Birmingham City v Arsenal - Player Ratings

Last updated : 05 February 2006 By Mike Bohndiek
The Formation:

Thierry spoke about the change of formation in his post match conference. He admitted that 4-5-1 wasn't working well for us and that we probably wouldn't have been able to score goals in the manor that we did in this game if he had been a sole striker. It was refreshing to see us line up in a 4-4-2 formation as it showed us a team that was comfortable with what they were doing which hasn't been the case lately on the road.

The Defence:

Considering that the average age across the backline was just twenty we were incredibly strong and compact. Birmingham attempted to unnerve us by playing long balls into the box near continuously but we stood up to the challenge and managed to get the ball away with minimal fuss. Jens also deserves huge praise for his superb display.

The Midfield:

One word – Diaby. He was our man of the match by a mile and was simply awesome throughout. Strong and decisive and not afraid to stick a foot in, it is everything that we have been needing just lately. Even Reyes stuck some tackles in! It was just that type of day!

The Attack:

Adebayour made a big impact on his debut. He plays like an old fashioned English centre forward and could prove to be the perfect partner for Henry as he possesses the few skills that Tel lacks. Both strikers got a goal, which was good to see.

This was the perfect end to a bad week – now we need to follow this up with a win next weekend.

Jens Lehmann (7) Two smart early saves saw us through a tough opening.

Sebastian Larsson (7) He coped well with the pace of Pennant.

Philippe Senderos (7) He didn't let the ball bounce from long balls through, and even took a boot in the chest for the cause.

Johan Djourou (7) Throughout a period of defensive instability he has been getting on with his work quietly and effectively.

Mathieu Flamini (6) Did well at the back but didn't offer much going forward.

Jose Reyes (7) Troubled the Birmingham defence with his runs and made sure that Larsson wasn't isolated at the back.

Abou Diaby (9) Amazing from start to finish, a regular first team place beckons.

Gilberto (5) Anonymous throughout, but no major mistakes.

Cesc Fabregas (6) A fine through ball for our second capped a decent display.

Emmanuel Adebayour (7) A highly impressive debut. He got the goal that his performance deserved.

Thierry Henry (7) He dropped deep to start attacking play, and bagged his 200th. goal for the club.


Alexander Hleb (6) Got into the game well.