Posted on January 29, 2012 by ADMIN

Arsenal v Aston Villa review and match ratings – What a Cup Tie!

Arsenal On The Up. Fantastic F.A. Cup Tie by Lorenzo Sallows

Drawn against another Premier League side and coming after a torrid spell of form, emotions were sure to run high. The match did not disappoint. I have been more than negative in my approach to Arsenal these past few weeks but, like all fans, I warm after a win.

For the first half, Arsenal played a traditional flat, unintelligent game, lofting balls into the penalty area, hoping for the best. Numerous corners were won and squandered and a poor defensive display from Per Mertesacker gifted Aston Villa the lead. Without the presence of Mark Albrighton and Charles N’Zogbia, Villa lacked the required pace to pressurize Arsenal’s flanks and instead opted for success via set-pieces and counter attacks, Robbie Keane’s good touch distancing the two sides.

Half time signaled the mutterings of discontent among the Emirates faithful and Arsene had to come up with Martin Luther King moment. He did not disappoint and delivered a half time talk to silence even the loudest critic. In a mysterious Jekyll and Hyde turn of events, Arsenal dismantled a smug Villa side in 16 magical minutes to secure a place in the last 16. PASSING proved the key to unlocking Villa, something I feel we have neglected to do enough of in recent weeks. The long balls into the penalty box are not effective due to the fact we do not have target man like a Carroll or a Crouch. Instead we are blessed With Robin so we must endeavor to use him.

Match Ratings:

Fabianski 5.
Earlier in the first half he took too long to dispatch balls and when he did opted for the throw straight down the middle. Otherwise solid with some decent catches but not an awful lot to do.

Koscielny 8.
Magnificent and reliable as usual. Solid in defense and an inspired run was rewarded with a penalty. Talent wasted at CB but developing into a real asset.

Mertesacker 5.
Ponderous and slow as usual but had an effort saved of the line. Not sure what assets he brings to the team but a standard performance none the less. Was at fault for the goals, but prevented Bent scoring, so an average evening.

Vermaelen 8.
Ever dependable the “Verminator” was top class even when played out of position. Hammer-like strikes both threatened to score and was cool and collected in defense. Cannot wait for him and Koscielny to be partnered at CB. See how many late goals will be conceded then.

Coquelin 6.5
A player I have grown to rather like with his pace and eagerness. Could mature into a rather tenacious wing back and displayed good runs to support in atack.

Song 8.
Ever dependable, gutsy, Song broke up play and provided a silky smooth pass to Ramsey for the penalty. A real engine and one of Arsenal’s unsung heroes.

Ramsey 7.
Turning into a marmite player with lack of consistency. At times he reminds me of showboating child but was instrumental in the dominant 16 minutes. Then faded to obscurity. Needs to perform consistently to rival Wilshere for praise but the talent is definitely there.

Rosciky 6.
An average night from a player that is more effective as an impact sub. Can tackle very well and “little Mozart” is handy to have as a midfield dynamo.

Walcott 7.
My personal belief is that Walcott is suffers from a dual personality. The first half was his lazy, uninterested side that looked as though it suffered from burnout and the second, an inspired, pacy, excellent affair.

Van The Man 9.
Adjective are useless to describe the talent Robin has. Abundant strength and speed are not so apparent yet what he does must clearly be supernatural. A sold soul to the devil would explain such amazing performances.

Oxlade Chamberlain 7.
Here is a kid I love to watch. Brilliant in attack and defence, coupled with an eye for goal and killer diagonal passing. His price tag rises each time he plays.

Le Prof 9
Does NOT always get it right but 90% of the time is it pure class.

(Arteta 5.)
Solid brief performance.

Where do we take this result ?

Most obviously is to Bolton on Wednesday but Arsene could learn a lot from Kenny Dalglish. Silverware has been prioritized above a top 4 position at Liverpool and this is his aim. Sure Champions League qualification recalls a remarkable statistic for Arsenal but our Silverware count does not. With the current Arsenal crop I feel it has to be one or the other but we live in hope. We are above Liverpool in the Premier league and only have to fight it out with Chelsea for 4th Spot. There is a HUGE 6 weeks coming up for both Club and fans and I hope this serves as a platform for great success. Players are beginning return from injury and this should galvanize an upward thrust in momentum.

In Arsene We Trust.

