Date: 12th November 2008 at 8:55pm
Written by:

Ray Wilkins accused Arsenal of undermining the competition pre kick off. Well 60,000 supporters and a 3-0 win against Wigan suggest something different to me Mrs. Terry. Of course Keith Harris today has also come out and cast aspersions on Liverpool’s January buying power, intimating they will have to sell their big players. What was Keith Harris’ most significant piece of footballing business? Brokering the sale of Chelsea to Abramovich. Scolari may be a more likeable and suave personality than the obnoxious Moronho, but whilst Simon Greenberg is pulling the PR strings, Chelsea will never extricate themselves from this kind of classlessness.

21.Lukasz FABIANSKI(c)- Wenger likespositive keepers with swift distribution, so it’s not difficult to see how he took a shine to Lukasz. His judgement needs a little work from crosses, but he has good hands and a great attitude. The final minute double save was a show stopping moment, at 23, he looks incredibly promising. 8

12.Carlos VELA– Whisper it quietly, but he actually had a fairly sinecurist game for large parts. His refusal to trust his right foot made him easy tonullify at times, but you cannot deny the quality of his assist or his goal. That it was strikers do, even in their most indifferent matches, they produce match changing moments. His sang froid in the penalty area is indeed Eduardoesque. 8

16.Aaron RAMSEY– One of the standout performers. Always wants the ball, even if he overplays in defensive areas at times. Seemed to want to genuflect Fabregas’ role in the side, constantly receiving the balland immediately looking for the killer pass- often delivering it too. 8

17.Alexandre SONG Billong– Relished his role as senior statesman, defending with calm and insousiance which was especially valuable prior to the forst goal. 8

19.Jack WILSHERE– Such an easy, natural footballer. Decieves defenders with his effortless ducking and weaving, so natural it sometimes looks unintentional, as if that’s the way he walks down the street. Doesn’tmind a hard challenge either and the vision he showed in the assist for the first goal as well as the intelligence he showed to pick up the position suggest we have a real player on our hands. Comfortable on both feet, it’s hard to pick out a flaw right now. 8.5

20.Johan DJOUROU– Another who relished the role of elder statesman, has a midfielder’s poise and distribution and at 6’4′ has the aerial presence to dominate his striker. Won’t have many sterner examinations than from an in form Amir Zaki. 8

40.Kieran GIBBS– Obviously targeted by Wigan from the off, but was entirely unpreturbed and dealt with the threat well. As with his young bretheren, ridiculously comfortable with the ball and got forward to get two good chances from Ramey passes. 7.5

41.Gavin HOYTE– A thoroughly solid and professional performance. What really summed his game up was an incident in the second half when he went into a 50-50 with Titus Bramble, got clattered by Bramble’s sizeable frame, but got to his feet smiling. 7.5

43.Fran MERIDA Perez– Plenty to admire, adroit with the ball and adept with the pass. Even demonstrated he possesses a decent shot in his armoury. However, showed a lot of defensive naivety. 7

47.Mark RANDALL– A solid and unspectacular display, clearly deployed as the wrecking ball yin to Ramsey’s architectural yang,another altruistic performance. Tried fancy flicks in the wrong places at times, but so too did Ramsey. 7

50.Jay SIMPSON– Like Vela, had a quiet evening at times, but scored two goals and hit a crossbar. Plenty of pace and power to offer, but I do wonder if he has the touch to be an Arsenal player. Having seen a fair bit of him last year, I would suspect not, but a great night for him nonetheless. 7.5

SUBSTITUTES

28.Amaury Bischoff– Not much time to make an impact, but showed some good touches and nice passing. 7

42.Henri Lansbury– See above. 7

39.Rui Fonte– His pace and tenacity looked to trouble a tired Wigna in the closing stages, but did not have time to make an impact. N/A