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[Player Ratings] Arsenal 2-0 Man City: Mike Dean Takes Centre Stage In Controversial Encounter

Man City closed the gap on league leaders Man Utd to 7 points with a 2-0 win over Arsenal. Our Arsenal fan ‘Gooner Mac’ gives his player ratings from the game.

Manchester City closed the gap on league leaders Manchester United to seven points with a 2-0 win over Arsenal at the Emirates. Our Arsenal fan ‘Gooner Mac’ gives his player ratings from the game.

Laurent Koscielny

The game was ruined within 10 minutes when Koscielny decided to play rugby and haul down Dzeko in the box. What was he doing?! The sending off was dubious as it’s not clear that the City striker was going to get to the ball therefore it may not have been a clear goal-scoring opportunity. The main problem I have with the decision is that referee Mike Dean was far too quick to show the red card. He should have consulted his assistant to get his take on things, but Koscielny made the ref’s decision easy with his stupid antics.

10-men against the champions for 80 minutes was always going to be a difficult task, but we didn’t give ourselves a hope with the way we played for the remaining 35 minutes of the first half. We were all over the place and were lucky to be only two-down at the break. We were MUCH better in the second half but you kinda got the feeling City were allowing us to have more of the ball and hitting us on the counter, and could have scored more if they were more clinical. But at least we showed a bit of fight in the second period.

Kompany’s sending off with 10 minutes to go gave us hope but in truth, I didn’t see it as a red card. Perhaps I’m a little old school but I thought it was a good tackle but in today’s game, I suppose it’s seen as a reckless, two-footed tackle and is therefore a sending off.

Special mention for Mr Dean. He was appalling throughout the game. Far too quick to blow his whistle, failed to show yellow cards for infringements such as kicking the ball away, several late challenges on Wilshere and was generally a man who wanted to take centre stage. As per usual, Dean wanted it to be all about him. The way he spoke to Thomas Vermaelen when he was screaming at him to put his arms down was scandalous. A worrying stat, and one the FA should surely look into, is that Arsenal have only won 1 out of the last 16 games in which Mike Dean has officiated. Coincidence? I think not. Here are my player ratings:

Arsenal Ratings

Szczesny – 7 – Good save from the penalty and made a couple of other decent stops, including one to deny Tevez when clean through in the second half.

Sagna – 6 – Crossing continues to be well below the required standard but was fairly steady apart from that.

Koscielny – 1 – Terrible defending got him sent off. Got caught the wrong side of Dzeko and instead of standing up and blocking his run, he basically rugby tackled the Bosnian to the ground. No idea what he was thinking.

Vermaelen – 6 – Very poor first half. Fell asleep and allowed Milner to run off him and fire home the opener, but improved in the second half and made a couple of important blocks.

Gibbs – 5 – Also let Milner get in behind for the opener and poor challenge in the build up for the second. Was caught out positionally on several occasions but didn’t get a lot of protection from those in front of him.

Wilshere – 8 – A shining light. Fought his nuts off and was the only Arsenal player who was really fighting for the cause. Got selected for some rough treatment from the visitors and needs more protection from the referee’s. Getting back to his best.

Diaby – 5 – Should never have started. Was clearly rusty and didn’t have the match fitness to come in to a game like this.

Cazorla – 5.5 – Drifted in and out the game but when he did see the ball he showed his class.

Podolski – 5 – Wasted a couple of good opportunities to get a cross in but didn’t pick out the right ball and went close with a first half shot, but didn’t get in the game enough.

Chamberlain – N/A – The unlucky one to be subbed after the early sending off.

Walcott – 5 – Had the unenviable job of playing up front on his own with little support when we were down to 10, but was always going to struggle. Couldn’t really get in the game but came close to scoring in the 88th minute but Lescott cleared his effort off the line.


Mertesacker – 6 – On for Chambo in the 10th minute and did OK. Didn’t dominate in the air as he should have done and got caught out positionally a few times though.

Giroud – 5 – Was more of a focal point then Walcott up top but his touch and passing let him down on occasion and wasted a couple of excellent chances to score with headers.

Ramsey – 6 – Lovely pass put Walcott through late on, did little wrong.

So we failed to close on the top-four and with Chelsea away next week we could be nine behind Tottenham this time next week. Arteta looks to be out for 3 weeks so I think it’s time to get the cheque book out Arsene. The squad is clearly well short of options.

What were your ratings from the game? Get involved in the comments section below.



  1. Kevvy

    January 13, 2013 at 8:48 pm

    Good comments about Mike Dean, he is a truly appalling referee, however Arsene Wenger should be pointing out these statistics, Sir Alex would be.

    Arsenal really need to get some new blood in to lift the Club, Wilshere apart I thought there was a complete lack of confidence / desire.

  2. Raff

    January 13, 2013 at 8:56 pm

    Sagna deserves no more than a 3 ratings, soon after his 2 rating after the Southampton game. Get rid of him now !!!
    Also, Theo has not got the brains to lead the line as our strker. He ballwatches too much and needs to learn the offside rule first.

    • the king

      January 13, 2013 at 9:40 pm

      you cant judge walcott on this game…..even if it was messi playing for us upfront today he would not of done no better….we was down to 10 men and down to two goals very quick……

  3. Main

    January 13, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    Sagan had a good game. Diaby was terrible and Cazorla was again anonymous. Podolski needs another chance in the middle in a 4-4-2. And last but certainly not least, Wenger needs to buy some big strong top class players ASAP. That includes a TOP CLASS central defender and defensive midfielder.

  4. clauddd

    January 13, 2013 at 11:56 pm

    I think i’m the only person who thought diaby played well. Very attacking made good passes. And won the ball back when the team lost it in important positions. As a box to box midfielder surely thats his job?

  5. Charlie

    January 14, 2013 at 2:44 am

    You can complain about inconsistency with referees but basically the red card was the correct decision. He was the last man preventing a goalscoring opportunity with a clear foul. It was embarassingly bad defending. Koscielny is having a bad season. In fact Santos, Sagna, Vermaelen and Per are having a bad season also. You hear Cazorla complaining about how they need to score 3 to have a chance of winning games and it’s hard to argue, this defense is shambolic. What a difference a Vincent Kompany type of player would make to Arsenal, or even a defensive midfielder who can provide better protection. Perhaps it is simply a case of the defense coming up against so much pressure while the team used to dominate possession and they’re not set up to win that way, the full backs need to be able to push forward.

  6. E9 Gunner

    January 14, 2013 at 9:55 am

    To be honest I think Diaby played well also, a bit rusty but still good. him a Wilshere had a tough task with just them two playing in the middle out numbered by a Man City midfield.

    But please explain how did Koscielny get “1 rating”? Give him a “0 rating” or don’t rate him, what did he do while he was on the pitch? He probably made one pass and got sent off WTF!

  7. Awwal Kosi

    January 14, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    Wrong or right nothing wil b done about its.

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