Arsenal vs. Sheffield United Player Ratings

By on September 24, 2008
Hat Trick Hero Vela Shows Why He Was Worth The Wait

Carlos Vela: Definitely worth the wait.

Arsenal fully demolished a sub-par Sheffield United side this evening as Arsene Wenger fielded the club’s youngest side ever. It was quickly apparent that age mattered little in this affair as the teenage Gunners effortlessly put six past the Blades on the evening.

Fabianski: 7 Honestly, Fabianski had little to nothing to do all night except be happy and watch his teammates play some glorious football. When he was called into action however he came out and dominated his area with authority and his distribution for the most part was good.

Hoyte: 7 Good getting forward and seemingly more solid then his brother in defense. The younger Hoyte looked much better at right-back then he did at center-back in preseason. He is still young and has plenty of time and room to improve (unlike his brother) but all in all a solid start for the youngster.

Djourou: 8 Looked a bit shaky in the first few minutes but he settled into the game quite well and dealt with everything that came his way. He put in a number of great challenges to break up what little attacking United had.

Song: 8 Solid as usual. Great in defense, going forward, and distribution. He seemed to have landed awkwardly on one leg that may have strained his hip. Hopefully it is nothing serious and he will be fit and ready for action when Arsenal host Hull this weekend.

Gibbs: 8.5 Fantastic display from Gibbs. He was there when called upon in defense and was fantastic getting forward, whipping in some solid crosses and even putting in a shot or two on target. He has shown he has the ability to get forward. The next question will be does he have the ability to defend consistently when called upon.

Wilshere: 9 Little Jack made his first team debut as a 16 year old who came through the Hale End academy and looked as if he had been playing football ever since the day he was born. He was comfortable with the ball at his feed, fantastic in his passing and capped it off with a cool finish from outside the box. Even more encouraging was his ability to get back and help in defense as well as the strength he showed on the ball. He never backed down from a challenge and was willing to stand up to much bigger and strong players than himself. These are all very encouraging signs from the young Englishman and as the season progresses I can only see Wilshere getting better and better.

Ramsey: 9 Great strength on the ball and fantastic passing and distribution. Showed he can split the defense as well as win the ball back. Aaron showed some fantastic bits of skill, including that sublime back heel to Bendtner. Two assists on the night for the young Welshman to go along with an over all fantastic performance. Suffice it to say, the future looks bright for Aaron at Arsenal.

Randall: 6.5 Looked good in the first half in passing and possession and even put in a few nice challenges but his final ball and set pieces left much to be desired. Furthermore, Mark seemed to fade in the second half. This appears to be a make or break season at Arsenal for Randall with other more talented players pushing up in his position. If he doesn’t put in some more inspiring performances he will most likely have to seek employment elsewhere.

Merida: 8 Fran was incredibly impressive on the night. He showed fine bits of skill all evening long. He played some totally deft balls through the defense and put in some good crosses from set pieces. Add to that the assist on Wilshere’s goal and the young Spaniard is starting to show why he is so highly rated.

Bendtner: 9 Two goals and an assist coming off of a great weekend performance at Bolton. Nick was trouble for the United defense all night long. He held the ball up well and combined great with Vela. Not much can be said against Nick tonight other than that he really ought to have scored the goal for his hat trick which he pushed just wide.

Vela: 10 I cannot honestly think of a single thing the Mexican did wrong all evening wrong. He scored three goals and set up another. He ran all over the pitch, held the ball up extremely well, showed his coolness and calmness in finishing and also his strength on the ball. Already a regular in the senior Mexico squad, performances like this will certainly go a long way in Vela’s pursuit of consistent first team football in the Premiership this season.


Coquelin: 8 Francis looked fantastic slotting in at right back. He was able to exhibit both his defensive tenacity as well as the creative side of his game and he made a few nice moves into the box. The kid clearly has skill and drive and I believe it is only a matter of time before this youngster makes his way into the first team.

Lansbury: 7.5 Henri looked good on the night. He put in a few night shots and combined well down the right side. Obviously, he is still getting back into the swing of things after his illness last year but this performance is definitely a solid step on the road back.

Simpson: 6 Nothing in particular stood out about Jay’s game. He hustled, and he seemed to pass and link up decently but his final ball was lacking. With the depth Arsenal have in the striker position and the performances of players like Bendtner and Vela it is going to be very hard for Jay to force his way into even the Carling Cup squad. That is why he must take full advantage of any chance he gets.

Man of the Match: Without a doubt, Carlos Vela showed why so many fans were anxious for the young Cancun-born striker to earn his work permit and return from his loan spells in Spain. His link-up play, his holding, his vision, his strength and his finish are all there. Tonight, Carlos Vela arrived.

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