Okay, Arsenal fans. The club is now done with its first season and there seems to be a lot of stuff to think about.
3:1 for Aston Villa. Three straight goals after the first from Giroud. Two from Benteke and another from the Villain’s new boy, Luna.
This initial recap will have my personal Player Ratings and some initial thoughts without watching the game again.
Wojciech Szczęsny – 4.0
It felt like Woj wasn’t ready for the new season yet. Especially after having watched Asmir Begović block heroically in Stoke’s opening day match against Liverpool, I was shocked to see Szcz play like this. He was lucky to not be sent off for that challenge on Gabriel Agbonlahor. When he popped out of the box to unsuccessfully clear a ball and give the Villains a clear goal opportunity, I knew that the Pole was not ready. Thankfully he wasn’t given much to do as Aston Villa chose to park the bus quickly.
Bacary Sagna – 6.0
Did his job. Started out in the right, but was moved to the left after Gibbs took an early knock. Not a game changer, but definitely one of the few steady players of the night, and the only one that could somewhat handle Agbonlahor.
Per Mertesacker – 5.0
Handled Benteke well, but was caught off guard by Agbonlahor on more than one occasion. Could have definitely been in better position during the build up to the first penalty.
Laurent Koscielny – 6.0
Most definitely an unlucky player. A culprit of the first penalty for allowing Agbonlahor to get the run in, but showed his usual steady self. Was unlucky to be called for a penalty that shouldn’t have been, along with a sending off that really wasn’t necessary.
Kieran Gibbs – 6.0
Had a steady game until he was forced off the pitch quite early in the game due to a cut in the forehead.
Aaron Ramsey – 5.0
Was given the role of a defensive/holding midfielder for his work rate. However, this role definitely isn’t suited for Ramsey. Would things have been different had Gustavo been here?
Jack Wilshere – 6.0
Typical high energy play from Wilshere as he was slaughtered all over the place from the Villains. Unfortunately, Jack seems to be an injury waiting to happen with such atrocious tackles constantly coming in. Could have made wiser passes and quicker ones too, instead of holding the play up.
Tomas Rosicky – 6.0
The most effective Arsenal player of the day, but also missed two easy opportunities that any player should be able to score. Played with his heart as he tried to tie the game up for Arsenal, but just didn’t have enough.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 5.0
Gave a nice past to Giroud for the first goal, but couldn’t use his pace nor energy to have an even more impact in the game. Was taken off early for an injury.
Theo Walcott – 5.0
Where Walcott was, I really do not know. He showed glimpses of himself, but really had know support provided and couldn’t provide support for Giroud himself.
Olivier Giroud – 6.0
Carried his goal scoring form into the season, but wasn’t provided enough support from the entire team. However, he also missed a goal scoring opportunity with a missed kick.
Carl Jenkinson – 5.0
No impact in the game on both sides of the field.
Santi Cazorla – 5.0
Had one great opportunity, but aside from that couldn’t get involved in the game. He looked tired from international duty and showed signs that he wasn’t exactly fit yet.
Lukas Podolski – 5.0
Subbed late in hopes of turning the tide, but was a bit too late.
Overall, the team played well for the first quarter of an hour, but after giving up the first penalty, couldn’t get anything going for them. The fact that the game was quite upbeat and aggressive had a negative effect on Arsenal, more specifically Jack Wilshere. Overall team chemistry was quite off, to the extent where it seemed as if the players had not spent time together during the pre-season. Tactically, the club was a little bit challenged, as Aston Villa played a well planned counter-attacking football.
A greater insight into the match will follow in the next couple days, so please subscribe to the feed and come back to share your thoughts!