Player Ratings: Barcelona v Arsenal

Barcelona 4 (Messi 21, 37, 42, 88)
Arsenal 1 (Bendtner 19)

Manuel Almunia – Conceded four goals so at the end of the day can’t be rated all that highly. None of them were really his fault but he didn’t step up his game despite the fact that he was playing the best side in the world. Was made to look like an amateur on the last goal. 5

Bacary Sagna – Had to deal with a lot of Pedro and Bojan and kept the two youngsters quiet for the most part. He was on the back foot most of the time and rarely got the chance to push forward, however he was mostly useful when he did – whipping in a couple of nice crosses that nobody got on the end of unfortunately. 6

Thomas Vermaelen – The best of an average bunch in the backline. The only player to provide any sort of aerial presence, both in defence and from the rare set piece. Made a nice block from Bojan in the earlier stages but was ultimately outclassed. 6.5

Mikael Silvestre – He was a good player back in his United days but they’re long gone now. He didn’t belong out there tonight and was shown up from start to finish. Was at fault for Messi’s first two goals, one of which he caused by passing the ball straight to the world’s best player. 3

Gael Clichy – Admirable performance from Clichy even if he was pinned back far more often than he would have liked. Had a couple of nice crosses (one of which was diverted on to the woodwork) and didn’t stop running until the final whistle. 6.5

Denilson – Shielded the defence and was pretty much a passenger in the middle of the park. Granted a lot of his work was done off the ball, but once he was in possession he rarely did anything other than give it off to his nearest teammate. Played as though he was scared to try anything imaginative at the risk of making a mistake. 5.5

Abou Diaby – I was pretty impressed with Diaby’s performance today, considering the quality of the opposition and the amount of room he was given in the midfield. He offered drive and penetration, and was the ignition for Bendtner’s goal early on. 6.5

Samir Nasri – Struggled, although anyone would have given the position he was thrust in. He spent most of the match chasing the shadows of Xavi and Keita, and didn’t make any lasting impression on the match. Was given no time or space in the midfield. 5

Theo Walcott – Got very little service playing wide on the right, but when he did get the ball he caused a bit of trouble. Guardiola’s swap of Maxwell for Abidal proved effective though, and the Frenchman was able to contain Theo for the most part. 6

Tomas Rosicky – Looked lethargic, sluggish and in dire need of a rest. He got that rest after 73 minutes, but in his time on the pitch he struggled to make an impact. His touch was shocking, his passing was off and he lost the ball when clean through on goal. Not his day. 3

Nicklas Bendtner – Hardly fantastic but he did get himself on the score sheet and did have an effort cannon back off the post. Looked like the only player apart from Diaby capable of scoring against Barca today, even if his touch was a bit heavy. 6.5

SUBSTITUTES
Emmanuel Eboue – 6
Eduardo – N/A.

Thoughts?

Have your say on Aidan’s player ratings by leaving a comment or view Andrew’s match review here.

http://www3.pictures.zimbio.com/gi/Barcelona+v+Arsenal+UEFA+Champions+League+CdznR4qMR75l.jpg

, ,

78 Responses to “Player Ratings: Barcelona v Arsenal”

  1. Graham
    April 7, 2010 at 7:18 pm #

    Really harsh on Silvestre.

    “He didn’t belong out there tonight.” Implies you had written him off before the game had even started.

    He was excellent against Wolves and also good against Stoke in the FA Cup. Here is a player who comes in ‘from the cold’ and plays at the top level.

    He didn’t perform brilliantly and made mistakes but he’s a solid professional.

  2. Galway Gooner
    April 7, 2010 at 7:18 pm #

    Diaby 6.5!!!!
    are you for real, he was one of the worst performers on the night.
    TV also had a poor game and Silvestre while normally crap wasnt that bad.

  3. amar
    April 7, 2010 at 7:18 pm #

    Some people are overeacting massively, we were playing the best team in the world, with the best player in the world, playing at THEIR best – no team in the world could live with them, take into account we were missing the spine of the team (Gallas, Fabregas, VP) and outside those three our best defensive player (Song) and best attacking player (Arshavin) – it was always going to be a tough ask.

    I actually thought we played pretty well, we looked solid in the opening 20 minutes and was so pleased for Bendtner because Walcott’s pass was awful, just awful – he will not make it at Arsenal unless something drastic happens – performing well at home to Burnley and for the last 20 minutes when a team is knackered is not good enough.

    Denilson, Clichy and Bendtner were my standouts last night. I know Denilson isnt everybodys favourite, but his performance last night (and in the first leg) was great in my opinion, did the simple things well, closed down well, and picked out some great passes – maybe the continental style of football suits his shall we say “laid back” style, but he really stood out for me. He is isnt a first teamer with a fit squad, but considering this is the best team in the world, a performance like that is encouraging and hopefully we will see a Song-like improvement in the next few years, he is still learning the defensive game, and hopefully he will grow into a good player.

    Im sorry, but statements like “this isnt the club i love” “no fight” are so wide of the mark for me and im sorry but they sound knee-jerk and suggest you don’t even follow football properly, would a team with the aformention key players done better? Maybe, i certianly think it would have been closer, but taking that out of it, we did show fight (coming from 2 down to 3-2 showed that, so did playing intelligently in the second half), and when a player as good as Messi is on full throttle, well, sometimes you have to accept there is nothing more you can do.

    Im already proud of the team this season, we need some strengthing, and we need better luck with injuries – if that happens, success is only round the corner.

