Arsenal Player Ratings vs Brentford by Peter Doherty
Hope all is good. The Gunners march on!!! It’s starting to get exciting. Here’s my contribution to the Player Ratings this week:
What a difference a year makes. The fall out from last year’s insipid defeat at the Community Stadium after Arsenal were bullied by Brentford was immense. The cries for Arteta’s removal were deafening and the atmosphere surrounding Arsenal was toxic. Look at us now!
Here are ratings for yesterday’s game:
You can only do what you have to do at times, and Ramsdale had very little to do,, but he did it well. Alert to sweeping up when we played a high line, good distribution and a fantastic reaction when Brentford broke the defensive line on one occasion.
Looks increasingly comfortable in his new role. Gave Brentford no encouragement to attack his flank and was offering more overlaps to stretch their defence.
The kid is world class. Took his goal well but it was his defensive attributes that stood out. Toney has been one of the most dangerous attackers in the Premiership this season but Saliba completely subdued him. Made an incredible recovery tackle in the second half that very few centre backs could accomplish and emerged calmly with the ball.
Was solid, commanding and untroubled. He looks considerably more comfortable playing with Saliba as the younger man’s pace allied with Tierney’s are huge assets.
In his absence it was easy to forget what a quality operator KT is. His speed and aggression as well as his stamina level offers solidity at the back with an ever present attacking threat.
He is the foundation of this team. His capacity to receive the ball in any circumstance and create space gives his backline and attackers huge confidence. Simply put, he elevates everyone around him without having to outshine them.
Having said that it would be difficult to outshine Xhaka at the minute as he is playing on another level. With Partey and Saliba offering greater protection his role as the gap filler is no longer necessary and this allows him to express himself, and it’s damn good.
The concern of how the young Portuguese was going to adapt will be largely eased with this performance. Looked assured in possession and showed vision, as well as a cracking finish to boot.
His reputation causes havoc even if he doesn’t always dominate. Defences are doubling up on him and this is creating space for Martinelli and Jesus. The beauty is that there are now three legitimate threats to deal with and soon Saka will be the one exploiting the space.
Sometimes tries to do too much, but then that is part of what makes him such an incredible talent. As he matures and his decision making improves this guy will be even more frightening.
Again the leader. Bullied the Brentford backline which delivered the karma after last years effort. Fantastic neck action to generate the power for the header. Could have had a hat trick and is forgiven as he created the other opportunities all by himself.
The symmetry and cohesion of this team is increasing with each performance. The seamless replacement of Odegaard and Zinchenko bodes well. The fact that the defeat at United left no residue on their confidence is probably the most reassuring aspect of what was considered a tricky outing.
The NLD is now a tantalizing prospect rather than a fearful one…
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