Arsenal vs West Brom, 3-0: Full time analysis and player ratings
Written by Chris on November 5, 2011 20:50
Arsenal eased their way past West Bromwich Albion as we can go into the International break with all three points and of course, a big smile on our faces.
Some will say that we are beating opposition that we are expected to beat and that’s true, can’t argue with that, but last season we struggled against West Brom and we struggled against way too many teams that we were supposed to beat so I want to archive this win as a massive result knowing that the players will return from Internationals determined to continue the positive run.
What stood out of today’s performance is of course the solid defensive performance of the central pair. The last time these two played together was months ago but it seems as if it was yesterday that they last teamed-up together.
And, after years and years, we are finally in a position where we know that if one of them suffers an injury, it will not be a Silvestre or a Squillaci to replace them but Per Mertesacker first and Johan Djourou then as I believe that the Switzerland International can rediscover the phenomenal form from last season.
In midfield, the Gunners were impressive as well with Alex Song doing his dirty work to help the defence in an exceptional way and Aaron Ramsey and Mikel Arteta delivering assists and scoring goals, which is just what we need from these two.
And offensively, when you have this Robin van Persie in your starting line-up, let’s face it, there can only be one result. One goal, two assists, fantastic movement off the ball and another man of the match performance from the Dutchman who fully deserves all the awards he is picking up.
As for the Baggies, I didn’t expect them to be dangerous when going forward as without Peter Odemwingie they lose 80% of their offensive department. And poor they were as they will probably again spend a season fighting to avoid relegation but that’s their problem, not ours, as we collect our 19th point in the English Premier League table.
To conclude, we indeed start fourteen days of non-Arsenal football with a big, big smile on our faces knowing, however, that as Arsene Wenger correctly said in his post-match press conference, there’s still room for improvement but compared to a month or so ago we are in a very strong position and can look forward with optimism and confidence.
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.
Match Video Highlights
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Szczesny: 6 – Quiet game for the Poland International, very quiet actually, but glad to see that he was ready when West Brom had half-chances late in the second half.
Koscielny: 7,5 – Fantastic, yet again. Made a number of impressive blocks and not shy to surge forward as it was the case in the second half when he could have easily had a goal-scoring opportunity after a super run down the right.
Vermaelen: 8,5 – Confidence, aerial power, pace, interceptions and goals, this is what you get when the Belgian is in the side. What I really loved about him today, however, is the number of “intelligent” fouls he committed to break West Brom’s attacks. Top class.
Jenkinson: 7,5 – I lost count of all the brilliant crosses he delivered from the right, just fantastic, all of them incredibly dangerous, as a clear demonstration that he is indeed our best crosser in the side. Problem is that we don’t really have the players to play a crossing game but who knows, if the Lukas Podolski rumours are not just rumours …
Santos: 6 – So and so from Andre. When you consider that West Brom’s only two chances in the first half were the result of poor positioning from the Brazilian who allowed them to deliver dangerous crosses and also gifted them another cross opportunity with a poor header in the second half, well, you just can’t archive Andre’s game as a positive one.
Ramsey: 7 – The one to deliver the lovely pass for Theo when we taken the lead, Aaron was again heavily-involved when we surged forward as he continues to improve.
Song: 7 – As said in the introduction, Alex was exceptional today as he allowed Aaron and Mikel to help the offensive department as he stayed deep, doing what he does best.
Arteta: 8 – Brilliant performance from the Spaniard who was calm and collected when on the ball and was almost always precise with his passing game(curious to know how many passes he completed). The goal ended a fantastic move as Mikel shows that he knows how to hit the target and score goals.
Gervinho: 6,5 – I was disappointed when the Ivorian was substituted as he was improving after a disappointing first half. In the second, he indeed produced a number of very good runs down the wings and was a huge asset when we pushed forward.
Walcott: 6 – Should have maybe done better when we took the lead but like Gervinho, Theo improved in the second half although I still have that “not enough” feeling on his performance.
van Persie: 9 – Made no mistake to give us the lead in the 21st minute of the game, the one to volley-assist for Thomas when we scored the second, great turn in the 59th minute in a move ended with Aaron shooting wide and fantastic with his movement and his pass when we scored the third. Chapeau!
Rosicky/Benayoun/Arshavin: 6 / 6.5 / 5.5 – Tomas tried and was involved in the move that led to the third goal. Yossi, I believe, was fantastic on the ball but Andrey was disappointing, especially with his final ball.