Player Ratings: Birmingham City v Arsenal

Birmingham City 1 (Phillips 90+2)
Arsenal 1 (Nasri 81)

Manuel Almunia – Sorry but he really has to make that save. For the rest of the match bar that one decisive moment he was okay, but he bottled it when it mattered. Add to that the fact that his distribution was poor and it was a very uninspiring performance. 4

Bacary Sagna & Gael Clichy – Both solid defensively. Neither player was stretched too hard but always got a foot in and made some decent interceptions and tackles when called upon. Unfortunately both of them failed to get forward as much as they could have and when they did they final ball as often sub-par. Decent, I guess. 7

Sol Campbell – Communicated well and marshalled the backline with authority, and knows his own limits. Sat back and controlled the defence with solid tackles and some good headers, and pretty much got by via doing what he had to and nothing more. 6.5

Alex Song – Wenger said a while ago that he always saw Song as a centre-back and I can see why. He complemented Campbell well and offered some pace and distributive nous that Sol didn’t, as well as making some nice interceptions and tackles at the back and leaving the aerial stuff to his partner. Good showing. 7.5

Denilson – Was anonymous in the early stages of the match but slowly came into his own as the game grew on. Still can’t help but feel he was a bit of a passenger in the midfield and didn’t really try to force the issue. Had two great games but rested on his laurels a bit in this one. 6

Cesc Fabregas – Only real memorable moment was his brilliant pass to Nasri (who fluffed it only to score a much harder goal later on). Apart from that he was largely anonymous. This was due to the fact that he was marked extremely tight and had little chance to take creative reign, and worsened when he suffered an injury (which hopefully isn’t too serious). 6.5

Abou Diaby – The only real spark in the midfield, I thought. Was a constant menace to Birmingham throughout the match and was the sole reason we were on the front foot at times. Offered penetration and dynamism, and always released the ball at the right times. Really deserved a goal to be honest. 9

Theo Walcott – Offered very little apart from the occasional burst of pace. That was effective but only used sparingly, so Walcott was yet another largely anonymous performer out there today. Had a chance in the first to put his hard ahead but didn’t capitalise. 6

Tomas Rosicky – Was one of the few players out there today that was confident enough to try something out of the box. His flair and creativity meant he caused trouble for the Birmingham defenders, and his movement off the ball kept them on their toes. Really wish he hadn’t been taken off. 7.5

Nicklas Bendtner – Didn’t offer penetration or any sort of spark up front, but credit where credit’s due he did do a lot of things that often go unnoticed. He did offer a strong presence and held up the ball well, while offering a spearhead to the attack. Decent, but nothing really special. 6.5


Samir Nasri – His introduction changed the game in a really positive way. Caused a lot of trouble with his craft and guile, and scored a great goal. Unfortunately he missed a chance to put the game beyond doubt that was far easier than the one he scored, but it was still an effective cameo. 7

Andrey Arshavin – Really needs to step up after yet another uninspiring performance. His capabilities are evident in glimpses however they are few and far between, and it seems as though he’s taking it a bit easy at times. He moves well off the ball and causes lots of trouble in that respect, however he needs to do more on it. 6


Have your say on Aidan’s player ratings by leaving a comment.



  1. I agree with your assessment!
    But I still do not understand why Cesc was not pulled out for his own sake!At some point it looked like Arsenal was playing with 9 men!Walcott was soooo off the pace with everyone!
    And Arshavin seems to have an attitude problem lately,he doesn’t carry himself like someone who would like to wear the Arsenal shirt for much longer!
    Those terrible misses are not in vain!

  2. guess they are all too disappointed, it was a much too cold shower a the end, I can’t judge players, but I feel quite the same way with the ratings, Rosicky seemed to be quite alive, Bendtner hit me more in a negative way, terrible first touch and slept in decisive moments, Nasri’s goal was fantastic and he missed a quite easier opportunity, Almunia seemed to be shaky the whole match whyever ever, tough game, it could have outcome worse, but on the other hand the equalizer was really cruel.. I just hope Barcelona is not becoming a disaster…….. the stars tell no good …….. 😎

  3. Fully agree on Diaby. He really deserved a goal.
    As for Almunia, I guess 4 is a lot! He doesn’t deserve even to be rated. Poor distribution, always putting the back 4 in trouble & finally that shocker. I have no words to describe it. Just pathetic.
    Sol did well. He once again showed that experience really matters.
    Yet another inspiring performance from Song. This guy is on course to become a Gunners legend.
    Unfortunate for Cesc due to his early injury.
    Denilson once again proved to us that he is a crap.
    I don’t know what Arshavin thinks of himself. Not only his performance is below par but he doesn’t even show any commitment at all. I don’t get it why he’s so highly rated. How he missed that ball is beyond me!
    Bendtner is back to his old self. Had a really poor game. Not smart at taking his chances.
    And Wenger should have started Nasri. He often gets his starting 11 wrong at the crucial moments of a season!

  4. Thought that Song and Diaby were excellent. Both were much better in the second half and Diaby was MoTM (for Arsenal at least) but Song may be was an 8.
    We should be a bit more critical of Fabregas I think. If Campbell has performed 80% or 90% of his capabilities and got a 6.5 then Fabregas who performed in total around 30% to 50% of his capabilities and potential should not get more than 4.
    Yes he was marked closely and yes he was injured early on but then again we should see his performance and not make excuses. We know how these teams are going to play us and especially Fabregas. I bet if Eboue was in he would still try to get a decent shift.
    And Arshavin… I sometimes feel he is like a child who needs to get in the corner of a room as a sort of punishment so that he can start play again.
    And as far as the Spanish porn star… You can tell if he has an off day from his distribution. He created two of Birmingham chances with it. Whatever happens this year we do need a dependable goalkeeper. What was he doing so much in front with the goal. And everyone forgets that they managed not to score before we did because amongst others Almunia was bird watching.

