Arsenal News Blog

fact and opinion intertwined

Victory tastes delicious + player ratings

Posted by James Dall on 15, April 2007

Ahhh, a victory – thank goodness. I have just arrived back at university. No-one enjoys a long drive which involves traffic and hot weather. I can tell you that the drive would have been a billion times worse if we had not won yesterday. To the relief of my girlfriend though, my spirits were high.

Yesterday I shut myself in my room so I could watch the game over the live stream, twenty minutes past three and I finally got it working. Usually it works fine for me but yesterday it was a pain in the backside. My Dad shouted to me that we were one nil down after eleven minutes, my mood went from bad to worse. Finally I got it going and I sat down urging on the side. The midfield were interchanging beautifully and we were carving Bolton open. Something that really bothers me – when Arsenal tear sides apart, chance after chance after chance but miss, then the commentator says the other team is defending well… WHAT?! No they are not, we are creating easily but we are poor at finishing, if anything that is crap defending. Moving on…

We conceded from some pretty slack defending but then went on to dominate to be honest. We were a shade fortunate that the ball did not hit Gallas’ arm and rebound out – that would have meant a likely goal and a sending off. So we dominated, we were creating and our tempo was good. Adebayor missed a decent chance, Freddie hit a sound free kick and Toure smashed from miles out. Our goal came from Rosicky, Ade lofted ball to the back post, which was not dealt with too well and the Czech pounced and finished well.

In the second half we scored in seconds and it was our hero Cesc. He made an excellent run between the two centrebacks, controlled well, waited and then slotted home coolly. He went ballistic, as did I. I read one blog which criticised his celebration – stupid comment in my opinion. The guy had not scored in the league for 11 months, he just showed pure emotion. I loved his celebration.

We continued to create but continued to miss, I was worried we might be punished for the misses. Diaby missed two golden opportunities, I was biting my nails. Then came the moment where my heart stopped. The ball struck Eboue’s arm in the box, it was a clear pen but not given. Thank goodness. Highly lucky on our behalf. A Bolton win or draw though would have been completely unjust, we out played them. Onto the player ratings then…

Lehman – 6 – hardly helped in calming the nerves, very sporadic.

Eboue – 6 – almost cost us with a huge error, fairly sound though apart from that.

Toure – 7 – good display, was really fired up for the game.

Gallas – 7 -composed on the ball and read attacks well.

Clichy – 7 – a pleasing display from the ever improving Frenchman.

Hleb – 6 – one moment he looked brilliant, the other terrible.

Fabregas – 8 – most of the attacks went through him in some way, grew in stature after he scored.

Gilberto – 6 – kept things ticking over and snuffed out most attacks.

Rosicky – 9 – a brilliant performance, superb hunger and a well taken goal.

Ljungberg – 6 – full of running, made life difficult for the opposing defenders.

Adebayor – 7 – would have been a six if it weren’t for his superb ball to the back post. Ran his heart out.

Subs – Bap – 5 – not much time but he did get to the by line and attempt a step over which rebounded off his shin – awful. Diaby – 5 – so much promise but missed 2 decent opportunities to kill the game off.

Arsene was obviously delighted, you can read his reaction here. I am delighted too. It was amazing how the fans mood changed through the game, when they scored most were saying how it was game over and our season was finished but when we went in front they were singing the praises of anyone they could think of.

It seems to me that if we were stronger defensively, for example on set pieces and just simple organisation, and if we could actually finish our moves, we would be frightening team. Maybe next season we will see it all fall into place…? Of course Liverpool drew yesterday, this sparked cries that we might be on for third place, one step at a time in my opinion I think.

Last but not least apparently Flamini wants to go to Italy. Good on him.

I am now going to settle down to watch the rest of the Chelsea, Blackburn game. Enjoy the rest of your sunny Sunday.


9 Responses to “Victory tastes delicious + player ratings”

  1. Anonymous said

    we don’t need to by strikers, just henry and rvp back and the goals will come

  2. kingston said

    At least you got the descence of saying something nice about the team. Sometimes i get so frustrated by most Gooners, for some reasons i dont feel we support our boys enough. Is it because they are foreign, just listen at Liverpool fans, man they are awesome.

  3. gooneroon said

    Until the squad takes collective responsibility we will not be challenging for jack……..cesc,rosicky and hleb have scored 4 goals all season, our defence hardly any.They must realise if they don’t take responsibility for scoring then they will have to be shipped out and someone who can put the ball in the net be brought in. The whole point of the game is to score goals not miss chances. Diaby worries me has he shows all the natural insticts of Baptista,adeybayor or Aliadiere in front of goal and there fore could not hit a cows arse with a banjo.
    I like Adebayor but when we praise a player for his workrate above all else this masks the fact he does not score enough goals. High workrate should be a given for all arsenal players……….

  4. […] Victory tastes delicious + player ratings Ahhh, a victory – thank goodness. I have just arrived back at university. No-one enjoys a long drive which involves […] […]

  5. fidza said

    Gooneroon, Don’t forget Gilberto is also a midfielder and has scored 9 or so goals. I agree the others should also score goals from the midfield but you don’t have to blast them for not doing so. What has been their contribution to the team should be the key. Anonymous!! we need a striker, a “fox in the box” like, we tend to miss a lot these days. What makes you think, Henry and van Persie won’t get injured again?

  6. mike said

    Pls tell me how to access livestream games!!

  7. when the midfielders start scoring then we can look forward to better days

  8. jim said

    easy, join the website

  9. clockendjim said

    A much better performance by the team all round. But please do not get carried away by one good result. All the same old shortcomings were still there for all to see.
    Starting with the Bolton goal of a hopeful high long ball not being attacked by our defenders and the usual Lehmann flap at the ball. We then went on to create 17 good chances of which only 2 were put away, nowhere near a good enough conversion rate – it could easily have been a West Ham experience all over again. At the opposite end, just look at the number of goals we concede in proportion to the small amount of chances we allow the opposition!
    The worst of all of the misses was the slapstick comedy produced by Diaby and Baptista. It is a sickness of modern football that players put their own personal glory of scoring, in front of the needs of the team. It just required Baptista to hold back slightly to the left and Diaby to slide the ball across to him for it to be put into an empty net. What did we get, a pathetic passback to the grateful goalkeeper.
    The promise of an exciting future is definitely there, but the current squad certainly needs some experienced additions to help finish off all the good approach work. I just hope that Wenger addresses the problem.

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