Arsenal 1 – 0 Udinese: Thoughts and Player Ratings

WOW! That was a massive win which is only going to improve the confidence of the team.

This is what happened; We started off positively, got the early goal, looked dangerous, Udinese replied with Di Natale hitting the cross bar, we tried again, were caught on the counter, Szczesny and Song came to the rescue, half ended with Gibbs getting off injured. We started again, Koscielny misplaced a pass, Djourou came to the rescue, got off injured, Jenkinson came on, Udinese were threatening our goal as our team went missing, Walcott missed a chance, we brought on Frimpong, Song rescued us again at the back, stoppage time started, Gervinho released Walcott again, their keeper produced an excellent save. The game ended with us having a goal advantage going into the second leg.

Overall, it was again a performance we can be proud of under the circumstances.  But we don’t have to get carried away. We were good in patches only and not entirely convincing. Our squad is, though, seriously lacking players. A presence of a quality midfielder was also felt as Rosicky and Ramsey are clearly not there yet. We didn’t build on the first goal and slowly went missing allowing Udinese chances to get into the game. It reminded me of the pre season games but thankfully we didn’t end up drawing or losing the game.

The first half was much better than the second for us. The second half rarely saw us having a shot on goal except near the end. Questions will be asked of the defense and midfield as we gave lots of room to Udinese and it won’t be wrong to assume, had the opponent been some better team, the outcome would have been different.

The positives from the game are many. We achieved our objectives which matters the most! We kept another clean sheet. Szczesny, for one, is going to be a great number one for us for years to come. The partnership of Vermaelen and Koscielny is improving every game. Frimpong is going to be a big player. Walcott is gaining his form and confidence back. Song is a beast in the middle.

The only negative from the game are the injuries to Gibbs and Djourou. I hope they recover quickly.

Before I move onto player ratings, I want to categorically add that we do need signings. This team is good, still, not enough to challenge for the title. With the right tools added, this team can be great and we can surprise many. I just hope Wenger gives this team what it deserves!

Coming to player ratings

Szczesny: (7) One word to describe his performance, splendid! Commanded his area with authority and produced great saves whenever called upon, especially the one-on-one in the first half was brilliant. His positioning on the first free kick from De Natale was disappointing but he will learn with time.

Sagna: (7) Defensively was great bar one horrible mistake in the first half that led to Szczesny and Song saving the day.

Koscielny and Vermaelen: (6.5/6.5) As said above, their partnership is improving game by game. They both complement each other. Koscielny really impressed me bar a couple of misplaced passes. The first half hour was where he was contributing all over the pitch. Always kept his man in check and his ability to close down players is very good. Vermaelen did his part and led the team well.

Gibbs: (6) Till the time he was on, did his job well. His defending though still needs lots of improvement, as one of his clearances in the first half was very poor. His injury is what concerns me. I hope he returns soon.

Song: (7.5) He was immense last night and I am afraid, he is going to be missed in the next 3 EPL games. He got us out of at least three goal conceding occasions.

Rosicky: (5.5) He gives his all in the centre but still is not enough. He disappeared again in the second half and was substituted at the right time as he looked tired. We need a creative midfielder ASAP!

Ramsey: (6) He is more comfortable while going forward and last night produced an assist for the first goal. Did give away the ball on a few occasions and he needs to overcome this habit of his. And as I said last time, needs to improve his work rate.

Walcott: (7.5) He was amazing. Got the goal, was a continuous threat and his movement with and without the ball was great. Missed one great chance in the second half though, when he scuffed his chip. Gutted he didn’t get the second goal.

Chamakh: (3.5) At one point in the game, I was furious at him for slowing our passing and game. He is seriously lacking confidence. Did well in defense and linking up play though. We need more in front of goal from him and needs to come out of the shell he has retreated into.

Gervinho: (5.5) Again he showed his pace and movement with the ball. However, still frustrating with his final ball.  Lost the ball on more than a few occasions. Managed to produce a great run in the second half and one great ball for Walcott, who was denied by the keeper.


Djourou: (6.5) His partnership with Koscielny didn’t look as strong as Vermaelen/ Koscielny. In the time he was on, produced one vital block to deny Udinese an open goal. It is a shame that he got off injured.

Jenkinson: (6) Didn’t look comfortable on the left but kept things simple and did the job. Was beaten a couple of times but shouldn’t be judged on that.

Frimpong: (6) Did give a couple of free kicks in quick succession when he came on. Once settled, showed his ability. He has pace and isn’t afraid to make a tackle. Made an interesting run down the left using his pace, later in the second half, which got me out of my seat.

10 Responses to Arsenal 1 – 0 Udinese: Thoughts and Player Ratings

  1. I think arsenal still lacks confident and quality players.most of the players are yet to discover themselves.The squad need a creative midfielder,confident strikers and unshakable defence.without sentiments,arsenal is not fit for any title or distinguished position this season,unless arsene wenger,is being chastise to sign quality players.Wenger does not care about the fans.

  2. Karl Karma Marx. says:

    Hey Judas! I wouldn’t know how much those guys paid to you that prompted them being over-rated. The overrall performance which I saw yesterday against udenise is bellow average. If they play like this against City, they stand to conceive lots of goals. Wenger should stop being blind, & go to the market for reliable players that can stand big opponents.

    • vled says:

      I have mentioned that ‘had it been any better team, the outcome would have been different.
      And if you would have read carefully, I said, it was a massive win under the circumsatnces and is only going to help the confidence of the team.
      I agree wth you on buying quality players though!

    • 2nd game of the season against 4th team in Italy, with 2 gametime injuries to the defence, with Fabregas gone, Nasri unavailable, Diaby and Wilshere injured, RVP suspended, and it ends in a win and a clean sheet, and you’re still not happy. Go support Chelsea! This was one of the few sensible reviews of the game. It wasn’t a perfect performance but had heart, and that made me feel a lot better.

  3. kx says:

    Rate for Arsene Wengeger

  4. Rosy says:

    I believe Gervinho should get more than 5.5.He would have done better with a serious stricker.Chamakh was killing his game.Chamakh should get 2.0.

  5. Kay says:

    I love the writter’s attitude. Arsenal fans, let’s be positive minded. The game was indeed below average but there are positives we could take out from it.

  6. Vinay says:

    Sorry got to disagree on most fronts, we were poor yesterday, we are quite literally nowhere when it comes to creativity and we are still reeling under the effects of losing cesc and also mostly likely nasri. If we expect ramsey or rozza to provide us assists then it is tough simply because ramsey is still feeling his way back and rozza is done with, he is a pale shadow of what he was once. Arsenal’s holding mid fielder needs to understand that he needs to clear the ball to safety first than trying to wriggle out of situations, song is caught out way to many times these days. One on one he is good but positionally poor.Vermaelen was immense and he is far me the most crucial player for our season. Theo was poor, he still doesnt have an iota of understanding on how to cross or what to do when he has the ball, he is to instinctive and loses the plot to often. Overall i am dreading where we may go on to because if the performance of yesterday was anything to go by, then we are struggling big time

  7. olatunji says:

    so jenkinson and djourou performed better than gervinho! Gervinho 6.3

    • vled says:

      It is just what they did proved to me more crucial. In the time Djourou was on, he put in a crucial block. Normally I would not have rated him. While Jenkinson, despite being uncomfortable, did well on the left flank.
      I had given Gervinho a 6.5 but then decided too change it because his decision making was poor yesterday.

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