The Goonerater: Arsenal v Stoke

WTTGT Writer: Amoy Ghosel

Wojciech Szczesny – 6.0 – For the second straight game the Polish international didn’t have any real save to make as the Gunners dominated possession and protected their keeper very well. Szczesny did have one nervous moment in the second half when he needlessly came out and thus can still improve in his decision making.

Johan Djourou – 6.0 – The Swiss international didn’t do much wrong defensively despite playing in an unfamiliar position at right back. Djourou didn’t offer much going forward but was solid at the back as Stoke hardly threatened from their left flank.

Laurent Koscielny – 7.0 – Another commanding display from Koscielny as he once again won some important headers and tackles to deal with Stoke’s attacking threat. He was desperately unlucky to be penalised for the foul on Crouch that led to the equalizer but made a great block towards the end to stop Kenwyne Jones’ goal bound effort.

Per Mertesacker – 7.0 – The German’s height was important to deal with the aerial bombardment from Stoke. Mertesacker’s partnership with Koscielny had given Arsenal a strong foundation for their previous two wins and against Stoke also the former Werder Bremen defender looked solid and composed at the back.

Andre Santos – 6.0 – The Brazilian wasn’t much of an attacking threat as he usually is but he still kept overlapping at every opportunity to support the attack. Santos is slowly getting used to the physical demands of the English game and the solid display against Stoke will enhance his confidence.

Alexandre Song – 6.5 – The Arsenal captain for the day had another influential outing in the middle of the park as he won the second ball several times to break up Stoke attacks. He could have done better with his final ball but overall Song did his job as a holding midfielder very well.

Mikel Arteta – 6.5 – The former Everton man’s passing and distribution was much better compared to the last two games and that was a big factor behind Arsenal looking dangerous even without Van Persie in the first half until Stoke’s equalizer. Arteta once again showed great work ethic to help out the team defensively as well.

Aaron Ramsey – 7.0 – Arsenal’s match winner at Marseille produced another impressive display as he setup the first goal with a beautiful lob to pick out Gervinho and even in the second half his passing and movement helped Arsenal’s cause. The Welsh captain is getting better with every game and as mentioned by Wenger, is not far from his best now.

Theo Walcott – 5.0 – Despite getting his third consecutive start, the English international once again failed to deliver. His pace caused problems for both Stoke fullbacks but that’s how good as it got for Theo as his final ball lacked quality every time he crossed and thus rightfully was replaced by Arshavin.

Maroune Chamakh – 5.0 – Many strikers would feel sorry for Chamakh as the Moroccan keeps working hard but rarely looks like scoring and that happened in this game also. The former Bordeaux player got a couple of fantastic opportunities in the first half but couldn’t convert and made way for RVP in the second half.

Gervinho – 9.0 – **WTTGT Man of the Match** By far the best performance from the Ivorian since his move from Lille in the summer. Gervinho took his goal very well in the first half and brilliantly assisted the two goals of Van Persie. Despite the Dutchman’s brace, Gervinho deserves to be man of the match for his contribution in all the three goals and the difference he made throughout with his direct play.

Subs

Robin Van Persie – 8.5 – The Arsenal skipper just can’t stop scoring at the Emirates and is also raising question marks on whether the Gunners are a one-man team nowadays. Came on midway through the second half and his impact was almost instant as he scored two in nine minutes to move Arsenal up to seventh in the table.

Andrey Arshavin – 6.0 – Looked much brighter than Walcott after coming on and also helped out fullback Santos a couple of times to ensure Arsenal don’t concede in the second half.

Emmanuel Frimpong – N/A – Didn’t play long enough to earn a rating although the youngster was caught on possession in his own half just after coming on but thankfully wasn’t punished.

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