Player Ratings: Arsenal v West Ham

Arsenal 2 (Denilson 5, Fabregas pen 83)
West Ham 0

Manuel Almunia – Fantastic performance from the Gunners custodian as he improved on his recent run of solid form. His distribution was accurate and he marshalled his box with real authority. He made some important saves, but none more crucial than his penalty stop which kept us in the match. 8.5

Emmanuel Eboue – First and foremost he defended very well, making a host of interceptions and tackling well. Secondly, he was brilliant in attack. He offered drive and power down the right flank and terrorised the West Ham defence with a couple of marauding touchline runs that were full of pace and trickery. 8

Sol Campbell – Solid, without being overly spectacular. He was on hand most of the time to do most of what he needed to do, and there were no real blemishes on his performance. He coped, but only just, as there were a few iffy moments that could have been far worse if the opposition were of a higher quality. 6.5

Thomas Vermaelen – Uncharacteristically sub-par in the air, but was solid otherwise. Made a couple of strong tackles and some good interceptions, and his distribution out of the back was accurate. The red card he got was completely unwarranted… but that’s another matter entirely. 7

Gael Clichy – Huge performance once again from the in-form Frenchman. He’s really finding his feet after a couple of months of mediocrity, and today he put in a brilliant shift and left back. He marshalled the touchline with authority, bombing up and tracking back and really earning his pay cheque. Made countless interceptions and some crucial tackles. 8.5

Cesc Fabregas – Looked a little tired out there today, but still put in a good shift. He was marked tightly and had very little time on the ball, and as a result couldn’t really pull the strings in the midfield. Made the most of the situation though and put in some great balls, and covered a whole lot of ground in the middle of the park. Good penalty, also. 7.5

Alex Song – A performance of Herculean proportions from Song, and the type of display that we haven’t really seen from him in a while. It seemed as though he was everywhere today, tackling and winning the ball in the midfield, and turning into an absolute beast when moved into the backline. Was solid in attack also, getting into some positive positions and making a few nice passes. 9

Denilson – Got off to a great start when he put his side in front with a powerful low finish, and to be honest that was as good as it got from the Brazilian. He showed some nice touches throughout the game, though, and held on to the ball well. Decent overall, and he gets credit for the goal. 7.5

Samir Nasri – Offered very little today, as did the rest of the frontline. He lacked penetration and dynamism and didn’t demonstrate any desire to win the match unlike his midfield teammates. He was a bit of a passenger today and it seemed as though he was carried by some of his comrades. 6

Nicklas Bendtner – Nothing special. Looked a bit isolated at times, and didn’t really act as a spearhead for the attack as a player of his type should. His link-up play was good in patches (see the opening goal) but apart from that he was largely anonymous. 6

Andrey Arshavin – Worked hard but for little reward today. His touch was uncharacteristically poor and despite flashes of class he didn’t seem to be on the same wavelength as any of his teammates. Found some good space on a couple of occasions only to squander his chances. 6.5

SUBSTITUTES
Abou Diaby –
7
Bacary Sagna & Eduardo – 6

Thoughts?

Have your say on Aidan’s player ratings by leaving a comment.

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52 Responses to “Player Ratings: Arsenal v West Ham”

  1. Robbie
    March 21, 2010 at 6:03 pm #

    Fair overall, but I have to disagree about Samir Nasri’s performance. I thought for long spells he was lively, positive and he’s starting to look for the ball even when he’s not in the middle of the park, and off the top of my head I remember 3 excellent crosses, right in the danger zone. This team gas been crying out for final balls of that quality.

  2. Gunnergirl
    March 21, 2010 at 6:06 pm #

    I just hope blackburn and pool do us a favor 2day cos i want 2 still be top of d league by monday.

  3. arsenal passion
    March 21, 2010 at 6:12 pm #

    Spot on. I would have given the exact feedback myself on yesterdays performance.

  4. Andrew
    March 21, 2010 at 6:13 pm #

    How long will Vermaelen be suspended for 3 matches or just one?