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38 thoughts on “Arsenal v Aston Villa review and match ratings – What a Cup Tie!

  1. pun

    don’t know what you guys think but villa actually played really well. any other manager would’ve changed something at half time but arsene trusted his team to do the job and they responded very well. hope gibbs is back soon as sagna already is, fullbacks puts a different dynamic in attack and that’s why we’ve been short on goals as we’ve had no full backs for few months now. and now they are back i am seeing glass half full.

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 42 Thumb down 1

  2. joni

    M8 you are so wrong mertesacker deserved better then 5 you cant foult him 4 both goals + he nearly scored had some gd tackles specialy the one against united cleared of the line its his 1st season give the guy a chance

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 74 Thumb down 1

  3. fall river gooner

    I get the distinct impression you will never give Mert his due, is it because he’s not Cahill, Samba or one of the “popular” must haves? Can we ALL acknowledge one and for all his so-called lack of pace? Reading the game & intelligent positioning does rate you know. Please re-watch game & count his intercepts.

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 73 Thumb down 0


    its ‘match’ ratings not season ratings… i have alot of faith that we will finish in top four now as we have been through the lowest of the lows and we will rise with the returning injured players. chelsea is going down. we “need” to win the FA cup as 6 years is increasing evry season. come on gunners!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

  5. Yorkie

    We are still dependent on rvp. without a backup plan Arsenal could go belly up. In a few weeks Henry will be gone, who’s gonna step up to plate. AW needs to be proactive and not reactive. sign somebody even Dempsey if comes to it. Preferably a striker who has the predatory instincts like TH did. As for defence one re-injury and we are back where we started, Samba is beggin to picked up, maybe something is wrong with him, a couple mil to strenthen the team for the coming competitions cant hurt.Always protect your flank is a lesson taught in football 101.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

  6. Samuel

    Ramsey rated above Rosicky? Absolutely Not! Rosicky was the only spark we had in midfield in today’s match. All Ramsey seems to do is hold up play & end up passing ball behind when he’s supposed to be the one picking RVP out. I’d be nice to even give him a 5 while Rosicky for 2day’s performance deserves a 7!

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 51 Thumb down 4

  7. Dvoked

    Hazard anyone? He wants to come to England.

    We need to fill that 1 quality attacking midfielder left behind by Nasri and Cesc.

    Everyone knows that, not too sure about Wenger.

    After that, 1 striker will wrap things up.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  8. Steve of Chiang Mai

    So we have another who rates performances based on preferences rather than performances. TV5, who I love as a player, has been decidedly shaky and responsible for some pretty cheap goals in the last few months and yet you are salivating over his return to the CH position. I can only conclude you wrote Mertesackers rating prior to the game….any other conclusion suggests you are either prejudiced against Germans or tall people.

    Forget what the media tells you about Pers lack of pace and watch the game for once. Per was pretty solid all game. He never looks flashy cause he snuffs attacks before they become dangerous. Ramsay was at fault for the 1st goal and then Dunne climbed above Kolscielny and TV5 to score…you know…the ones you are salivating over, to head home the winner from 5 yards out. Aston Villas 2nd came from inexperience from one of the younger player…either Ox or Coq who charged up on the ball after a corner, missed the tackle and opened the door for the counter attack. If he just jockeys and holds till the troops arrive, there is no second goal. Pretty tough then to expect the CH’s – who were up for the corner, to run 90 metres having given Ireland and Bent a 20m start! And the goal came from…you guessed it, the left and Mertesacker plays on…the right!

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 1

  9. Adrian

    To me Rosicky was MOTM. so i dont know why you threw out such low rating on him. it was one of his best performances since ages ago. i also disagree on Mert. His element of strength may not be as a centre half may not be as emphasizing as other world class defenders but it doesnt mean he’s not worth being there. or if you prefer JD to replace him …..

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 34 Thumb down 2

  10. ruelando

    I think Aston villa defended well in the first half and we were playing too much long balls which turn out to be ineffective. Second half short pass and quicker movement change the game and burnt out Villa so they wilted, I prefer rosciky in that attacking role more than ramsay , who seem to lose the ball too easy. I also hope walcott watch the movement of Ox when he was being mark closely he was not easy to read and will get even better the more he plays, he seem so relaxed on the ball. Although Ver i think is one of the best defenders in the league, although i think he is a average left back and doesnt actually lend an added option in arsenal attack and have been at fault for some goals recently, kos, mert and song have been great. One rising star to watch for is Coq, yes he is a little rash with some tackles, but u see a star getting ready to shine

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  11. Osaz

    @joni – good observation.

