Category Archives: Player Reviews

Arsenal Squad Assessment

So, after all the player ratings, lets have a look at the overall condition of the squad, in every department, and areas of concern and areas where improvement is required.


Wojciech Szczesny – 7.5

Lukasz Fabianski – 6.5

Vito Mannone – N/R

Quite straightforward, the fact the Szczesny will be the first choice keeper at the club, for at least a few years to come. After the release of Manuel Almunia, there have been numerous reports linking Lukasz Fabianski and Vito Mannone to other clubs, as they look for more first team opportunities. Should they leave, Arsene Wenger will be forced to bring in reinforcements, who are willing to be on the bench, or blood youngster Damian Martinez.

DEFENCE – 6.95/10

Bacary Sagna – 7.5

Per Mertesacker – 7

Laurent Koscielny – 8.5

Thomas Vermaelen – 7.5

Johan Djourou – 6

Kieran Gibbs – 7.5

Andre Santos – 6.5

Carl Jenkinson – 7

Ignasi Miquel – 7

Sebastien Squillaci – 5

Nico Yennaris – N/R

Daniel Boateng – N/R

The Gunners conceded 49 league goals last season, which was their highest in the Arsene Wenger era. In an injury where the defence was ravaged with injuries, Le Prof had to try out over a dozen different defensive combinations. While Laurent Koscielny has been the leading defencer, Arsenal fans will hope that Per Mertesacker and Johan Djourou will put in more improved performances next season, even as the Koscielny-Vermaelen central defensive partnership blooms. Sebastien Squillaci looks on his way out, while Kieran Gibbs and Andre Santos will fight it out for the left back spot, which is a pleasant headache for the manager to have. Bacary Sagna, will hopefully be fit for the start of the season. Ignasi Miquel, Carl Jenkinson and Nico Yennaris have all impressed, and will continue to do so in the Carling Cup.

MIDFIELD – 7.35/10

Alex Song – 8

Francis Coquelin – 7.5

Mikel Arteta – 8.5

Tomas Rosicky – 7.5

Aaron Ramsey – 6.5

Yossi Benayoun – 7

Emmanuel Frimpong – 6.5

Abou Diaby – N/R

Henri Lansbury – N/R

Ryo Miyaichi – N/R

Chuks Aneke – N/R

Oğuzhan Özyakup – N/R

Arsenal’s midfield has had a mixed season. While there have been some brilliant displays, there also have been the lethargic ones. Alex Song, who recently was described as the Gunners’ ‘most defensive midfielder’, rather than a ‘defensive midfielder’, has been ably partnered by Mikel Arteta, in whose absence, the team has struggled. Tomas Rosicky looks to have come back to his best towards the end of the season. Francis Coquelin too has been a revelation. Aaron Ramsey clearly needs a breather. The injury concerns of Abou Diaby seem to be getting a bit out of hand, though Wenger still likes the player. He will have an important season next year, where he will be assessed, and his future will be discusses. Yossi Benayoun, has chipped in, but he will be looking for regular first team action elsewhere. Ryo Miyaichi and Emmanuel Frimpong will be slowly drafted in into an exciting looking future midfield.

ATTACK – 6.68/10

Theo Walcott – 7

Gervinho – 6.5

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 7.5

Andrei Arshavin – 6

Robin van Persie – 9

Marrouane Chamakh – 6

Park Chu-Young – 4

Thierry Henry – 7.5

Niklas Bendtner – N/R

Robin van Persie takes most plaudits here, and without a doubt he has been a class above the others. Arsenal fans, will be wishing he signs a new contract. With Lukas Podolski already on board, we could be witness to a devastating front line soon. Theo Walcott, has shown flashes of brilliance, but can be equally frustrating. He is no doubt, an important player, but Wenger will hope he shows the consistency that is required at this level. Gervinho seems to have suffered a bit due to the African Cup of Nations. He can be woeful in front of goal, but there is no doubting his talent. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, signed in the close season, has been massively impressive, and will be a treat to watch. The less said about Marrouane Chamakh and Park Chu-Young, the better. Both look short of confidence and of course, short of goals. One of them, or probably both could be on their way out. Andrei Arshavin, is another player who could find himself at the exit doors of the Emirates.

