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

By on May 6, 2012
Arsenal news

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!

Subs:

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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14 Comments

  1. christin juillet

    May 6, 2012 at 9:57 am

    only disagree regarding Song- thought overall he was one of the better players. Szczesny seems to have regressed for some strange reason and whenever we see Ramsey now in starting line-up think the worst. Bad news re Sagna. Regarding penalties scandalous how we NEVER get them at home.can’t watch tonights games 5th spot now seems a reality and do blame players as much as manager.

    • samuel

      May 6, 2012 at 12:05 pm

      Song definitely man of the match,but he
      won,t get near to a man of the match award ,don,t know why ,but why blame Sscezeny for ludicrous back passes from his inept defenders ,he may not pick the
      ball up,or maybe one-eyed fickle Arsen al fans have forgotten the change in ru
      les ,many a season ago already,Sagna needs to retire from the game as of to
      day ,he,s way passed his retirement da
      te with Coquelin a ready replacement
      plus Santos,Jenkison also available to
      play in that position,time for wholes
      le changes at Arsenal,the biggest and
      best change should be the coach Arsene
      Wenger who,s week in and out pathetic
      team selection and way too late in the
      match tactical substitutions have cost
      Arsenal dearly,for the past seven trop
      hyless seasons,time to move on Arsene?

  2. Kunle

    May 6, 2012 at 10:02 am

    Why is it our keepers dont stay on there lines,i noticed dat alot.gibbs cant hold d left back,he usually forget itself to coverup.song was very poor,never runs back to coverup d defence rather he jogs along to d defence.ramsey role in arsenal is nt clear to me,aoc should be playin ahead of him.u can nt build a player in a competion,even startin d player in d squad.wenger tenders to build back ramsey confident in a competion.the season wenger needs to buy a playmaker,an attacker,a defender,keeper.

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  4. Svein

    May 6, 2012 at 10:54 am

    Mentality,Mentality,Mentality…Arteta brings that, Jack and RVP has it…but RVP is up there and we need someone whos running the show deep “when it going gets tough..” It seems to me that Rambo is searching for his role in the team…look at the goals….he (and song) is not tracking back with pace (just jogging) Wenger is a good coach, but he is not helping his team when he shows so much negativ energy from the sideline. Put your old glasses on and look smart! Chamakh looked great! Ros was by far our best man out there.

    I live in a remote place in north of norway and my nabore is a bloody spurs fan!!…please let them stumple to day…from a Gooner up north!

    from north norway

    • chris from Cambridge

      May 6, 2012 at 12:41 pm

      Stay depressed mate … next season will be the 8th with no trophies. Nothing really changes. And none of Arsene’s worshippers seem to understand – he won a load those years ago with a defence he inherited. Since he put together his own new defence and his own unchanging style of play …. nothing.

  5. GunnerPete

    May 6, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    For five years now, my brother (who now lives in OZ but still supports) have been hammered for suggesting that Arsene has no idea how to win a game via defending. We jointly wrote to Arsene in 2006, showing respect but asking why he has not replaced the fab six (Adams, Bould, Keown, Dixon,Winterburn, Seaman,) with like for like quality. We also noted that all his replacements, with the exception of Campbell, were foreign no bodies or free. We suggested that he would never win trophies year in year out again without the ability to defend leads or even go for 0-0. We both got abuse every year since 2006 for attacking the AFC weakness that all other teams and supporters and the media could see. It was pointed out that Arsene ‘built’ a defence that took us to the invincibles season. Absolutely, but where were those players soon after and how many UK ,young potential defenders were aquired….only Bartley, who never plays and now Jenkinson, who may get a game some day.

    FOR ALL THOSE WHO SAY ITS EASY TO BE WISE AFTER THE EVENT…JUST ASK AND WE WILL REPRODUCE THE LETTER’S…THE REPLIES WERE STANDARD ‘ARSENE KNOWS FROM THE CLUB …NATURALLY!.

    If you still think we are wrong saying that Arsene has no idea how to (A) build a defence that can stay rock solid with a lead…(B) That Arsene’s tactics of non stop attack with 5 minutes to go when winning is correct…(C) That Arsene has an agreed agenda to buy cheap imports in the hope one in every 15 will be worth a selling fee later, and that UK guts and heart and loyalty have been ditched…then see you next year. Same time, same trophy cabinet!

    • paul

      May 6, 2012 at 12:47 pm

      totally agree. We have to defend from the front aswell and have a strategy for defending leads. We dont and panic or try to play our way out of situations taking chances near to our area. We have no plab b for the tight games and other teams who are coached with a bit of grit come and take points off of us. We need a strong midfield battler who will get the bull by the horns and dig in deep linked the front with the defence.

    • chris from Cambridge

      May 6, 2012 at 7:55 pm

      Absolutely right.

  6. canary_chibba

    May 6, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    You’re all having a laugh moaning about that penalty. Gervinho was a country mile offside so even if it was a push, no penalty would have been the right outcome. And considering the missed pen and sendings off (both Benayoun and Ramsay – for a 2nd red card – should have gone), Arsenal yet again got the rub of the green with the officials, yet still somehow feel fit to moan about the decisions that apparently went against them! An absolute joke.

    • GunnerPete

      May 7, 2012 at 9:50 am

      Canary…you are right about Gervihno, but mate at least look at how much luck you had from the start? Our usually good goalie give you and equaliser.Then you get a deflected flook. Then, the penalty and so many AFC shirts being tugged throughout the second half. Mind you, our Kossy was trying to swap shirts early in the first half too. You have a good side but flooks saved you from a drubbing.

  7. Kamaluden02

    May 6, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    Sadning moment for our firs choice right back Sagna. I think we will miss him alots, i wish him quick recovery.

  8. Gumzy

    May 6, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    Thamas Eisfled is far much b8r than ramsey … Rosicky kip it up you are the Top man…..

  9. ParisianWeetabix

    May 6, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    Bloody hell, I swear our fans are borderline retarded sometimes. Apparently Song was Man of the Match, Sagna should retire, Wenger’s a shit manager who should take advice from every guy and his brother who write in to him, all foreign defenders are not worth buying, we should be completely giving up on a promising young player who only recently returned from having his leg broken, and we’re nailed on for 8th place next season. Bring it on, you optimistic bunch of fucktards. Apologies to those who talked sense.

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