  5. Andrew
    March 21, 2010 at 6:15 pm #

    @ Robbie
    Nasri did look lively but it had not end product
    He squandered to many good opportunity for my liking.

  6. Gunnergirl
    March 21, 2010 at 6:20 pm #

    @Andrew TV5 will be out 4 only one game

  7. Malcolm
    March 21, 2010 at 6:23 pm #

    Agree with most of the ratings, except for Arshavin who should not have got any more than a 4. On a day where we were down to 10 men, not only was his touch exceptionally poor (as you point out), but he just never pulled his weight and was just lazy. At times, it seemed like we were playing with 9 men. Eduardo also seemed out of touch when he came on and one wonders why Walcott would not have been a better option to replace Arshavin as a lone striker.

  8. el bizarron
    March 21, 2010 at 6:27 pm #

    I wasn’t able to do this last week, so I’ll now say, “Welcome to the blog, Aidan!”

    What more can be said about Alex Song? After Vermaelen gets sent off, he slots in perfectly in the back. He did play centre back before midfield, right?

    With Sol looking like he’ll need a break, I’m guessing it’ll be Song and Silvestre next week. Silvestre has always worried me in the back, but I hope he and Song can get the job done away at Birmingham.

    Denilson looked solid today. Did well with his goal in the beginning. He looked a lot more comfortable in a more forward role in the first half. I never saw him as a defensive midfielder. He just doesn’t seem strong enough on the ball to cover the back four. But he’s still young. I hope he grows into it. With Song looking like he’ll be moving further back next week, he, too, will have to get the job done again.

    Good to see Captain Awesome back in the squad and coolly smashing his penalty to secure the 3 points.

    7 games left, 21 points to go.

    And Barca in the Champion’s League. To be the best you have to beat the best. And if there’s one team I wouldn’t mind Arsenal losing to, it’s the Catalans. If both teams play the way they can, we should be in for a great couple of games. Can’t wait!

  9. Hiquita
    March 21, 2010 at 6:51 pm #

    What will a keeper need to do to get a 10 – score a goal?
    When you keep a clean sheet it’s a 10 for a keeper.

  10. Damn_Gallas
    March 21, 2010 at 6:54 pm #

    From yesterday’s game.. i must say that almunia was ready commanding. He was outstanding with that penalty save. furthermore he was acting like a leader shouting at his teammates.. good vice captain for me!!!!

    Eboue was fantastic, I believe he drew at least 3 freekicks for us in dangerous positions. Defensively, he was just as good. I would not mind playing him against barcelona. In sagna and eboue, we have 2 very good defenders!!

    Campbell to me was abit shaky at times, not really good for my heart. And if it was against barcelona, we might have lost.

    Song was the best man!!! Defensive midfielder he is!!! He protected the backline very well with his timely interception. And when he went into defence, he did all he could, tackles, interceptions, blocks. Song is really my MOTM!!!

    Diaby is also another player that came on and changed the tempo of the game. I really dont know how he does it, but he turns defenders inside out rather simply. He is a must have in the game.

    The other players that I did not mentioned did well as well (average).

    Now with Vermaelen suspended for 3 matches, against birmingham, wigan and spurs.. I wonder who will play in defence. I hope gallas is back soon. Other wise, I would like to put song in defence instead of silvestre, esp in the match against spurs.

  11. Hans Gunnermad South Africa
    March 21, 2010 at 7:00 pm #

    Solid and sutained ball possession – Bendner is still the weak link – In your mind replace him with a quality striker like Adebayor and just think where we could be.
    The Russian continues to perform below par.
    Eboue is fast becoming a super star – he is at a stage where Song was this time last season – Wenger sure has the ability to create stars. Watch Eboue – given a few runs like yesterdays and see the goals flow!
    Well done the gunners – and my Man u and Chelsea trip up today!

  12. Damn_Gallas
    March 21, 2010 at 7:00 pm #

    Anyway, if Gallas and RvP is not back by the Barcelona games, anyone fancy this line u??