  4. sean
    April 7, 2010 at 7:19 pm #

    amar – good post, I wasn’t surprised by the result last night. We were missing most, if not all, of our quality players. It would have been a hard job with them playing so to lose with them missing was no shock.
    I thought that Andy Gray made a very good point in his commentary when he said that we don’t close players down. He commented that in the Premiership we don’t usually need to as we are normally the team in possession. It is a part of our game that we have not had to develop. Hopefully that will get back to AW and he’ll address it sooner rather than later.
    Overall this season is far better than I expected it to be. We are still in with a shout of winning the PL (I don’t think we will as Chelsea are too strong) and we’ve played much better this season than last.
    I get annoyed with this shit about ‘5 years without a trophy’. There are only four up for grabs each year and they’re not easy to win. If we fielded our full strength team for the CC (as the heebs do) then we would win it most years. So, if you take that competition out of the equation there are only really three. Apart from Chelsea and Manure which other team has a better record of winning these trophies in the last 20 years? 5 years is a disappointment but nothing more. It’s hardly a disaster!
    I think last night may actually have been a good thing for the club in the long term. AW suggested in his post match interview that we needed some better players. Hopefully last night will convince him that many of us this year have been right on the money with our observations regarding the teams weaknesses. Hopefully we’ll learn from last night and move forward to become the winning team that we all want to see and that our support deserves.
    Come on the Arse

  5. arsene_al
    April 7, 2010 at 7:20 pm #

    Some great points made lads. I am in complete agreement with you there.

    Perhaps there are rare times when having a complete bias allow you to make better judgements of players and situations and as I sat slumped in my seat watching Messrs Gullit and Keys creaming themselves off over Messi’s chipped finish, I thought I was alone in thinking “which other so called major European club would allow a player to run unchallenged from virtually the half way line to score a goal like that” (probably the same team that let Drogba and Park do it earlier in the season). The defending and basic shape of the side was shameful.

    Do you think Inter Milan will afford Messi and his pals that amount of time and space – of course not. It won’t be pretty but I’m prepared to bet that they do not lose the tie by more than one goal, and would not be surprised if they actually managed a 1-1 or 0-0.

    Last year when the Mancs pissed all over us in an equally one sided and embarrassing affair, Wenger’s half time magic was to replace Gibbs with Eboue. We’ve not moved on a year later…..

    To blame injuries is to take a defensive position – Barcelona were missing their main striker and two centre halves, whilst Iniesta only made the last 5 minutes from the bench.

    We’ve now been humiliated on a regular basis against the best teams. There’s no “mental strength” in this squad. Mental strength is not scoring last minute goals in games we should already be winning handsomely…..it’s winning games when the odds are against us, and we’ve lost all of ours against the other teams in the top 4 this season and now been overwhelmed by Barca. The squad will never recover from these type of defeats without an injection of 3 or 4 new, experienced players.

    Barca had not beaten an English team at home in the previous five attempts. Liverpool, Man U and Chelsea had all gone there and either won or drawn.

    The key difference on all those occasions is that they had teams with genuine mental strength and coaches prepared to adapt their game to suit, rather than an one-dimensional, devil-may-care attitude towards defending.

  6. simba
    April 7, 2010 at 7:21 pm #

    He hasn’t been able to see it for five years now, I can already see in the media today similar comments to when we exited these tournaments before – an assessment of the squad, thinly veiled comments suggesting additions to the squad – no change to each of the past 3 years at least.

    Come the Summer there will be the same blinded loyalty to squad players who will never be able to win trophies for the club and the usual stuff about “the answer is not always to buy”.

    Almunia will still be our keeper next season, we will bring in one centre half and lose at least one (probably two). Chamakh may join and no doubt we’ll add some 16 year olds that are going to be the new Messi.

    Oh, and we’ll send out a dozen or so “never will be’s” on loan to Championship and League One clubs

  7. simba
    April 7, 2010 at 7:22 pm #

    the lack of quality in depth particularly through the middle of the team is nothing short of neglectful on the manager’s part.

    He got everyone’s hopes up with talks of January signings following RvP’s injury but most of us knew that come the big moment, it would prove to be just talk again and that we were to pin our trophy winning hopes on Bendtner, supported by Eduardo, Vela and Walcott (and AA23 being asked to act as a striker)

    Secondly, this team does not have belief and it’s no coincidence that we do not possess a player in the mould of those that you mention. We know that Arsene is the man who believes captaincy is overplayed and that rotational leadership works wonders. I never played football to a top level but played to a pretty reasonable amateur level and I can remember that breaking through into senior football at 16 years old, my team had a number of players who “looked after you” – guys in their peak years between 28 and 33 who wouldn’t allow you to be bullied and who you looked to when the team were flagging. Arsenal do not have those type of players because the manager does not believe it to be a necessary component of the team.

    Therefore, it does not surprise me when we send a team of youngsters out time and time again at Stamford Bridge, Old Trafford and the Nou Camp that they capitulate – the defeats they’ve suffered at these places will leave a huge, mental scar on the team – scars that will never heal until the right complimentary players are brought in to line up alongside them.

    The only point I disagree with is “heroic” in defeat. I’ve found nothing “heroic” in any of our recent performances against the biggest clubs.

    Heroic is beating Parma when their squad was infinitely more talented…..that’s when we had players like the ones you mentioned

  8. simba
    April 7, 2010 at 7:25 pm #

    Almunia – 6 Couldn’t do an awful lot about any of the goals. Stood up as long as possible for the 3rd. Don’t really remember him making a save though
    Sagna – 7 – Fairly solid. Looked a better option than Silvestre in the middle
    Silvestre – 6 better than expected, not saying a lot though
    Vermaelen – 6 exposed badly by Messi but made some decent tackles
    Clichy – 8 never gave up, defended well, got forward more than the entire midfield. Was caught out of position once or twice
    Diaby – One or two driving runs, but was out of the game more than he was in it 6
    Denilson – 8 decent game, broke up play well
    Rosicky – 5 a night to forget, had a shocker. Only got decent posession 3/4 times, made the wrong decision every time
    Walcott – 7 looked promising at times but Barcelona shackled him well (and kicked him over every time he looked like advancing)
    Bendtner – 7 did ok, but had minimal service

    Eboue – 7 pushed on well down the flank, but too late to make an impact
    Eduardo – no impact

  9. Delicious
    April 7, 2010 at 7:25 pm #

    Diaby was the worst player on the field. Gave up counting the number of mislaid passes. Apart from the pass to Walcott, he was absolute pant. Always tries to run with the ball and only passes when he’s forced to under pressure, which inevitably means the pass gets mislaid or is too heavy allowing Barca to intercept or get a tackle in. If we want to compete with the best we have to drop the passengers and get some quality. Barca will only get better with Messi only 22yrs old. But deep down inside we all knew we would get beat, and eventually we got spanked. Can’t help wondering how different the game would have been if we had some of our injured players. First 20mins was very good from us. Oh well, another trophyless season 🙁

  10. Robert
    April 7, 2010 at 7:26 pm #

    Yeah Gael, Diaby, and Bendt really tried. The ref and linesmen were full of shit though, they helped Barca spoil our rythm.