OVERALL – 7/10

If the Gunners are to mount a serious title challenge next season, there have to be improvements in numerous areas. With the arrival of Steve Bould as assistant coach, the defence will hopefully stop being so leaky, and be a much more tighter group. The over reliance of Robin van Persie, to score goals, is another matter of concern, which will hopefully be solved by Lukas Podolski. Rumours have been aplenty over the signing of a defensive midfielder, like Yaan M’Vila, though there are doubts that will happen. Anyways, the midfield looks well balanced.

Arsene Wenger will have his work cut out to end the run of 7 trophyless seasons. The squad needs a little makeover, and hopefully we will be there or thereabouts, genuinely challenging for the title.

Jai Arsenal 🙂


Posted by on June 1, 2012 in Player Reviews


Player Review 34, 35, 36, 37 – Marouane Chamakh, Park Chu-Young, Nicklas Bendtner, Thierry Henry

Marouane Chamakh

Position : Striker

Nation : Morroco

2011/2012 Appearances : 19 (12 as sub)

Since joining from Bordeaux last season, Chamakh made a fine start to his Arsenal career, but his form and confidence have waned considerably off late. He played the full 90 minutes in the 1-0 win over Udinese, and looked lively. He came on as 83rd minute sub in the 8-2 drubbing at Old Trafford, as a 81st minute sub in the 1-0 win over Swansea, a 85th minute sub against Dortmund, and as a 76th minute sub over Blackburn, where he scored a late consolation as Arsenal lost 4-3. He played the full 90 minutes in the 3-1 win over Shrewsbury. He came on as a 85th minute sub against Bolton, but played 70 minutes against Olympiakos, where he won several balls, freeing the midfield to play. He played 66 minutes against Stoke, with little effect, and come on as a 75th minute sub against Fulham. He played the full 90 minutes against Manchester City in the Carling Cup, along side Park Chu-Young, but looked ineffective. Apart from 2 good moments, he was again average against Olympiakos in the last Champions League group game. He was a late sub against Manchester City and Wolves in the league, before starting the FA Cup game against Leeds, where he put a good shift. His next appearance would only come much later, as a late sub in the 3-0 win over Milan, where he offered something extra in attack, but had no impact. Chamakh would again be sub against QPR, Stoke and Norwich.


It is fair to say that Chamakh hasn’t really gotten a fair run in the team, and van Persie has been in such magnificent form, that this was bound to happen. He does look out of depth and form, and it would be best for player and club for him to move on. He gets a 6.

Park Chu-Young

Position : Striker

Nation : South Korea

2011/2012 Appearances : 6 (2 as sub)

Signed from under the noses of Lille, from Monaco, for a transfer fee of £3 million. Despite the fact that he would be available only for two years on the time of signing, owing to the fact that he would join the military two years later, he was the only striker purchased in the transfer window, and it remains one of the strangest transfers made by the club. The Korean started against Shrewsbury and played for 71 minutes, with little effect. He would start the next Carling Cup game as well, a 2-1 win over Bolton, where he scored a delightful goal, from an Arshavin pass. He again started in a 0-0 draw against Marseille, where he failed to make an impression. His next start would come against Manchester City in the Carling Cup. Despite testing Pantilimon once or twice, he was largely lacklustre. He would come on as late subs in the 2-1 loss to Manchester United and the 3-0 win over Milan.


He has failed to make a mark of any sort. He gets a 4.

Nicklas Bendtner

Position : Striker

Nation : Denmark

2011/2012 Appearances : 1 (1 as sub)

He came on as a 80th minute sub against Liverpool, where the Gunners lost 2-0. He was loaned to Sunderland, where he scored 8 goals in 31 appearances for the Black Cats. His departure looks imminent.


