Liverpool 1-1 Arsenal: Player Ratings

Adetuwo ‘Yemi Jr. posts his first Player Ratings of the new season…

Manuel Almunia: The Spaniard did not really have much to do. And bar a save from a Glen Johnson shot, he was largely unconvincing when called upon. His handling was not the best and he could have done a bit more with the shot past his near post which led to the goal. 5.5

Thomas Vermaelen: Had a decent afternoon with a new partner at the back. Drew a nice save from Reina with a good shot from a free kick. Played tenaciously but he lost his man (Ngog) on one occasion and that led to the goal. 7

Laurent Koscielny: My main positive from the game, looked like he had been around for a while. Apart from the unfortunate sending off, he played with some level of confidence and his touches were quite assured. I really loved his duel with Torres in the dying minutes of the game. There’s still room for improvement though. 7

Gael Clichy: Had a busy day containing an inspired Dirk Kuyt but gave a fairly good account of himself. He also had the added job of contending with a raging fullback in Glen Johnson; could have done with a little more help from Arshavin. 6

Bacary Sagna: Looked pretty solid in defence. Ran up and down the right flank and was hardly beaten. Someone should please let him know he could become the World Footballer of the year if only he could put in good crosses! 6.5

Jack Wilshere: You have to pity the lad. Poor game the boy had, and at Anfield too. Definitely not the best of places to start him. It seems the atmosphere got to him and he put in many misplaced passes, one of which led to the goal. That does not dispute the fact that he’s a top top talent; today just was not his day. 5

Abou Diaby: Considering the fact that he played in an alien position, we need to cut him some slack. Not that he did too badly, but he simply needs to learn to release the ball early. He uses his strength well but just overdoes some things; simple things are meant to be done in simple ways. 5.5

Samir Nasri: I will be very harsh on Nasri because I really rate him. Apart from the Man United game at the Emirates in his debut season, I can not remember a big game in which he set the world on fire (Porto is no Chelsea or Barcelona!) He’s really inconsistent and needs to step up in these big games, especially when other top players do not come to the fore. Yesterday, he seemed to play with the handbrake going forward and was sometimes too careful to open up the Liverpool defence. 6.5

Andrey Arshavin: The outspoken Russian had a match of his size. He simply disappeared on the Anfield turf and looked disinterested in what was going on. He looked very tired, maybe the midweek friendly was to blame. 5

Emmanuel Eboue: Worked like a horse, albeit with little end product. He helped Sagna very well defensively and looked disappointed when he was replaced with Walcott. 6

Marouane Chamakh: Most times he had little or no support from the midfield on his debut. He had to take on at least 3 defenders on his own and was tightly marked. He did not do anything spectacular but can still leave Anfield with confidence following his contribution to our goal. It’s good to know you have a front man who can put his body in the way if the need be. 7.5


Theo Walcott: Was introduced to liven up our attack and he did just that. Troubled the Liverpool back line with his raw pace sometimes, and struck a wonderful free kick. One thing about Theo though, for all his pace, the only time he got behind the Liverpool defence, he reminded us all of his grey area: actually putting in a decent delivery for someone to score. 6

Tomas Rosicky: Complete opposite of Nasri. He took the game to the home team and did everything Nasri should have done. Once he came on, we seemed capable of attempting forward passes into Liverpool’s danger area. He also drew a top save from Reina and can be credited with the goal. My man of the match. 8

Robin van Persie: Came on quite late and saw the ball on very few occasions. Could have got an assist had the Rosicky effort gone in. He always wanted the ball and when he had it, he gave it out at the right time and to the right individual too. 6

Have your say on ‘Yemi’s Player Ratings by leaving a comment and read more from ‘Yemi’s at his own Arsenal blog ‘Memoirs of a Gooner’.



  1. you are so wrong . nasri was by far and a way our best player
    yes he could have pushed harder but he played so much better than any one else on the pitch.

