Bournemouth v Arsenal Player Ratings by Peter Doherty
As we Gooners are aware it is the hope that kills you, but it is proving increasingly difficult not to start dreaming. Each game is still approached with the customary trepidation, but the performances are starting to create expectation as they are increasingly convincing. Here are ratings for yesterday’s superb outing.
Ramsdale (6) Had very little to do all game and in lesser keepers that can sometimes be when their lack of concentration is exposed. He was commanding at set pieces and made a few choices saves. However, his penchant for an occasional erratic moment is still prevalent.
White (7) Looking increasingly comfortable at right back and offered more in terms of overlaps and attacking options. Although his forward forays were largely ignored, predominantly by Saka, they still present an uncomfortable conundrum for defences.
Saliba (9) What a goal! A nonchalant swing of the left boot and it curls into the top corner. Stats say that he completed every one of his 73 passes. Yet neither of these are as impressive as his reading of the game as he sees the unfolding attack with impressive clarity and stops it. Probably deserves a 10 for inspiring the best chant of the season thus far!
Gabriel (8) Commanding in the air where Bournemouth had obviously intended to attack with their big forward line. Given a license to roam forward more because of Saliba’s speed and recovery capacity and it might prove a potent weapon as the season goes on.
Zinchenko (8) Another master class in distribution and technical excellence. His ball control and swift passing offer a reassuring out ball for the defence. A defining signing and gets a bonus point for his reaction to Saliba’s goal.
Xhaka (8) A player reborn. The responsibility that he carried solely on the left side of midfield was burdensome and sharing that because of Zinchenko’s hybrid positioning has granted him capacity for an expression of his skillset. Even got his own chant.
Partey (8) The rock on which this is built. Worryingly so as we need him injury free as he is irreplaceable. Intercepted and distributed efficiently and cut out the errant passes from the previous weeks.
Odegaard (9) Two goals and a sublime through ball for Jesus’s offside goal might warrant the mark alone, but again it’s the largely unrecognized work that he contributes that impresses most. The frequency that a simple Odegaard pass changes the structure of play is worthy of recognition and if Carlsberg did Energizer Bunnies…… A brilliant football brain.
Saka (6) Still not sparked into his previous heights but is also frequently double marked and fouled which offers the space for Jesus and Martinelli to thrive. He misses Tomiyasu.
Martinelli (7) Once again fearless and relentless. His unpredictability unnerves defenders and creates havoc. Attempted a few wild shots when teammates were in better positions though.
Jesus (8) The panic causing dribble prior to the first goal was enough to warrant the admission fee alone. He is clearly enjoying himself and Arteta’s faith in him.
Again, it is important to recognize that this team are the sum of its parts. Each elevated rating is due to the relationship they have with their teammates, and they are improving each other, and that is what is so exciting about this team. It could be said that it was ‘only’ Bournemouth, but it’s important to remember that last season’s opener was ‘only’ Brentford. There are no ‘onlys’ in the Premier League. Allow your standard to drop and you will take a hiding.
Now everyone together to the tune of Tequila….
— Nando (@nandoaldn) August 20, 2022
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