Player Ratings & Match Video: Hull City v Arsenal

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Hull City 1 (Bullard pen 28)
Arsenal 2 (Arshavin 14, Bendtner 90+3)

Manuel Almunia – Solid between the sticks today and has shown a marked increase in confidence in recent weeks. Was not put to the test very often but did everything he needed to, and in all honesty didn’t deserve to concede. Dealt with high balls well and his distribution was on point. 6.5

Bacary Sagna – Much like Almunia, Sagna was rarely stretched, however stood up and dealt with everything that Hull could muster. From an offensive perspective he was also decent, with his crossing and final ball much more accurate than it has been in recent weeks. Industrious performance. 7

Sol Campbell – First things first, it wasn’t a penalty… but that can be left for the match report. Otherwise it was a bit of a shaky performance at the back by the veteran Campbell. He seemed to struggle with the pace of Jozy Altidore and looked like he was in dire need of a break. Apart from that, Sol was decent, dominating in the air and putting in a couple of crunching tackles. 6

Thomas Vermaelen – Decent without being spectacular. He did not struggle with the speed of Altidore and managed to cope well with Vennegoor of Hesselink. His tackles were mostly accurate and he looked confident in his own ability. Sustaining his consistency in the centre of defence even without William Gallas. 7

Gael Clichy – It looked as though we stepped back a couple of seasons today as Clichy was a livewire at left back. Defensively his positioning and body shape were always right, and as a result I can hardly recall any Hull players getting beyond him. Offensively he was lively, providing much-needed width with his overlapping runs and testing the Hull defence with some dangerous balls in. 8

Abou Diaby – Uncharacteristically bland performance from Diaby in the midfield. Usually full of dynamism and drive, he failed to provide any sort of spark or penetration in the midfield. He either held on to the ball for too long (as he has been guilty of doing in the past) or took pot shots from way too far out. 5

Denilson – Worked tirelessly and ran himself into the ground today, to his credit. Unfortunately, there was little end product. He wasn’t afraid to show for the ball and was constantly trying to spark something, however he didn’t manage to conjure anything up until his speculative shot in the dying seconds (that did win us the game). Credit where credit’s due, I guess. 6.5

Samir Nasri – Today’s display was stark in contrast to that of Tuesday evening. He was devoid of the creativity and desire that he had an abundance of midweek, and seemed sluggish and at times rather careless. Tried to beat his man and failed time and time again, and his touch was heavy. Let’s hope he can bounce back in a Bendtner-esque fashion. 4.5

Emmanuel Eboue – Caused quite a bit of havoc for the Hull defence with his quick turns of pace and penetrating runs. One of the few players to show drive and determination out there today, however for all his efforts not much came off for him. He looked dangerous striding forward however he sometimes got a bit ahead of himself, making the wrong decisions when it was time to get rid of the ball. 6.5

Andrey Arshavin – Gets credit for the goal and overall brilliant opening fifteen minutes, in which he was almost singlehandedly tearing Hull a new one. After that, though, he vanished. He was isolated out on the left flank, looking a bit disinterested at times. He could have worked harder to find space but didn’t, and only seemed to pop up when he would miss a good chance. 6

Nicklas Bendtner – Its been a bit of a rollercoaster week for the big Dane, however he should endeavour to keep this run of form going for as long as possible. He backed up his midweek heroics with another credible performance, working hard and forming a focal point for Arsenal onslaughts. Deserved his goal. 7


Theo Walcott – As soon as Theo was introduced his pace immediately troubled Hull’s entire left side. Was dangerous on the ball and equally as threatening off it, terrorising the Tigers backline with his pace. Effective cameo. 7.5

Eduardo – Solid showing from the striker, who did his best to find limited space in and around the box. He got into some dangerous positions but was unable to capitalise due to a lack of service, although he did put in a nice through ball to Theo. 6


Have your say on Arsenal’s 2-1 win over Hull by leaving a comment.


36 thoughts on “Player Ratings & Match Video: Hull City v Arsenal

  1. Agree about Clichy, seemed like his old self today, hopefully that means he is finally back to full fitness and it will continue.

