Arsenal Player Ratings. Who is MOTM: King of Assists, Emperor of Clean Sheets, or…?

WATFORD REVIEW.

We made six changes and there was no drop in performance level. No weak link anywhere. More interestingly the team played with exactly the same character as at San Siro. That’s what the stuff of consistency is made of. It makes one wonder how the season went the way it did but at the same time heightens our dream of a Champions League qualification via the Europa League.

CECH …. 200 clean sheets and more to come is a record that would surely stand the test ot time. He took Deeney’s balls off him.
…………….. RATING ….. 8.5

MAITLAND-NILES ….. The right back might be the best position for his skill set. No doubt he still needs to learn its ropes, learn that different areas of the field demand different approaches. He has all the basics, not least his searing pace. He is going to be up there with the best.
……………… RATING ….. 7

MUSTAFI ….. Musti the lion heart. He is so passionate and my excitement is that he is beginning to add brains to it.
…………….. RATING ….. 7.5

HOLDING ….. That’s another lad with huge potentials. Very intelligent. With more game time he would grow in confidence. He is a modern defender. I loved his line breaking pass to Ozil that led tho the 3rd goal.
…………….. RATING ….. 7.5

KOLASINAC ….. Opponents must hate him. He gets all over his man and takes the ball away, consistently. His creative passing is limited by his extreme one footedness. He needs to maximize his potential for forward runs.
…………….. RATING …..7

ELNENY ….. Elneny is known for his safe passing. He lived up to that reputation but this time with a lot of line breaking passes. He was very impressive in the forward role.
……………… RATING ….. 8

XHAKA ….. His glaring weakness is all but vanished. He couldn’t have turned into an athlete overnight. Looks like his team mates have learnt how to cover him. No more vast spaces for Xhaka alone and so majestic he has become.
…………….. RATING ….. 8

IWOBI ….. He is such a good carrier of the ball across lines but in the final third his brain seemed swamped with impulses that have no direction. In the final third he needs to learn how to do more by doing less. I recommend he watches clips of our own cult hero Kanu Nwankwo, his fellow Nigerian, who somehow could manufacture time at will in the final third. That would turn him into a genius.
…………….. RATING ….. 6

MKHI ….. He has something in common with Sanchez. He wants things to happen, but unlike Sanchez he is a complete team player. He is very intelligent and adapts quickly to the players around him. His playing personality has helped introduce greater verticality in our game. My MOTM.
…………….. RATING 8.75

OZIL ….. The fastest 50 assists in Premier League history tells all the story. Ozil is not the one to lift a team from the abyss, but put good players around him and he takes everybody higher.
…………….. RATING ….. 8

AUBA ….. He is the king of one-on-one with the keeper. You need not understand how it comes to be. This season Auba has scored 21 goals out of 29 games all competitions, all leagues. I suspect we are yet to fully appreciate his game.
…………….. RATING ….. 8

SUBS: DANNY, CHAMBERS, JACK …. ALL slid in smoothly.
…………….. RATINGS … 7

WENGER ….. Six changes was bold yet spot-on.
…………….. RATING ….. 8.5

FINAL SHOT ….. We dare to dream.

By Pony Eye.

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56 Responses to Arsenal Player Ratings. Who is MOTM: King of Assists, Emperor of Clean Sheets, or…?

  1. TotalArsenal says:

    Thanks PE for some fine player ratings and supporting text.

    I saw extended highlights but want to watch the whole match as to make judgements on players. Back in a bit.

  2. njk84sg says:

    PE, giving Iwobi a 6 is somewhat generous. I would give him a 5 for his misplaced passes and misses, and a just pass for his endless running, but his running is a little unnecessary due to his bad positioning for defense. Mostly got bypassed and lost a lot of balls.

  3. allezkev says:

    Good work PE, as usual.
    It was generally a good display by our team especially given the changes in the defence, Holding and AMN, but there is still a nagging doubt in my mind about this Arsenal teams resilience and I do wonder how we would have reacted if Deeney had scored his penalty?

    Whilst I don’t want to appear churlish, a positive result against a terrible Milan team and a Watford team that couldn’t hit a cows arse with a banjo doesn’t convince me that this team is anywhere close to returning to top four quality.
    But it’s a start and we now face a run of very winnable games up to the conclusion of this season.

