Sunday, 24 February 2013

Arsenal 1-0 Aston Villa - player ratings and performance analysis

Arsenal just about did enough for the three points yesterday, as two Santi strikes led them to victory.

My reaction to the game is available here:

Player Ratings

Szczesny 4
Jenkinson 6.5
Vermaelen 6
Mertesacker 6
Monreal 7
Arteta 6
Wilshere 6.5
Diaby 6
Walcott 5
Cazorla 8.5
Giroud 5.5

Ramsey 7
Podolski 5
Koscielny NA

Szczesny continued to struggle. Yesterday's error was his third successive mistake in consecutive games. He is starting to make costly mistakes and need to improve if we are to get 4th.

Jenkinson put in a solid shift at right back in place of the injured Sagna. He put in a great defensive shift, completely nullifying the threat of Agbonlahor. As the game continued, he became more involved going forward and was quite unlucky to get substituted.

Vermaelen is still some way off his best form. He put in a much better performance than against Bayern, but truth be told he was rarely tested by Benteke and co.

Mertesacker was perhaps the better of the two centre backs, but like Vermaelen is nowhere near the top of his game. Came close with a few headers, and seemed quite solid at the back, but rarely tested.

Monreal is continuing to settle with every game. Had some difficulty dealing with Weimann at times who was Villa's main (only) threat. Maybe could have closed down the ball for their goal, but made up for it later. A great cut back for Cazorla helped seal the win.

Arteta continued to put in a solid shift. A great link between defence and midfield, he completed 94% of passes and made 7 interceptions which illustrates his effect on the side. Could possibly become more of an attacking threat, but does his job well.

Wilshere maybe wasn't at his very best yesterday, but was still integral to our attacking movement. Had a few chances to score and possibly he should have scored.

Diaby put in a decent shift before being substituted. He may have picked up another injury which is incredibly disappointing for him. He keeps the ball well, and his physical presence is much welcomed. Sometimes he does slow down the game though.

Walcott definitely didn't have his best game for the club. Seemingly nonexistent for much of the game, he did start to contribute in the last 15 minutes. Was maybe lucky to stay on the pitch though, and can't play like that next week.

Cazorla was simply outstanding for us. Continually found himself with time and space, and constantly created chances. He simply loves playing football and when he's on top of his game he's an absolute joy to watch. Took both of his goals well, and had some finishing been better he could have ended up with some assists. A top game from a top player.

Giroud was somewhat disappointing. He was definitely our major threat, and constantly caused problems for the Villa defenders. Better finishing would have made the game a lot easier. He does tend to have games where he can't score for love nor money, but hopefully he will regain form soon.


Ramsey replaced Diaby with half an hour remaining and continued to show that he is getting back to top form. He injected energy and creativity into our midfield, and even had to put in a shift at right back again. Ramsey is always 100% effort, and possibly should have started the game in place of Diaby.

Podolski was largely disappointing when he entered the fray. Struggled to make an influence on the game and could have done better with some half chances. Needs to improve him form as he will be needed next Sunday.

Koscielny only played the last few minutes so doesn't receive a rating.

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