  2. The game started with comments from the presenter, ” These are two football clubs who loves to play football”, 10 minutes later it was obvious Liverpool was playing for a draw. Arsenal weakness last season was still evident against teams that deployed 2 narrow line of player, 4 defenders and 4 midfielder who kept to their rigid formation of defending deep (Remember the Spurs game?).
    I tend to agree with the author on Nasri asi find him wanting on previous matches, but after quiet contemplation, i have to disagree as in this game, Nasri did well against Mascerano, always trying to draw him out of his defensive line (and to Mascerano credit, he did well to maintain his disicpline) and playing those passes to the attacking midfielders/forwards. Pity Arsenal couldnt play more direct (another problem of ours!) and play more direct instead of short passes in front of Reina goal.

    A good tactical battle, but Aluminia presence did nothing to earn him a 5. Lets be honest and give him a solid 3 for his poor positioning, un-zenlike presence at the back, flapping at corners and downright horrendous display.

  3. your ratings are poor………….

    wilshere had a half decent first half and struggled in the second. never a 5. nasri was man of the match and pulled the strings for the whole game with little help from arshavin. 6.5 is a joke there too. I was at the game so disagree with you entirely. chamakh was isolated and struggled to get into the game so it is beyond me why you have marked him highest. a fairweather fan perhaps and im sure you didnt see most of this stuff on your tele

  4. @ alex – You may have been at the game, which is great because it offers us an opinion that many of us aren’t lucky enough to provide, but there’s no reason to be as critical of Yemi’s ratings as you are.

    Calling someone ‘fairweather’ because they can’t watch the game live in the stadium is ridiculous and accusing him of not watching the game is even moreso. If you want to comment then be more constructive with your feedback, because it is no use criticising a fellow fan for something like this when you have no evidence.

    His comments about Nasri are relatively fair – he stated that he was marking him harshly because he really rates him – and I have to agree that I felt he just shied away from really pushing forward as much he perhaps could have. I think 6.5 or 7 is about right.

    Regarding Wilshere, I thought he struggled and there’s no denying he was at fault for the first goal. Some ill-conceived flicks in dangerous areas too, and harsh though it is, a 5 is about right.

  5. Black Panther’s 10 Points of the Day:

    1. Sagna has obviously not been practicing crossing in the off season. WTF.

    2. Ere we go again, the team basically played in the same style and with the same lack of spirit and enthusiasm that plagued them at the and of last season.

    3. I don’t understand why two strikers has become a dirty word. PLEASE. Tactics are tactics, but in the end we play a passing game that needs a front end point, otherwise what is the point? Even Henry had Wiltord during his best years. I think we all agree that Arsenal have no problem attaining midfield ball and holding possession of it. The key is the next bit and we are faaaaiiillliinnnnggg badly there. (see point 2)

    4. Laurent Koscielny out ran/muscled Torres (albiet an injured one but nonetheless) on two occasions from behind. Need I say more? Bullshit red card.

    5. Wenger now only initiates reactionary subs.

    6. Emmanuel Eboue needs to be shot. I’m gonna come out straight up and say that I entirely hate his whining, diving and woe-is-me attitude. I have spent many a day concentrating on his game with a fellow hater (heya Lans!) in the London pubs and it is mystifying why this guy plays in one of Europe’s best teams. He seldom creates anything, gives up the ball pretty much every time he has it in close quarters and looks completely lost without it. Get rid of him. To have him on instead of developing Walcott is utterly insane. Seriously, next game concentrate on every little thing Eboue does and you’ll be surprised what a negative influence he has on the team. (Of course he’ll probs go on to score an awe-inspiring hat-trick (hey check it: two hyphenated words in a row!))

    ## For all of you that might bring up his little back-heel dribbling move that he did vs liverpool that got replayed–what was it–three times, don’t forget that essentially it had no effect as he lost the ball over the line and it resulted in direct Liverpool possession.

    7. I agree Wilshere had a bad day, but he’ll be fine.

    8. Almunia. Jesus. Is there a goal keeper since Fabian Barthez that makes such easy saves look heroic? Problem is Barthez made an arse-load of hard ones and knew how to deal with a cross.

