West Ham vs Arsenal Player Ratings

Emmanuel Money Bags Adebayor Proves To Be Too Much To Handle

Emmanuel "Money Bags" Adebayor Proves To Be Too Much To Handle

Arsenal traveled across London this weekend to take on city rivals West Ham United in what was a very hard fought victory at Upton Park.  A scoreless first half saw Arsenal come out from the break determined to find the breakthrough.  Despite the heroics of Robert Green, Arsenal found a way through off of a Faubert own goal.  Arsenal we able to hang on to advantage until stoppage time when a sublime pass from Bendtner  put Adebayor in on goal to double the advantage and sure up the three points for the visitors.

Almunia: 8 Fantastic first half from the Spaniard who made a few fantastic saves, including a great one on Bellamy.  Almunia seems to really be growing into his roll this season and as someone who has never been particularly impressed by Almunia he really is becoming a solid keeper.

Eboue: 6.5 Not the greatest game for Eboue.  He was slopping in the attacking third but solid enough in defense.  I still think he plays better as a right back.

Gallas: 8 Great game by Gallas, one of the few good games I can remember him having in an Arsenal shirt.  He dealt well with the Hammer’s attackers all evening and played some fantastic one on one defense.  Lets all hope that our Captain keeps up this form for many games to come.

Silvestre: 7.5 Played very well next to Gallas.  He is still getting used to our system but the Frenchman seems to be fitting in quite well.

Clichy: 7.5 Showed great willingness to get forward but was outpaced by Bellamy in the first half.  All in all though it was a typical Clichy performance, as solid as ever.

Walcott: 8 Theo was brilliant on the night.  His pace and ability to launch Arsenal into attack with the snap of a finger caused West Ham trouble all night long.  He put some nice balls into the middle and showed a great willingness to fight down the right and to get into scoring positions in the box.  He was unlucky not to score when he fired off the crossbar.

Fabregas: 7.5 Fairly good performance from the Spaniard.  He controlled the midfield well and seemed to work much better next to Song then next to Denilson.  He had a few passes get away from him but over all he showed great determination to orchestrate the attack as Arsenal searched for a winner.

Song: 8 A so-so first half combined with an amazing second half completed what is most likely Song’s best game for the Gunners to date.  He was fantastic getting back in defense and halting any sort of offense the Hammers got going and was good in the final third as well.  He showed good decision making in his passing and some fantastic skill on the ball as well.  I hope this game will give Song a prolonged run out at the defensive midfield position.

Nasri: 7 Quite game from Samir but continued to link up well with Clichy down the right.  I have been really impressed with the Frenchman’s skill and strength on the ball and I look forward to seeing Nasri continue to adapt and fit into the side.

van Persie: 7.5 Looked for goal often and came close on three or four occasions.  It looks like Robin’s free kick ability is starting to return as she rattled on off the upright.  He worked the keeper well and played some nice balls between the rest of the team, especially his chest down to an oncoming Walcott in the box.

Bendtner: 7.5 A performance the young Dane can certainly be proud of.  The game did not come easy to him the whole 90 minutes but Nick worked hard and linked up well with his team mates.  He played some excellent balls into the box and even worked the keeper on on occasion.  His ball to Adebayor for the second though was absolutely fantastic.  Suffice to say, I believe Bendtner is coming along quite nicely and gives Arsenal another solid option up top.

Subs:

Adebayor: 8.5 Made all the difference.  His willingness to fight for every ball was very clear and his hard work paid off early as some fancy footwork and a shot toward goal helped Arsenal find the breakthrough as Adebayor bounced a shot off of a West Ham Defender and into the back of the net.  His link up with the rest of the team was great and his goal was superbly taken.

Diaby: 7 Showed some nice link up and some fancy footwork but ultimately didn’t make that much of an impact on the match.

Sagna: N/A

Man of the Match: Adebayor has certainly added another dimension to his game this season.  The way he links up and interacts with the other players on the pitch gives us something we didn’t have last year.  His pace and physicality have become huge problems for Premier League defenders and his 8 goals in all competitions have helped Arsenal keep it close in the opening months of the BPL and the Champions League.

Arsenal vs Porto Player Ratings

Who needs Batman when youve got Robin?

Who needs Batman when you've got Robin?