    The game this Thursday is very dangerous because if we go into it thinking that it’s job done and Milan take the lead at the Emirates then it’s going to be a bit of an emotional rollercoaster, and this Arsenal team has it in them to put us through that kind of angst.

  4. jw1 says:

    Kev–
    We miss the forest for the trees sometimes I think. Other teams aren’t always ‘crap’ when we beat them.

    Milan isn’t a terrible team. They were in-form– unbeaten in 12 straight coming in. They’d not given up 2 goals in a match since December. They played to defend. Wrong strategy in hindsight– but it’s what they do.

    Watford had lost only once in last five in the PL. Mostly lower-table types– but Chelsea was among them (4-1). Watford was in a successful period. Petr Cech was the banjoed cow’s arse yesterday. Made two fine saves and stopped a PEN. Depending on Cech? The match could have ended 2-0, 2-1, 3-1, 3-2, or 3-3. but it didn’t. (and Petr’s Brighton demons were exorcized!)

    It may not yet be the caliber of play– nor the consistency needed to go Top-4. And yes, ‘it’s a start.’

    Just feel the teams Arsenal have beaten recently?
    Had more to do with Arsenal playing well enough to win.

    jw1

  5. Pony Eye says:

    njk,
    Iwobi seems to have a limitation which has nothing to do with his technical ability. As a matter of fact he has excellent technical skills.

    Iwobi is almost devoid of that thing Bergkamp calls “stillness” that gives birth to creativity. In other words his game lacks thought and creativity. He responds to the field, moment by moment which becomes an activity that lacks vision. He has to learn to relax his mind (the stillness) without losing the physical alertness (DB’s “speed”).

    It’s a big topic that a few sentences cant do justice to. If am him I’d make contact with DB to recommend a private coach who would bring stillness to his mind. Notice that he does excite his physical body to operate. Excite your body and you’ve excited your mind. Conversely relax your body (Ozil) and you’ve relaxed your mind and gained intelligence. Experts will know the best mix.

  6. Pony Eye says:

    Kev,
    That also is my worry. If we go behind or even just concede will the jitters flood back?

  7. Pony Eye says:

    Jw,
    Our four consecutive loses included away to Spurs and two to City. Most clubs would have suffered that same fate. Still it doesn’t remove the fact that it’s a confidence destroying experience. As you said our returning form, is a start and it gives hope for this Thursday, for the Europa Cup or at the worst for next season (less rebuilding work).

  8. jw1 says:

    Arsenal were able to shake one bad habit– the ‘slow start’– vs Watford. Running them back into their own box for the first 15 minutes.

    The idea that Watford missed some opportunities is well and good– but when you are thinking ‘defense first’? Guys like Periera and Prödl– might have done better if it hadn’t been in their heads to get back quickly.

    And meant to say thanks for the review PE– well done!

    jw1

  9. allezkev says:

    Fair comment Jay Dubya, you make a good point, especially concerning Milan, who probably underestimated Arsenal, thinking that they could kill the tie in the San Siro.
    All the same I thought that they were very poor and that made us look better, we’ll know for sure this Thursday, as Ostersunds, who looked like a pub team in the 1st leg morphed into a dangerous team that took us to the wire in the 2nd leg.

    Arsenal went into the Watford game with a point to prove, mainly to the fat guy who had his penalty saved. The extra motivation made the difference allied to Watford’s atrocious finishing.

    Look mate, 5 goals scored in two games and two clean sheets is very welcome, I’m delighted, but as dear old Arsene loves to say this season, it’s all about perspective, and that’s my point. I’ve never thought that our players were as bad as the results they’ve had this season, to me the problems go deeper, but if I can coin your phase and say, two wins is great but we ain’t out of the ‘woods’ just yet. 😉

  10. allezkev says:

    Very true PE, our confidence is still climbing the stairs, it’s still a very fragile thing, and as you say if Milan score first I’m not so much concerned about our confidence coming down in the elevator, more than it jumping off of the roof…

    Hopefully the experience of the Ostersunds fightback will be fresh in the memorybank, at least this time Arsene won’t need to rotate with a cup final on his mind, this time all the available big guns will be out. Tbh, if you offered me a draw now, I’d take it.

  11. njk84sg says:

    Jw1,
    Prodl could not cope with Auba. He is a tough guy, but the way Auba ran at him was really good.
    Pereyra was unfortunate with his shot, and if he had scored we will not be playing like what we did.