Thierry Henry

Position : Striker

Nation : France

2011/2012 Appearances : 1 (1 as sub)

The arrival of Thierry Henry was to brighten up a disappointing phase in the middle of the campaign. He scored on his re-debut, coming on as a sub, as he took Alex Song’s pass into his stride, in the FA Cup win over Leeds. He would be a late sub against Leeds, where he failed to make any impact. After missing the Manchester United game due to injury, he would again come as a late sub in the 3-2 win over Aston Villa. He would again come as a sub in the goalless draw against Bolton. He scored after being set up by Robin van Persie, late on in the 7-1 mauling of Blackburn, though this goal was later credited as an own goal. He would strike again in a weeks time, one of teh most important goals in Arsenal’s campaign, when he netted Arshavin’s cross, in the last kick of the game in a 2-1 win at Sunderland. This would turn out to be his last Premiership appearance. His last game in the loan spell would be a second half cameo against AC Milan, where he couldn’t inspire Arsenal, who lost 4-0. He gets a 7.5.


Posted by on May 30, 2012 in Player Reviews


Player Review 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33 – Abou Diaby, Emmanuel Frimpong, Henri Lansbury, Ryo Miyaichi, Chuks Aneke, Oğuzhan Özyakup

Abou Diaby

Position : Central Midfielder

Nation : France

2011/2012 Appearances : 5 (5 as sub)

With 162 Arsenal appearances, and 15 France caps, and once touted as the replacement for Patrick Vieira, it is rather unfortunate that Abou Diaby’s career could come to an end due to injury. Highly talented, his 2011/2012 campaign has been ravaged with injuries. He came on as a 85th minute sub in the 2-1 win over Dortmund, and the final 21 minutes against Fulham, in November. He would return only in March, replacing Yossi Benayoun. However, he himself had to be substituted after picking up another strain. He came on as a late sub in draws against Chelsea and Stoke. Towards the end of the Stoke game, he could be seen hobbling, probably another strain, which ended his season.


Emmanuel Frimpong

Position : Central Midfielder

Nation : England

2011/2012 Appearances : 14 (6 as sub)

Emmanuel Frimpong has, within a short space of time, gone on to be a cult hero for the Gunners, with his agressive and outspoken style. He came on as a 85th minute sub for Tomas Rosicky in the season opener against Newcastle, and a 72nd minute sub for Rosicky again against Udinese in the Champions League qualifier. With the Gunners depleted on resources, he was handed a start against Liverpool in the league, and he displayed real promise, until he got his second yellow card for a silly lunge on Lucas. He again started against Udinese in the second leg, but was bought off just after half time. He replaced Theo Walcott in the 76th minute in Dortmund. He played 77 minutes of the Carling Cup win over Shrewsbury, but played the full 90 minutes against Olympiakos, in a 2-1 win. After coming on as a late sub in the 3-1 win over Stoke, he played 76 minutes in the League Cup win over 76 minutes. He was impressive alongside Coquelin in the 1-0 loss to Manchester City in the Carling Cup, where he won several tussles with ex-Arsenal player $amir Na$ri. He also played the full 90 minutes against Olympiakos in a deadrubber Champions League group game. He was a late sub in the 1-0 win over Everton, and played 66 minutes against Aston Villa. He was loaned to Wolves for the rest of the season, where he got injured 5 games later.


If he can concentrate on his game, he can be a real good player for the Gunners in the future. He gets a 6.5.