    9. Our dead ball defending is diabolical.

    10. Wenger is seeking to play a style of football, though it may be a more modern version, of that of his old glory team relived. I think he reaaalllyyyy needs to note the fact that the players he has right now are not on the same level. He’s playing it too careful and needs let his players stand up (see point 2). Ferguson is a perfect example of how to change the tune and yet implement the same core values in a team, and largely they are not tactical, they are behavioral.

    Til next time, Black Panther

  6. I think most of the ratings were spot on, I don’t believe Vermaelen and Koscienly were spectacular, and would have rated them no higher then a 6. Chamakh was definitely nowhere near a 7.5, maybe a 6, his performance was mediocre. He didn’t control well on his first touch and besides the goal didn’t have too many positives (he did have a lack of quality service). Rosicky played well and deserved man of the match on Arsenal’s side, but Liverpool I believe had the better players in their back four and in Mascherano and Gerrard.

  7. I agreed with the ratings except for Nasri, I thought that was a bit harsh for 6.5, he is no Fabregas but he was all over the park, making runs on the flank and into the middle trying to create chances and space,considering the fact that he was being tracked by the bull terrier like Mascherano, I think he did more a 7.5 role…10 man Pool was hard to break down and I would think even Fabregas would struggle to break them open if he was playing…

    Is anyone out there sick of Sagna trying all those crosses? Even with Chamakh, it seemed pretty ineffective…I thought back to last season and only the Van Persie goal against Tottenham was one successful assist from one of Sagna’s crosses…We looked one-dimensional and out of ideas even with Walcott, Rosicky and RVP on…Wenger needs to work on Plan B and not possession, patient football as I felt at 1-0 down, the team did not show a lack of urgency until the 85th min…I’m hoping our attacking prowess shows in our first home game this weekend against Blackpool but I can it being an outscoring session like Blackburn last season as we have a Blackhole-esque hole in our defence with Koscielny suspended…

  8. Our team becomes very average once you take out Song and Fabregas. Don’t you guys think?
    A million side passes and mistimed tackles + Lapses of concentration and loads of possession that amount to nothing..
    We have seen this last year and have lost games to poor opposition due to the duo being absent.This is simply the reason why it will be extremely difficult to win the league this year. No adequate cover for Fab and Song !! So lets hope for an injury free season!
    Go Gunners!

  9. People like Alex are those Prawn Sandwich brigade supporters who think because they have a ticket to a game they can tell those who arent they are “fairweathers”. They barely add atmosphere to the Stadium.

    Just remember, without foreign fan base, Arsenal cannot label themselves the worlds greatest team, for that you need your foreign legion of supporters along with the UK based supporters to even get that recognition.

  10. the black panther:

    i agree with alot of what you say but i have to disagree with your assesment on the technical level on the players.
    i feel alot of them particularly the forwards have a higher skill level than the invincibles, you cant seriously convince me that arshavin is less technical than pires, or wiltord has a higher skill level than Nasri.

  11. Player ratings will always be subjective. You can agree or disagree, but either way I think we should thank Yemi for his view, wich was more or less spot on in my opinion.

  12. Generally agree with the ratings. May be I would have given 4.5 to Diaby & Arshavin each. Both were really poor & what annoys me is that they are capable of delivering far better but do not seem to have the interest to do so….. the manager should be tough this term & axe any player who shows complacency.
    It’s quite obvious that our midfield badly needs the return of Fab & Song. What about CH position? At the moment it’s only TV5 in the team following Koch’s suspension and the chance of getting a decent center-half before the window closes seems to be more complicated than getting a goalie.
    Almunia also had a bad game; it really baffles me why we are in the same situation since the end of last season. It was crystal clear then that the GK issue was a top priority but no action till now.
    The positives from yesterday’s game – encouraging start from the 2 debutants (specially in a difficult game away to a revitilized Pool) and our never-say-die attitude till the final whistle, which we carried on from the previous season.
    Plenty to look forward to but equally a number of issues need to be addressed such as the lack of depth at the back & motivating some of our supposedly ‘big name’ players.