    The slow start was abolished from the player’s minds due to the way we won against Milano.

    I watched the Genoa vs Milano highlights and Genoa’s goal was fractionally offside, so Milano got extremely lucky to have won the game deep into stoppage time.

  12. retsub1 says:

    Kev
    Am with you on this one, the biggest danger is we cant make our mind up to defend or attack and do neither properly. I think if we are to get through we are going to have to score at least once. Let’s hope Milan can’t hit the a cows arse with a banjo, great line haven’t heard that for many
    Many thanks P E for all your efforts

  13. njk84sg says:

    In case you guys do not follow the news on Matt Debuchy, he won the Player of the Month for the French League 1: http://global.espn.com/football/saint-etienne/story/3417680/neymar-beaten-to-ligue-1-award-by-saint-etiennes-mathieu-debuchy.

    I actually preferred him over Bells, but somehow Wenger does not like him. Oh well…

  14. jw1 says:

    JK–
    I think there were more factors with Debuchy than Wenger’s opinion of Bellerin. Debuchy was pursued and signed by Arsene from Newcastle (in 2014, though it seems longer ago!). He was injured severely twice in his first campaign– and it was in his absence that we saw the best stretches of play from Hector. Then he was loaned out (Bordeaux) the following January after Bells had entrenched himself at RB. Upon his return to the club in 2016-17 he made a late-November start at Bournemouth and went down with a hamstring about 15 minute into the match. Star-crossed, Debuchy made just 25 apps across 3-1/2 seasons.

    IIRC there was also a time when his agent began making statements to the press about his situation. Never a good thing unless you have leverage.

    I’m happy to see a player like him make good after all the things that have worked against him. But he seemed a victim of injuries and bad timing more than anything else

    jw1

  15. Admir says:

    @jw1: Debuchy had spent (too much) time playing as a central defender in the first months at Arsenal before Arnautovic injured him.

  16. jw1 says:

    Admir–
    I don’t recall Debuchy featuring at CB early on at Arsenal.
    After sifting through the first 7 lineups for Arsenal in 2014-15– and the back-4 in each match? I don’t see any of the lineups where Debuchy played as a CB– through the 2-2 draw with City (September), where he was first injured. The Stoke match (January) where he was re-injured, he was replaced by Bellerin.

    His only other appearance in 2015 (April) was against Reading in the FA Cup where he went 120 minutes at RB. Per and Kos were the CBs.

    jw1

  17. allezkev says:

    I think you’re right there JW, I saw Debuchy a couple of times after we’d signed him, as a replacement for Sagna, in fact if my memory isn’t playing tricks I’m sure I saw him get injured in one of those games. He came with big reputation from Newcastle and looked a shoe in for Bacary, meanwhile Bellerin was coming off of the back of a poor loan to Watford, where he was routinely rubbished by the Hornets fans – shows what they know?

    Funny how football is and where it takes you, this years hero is quickly forgotten next year.
    And after seeing Maitland-Niles performing with great confidence last week who knows, this time next year Bellerin might be playing elsewhere and AMN could our regular right-back?

    That’s probably why I don’t get as attached to Arsenal players anymore, teams are so fluid and players just come and go.

    Of course another reason I don’t get attached could be because I’m a grumpy old sod… 🙂

  18. jw1 says:

    🙂 Gos… er, Kev–
    Was thinking the same thing as you about AMN– and Bells.
    Was watching the Milan match on (as I believe I’ve heard retsub express) a ‘dodgy stream’ last week. It would slow-down/speed-up mostly– but not hang or freeze. An interesting way to watch.

    Anyway– in the 2nd half, there was a ball passed long down AMN’s flank– and the Milan player had a step on him– when the video slowed for a second at that juncture. And I immediately thought ‘he’s got that’. When it sped back up– so did AMN– bursting past the winger to take possession and pass back to Ospina and out of trouble.

    I don’t know yet if he’s a FB. Or whether we really want him there. If he had any long-ball touch? I’d say try him at the Xhaka/DM spot. His closing speed and ability to dispossess is quite good. Current passing stats show him at 87%. If he could be a 90% passer from deep midfield he’d be great there IMO. And he’s going to mature some more physically.

    jw1

  19. allezkev says:

    Agree JW, I really like Ainsley, even though he can be over casual and dozy at times, but there’s a hell of a good footballer in there.