    Almunia
    Sagna Song Vermaelen Clichy
    Diaby Nasri
    Fabregas
    Eboue Bendtner Arshavin

    Subs: Walcott, Rosicky, Campell, Silvestre, Eduardo, Fabianski, Denilson

    Personally I feel that this line up is quite good. Bring on walcott and rosicky for eboue and nasri if need be… Bring on Barcelona!!!!

  13. Andrew Weber
    March 21, 2010 at 7:07 pm #

    Nice ratings Aidan.

    Given the circumstances after the red card I would literally give a point extra for every single player on the team.

    Song was as close as you can get to perfection for a defensive midfielder/defender last night. Diaby added an immense amount after coming off the bench and absolutely everybody worked themselves into the ground to maintain our positional shape.

    Extra points for Clichy and Eboue too, both worked incredibly hard to make our numerical disadvantage irrelevant and their collective returns to form has been spectacular.

  14. Andrew Weber
    March 21, 2010 at 7:11 pm #

    Regarding Nasri, I strongly agree with Robbie. He was quality last night and his crossing and final balls were excellent.

  15. Ezra
    March 21, 2010 at 7:23 pm #

    @Damn-Gallas, question r u crazy yo line-up has no defensive midfielder. And you put Denilson on the bench? for what leave him out completely. Song in the defence ahead of Sol? Even me i can’t be that stupid to gamble like that in such a game. Be reasonable and choose a team that will beat Barcelona not be humiliated by it and Ebou on the flank ahead of Walcott don’t get excited.

  16. MTY
    March 21, 2010 at 7:33 pm #

    Shava continues to disappoint & we all know what he is capable of doing (if he wants to). At times he just seems not interested at all!
    And I prefer Walcott upfront with Bendtner & Shava.
    TV5 should be out only for a game.

  17. Ezra
    March 21, 2010 at 7:34 pm #

    In order to beat Barcelona we need to bring our A game, take every chance we get, be balanced, be confident, not to hang on to the ball longer but to pass it around rightly and fast so that we force the back and and create space. They play the same system we play and they don’t conceed possession easily but they can be beat.

  18. festo
    March 21, 2010 at 7:38 pm #

    who will replace Tv agansty Barmigam city?is song as CB or the old man silvestre?and what i know always staight red card resulting to 3 match ban,how come ours is only one match?or it was not seriously enough.By the way lets support liver and blackbarn 2 day to make us remaining on the top.

  19. Avik
    March 21, 2010 at 7:53 pm #

    Ramsey out of crutches. RvP returning within a month. Vermaelen will miss the match against Birmingham only.

  20. dodgypete
    March 21, 2010 at 8:08 pm #

    Wrong call re Nasri. He worked hard and was always looking to get involved.He took several knocks but kept going. Also think Diaby should get a mention – from his introduction we controlled the game totally

  21. TIAAN
    March 21, 2010 at 8:12 pm #

    is TV5 banned for 1 or 3 games???? he got a straight red and thats a 3 game ban isnt it??

  22. Kosi
    March 21, 2010 at 8:20 pm #

    6 wins in a row and we are still on track! Our lads showed a strong performance over the last weeks. Even Denilson was important for our last two wins 😉

  23. SOBIN THE GOONER
    March 21, 2010 at 8:51 pm #

    We show great character to win with 10 men on entire second half.I think song was fabulous in midifield and center defence.I think if vermi suspended for next match we have to play song in central defence along with sol.It’s bit harsh on vermi.It’s our first red card in 69 matches i think.That’s something great achievement.
    Any way we have to look forward to next match against birmingham,in my opinion EDU should be in the starting line up.
    COME ON GUNNERS
    IN ARSENE WE TRUST

  24. MTY
    March 21, 2010 at 8:54 pm #

    I guess the FA will look at video evidences & won’t ban TV5 more than one game. Otherwise, a straight red means 3 games.

  25. Davi
    March 21, 2010 at 9:26 pm #

    Good ratings, except I thought the attackers were a little better than 6-6.5 personally. They had quiet spells but weren’t poor. WHU defended well to be fair.
    I don’t agree song hasn’t played well like this for a while. Imo he’s been one of our best 2 or 3 players in practically every game this season. If fabregas hadn’t scored so many goals I’d have song as our player of the season so far personally.