  11. steve ryder
    April 7, 2010 at 7:26 pm #

    I’m proud of the boys. For all you quick fix ‘fans’ out there, we obviously don’t have the money currently so have to make do with what we’ve got and that being the case, to still be well in the league race and only beaten by an amazing Barca team i think we are doing bloody well, especially considering the players we have out injured. And to that idiot that said Guardiola is a better manager than Wenger. If i was just handed the Barcelona squad I’d probably make a pretty good fist of managing them. You sir are a disgrace. I said it would hinge on whether Diaby and Denilson had a good day and they didn’t. The effort was there but as soon as they had it they gave it away. Not helped by the refereeing which was a joke in the first half. Denilson yellow card was beyond ridiculous and previous to that Keita went down because Silvestre was holding his hand?? I was sick in my mouth a bit when during the match Andy Gray said ‘kids take note…’ at a moment of Messi skill, yes kids, watch how if you’re really dishonest you will be rewarded and loved. It will be some achievement if we win the league and it can start by beating the scum down the road. p.s. i really hope Wolves go down, all of their fans seem like right berks

  12. Andrew Weber
    April 7, 2010 at 7:28 pm #

    @ amar – I agree completely with your praise for Clichy, Bendtner and Denilson. The clear standouts.

    Denilson really surprised me, I thought he performed competently in the middle under difficult circumstances.

  13. billi
    April 7, 2010 at 7:28 pm #

    I think it’s very difficult to judge them in this match, overall I totally agree, at least I couldn’t argue against one of the ratings, against this Barca side they couldn’t look better, even if there were some situations ………. they could have……. but in the end of the day that’s very difficult if you are dominated in such a way………. if you are beaten in such a way in this manner,….., I just don’t dare to mention that the referee……….. but I will leave it…….. they were ountstanding the Barcelona………… 😉

  14. Barndoor Bendtner
    April 7, 2010 at 7:36 pm #

    I’m sorry to say that I metaphorically left the game early. Not because we were on the wrong end of a masterclass, but because of the Sky commentators. They are so far up Barca’s arse that it was embarassing. I was quite happy to watch and applaud Messi & Co. but they were so dissappointed when Bendy scored and were cheering on Barca all the way. Why can they not get behind our team? Is it an Arsenal thing or an anti-English thing? Most likely the former I’m afraid and it make s watching even top games like this too painful.

  15. Tony
    April 7, 2010 at 7:40 pm #

    I dont agree with you on Diaby rating.How come u rated Diaby 6.5? I think he was one of the worst player we had yesterday.

  16. Arsenal Fan
    April 7, 2010 at 7:41 pm #

    I agree with your rating for Silvestre. He’s a mole for Man Utd! Why on Earth play him? He should be sold in the summer. Barca was the best team, I accept that but I’m disappointed the way we went out, especially after scoring first. Time we forget about CL and pick ourselves up. If we lose to the spuds then I’m really going to be pissed.

    Wenger said he’s going to spend in the summer. Hopefully, he’s going to buy quality players like GK, cover for Gallas/Vermaelen and striker. Enough with buying kids, Arsene.

  17. Ugandan
    April 7, 2010 at 7:45 pm #

    These ratings are crap, Silvestre does not deserve that and Denilson deserves far more than Diaby.

  18. vishal
    April 7, 2010 at 7:45 pm #

    Once again, like last year one man makes the difference for Barca. The ref. Yeah, Messi’s a very good player but it was the ref that made the biggest difference for them. Look at what they did.

    Messi
    Yeah, first goal was a great strike, but the second was just a rebound from a defender, the third was a one on one that Kevin Doyle would have been disappointed to miss and the final one was a scrappy goal when the game was over.

    The Ref
    Bendtner called offside at 1-1 when through on goal when he about a yard onside. He would have squared for Theo to tap in. 1-2. Different game.
    Yellow card for Denilson for tackling Messi. Well if we’re not allowed to tackle him, then of course he’s going to score.
    Yellow card for Rosicky for getting the ball but following though. Milito did the same on Nasri and it wasn’t even a foul.
    Yellow card for Eboue for being pulled back and trying to fend the guy off.
    Alves sits down on Bendtner, gets a foul.
    A foul every time we went near one of his precious Barca players. Yes Barca were good, but the ref created a situation where we weren’t allowed to attempt a tackle.

    I know people will say that Arsenal players dive in the Premier League, but Rosicky had two gashes in his leg to show for the challenge at the weekend. I don’t think the Barca players had any particularly bad injuries.

    So yes, Barca were good. Messi was good, but the ref helped them to get there. I will even support Man Utd if they play in the final now. And that is saying something.

  19. Jack
    April 7, 2010 at 7:59 pm #

    Clichy was absolutely inspirational. I would give him a rating of at least a 7.5. Defended well, got forward whenever he could and most importantly never gave up

  20. RipRoaringRed
    April 7, 2010 at 8:01 pm #

    Almunia and Silvestre aren’t good enough for the premiership, the Blue Square premiership, that is. Diaby had a crap game. Rosicky was useless. Let’s be brave and admit that Walcott is fast but uselss. Eboue is a head case. Nasri, Bendnter and Denilson tried and were OK. Sagna and Clichy did OK. We were worse than second best. Stoke would have played Barca better than we did.

  21. Leebo
    April 7, 2010 at 8:16 pm #

    We would have struggled to win away at Fulham with that team last night.