    I’m really looking forward to seeing Willock and Nketiah taking some big strides in their development next season, I don’t want to see either of them go out on loan either, I want to see them both stay at Arsenal and develop with us rather go out on some pointless loan in the Championship.

    I’m worried that we might lose Reiss Nelson, Wenger needs to play him more and encourage him to see his future at the Emirates. An example of that was bringing on Wilshere with the Watford game won instead of giving Reiss a run out, quite a dumb substitution imo…

  20. retsub1 says:

    Jw1 very rare to get a dodgy stream these days. in fact very rare to pick up a stream at all, without all the associated gremlins that come with it. I gave up streaming when i switched from a pc to a mac. problem is with the mac , came the obligatory, iPhone and i pad. Receiving an email today creates about 15 warning beeps and causes surges in the National Grid

    I agree about AMN he has bags of potential. trouble is he seems to have some family issues away from the pitch which may be causing problems. many years ago I believe the club may have got involved in resolving these. not sure that happens anymore.
    if you sign a player these days it seems to me you need to get a mental evaluation of the whole family. didn’t Nicholas Anelkas brothers drive him out of Arsenal and didn’t Szscenys family get involved as well?

    Agree totally about the Eddie and Reiss non substitutions. but without being to critical of Wengers substitutions, he has never been very dynamic in this respect IMHO anyway.

  21. jw1 says:

    As far as the Welbeck/Wilshere subs?
    IMO it was to give them some match minutes in advance of the Milan match.
    Otherwise they play– for the first time in 7 days this Thursday.
    Sorry Reiss.

    In other news– Milan’s top-2 RBs are not going to be able to play Thursday.
    Gattuso is experimenting with playing a backup CB there. Now there? Is a reason to play Nelson– over Iwobi. A fast, talented unknown against a backup CB at RB. That might cause their CBs to overplay to that side.

    jw1

  22. retsub1 says:

    Oh dear, United losing at home to Sevilla. Sayonara Sanchez?

  23. retsub1 says:

    2 nil to Sevilla Mourinhos face a picture

  24. retsub1 says:

    Sanchez (who is still class in my opinion). Got a lot of flack tonight. But
    Pogba who came on as a sub was terrible.

  25. retsub1 says:

    Where’s Gary Neville when he deserves serious abuse.

  26. retsub1 says:

    Anyone out there? Mourinho interview about to nhitbthr airwaves

  27. retsub1 says:

    Hit the airwaves

  28. allezkev says:

    I didn’t see that result coming Retsub, and at Old Trafford.
    Mourinho, it couldn’t happen to a nicer fella…
    And Pogba, overrated or what, I just don’t get all the hype?

    Fair enough JW, I’ll give ya that one on the subs… 🙂

  29. TotalArsenal says:

    Great comments and banter on here yesterday.

    You get a feeling that JW1 will pull everything towards the light and make it shine; definitely a glass half full person. 🙂

    My old man does not like Wenger and he was talking up Mourinho over the weekend: “I reckon he will go far in the CL this year”. I said yeah we will see how they will deal with Seville this week; any score draw and the Mancs are out. The fear of an away goal will be huge (Arsenal have there before against PSV Eindhoven, you may remember) and influence Mourinho’s game. Spanish teams are just great footballing teams and on average ahead of the PL. Spuddies out, Mancs out; could not happen to better teams! 🙂

    For Mourinho only the FA Cup is left to win something. Shame Arsenal are out of it, I will keep saying this. Sanchez….. not surprised at all. To be fair, it will take time to fit him into the team, any team, and we all know he has a v big ego. Mourinho’s gamble is not paying off though, and next year is his infamous ‘third-year’. Those self-happy Mancs are not so happy anymore, I can tell you.

  30. TotalArsenal says:

    AMN is a good talent and, just like Iwobi last season and Bellerin a few seasons ago, is showing glimpses of what is to come hopefully. These young players will have ups and downs until they reach 25-26 and hopefully then they will have reached top level or there about. Bels and Iwobi are struggling a bit at the moment, but hopefully they will both pull through. AMN is still at an earlier stage of becoming a top player and I love watching his composure and control. Fingers crossed he will come good and stay at Arsenal.

