of yesterday was shagging her.