  22. km1980
    April 7, 2010 at 8:29 pm #

    Denilson – “once he was in possession he rarely did anything other than give it off to his nearest teammate.”

    Umm.. isn’t that what a holding midfileder should be doing? i.e. win the ball, lay it off to one of the creative types and get back into your anchoring position.

  23. cleveleysgooner
    April 7, 2010 at 8:29 pm #

    Think some f the comments particularly from arsene_al are really harsh and way off the mark. Last night we got beaten by the best in Europe – on their ground. I know we could easily have been beaten at the Emirates, but dont you find frustrating that everytime we play a top game against a top side we seemed to be missing half the team. Last night I actually thought the back four played well – however the central midfield was non existent, and lets forget all this rubbish about Nasri `playing in his best position in the centre’ – he didnt have a clue despite working very hard. With Walcott a virtual passenger – Sagna was excellent, as was Clichy and Vermaelen, Silvestre actually didnt do that badly. Rosicky probably had his worst game as an Arsenal player. So what does Wenger do? Buying is the obvious especially as he now knows that Eduardo and Vela are not even good squad players – perhaps if spends over £200m he might win an FA CUP (which is all Chelsea have won in the past 4 years).

  24. Ianinja
    April 7, 2010 at 8:32 pm #

    The ref was on Barca’s side?! Some of these comments cracked me up. As far as I’m concerened we were owned…BIGtime

  25. theicehammer
    April 7, 2010 at 8:38 pm #

    Morning all, as i said in my last post last week, i wander who wenger will purchase in the summer. If he does what he did this season the boys will finish potless for the 6th season. Nothing that happened last night surprised me. Its a shame about the injuries but as i have said before to operate in the english prem a team requires more beef in its squad. The smaller tech players can not keep mixing it without eventually breaking down. Wenger needed a plan b for this game but does not have the type of players to do it and does not seem to believe in it. I still say this team is just so close to being champs but Wenger wont do whats necessary in order to achieve it. CH,DCM, proper LW, proper class striker. Up de ammers.

  26. kishsn
    April 7, 2010 at 8:39 pm #

    For a brief moment when Nick scored a dream looked possible. Ah well, reality kicked in again! We now need to move on. We are not on the same level as Barca, Manure and Chavski and probably a couple of other clubs in Europe. If we want to win a trophy ever Wenger needs to move us on from a team who can knock the ball around very nicely to a team that can actually win big games and cups. There were encouraging signs last night that we do have some good players but we also have a number who just flatter to deceive. Walcott just disappered after setting the goal up. He even nearly screwed that up for Nick. He did nothing for the rest of the game and also Rosicky. Elsewhere Eboue was his usual over-dramatic self – was he trying to backheel Messi before that 4th Barca goal? The guy is a headless chicken. The defence was well…the defence. Some good indvidual performances from Clichy, Sagna and TV but no organisation or idea of how to deal with Barca. What was really striking about Barca was how they played when we got the ball. They had 3 players on anyone of our players with the ball and they pushed us so back we mostly knocling the ball around Almunia’s box. They showed that real football involves the physical side not just the one-touch stuff. Wenger must look hard at himself and the team and be honest to recognise what are the missing piece. Otherwise we will become the Ajax of England – known for a great young footballing team that gets raided by the big boys. I was looking at Nick last night and thought a big club could make a move for him a good coach could work on his finishing and first touch. Who at AFC is going to teach him the finer points of being a striker? Where are the experienced players for him to learn off!

  27. RGJ
    April 7, 2010 at 8:42 pm #

    Harsh ratings for Almunia, Denilson and Nasri.
    Walcott is useless. Read a great quote in the Grauniad after someone dared to mention him in the same sentence as Messi. One is a fantastic talented footballer and the other is a county level sprinter. Kind of sums it up. The less said about Silvestre the better. Now back t the EPL. A win over Spurs will cheer me up no end.

  28. Leebo
    April 7, 2010 at 8:50 pm #

    Its not the disapointment I can handle the disapointment, its the hope that kills me.

  29. SCOPE KNIGHT
    April 7, 2010 at 8:52 pm #

    No matter how we may feel we d fans have the right to be pissed. its the same story for 5 years. You do not win anything with kids. I am proud of this team no doubt but wenger is actually copying the barca model but is not doing it properly. Players like puyol, bojan, messi etc grew up within the barca academy but u need mature players to guide the team.
    We were outplayed yesterday but two things spring out
    1. It will be difficult for any team to beat our first eleven if fit. so is there a problem with the medical staff
    2. We lack strength in depth. Look at man u and chelsea. Joe cole after a period off single-handedly with malouda blew man u away. Depth. No song, no fab then we break.
    Wenger needs to emulate the barca model properly. I hope pep takes over wenger in the long run. he seems to have control of the team.
    Worst wenger mistakes: Letting diara go (yes owen hargreves is still in man u), helb, gilberto, lumberg leave.
    I hope this is not racist, but i have gone to school with the french they are stubborn

  30. Dawit
    April 7, 2010 at 8:53 pm #

    Please get over it we lost against the best team in europe so there is no shame into it .except the result 4-1 was a bit to much for team that wants to win PL. we still have tiny chance of winning it so support the lads for another 5 games. starting at sh*t hart lane.

  31. theicehammer
    April 7, 2010 at 8:55 pm #

    @rgj do you really think yr boys will beat the jelly tots with soft centers.

  32. blowout
    April 7, 2010 at 9:01 pm #

    messi was the big difference!really needed our full squad to compete against a side like barca.injuries cost us.a win againts spurs and the top 2 dropping points will cheer me up!

  33. theicehammer
    April 7, 2010 at 9:01 pm #

    @SCOPE, spot on mate. Deep down inside Wenger must realise he boobed there. He has not replaced quality with quality. The team is not physically strong enough. Why cant he purchase slightly stronger players who can play.