  31. retsub1 says:

    T A yep United only have the FA cup left to play for. Trouble is Spurs and Chelsea are in a similar position and three into one doesn’t, go.

    I have never been a fan of Mourinho or his tactics, which seem to get more negative with age. But it is difficult to argue with the success he has achieved

  32. TotalArsenal says:

    yes he has had his successes, Retsub. But, just like with Wenger, his time seems to be up when it comes to competing for the big prices.

  33. TotalArsenal says:

    The problem for him is that most clubs and their fans now do not just want winning football, but beautiful winning football. The former he is capable of but not the latter.

  34. Admir says:

    @jw1: Debuchy played two games as a CB – in one of those he even scored (v Liverpool). He was signed as a replacement for his compatriot Sagna but due to our shortage of central defenders and Koscielny’s injury in 2014, either him or Monreal had to be used as a CB. He was also used as a RCB this season in a back three in Europa League and League Cup. Tbf, he was very unlucky with injuries but even when he was fit at the beginning of his Arsenal career, he looked below the level of prime Sagna or Bellerin.

    As for Maureen… He is another once great manager. His poor playing career probably gave him an inferiority complex that he has never been able to get rid of. He doesn’t understand football in its substance, he understands football as a blink-game. I don’t know how much you watch table tennis but there is a name for defensive players who simply wait for the opponents’ mistakes, without their own attacking options. They call them “choppers”. Maureen’s football philosophy based on his seven points is basically a chopper one.

  35. TotalArsenal says:

    Chopper… I like it, Admir. 🙂

  36. jw1 says:

    If the club make the finals of the Europa League?
    There look to be many opportunities for the youngsters– with 7 PL matches in six weeks to close the season. Depending where the Leicester TBD match is inserted (thinking Wed 5/9 is likeliest)– there will be 5 PL matches in approx a 20-day stretch upcoming.

    If you add the dates for Arsenal making the EL Final– the schedule is jam-packed:

    4/1 Stoke
    4/5 EL QL1
    4/9 Soton
    4/12 EL QL2
    4/15 @NUFC
    4/23 WHU
    4/26 EL SL1
    4/29 @MU
    5/3 EL SL2
    5/5 Burnley
    @Leicester TBD (probable date)
    5/13 @Huddersfield
    5/16 EL Final

    Reiss is going to get 1st-team minutes if the club goes deep into the EL. I rather like his fire and drive.

    jw1

  37. TotalArsenal says:

    Well, we have a big game on Thursday and we are not there yet. Lets OGAAT it and then we can think about the remainder of the season… 🙂

  38. TotalArsenal says:

    Only at the Swampdwellers:

    “Tottenham have apologised for a “wholly unacceptable” survey question that asked fans in the United States whether “a woman’s place is in the home?”.
    The survey, which was sent as an email, was headed “Calling all US Spurs fans: tell us what you think”.
    The responses available to the question ranged from “definitely agree” to “definitely disagree”.
    The survey was compiled by a third party and Tottenham are understood to be angry about the situation.
    The question has now been removed, with Spurs saying they “apologise to anyone offended by its initial inclusion”.
    A spokesperson for the Premier League club added: “The inclusion of this question in a club survey was wholly unacceptable and a regrettable oversight”.
    The email, which had a club crest at the top, read: “We have an ongoing commitment to learn more about the specific requirements of our loyal fans and everyone who interacts with the club.
    “Therefore, we’re seeking your help to increase our understanding of what you think about Spurs and football/sport in general.”

  39. Admir says:

    They should have made a survey if Spurs’ place is among the biggest English clubs given that Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Aston Villa, Everton, Chelsea, Manchester City, Newcastle United and Huddersfield Town have each won more First Division/PL trophies than Spurs.

  40. jw1 says:

    Due to injuries to Milan’s starting RB and his back-up (Football-Italia.net) report that Gattuso has considered playing winger/CF Fabio Borini at RB vs Arsenal. Borini was tested at RB in training on Saturday, prior to their weekend match vs Genoa.

    jw1

  41. TotalArsenal says:

    For a Spuddies’ survey, the first question would be: How does it feel to be for always in the shadow of the mighty red and white Gunners?

  42. TotalArsenal says:

    Okay PE, whilst the Chavs got beaten by Messi and another obscure referee, I watched the whole Arsenal v Watford game.