  13. Andrew,

    Being a bit “precious” aren’t you as far as the comments from Alex are concerned. No doubt ‘Yemi’s ratings are a fair reflection on how he saw the game. But that view was the very narrow one provided by television coverage. It is not possible to see the wider picture on the small screen.

    Surely the purpose of a blog like this is to stimulate some debate, if respondents are going to be criticised for disagreeing with your bloggers then there seems little point in reading the article in the first place.

    If you want my opinion, based on watching the game on TV, I would say Almunia was worth about 3 as he was at fault for the goal (beaten on his near post) and failed to deal with crosses and corners.

    Arshavin 2 totally failed to make any impression on the game.

    When rating Wilshire the fact that, in Gerrard and Mascherano, he was up against two of the best midfielders in the world must be taken into account. I thought in the circumstances he did pretty well.

    I don’t entirely disagree with the rest of ‘Yemi’s assessments and look forward to his future blogs.

  14. @ John – Yes, perhaps my response was a bit precious, but it’s quite arrogant to label someone as ‘fairweather’ simply because they cannot attend the game.

    I don’t doubt the view from the game was different – hence why I said it was good to get his opinion – yet criticism without evidence is not constructive.

    Thanks for your comment though. My goal is to create an environment where people can debate as much as they want as long as it remains civil and yours is the sort of comment I appreciate a lot.

  15. All of your ratings + 0.5 would probably be correct. You expect too much of us playing away against a reinvigorated Liverpool team, without Cesc, RvP and Song etc. And don’t give me ‘we were playing 10 men’. Losing Joe Cole made zero difference to them defensively, and minimal impact going forward, as he was having a shocker anyway.

  16. The Best Article I’ve read in many-many-many months !!!
    Rosicky was my man of the match too.
    Good reading of the game, excellent technical analysis.

    Well now is this team ready to push up far enough and grab a title?

  17. regarding the match, I want to mention that I missed some runs onto the ground-line and then a back pass into the middle where hopefully someone can shoot that pass coming from behind into the goal
    as an add to the point of idealess and passing around, too slowly attack and all that stuff which was before, was it really due to perfect defending by Liverpool ? you have to be better, that’s it ………. 😯

  18. This is the reason i don’t like ratings or movie reviews. Everyone sees things in their own way, some views will complement and some will clash. For me I think the ratings is a fair reflection, but Arshavin should be given a 3 or 4. Good job though on the first post, just take it as a baptism of fire.

    All the best for the next one Ade!

  19. Agree with most of these, although I do think 5 is very generous for Arshavin, whilst I also would refuse to give Diaby anything over a 5 until he learns to release the ball at the right time.

  20. Spot on. I too thought Chamakh looked very isolated up front. I also wonder why Arshavin and nasri don’t switch up more frequently. I would like to let Arshavin rove a bit.

  21. Black Panther: if you got any personal issues with Eboue then state it (and i hope it NOT because of the color of his skin)!!!!!!!!
    You say “Emmanuel Eboue needs to be shot???”…is he really that bad???or do you hate him for reasons other than “his whining, diving and woe-is-me attitude” reasons?? The last time i checked, his theatrics has won us lots of free-kicks, perhaps more than any other player has in the last 1 year… Walcott may have more potential than Eboue but he “seldomly creates anything, gives up the ball pretty much every time he has it in close quarters” too or even perhaps worse than Eboue…

    If you wanna criticize a player, do so in a humane way, and if you got any other personal issues (racism included) don’t display it out here…

    AW, don’t even accuse me for ‘accusing’ black panther coz i come from Africa and have endured Adebayor, Song, Eboue and many more from Africa being mistreated and loathed by their own fans for no valid reasons…does anyone remember Ade, Song and Eboue being booed by their own fans??? I DO…

  22. “I also would refuse to give Diaby anything over a 5 until he learns to release the ball at the right time.”

    That’ll learn ‘im.

  23. AW, my comment on uncalled for criticism by black panther of Eboue never made it through moderation. If this is what you meant by being ‘strict’ on commenting then bye bye mate, am out of your blog…I believe in freedom of expression and it seems am not gonna get that one here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.