  34. Gf60
    April 7, 2010 at 9:03 pm #

    Very unfair on Silvestre to blame him for the first goal. He was ready to clear and Nasri deflected the ball onto his standing shin with the unfortunate result. In fact all Messi’s goals, brilliantly taken though they were, arose from Arsenal’s misfortune rather than Barca brilliance.
    But they did prove that we still have a long way to go, especially when missing so many of the real first team.

  35. Hey Nonny Mouse
    April 7, 2010 at 9:13 pm #

    Er…is it worth pointing out to some supposed ‘fans’ that Arsenal never won the Champions League when we had Lehman, Viera, Ljunberg, Bergkamp, Pires and Henry in the team either.

  36. rooiseun
    April 7, 2010 at 9:19 pm #

    beaten by d best team, injuries blah blah blah. i can take a loss but not excuses, i think they r preventing us from moving forward. how many times hav we been caught out in a counter this season alone? we hav lost 2 manu, chavs and city with only 2 or 3 players missing. we cud hav had the whole 1st team out there last nyt & we wud hav lost but the score wud hav bin respectable. barca were missing some players as well but d score line does not suggest dat.how many tyms has wenger promised 2 buy players when we go down heavily. we will b in the same situation next year and he will say the same thing again

  37. TDP
    April 7, 2010 at 9:20 pm #

    I have to disagree with many of the ratings. To criticise Almunia for not stepping up his game ‘despite the fact that he was playing the best team in the world’ seems a little unfair considering the performance he put in against the same side under a week ago. Last night he had no chance with any of the goals apart from the 4th and by then the game was well and truly over.

    I am also not as staunch a supporter of Denilson as everyone else – he played better than I expected him to but the way he shrinks from the responsibility of tracking a man is quite frightening. He often becomes attracted to the ball and lets players run away from him and the way he ambles back – he stopped running before Messi had taken his shot for the 3rd goal rather than chase as hard as he could – is simply not good enough for this Arsenal side. He is not a Makelele-type player, I understand this. But he needs to improve his overall awareness and get some tactical and positional discipline into his game because for players of Barcelona’s class, dragging him out of position to create space is far too easy. He was better than many of our players last night but I didn’t see anything to suggest that he is trying to address the major flaws in his contribution.

  38. wishfulthinking
    April 7, 2010 at 9:23 pm #

    Completely disagree in principle. There are times when you have to go beyond individual performances and look at the performance as a team. The collective mentality was pathetic. They couldnt even pass the ball forward. Substantial number of passes were made backwards after perceiving threats from Barca players. They played without confidence. For heaven’s sake dont analyse this game more than it deserves. We deserved every bit of what we gave.

  39. tom
    April 7, 2010 at 9:27 pm #

    I cant understand how people think denilson had a good game when messi kept cutting inside from the wing and denilson couldnt get near him. i thought he was supposed to be our defensive midfielder? Rosicky was very poor but then again he always is in the big games. our squad is not good enough and if we sign chamakh it wont get much better

  40. MTY
    April 7, 2010 at 10:39 pm #

    @TDP – spot on! If anybody thinks Denilson had a good game then pls watch again the 3rd goal. Being beaten for pace is one thing but to stop running even before the opponent pulls the trigger is just appalling – that has been his weakness all the time!

    It has been said time & again but i’ll repeat it here – it takes more than a Chamakh to turn this side into a title challenger.
    In one season a team aiming for glory at home & Europe needs to play a huge amount of games, which means injuries are simply not avoidable & with such a small squad I’m afraid we’ll be talking about the same stuff in one year from now.

  41. big ernie
    April 7, 2010 at 10:56 pm #

    Listen Fella’s, even with the full team we would probably have not got to the final, we just don’t have the consistency or quality in the depth of squad. So this could well be a blessing in disguise, Arsene has now actually admitted (at last!) that this lot are not good enough to compete at the top level in Europe (which they aren’t). I really would love 100% for them to be, but at the moment they are not. IF a big IF Arsene decides to get some quality in the summer, with the nucleus he already has there, I’m convinced that we will have a stunning team next year.
    If we had got through this game and won the prem (which I still hope we do, but can’t see past Chelski at the mo) then he would have stuck with what he’s got as he would have felt justified………. so we got beaten by a better side again, just like the Manu and Chelski games- lets take it on the chin, get a few new players in and win the lot next year !!

    Come on you Gooneeeerrrrrrssssss !!!

  42. alex
    April 7, 2010 at 11:06 pm #

    As expected, the gunners were chasing ghosts for 90 minutes. All of them were off pace, to slow to react and to slow to play the ball. Too poor in posession in other words. Arsenal want to be the most entertaining in England, and later in Europe, but Barca showed them how far they have left ot go. Almunia was down on his ass way to much, which allowed the opposition to simply lift the ball over him, amature style. Sagna and Clichy were faultless, and even offered something in offence. But due to Arsenals inability to attack all game, then stayed back almost at all times. Still, good defending from both. Vermaelen and Silvestre were both outpaced. Silvestre have been poor ever since he pulled on the red shirt with the little cannon on it. So him over Senderos, I just don’t get it at all!! Maybe Wenger lost a bet or something. Vermaelen was shown that even though he’s good, he’s far far from the best. He was like a headless chicken all day, running after Barca players, never getting a tackle in. Denilson is better agains teams that are not playing rough. He was chasing, and dueling, though he also almost never got tackles in. He did however shield the ball well, and was awarded a yellow card which should never be when Messi dived. Poor refereeing, very poor. Nevertheless, Denilson offered nothing in attack, and was just an extra obstickle for Barca tu run easily past. Still, I’m not sure if Song would be better, he’s slow, but stronger. Not sure if that would pay off, but we’ll never know, will we. Nasri was given an impossible task, being chased by 2 or 3 at a time every second, he couldn’t do anything with the ball since all other arsenal players don’t know what running off the ball and making themselvs available for play means. Diaby was good, barca small kids couldn’t deal with his power and acceleration, unfortunately he was pretty much useless in posession. Rosicky was totally useless, bach first touch, couldn’t get a pass right to save his life, tracked back, but to no use, and got a yellow card because of his bad tocuh and Diaby’s poor pass. Walcott had pace, but no more. In all fairness, he didn’t see much of the ball, helped at the back a few times, but nothing “magical” about him. Bendtner did score, but he did put the first shot straight at the goalkeeper, and was lukcy with the rebound. Unlucky with the header after Clichys fantastic cross. Most of the game, the dane was jogging back and forth, looking at Messi running past 6-7 Arsenal players time and again. All in all, there was no chance in hell of an Arsenal victory. This was a battle between europas best, and kids that dream to be there som day, and it showed. Barca kept the ball as if they were 20 against 10, and much more skillful and effective with the ball. Wenger was shown up, and his players are way way way far away from doing what Barca players do, and that is close donw and work like dogs, at the same time as never giving the ball away. Better luck next season Wenger. Hope to avoid meeting these teams: United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Barca, Real, Lyon….well, all teams actually…

