[Player Ratings] Stoke 0-0 Arsenal: Cazorla & Arteta Impress In Bore Draw
Arsenal played out their second goalless draw in successive games after a 0-0 stalemate with Stoke City on Sunday afternoon. Here’s player ratings from the game
Arsenal played out their second goalless draw in successive games after a 0-0 stalemate with Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Much like the Sunderland game last week, this was not the most entertaining affair. We had the better of possession, as expected, and bossed the corner count 12-0 but never really tested Begovic in goal.
The lack of cohesion up front is obvious but thats something that will come in time. We had three new players playing – Cazorla, Podolski and Giroud – and all in the final third, so it’s going to take some time for them to get used to playing together.
The huge positive we can take is we looked totally comfortable at the back. Stoke usually cause us all sorts of problems and we tend to panic in defence, but there was none of that today. The back four, protected by Diaby and Arteta, dealt with the home side with ease.
Arsenal’s problems in recent years have never been about scoring goals, and we’ll find our shooting boots soon eough this season, but if we can have a solid defence to build on, it bodes well for the season ahead.
Here are my player ratings from the game.
Mannone – 6 – I was nervous when i heard Vito was starting in place of the injured Szczesny but the Italian was well protected and he had little to do. One easy save, a couple of takes from throw-ins and a few goal kicks. That was about it really. But he did what was asked of him.
Jenkinson – 6 – Looked a lot more solid at the back but didn’t get forward and support the attacks as much as he could have. He’s a good crosser but we didn’t see him put anything in the box for Giroud to attack today.
Mertesacker – 7 – Handled the awkward Crouch well and was comfortable with the ball on the floor. A very good display from the big German.
Vermaelen – 7 – Like Per, was excellent at the back but TV didn’t burst forward as we’ve become accustomed to. Perhaps that was part of the game plan though.
Gibbs – 7 – Made a couple of excellent tackles and got forward well in the first half. Final ball let him down, particularly on one occasion. Also lucky not to concede a penalty after a tangle with Pennant in the box but overall he put in a good display.
Arteta – 8 – Superb. Dictated play and linked up well with Cazorla. Protected the back four well and made some important interceptions. Could have done better with a late chance from the edge of the box, but overall a great display. MOTM.
Diaby – 6 – Still finding his feet after a lengthy injury lay-off but he never really got hold of the game. Play seems to pass him by at times. Fluffed a good chance but failed to get his hot off properly when well positioned in the area. His partnership with Arteta is work in progress but i’m still not convinced it’s a long-term option for us. Subbed.
Cazorla – 7.5 – What a player. So good on the ball, he’s a proper ‘Arsenal’ type footballer. Excellent in the first half, everything was going through him, but he faded in the second half and was eventually subbed. Got a typical ‘Welcome to Stoke’ challenge from Wilson and was lucky to escape without a broken foot. He’ll be glad to have got this game out the way.
Gervinho – 4.5 – Awful. Offered next to nothing going forward and when he did get into a good position his final ball was terrible. Really needs to work on his decision making and final pass. He could be a very useful player in the side but just hangs on to the ball for too long at times and always seems to run up blind allays. Subbed.
Podolski – 7 – Loved his attitude. He wasn’t afraid to get stuck in and match the ‘physical’ approach from Stoke. There is no doubt Poldi will be able to handle himself in the Premier League. He just needs some time to get used to playing with his team mates. Was starting to link up well with Cazorla but i’m not convinced he knows what his role is quite yet.
Giroud – 7 – Held his own up front against Shawcross and Huth and won his fair share of headers. Didn’t get any service to cause a problem in the box really. Should have done better with a nice through ball from Cazorla but couldn’t get it out his feet. Also wasted a good chance when he should have squared for Ramsey late on, but he elected to shoot from distance. Will need some time to bed in and i think he can be a useful striker for us. Good enough? The jury is still out.
Walcott – 6 – On for the last 15 minutes and Theo injected a bit of pace into the game with a few nice runs but unfortunately not a lot of end product.
Chamberlain – 6 – Like Walcott, Chambo put some urgency into the final third when he got on the ball but he still couldn’t create anything of note.
Ramsey – 6 – Not a lot of time to impress.
So a very average start to the season. Positives are the defence is looking way better than the one that shipped 49 goals last year. The obvious worry is the lack of creativity and goals in the final third. We have a week to add at least two worldy’s. Get on that phone Arsene!
What would your ratings be for the game? Get involved in the comments section.
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