    I think not having both Cesc and Song was too much for Diaby, he’s used to letting Cesc run the show in these situations and thought too much about going forward because he knew Song wasn’t back there to anchor the midfield. Thankfully they will both be back so it won’t be an issue.

    Impressed with Denilson, if it was just a matter of not being fit that led to his performances before this match then I feel alot more comfortable about our midfield depth.

  2. @Mug

    Andrew gave credit where it was due…Denilson is ofter an average performer in our team and he stepped up yesterday…don’t be so harsh..

    back to the post..accurate ratings on each of the players..overall i think it was lethary that was creeping up on the Arsenal team (Nasri,Arshavin,Campbell in particular), but again the boys grinded out a result in a difficult place…

    The team is gaining momentum..West Ham at Home next weekend with Cesc and Rosicky back…let’s put the Hammers to bed and hope Pool beat United and Chelsea Draw!

  3. Have to disagree with what you have said about Diaby, Aidan. Although he was not outstanding in any shape or form, he was at least the best of a pretty poor bunch in midfield today. Especially in the last 20 mins when he was the one who was strongest in possession and trying to force things forward a bit.

  4. Great facts, thanks for that. It proves his value to the team does not show through flashy displays, rather invisible effectiveness.

    When “judging” Denilson it is essential to llok at the facts and not the spectacle he provides.

    Still, no need to be rude and aggressive.

  5. Agree about Clichy, but you can´t give Denilson better ratings than Arshavin and Diaby……he might read it and be shit for the rest of the season, cos even if it was his shot that lead to the goal he was not good.

  6. Clichy is back to his best! Nasri was really poor and i don’t know what to feel about Arshavin. If you look at his performance in every game, he creates or scores in the most unbelievable situation & then again is careless & wasteful for most of the match!

    But the strength & soul of this team is undoubtedly Vermaelen (not Cesc, sorry). Arguably the signing of the season in the EPL!

  7. I havent seen the match just a highlights video and saw Hull run a few attacks at us by stealing the ball off Denilson and then watching him jog back casually hoping that the attack comes to nowthing. He always does it, he can be good going forward but so shit when defending, even when the player who robbed u is right in front of you!!!

  8. btw, Unfortunatly I didnt get up at 4:30am to watch this game cos my GF brother is staying on our couch and it would be asking to much to wake him up , so i had to wake up at 9am and turn on the PC and wait…. all sorts of bad and good thoughts going through my head while the PC boots up, seems like forever!
    as soon as I found out, was so relieved I went back to bed! The replay is at 10:30 so wont get to watch that either! Normally they play the game during the early afternoon, so i didnt go with GF to the shops so i can watch it, but they didnt play it!!! grrr if it was Pool or UTD they would!

  9. did u watch the match? I do not think so. Diaby 5? Nasri 4.5? Walcot 7.5? ha ha…………u got it wrong.

  10. Denilson got more than Diaby???????????????????
    Apart frm the shot towards the end,Denilson was rubbish,kept loosing the ball so often it put the defence under pressure.

  11. good ratin. let us not say things bcos we hate Den. yes he did loses some possessions but wat about diaby, bendtner and even arsha…he sets up the goal, but the credit goes to bendtner after missing most of the chances we had. C’mon guyz, he cant play better by showin hate. he is still young and yet with a great confidence; lets try and b patient.

    Great ratin xcept for Bendtner

  12. Aiden, good player ratings report. Call it how you see it mate – no point in tarting it up so it’s non offensive. I’ve just seen the replay and it wasn’t pretty but it was one of those hard slog games where the boys had to grind out a result to keep the pressure on the other 2. Before Christmas they might have drawn or even lost a game like this they’re playing with a lot of belief now. The pitch was cut up and Hull are a bunch of thugs but they got the result which was all that mattered. In some respects this was one of their best wins this season considering there was basically no changes in the side that played mid week. Getting Cesc, Gallas and Rosiskcy back will relieve some of the pressure.