Henri Lansbury

Position : Central Midfielder

Nation : England

2011/2012 Appearances : 2 (2 as sub)

Lansbury came on as subs in losses to Liverpool and Manchester United early on in the season, before he was loaned to Championship side West Ham. He has played a vital role in the Hammers’ campaign, which ended in promotion to the Champions League


Ryo Miyaichi

Position : Winger

Nation : Japan

2011/2012 Appearances : 2 (2 as sub)

Miyachi arrived from Feyenoord, and was already termed as ‘Ryodinho’, in comparison to Brazilian legend Ronaldinho. He made substitute appearances in Carling Cup wins over Shrewsbury and Bolton, before being loaned to Bolton themselves for the rest of the season. He has been impressive for them, despite the Trotters relegation.


Chuks Aneke

Position : Midfielder

Nation : England

2011/2012 Appearances : 1 (1 as sub)

He came on in the 90th minute against Shrewsbury, and made two loan moves to Stevenage and Preston North End, for the rest of the season.


Oğuzhan Özyakup

Position : Midfielder

Nation : Turkey

2011/2012 Appearances : 2 (2 as sub)

Ozyakup made 2 appearances for the Gunners this season, the first of which was the Carling Cup win over Shrewsbury, where he provided the assist for Yossi Benayoun’s goal, seconds after coming on as a sub. He also came on as a late sub in the 2-1 win over Bolton.


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Posted by on May 30, 2012 in Player Reviews


Player Review 23, 24, 25, 26, 27 – Carl Jenkinson, Nico Yennaris, Ignasi Miquel, Sebastien Squillaci, Daniel Boateng

Carl Jenkinson

Position : Right Back

Nation : England

2011/2012 Appearances : 14 (5 as sub)

A surprise signing, from League One side Charlton for £1 million, Carl Jenkinson is Arsenal through and through. He made his debut in the Champions League qualifer first leg against Udinese, replacing Johan Djourou in the 55th minute, and played a mature game. As injuries mounted with both Djourou and Gibbs, he started in the home game against Liverpool, where despite the best efforts of a makeshift defence, Liverpool won 2-0. He had another good game against Udinese in the second leg. Jenkinson received a second yellow card in the 76th minute when he fouled Javier Hernandez. He had earlier assisted van Persie, as the Gunners were hammered 8-2. His next game would be the 3-1 win over Shrewsbury in the Carling Cup, where he assisted Kieran Gibbs for his equalizing header. Sagna injured himself in the North London derby, and Jenkinson replaced him in the 68th minute, and failed to keep up with the pacy Gareth Bale. He would go on to start against Sunderland and Marseille, where he was replaced by Djourou, in the 62nd minute. After missing the game against Stoke, he came on in the 75th minute in the 5-3 win over Chelsea, and played the full 90 minutes at home against Marseille and West Brom. His performance against West Brom was impressive, where he marked Jerome Thomas out of the game. He suffered a stress fracture in his back, and wouldn’t play for 3 months. He returned as a late sub in the 5-2 in over Sp*rs. He came on as a late sub against Wolves, and started in the final game against West Brom, where he was given a hard time by Marc Antoine-Fortune.


Carl Jenkinson is only 20, and has time on his side. With the right attention to his game, he can be a regular for the club. He gets a 7.

Nico Yennaris

Position : Right-Back

Nation : England

2011/2012 Appearances : 3 (2 as sub)

Hailing from Arsenal’s youth academy, and born to a Greek Cypriot father and Chinese mother, Yennaris is one of the bright young talents at the club. He has made 3 appearances this season, starting in the 2-1 win over Bolton in the Carling Cup, as a sub against Leeds, and most notably, as a sub against Manchester United, where he replaced the poor Johan Djourou. He was very impressive as he kept Nani and Giggs quiet for large periods.


Ignasi Miquel

Position : Centre-Back

Nation : Spain

2011/2012 Appearances : 9 (4 as sub)

Still only 19, Miquel is already recognized as a budding youngster in Spain’s junior teams. He came on as a sub for Laurent Koscielny against Liverpool, in the 15th minute, where he was largely impressive, but it was his clearance that deflected off Aaron Ramsey for an own goal. He played all 3 games in the League Cup, against Shrewsbury, Bolton and Manchester City. He played well against a talented City side, and displayed immense maturity, though the Gunners lost 1-0. He replaced Andre Santos as left back in the Champions League tie with Olympiakos, where Arsenal lost 3-1. He continued at left-back in the 1-0 win over Leeds in the FA Cup, and the 3-2 loss to Swansea in the league


Miquel has a bright future ahead of him, and his versatility can prove to be useful. He gets a 7.

