Overall I think that we were actually very good in the first half and should have finished the game there and then but hell we couldn’t create squat, we could have lost the game hadn’t it been for a penalty which wasn’t one in my opinion.
Somethings I can pick out though is that without one of our three playmakers we struggle to create anything, and as soon as Walcott came off and we shifted Hleb to the right and Eduardo to the left we were screwed. Both players will come inside and all Birmingham had to do was floor men into their own box and they could stop us easily. Noone went wide to pull them apart.
So here goes nothing:
Manuel Almunia – 7 – He actually had very little to do, in the first half he made a good save from Jerome but not much after that. You could blame him for their goal but I believe it took a deflection off Fabregas.
Bacary Sagna – 7 – Typical Sagna performance, did well defensively and nothing else I can say about the guy.
William Gallas – 7 – Made some good tackle, a typical performance.
Phillipe Senderos – 7.5 – I thought Senderos was great today, not so much in the first half, but definetly in the second. He has his ciritics but made some great challenges to prevent Birmingham counter-attacking. He even attacked well in the form of his headers when we have set pieces, I honestly rate him better at attacking corners that Kolo (but not much else).
Gael Clichy – 7.5 – This guy is great, he is great defensively and his crosses are slowly getting better. Hell he even had some decent strikers on goal today. Good performance.
Francesc Fabregas – 6 – It wasn’t one of his better games in my opinion. He gave the ball away cheaply too many times for me. Nevertheless I thought he had a good effort on goal in the dying seconds which I would like him to get back into doing.
Theo Walcott – 4 – I thought he was awful today as he was against Tottenham. He gets the ball and doesn’t pick the right pass or just gets brushed off the ball. I still think he will become a great player but he really needs to improve.
Alex Hleb – 7 – I thought Hleb had a good game altogether. In the first half he put in some great crosses with his left foot something which we lacked in the second half. In the second half its self all our midfielders really didn’t do well, when Walcott was taken off Hleb was moved to the right and did nothing on the flank and came inside which limited our options.
Mathieu Flamini – 7 – A good performance by Flamini today, made some decent tackles. He and Fabregas need to balance it up with who is attacking and who is staying back. Sometimes in the first half we were left open. Not much else to say really.
Eduardo da Silva – 6 – He had a typical game, he got into some good positions and made some good headers for a guy of his size. However my only problem with him is that he does not get on the ball enough for my liking at all. In the second half he was put on the left wing and constantly came inside and limited our options and on the few occasions he went to the left he didn’t put a decent cross in. I thought his penalty wasn’t one at all to be honest.
Emmanuel Adebayor – 5 – Scored a good penatly but did little after that. In the second half you would see him sprinting back to win the ball back which is nice to see but sometimes we just need him in the box so we can actually score.
Bendtner – 6 – Didn’t do aswell as I would have hoped when he did come on, he had a good chance to score when he was put in by Fabregas but he dragged it wide unfortunately.
Diaby – 5 – Not much time but he didn’t do much. Some poor passes and constantly coming inside and losing the ball.
Adebayor – Penalty
It wasn’t a penalty in my opinion. I thought the former Spurs defender got the ball but Eduardo thought he’d made enough contact to go down and we got a pen. I’m not complaining but it wasn’t a penalty for me. Good shot to the bottom right corner, almost saved by Maik Taylor.
Garry O’Connor – Deflected Header
Some poor defending by Flamini on O’Connor but the header got a deflection from Fabregas that took it past Almunia. I feel sorry for Almunia because some people are going to blast him for it but it wasn’t really his fault, if it hadn’t been deflected im sure he would have made the save.
Anyway just my side of the coin.