  13. Good ratings.Wallcott really had good a game.If he continues to play like this he will be in first team for sure

  14. Once again people are being too harsh on Denilson. He did “create” the winning goal after all! No one annoys me more than Phil “orange” Brown – except maybe his mentor Sam F*ing Alderdyce! Onwards and Upwards

  15. Agree with most the ratings, particularly Clichy who has been utter class the last couple games, feel that Nasri was pooor, so was denilson, I don’t understand how he receive his rating. 80% of hulls chances after he came on came from him losing the ball! He got pushed and knocked over around and would just take his time getting up and then would jog and hope his mistakes wouldn’t affect anyone, thank god for verminator and clichy! He deserves credit for his “assist” to goal, but even a 5 is pushing it for him.

    Walcott was class again, don’t know what the hell is wrong with arshavin, he looks fed up al the time, still depressing from Russia not qualifying for WC?

  16. It was Denilson who made everyone around him look lazy and repugnant. He took way too much time on the ball. Diaby could not trust him in the defensive midfield position and that resulted in Diaby falling back frequently and playing in an awkward manner. Nasri and Eboue tried finding pockets of space but they were closed down quickly because of the ineffective feeding from Denilson and Diaby. Hardly any link-up plays from midfield with Arshavin or Bendtner. This was a disastrous malfunctioning midfield. Hopefully, everything will be all right from next game onwards with Cesc and Song returning.

  17. spot-on ratings. frankly it is the first time i agree excactly with the ratings on the web. brilliant ratings and brilliant win for the gunners (even though the performance wasn’t)

  18. I would further like to point out that the inclusion of Aidan has made Andrew slacken his pace on the publishing of the match report. Such laziness would not be tolerated in this blog, Mr.Weber. We will support Aidan full-heartedly if he plans a mutiny to oust you. Patience isn’t one of the virtues Arsenal fans of the 21st century are known for.

  19. I think Diaby put on a better performance. He’s becoming essential to the side with the physicality he brings to the pitch. I wasn’t impressed with Deni at all but he did get the shot that set Nik up. Can’t really complain about that.

  20. I disagree with Diaby and denilson… I think denilson was 5 and diaby 6.5… but well, those are opinions!

  21. i’ll take nic scuffing 100 chances for that finish today. he showed his confidence when he needed it most… cooling putting it past the keeper in stoppage time. glorious.

  22. First things first, great job Aidan. Well thought out ratings and pretty much what I would have come up with. But as it is when you put numbers to player performances it is always going to spark some debate.

    Personally I’d have Arshavin’s score a little higher – he was great today apart from some wastefulness in front of goal. Likewise I thought Theo maybe deserved an 8 for his impact off the bench. You really couldn’t have asked for much more from him and it was only some dallying in the box which prevented him setting up both goals.

    Otherwise, a great start to your AFCB writing “career” 🙂

  23. l thought Denilson exceeded my expectaions. Have the time he was mugged off the ball – as were Arshavin, Diaby, Nasri, Clichy, Eboue, and Bendtner.

    He is not Song or Sol. You can’t comprise a team of all horses, you need a balance of styles.

    Anyway ratings are subjective; if I didn’t see the match, then I’ll read others; but if I see for myself – then my ratings are the only ones that count.

    We were without Cesc and Song, played at Hull – crappy pitch and their recent home record has been excellent – just look how they fared against ManU and Chelsea.

    Go Gunners….

  24. When Arsene sub Eboue instead of Denilson I thought he made a wrong decision but it turned out ok..Denilson work rate is ok but he simply not able to win a 50-50 ball against the opposition..

  25. Sol Cambell just bring in the experience and solidness that was lacking before and at a bargain price..He just injects that extra confidence at the back especially with Gallas out injured..He also shows a lots of passion and this fires up the rest of the team mates..the tackles are also superb about time our rival receives some crunching tackles from Arsenal defenders..

  26. Everything about Hull is absolute bush league stuff. Their pitch is awful, their players seem to try their hardest to be a bunch of classless bastards, the manager looks like my uncle Leon, and it looks like a kid brought the match ball. I can’t tell you how relieved I was to see the ball hit the back of the net. The thought of drawing with that bunch scared the hell out of me.

