Fabianski was man of the match, making several outstanding stops and commanding his box throughout. Djorou and Senderos did very well, given that they had their backs to the wall for most of the game, they defended solidly against some pacey and skillful forwards. Hoyte never looks good enough, while Jay Emmanuel-Thomas is clearly not a full back and struggled defensively.
Randall and Ramsey worked hard, but looked a little lightweight at times and the latter gave the ball away in some rather key areas as he tired in the second half. Wilshere and Gibbs tried hard, but really our youngsters were up against a very strong and much more experienced Sevilla side, they worked so hard to contain Sevilla in the first half and then simply ran out of steam in the second half, resulting in wave after wave of Sevilla attacks.
Vela and Bendtner were two of our most experienced players, however as strikers they were rather isolated and as the midfield tired in the second half, it became harder and harder for them to impact upon the game. Vela's strength and finishing ability were nicely demonstrated by his early goal, while Bendtner showed some nice touches and held the ball up pretty well.
Overall to salvage a draw against such a strong and experienced Sevilla side was a great result and will do these young players no end of good, however it did rather bring home the fact that some of these lads are not quite ready to be playing regularly at first team level as yet. Of the starting eleven, I'd say only Fabianski, the centre backs, Vela and Bendtner look really ready for first team action. The others need a bit more playing time under their belts and a bit more time to develop a bit more physical strength.
This leaves our sqaud looking precariously thin in my opinion, given that we may well be playing twice a week for significant chunks of the season. Obviously a lot depends on whether Diaby can actually get fit and stay fit, and the same for Rosicky, plus Alexandre Song must not be forgotten assuming he does find his way back from China. One starts to worry a bit though when injuries keep recurring so frequently. Just as food for thought, here's my summary of the squad for the season ahead:
Goalkeepers: Almunia, Fabianski, Szczensy.
Verdict: Two excellent keepers should be good enough.
Full backs: Sagna, Clichy, Traore, Hoyte, Gibbs.
Verdict: Great first choice, decent back up at left back but a Sagna injury would be very bad news.
Centre backs: Gallas, Toure, Senderos, Djorou, Song?
Verdict: I'm not convinced by Gallas and Toure as a partnership, but we have good strength in depth in this position.
Centre midfield: Fabregas, Denilson, Diaby, Ramsey, ?Song
Verdict: Fabregas plays, Denilson has looked great, but with Diaby's never ending injuries, we look weak depth wise in this position. Will Song be playing in this position on his return?
Wings: Walcott, Nasri, Eboue, Rosicky, Wilshere, ?Traore and Vela?
Verdict: Walcott and Nasri must start for me, while we have some reasonable cover especially if Rosicky can recover his fitness, while Vela and Traore can cover if needs be.
Strikers: Adebayor, RVP, Bendtner, Vela, Eduardo
Verdict: No doubt that we are strong in this regard, with Eduardo coming back hopefully before Christmas I see no weakness here.
Overall verdict: A lot may depend on where Alexandre Song's future lies and Arsene seems to think this may well be at centre back:
"When I put a player somewhere, I know why I do. If I play Song at centre back it is because I believe he will be a great centre back for Arsenal Football Club.
"In Song's case, he can play in central midfield. But can he play 60 games there? I am not convinced."This then leaves us very short in the centre of midfield. Denilson is an outstanding prospect, but with Diaby's perpetual injuries and Ramsey's inexperience, we surely need to bring in someone here. If we do not, then our season could be completely decimated by a couple of injuries in this position. Having four central midfielders out injured would be bad luck, having two down and not having the cover, would just be plain stupid.