    We need to be able to tell it as it is though. Mert was brilliant as always. Why do we have to keep blaming the guy for every goal conceded. No goal was his fault today. Also lets move away from the speed, he is not Walcott and we already know that no need to go over it again every day. This guy is a germ. He is the missing link we missed the last few seasons. He does not panic, clears the box as much as possible and calm the back. He is a rock there. The only fear is when he goes forward but with the full backs coming in am sure they’ll work something out. He is the only real new defender currently in our line up and we are loads more solid than we used to. We suffer whenever he is not in the game.
    The first half we conceded 2 goals cos the players were not doing the business(all the players). But as soon as they came back they ran riot. Villa were in confused mode the whole second half. They were more worried about conceding more and less about attacking us. Why are we not playing every game like the second half. If we bring that attitude to the field every game no one can beat us. Oh and by the way Rosidsky was the best midfielder on the pitch. He controlled the midfield with authority

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  12. ash

    Mate i dont know what match you were watching? Come on rosicky was by far the best player,u gave ramsey 7 but rosicky 6

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 26 Thumb down 0

  13. Skin

    All ds critics i hope U open ur eyes when watching matches. Ramsey was instrumental in our second halve revival but pple didnt recognise dat cos they never liked him. Per did beta dn he was rated,verminator over rated n finally Ramsey n my darling KOZA were d best player on d field.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5

  14. Charlie

    The dominance of possession was a sight to behold as it often is but the killer ball was missing for much of the match. With everyone back the defense is solid (unsure about Gibbs and Jenkinson but they’ll improve), the midfield is excellent at keeping possession and Robin is a fantastic goalscorer BUT where is the flair from the wings ? The Ox is the best we have and he’s 18, that should tell us something. With some genuine attacking creative quality (which usually costs a fortune) this could become a truly great team. Without it I fear that we’ll see too many games where our possession should see us as easy winners but the score doesn’t show it. Excellent character shown in the second half though and a great result to build from.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0


    are u serious your gonna give mert a 5 r u mentally retarded admin mert was the rock in breakin up so many of the attacks, u look at his positioning and his intercept rate compared to the other defenders and you will see why the man is a rock solid defender, he is no sergio ramos with a fancy bicycle kick clearance that you ppl like to see but what he is a no non sense defender who breaks up attacks before they even start by his great positioning n thats why he is such a good defender pace doesnt win u a football game but a mental strength n understanding of the game does and thats what mert has so jump off his bck n leave the guy alone he played a great game he deserved at least a 7.5-8 n verm a 6.5-7
    rosicky a 8 he ran tirelessly n had such confidence on the ball rvp a 8 he scored 2 goals but they were penalties average game for rvp but he did wat he always do stay calm

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  16. xmoro

    1 goal is Vermalen mistake.
    Merte holded Bent and Abdollahor.
    Vermalen and Coquelin holded Dunn and another player.
    At the end Vermalen had not jumped at all.
    2 goal both, Kos and Merte were in Aston Villa penalty area.

    And at the end Vermalen is 8 and Merte is 5. How do you see the game i don’t know. Open your eye.

    Please don’t write anything if you can not recognize mistakes.
    Merte is very solid last games. I think after Chelsea game he did few mistake.

    In 3-4 hours i will try post screen shots from Vermalen mistake by 1 goal

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  17. Acapulco@nigeria

    I dont think rvp rates as high as 9. Apart from the penalties and a few flashes, where did the 9 come from? Rosciky is pure class and should be used ahead of ramsey. PER MERTESACKER IS PURE CLASS . The calmness he brings to our defence is 1st class. And i also think Fabianski improved today. I think we really need another striker that is hungry for goals. Rvp is carrying too much burden dat i fear for his burnout.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  18. Charlie

    @Tomma13. Aint it funny how people can have such differing opinions. I thought Walcott was the worst player in the Arsenal team and his goal was pure fluke. He rarely looked like creating a chance and the team totally dominated possession so it’s not like he didn’t have the possibilities. When your team dominates possession for 45 minutes and only manages 5 very lame shots you can’t be giving good ratings to the attacking players. RvP deserves it for converting 2 penalties excellently but only for that. Walcott looked dangerous once and that was when he scored.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  19. Thabloyd32

    Is it just me o rosicky is the most under-rated player in the premier league ? I feel the guy has talent

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  20. LmFaO


    And how was Mertesacker at fault for the first goal??? It was Koscielny who lost the the header against Dunn……

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 0

  21. Awesome Gunner

    Admin I dont know what game you were watching but I think Rosicky deserves a far better rating. He played a very good game and at times looked like the only player who wanted to run at the opposition.