  26. ibbs
    March 21, 2010 at 9:35 pm #

    Arshavin always delivers in the big games(have no fear),certain passes to him were poor.
    Song will show Yaya-toure who’s boss,awesome performance.
    Diaby & Eboue have both shut a few people up.
    Franco should be banned 4 cheating,he knew what he was doing,just look at the replay.

  27. Graham Smith
    March 21, 2010 at 9:38 pm #

    Song = IMMENSE 🙂

  28. Ian
    March 21, 2010 at 9:40 pm #

    It was a good performance but I’m afraid Alumina still isn’t good enough. He will still lose us important games with errors & misjudgements. The Verminators sending off was a poor decision and I hope that doesn’t cost us dearly?

  29. Avik
    March 21, 2010 at 9:54 pm #

    From the 09/10 FA rulebook
    “(c) PLAYERS SENT OFF UNDER LAW 12 (4) and (5)
    A Player who is dismissed from the Field of Play for denying a goal or an obvious goalscoring opportunity by physical means or by handling the ball, will be suspended automatically from all approved First Team matches commencing forthwith, until such time as his Club’s First Team has completed its next match in an approved Competition.”

  30. aungmyin
    March 21, 2010 at 9:54 pm #

    Song is improving to be A class player.Arshavin,Nasri,& Bendtner are under the par. As I remembered West Ham exchanged Carlos Tevez for 3 crucial points with ManU in 2008,I was thinking how West Ham would interrupt our team.A red card & a penalty could’nt block our road to victory.

  31. shaunmadmax
    March 21, 2010 at 10:14 pm #

    Song was outstanding….7 more wins and we will be champions!!

    Need to focus to win all games and if we do lose we need to bounce straightback…..no dwelling on any defeat…its a shame we are not scoring more goals as i beleive the championship will be won on goal difference this year……84pts!

  32. georgetown gooner
    March 21, 2010 at 10:56 pm #

    well i have to give credit where its due..good save by almunia and denilson had a decent game(never thought i,d say that,lol) its a testament to the lads that at times in the 2nd half you wouldn,t even notice we only had 10 men.immense team performance in the face of adversity, with regards to their defensive capabilities eboue just shades it over sagna however offensively the ivorian,s more productive so i can see where wenger,s coming from. thought tv5 was unlucky with the sending off,hope b52 isn,t injured because with out a focal point up front the ball comes straight back at us as aa23 looks disinterested when asked to play that role. having nightmares with the thought of tweetie and campbell in defence so song has to drop back for the game against the brummies,once again he had a great game and seems to sheild the ball so well when in possession. so overall i agree with your player ratings and i,m proud of the lads,great pen by the captain under pressure and 3 vital points. just to add clichy seems to have recovered his confidence and is now marauding down the wing like we,ve come to expect. lets just keep winning our games and see where it takes us.

  33. radads
    March 21, 2010 at 11:04 pm #

    Hi Andy, regarding our performance yesterday,The first thing I would say is: Our boys cant play their football on a rainny day, plus we used to look weaker when we play away; whats gonna happen if it rains when we will play barca on the 2nd leg???
    Also, In overall i think it was bit desapointing.I just dont think that its the right quality we should face Barca with, and we all know that we r gonna play Barca 2nd leg away which is a bad set up for our QF draw.
    Almunia, Song, Eboue,Clichy, Sol, Verma, Deni were all fantastic yesterday, without these guys we would have lost that game.
    All our attacking pawns werent all at their best.We were too slow on the ball and didnt perform enough good run for attack, except for Eboue, Clichy and Diaby who all have tried to bring our usual pace onto the game but Cesc and his lads just fail to follow it.
    Cesc: was fairly ok but we could all see that he wasnt really at his best, i dont know why???Not enough pace and creativity as he used to do.
    Nasri: He was really desapointing, was not really as creative as he used to be.
    Bendy: He was totally out of sight which I think he shudnt have been but due to the failure of our midfield to play with their usual quality.
    Arshavin: Didnt give enough for the game.He had two good runs though, but failed to pass at the right time which was supposed to result with the goal but ended up stuck in the pitch corner.
    Diaby has become my favrite boy on the pitch and I can even say that his contribution in the midfield gave us a big boost as he came on when we were 10 men on the pitch.
    To be franck, im not worried about our next few PL games, im more worried about how will we perform agst Barca on the 31st? Pace is what we lack the most, and I personnaly think that we shud work hard on that during our next PL fixture till we play Barca at the end of the month.With our current form and quality, we wouldnt beat them.
    This is my Line up agst barca without any occuring injuries:
    Eboue- Sol- Verma- Clichy
    ————Song-Diaby——
    —————–Cesc———-
    Walcott——Bendy—-Arsha

