Arsenal News Blog

fact and opinion intertwined

Arsene gets tactics spot on in 3-1 victory + player ratings!

Posted by James Dall on 7, January 2007

Morning all, what a great result yesterday. One that will make the rest of our weekend’s that little bit more enjoyable.

We started with the same line-up as I presumed we would, the only difference was that Almunia started instead of Jens. Not entirely sure why but fair play as he had a solid game. Liverpool also replaced their first choice with Dudek. The game was pretty scrappy for the first 10 minutes or so, credit has to go to the Liverpool supporters who must have been close to deafening if you were actually playing. Liverpool had most of the possession but never really created much. We defended quite deep and almost had an attitude of waiting to see what Liverpool had to throw at us. Almunia was not tested, we closed them down all over the pitch and defended supremely to be honest. Then Gilberto gained possession in midfield and we worked a terrific move, mostly involving Rosicky, who exchanged a couple of passes with Hleb and then finished awesomely. You can see the goal here. Brilliant stuff, such a hard technique to master – when the ball is coming across like that. Dudek’s first real part in the game was to pick the ball out of the net.

There was more of the same really. Arsene had assembled a superb game plan, which was working effectively. Then came another break away, Rosicky gained possession again and wriggled through defenders, who never really made challenges, then slotted home. Excellent direct running, awful defending from Liverpool. You can see the second goal here.

In the second half Liverpool were a bit more positive but did not really create much. Their only goal came from a corner, poor marking from us really. Crouch headed towards goal and Kuyt helped it on. For the next ten minutes we were nuder the cosh. Pegged back but defending admirably. Then all of a sudden we were relieved of this pressure. Henry picked it up on the half way line and smacked it toward the corner, he chased it down with frightening pace, Carragher made a huge error and Thierry began his march toward goal, cutting inside and burying it. Fantastic goal – a goal of genius really, so direct powerful and fast.

Game over for Liverpool, although we relied on counter attacks, Liverpool as mentioned created nothing really. Therefore we thoroughly deserved the victory.

Here are my player ratings for the game –

Almunia – 7 – Commanding and solid, no chance with the goal

Eboue – 7 – defended well, went off injured, not sure how serious that is but his play acting frustrated me

Toure – 8 – Excellent at the back

Senderos – 8 – superb, like a magnet to the ball, won countless headers

Clichy – 8 – great defensive showing, improving as the season goes on

Hleb – 7 – battled hard

Gilberto – 8 – excellent once again, regained possession for us for our first two goals

Flamini – 6 – worked very hard, closed people down well

Rosicky – 9 – two terrific goals, more of this to come please!

van Persie – 6 – did not get in the game much, not really his fault though

Henry – 8 – would have been a 6 without the goal but what a goal it was

Subs, Hoyte – 7 – best 20 mins or so I have seen from him, Baptista – 6 – no real time to impose. Walcott – 6- same goes for him.

Ok just a couple of things to mention. Not sure what on earth the BBC interviewer was on about when he asked Rosicky whether he has finally adapted to the English game. He has been great since arriving – fool. A further mention should go to the Liverpool fans who I thought were awesome, what other fans would still be singing even though they were 3-1 down? Our fans were in full voice though, and must have had a wonderful trip. One lucky fan received Rosicky’s shirt, the lucky devil. I think that is about it, Arsene nailed his tactics and we performed brilliantly, and to think we still have Freddie, Adebayor, Diaby, Gallas and Lauren to return to first team action. AND Fabregas was suspended. So happy! You can read Arsene’s reaciton here.

The other main story is that it looks like Stokes is off to Charlton.

Have an excellent Sunday, Tuesday should be very interesting indeed. I expect an entirely different 11. I look forward to reading your comments on our performance. And thoughts if you think my player ratings are garbage!


6 Responses to “Arsene gets tactics spot on in 3-1 victory + player ratings!”

  1. sam said

    abd now it looks like ljunberg is off too, just read in the notw, now lets wait and see.

  2. GunnerPete said

    Absolutely mind boggling that we still have top players to return. I just hope Arsene has the guts to play Gallas in the Flamini role for the rest of the season. In that position he would score many many goals too.

    With this abundance of talent ,thanks to AW…..its also the time to sell several players and make a few quid. Freddy, Alliadiere,Lupoli, even Lauren when fit. If all goes to plan, AW could then buy young Bale + Barnes, two very prommising young English players.

    Well done the lads and Arsene, you have proved me wrong so many times you would think I would learn a lesson by now.

  3. TomGoooner said

    GunnerPete – what do you mean play Gallas in the Flamini role? My gripe here also follows on from him being given a rating of 6 on this site. I agree with all the other ratings, but this is so harsh!
    I thought Flamini was brilliant yestarday, getting stuck in and doing the simple stuff. There was little between him and Gilberto, both were excellent. He really is such a useful player for us.
    Im not a fan of us playing a midfield 5, but when we do the central three should be Gilberto behind Flamini and Fabregas. Flamini is so underated when will he get some credit?!
    p.s. If we let Fred go (which i think we should) we need to buy another winger. We’d only really have Hleb, Rosicky and Theo – RVP isnt an out an out winger. Snap up that Frank Ribery before he goes to Madrid!

  4. I thought 6 as his distribution was a little way ward, I am a Flamini fan. I appreciate what he brings to the team. You are right Tom, if Freddie goes we should bring in a winger

  5. Mike White said

    Nice to see Rosicky play well; he was one of the few bright spots on the Czech world cup team (I should know, as he scored 2 goals on my Americans). Why didn’t Fabregas play this match?

  6. amiripz said

    A fantastic win and play indeed.

    Hope the lads repeat the result again.

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