  27. Good start for Aidan. Welcome once again. & like SNasir8 stated above, Diaby had always allowed Cappone set the pace whilst he does the cleanup hence not having both Cesc & “war-horse” Alex on d field, twas going to be tough 4 him coupled wt Den’s slow pace (though picked up leater). Now that we r having Alex back, i belief we will see him in his usual self again.
    We now have to score more goals and conceed less as i 4see a situation where this yr’s EPL might just be decided on goals difference….something just tells me that….and also pray that both Chelski & Manu drop points too.

  28. Another eventful game I must say and once again some very strange things going on, on a football field.

    Let me start with the actual field of play. In the Fifa rules, which Mr. Blatters finds so important, there are some clear rules concerning the lines on a football field. When I started looking at the game I was totally amazed with the lines on the field.

    In the rule book there is a section on how a field should look and where there can be lines. And those lines in the rule book are the only one that are allowed on a football field. So in fact the other lines, for rugby I think, must be removed before you can play a game of football. I saw four lines that divided the football field in to all kind of sections which could cause confusion to the players. Are they in or over the midfield, is this the line of the penalty area?

    Was it not Blatter who said that football has so much success because it is played with the same rules everywhere? Well if I came to a football field with all those extra lines on it, I would tell them to remove the lines before kickoff or there would be no game of football.

    That the field was not of high quality is not a thing a ref can sanction. But I am rather sure that when I get to the ground I have to do my game today the pitch will be of a far higher quality than one I saw today.

    The quality of the pitch affected our game as the ball just seem to hobble on the field without it rolling along the ground as we are used to. I think they send a few tractors on the field this morning to make it extra bumpy. But like I said there are no real rules on a bumpy pitch not being a good one. It just is a shame for the EPL to have a pitch in such a bad shape.

    So let’s go on to analysing the ref’s game. He started rather well by not allowing the Hull players too much leeway. I wondered if he had seen De Bleeckere against Porto and learned from it. But sadly he soon he began to let too much go again and the Hull players were allowed to kick us and not much was done about it. And this inevitably once again led to some tackling and some incidents where the ref did not have the game in control.

    Let us start with Boateng who pinched Bendtner on his nose, or so it seemed. The linesman spotted it and signalled to the ref. Boateng should have got a straight red card for such an act. Those things don’t belong on a football field. And then Bendtner also got a yellow card because he pushed the hand of Boateng away?? Poor decision from the ref.

    Then came Boateng’s second moment of madness when he launched himself with an outstretched leg and hit the knee of Sagna who even tried to jump up to avoid the contact. And what did the ref do? He gave a yellow card, which was his second and so he did had to go, but this also was a tackle which should have been a straight red card.

    But this is what you get when you are allowed to do things which should get you a red card in the first place and when the ref does not give it. The player thinks he can do about anything he wants. Fortunately Sagna did not get a serious injury from the tackle, but I will only be relaxed about it if Arsène Wenger confirms he is okay and not injured.

    I will end with the goal from Hull. I’m not even going to talk about if it was a penalty or not. This is totally irrelevant. The Hull player, Vennegoor of Hesselink, was standing about 1 or 2 meters offside when the ball was played to him. How on earth can a linesman not see this? I never say anything about a close call but this surely wasn’t close. It was a very clear offside. I think not even Brown will argue with that.

    I must say that you cannot blame the ref for this. It is up to the linesman to spot this and to raise his flag. For some reason he didn’t and I really wonder what happened to the poor man? Did he suffered from a suddenly paralysed arm? Did he loose vision in one of both his eyes? I really recommend a serious medical exam to see what was wrong with the man.

    Talking about penalties. The foul on Clichy by Boateng should also have been a penalty. But it was an English ref and not an European ref this time and they don’t want to give us penalties unless the linesman really insists there is a clear penalty or a clear handball.

    This reminded me of some strange decisions we had to face in the weeks after the horror tackle on Eduardo two season ago. In the following weeks we not only had to fight our opponents but also a number of strange decisions from refs and linesmen. It cost us several points at that time and I feared another déjà vu today.

    But we managed to turn it around. We didn’t played great, we worked hard and we deserved our luck at the end to make up for the mistakes from the ref and his assistant.

  29. I feel that Sagna should have received a higher rating, closer to Clichy, I thought they both played superbly on offense and defense

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