    2nd half, i would keep Deni, Sagna, Rosicky and Nasri close, to sub Eboue, Walcott,Arsha and diaby.

  34. emanuely
    March 21, 2010 at 11:16 pm #

    Arsenal funs is to day we going to be the funs of livepool?

  35. billi
    March 22, 2010 at 3:56 am #

    I watched parts of Manu – Liverpool, Manu played really well, Rooney was impressive, not so much was Terry nor Gerrard, I thought Liverpool had a terrible first touch, but nonetheless I doubt that Manu deserved their penalty, Liverpool took the lead at first with a Terry header, but when I was watching Manu were really the better side….. not worth watching

    now it’s Chelsea – Blackburn, Chelsea took the lead early, and it seemed Blackburn had no chance, Chelsea were dominant, but then………. it happened, Blackburn levelled with a header out of nothing and now I can’t watch it any more, too nervous, ten minutes to go? I’m just listening, . . . , Anelka goes off, four minutes to go?, . . . , Lampard goes down, no penalty? . . ., Chelsea set piece, two minutes, another corner, Malouda went down, . . . , the fans are desperate for the final whistle, . . . , and there is the final whistle…………. they controlled the game, but they couldn’t get a second……………….. yes, they dropped two points…………… 😎

  36. Magnus
    March 22, 2010 at 5:29 am #

    Come on…..Chelsea is one down. That is my concern. We (Arsenal) is now a major contender of the tittle considering 3rd April………………………..THE JUDGEMENT DAY!!!!!!!!

  37. dave m
    March 22, 2010 at 7:33 am #

    All those who once booed Eboue please stand up and be acknowledged. When it happen my wife and I were gobsmacked that Arsenal fans could stoop to such a level. “Why do they not boo Bendtner?” my wife asks. “He can’t put two passes together”.

    Now look at Eboue, another ‘close to MOTM’ performance. Song is brilliant. Look how Wenger did not even use a sub when we went down to 10. Song dropped back naturally and we kept the same shape. That’s a testament to Wenger’s belief in the abilities of the team.

    Not only that, we pushed West Ham back. A great performance.

  38. Andrew Weber
    March 22, 2010 at 8:39 am #

    Smug Andy from 17/03/10:

    “I think they (Chelsea) will drop points (against Blackburn) and if they do I feel they will go on and fall out of the title race.”

    Let’s see if it turns out to be true…

  39. dave m
    March 22, 2010 at 11:46 am #

    @Mr Weber. Good call. Let’s pray it comes true. Chelsea still have to go to Old Trafford and to be honest, I’d rather see Chelsea win as Man U are the real danger. Obviously a draw is best.

    It will be interesting to see how AW plays the three league games around the Barca games. I think it’s ‘best team out’ every time now. No resting of players. It’s bloody exciting!!! Can’t wait for Barca and a certain Mr T. Henry.

