Arsenal Player Ratings V Sunderland

Posted: August 21, 2012 in Arsenal
Tags: , ,

This is late & way past overdue but I wanted to post my player ratings of the Sunderland match for if nothing else, posterity & completeness sake.  I work in QC, after all.

Arsenal Man of the Match in red

Starting Eleven
Wojciech Szczesny (7):  The Pole didn’t have much to do after the first half  but he was positioned well & made a few good saves to keep Sunderland from taking the lead early on.

Carl Jenkinson (6):  The youngster got the nod in place of the injured Bacary Sagna.  He didn’t have to do much defensively as Sunderland decided to sit back.  Crossing could’ve been better.  Nothing great, nothing bad.

Kieran Gibbs (6.5):  Gibbs also didn’t have much to do defensively as Sunderland sat back & played counter, especially in the second half but Gibbs did pop up in the box in a good position early on but couldn’t find a good cross.

Per Mertesaecker (6):  The lumbering German didn’t do anything poorly but did get beaten on a header & for someone as tall as he is, he sure seems to lose a good number of aerial duels.

Thomas Vermaelen (c) (7):  The new captain was pretty solid at the back.  Made occasional forays forward into the attack without shirking his defensive responsibilities.  Could he be a poor man’s Franz Beckenbauer?

Abou Diaby (7):  Diaby played more minutes in this match than he did the entirety of last season.  Was willing to take players on & bearly scored with a low shot that Simon Mignolet did well to tip wide.  If Diaby can stay healthy, he can play a big part in Arsenal’s midfield with Alex Song now off to Cuntalona.

Mikel Arteta (6.5):  Arteta had a somewhat quiet, workmanlike game.  Made a handful of good tackles tracking back.  Did his usual good job of linking play form defense to attack though he didn’t roam forward as much, obviously due to Cazorla now playing in the team & taking over the more advanced midfield role.

Santi Cazorla (8):  Easily the best Gunner on the pitch on Saturday.  His range of passing is breathtaking & probably should’ve had a couple of assists if not for better finishing.  I also really like the way he floats all along the outside of the box when we have possession in the final third.  Could be the best of the three new signings by a mile when all is said & done.  The idiot ManUre supporters who said he was overrated in SkySports comment threads clearly have never seen him play.  Was also willing to stride forward & take pops on goal.  Nearly scored with a ncie shot that Mignolet had to stretch to tip over.

Theo Walcott (4.5):  What can you say about Walcott that hasn’t been said when he has one of his off days.  Against Sunderland, Theo was neither consistent not “consistent in patches.”  His touch was dreadful, his final ball lacking & he had his obligatory dribbles over the end line.  The worst player on the day.  If he doesn’t renew his contract, can be replaced pretty easily by someone more effective, in my opinion.

Lukas Podolski (6.5):  Looked to be a bit short of match sharpness seemingly a step behind most of the attacking play all day & his best chance to score was the one where Cazorla more or less stepped right in front & shot right as the ball was to have come to Poldi when the German was arguably better placed for the shot.

Gervinho (5.5):  Full of tricks & running & did well… except for his final ball which was generally pretty awful.  Also did a Theo dribbling over the end line once or twice.  Both he & Theo were probably the targets of Wenger’s comments about the passing being too slow in the attacking half.  He did track back well defensively throughout the day.

Manager- Wenger (6.5):  Considering the injuries (Koscielny, Wilshere, Rosicky & Oxlade-Chamberlain) & the players ocming off a ridiculous internaitonal break, Wenger picked a side that still had enough attacking impetus & was able to dominate Sunderland.  We just couldn’t find the goal(s).  Wenger can’t put it in the net himself, for Pete’s sake.

Olivier Giroud (5.5):  The hunky Frenchman had the best chance of the game when put free into space inside the box but badly scuffed his shot wide when he should’ve scored.  Not a good way to introduce yourself to the new club but the Frenchman does look like he has terrific movement for a big target type of forward.  I’ll give him a break since the chance was on his right foot & Giroud is left-footed.

Aaron Ramsey (5.5):  Ramsey definitely looks like he’s short of confidence these days & who can blame him?  He came off a bad leg break from a mouth-breathing Stoke orc only to to come back last season to take on the role of Arsenal supporter scapegoat.  Looks to be one of the ones more willing to shoot form outside the box this season, so I won’t be too harsh.  Also coming off a long summer with that joke known as Team Great Britain.

Andrei Arshavin (6):  The Russian looks to be a bit fired up this season (so far).  Amazing what some competition in your position & no guarantee to start can do.


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