Sebastien Squillaci

Position : Centre-Back

Nation : France

2011/2012 Appearances : 6

With the arrival of Per Mertesacker, French defender Sebastien Squillaci has found his first team chances limited. He played his first game of the season in a 2-1 win over Bolton, partnering Thomas Vermaelen at the back. He put in a decent display in the 1-0 exit from the Carling Cup against Manchester City, but was poor in a 3-1 loss to Olympiakos in the Champions League. He came on as a late sub, after Djourou’s red card, against Fulham, and his header fell to Zamora, who scored the winner, in the 92nd minute. He would go on to play the full 90 minutes against Leeds, and his miserable season ended when he came on as a sub against Sunderland, and had a torrid time, and himself was substituted in the 52nd minute.


Should be sold at the first opportunity. He gets a 5.

Daniel Jesse Boateng

Position : Defender

Nation : England

2011/2012 Appearances : 1 (1 as sub)

He came on as a 84th minute sub for Thomas Vermaelen in the 2-1 Carling Cup win over Bolton.


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Posted by on May 29, 2012 in Player Reviews


Player Review 20, 21, 22 – Lukasz Fabianski, Manuel Almunia, Vito Mannone

Lukasz Fabianski

Position : Goalkeeper

Nation : Poland

2011/2012 Appearances : 6

Fabianski, at one tipped to be the number 1 keeper at Arsenal, has barely featured, owing to the rise of his own compatriot, Wojciech Szczesny. He has had to contend with being second choice, and many are expecting him to leave. He played in the 3-1 win over Shrewsbury as well as the 2-1 won over Bolton, both Carling Cup games. He pulled off numerous saves against Bolton. He had a poor night in Olympiakos, where he was guilty for conceding both, and even suffered a knee injury, and had to be taken off. He would next go on to play in the 3-2 FA Cup win over Aston Villa, where he made several saves. The second goal scored by Villa was initially saved by Fabianski, but Bent scored off the rebound. He would also play in the 2-0 cup exit at the hands of Sunderland.


It is more than likely that Fabianski will look for a different club to get more time on the pitch. He gets a 6.5.

Manuel Almunia

Position : Goalkeeper

Nation : Spain

2011/2012 Appearances : 0

After nearly 170 appearances for Arsenal, Almunia fell down the pecking order and has spent time on loan with West Ham, before he was released by the club earlier this week.


Vito Mannone

Position : Goalkeeper

Nation : Italy

2011/2012 Appearances : 1 (1 as sub)

Mannone came on as a sub for the injured Fabianski in the dead rubber Champions League clash against Olympiakos. He made a complete hash of it, allowing David Fuster to score the third side for the Greek team. He has since spent time on loan with Hull City.


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Posted by on May 29, 2012 in Player Reviews


Player Review 19 – Robin van Persie

Position : Striker

Nation : Netherlands

2011/2012 Appearances : 48 (3 as sub)

OK, let’s be honest. I genuinely doubt we would be anywhere close to 3rd without the guy pictured above. Signed for a meagre £2.75 million, way back in 2004, Robin van Persie has come a long way from being that ‘bad boy on the streets of Rotterdam’, to ‘captain of The Arsenal’. Blessed with god’s own left foot, he has been simply magnificent for us this season. After the departure of Cesc Fabregas to Barcelona, he has taken over the mantle of captaincy and driven the team out of its darkest days to an automatic qualification in next years’ Champions League. While most of his previous seasons have been ravaged with injury after injury, he has been as fit as a horse this season and led the team from the front, and deservedly took top personal domestic honors such as the PFA Player of the Year and the FWA Player of the Years awards. No mean feat.

