Sunday, October 26, 2008
Player analysis and ratings Vs West Ham
By 1970’s Gooner
This was an important win as it was a real opportunity to make up some of the lost ground on Chelsea and Manchester United.
West Ham were up for it and did not look to put men behind the ball and try and defend in numbers. They broke with pace every time they won the ball pushing their midfielders forward to support Carlton Cole. They were therefore dangerous throughout the game.
Nevertheless three points and a clean sheet puts us in a nice position at this juncture in the League. Let’s hope that we do the same against Spurs on Wednesday night.
What a fantastic goalkeeper he is turning out to be. He personifies calmness and self confidence. He has developed the knack of making significant saves at very important points during the game to keep us from going behind thus providing the basis on which to move forward for the victory.
He did it on several occasions in Turkey and he did it again against West Ham where he saved Bellamy’s shot when he raced through onto a one on one against him with the score at 0-0. 8
Was steady tonight but just that. His runs down the wing were nowhere to be found. This was puzzling and it looks like he was on orders to refrain from doing so maybe in order to counter Bellamy’s runs. 6
Again he too was not that willing to make runs down the wing and his passing was not up to scratch. Maybe Wenger was worried about the lack of pace from his two central defenders. 6
He came back to action well and full of energy. He took up good defensive positions and covered for Silvestre’s rustiness. Looked to be out of pace when Bellamy raced through on goal though. 7
I am still cringing from remembering some of the howlers he made during the game in Turkey. He improved a lot tonight but was still below what I would consider match fit. On the one occasion when pace was needed he was found wanting and it took a save from Almunia to keep us into the game.
I still think playing these two (Gallas and Silvestre) in the centre of the defence is too risky as they both lack pace and therefore cannot cover for each other. Toure should hopefully return on Wednesday against the Spurs. 6
Looked to be below his best in Turkey and seems to have carried this indifferent form against West Ham. He did not go past his marker once, I don’t think, preferring to come onside all the time. This coupled with Clichy’s reluctance to go forward meant that we lacked width and penetration on the left hand side. Wenger has a decision to make whether to start him against Spurs. 5
The opposite can be said for this little devil. He, along with Van Persie, were the only real danger for West Ham.
His runs and penetration down the right wing were really unplayable.
I held my head in my hands when Wenger took him off in the second half as it was from him that I looked to find an assist or a goal.
He should have been kept on as Diaby’s contribution was really neutral. 8
Had a solid game in the middle of the field receiving and passing the ball around him. He needs to be a bit more forceful in contesting the ball and also be quicker with his passing so as to keep the tempo of the game up rather than slowing it down. 6
Looked tired and was not up to his top best. His passing was not as precise as say it was in Turkey but he still run the game for Arsenal. 6
Was dangerous throughout the game and was unlucky not to get on the score sheet. His shot from outside the box drew an excellent save from Green (who had to be at his best tonight) and his wonderful free kick rocked the post. It was from his pass to Adebayor (after he drew two players onto him as he shaped to shoot) that resulted in the first goal. 8
He was not in the game for the whole of the first half. He lacked concentration and could not connect with Van Persie well. It was as though they were both playing in isolation rather than in tandem as they should have been. He had one good shot saved by Green but his wonderful long through ball to Adebayor to send him clear for the second goal was something else. 6
He only played 25 minutes but what a contribution he made. I had my doubts when I saw the team sheet prior to the game with Bendtner and Van Persie in and Adebayor on the bench.
He is such an important player for Arsenal as he is the target man through which nearly all our attacks go through especially when we want to switch our style of play by playing the long ball. This was missing against West Ham and with Nasri, Clichy and Eboue reluctant to venture on their respective wings left us with less options going forward. 9
Man of the Match: Adebayor