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[Player Ratings] Arsenal 3-3 Norwich: No Bottle & No Clue How To Defend

A terrible first half display could very well cost Arsenal Champions League football next season after a 3-3 with Norwich. Here’s player ratings from the game

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Vermaelen - Worrying display

We really have f*cked this up big time haven’t we?! Maybe it could be the best thing for this group of players? They clearly seem to think just turning up is enough against the so-called ‘easier’ teams and perhaps missing out on Champions League is the kick up the backside some players need.

Looking back, Yossi Benayoun’s goal in the first minute was probably to worst thing that could have happened. If the players went into the game thinking it was going to be a walk in the park, then a first minute goal would only have further strengthened that belief. Assuming the game was over at 1-0, the players clearly switched off and underestimated their opponents.

Organisation, positional awareness, determination and leadership were all absent as Norwich took a well deserved 2-1 lead into the break. In all honesty it could and maybe should have been more, as Koscielny was lucky not to give away a penalty and the visitors were by far the better team for the first 45 minutes.

This is not the first time this has happened this season, and something really needs to be done about the attitude and mentality of the Arsenal squad. We only seem to wake up once we’re behind and only really give it a go for the last 15 minutes of games.

Needless to say van Persie scored two goals to put us 3-2 up but any fan who’s watched this team all season would have known it wasn’t over at that point. More mistakes and more pathetic defending lead to a Morison equaliser and over the course of the game, Norwich probably deserved a draw.

Despite only having a few minutes of time left, we managed to miss countless opportunities to get the winner with van Persie missing two guilt-edge chances. He should have got a nailed on penalty as well, but unsurprisingly it wasn’t given. Thats an entire season gone and we haven’t been awarded a single penalty at the Emirates this season. Someone in the FA needs to explain that one as it’s truly unbeleivable when you look at some of the decisions that haven’t gone our way.

I must say at this point that the referee was awful throughout and made bad calls for/against both sides, but the push on Van Persie is as blatant as they come and the lines-woman was looking right at it as well.

47 goals have now been conceded this season, our worst in Premier League history. Wenger can go on about the 8 conceded at Old Trafford all he wants, but it’s obvious the defensive side of our game needs addressed this summer. In my opinion, we need a new first choice left back and a solid back up for Sagna (who is likely to miss 2-3 months of next season), as well as another central defender. Vertonghen would be a perfect signing as he can play LB/CB, meaning we’d only need to find a reliable RB to fill in while Sagna is injured and push him for a first team place when he’s fit.

Anyway, third, and fourth for that matter, are now out of our hands and with displays like this, we really don’t deserve Champions League football next year. We’ll be lucky if we get it. Over to you Tottenham/Newcastle. Here are my player ratings from the game:

Arsenal Ratings

Szczesny – 4 – His worse display in an Arsenal shirt? Spilled a routine save for Norwich’s first and seemed to get his angles wrong for the late equaliser. His kicking was poor all game and he really needs to cut out the sloppy passes out from the back, as he was almost caught out a couple of times on Saturday. His blasé attitude needs addressed quickly.

Sagna – 6 – Played reasonably well before being forced off late in the first half with another broken leg. Really feel for the guy and he’ll now miss the Euro’s.

Vermaelen – 4 – Worrying performance from Thomas. His positioning was suspect all afternoon and he got caught out on several occasions as he ventured forward, leaving his defensive duties. A fine footballer, but he needs some serious work in the summer to make him a rock at the back.

Koscielny – 6.5 – Was lucky not to give away a first half penalty and struggled to contain the physical Holt. But he held it together as best he could when Vermaelen went off rampaging up the field.

Gibbs – 5 – Was a little unlucky with the visitors second but he still could have made more effort to stop the shot. Also went missing for the late equaliser. Positionally, Gibbs doesn’t really have a clue does he? For me, we need a more solid left back this summer.

Song – 4 – Terrible. Looked lethargic and failed to do his job, which is to protect the back four. Didn’t put his foot in all afternoon. However, nice assist for Van Persie’s first goal.

Ramsey – 4 – Shocking once again. I don’t like to be to harsh on the lad, but i’m really struggling to see what his role is in the team. Missed a great chance to get on the scoresheet before being subbed.

Rosicky – 8 – Arguably our best player again. Plenty of effort and running. Easily the best of the midfield trio.

Gervinho – 7 – Poor in the first half but very good in the second when he was rampaging down the left wing, beating his man and getting balls in the box. Where has THAT Gervinho been all season?!?!? Still needs to work on his final ball though.

Benayoun – 6.5 – Superb goal early on but faded as the game went on. Lucky to stay on the field after kicking out. Subbed for Chamberlain.

Van Persie – 8 – A mixed game for Robin. He scored two excellent goals but missed a couple of sitters late on to win it. He was certainly pushed by Naughton with the goal at his mercy in injury time, and it should have been a penalty, but i also feel RVP should still have got something on the ball. Hopefully this wasn’t his final game at the Emirates!


Coquelin – 7 – Positionally a little suspect at right back, but linked up well going forward, especially when the Oxe came on.

Chamberlain – 7.5 – Great impact. Should have started the game and was excellent down the right wing. Beat his man on several occasions and put some dangerous balls in the box.

Chamakh – 6.5 – A decent cameo from the Moroccan. Could have done better with a late header, but looked a threat alongside van P.

What would your ratings be? Get involved in the comments section.

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