By Karl M. Tinsley

MY 3 STARS

https://i2.wp.com/d.yimg.com/i/ng/sp/reuters/20100403/16/2538535909-03042010162907.jpg?resize=260%2C215#1. TOMAS ROSICKY: Turned in another spirited and lively performance. He looked very spry and dangerous with the ball all match. You can really see the confidence has returned to his game now with the clever little stepovers, feints and slashing mazy runs that he is flashing at defenders. LOVING IT!.

Had a couple really nice attempts on net and set up 2-3 other good opportunities for teammates. Toss in his goal line chest block of Zubar’s goal bound header and you have a complete performance from the diminunitive Czech.

#2. THEO WALCOTT: Built upon his excellent substitute performance against Barca with another decent match. While his passing/crossing continues to blow hot and cold…his work-rate and determination to get involved and desire play a more central role in our attack cannot be denied.

Walcott used a mixture of great pace and decent ball distribution to un-lock a very tightly packed Wolverhampton defense on numerous occasions.
Scuffed a golden chance late but instead of hanging his head he worked hard and fed Sagna the ball that he proceeded to cross into the box for Bendtner to head home.

#3. NIKLAS BENDTNER: Came on with only 30 minutes left and got himself into position to be “Johnny on the Spot” again and steal us yet another late game winning goal. PROPER!. His height and success in holding up the ball definitely gave us a different dimension in attack late in the 2nd half.

His first touch was A LOT better than what we witnessed against Barca as he managed to bring his teammates more and more into the attack. His headed goal showed a hunger and focus that has often been missing in the past from the Big Dane. Love to see him catch fire these last 5-6 weeks we are going to need him.

HONOURABLE MENTION:

SOL CAMPBELL: Continues to impress with his solid if not unspectacular play in anchoring our back line. I am equally impressed with his physical conditioning as I am with his alert and intelligent positioning at the back. He was up and down the pitch…pushing the attack when he saw a chance to push up and pressure and retreating with speed to smother offensive attacks by the Wolves forwards.

Great match Sol…very happy to see him holding up well physically and mentally. Good chance he starts against Barca…IF he does…we’ll need the mental toughness and physical commitment to team defense. KEEP IT UP SOL!.

ALEXANDRE SONG: Looked a lot more comfortable playing back in his usual role in the centre of our midfield after getting scorched for the 2nd goal against Barca. Looked quick in his reading of the play and equally quick in getting to any loose or 50/50 balls. His distribution was very good as well. It will be interesting to see where The Boss decides to utilize him on Tuesday night against Barca.

MIKAEL SILVESTRE: For a guy with only 2 appearances in the last 2 months…I felt “Peanut” turned in a very decent effort. He kept his nose clean on defense and even had a few forays up into and around the Wolverhampton box. Kept his game simple and moved the ball quickly and smartly when it came into his possession. Nice effort by “Peanut” in relief of Clichy.

LEMON(S):

EDUARDO: Hate to beat on a guy whose still in the process of coming back from a catastrophic injury…BUT…he is doing himself no favours with his current displays. He had numerous quality chances to get off the slide and put his name again on the scoring ledger. However, he just seems to be really struggling with not only his lack of pace but his absence of form and technique in front of goal.

Its a pity…everybody connected with the club wants to see him score and regain that “assassin” type quality he had prior to his maiming in Feb. 2008, but it just doesn’t seem to be happening for the Croatian. I hope he can get his fitness and technique back this summer. I think next year will be a make or break year for Eduardo in the Gunner kit.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

It was as ugly a match as you’ll ever see at The Emirates. A full-on smash and grab effort is what we witnessed on Saturday night. A hangover from the mid-week match against Barca was too be expected…add to that the absence of Arshavin, Cesc and Gallas and it was always going to be a slippery match. Proud of the way the squad kept fighting to the end and found a way to pull this match out of the fire with our last throw of the dice.

Glad to see that we escaped the match without adding more members to our injury list. The combination of that never say die attitude and the positive result that we enjoyed on Saturday…will hopefully prove to be powerful medicine for us as we head into the Lion’s Den aka The Camp Nou in Barcelona.

A 1-Nil to The Arsenal result at Camp Nou will be enough to push us into the Semi-Finals, with some good fortune, the right formation and squad selection we can ask the question…WHY NOT!?!?.

Until then I remain,

GUNS IN GUNS OUT

Karlos

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