  40. billi
    March 22, 2010 at 6:42 pm #

    it is so typical that Manu levelled with a penalty, so typical, football is not fair, not at all, I can’t believe these penalties, over and over again, always fitting to the favourite teams…………. 😎 @Andrew hope your predictions come true more often, prophet eh? 😉

  41. seyenija
    March 22, 2010 at 8:59 pm #

    Congratulations all Gunners the season is gradually drawing to a close. The team perfermance was great and as Andy said the players should be given one extra point each for the way they played when we were down to ten man. The victory was sweet at the end.Let anybody disregard the team as a real title contender at their owm peril

  42. simon rose
    March 22, 2010 at 9:20 pm #

    Shouldn’t Arsenal be out of the title race by now?
    Arsenal shouldn’t have won at Stoke. We shouldn’t have won at Hull either. And we certainly shouldn’t have beaten West Ham. I’ve seen this film before: the potential hero gets close, bravely close and then narrowly misses out when Manchester United gets the girl. The title race was not meant to include Arsenal, it was supposed to be about United and Chelsea. Arsenal were supposed to bow out gracefully. So how are we still in it?

    Arsenal were not meant to score twice late at Stoke to win 3-1, or to strike very late at Hull to win 2-1. We shouldn’t have beaten West Ham, that’s for sure. We got an early goal – that much we can be allowed – it made losing Vermaelen to a sucker red card all the more sweet a script. What was then meant to happen was that Diamanti or Cole would apply the closing moments to our supposed title challenge and then Arsenal could be neatly packed away. Yet here we are, still in the frame, still in a position to affect who wins the title. Possibly by even winning it ourselves.

    In the real world we didn’t get a penalty at Stoke, Bendtner’s follow-up at Hull was saved, Diamanti scored his penalty and Cole’s shot went in off the post. We didn’t win any of these matches. But Arsenal aren’t operating in the real world. Most penalties get scored. Cole’s shot was heading in until it neared the goal and then it veered and hit the post. We shouldn’t have been in a position to win the match 2-0 late on with a penalty. So what is happening?

    Sequences work for the team that wins the league. Incidents, events that would scupper everyone else don’t quite the scupper the team that hence becomes the champions. You can’t get anywhere without a mixture of talent and luck, one alone is not enough. We know that Arsenal have the talent, so dare we risk to think that it is we, Arsenal, that have had the ultimate luck turn our way?

    Ramsey’s injury was hardly a good turn though was it? No way. Was it positive for Arsenal that United scammed an equaliser out of Liverpool and then beat them 2-1? Not exactly. I’ve never got why Liverpool fans rate Javier Mascherano, he’s a fouling idiot who always look likely to get sent off. Time after time Mascherano holds onto people and when they fall down he turns around half smiling as if it is inconceivable that he could have done anything wrong.

    Well against United, with Liverpool winning through a magnificent header from the formidable Fernando Torres, Mascherano ludicrously held on to Antonio Valencia who waited until he reached the penalty area before flattening to the ground. Liverpool, despite amounting to very little more than Torres, Steven Gerrard and a bunch of nobodies, could have got a result at United. Mascherano’s lunacy ensured that it was a defeat.

    So how does this mean that Arsenal might have the ultimate luck that you need to win the league? United’s victory doesn’t do us a favour. But our victory and Chelsea failing to match this, by drawing at Blackburn, means that United winning in their typical way doesn’t end anything for us. All we have suffered is to have played another round of matches. We should have completed United’s picture by dropping points to West Ham. The villain is supposed to gain from the hero getting his come-uppance – but we’re still standing.

    If Chelsea had the ultimate luck they would have skanked a late winner. In fact, Diouf wouldn’t have equalised against them. Ivanovic getting injured was a big unwelcome kick in the guts that Chelsea were not expecting. Ivanovic is a henchman, someone to take care of business. Well he went off, Paulo Ferreira came on and Ferreira did not take care of business because Diouf got up above him to deprive Chelsea of two points. Bang. That is all it takes.

    Something goes wrong for Chelsea, they lose ground. United skank a penalty, they win. The next part of the sequence is then that Arsenal missed out too, after Diamanti’s penalty and/or Cole’s long ranger gave West Ham a win/draw. But that last bit of business never happened. We won too. It should all be working out now for United.