Arsenal took on FC Porto the other night and won with style as the Gunners slammed four goals past the visitors.  Despite a shaky first 20 minutes, Arsenal took the lead in the 32nd minute and never looked back.  The scoreline could’ve reached Slavia Prague proportions if not for some profligate finishing. Here are Arsenal Station’s player ratings:

Almunia: 7.5 Not too much to do from Almunia but there when called upon.  He made a fantastic save in the first half to prevent Porto from taking the early lead which could’ve led to a very different result.

Sagna: 7.5 Solid as usual for Bakary.  He was tidy in defense, made some good tackles and recovered well when beat.  He was again a vital part of the Arsenal attack as he got forward and provided crosses and link up with the other attacking players.

Toure: 6.5 Decent game from Kolo.  Really ought to have done better on Porto’s first chance when Toure’s loose marking left Cristian Rodriguez in the middle open for a diving header.

Gallas: 6.5 Nothing much to say about Gallas other than, again, like Toure, he looked as shaky as ever on set-pieces.  I don’t know what the manager has to do to get our two center-backs to defend properly but whatever it is I hope he figures it out quickly.

Clichy: 8 Great game from Clichy.  Linked up well down the left and got forward often.  He was there in defense when called upon and as always was Arsenal’s Mr. Consistent.

Walcott: 8.5 Theo caused trouble for Porto all night long and grabbed an assist on van Persie’s second goal.  Theo has shown that even when he doesn’t get on the scoresheet he contributes a lot to this team.  His close control and lightning quick pace are conmstantly an asset on the pitch.  While he always looked dangerous against Porto, on a few occasions his decision making seemed lacking.  I am sure this will however get better with time.

Fabregas: 9 Great game from Cesc.  The best so far this season.  He hustled in defense and utterly dominated the midfield.  I hope this is a sign of what is to come from our true leader as he still looks to get completely back on track after a long summer.

Denilson: 7 Going forward has never been Denilson’s issue.  Rather it has been his ability to fulfill the defensive part of his midfield roll.  I remain unconvinced.  He hardly shields the back and I cannot remember the last time I saw him put in a decent challenge.  The kid has skill surely and in the attacking half he is a great asset but when the opposition get the ball the young Brazilian seems to go missing.  Perhaps it is time for Alex Song to get a proper run out.

Nasri: 7.5 A solid return performance from Samir.  It was quite clear he had been out for a bit and a game like this with a solid 60 minutes will go a long ways towards improving his match fitness.  Other than that, he seemed to hook up well with Clichy and showed good skill on the ball.  His passing was a bit off but he did again show his willingness to shoot and get inside the box, something this Arsenal team could always do with more of.

van Persie: 9 Fantastic game after a woeful performance on Saturday.  The Dutchman still seems to be getting to full fitness and this game surely silenced some who said he should lose his place in the line up.  Some great bits of skill, terrific vision and clinical finishing capped off a great night in Europe for Robin.

Adebayor: 8.5 Good game from Ade who scored two and set up another quite nicely.  He generally caused problems for the Porto defense but his finishing could still use some work.  For a player who gets as many chances as he does it would be nice if he could have a higher rate of conversion since as all Arsenal fans know, not every night is like the one we just had.

SUBS:

Bendtner: 7.5 Did well to win the penalty and had some nice link up with the rest of the team.  He played a nice ball through to Adebayor as well for what should’ve been his hat-trick.

Eboue: 7 Really ought to have put his chance in.  Other than that, he used pace well and showed a few bits of skill every once in a while but someone should tell him to leave the step overs to others.

Vela: 7.5 Did well against Porto.  Kept the ball close and almost had a chance himself.  Showed good pace and generally looked threatening.  Games like this will prove crucial in the development of the young Mexican striker and as the season goes on I can only see Carlos pushing more and more for a permanent spot in the first team.

Man of the Match: Robin van Persie looks to have finally gotten back to his usual self.  His finishing touch was brilliant and he even nabbed an assist to go with his two goals on the evening.  Hopefully this game will mark his true return to fitness and help him get in confidence back.  A fit van Persie certainly gives Arsenal another dimension.  Let’s all hope Robin’s fitness is here to stay.

Arsenal vs. Sheffield United Player Ratings

Hat Trick Hero Vela Shows Why He Was Worth The Wait

Carlos Vela: Definitely worth the wait.

Arsenal fully demolished a sub-par Sheffield United side this evening as Arsene Wenger fielded the club’s youngest side ever. It was quickly apparent that age mattered little in this affair as the teenage Gunners effortlessly put six past the Blades on the evening.

