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[Player Ratings] Arsenal 0-0 Sunderland: Cazorla & Gervinho Shine

Arsenal opened the new season with a poor 0-0 draw at home to Sunderland with Cazorla & Podolski handed their debuts. Here are my player ratings from the game


Not the start we were hoping for. The personnel may have changed slightly with new signings Lukas Podolski and Santi Cazorla both being handed their competitive debuts, but the same old problems were on show.

We enjoyed 70% possession and created over 20 shots on goal but the Sunderland keeper only really made 1 save of note, tipping over a fierce Cazorla effort early on. In fact, we only hit the target 3 times throughout the game.

Many will point to the fact Sunderland basically played for a draw with 10-men firmly behind the ball, and they will have a point. BUT this has been an issue at home for years now and we must find a way to break down stubborn defences.

The tempo wasn’t high enough, there was a lack of movement off the ball and our finishing wasn’t good enough. All these things, and more, must be worked on in training. We know teams will come to the Emirates to frustrate, it’s up to us to find a way past.

Here are my ratings from the game:

Arsenal Player Ratings

Szczesny – 6 – Smart stop early on but relatively un-troubled thereafter. Easy day at the office.

Jenkinson – 5 – Still doesn’t look like he’s ready for regular first team football yet. Decent crosser but positionally inept.

Mertesacker – 6.5 – Saved us a few times in the first half but was also at fault for not holding his line early on and allowing Sunderland a chance on goal. Steady enough though.

Vermaelen – 6 – Unspectacular first outing as club captain. He dealt well with Sunderland when they did decide to come out their own half, but we didn’t really see any barn-storming runs forward.

Gibbs – 6 – Steady performance. Got forward a few times in the second half but delivery was poor. Caught out a couple of times in the first half at the back.

Diaby – 6 – A fairly labored display by Abou. Never really got hold of the game and offered little in attack and lack of movement off the ball. Subbed.

Arteta – 6.5 – Kept things ticking over in the middle of the park. Free kicks were pretty poor though.

Cazorla – 7.5 – Encouraging start from the Spaniard. Looks superb on the ball and will certainly chip in with his fair share of goals judging on this display. Went close with a thunderous early long-range effort.

Walcott – 5.5 – Was a danger in the first half at times but faded in the second. Scuffed a decent left foot effort. Subbed.

Gervinho – 8 – His best performance for a long, long time. Looked lively and positive and always willing to take his man on. Final ball needs some work and tends to hold on to the ball for too long at times but good work overall.

Podolski – 5 – Slightly disappointing from the German. He started well and was getting in some dangerous positions but began to get in Cazorla’s way on occasion and wasn’t making the right runs. It’s early days and he’ll need some time to gel. Still think he’ll be a big success. Subbed.


Giroud -5 – On for Podolski and missed the best chance of the game when he was put through by Cazorla but blazed wide from 12 yards.

Arshavin – 5 – On for Theo but didn’t really make an impact.

Ramsey – 5.5 – On for Diaby and had a couple of speculative shots but couldn’t find a way through. At least he was trying.

So poor start but there is still two weeks left of the transfer window and Alex Song has followed RVP out the door, with Arsenal confirming after the game today that he’s off to Barcelona for around £15m. Le Boss has plenty of cash to invest so time to start spending it Arsene.

A defensive midfielder and a utility defender is the minimum requirement, many also feel we could do with another forward/striker. Lets see what Wenger brings us….

You can watch highlights from the game here. Next up Stoke away. Always an enjoyable trip!

What were your player ratings from the game? Who should Wenger buy before the window closes? Get involved in the comments section.



  1. jimy

    August 18, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    more like cazorla 7, gervinho 7.5, and per was not our best defender gibbs was…he was caught out once 1st half and was solid there after.

  2. Webby

    August 18, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    Odd ratings imo. I was at the game and agree it was slow and dissapointing. But Gervinho had no finishing article at all so I wouldnt give him an 8. Jenkinson was one of the better players on the pitch showing willing and made some great tackles. If anything he completely showed he can step up to the plate. Girouds movement was very good shame for the miss

    • Hilfi

      August 19, 2012 at 1:39 am

      I second to your opinion…gervinho tend to hold the ball for a bit too long everytime…podolski should have started on the left while giroud played the target man

  3. E9 Gunner

    August 18, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    Personally I thought Arshavin looked decent when he came on, looks like he has something too prove. Hopefully he gets more minutes next match.

  4. chris

    August 18, 2012 at 11:38 pm

    gervinho def improved from last season hope he gets bettr as the season goes Cazorla looks a key player for us and jenkinso gibbs should not be in the first team you might hate on me for saying this but as a gunner fan i feel thei r not quite ready. Give giroud time its his first game for goodness sake and podolki will come through as well

  5. Mannix de-gunnas

    August 19, 2012 at 12:21 am

    It’s unfortunately to lose our best player to our bitter rival and Alex is also want his way out to spanish giant barca, i thing Wenger now must change plan rather buy more established player than his old habbit of creating young players who have no regards to the club but to establish themselves then demand to quit after made them stars. If i must say,i don’t think Adebayor,Toure,Clichy & Nasri were traitors but RvP,Nasri n Adebayo were clearly rejected Man U offers and opt to go to Man City but our captain whom we tolerated so much with his every c’son injuries has forgotten and clearly rejects all offers from Man city n Juve by demanding a huge pay is now wearing Man U shirt uncondition. Anyway God will reward him for his thankless move & soon he will regret his action. Good luck n we appreciates our days with him as gunners player and a skipper.

  6. Michael G

    August 19, 2012 at 1:42 am

    I find it hard to believe you rate Gervinho so highly. He continually runs down alleys, never delivers a final ball, never shoots when he has a chance, and always cuts back when he gets a through ball. He must be very easy to defend against. He was like this all of last year – he’s never going to be anything better than a hard worker – lacks skill & class. I’d score him a 5 at best. Why on earth would you give him an 8? Weird that you can’t see how useless he actually is.

  7. Chimba

    August 19, 2012 at 2:43 am

    G were there

  8. Chimba

    August 19, 2012 at 2:45 am

    G were there gerv played very wel

  9. Charlie

    August 19, 2012 at 3:15 am

    Arsene doesn’t have money to spend because the sales are to recoup money already spent. I was excited because this looked to be the most ambitious summer for about 10 years but alas, we’re back to what is spent must be recouped.

  10. Brendan

    August 19, 2012 at 4:53 am

    Thought you were harsh on the whole defence who were untroubled after the first 10 mins of the game.

    Gervinho was okay but not the best on the pitch. Diaby forced the best save of the game in the first half when Mingolet had dive at full stretch to tip his shot around the post… a positive first outing for him after 12 + months out of the game.

    Carzorla was the best on the pitch but the whole midfield played like strangers and that is no surprise considering it was the first competitive match together. Just need to get some cohesion there. Podolski is in the same boat, rarely do players gel immediately and considering Sunderland absolutely parked the bus it was no surprise we struggled to break it down.

    At least we kept a clean sheet and didn’t give away the customary clean sheet that we seemed to do every game last year.

    Hopefully Sahin is signed on loan and we can run a midfield of Santi, Arteta and Sahin.

  11. Sam

    August 19, 2012 at 9:30 am

    Gerviho was lively but i will not give him man of the match.cazola was

  12. aku

    August 19, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    gervinho and walcott creativity

  13. Ian Harvey

    August 19, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    Gervinho ceded possession around 9 out of 10 times he had the ball. He made a couple of eye catching runs, but that alone doesn’t make for a good performance. All in all I’d guess he lost the ball a dozen times.

    I despair of Arsenal fans.

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