[Player Ratings] Schalke 2-2 Arsenal: Better But Improvement Still Needed

By on November 6, 2012

walcott_belgrade

Arsenal blew a 2-goal lead to draw 2-2 with Schalke on Tuesday night to leave our qualification hopes hanging in the balance.

Contract rebel Theo Walcott gave us the lead after 18 minutes before Girous made it 2-0 with a well taken header from an excellent Lukas Podolski cross after 26 minutes. However, Huntelaar got one back after Santi Cazorla lost possession in the middle of the park just before half time and predictably Farfan grabbed the equaliser in the 67th minute. You can watch the goal here if you didn’t catch the game. Here are my ratings from the game:

Arsenal Ratings:

Mannone – 8 – Great performance by the Italian. Could do little about the two goals but made 2-3 excellent saves and ended up keeping us in the game.

Sagna – 7 -Got dragged out of position paying too much attention to the ball for the home sides first goal. This lapse gave Huntelaar the room he needed to do his magic. Otherwise was very good and cut the threat of Afellay out.

Mertesacker – 6 – Like Sagna, got sucked out of position for the crucial Schalke first goal. Held things together fairly well apart from that.

Koscielny – 6 – Steady alongside Per but should have done better for the second. Very poor attempt to win the cross that ended up at Farfan’s feet.

Vermaelen – 5 – Schalke got in behind down the left a couple of times early on and i feared we had another ‘Santos’ situation on our hands, but Vermaelen improved as the game went on and is certainly a better option on the left while Gibbs is out. Could have done better for the second goal though, as he was dragged into the middle leaving his man free at the far stick.

Arteta – 6 – Still wasn’t as influential as we’re used to seeing. His partnership with Wilshere is yet to gel. Hopefully the midfield pair can settle soon.

Wilshere – 6 -Was on the wrong end of some heavy tackles, it’s a miracle he came through without injury. Looks a little tired so his suspension comes at a good time really. He’ll be fresh for the visit of Tottenham at least.

Cazorla – 5.5 – Quiet game by his standards. Looks knackered. Needs a rest soon.

Walcott – 7 – On hand to take his goal well and his runs and movement are important to our play. Missed a golden chance to win it but fluffed his lines when put through late on.

Podolski – 6 – Excellent cross for Giroud’s goal but otherwise another relatively quiet game. Worked harder than at Old Trafford but still doesn’t get in the game enough.

Giroud – 6.5 – Great header but general play was poor again. Didn’t win his duels in the air and hesitated when put through in the lead up to Walcott’s goal.

Subs

Coquelin – N/A – On too late

Santos – N/A – On too late

So another uncertain performance from the lads but at least there were moderate signs of improvement from the United game. We were at least making some effort to close down and get the ball back when not in possession and we certainly looked more of a threat going forward with Walcott’s pace in attack.

The draw leaves Arsenal sitting second in Group B, one point behind Schalke, but Olympiakos are just one point behind us in third after beating Montpellier 3-1. Nothing but a win will be good enough when Montpellier come to the Emirates next time out.

What were your rating from the game? Get involved in the comments section.

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8 Comments

  1. davi

    November 7, 2012 at 12:45 am

    I thought Walcott was too selfish on the last chance when he could have slipped it to Giroud who had an open goal (albeit at a fairly tight angle), and he took the ball off Podolski when he was offside and Pod had a clear run on goal. We’re better with him in the side but I worry that all this talk of him playing striker has made him too selfish at times.

    For me Giroud is an inspiration. He’s one of the very few players who never let their heads go down throughout this recent bad run despite bearing a lot of the criticism, which is more based on unfair comparisons to RVP than his actual performances. He deserves a lot more credit than he’s getting and it was good to see him get his goal in the end. Of the 3 players we signed over the summer, he always looked likely to be the one that would take the most time to adapt given his relative inexperience at the top level, so people should cut him a little more slack.

    Mannone is building up some good form which is very welcome and badly needed. I hope he continues in this vein and never looks back. At the moment he looks like a top class keeper, and his challenge is to maintain this form.

    Vermaelen showed again why he shouldn’t be an automatic starter and should be benched for the next game. He looks tired and seems to be feeling the pressure. IMO he was the wrong choice for captain because he simply isn’t a clear 1st choice player. Arteta and Sagna are clear 1st choices in their positions and one of them should take the armband. Coquelin should get a chance at LB because he has the pace, tenacity and attacking ability to do well there.

    Great cross from Podolski but he needs to raise his game again.

    As you say, overall a better performance and something to build on. Doesn’t matter that we lost the lead because this was always going to be a tough game and a draw is a good result which leaves us in a good position to progress. Something to build on.

    • Manx Maniac

      November 7, 2012 at 11:03 am

      I agree with most of what you said but for me I would be playing Jenkinson ahead of Sagna. This season he has played amazing and now he is being left out again, but I totaly agree about Walcott being selfish he should of played Giroud in at the end Arteta shold be captain IMO.

  2. robin banks

    November 7, 2012 at 3:30 am

    Wenger, you are such a deluded and ‘orrible little Frenchman.

    Do one you leech!

  3. Umoh. Ekwo

    November 7, 2012 at 9:56 am

    Yesterday’s performance was better compared to the previous three matches we lost. At least we created chances and scored. This usually happens when Ramsey is not playing. I hope Wenger builds on this. If he had played like this at Old Trafford we wouldn’t have lost that game. It should be clear to Wenger now that we need to sign more quality players in January. We don’t have a good defense or will he still be saying we have a big squad?

    • ochine

      November 7, 2012 at 12:26 pm

      any time any day mr wenger playad that useless ramsy that does not know how to mark or make a good pass yet cone head wenger will still be fielding him.this is what samir
      nasr
      i saw and said
      some
      players does not merit to start yet they get start pls mr wenger encourange players like fripom

  4. Mannix

    November 7, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    Wenger should do anything possible to secure walcott, we can’t afford to lose him in January. The guy is trying to perform even in the middle of a contract crisis & being side line from 1st team most of the games. I’m fully confidence with Walcott when start than 10 Arshavin and Ramsey. Hope Wenger will solve this contact issue coz we have lost many good players through contract agreement where Wenger opt to sell or release the player than increase his wages. Till when will Arsenal starts realizing that money rules world? The board wants alot of profit but they don’t want to spent in order to maintain the source of that income. Players like Carzola, Podolsky, Giroud n Arteta who came with great expectations only to found out that the team is full bunch of none serious players who playing for the sake of it whether we win or lose life goes on unlike other teams where pressure to perform is order of the day.

  5. Mannix

    November 7, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    ochin I agree with u no seriousness in this team since Wenger is untouchable. Ramsey, Diaby, Santos and Djourou shouldn’t have been there doing nothing well he let players like RvP, Nasri, Hleb,Cesc n Flamini go n u r proud of it.

  6. kevin

    November 7, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    agreed we were better ,but we are streets behind chelsea and man u in terms of quality .and looking at the european teams we are miles behind many of those.this is not the arsenal we know all of our best players have gone and been replaced with players that just arent as good .reality is wenger has weakened the squad to such a degree it ids unforgiveable.im for a change of manager and usmanov in and dein in .wenger has had his day .id love guardiola in with dein and usmanov backing to rebuild this team and really challenge.if you think im wrong fine but even the most adamant akb fan must agree were not a patch on previous arsenal teams now

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