Date: 23rd November 2008 at 1:30pm
Written by:

1.Manuel ALMUNIA(c)- Exposed by his defenders, but also offered little in the way of vocal veracity one would expect of an experienced player and captain. Not much he could have done about the goals. 6

2.Vassiriki Abou DIABY– Offered what little threat we offered at times with his quick feet, but once he beats a man he becomes far too ponderous and slow to make a decision with the ball. Faded badly again. 5

8.Samir NASRI– Probably our best player in the first half, but was lrgely anonymous in the second. Has yet to put in a convincing performance away from home, but I’ll give him some leeway there as he is still adjusting. 6

11.Robin van PERSIE– 25 years old and he hasn’t matured a bit since the day we bought him. On his day, an awesome footballer, but the words ‘on his day’ should no longer be applying to a player of his age. He probably isn’t going to change now, only interested when the chance to serve himself is apparent. This team needs changes and he will bring in a lot of money in the summer, I think that’s a deal we have to strike. Talented? Absolutely. Selfish? You bet. Expected more from one of our most experienced outfield players, particularly when we went two goals down. The fact that the captain has revealed he causes in fighting too shows me that the bad is currently outweighing the good. 4

15.DENILSON Pereira de Neves– After a few decent performances this really was the stuff of nightmares, no attempt to track back for City’s first two goals, in the first he allowed Ireland to breeze past him effortlessly, gave the ball away ad infinitum and lacked the stomach in adversity. A horrible day’s work and massive damage will have been done to his confidence. 4

17.Alexandre SONG Billong– Bought the ball forward well on a few occasions and at least showed a token effort in the second half. But largely, I forgot he was playing for minutes at a time. 5

18.Mikael SILVESTRE– Actually a decent performance, particularly in the first half. However, when it was clear all was going wrong, I didn’t see him talking to any of his younger charges. 6

20.Johan DJOUROU– One of our better performers, suffered when shunted over to right back but that was largely to do with the lack of protection afforded him. His part in the first goal was also lamentable, but one of the few players who at least showed a desire to turn it around. 6

22.Gael CLICHY– Made a cataclysmic error in the first goal, two timid clearances that show he needs to be more authoritative in that situation. Flew forward with willing when the game was up, which was a pleasant change, but defensively this is one of the roughest periods in his otherwise smooth Arsenal career. 6

26.Nicklas BENDTNER– Was not helped much by his strike partner and was often crowded out. But let’s not put lipstick on a pig, this was a terrible performance lacking in desire and authority. Those calling for the culling of Adebayor have much to ponder. 4

41.Gavin HOYTE– It was unfair to throw him into this situation, he applied himself well but his naivety showed on occasion. I hope his confidence isn’t badly damaged. His brother made his Arsenal debut during a 6-1 win over Southampton, how times change. 5

SUBSTITUTES

16.Aaron Ramsey– Hoorah! An oasis in the desert, a player who showed alertness, wanted the ball, was bright and looked to make things happen. Alas, the pathetic excuse for a strike force that lay ahead of him weren’t interested in reattuning to his wavelength. Note to Arsene, this is usually an effect of a player playing for a place in the side. 8

12.Carlos Vela– Came on on the right in an attempt to cut in on that lethal left foot, but was often crowded out and/ or faced with a pair of strikers who did not twicth a nerve to support him. 5