Arsenal Ratings v West Ham by Peter Doherty
After what seems like a lifetime the Premier League has finally returned. There was a very valid fear that the six week break could derail Arsenal’s season particularly when Jesus got injured. The uncertainty surrounding how the team would respond after such a setback and the long hiatus was palpable, especially when West Ham took the lead. However the Arsenal responded beautifully….. and here are my ratings.
As with many of the ratings given to Ramsdale this season he didn’t have a great deal to do, but he did it well. Made a great save from Antonio and had a brilliant piece of quick thinking distribution that set up a counter attack.
How he was going to react after the speculation surrounding his departure from the World Cup was always going to be a point of focus, and he was outstanding. For eighty minuteshe was perfect in his positioning, defending, distribution, overlaps and decision making. Would have got a ten only he seemed to lose focus in the last ten minutes and got caught in possession a few times.
Was at fault for the penalty, not just in tripping Bowen, but also making a poor decision by standing off Antonio when the ball was there to compete for. Despite that, he was his usual smooth presence for the rest of the game.
Was commanding and nullified Antonio’s threat throughout, which is a huge achievement as he is a real handful. Made good decisions with his passing and made a few showy interceptions when it counted.
Struggled to contain Bowen at the beginning but soon got to grips with him as the game went on. Contributed a few meaty old fashioned tackles that lifted the crowd early in the second half. Was sorry to see him subbed as he was becoming increasingly influential.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it here again. The success of our season rests on keeping this man injury free. He dominates the centre of midfield in a way no Arsenal player has done since Vieira.
Had one of his less influential games but still contributed. There was a time if Xhaka didn’t have a brain fart in a game that would be enough, but his standard has gone through the roof so expectations are higher.
Captain Fantastic. Was on it from the outset and attempted a few incredible through balls that were inches from perfection, but served notice of what was to come. His assist for Saka’s goal look like a miscued shot, but with Odegaard you just never know. On this form he operates on a different plane and his Cruyff turn that nutmegged Paqueta will be a highlight reel for years to come.
He’s now elevating into World Class level and the amount of shirt tugs and fouls he receives is a testament to the fact that defenders have no idea how to cope with him. Took his goal calmly and demonstrated that his goal scoring has developed enormously.
Scored a beauty and thank the gods he did, because everything before that bore the hallmarks of a man who needed a goal to settle him. He made a lot of intelligent runs and had a few nice flicks but was also tentative when he should have been braver. The goal will give him the confidence to let his natural instincts guide him.
Was poor by his own standards in the first half, but admittedly they are very high standards. Found his mojo in the second half and offered his usual threat.
Those are my ratings for the game and I would be very interested to hear how you other Gooners rate it.
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