  43. Biggy
    April 7, 2010 at 11:12 pm #

    I cant agree wih any of your ratings. They are simply not good enough. After such a poor display, the only player above average was Clichy.

  44. voley_gun
    April 7, 2010 at 11:23 pm #

    @alex – Sorry alex it is really frusturating.But i cannot control myself after reading your comments.You really changed the mood of my day.

  45. voley_gun
    April 7, 2010 at 11:25 pm #

    @alex .Maybe Wenger lost a bet or something

    I cannot control laughing after reading this line.

  46. alex
    April 7, 2010 at 11:42 pm #

    hehe, well, sorry for ruining the mood or something, but seriously, if the coach says that the team has ambitions, then they should at least show signs to it. The squad is spread to thin and too young, and has been for a while. The frustrating thing is not that they lost, that was coming, but that they have lostlike that before, and haven’t done anything about it. And all the players do, is to tell the newspaper that they are good enough, strong enough, and that they are hungry for success…but telling is not selling.

  47. voley_gun
    April 7, 2010 at 11:42 pm #

    @alex – I am laughing uncontrolled and everyone is confused to see me in my office nearby.

    Guys just come out of the loss and just enjoy this.It is not meant to hurt anyone .

    Some of the lines that really unstoppable are

    Almunia was down on his ass way to much, which allowed the opposition to simply lift the ball over him, amature style.
    —- The last goal from messi would have been shot a little bit higher and Alumnia would be on stretcher.Messi would have helped us.

    Silvestre have been poor ever since he pulled on the red shirt with the little cannon on it. So him over Senderos, I just don’t get it at all!! Maybe Wenger lost a bet or something.

    Nasri was given an impossible task, being chased by 2 or 3 at a time every second, he couldn’t do anything with the ball since all other arsenal players don’t know what running off the ball and making themselvs available for play means
    —- Assume other players saying who cares if he has the ball and leaving him alone to run.

    Most of the game, the dane was jogging back and forth, looking at Messi running past 6-7 Arsenal players time and again.
    —-Bendtner would have told the referee .”Don’t block my vision.Is he going to score this time”

    Barca kept the ball as if they were 20 against 10, and much more skillful and effective with the ball.
    —-Alright no more cheating with 20 players.

  48. alex
    April 7, 2010 at 11:45 pm #

    hahahaha, good one! 😀

  49. billi
    April 8, 2010 at 12:07 am #

    I definitely agree with vishal , I just didn’t want to mention it by myself, it sounds always like an excuse if you criticize the referee, but it was obvious………. like that, so biased referee and it was a German, it’s a shame………. 😯

  50. NewGooner
    April 8, 2010 at 12:48 am #

    I don’t get why some post seem to think that because we were playing the best side we played well. This is the Champions League, you play big teams at the business end, and we need players who are business men, not boys.

    I also think the ratings are way too high, for instance Vermaelen and Clichy get 6.5 yet we let in 4 goals? Some ratings put Alves on 7.5, so how can our players be 6.5? Walcott gets a 6? He did nothing apart from a fluffed assist, after that he did nothing, so 6 is a surprise.

    I would give Wenger a 1. Our tactics were wrong from the start, he never changed them after the game started, and if he blames injuries, he bought all the players on show last night, so is he saying he has bought players without the required quality? We the fans know it, he doesn’t want to admit it.

  51. DJ RC
    April 8, 2010 at 1:14 am #

    Rosicsky was worst……after being one of the most experienced players in that side…………what a crap performance!!

  52. aungmyin
    April 8, 2010 at 2:04 am #

    Prepare for new season.Arsene should not give priority for his fellow French-Players in future.

  53. voley_gun
    April 8, 2010 at 2:18 am #

    I am hoping to see Rosicky,Silvestre off from the team this year

  54. voley_gun
    April 8, 2010 at 2:19 am #

    Sorry missed out Alumnia

  55. Lil Weezy
    April 8, 2010 at 3:37 am #

    This was an FA Cup Squad facing the best team in the world, and defending Champs.
    Life has to go on without regrets at the “Emirates”.

    The experience gained from playing at Camp Nou is collosal. if you can score at Camp Nou, then you will never be afraid of any stadium!

    Bendtner is solid and strong but doesn’t have the technique. RVP has the technique but always injured. (that one occasion where bentdner first touch failed him the box), had it been RVP .. certainly in the back of the net. Then, its a different game. The only point Im trying to make is this. We have ingrdients in the squad that can get the job done, but we never have the ingredients at the same time, hence why we fall short every year.
    Wenger has got to see this..Messi is rarely injured and never misses the big game. But on our end, every crucial game seems to have a star missing..Why? always bad luck? Something is wrong, maybe we ask too much from our star players and they crumble..

  56. The Black Panther
    April 8, 2010 at 4:15 am #

    Can’t disagree more with a few of these ratings.

    Diaby was awful and gave away far too much ball and too many fouls.

    Clichy…everyone seems to ignore how often this guy gets torn defensively and gives the ball away soooooo often.

    Sell Rosicky. It’s like he is playing for the other team half the time. When he’s not missing sitters and pulling pussy dives, that is.

