Made an excellent save from the word go (as they say). He was, by and large, a spectator in this match, especially in the second half.
Discharged his duty excellently.
In fact, he played with calculated assurance. He is a good player who is bound to prove his critics wrong if he stays fit.
I already liked his pressing forward movement last season. We found it again here.
I like Vermaelen, and I think he will be a good leader of the team.
He does, of course, tend to "fly forward," but we must recall that that fault was what gave us victory over Newcastle at the Emirates last season.
If he can limit his flying forward to off-the-ball occurrences, what is a weakness will shed this aspect and be seen for the positive it is.
I thought he was quite alert in this game.
Mertesacker was, by and large, the sweeper in my so-called V-formation. He is an intelligent reader of the game (a fact many impatient fans miss).
He also tends to look for through passes into the midfield. He also isn't a bad tackler either. He had a solid game, I thought.
The air of confidence that Jenkinson has about him enables him to go about his business with sufficient enough efficiency.
Like Gibbs, he balanced his defensive and attacking duties quite well. Plus, he is a good crosser of the ball.
Abou Diaby was solid as one of Arsenal's defensive pivots in the midfield.
He is a world-class player who has been hampered by injury. Let's all pray (yes, the word) for his fitness this season.
If he stays fit, Arsenal would have little to worry about in the midfield. This was a very good return for a player who has been out with injury for rather too long.
Understated as usual, but again was the glue that held the midfield together.
Played 90 minutes, a testament to his fitness. For a debutant, this wasn't a bad match at all.
In the first half, he tended to stay behind the advance forwards as his role theoretically requires of him. He also tended to drift sideways.
In the second half, though, he was more direct in his approach. I thought he became more influential in consequence.
I am apt to say he was the most lively player on the pitch and proved very troubling for the Sunderland defense. Sometimes, he dwelled a wee too long on the ball, but overall, I liked what I saw.
Walcott was lively.
He is a good dribbler, but he needs to improve on his tendency to leave the ball behind. He needs also to improve on his heading ability.
He is a player who tends to send opposition defenders into panic. This was true of this match on occasion. Overall, he had a good match.
Podolski was a little understated, but seemed to relish Arsenal's one-two passing. He probably would have scored in the first half but for the mix-up with Cazorla, since I thought he was better positioned to take the shot than the latter.
In any case, I appreciated the desire from both players.
Podolski's movement was good, and this means that he was not content to stay on the tip of the attack at all, but—as situations required—drifted infield to help with building up attacks.
This looked like the Arshavin we used to know. When he is on top of his game, he can change a match and he almost did here.
I however observed something (a rather well-known weakness of his): his penchant for inaccurate passing, which often unbalances the team and causes it to scamper into a defensive shape when ill-prepared.
I suspect this is the reason why Wenger doesn't play him more often in the middle. A midfielder mustn't be susceptible to inaccurate passing a lot of the time.
Aside from this fault, I thought Arshavin did very well when he came on.
Ramsey is always lively and always tends to look for an opportunity to move forward. He also tends to look for forward passes. Besides all this, he is a tireless worker.
With the return of Diaby and the presence of Cazorla in advance midfield, Ramsey shouldn't experience the kind of burnout that overtook him last season.
An area he must improve on is his shooting technique.
Giroud demonstrated what kind of player he is—both in the Cologne game and here—through his intelligent movement.
In the former game, his attempts were on target (I'd like to say all). Here, unfortunately, he skewed his shot in a very good position.
It is a fact that we must not dwell on too long, nor must we say that were it that-person-that-still-we-are-reluctant-to-name, he would have buried the chance.
We should remember that even that person misses glaring chances, too.
Giroud will be fine.
Please, feel free to grade the players.