Here is a look at Robin van Persie‘s season.

van Persie looked the best of Arsenal’s players, attack wise in the opening encounter against Newcastle, which ended in a goalless draw. He was suspended for the first leg of the Champions League qualifier against Udinese, which was won 1-0. van Persie had Arsenal’s best shot at goal in a subdued Gunners’ loss at home to Liverpool. He scored his first goal of the season, in the second leg of the qualifier against Udinese, when he latched on to a Gervinho pass, to equalize the scores.

In the next game against Manchester United, Arsenal were soundly thrashed 8-2, with a weak van Persie penalty brilliantly saved by David de Gea. He would go on to score later, to make the score 6-2, but nonetheless it was an embarrassing scoreline. van Persie struck his effort against the post, in a narrow 1-0 win over Swansea, but scored a fine goal against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League, from a Walcott through-ball.

Arsenal were poor again in the 4-3 away loss to Blackburn, when van Persie had couple of efforts kept out by Robinson. He turned provider late on when his cross was met by a Chamakh header. The Dutchman scored his 99th and 100th goals for the club, with a brace against Bolton, to register only the second league win of the season. The first was a low shot past Jaaskelainen, off a Ramsey ball, and the second was from a Walcott cross.

He came on as a sub for Marouanne Chamakh in the 70th minute against Olympiakos. He was lacklustre against an inspired Tottenham. He then turned match winner in the next two league games against Sunderland and Stoke. The first against Sunderland was from a Gervinho cross, after just 28 seconds, after he evaded the entire Black Cats’ defence. His second was a fine curling free-kick from 25 yards, in the 82nd minute, to seal a morale-boosting win. He had three efforts cleared off the line at Marseille, as the Gunners emerged with a late 1-0 win.

In a tight game against Stoke, van Persie came off the bench in the 66th minute, and scored 6 minutes later, to turn in Gervinho’s cross from the narrowest of angles. The trick would be repeated again 10 minutes later, to register a 3-1 win.

He was absolutely clinical in his next game, a 5-3 win at Stamford Bridge. After Chelsea had gone ahead from a Lampard goal, he scored the easiest of goals when Gervinho unselfishly set him up, to tap in. With scores level at 3-3 late on, van Persie capitalized on Terry’s slip, and rounded Cech to put the Gunners up 4-3. He made it 5-3 late on with a fine unstoppable strike.

He came on as 62nd minute sub for Park Chu-Young against Marseille, but failed to score. He scored the opening goal against West Brom, and assisted Vermaelen and Arteta for theirs. He was at his best again, against Norwich, scoring two more. The first was a straightforward tap in from a Walcott cross, after Gervinho had missed several chances earlier. The second was an exquisite chip from a Song pass, over Ruddy.

He added to his barrage of goals, with another brace against Borussia Dortmund. The first was a header, after some fine work by Alex Song on the left, and the second came 4 minutes from time, when he headed in an a Vermaelen header from a corner. He came close twice in a 1-1 home draw against Fulham. He was at his best again in a 4-0 win over Wigan. Vermaelen headed in his corner from close range in the 29th minute, and then his shot was parried by Al Habsi, allowing Gervinho to score in the 61st minute. van Persie got on to the scoresheet, after some intelligent work by Walcott.

He won more plaudits when he scored a sensational volley in the next game against Everton, on the club’s 125th anniversary, off a delightful Song long ball. He was at his best again, against Manchester City, despite a 1-0 loss. He scored a penalty against Aston Villa, after Arteta had been fouled, and then provided the corner for Benayoun’s header, late on in the game.