    Your rating sucks. By the way I still think Walcott played crap as his decision making sucks. The goal he scored was by luck and whats the use you get into good positions but have no idea what to do with the ball. He played better but still not convincing enough as it took him 60mins to get into the game and that was just for 10 minutes of the whole game then it was back to normal.

    Arsenal must really work on defending setplays.

    So Admin please watch the game again and give fair ratings.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

    1. admin Post author

      I can handle the criticism, especially when you read it again and find out that ADMIN didn’t write it! LOL!

      Rate this comment: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  22. Pierrot

    I think you’re being a bit melodramatic on RVP’s performance. Granted that he scored two penalties and dropped back as usual to support the midfield but other than that, he was average in my opinion. Didn’t really threaten the Villa goal (were there any shots on target?), lost the ball a few times in the 18 yard box… nothing near “supernatural” or “amazing”.

    Fabianski also deserves better than a 5. Was a little shaky at the start due to lack of game time but grew in confidence throughout the game. I’d like to see him start more often which would also keep Chesney on his toes.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  23. max

    sorry but your ratings are really poor, watch the game again or take a leave out of desigunners blog.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  24. goonerjake

    Arteta is pure class. I know we were back to winning ways before he came back on but he is the one we have been missing. When watching any game back just watch Arteta his work rate his movement and his passing. Like all great players he seems to have time on the ball most of the time and when he does not a quick well paced pass is used. Lets keep him fit and winning runs will come again.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  25. Abu

    All is well , keep on supporting the whole team. We won due to team work and not individual. Still supporting the same team to face Bolton, Sagna needs 40 minutes to catch up. Ramsey keep it up your our future Iniesta/ Xavi. We should not only point mistake but also good possetion Ramsey handled.

    Mombasa, Kenya.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  26. Msomi

    Per was outstanding and the only way people lyk u will note this is if he gets injured, thts whn u will all knw how precious he is to the defence line

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  27. Blazer

    I wish Ramsey live up to the high expectation you have for him, currently he plays as a second league player, I am suprised Wenger allow him on the pitch for 90 minutes. I understand the position he is covering is not an easy one but by leaving him on the pitch to play for 90 minutes, Wenger is hurting him, if Ramsey continue badly the way he is rigt now, the funs will boo him of the field. He survived till now because he is not a foriegn player. Don’t get me wrong, he could improve to become an outstanding player, but this is not a stage for him to get experience, while Arsenal is fighting for its life and every players move is disected and open for critisism. Leaving Rosicky on the bench to play Ramsey is simply wrong, these two are not even at the same skill level, Resicky is a much talented, less appriciated player. These are the obvious flaws Wenger refuse to admit.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  28. anxious gooner

    Mert was at fault cause the corner came from his mistake ,,,, watch again

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  29. LordZeus11

    We have a genuine chance of winning this fuckin cup…. only Spurs and Liverpool stoppin us…players comin back to fitness…come on u gunners!!!!!:-)

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  30. Dhrumil

    i guess you haven’t seen the match at all mr. cuz ur ratings seems to be manipulated…per was decent at the back…had a header cleared off the line…and for the first was TV5’s fault…rear post is supposed to be guarded by LB whenever a cross comes in…same happened against manures…valencia out jumped vermalean…so i think he needs games..

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  31. Elvis@arsenal

    you guys are biased in ur rating… How can u rated Mertesacker 5? Do u seriously think vermaelen deserves 8? Did he support our strickers or wingers?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  32. Vincent

    I think TV was at fault both for the manure game and the 1st goal. His positioning when the ball is at the opposite wing is bad. He always forgets to follow what is behind him and is always flatfooted on crosses at the far post.
    I also thought Rosicky was at his best and the MOTM, this time around.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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