Category Archives: Player Ratings

Arsenal 6-0 Lyon: Match Report and Player Ratings

The Wales international is congratulated by Olivier Giroud after putting Arsenal into an unassailable lead before half-time 

Arsenal 6 (Giroud 30′, Oxlade-Chamberlain 34′, Iwobi 35′, Ramsey 39′, Ozil 62′, Cazorla 85′) – Lyon 0

Match HighlightsPost-Match Press Conference (via Arsenal.com)

There’s this feel an Arsenal fan gets when they see the magnificent Emirates Stadium every season. The magnificent arena with a great fanbase cheering the lads up to do better. After the long-standing trophy drought, Arsenal has won two FA Cups in their new home ground and the fans would be wishing for more.

The Emirates Cup is a decent competition that offers the fans to watch their team play against Europe’s finest and down the years, some great teams have featured in the tournament. As fate may have it, there are also times when an ex-Gunner gets to visit the home ground of a place he once called home and depending on his departure from the club, the reception the player gets varies.

Take Mathieu Flamini for instance, that departed acrimoniously because he wanted some extra coins of silver. When he played for AC Milan in the 2010 edition of the tournament, his every touch was met with jeers and boos from the crowd. Two years later, King Thierry Henry and his New York Red Bulls visited the home of football and as you’d expect from his adoring fans, he was treated like the King he is. Yesterday, the egotistical and cocky Lord Nicklas Bendtner led the line as VFL Bendtner Wolfsburg lost to Villarreal but the fans seemed to be happy with the Lord and his every touch was greeted with a cheer.

The fans welcomed their heroes for the first time at home and when I saw the lineup, I expected a good game of football. What I witnessed was an awesome game of football. Arsene Wenger did ever so well to find a balanced side as the lads continue to build their fitness for the forthcoming campaign. While I expected to see the experienced heads on the pitch, the likes of Alex Iwobi and Emiliano Martinez offered a different dynamism to the team.

Lyon actually drew first blood when Njie fired a shot straight at Martinez after receiving a neat flick from Alexandre Lacazette. There were some injury concerns as the game progressed – some bloke called Lindsay Rose used his knee to smash Le Coq at the back but Clement Grenier pulled his hamstring after attempting a simple pass, much to his disappointment as the look on his face showed that he was in great discomfort.

After that early spell came the blitz! Arsenal smashed in four goals in eight minutes and I was absolutely stunned with the breathtaking football on display. The first was rather routine – Mesut Ozil swinging in one of his superb dead balls that was headed shouldered home by Olivier Giroud. Following his struggles in the Everton game, as well as the club’s links with Karim Benzema, I was hoping for Arsenal’s alpha dog in attack to come up with the goods and its always nice when you see your main striker opening the scoring.

Former Montpellier striker Giroud opened the scoring after the ball appeared to loop in off his shoulder as he leapt for a header

Giroud opening the scoring

The second goal came from the exciting Ox. Wenger was hoping that the lad adds some end product to his game and I’m sure the manager was very pleased to see the Ox get on the scoring act. After latching onto a brilliant pass from Aaron Ramsey, the Ox guided the ball to the goalkeeper’s far post to make it two.

England international Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain fires past Anthony Lopes in the Lyon goal to put Arsenal three ahead

Ox making it two

A minute later, some intricate passing play saw Ozil and Ramsey combine before Iwobi smashed the ball into the back of the net. That was his first goal for the club, albeit non-competitive but the lad expressed his delight after the game. Iwobi even scored a second of the day but the offside flag denied him.

Ramsey’s fourth goal was another living proof that Ozil is such a fantastic footballer. The German schemer dallied on the ball and waited for Rambo to make a darting run before executing one of his orgasmic passes to the Welshman. Ramsey obliged and gave the finish the buildup deserved.

Aaron Ramsey slides in to put Arsenal 4-0 ahead five minutes before half-time to round off an incredible spell for the Gunners

Ramsey poking the ball home

Arsenal took their foot off the pedal in the second half but there was still time for Ozil to get the goal his game deserved and the cake received some icing when Santi Cazorla used his left foot to guide a free kick under the wall to make it six. For a team playing Champions League football this season with Arsenal, Lyon was absolutely demolished and I wouldn’t want to be in their dressing room, even though it’s a pre-season encounter.

The manager stated that the entire squad had the responsibility to add more goals to their team and he must be very excited with having six different goalscorers in yesterday’s game. It was an awesome game of football as I said earlier and I’m obviously looking forward to today’s action against Lord Bendtner and Wolfsburg.