    Match of the Day 2 last night ignored Valencia’s dive but derided Torres for kicking up the penalty spot. They talked lovingly, longingly, yearningly, romantically of ‘United!’ and of Park’s goal “finishing off” something. I hope they meant the move rather than Liverpool as there was still half an hour to go, or the title as there are still seven matches to go. Five Live this morning were talking like the title had been conclusively decided for United by Chelsea drawing. Chelsea may be beginning their ending, but Arsenal are annoyingly still in the frame.

    Champions override every single factor to finish top of the pile. Injuries, suspension, weather, kits, referees, anything you could mention, the media too frankly – the champions overcome all hurdles put their way. It is very hard to know for sure how the title will conclude and the most likely outcome is that United win it, because that’s what happens, that’s what the establishment prefers. Arsenal may though just be benefitting from a different script.

  43. hamish
    March 22, 2010 at 9:40 pm #

    I think a lot a people are recognising the very positive impact of Sol on the team. He looks a little slow but there is no doubting that he is positionally more aware a lot of the team and again on Saturday it was good to see him bossing the defence telling the likes of Eboue and Clichy where to go. For me what this proves is that with a little more experience in the team ie players of Sol’s calibre (in all positions) this team could have perhaps had a better chance of winning something this season. I am sure others will disagree!

  44. alfonzo
    March 22, 2010 at 9:43 pm #

    @ Hamish – I agree with you. When Arsene Wenger brought Sol Campbell back to Arsenal I actually felt for him.

    For years many people, including lots of Gooners, said that Wenger needed to bring experience to this Arsenal squad.

    Well you won’t find many players more experienced than Sol Campbell will you?

    Despite Campbells wealth of knowledge the move was probably criticised more than it was acclaimed.

    Arsene couldn’t win!

    He did what people said he needed to do but it was wrong somehow. I can’t help but think that if Sir Alex Ferguson took a gamble on Sol it would have been deemed a master-stroke.

    Anyways, the former Gunner is now back at his ‘spiritual-home’. And I’m glad.

    I know Campbell isn’t the player he was in his first spell with us but he isn’t ‘over-the-hill’ like people say. In fact, its the opposite. He could be more important to us now than he was before.

    Since his return it seems the ‘never-say-die’ attitude of previous Wenger-title-winning teams is back. Campbell obviously has had a big part in that.

    I’ll never forget how after beating Stoke City at the Brittania Stadium, the game in which Aaron Ramsey had his leg broken, the whole entire Arsenal team had a post-match huddle. The orchestrator? Sol Campbell.

    It was brilliant to watch and I think that his influence is clear to see on these players.

    Even the skipper, Cesc Fabregas, appears to look up to Campbell. In my opinion, Cesc has become a better captain since Sol returned. He has learnt, and is learning more all the time, from Campbell just being at the club.

    It’s no coincidence that Arsenal are hitting form at the right time since the re-arrival of our former defender. His experience must be a calming influence on the squad.

    Of course its not the only reason for us peaking perfectly in the campaign, but it has helped and I believe that Arsene Wenger deserves a lot of credit.

    Campbell may only be at the club till the summer but if he has helped us win the title, Champions League or even better, both, then he will have enforced his legendary status even further.

    Me, I’d keep him for next season too as a player/coach. But then I’m not Wenger and I don’t know whats on Le Gaffers mind.

  45. Lil Weezy
    March 22, 2010 at 11:05 pm #

    Correct me if Im wrong.. But Song is playing better than Yaya, Essien or Mikel this season….incredible feat for him as 13 months ago, Arsenal fans were booing him..!!

    Can someone come up with a Top 5 DM this season (in the world)?

  46. Anyang Abraham
    March 22, 2010 at 11:22 pm #

    It was a fantastic weekend for the Gunners by winning over the stuborn Westham which wanted to insist on the serious attacking football by the Gunners which the world always refers as the entertainment football in the world of soccer. Therefore, although, Man united managed to fluck 3 point by beating Liverpool, there is still hope for Gunners by chasing the title race this season. It was a deserve win because the keeper was so committed to the game by saving the undoubt penalty which was just awarded to Westham by the ref moreover that striker was diving.