He was kept out in the next game by some inspired goalkeeping by Wayne Hennessey. He scored the only goal of the match against QPR, when he neatly tucked home an Arshavin pass. This bought his tally to 35 for the year, equaling Thierry Henry’s club record of 34, and leaving him just one behind Alan Shearer’s 36. Despite some good play against Fulham, Arsenal lost 2-1, and also went on to lose the next two games in the leagye against Swansea and Manchester United. He scored against Swansea, in the 4th minute, when he converted Arshavin’s long pass. He inexplicably missed a shot against Manchester United, but scored a fine goal from a Chamberlain pass, which went through Evans’ legs and past Lindegaard, as Arsenal lost 2-1.

He saved Arsenal from crashing out of the FA Cup, with two penalties against Aston Villa, when they were 2-0 down at one stage. He made several audacious attempts at goal against Bolton, but failed to score. He would get a hattrick and two assists in the next league fixture, a 7-1 mauling of Blackburn. The first two were pretty similar to each other, when the Dutchman turned in Walcott’s crosses, and the third was a fine tap-in from a Coquelin cross. He would set up Thierry Henry late on, who scored through a deflected shot.

He put in average performances in the next 3 games, against Sunderland, Milan, and Sunderland again. In Milan, with the Gunners losing 4-0, he had two of the best Arsenal chances on goal, but saw them both kept out by Abbiati. Arsenal went crashing out of the FA Cup days later.

He returned to his usual best in a 5-2 mauling of Tottenham, where Arsenal were trailing 2-0 at one stage. van Persie was at the end of many chances, but was kept out by the post or by some heroic keeping. He would score the equalizer late in the second half, with a brilliant curling shot past Friedel. He was the centre of creativity with Rosicky in the Gunners’ midfield.

He would be match winner again a week later, when he scored both goals in a 2-1 smash and grab win at Anfield. Despite the Reds domination, the Dutchman headed in a Sagna cross in the 34th minute, evading the challenge of Jamie Carragher, and scored a delightful 92nd minute winner, taking an Alex Song cross-field cross, into his stride. He scored a 43rd minute penalty to make the score 3-0, and the aggregate score 3-4 against Milan, where he was impressive yet again. But, he did miss a glorious chance when he attempted to cheekily chip Abbiati, which was kept out by the quick thinking goalkeeper.

He scored in the 15th minute against Newcastle, a minute after Ben Arfa had opened the scoring for Newcastle. He had some heated exchanges with his national team goalkeeper Tim Krul, but had the last laugh (troll) when Vermaelen netted in the 95th minute. He created some chances for himself and the team in a 1-0 over Everton, when his corner was turned in by Vermaelen.

He was in delicious touch again against Aston Villa, in a 3-0 win, but didn’t get on the scoresheet. He was marshalled well by the QPR defence, but missed the chance of the match, after skying an effort, having been played clear. He didn’t score against Manchester City either, but was at his creative best. He scored a penalty against Wolves, and then linked up well with Walcott, to help him score the second goal of the night, as Arsenal won 3-0.

He cut a frustrating figure against Wigan, where Arsenal lost 2-1 at home, and Chelsea, where he had 3 of his shots either hit the post, or had them saved by Cech. He scored the equalizer on 15 minutes against Stoke, a header from a clever Rosicky cross. He scored twice more in a 3-3 draw with Norwich at home. With Arsenal 2-1 down, van Persie remained onside, to collect a Song long ball to shoot past Ruddy, and 8 minutes later, he scored what seemed to be the winner, stabbing home a Rosicky pass. Arsenal nervously finished 3rd with a 3-2 win over West Brom, where the Dutchman even had to make a goal line clearance.

Here are few features of Robin van Persie‘s game.

1. Attack Play

van Persie, at the moment, is second to none in the Premier League, in terms of finishing. Wayne Rooney, Sergio Aguero and Papis Cisse come close, but van Persie has been magnificent this season. What is clear to see that his work rate has seen much improvement. Once touted as an out and out striker, he often drops deep, in midfield, allowing the quicker players such as Walcott and Gervinho to go forward. His heading, his shooting, all immaculate.