 

Player Ratings

Defense

Emiliano Martinez kept his concentration levels in check and made many superb saves in the course of the game. 8/10

Per Mertesacker had a relatively untroubled afternoon. His only notable highlight was jumping into orbit to stop an aerial ball from going past him. 6/10

Laurent Koscielny made a couple of interceptions but it was bread and butter stuff for the Boss. 6/10

Mathieu Debuchy looks really nice with his new hairstyle but he didn’t offer much from an attacking perspective. He did alright though. 6/10

Kieran Gibbs was a bit sloppy at times and didn’t really contribute much to his team’s attacking play. 6/10

Midfield

Francis Coquelin had a very tidy game protecting the back four and I also noticed that his passing has improved. Maybe it’s just me. 7/10

Aaron Ramsey put up another virtuoso performance in the middle with his goal and two assists proving that he’s a vital asset to the team when playing from the middle. 9/10

Mesut Ozil was a class act, dictating the tempo of the game and providing two assists for his team mates. His goal was well deserved too. 9/10

Attack

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain put up another commanding performance and I was happy he scored a goal too. 8/10

Alex Iwobi showed some measure of confidence and he even scored a good goal too. I’m so happy for the lad. 7/10

Olivier Giroud was brilliant as ever, linking up play and doing his thing in attack. 8/10

Substitutes

Mikel Arteta offered his calm presence in the middle of the park and it was nice seeing the captain getting more minutes under his belt. 7/10

Chuba Akpom was unreasonably selfish and was trying too hard to impress. He even had a shot that clipped the post. I feel he needs a loan spell though. 5/10

Theo Walcott had one half chance after receiving a magnificent reverse pass from Cazorla but the goalie denied the Englishman. Bar that highlight, he was largely peripheral. 6/10

Santi Cazorla showed his class as he made an influence on the game and capped it up with a brilliant goal. 8/10

Rene Adelaide is one skillful lad. He even earned himself some sweet words from his manager after the game. 7/10

Isaac Hayden didn’t play long enough to get a rating. N/A

Sayonara.

Download the Gooner Daily  BlackBerry App to receive notifications on your Smart Phone when a post is published.

Follow Gooner Daily on Twitter  @goonerdaily. I’ll follow back

Visit Gooner Daily’s  Facebook page.

Click on the “Follow button” to join Gooner Daily’s Mailing List.

Arsenal 4 Galatasaray 1: Player Ratings

Arsenal striker Danny Welbeck screams with joy as he celebrates scoring the goal which gave him his first ever hat-trick during his side's victory over Galatasaray

Arsene Wenger marked his 18th anniversary at the club by coming up against a Galatasaray side that had to leave it late to get something out of their opening game against Anderlecht. It turned out to be a great affair for the Gunners as Danny Welbeck turned on the style with a scintillating hat-trick.

In the wake of the terrific display against the Turkish outing, Gooner Daily serves you with the player ratings.

DEFENSE

Wojciech Szczesny didn’t have much to do all game long but a rush of blood to his head made him race out from his line to scythe down Burak Yilmaz and he received his marching orders. 5/10

Calum Chambers had a great game at right back, making good interceptions and making good tackles. 7/10

Kieran Gibbs had a good day in the office and saw off the threat Galatasaray posed from his wing. 7/10

Per Mertesacker was a colossus at the back, making his trademark interceptions and doing a tidy work at the back. 7/10

Laurent Koscielny was a beast as usual with his combative style of play. 7/10

MIDFIELD

Mathieu Flamini gave a better account of himself following his debacle against Tottenham and protected his back line admirably. 7/10

Santi Cazorla did okay and almost crowned his night with a goal but he was a bit sloppy in possession on some occasions. 6/10

Mesut Ozil was as fluid as ever making those neat passes (made an assist) and influencing the game as he would have liked. However, he got tired as the game progressed. 7/10

ATTACK

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was all about pace and power but he showed off his creative side as he threaded a neat assist through the defender’s legs for Danny Welbeck. A great all-round performance. 8/10

Alexis Sanchez worked hard as always but he also contributed immensely to Arsenal’s attack, scoring one and assisting another. 9/10

Danny Welbeck had probably the best game in his football career as he bagged a superb hat-trick. 10/10

SUBSTITUTES

David Ospina came on as Szczesny’s replacement following the Pole’s red card and he went on to make some superb saves. 8/10

Tomas Rosicky came on for the Ox and had a couple of neat touches. 6/10

Jack Wilshere replaced a jaded Ozil and stamped his authority on the game. Almost capped a good performance with a delightful pass to Cazorla that was hacked off the line. 7/10

Do you agree with these ratings? Feel free to share yours with your comments.

Sayonara.

You can download the Gooner Daily  BlackBerry App to receive notifications on your Smart Phone when a post is published.

You can follow Gooner Daily on Twitter  @goonerdaily. I’ll follow back

Feel free to visit Gooner Daily’s  Facebook page and click on the like button.