  57. TOM
    April 8, 2010 at 5:21 am #

    Almunia had a very bad game,he constantly kicked backpasses into the stand and communicated badly with his defence. He never takes crosses and is poor in one on one situations. We really need to sort out our defence but i dont think wenger is capable as our defence has been terrible for the past five years

  58. dave
    April 8, 2010 at 5:44 am #

    if you follow Arsenal’s games throughout the whole season, the one major weakness which irritates most is the inability to pass the ball when under pressure, esp. at midfield, where the battle is lost or won. OK, I agree, we’re good when facing less skillful sides, ‘cos we’ve time to cover for each other, but against top opponents, the lack of technical skill of retaining the ball and passing is easily exposed, that’s why we lost to Manu and Chelsea time and again when pressed upon and Barc’s defeat is a lesson to learn not to moan. Moreover, skill on two feet has to be coupled with stamina to carry the ball throughout 90 minutes. I don’t blame anyone in the Arsenal team for loosing the game to Barca, our players just not up to it. We might have the will and ambition to do well but at the end it comes down to something very fundamental. We have a long way to learn and train. Keep the work rate up, please !! Look to South Korea at the World Cup years ago, they were not good technically, but besides luck or whatever you may add, you can’t deny their desire to win and oh boy, did they really fight and run their hearts out. NO, there’s nothing easy in any major ‘battle’, you step up and go into the field with the right attitude. If the wind is against you, you just have to double up your effort, nothing less.

  59. GunnerBoss
    April 8, 2010 at 7:38 am #

    I sincerely donot know where to start from…..
    But, Wenger is largely at fault for not
    1. Strengthening the squad last season(e.g. Shay Given?)
    2. Buying another striker when RVP got ruled out for the rest of the season
    3. Willing to win trophies

    I talked about this strength in depth issue excessively and obsessively during last years summer up to the point I said i will not be commenting until Wenger buys… (anyhow u look at it, this was the only reasonable option to us at the time). Go look again at my posts, you would see I specifically tried to compare us with Barca cos they won the champs league.

    Now to the game…… the main reason we lost this game is
    1. cos we dont have lots of world cup bound players.
    E.g. Barca had Marquez and Milito in reserve for Gods sake, these are players looking to impress their respective country coaches.
    2. injury crisis….(we all know this, so we should never have hoped for an injury free campaign, but rather prepared incase of another)
    3. no team right now can match Barca playing 4-3-3, not even Real Magreed
    4. that super brat MESSi?

    Tactically, we messed things up as there are a lot of tactical permutations anyone can look at
    E.g. Walcott playing at centre forward and loading the midfield so we depend on the kind of breaks that led to the goals Ibrascum scored against us in the 1st leg especially after we scored first etc.
    Our remaining fit players couldnt even step up their game, Diaby was terrible in the middle and i dont know why anyone would play Silvest(absolute rubbish) against Barca…maybe in a 6man defense(MAYBE).

    I’m just tired, the UCL was realistically the only hope of silverware this season and i’m surprised were still in it for the premiership (Kudos to Wenger and the boys). This season was supposed to be better, we kinda had that strength in depth until the ManCs came for Kolo, Djourou got ruled out, Adebanyawn never got replaced and finally Senderos got sold to Everton.
    We knew all this and in January, absolutely nothing happened.

  60. shambogunner
    April 8, 2010 at 8:38 am #

    these are my player ratings spanning thier entire cAreers at our club
    ALMUNIA 2….and its a generous 2….poor positionally,faom handed and have never seen a keeper lobbed so many times in 1v1,total lack of respect from the strikers!!!robinho,pienarr and messi to name a few…embarrassing
    SAGNA 6…..great first season but terrible crosser and inconsistant
    GALLAS 8…..tempermantal but gutsy and committed
    VERMAELEN 9……early days but committed,brave and unfazed by the big games
    CLICHY 8….terrible inconsistant going forward but honest and commited…would benefit from having a team player helping out in front of him
    WALCOTT 4….timid,inconsistant and lacking basics..absolute rubbish with back to goal and doesnt defend….no imagination
    ROSICKY 5…..injury riddled and indeed tired last nite,tired yet hes only played 20 games in 3 years…sad cos hes 1 of my fav
    CESC 10……selfless,honest,loyal and committed,leads by example aswel as delivering when we need him…ala villa this season…lucky to have him….not for much longer tho im afraid
    SONG 8…..early days aswel but a selfless,committed type aswel who does an unsung job for a team with many passengers…covers the slack left by nasri,walcot,diaby,denilson and arsha
    NASRI 3….flatters to deceive….anyone whos played the game or with a basic knowledge will tell you hes a passenger….great ability but only when given time and space….hav never seen him beat a full back and deliver a cross onto the head of an attacker….even nani has done this…..inconsistant and often anonymous in big games
    DENILSON 3….stats dont always reflect reality…’he completed 50 passes’…yeah but they were 5 yards back and across and often played as a ‘get it away fom me’ moreso than the start of a dangerous move.physically very weak and lacks the intelligence to break up opponents rythym…last nite he was too busy apolgisin to xavi to stand over the ball and we nearly conceded….vs everton he fell to the ground under no challenge and everton went on to attack our goal…has displayed a shocking lack of pace and drive to chase back on many occasions and cant sense danger at all
    EBOUE 5.tries hard and committed but shocking shot and cross conversion…prone to theatrics
    RAMSEY 5….shortsighted but young and dynamic and most importantly committed….old head on young shoulders and has great future ahead godwilling
    ARSHA 8…..gifted but commitment has tofall under scrutiny aswel as team ethic as often plays for himself…..would question his loyalty should a super club come knocking.
    RvP…..10….loyal,brave and committed…..inventive and hates when we lose,will fight to the end
    NIC….6…..loyal,brave and confident but not clinical and very awkward on the ball often losing his touch…hav never seen him skin a CB for speed and skill, but hes committed to the team and deserves to be an arsenal player
    DIABY 6…does the hard things very wel and then fluffs a 5 yard pass,poor tackler and gives opponents too much respect when we dont hav the ball…..will he go on to fulfill his potential….50/50
    EDUARDO 6….the ice cool finisher and smooth link man has been replaced by a shadow of his former self….fragile confidence may count against him stayin on…wud be sad to see him go
    SYLVESTRE 0….if he was any good to begin with sir bollix ferguson wudnt hav sold him to us
    VELA 3…..was given chances to step up and stake a claim and froze
    SOL 8….committed and a leader….leaves nothing in the tank coming off a pitch
    FABIANSKI 2…inspires no confidence and seems giddy….very poor vs porto and chelsea when entrusted in recent seasons
    MANNONE 7…..thrown in at the deep end and saved 3pts vs fulham,pts which cud win us a league come may…harshly rewarded by section of fans and manager for teams capitulation vs west ham when 2 up
    VERDICT….not enough mentally tough or committed players…..would i miss nasri,denilson,almunia,fabianski,vela,walcot,rossy,sylvestre and diaby next season……nope gimme a blend of technically gifted guys and committed team players and ill gladly finish trophyless next season again……but i wanna see lads sweat blood and guts and at least learn from hidings vs chels and manu next time we meet them and show some pride,as a fan all you want is for a player to try as hard as you feel for the club….nasri and deni dont do it for me and are fairweather ‘3-0 up the the emirates’ players…..i want a lad to kick john terry up the hole when wer losin to let him know he was i a game……i mean gimme sumtin to shout about if wer gonna get beat!

