Well as a writer on the blog I SHOULD give player ratings for both teams, but then, I was too busy focusing on Arsenal so if I were to give ratings for United it probably won’t be accurate.
Good game at Old Trafford. Neither teams scored (that’s rare between these 2 teams) but both teams attacked. Arsenal really impressed me as I thought they would not be motivated to fight for a win. I was wrong, but Arsenal lack the edge in attack for them to score. They need a good striker next season.
And one annoying thing about Arsenal I’ve experienced so far this season, is that they totally suck at set-pieces. Van Persie always hit the wall or other players during his freekicks, and his corners always get cleared easily. Same goes for Arshavin. Fabregas is a better set-piece taker but I’ve seen very little goals from set-pieces this season for Arsenal. Need to train up in that department.
Anyway, here are the player “report books” for Arsenal…
Fabianski (6.0) – Quiet but effective suits him best in this match. He wasn’t really tested but he made many important and correct decisions which gave him his clean sheet, such as pressuring Tevez when he was open, and coming out to claim several balls from crosses or corners. This might be too early, but I see a bright future for the Polish keeper.
Gibbs (6.5) – Good performance. I think he has put behind his mistake in the CL semi-final and he’s impressing critics once again. Didn’t truly stopped Ronaldo but the Portugese was quiet so you can say he did his job.
Toure (6.5) – A hard one to give. Solid as always, but I don’t think he deserves a 7 as he made 1 really bad mistake, almost giving Carlos Tevez a goal. Besides that he was a top defender in the match. And another thing, I just love how he took a page off Ronaldo’s book and used it against him! That was funny and you should look at Ronaldo’s face.
Song (6.5) - Tempted to give a 7 but I wanted to be fair to Toure cause Song didn’t really play better than him, yet I feel he’s played well. He wasn’t that good on the tackling side of defending but when it comes to interception he made quite a few.
Sagna (7.0) – Another great performance. I feel he’s the best Arsenal players in this match. Didn’t contribute much in defence but he overlapped consistently and caused a threat to the opponent a number of times.
Denilson (6.5) - Like always, he was anonymous in the match, yet if you watched carefully, he actually made quite a few important interceptions and passed well to start attacks. The unsung hero of Arsenal. He still needs to up his game and make the world watch him.
Fabregas (7.0) – Was the pivot of most Arsenal attacks. He even had Arsenal’s best chance to score, but van der Sar did well to save it. He played well when Arsenal passes slowly, but Fabregas still needs to learn to execute the perfect killer ball. That’s what Arsenal lack. 1 point to note though, is that I feel he plays better in the “Xavi” kind of role. He can join up attacks better in a deeper role, so I think that’s how he should play.
Nasri (6.5) – The opposite of Fabregas in terms of style of play. He belong on the wings if not in an attacking-midfielder role. He dribbles well and linked up nicely with Sagna and several players. However, I feel he still needs to learn to “take control” of the game, if you know what I mean. Want the ball? Ask for it or take the ball and do magic with it, not wait for a teammate to pass to you then turn on the creativity. Nasri’s good enough to have that kind of authority.
Diaby (6.0) – Really quiet. Didn’t do much attacking-wise or defensively. I believe his days at Arsenal are numbered unless Arsene Wenger still feel there’s room for improvement for him at Arsenal. Diaby should seek his fortune elsewhere.
Arshavin (6.0) – Might be a little harsh but I felt 6.5 was a little too much cause he didn’t start any big attacks. I love one of his sparkling run, sidestepping 3 defenders before missing the chance to shoot, but after that, he was just quiet. Make simple passes but didn’t had any convincing ones. Also, on this particular occassion, he lacked the killer touch he always showed in his past matches. He hesitated to shoot and took too much time on the ball. However I wouldn’t say it was actually a bad performance; it was just average.
van Persie (6.5) – I feel he just can’t play upfront alone. He’s best at “linking up play” between the midfielders and strikers, and he’s just not that out-and-out striker. But does Arsene have a choice? Adebayor should be benched for his bad performances recently and Bendtner and Vela still hasn’t proved thier worth. Arsenal need to sign a new striker unless Eduardo can cope. A side note, I wonder just why the hell van Persie slipped so many times in the match. Maybe it was raining but I don’t see other players slipping as often. Buy a new pair of boots (preferably Nike lol)!