Manchester United vs Arsenal, 8-2: Full time analysis and player ratings
Written by Chris on August 28, 2011 22:05
One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. Seven. Eight. That’s right, this was not a training session, this was Premier League football, we conceded eight goals, we are eight points from the top and don’t ask me what the future holds for Arsenal Football Club.
When the starting line-up was announced I knew that there could only be one result this afternoon and please raise your hand if you thought we could get something away from Old Trafford against the likes of Wayne Rooney, Ashley Young and Luis Nani.
Our bench featured Ignasi Miquel, Gilles Sunu, Oguzhan Ozyakup, Henri Lansbury, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Marouane Chamakh, the bench you would expect to see in the Carling Cup. Their bench, featured Rio Ferdinand, Ryan Giggs, Ji-Sung Park, Dimitar Berbatov and Javier Hernandez.
Ultimately, the conclusion is the same one from last season, you cannot put so much pressure on players aged 19 or 20 and expect them to perform when there are no leaders on the pitch to guide them. I know, I mentioned it before, but the way Clarence Seedorf approached Ignazio Abate when A.C. Milan won the Italian Super Cup in China this summer was admirable as the 24-year old understood that who was in front of him was a 35-year old with plenty of experience, hence one to listen to.
Today we witnessed the opposite with Theo Walcott telling 19-year old Carl Jenkinson that his positioning was very poor and with the youngster not interested in the advice of his team-mate and this is clearly why many of our players have a long way to go to mature as footballers and as men.
What is worrying, really worrying is that we approached this game with the best possible mental strength after the Udinese and with Arsene insisting that he has full confidence in his players.
Granted, missing Thomas Vermaelen and Bacary Sagna in the defensive department means starting the game from 2-0 down but please let’s understand that this is the same Thomas Vermaelen who was not replaced in January because a newcomer would have killed the progress of Johan Djourou and Laurent Koscielny and Bacary Sagna’s backup, Carl Jenkinson, played and failed miserably as I doubt that Emmanuel Eboue would have been as equally shocking today.
In a way, that we were going to be torn apart as soon as we were going to play against a good team is something that many could see coming a long time ago. I’m in fact curious to know our record since we lost the Carling Cup as I’m not sure we won more than four games since then. Clearly, Arsene Wenger needs to act quickly to fix all the weaknesses in his squad, even if time is clearly running out.
To conclude, credit to the travelling fans who kept chanting and encouraging the team until the very end, we all know how it would have finished had we played today’s game at the Emirates, venue where our next game will take place on September 10 when we will be back from the International break.
As always, whether you agree with my ratings or not, submit your own at Arsenal Interactive and make sure to share them on Twitter and Facebook.
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Szczesny: 5 – At fault, together with the two centre backs when we conceded the first goal of the game as he should have been more alert of the danger. Produced two good saves in the second half(minute 47 and 58) but way too often he was caught out allowing the United players to chip him, even from the edge of the penalty box.
Koscielny and Djourou: 4 – Embarrassing, the way these two kept on losing their men. Laurent lost Danny Welbeck when he tried to play him off side in the 6th minute, with Johan continuously placing himself in wrong positions such as when we conceded the sixth, completing losing Park. And of course, like the goalkeeper, they should share part of the blame for the first conceded goal.
Jenkinson: 3 – I struggle to remember such a shocking performance from an Arsenal player in these last few seasons. It’s impossible to list all the mistakes he made in this game, let’s just say that if Arsene honestly believes he is a good backup for Bacary Sagna, we’re in deep trouble.
Traore: 4 – Like Johan Djourou, horrible with his positioning and way too easily beaten in one-on-ones. No idea why he cleared the ball in the danger zone when we conceded the second and no idea why he was on the right-hand side of the penalty box when we conceded the fifth, playing Nani onside.
Coquelin: 5 – Today’s icing on the cake, a player who never featured in pre-season makes his debut, at Old Trafford, against Manchester United. Make no mistake, he showed strength when he robbed Wayne Rooney in the 9th minute and determination minutes later when he won the ball with a brilliant tackle but come on, you don’t face the Red Devils with inexperienced players like Francis, no way.
Ramsey: 4,5 – This is a very difficult decision but Arsene has to take it: loan Aaron out, for his own good. He is too slow for Arsenal and I doubt time will heal his problem although knowing Arsene he will insist and insist with him until he ends up like Denilson.
Rosicky: 6 – Better than Aaron but also gave possession away cheaply, especially in the first half. Having said that, he produced a number of top-class passes for his team mates such as the quick pass to Theo when we scored the first and the delicious chip over the top for Robin on minute 51 and also.
Arshavin: 6 – Oh look, it’s Howard Webb! Many celebrated before the game believing that they will have an excuse to use in case of a defeat but ironically enough we were lucky to have him as referee today. Andrey should have seen red for two high-footed tackles but was lucky to still be on the pitch in the second half. As for his game, it was his usual hot and cold as he was however one of the few who wasn’t shy to test the goalkeeper from long range, forcing at least two saves from De Gea.
Walcott: 5,5 – Scored, fair enough, but too wasteful in front of goal. I cannot understand why he keeps making mistakes that by now he should have learned to avoid, it seems he does well in one game but goes to square one in the other.
van Persie: 5,5 – I feel for Robin but he needs to be partly held responsible for today’s result. Wasted a very good opportunity from a rebound in the 30th minute of the game, missed the penalty that would have levelled things up and should have done better when picked by Tomas in the 52th minute. Luckily, he made no mistake when we scored the second.
Lansbury, Chamakh, Oxlade-Chamberlain: No Vote – Even if he played more than 30 minutes, the only time I realised Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was on the pitch is when he chased Manchester United shadows late in the game. The other two was equally anonymous.