    My man of the match is Cech. Not only for sentimental reasons; he had a near perfect game and lead the team in defence.

    Kola: 6 – not dominant and involved enough. Goes missing during game. Start fizzing, Kola.

    Mustafi: 8.5 – great, battling performance with good positioning and interceptions. Great goal too.

    Chambers: 8 – really expressed himself on the pitch. Some mistakes, but also a fabulous ball for Ozil. Real potential for a good partnership with Mustafi, and he adds much needed height in defence. Great attitude too.

    AMN: 7 – extra point for taking into account his age. Great prospect and at times very calm and yet explosive. A few too many give aways from which Watford could have scored, especially in first half. Lovely control of the ball and exquisite passing ability.

    Xhaka: 7.5 – absolutely one for the future of Arsenal. Born leader but still not good at expressing his aggression in the right way, resulting in too many cheap freekicks in dangerous places. Protecting the defence really well and formed a strong partnership with Elneny.

    Elneny: 8 – some fabulous attacking play, connecting midfield with attack extremely well. Dropped off a lot in the second half, but good overall performance.

    Iwobi: 6 – always makes himself available and stretches the game well to create space for others. Obviously, his final ball needs improving but he is a very young talent that needs protecting.

    Ozil: 8 – lead the team quietly and superbly in attack, as we have become used to. Creates space for others all the time and keeps defences busy without any respite. Love him.

    Mkhi: 7.5 – great assist and goal. Lost out on a lot of one to ones, but he put his body in and also should have had a penalty. Would like to see him more involved in our passing game and win those one to ones, but great attacking signing for us.

    Auba: 8 – great run and well taken goal, but his assist for Mkhi was also top-notch. Such calm in the storm to spot Mkhi and pass the ball to him instantly. Makes it look simple. Would like to see more involvement in our overall game, but class in and around the box when he is fed the ball.

  43. Gino92 says:

    TA,
    I think you are a bit too generous regarding Alex Iwobi. I would give him a 4. He was very poor on the day. He gave too many passes to Watford that led to too many counterattacks for my liking. Even Ozil was furious at him at one stage for not spotting a pass to him. His positioning, desire, and intentions are good and admirable, he just needs to work on translating those into much better judgments in the final third and he will be fantastic one day. Still has a long way to go though…

    Also for your rating, I think you meant Rob Holding instead of Callum Chambers, right? Chambers was a second half substitute for Mustafi and didn’t really face a whole lot of action. Holding did perform very calmly and very well next to Mustafi.

    I also gave Petr Cech, my MOTM for a few wonderful saves including his first ever penalty save for Arsenal (and first since 2014, I think) and for finally recording his 200th career clean sheet. He deserves to be MOTM. Elneny and Mkhitaryan are both close second. Good job by all. More of the same (or better) against Milan.

    3-1 to Arsenal is my prediction for today’s game against Milan. 5-1 on aggregate.
    Go Gunners!

  44. njk84sg says:

    Gino92, Chambers did well too.

    Looking forward to tomorrow morning (local time) match

  45. henrychan says:

    Hi all..
    My MotM for both last games were our keeper.. Hehehe..

    So let’s move to Milan now.. 12 hours to go..
    Ospina will be our keeper..
    How about our defenders..?? I think we will play another four backs.. With Bellerin return, Will he play..?? Or Wenger give Niles another chance for RB position.. Or it’s Chambers turn..?? I will go for Chambers..
    Koscielny will also return.. Although Holding did great last game.. He will be replaced..
    Kola or Niles.. I think Kolasinac will get his place.. So, our back four will be Kola – Mustafi – Koscielny – Chambers..

    All our midfielder did great last game.. It will be hard to choose..
    I agreed Ozil and Elneny were the best last night.. But with Ramsey return we have plenty of midfielder.. And Ramsey will certainly get his place for being rested a week long..
    So who will be our five midfielders (3+2 wingers).. Ozil, Ramsey and Mhkitaryan for sure.. The others two will be either Elneny, Xhaka and Wilshere.. I hope Elneny will be one of them..

    And last will be Welbeck as our CF.
    If he played like he did last game.. We can be sure some goals will coming.. Hehehe..

  46. Admir says:

    I reckon Wenger will go with the same team that won in Milan. I don’t know if Nacho is available or not, that might be the only unforced change.

