Another typical Arsenal performance again last night. Awful defending, sluggish first half performance and some exciting bursts of forward play. We’re never going to get anywhere until we cut-out the basic errors at the back. Fans, myself included, have been calling for a striker to be signed this month but I think it’s safe to say the defence needs addressing asap. Here are my ratings from the game.
Szczesny – 5 – Slightly unlucky with the opener as he made a decent save from Sturridge before the ball fell to Suarez, but he was generally all over the place, especially in the first half. Lucky not to concede a second when he came charging out and was left in no-mans land but Henderson sent the ball over with the goal gaping. Completely missed a corner and watched Agger’s header cleared off the line and lucky to get away with one of his infamous Cryuff turns in the six yard box. Although he did make a decent last minute save to deny Suarez a winner.
Sagna – 5.5 – Slipped for the opener and crossing and passing was generally very poor. How often does he hit the first man with his crosses?!
Vermaelen – 6 – Very poor defending lead to the opener as he completely missed the cross in the build-up. But settled into the game and did his best to play alongside a very suspect Mertesacker and Santos.
Mertesacker – 4 – Extremely poor attempt of blocking Suarez’s shot, very poor attempt of a tackle on Henderson for the second. Sloppy passes were also on show. No idea why he was chosen ahead of Koscielny for this game. Stoke away, yes. Liverpool at home, no!
Gibbs – 6 – Did ok before going off injured in the first half. Will be a HUGE miss over the next three weeks.
Wilshere – 8.5 – The only shining light in the first half and was the driving force, once again, in the second as we came back from 2-down. Where would we be without him?
Ramsey – 6 – Played his part in the shambolic opener as he should have just put his laces through the ball and cleared in his area, but decided to try a fancy turn and lost the ball allowing Suarez to put the visitors ahead. Otherwise had a steady game and while he’s improved a lot in the middle, I’m still not convinced he’s the answer to our rather obvious need for a powerful ball-winner.
Cazorla – 7 – Below par in the first half but came alive, like many of his team mates, in the second.
Walcott – 8 – Missed a great chance to immediately equalise when he saw his effort saved by Reina early on, but there is no denying Theo is a real threat. Scored his 18th of the season and what a goal it was. Superb strike! Went close to grabbing a winner as well.
Podolski – 6.5 – Clearing Aggers header off the line was his only real contribution in the first half but was far more involved in the second, and almost bagged another assist when setting up Giroud with a late chance to win it.
Giroud – 7.5 – The big man is a real handful and scored another goal with a well-taken header. Missed a few chances as well though, especially a late free header and one from 5 yards out when he couldn’t get the ball out his feet. But improving in every game.
Santos – 2 – Was I the only one who held his head in his hands and prayed to the heavens when Gibbs pulled up with his thigh injury? Why on earth didn’t Arsene move Vermaelen to left back and bring Koscielny on?! Santos was a predictable nightmare. He looks well short of fitness and should be nowhere near the first team. I’m hearing Gibbs is out for at least 3 weeks and if Santos starts in his absence, we’re in big trouble.
In the end we should have won the game but it’s always a big ask when you gift the opposition simple goals. Until we cut out the school-boy errors at the back we’re going nowhere fast. Arsene has hours to sort this out.
What were your ratings from the game? Get involved in the comments section below.