  61. shambogunner
    April 8, 2010 at 8:43 am #

    am sorry for the ridiculously long post….lost the run of myself and usual

  62. GunnerBoss
    April 8, 2010 at 9:02 am #

    @Shambo….well said, but, c’mon Nasri-3?

  63. Andrew Weber
    April 8, 2010 at 9:03 am #

    Interesting post, I have to say.

  64. Andrew Weber
    April 8, 2010 at 9:09 am #

    (Shambo’s, that is)

  65. GunnerBoss
    April 8, 2010 at 9:34 am #

    @ANDY – could u pls take out the last paragraph in my long post….was wondering how to get to u
    Thanks

  66. Andrew Weber
    April 8, 2010 at 10:50 am #

    Done. Also, what do you mean by “get to me”?

  67. petre
    April 8, 2010 at 1:03 pm #

    arsene wenger must buy this summer…we need good players..

  68. Hey Nonny Mouse
    April 8, 2010 at 5:35 pm #

    Great post, Shambo. Don’t fully agree (as usual) but a lot of it – yep.

    On another matter – will those whining babies who are constantly coming on here after we’ve been beaten saying we should be like man-u-f*cking-nited and Chel-f*cking -sea kindly come back on here now and explain how, if they’re sooooo wonderful, the chavs went out in the round before us and manure, with most of their fist team playing (unlike us) went out to a lesser team than the one we played AND had the supposed second home leg advantage? Eh? Let’s hear yer then. Wally’s.

  69. SOBIN THE GOONER
    April 8, 2010 at 7:25 pm #

    IN ARSENE WE TRUST

  70. himesh
    April 8, 2010 at 7:29 pm #

    you have to respect Fergie for what he is acheived in the game but he is a really poor loser, Wenger gets a lot of stick for being a Whinger, but fergies outbust last nite was ridicilous……It was another yellow for rafael, Fergie off all people should know what its like with players in europe surrounding refs to get someone sent off…its not like his players or he hasnt ever done it at Old Trafford……full credit to Bayern for not giving up even when 3-0 down.YNWA

  71. voley_gun
    April 8, 2010 at 7:31 pm #

    http://www.mirrorfootball.co.uk/news/Carlos-Vela-dumped-from-Arsenal-s-Champions-League-side-in-Barcelona-after-losing-passport-exclusive-article384181.html

    Vela lost his passport to lose Champions league match.

    Somebody asking what happened with vela.This is an interesting story.

  72. voley_gun
    April 8, 2010 at 7:32 pm #

    I don’t know how far it is true.

  73. voley_gun
    April 8, 2010 at 7:39 pm #

    I am happy that ManU lost their way in Champions league .But worried this will turn their attention to Premier League.

  74. shambogunner
    April 8, 2010 at 8:12 pm #

    good day to all my fellow gunners,and isnt it a lovely one indeed..
    my substantial pain at being knocked of the worlds premium club competition has been eased with utds departure last nite and the hypocritical sore loser way in which they left….one thing we hav got is humility but chels and utd look everywhere for scapegoats and cheats when there ousted….its pathethic
    thanks fellas for the responses to my ‘thesis’ post entry last nite but the long runnin nasri bashing is a reflection of my dissappintment with him as he has so much potential and maybe i am being harsh on him……heres to fulham and benfica both progressing in the europa tonite!

  75. Arsesession
    April 8, 2010 at 8:37 pm #

    I don’t see anything constructive in looking for scapegoats in this loss.

    This was one match.

    I didn’t think anyone (from Arsenal) played well; give credit to Barca for that.

    Anyone who follows Arsenal, would understand the limitations of our Tuesday night line up with Barca.

    Excellent insights (about the match) posted here, but in reality it was just another step in a long journey for the club.

  76. the trophy cabinet
    April 9, 2010 at 1:49 am #

    five years, the same old excuses. when are we gonna win something? too many mediocre players, a shit coach and manager whos running out of excuses. Wake up…we need a complete overhaul….or it’ll be another year with zilch.

  77. GunnerBoss
    April 9, 2010 at 7:41 am #

    @Andy – I didn’t expect u to come on so soon and it was a very wrong generalization i made back there.
    Thanks once again

  78. Nigel
    April 10, 2010 at 3:35 am #

    I would rate Rosicky higher than Silvestre. Silvestre deserved a zero really and truly. Rosicky battled, deserves a four… Diaby did try but his heavy touch let him down gets a five!!

Leave a Reply

COMMENTS POLICY

1. Think before you write.

2. Be tolerant.

3. Stay relevant.

4. If in doubt, remember Bertrand.