    Ospina

    Chambers Mustafi Koscielny Kolašinac

    Ramsey Xhaka Wilshere

    Özil Mkhitaryan

    Welbeck

    It will be a more difficult game than the first leg. Milan have nothing to lose now and Gattuso might go with Andre Silva – a striker who has failed to impress so far but won their last game with a late winner against Genoa and can create chances for his team-mates which we have seen in the first leg when his through ball released Kalinić – from the first minute. Silva likes to drop deeper to feed his team-mates after drawing central backs on him so Mustafi has to make another focused performance. Ospina had to make two rush outs of his line and was lucky not to concede a penalty on Calhanoglu.

    Our best chance to kill the tie as early as possible is probably their right back position now that their first three choices for that position are all out with injuries so I expect Mkhitaryan and Kolašinac to make enough pressure there.

  47. TotalArsenal says:

    Gino, yes I meant Holding not Chambers (not the first time I mixed them up – and it was a long day yesterday! 🙂 ). You are too harsh re Iwobi. Why a 4? He worked hard in attack and defence, spread the defence well with his positioning and never hid. I don’t think his decision making was bad, but it was his execution that was lacking. For example, he did spot Ozil but his pass was overhit. That is a confidence matter. So a six seems reasonable to me (if he was 26 or older I would have given him a 5).

  48. TotalArsenal says:

    Agreed Admir, that is very likely going to be the starting eleven.

  49. Pony Eye says:

    TA,
    I must confess that your rating appears scientifically superior. Of course your advantage is that you watched the game without the tensions. The only thing I disagree with is that Holding and Chambers are identical twins.😅

  50. TotalArsenal says:

    Hahaha PE, they could be brothers though! 😀

    Indeed, it makes a big difference in rating players whether you do it straight after the game as it unfolded or a few days later when you have already seen the highlights and know the score.

    One of the things that stood out was us losing out physically in one on ones quite a lot. Watford are an athletic and physical team, and put their foot in a few times as well, and we struggled with that. Luckily, up front they lack quality and were unable to hurt us, but I am hoping that we will play with more one on one intensity against Milan.

  51. TotalArsenal says:

    The Arsenal Women show the men how it should be done v Man City. One Nil to the Arsenal, One Nil..

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/43374237

  52. TotalArsenal says:

    Some more good news re females making progress in the game.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/43413635

  53. jw1 says:

    Agree with Admir’s assessment that the Rossoneri have ‘nothing to lose’.
    You don’t sit back down 0-2. Need to control the midfield and the tempo– as last week.

    PE made a good point about Iwobi’s match rating and real-time frustration.
    Alex was Alexis-all-over-again– without the possibility of pulling a miracle out of his… pocket.

    Would also like to hear PE’s choices for our goal-scorers today– as he picked out Ramsey and Mkhi last Thursday– IIRC?

    Has to be Chambers at RB again. He played well in a clean sheet effort.
    Danny gets a goal today. Created by his persistent pressing.

    Go Gunners!

    jw1

  54. allezkev says:

    Yep JW, with Mian needing a 3-1 minimum result to win, or 2-0 to take it to pens it would seem that attack is their primary option and that should suit us.
    We can hit them on the break.

    Assuming that Mustafi is fit, I guess Wenger’s biggest decision has to be the defence, and what kind of defence.
    He surprised me in Milan by going with a back four, so I’d guess he’ll stick with that as that’s the system he favours.
    Sead & Chambers or Monreal & Hector?

    Kolasinac and Chambers have played in the last two games and are up to speed, but Monreal is our best defender so if he’s fit, for me he plays.

    Offer me the 0-0 now and I’d say dank u wel….

  55. jw1 says:

    Kev–
    Ya’ know, I’m not up on Serie A other than knowing that Juventus is the juggernaut and Napoli plays pleasing football. But Milan has only bagged 38 goals from 27 in Serie A.

    A few further details on Milan’s scoring capability 2017-18:
    Scoring 3 or more on five occasions– none recently.
    Of those 5 times– 3 were vs Serie A clubs near the drop zone; the other 2 vs Austria Vienna in their EL Group. Vienna allowed second-most goals of any club in EL Group play.

    If we play possession football today, we will advance.

    =======

    On another note– both Jack and Danny have been named to Gareth Southgate’s squad.

    jw1

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