Fabianski: 7 Honestly, Fabianski had little to nothing to do all night except be happy and watch his teammates play some glorious football. When he was called into action however he came out and dominated his area with authority and his distribution for the most part was good.

Hoyte: 7 Good getting forward and seemingly more solid then his brother in defense. The younger Hoyte looked much better at right-back then he did at center-back in preseason. He is still young and has plenty of time and room to improve (unlike his brother) but all in all a solid start for the youngster.

Djourou: 8 Looked a bit shaky in the first few minutes but he settled into the game quite well and dealt with everything that came his way. He put in a number of great challenges to break up what little attacking United had.

Song: 8 Solid as usual. Great in defense, going forward, and distribution. He seemed to have landed awkwardly on one leg that may have strained his hip. Hopefully it is nothing serious and he will be fit and ready for action when Arsenal host Hull this weekend.

Gibbs: 8.5 Fantastic display from Gibbs. He was there when called upon in defense and was fantastic getting forward, whipping in some solid crosses and even putting in a shot or two on target. He has shown he has the ability to get forward. The next question will be does he have the ability to defend consistently when called upon.

Wilshere: 9 Little Jack made his first team debut as a 16 year old who came through the Hale End academy and looked as if he had been playing football ever since the day he was born. He was comfortable with the ball at his feed, fantastic in his passing and capped it off with a cool finish from outside the box. Even more encouraging was his ability to get back and help in defense as well as the strength he showed on the ball. He never backed down from a challenge and was willing to stand up to much bigger and strong players than himself. These are all very encouraging signs from the young Englishman and as the season progresses I can only see Wilshere getting better and better.

Ramsey: 9 Great strength on the ball and fantastic passing and distribution. Showed he can split the defense as well as win the ball back. Aaron showed some fantastic bits of skill, including that sublime back heel to Bendtner. Two assists on the night for the young Welshman to go along with an over all fantastic performance. Suffice it to say, the future looks bright for Aaron at Arsenal.

Randall: 6.5 Looked good in the first half in passing and possession and even put in a few nice challenges but his final ball and set pieces left much to be desired. Furthermore, Mark seemed to fade in the second half. This appears to be a make or break season at Arsenal for Randall with other more talented players pushing up in his position. If he doesn’t put in some more inspiring performances he will most likely have to seek employment elsewhere.

Merida: 8 Fran was incredibly impressive on the night. He showed fine bits of skill all evening long. He played some totally deft balls through the defense and put in some good crosses from set pieces. Add to that the assist on Wilshere’s goal and the young Spaniard is starting to show why he is so highly rated.

Bendtner: 9 Two goals and an assist coming off of a great weekend performance at Bolton. Nick was trouble for the United defense all night long. He held the ball up well and combined great with Vela. Not much can be said against Nick tonight other than that he really ought to have scored the goal for his hat trick which he pushed just wide.

Vela: 10 I cannot honestly think of a single thing the Mexican did wrong all evening wrong. He scored three goals and set up another. He ran all over the pitch, held the ball up extremely well, showed his coolness and calmness in finishing and also his strength on the ball. Already a regular in the senior Mexico squad, performances like this will certainly go a long way in Vela’s pursuit of consistent first team football in the Premiership this season.

SUBS:

Coquelin: 8 Francis looked fantastic slotting in at right back. He was able to exhibit both his defensive tenacity as well as the creative side of his game and he made a few nice moves into the box. The kid clearly has skill and drive and I believe it is only a matter of time before this youngster makes his way into the first team.

Lansbury: 7.5 Henri looked good on the night. He put in a few night shots and combined well down the right side. Obviously, he is still getting back into the swing of things after his illness last year but this performance is definitely a solid step on the road back.

Simpson: 6 Nothing in particular stood out about Jay’s game. He hustled, and he seemed to pass and link up decently but his final ball was lacking. With the depth Arsenal have in the striker position and the performances of players like Bendtner and Vela it is going to be very hard for Jay to force his way into even the Carling Cup squad. That is why he must take full advantage of any chance he gets.

Man of the Match: Without a doubt, Carlos Vela showed why so many fans were anxious for the young Cancun-born striker to earn his work permit and return from his loan spells in Spain. His link-up play, his holding, his vision, his strength and his finish are all there. Tonight, Carlos Vela arrived.