  47. Ianinja
    March 23, 2010 at 1:53 am #

    If ManU screw up we will be champions but I don’t see ManU having a meltdown. Historically they have always been strong in the run-in. I predict we will be third with only a point seperating us from the other two.

    Looking forward more to the Barca game as that game will help me answer a few questions I have, one is whether Arsenal can actually beat a top team since we failed against ManU and Chelsea. To me knowing where we stand against these top teams is much more important in the future of Arsenal, of course winning the EPL could give the team the much needed polish.

  48. teddi the bear
    March 23, 2010 at 7:30 am #

    @Lil Weezy

    Top 5 DM this year

    1. Esteban Cambiaso (considering this current season he is number 1 in my list)
    2. Alexander Song( he has emerged to to become indispensable to arsenal)
    3.Yaya Toure ( He is simply a beast in the middle of the park, no matter wat. Last CL he was immense)
    4. Daniele De Rossi( Given the current form of AS roma in the scudeto. playing well in an inconsistant team)
    5. Fletcher/Carrick ( Well without any of them Manure would be shit, you got to give them there credit)

    Disapoitments
    1. Melo ( he suppose to have been the great reincarnation of Gilberto, Struggling for form)
    2. Mikel Obi ( Inter found out he weakness, he far to slow against great teams)
    3. Essien ( Love him, but injured)
    4.Mascherano ( strong,agile,fast but stupid)
    4. Lasana Diarra ( I think he is doing far to much work, real is leaving him and xabi alone0

  49. dave m
    March 23, 2010 at 1:28 pm #

    A Quote from Ashavin about Denilson after the West Ham game (for all you Denilson hating Gooners):

    “Yes, he was the best in this game. Not because he scored early in the first half, but because he worked miracles in the second one. He kept on snatching the ball from West Ham players, he was everywhere, ahead of everybody like a “clockwork bunny”. Arshavin said

    “In my opinion, Denilson had a phenomenal game “

  50. Lil Weezy@ teddi the bear
    March 23, 2010 at 2:38 pm #

    Nice list, and you have Song as number 2 as well..I really think he is among top 3 in the world! I wanted to see if other ppl would rank him high as well.. I cannot believe that he could have been on that list a year ago.. It funny how Football changes so fast…Song top DM in the world at this stage of the season…I think his attitude is whats pleasing as well, never complain and play a full 90 minute with the same intensity for every match..
    Him and Vermaleen have been by far the rock of Arsenal…So now the real test awaits him (Song),
    Final Exam for the young kid: To truly be called the worlds best, you have to stop the best… Stop Messi and he becomes number 1 on that list!

  51. radads
    March 23, 2010 at 5:38 pm #

    @Lil WEEzi and Teddy the bear.
    Cambiaso wouldnt be even No3 to me, I d go:
    1) De Jong
    2) Song
    3) Yaya
    4) gatuso
    5) Fletcher/Carrick
    5) Denilson
    A remark that ive noticed: IF DIABY WOULD CONTINUE TO PERFORM LIKE THIS, HE LL BE ONE OF THE BEST MIDFIELDER IN WORLD, Using his sharp, smart slalom dribble and movement with his long legs and accompanied by his VERY VERY good fast run which he hasnt used so often so far, but when he does it, I love to watch him moving on that pitch.

    IN FORM DIABY IS MUCH BETTER THAN MESSI.

  52. teddi the bear
    March 24, 2010 at 6:42 am #

    @Radads

    hahahahah you crazy Gattuso is in the top 5. Lol even for De Jong. He is good but he aint top5 worlds best.
    Please stop adding more arsenal players to top 10 list.
    Denilson isnt a DM, he more of as a CM, aswell as for Diaby. So not going to work.

    Weezy good points there. Cambiaso is defenitly the in form DM. How the hell can you say he isnt.

    Lol Gattuso, hahahhaaha , At least you didnt say Ambrosini. They are far to old, against MAnure they got shit on. To old and slow.

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