Bolton Wanderers v Arsenal - Player Ratings

Last updated : 15 February 2007 By Luis Anaconda

"Easy, easy, easy," the footballistically challenged among the Emirates stadium have been prone to chant. It maybe that these people are not just blindly led by the Soccer AM culture. It maybe that they are just trying to educate our players, as tonight at the Reebok it was quite clear that "easy" was one word that Gilberto and the boys clearly do not understand. Two missed penalties only begins to tell the story of a night when we thoroughly outplayed a Bolton side who for all their pretensions to good football clearly missed No 1 thug Kevin Davies.

The amateur golfers who pose as football presenters on BBC made a point in their pre-match build-up that Arsenal have no plan B - I wonder if the Bolton defence would like to tell them that facing Adebayor (and to a lesser extent the unfortunate Baptista) in this form asks a few different questions to facing Henry and Van Persie. It certainly helped bury the Bolton bogey.

Manuel Almunia - 7 - He made some good saves (and one exceptional punch clear). More importantly the panicky keeper of two years ago has been replaced by a man who gives confidence to the defence and the dissenters to the idea that he could actually replace Lehmann next year have become fewer.

Johan Djourou - 6 - Nightmare first minute but coped well after that. Undoubtedly picked for his height at right back but we have come to expect more of an attacking threat from our full backs.

Kolo Toure - 7 - Wobbled a bit in the second half when he twice lost possession in dangerous positions but come extra time he was throwing himself at every cross and blocking every shot.

Gilberto Silva - 9 - Took penalty like a centre back, fortunately did everything else like a centre back - outstanding performance from the stand-in skipper.

Gael Clichy - 8 - Excelled in defence, tried to offer an outlet in attack.

Alex Hleb - 6 - Typical performance mixing hard work, incredibly quick feet and occasional bad decision to give his critics some ammo.

Denilson - 8 - The Brazil U-19 captain is expected to be a fine player, he is not expected to come into a blood and thunder English cup-tie and play like a veteran. One excellent leap to clear a long throw in the 119th minute shows he has stamina to go with the skill.

Abou Diaby - 7 - A mixed bag in his first full performance since coming back from injury. Linked play well but gave a few sloppy balls. Kept going for 120 mins and supported the attack.

Tomas Rosicky - 8 - Born to play in this Arsenal team – a constant attacking threat but adds a willingness to track back to his creative gifts.

Julio Baptista - 7 - Where do you start – missed chances, penalty won, driving runs, missed penalty, good assist, misplaced passes. Would "eventful performance" cover it?

Emmanuel Adebayor - 9 - Emmanuel – "Same again Ade - 12.30 Saturday." Ran and ran and ran. First half was arguably his best in an Arsenal shirt – kept offering for 120 mins. Is making himself indispensable 9


Freddie Ljungberg (for Hleb, 78) - 6 - Awful, awful, awful. Embarrassed by Diouf and Vaz Te's skills when "defending", seemed knackered from when the moment came on. Then scored a cracking winner – we love you Freddie.

Jeremie Aliadiere (for Rosicky, 90) - 8 - "Run fast at tiring defenders, make chances" – can't ask for more.

Justin Hoyte (for Djourou, 92) - 6 - Didn't do much wrong.