Date: 16th November 2008 at 12:56pm
Written by:

1.Manuel ALMUNIA– Saved Young’s poor penalty, might have saved Agbonlahor’s goal in the second half. 6

2.Vassiriki Abou DIABY– Represented our most potent threat in the first half but was not rewarded with any sort of desire from his peers in the penalty area. Faded badly. 6

3.Bacary SAGNA– Looks half the player with Walcott in front of him, cannot burst forwards in the same way and does not enjoy any link up play. 6

4.Francesc FABREGAS– His body language suggests he realises just how badly he is playing, usually so economical with the ball he did not know what to do other than to lump it at Bendtner. This is a big test for him now, for the first time in his career he is not playing well but I would back him to recover all day long. Let’s hope he does it soon, because yesterday elucidated that when he does not play well, neither do Arsenal. 5

8.Samir NASRI– Did not support his strikers in the devastating way he did last week, was anonymous for most of the game, swapping wings with Walcott looked like a desperate attempt to reinvigorate both players by the manager,it did not work. 5

10.William GALLAS(c)- One of the few players to emerge with credit, though Agbonlahor will beat most players for pace, it was disappointing that he was undone by a simple ball over the top. But he tried, which in this performance, made him stand out. 7

14.Theo WALCOTT– Denied space by Cuellar and Young, that pretty much neutralises Theo whilst he is stuck out on the wing. His ball retention is not good enough for a midfielder and his legs move quicker than his brain at times. He has to move upfront for his own good and for the good of the team. 5

15.DENILSON Pereira de Neves– As with Gallas, he tried which was a refreshing change from his team mates. He couldn’t prevent Barry running the game and did not always pick up Sidwell’s runs from deep, but Denilson does seem to be learning. 7

18.Mikael SILVESTRE– In the company of Ashley Young and Gabby Agbonlahor, looked like a pensioner at a bus stop. With Toure too fat to play, Djourou has to be on the manager’s mind. 5

22.Gael CLICHY– Not a particularly effective game, Villa’s midfield pressed us all over the pitch and that included pressing their wingers high up against our full backs. As a result, Clichy was unable to be a potent attacking threat. 6

26.Nicklas BENDTNER– His touch was horrible all afternoon, though he didn’t have much to go on, you never felt he would be threatening. Did not deserve to be jeered off, I’m confused by this new definition of ‘support’ at our home games. If Bendtner gets a well deserved 5, those that booed him get zero. Credit to those in the Red Section who made themselves heard in a more positive manner when the game was clearly lost. 5

SUBSTITUTES

25.Emmanuel Adebayor– Looked to get involved and was unlucky with a header that hit the post. But the rot had already set in and he could do little to arrest it. 7

12.Carlos Vela– Looked busy, ran at the Villa defence and looked to play on the shoulder of the defender. Can’t help but think he would have had more effect against Villa’s physical defence. 7

5.Kolo Toure– No time to make an impact. N/A