You can also join Gooner Daily’s Mailing List to get notifications of new posts by email by clicking on the Follow button

More Injury Woes and Making a Case for a New DM

Aaron Ramsey lies on the ground after injuring himself in the north London derby

The North London Derby turned out to be a feisty affair with both sides giving their all in what proved to be a pulsating encounter. Arsenal had the lion’s share of possession but as always, they switched off at the back allowing Tottenham to grab the lead through Nacer Chadli. After chasing the game in typical fashion, they got their equaliser through Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and it turned out to be a classic case of two points dropped rather than one point gained.

This Tottenham side wasn’t all that but Arsenal was pretty poor in creating clear cut chances all game long. Danny Welbeck fed on scraps, Alexis Sanchez came from the bench to no devastating effect and the No. 10s didn’t prove their weights in gold. The Gunners are now unbeaten in six games (first time since 2007/08 season) but with two wins from six games, the Gunners’ form isn’t encouraging.

However, there were some major talking points from the game and one can look no further than Arsenal’s ever-increasing injury list. Prior to the North London derby, Arsenal were without Matt Debuchy (ankle), Olivier Giroud (foot), Serge Gnabry, Theo Walcott (both knee), Nacho Monreal (back), Yaya Sanogo (hamstring). Three players in this aforementioned list are integral to the team but Arsene Wenger had to rely on the depth of his squad to mitigate the challenges.

We had barely gone deep into the game when Mikel Arteta sat on the turf and when Colin Lewin ran up the pitch to meet him, his reactions showed that it didn’t look good. My fears were compounded when Arteta walked up to his vice-captain, Per Mertesacker, and gave him the armband. At the half time mark, there was misery in the faces of Arsene Wenger, the players and the fans as the club’s Welsh Jesus, Aaron Ramsey, pulled up short and signaled to the bench that his time was up. Barely after the hour mark, Jack Wilshere went on one of those his trademark marauding runs and he twisted his ankle after a challenge.

Three members of the Gunners’ spine ravaged by the injury gods, as if the problems the team currently have aren’t bad enough.

Now the Gunners are set to host Galatasaray in a crucial Champions League clash with the three players that have been integral to the new look 4-1-4-1 which still looks like a work in progress. If the team suffered these injuries in defense, we would have been wailing more than those Brazilian fans that witnessed the 7-1 demolition in the hands of Germany this summer but thankfully, Arsenal is reasonably stocked in midfield, and Mesut Ozil, Santi Cazorla and Mathieu Flamini are the three players that are going to step in with the Ox and Alexis on the wings.

Speaking of Mathieu Flamini…

I’m no football scout but I can think of a couple of defensive midfielders (that are available in the transfer market) that would fit perfectly into Arsenal’s new look 4-1-4-1 formation.

  • William Carvalho
  • Morgan Schneiderlein
  • Diego Reyes
  • Victor Wanyama
  • Chuck Norris and,
  • Some random alien from Planet Krypton

Since the departure of Alexandre Song, Arsenal has failed to invest in a suitable replacement, as Arsene Wenger handed the role to Arteta. Flamini has always been a stop-gap solution but recently, he has shown how washed up he is and the way he lost possession for Tottenham’s goal made me remove some hairs from my head. For a player in a position where having a good first touch is key, Flamini failed to get a simple pass under control and his team was duly punished for it. Sadly, it was meant to be Flamini winning the ball from Eriksen to instigate a counter attack for the Gunners but it turned to be the other way round and Szczesny’s net was rattled.That’s the cruelty of football.

I wonder why the Arsenal defenders are looking surprised

Even as the game progressed Arsenal’s midfield looked empty as the likes of Erik Lamela and Christian Eriksen had the freedom to roam easily in the middle third because Flamini wasn’t doing his job adequately. If it’s to bark at his teaamates or get yellow cards with ease, he wouldn’t be found wanting.

With Arteta out injured for God knows how long, Arsenal will have to make do with Flamini or explore the possibility of playing Abou Diaby there, till January at least. I’ve shared my thoughts on Diaby playing as a holding midfielder and it’s worth a read. Early in the season, the gaffer made mention about playing Calum Chambers in that role as well but with the young Englishman deputizing for the injured Debuchy, I don’t see him playing as a DM.

It’s sad to see things pan out this way so early in the season and it’s more shocking to know that Arsenal actually had a chance to resolve the issue of signing a new DM but the club chose to fold its hands.

As you lay your bed, so you lie in it.

Sayonara

You can download the Gooner Daily  BlackBerry App to receive notifications on your Smart Phone when a post is published.

You can follow Gooner Daily on Twitter  @goonerdaily. I’ll follow back

Feel free to visit Gooner Daily’s  Facebook page and click on the like button.

You can also join Gooner Daily’s Mailing List to get notifications of new posts by email by clicking on the Follow button