2. Possession, Pace and Positioning

I can rarely remember a moment this season where he has lost the ball, when in a midfield role. His ability to beat defenders, and his dribbling skills are a treat to watch. The injuries have taken a bit of pace out of him, but his positioning allows him to score all kinds of goals. Walcott and Song will vouch for that.

3. Intelligence and Fluidity

van Persie’s 15 assists are an indication of his talent and his ability to pick out a pass. He has been involved in 43 of 74 Arsenal goals, scoring 30 and assisting 13. His ability to shift weight easily makes him hard to mark. Liverpool, Norwich all tried, but in vain.


There’s no two ways about the fact that Robin van Persie is central to Arsenal’s game play. His goals have been one of the largest reasons that the club has finished in 3rd and qualified for next season’s Champions League. Arsene Wenger, will hopefully bust the bank to keep the best striker in the league at Arsenal. The Dutchman gets a 9.

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Posted by on May 28, 2012 in Player Reviews


Player Review 18 – Andrei Arshavin

Position : Winger/Forward

Nation : Russia

2011/2012 Appearances : 26 (11 as sub)

After arriving from Zenit St.Petersburg in January 2009, Arshavin has drawn his fair share of complaints and compliments from Arsenal fans. Short, diminutive, quick, he can be equally frustrating and lethargic. He scored 4 goals at Anfield, but also drew jeers from the crowd when he came on as a sub. He was loaned out to Zenit in January.

Here is a look at Andrei Arshavin‘s season.

Arshavin started in the frustrating season opener against Newcastle. After being an unused sub against Udinese, he would start against Liverpool, where he was part of a makeshift midfield. He came on as a late sub against Udinese, and started in the disastrous game at Old Trafford, where he should have scored early on in the second half.

He scored a fortunate goal in a 1-0 win against Swansea, after a hash of a throw from Michel Vorm. After warming the bench in Dortmund, he started against Blackburn, putting in a mixed performance in the 4-3 loss. Again on the bench against Bolton, he put in a good display in a 2-1 win over Olympiakos.

He failed to make an impact after coming on as a sub against Bolton and Tottenham. He started against Sunderland, where he was replaced by Gervinho after 67 minutes following a mixed performance. He again started at Marseille, but looked subdued. He scored and created one for Park Chu-Young in a 2-1 Carling Cup win over Bolton at home.

He didnt feature against Chelsea, but came on late against Marseille and West Brom. Unused against Norwich and Dortmund, he made into the starting 11 against Fulham, where he had the ball in the back of the net, but it was ruled offside. A late sub against Wigan, he would start in the deadrubber tie against Olympiakos.

He came on in place of Walcott away to Manchester City, and looked out of sorts, when he misplaced twice, in great spaces. A sub against Villa, he again came on late against Wolves, where he looked lively. He put in a hard working performance in a 1-0 win over QPR, assisting van Persie for the only goal of the game.

Another enterprising display against Leeds would follow, but his finishing let him down. But, he was very poor in a 3-2 loss to Swansea. He did assist van Persie early on, but then got closed down too easily. He was at the receiving end of jeers and boos as he came on in place of the impressive Oxlade-Chamberlain against Manchester United, and was partly responsible for United’s late winner. His last time in an Arsenal shirt, before he was loaned, would come against Sunderland, where his brilliant cross was turned in by Henry for a 92nd minute winner.

Here are few key features of Andrei Arshavin‘s game.

1. Midfield Play

Often deployed as a winger, rather than in a central role, Arshavin has been largely poor this season. His ability to get past defenders seems to have vanished in thin air, apart that moment of magic against Sunderland.

2. Possession/Pace

He has clearly lost that extra yard of pace that he used to have, and has been guilty of throwing away possession, when in good constructive positions.


The Russian’s short but eventful time in London looks like it is coming to and end, after a disappointing few appearances for Arsenal this season. He gets a 6.


Posted by on May 28, 2012 in Player Reviews

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