Arsenal vs. Sunderland: Review, Player Rating of the Gunners' Opening 0-0 Draw

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Arsenal vs. Sunderland: Review, Player Rating of the Gunners' Opening 0-0 Draw
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

I suspect a sense of envy and anxiety could not but hover over the minds of Arsenal faithful by the midway point of the 2012-13 English Premier League opening fixtures.

At this point, only Arsenal appeared to be toiling in vain as far as goals were concerned. Here's how the results of these fixtures read at this point.


By the 81st minute when Olivier missed a gold-gilded chance, the results were thus:


At the end of the first half of match-day one (Manchester City and Chelsea will play on Sunday and Manchester United on Monday), the Premiership table had assumed this shape:

In a sense, Arsenal failed to take care of the business on hand. It must be said that this result favored Sunderland more than it did their host.

Saying this, though, is only to the extent that one must make a critique in a pragmatic and dispassionate way. This is different than saying that the team played poorly, a statement that surely must be inaccurate, even entirely false.

What we must realize is that although this wasn't necessarily a bad result, we did miss the chance to get the wind into our sails as quickly as possible.

As we reflect on the match, we must be cognizant of the positives and negatives of the match's outcome. On the one hand, for example, there's more pressure to win away at Stoke City next week, a pressure that I must say would have been different had we won this match.

On the other hand, this is an example of the task ahead. Sunderland are an exemplar of well-organized sides. We must remember how they frustrated Manchester City last season and even ran away with a surprising victory.

Arsenal are bound to meet such resistant teams as the season progresses: Stoke City, Chelsea, Fulham, Newcastle United, etc. How they will cope was exemplified in the team's performance in this game. 

I must say, I thought the team did well, bar the lack of goals, of course.

I review the rest of the match in the following slides.

Begin Slideshow »

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