West Bromwich Albion v Arsenal - Player Ratings

Last updated : 25 October 2006 By Nikos Polydorou

WBA put out an experienced line up, using players with Premiership experience but they were made to look second rate even though they had won their last 4 matches comfortably. If you consider that we had Freddie, Baptista, Lauren and Diaby missing through injury then don't be surprised if we go a very long way in this competition.

Almunia (8.0)

Had a very good match and dealt with everything that came his way – his handling for crosses was superb and made a brilliant save from a free kick. For me Almunia is a very good standby goalie but I can't really see him taking over from Lehmann

Clichy (7.5)

Was given a few scary moments in the first 15-20 minutes but got better as the match progressed. I think its time for him to make a come back.

Connolly (7.0)

He was playing out of position (right back) and did ok although at times in the second half his positioning was wrong and allowed the WBA forwards to go pass him and on one occasion we were lucky not to concede. He is a bit like Hoyte was at left back

Djourou (8.0)

I just love watching this guy – he is a great reader of the game, very good header of the ball and possibly our best passing defender. His only problem can be over-confidence but last night the WBA forwards didn't get a sniff.

Senderos (8.0)

He is ready for a return to the first team but unfortunately for Phil, Djourou, Gallas and Toure are in front of him. He will have to be patient as we need players like him. Had Hartson in his pocket although some people would say that shouldn't be too difficult

Song (8.5)

Of course he has a lot of critics on AWIMB but these people will do well to perhaps watch him more closely and then realise that Wenger isn't stupid to put his faith in him. He was strong and very skilful, a typical African player I would say. He controlled the midfield.

Flamini (7.5)

I watched Flamini play for the reserves v the Russians and he was extremely poor but tonight he was like a tiger – again, another player that is very useful to have as back up

Denilson (7.5)

Looked like a lost little boy in the first 20 minutes and I am sure he was thinking "what the hell am I doing here?" – however, once he got used to the pace he just got better and better and was unlucky not to score. Typical Brazilian skills and a good tackler, he reminded me of Edu at times.

Walcott (8.0)

At times he was electric and the WBA defence were scared to death of him. However, his positioning when the opposition have the ball needs to improve but that of course this will come with time and experience. Very unlucky not to have scored when Hoult made a brilliant save and Theo also created our second goal.

Aliadiere (9.0)

Absolutely superb – his running with the ball was superb at times beating several WBA player of which one led to the penalty. His unselfish running off the ball was also very noticeable and a great finish for our second goal. I thought he was finished at Arsenal but after watching him last night perhaps not. Adebayor's injury may well give him the chance that he has been looking for. What people mustn't forget is his tremendous goal scoring record for the first team.

Adebayor (?)

I can't really give him any marks as he was injured early in the match but while on the field he played like we know he can as a centre forward.


Traore (8.0)

Played on left side of midfield, more like a winger and was superb – this guy is going to become a very special player. I guarantee it, remember my words, he is very special.

Randall (7.0)

Wasn't on for very long but I like his style and I know that Wenger rates him very highly.

Not Used: Poom, Simpson, O'Cearull