  5. You have to say that although it was a feeble goal conceded in the dying seconds a draw was just about a fair result because we didn’t pressure them enough. I thought generally, all over the pitch, we looked good. Just not great. Great is what Chelski did to Villa. 7-1 against a very very good Villa side is an astounding result and confirms my long held belief that the chavs will lift the trophy. 7-1 against Villa is phenomenal really. I just can’t imagine us ever getting a result like that against the current Vill side.
    – We were good. Birmingham worked very hard but they barely had a decent goal attempt all game because our defence tidied them up well.
    Attack-wise we always seemed a threat without actually really penetrating. I think we could have, and should have cranked our game up a notch but instead we let it slide, fatally as it turned out. Well done, boys, but until you are prepared to die out there on the pitch you’re always going to come up short.
    Kudos to the away-Gooners once again. If there’s any reading this blog I’d like to hear their thoughts on the game.

  6. Cant understand why eboue was left out for the entire match. This sort of game is made for him.
    Like rosicky he is willing to try something different, but his pace and strength mean he can get to the byline with relative ease.
    Whether starting at RB or RW he should have played.
    Apart from that we were unlucky. Some good performances and some average ones, but we seemed to have played it perfectly until the last minute, but you can’t switch off like that.

  7. both song and diaby were excellent in midfld.
    almunia should save the ball properly..please dont repeat he same school boy’s mistake again.its a costly mistake for us..

  8. almunia should save the ball properly..please dont repeat he same school boy’s mistake again.its a costly mistake for us..

  9. Sorry it was same old arsenal failing to beat a mid-table team and blew a great chance to keep pace with manu and chelsea. I am now more convinced that bendtner, walcott, almunia and denilson not fit to wear arsenal colours. With the foursome in starting lineups Arsenal will never win anything. Another trophy less seasons beckons for the gooners although I hate to admit it.

  10. First of all it was a good one point.But iam really dissappointed with the way we conceeded the goal.Iam really frusturated.But as a gooners we have to get behind the team.Next up it is barca ,we have to be at our best to beat them.

  11. @ rehan – “Same old Arsenal failing to beat a mid-table team”? We’ve hardly failed at all this season. In fact, we’ve beaten just about every team below us with very few exceptions.

  12. Arsenal lack an hallmark of a champion, they played very well, waited for their chance and took when it came, but they failed to build on it and got paid for it. Nasri, arshvin and Almunia are the reason we lost two precious points, Nasri had the chance to make two and zeal the game, he decided to pass to nobody when face to face with the goal, Arshavin had the chance and miss kicked (he was absent minded), such misses are not allowed at this crucial moment if u want to win the league. Almunia sucks and destroyed everything the whole team has worked for. Shame on him for allowing that equalizer.

  13. @ Andrew….what do you make of Almunia horrendous error? Do you think this guy deserves to play in this team? For me we lost to ManU home & away due to his mistakes (he was late to come off his line in that Rooney ‘penalty’ back in August)

  14. i’ve always maintain for this arsenal side to be competitive with man utd or chelsea, we onli have to replace 3 players. Almunia, Denilson and Silvestre. replace these 3 and we are up there with the best teams in the world.

    Perhaps almunia was so bored yest during the match dat he decided to create some occasions so that he can display his talents and prove his critics wrong with all the passes to the opponent. Unfortunately, it did not play out his way.

  15. almunia,s rating should be… – 4 he is with out doubt the WORST GOALKEEPER i have ever seen!

  16. i do agree with some of your ratings specially Abu diabi was just superb.but i totally disagree with so much cridit to bentdner this guy should be sold off .. he neither create, control , give accurate pass, nor scores. in most cases he scores a fluk goals. i don,t think this guy can do much for Arsenal ..

  17. Almunia made some good saves to keep us in the game – I dont think he could have done much more with that goal. lets keep the chins up – next sunday pm we will be back to the state we were at on saturday am because man u and chelski will draw and we will win. Keep the Faith!

  18. Can’t agree with the Bendtner n Arshavin rating. They were poor. I have to say Bendtner is patchy as usual and Arshavin hasnt lived up to the 15 mn tag associated with him. For such a high value signing in a low speningd club like arsenal lot more is desired!!

  19. or this man has cost us the league. how can you do school boy errors,not during this time of the season.
    i had said it before i will still say it today or tomorrow this man isnt good enough.wegner please buy a good keeper.
    i think arshavan was right about us.

  20. at some point this was going to happen, poor and uninspired play by some players that you wonder whether they know what is at stake.

    I am not sure what happens to Bendtner, a passenger in crucial games, what of Denilson, i just do not know why AW starts him at all.

    it is true, Arshavin might just be abit disininterested in the shirt he is wearing. It was a poor game, a labored draw, and a goal keeper who is not even supposed to be between the goal posts anyway.

    I think with the kind of play we had a game with Barca, i hope we get out act together, or else we face a masacre and ruined egos at the same time. W

  21. I also think Arshavin was right, and also, the fact that the teams we are trying to dislodge from the top, well, i have to agree, experience in this stage is crucial, and also having a winning mentality.

    i think there is something lacking in this squad that needs rectifying.

    It is only one game, Yes, but remember last season, that is the point where we lost the league, i hope it is not the same this time round, but i have a bad feeling that come Wednesday, things will be totally different.

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