Arsenal V Newcastle United: Gunners’ Player Ratings – Mo of the Match

Arsenal fried a big fish on Thursday and then it can be hard to motivate yourself for a game in Tyne and Wear on an early Sunday afternoon. Wenger left midfield beasts Ozil, Jack and Rambo at home and also gave full back Bellerin and central defender Koz a break. With starts for Iwobi, Willock, and Holding and Chambers, Arsene rotated his squad and they started well.

In the first half we played well and should have been leading by one or two goals, but in the second half both tiredness and continued rustiness of our attackers showed and we paid the price for leaving our quality midfielders at home.

Player Ratings:

Cech: 7 – distribution was not great again and should he have been beaten so easily at the near post for the first goal?

Monreal: 6.5 – would have expected more composure from him at the back for the second we conceded. Some good crosses into the box and he always gives his all.

Mustafi: 5.5 – asleep for the first goal. Seems lost without the calm leadership of Koz next to him. Great block in the second half to prevent NU’s third goal.

Holding: 6 – relatively calm and solid, nothing spectacular.

Chambers: 5 – defensively okay but too slow and heavy to play as a full/wing back for Arsenal in the PL. Some poor decision and final touches when supporting the attack.

Xhaka: 7.5 – solid and intelligent play in midfield. Found his position in the team.

Elneny: 8 – the engine for us and could be found everywhere on the pitch. Such a tidy player. MOTM.

Willock: 6 – added bite to our midfield but not enough to our attacking play, but good game given his experience and age (18).

Iwobi: 7.5 – another engine for us on the pitch. Fine movement and intelligent play but the attacking three lacked telepathic connection to really hurt the Newcastle defence.

Laca: 6 – good goal and decent movement and involvement in the game but needs to stamp his authority on games more. Will come… next season.

Auba: 6.5 – great assists and good involvement in the game but did not get the midfield service he deserves.

By TotalArsenal.


50 thoughts on “Arsenal V Newcastle United: Gunners’ Player Ratings – Mo of the Match

  • TA other than Cech l don’t disagree with your scores., other than dropping them all down a point or two. Cech has been a good servant to Arsenal but in my opinion he seems to have lost that bit extra that made him great. Top keepers win points, at the moment Cech is losing them.
    Mustaphi just can’t be trusted and in fairness to Chambers he is no full back

    I agree. Elneny was our man of the match. but doesn’t that also reflect what a sad state of affairs. No points outside the Emirates this year.

    On tactics and just an observation, how can Aubameyang be our first Fox in the box when he seems to have been converted to a winger? Surely not the2nd coming of Thierry Henry?

    Lastly I know Mourinho isn’t very popular here , but when asked why Bailly wasn’t in the squad he more or less said he was crap last week. Maybe Wenger is to nice?

  • Thanks for the quick work there TA. I’m not in a position to offer too much on the game itself as I could only follow on the radio and the sense you get from that is only partial. What you have written matches the sense pretty well however. My concern is more with the pattern that is playing out at present and where that takes us. One game can easily be explained by tiredness, poor finishing and good/unfortunate goals on the break. But a sequence is harder to so justify.

    I’m not sure that there is an easy answer to a run of poor away form, but I’m sure that a) it’s as much an issue in the heads of the players as anything else and b) it’s squarely in the place that management ought to address. We are so fragile away and so constantly vulnerable at the back it is hard to recognise this team at times. I thought we should be ok today on that front with what could be read as 4 CBs and good defensive cover in the midfield, plus our first choice keeper. But even with that we couldn’t keep out a promoted championship side with a bit of confidence about them. Something radical has to be done there I fear.

    We could take some comfort from knowing that much of our midfield was today rested or injured. But those that did play, as per your numbers above TA, played pretty well in fact. None of them crashed or cost us. With better supply we would have hoped to score more goals early on I guess and taken any hope of recovery away. But even if we’d scored twice in the first half I’m not sure that we wouldn’t still have conceded both those goals.

    I think our attack shows real promise. Both youngsters likewise. And as with previous posts we have to play and develop them now, even if it costs us points – cos none of the remaining points bring with them any prizes! But urgent action is needed at the back.

    I confess I’m worried that the club were reported to be looking to sell Musti in the summer. It suggests that they think he is a mistake. Putting that to one side I’m more minded to go with his age as a CB and recognise that he plays extremely well some of the time. In other words there’s time to iron out the errors and leave us with a first class CB. If that isn’t the case then we have a real problem. Kos is barely fit for half the games. Mert is gone. And in my view none of the young CBs looks ready to hold a first team place. Buying 1 top CB will be tough.. but 2 will be impossible. I think we have to work on getting the best from Musti. And that means the fans getting behind him too, rather than on his case all the time.

    Finally Cech is really starting to worry me. He always had a duff game in him. Most keepers do. But he is having more poor games than good ones at the moment – costing us points rather than saving them as mentioned above. I fear we need proper competition in the summer, not a back up option.

  • The one consolation. Results in the league don’t really matter at the moment. But learning from them really does. That will be the measure next season.

  • Hi all..
    TA.. I don’t think Willock or Mustafi played better than Chambers.. Don’t you think you’re a bit too hard on him.. Hehehe..

    I wonder if Mustafi and Cech did practice together.. Hehehe.. Did Mustafi do the same with Ospina..?? If not.. Then better not to playing them together again..

    So Elneny did it again.. And proved that he worth a regular play.. But Xhaka is also playing a good game.. Who will be dropped if Ramsey back..??

  • retsub–
    Agree with most all of your points. Especially the one about Mourinho.
    But then– Jose has squad depth and quality in most of it. And he’s never been a ‘players manager’ (unless he and a player share the same agent). He has chewed-up and spit-out Mata, DeBruyne, Salah, and possibly Maritial.

    Yeah, Wenger is nice. Unfortunately he has youth and inexperience in his squad’s depth.


  • Jw1 thanks, but to reiterate I am no fan of Mourinho, but the guy is a winner. Would I want him at the Emirates… probably not, but on the other hand it would be interesting to see

  • See, I’d have to say absolutely not. Mourinho respects very little. He’d end up breaking the good china and urinating in the sink. Get himself sacked, take the £20M to GTFO and move to a rival.

    You don’t sell your soul (or tradition) for a trophy. Eternity is a long time to regret it.


  • Totally with you JW. Maureen would be contemptible at our club. He wouldn’t respect the history nor safeguard its future.

  • You are a tough guy, Retsubster 🙂

    Cech often keeps us in the game imo, so cant agree with you on that one. Mo being MOTM is surely just a sign that he played a good match, nothing else?!

    Look, we missed midfield quality on the bench today as to make a difference later on. On top of that the defence really let themselves down and Mustafi was at fault for both goals. He is still young and could come good, but it was pretty bad today.

  • Good comment and mostly all agreed, AB.

    For me the poor away form is also unacceptable and it has to be the manager who is mainly responsible for this. it is about mental and tactical preparation but you get the feeling the players are sent out onto the pitch with the message to go and win the game and sort it out between them. At home this may work but away far better mental and tactical prep is required.

  • Henry,

    I noticed how quickly you gave up on Willock and that sums you up nicely. Next thing you are going to tell us is to buy Bas Dost 👿

    In hindsight, I reckon Mustafi does not deserve more than a 5.

  • Wow, Mourinho at the Emirates. Have you gone fecking mad, Retsub?! 👿

    All top managers are winners – also Wenger – but they do it differently. It does not totally surprise me that you like Mourinho’s approach to winning, Retsubster. 🙂 It will also not surprise you too much that I detest the man and his style of management.

  • Hehehe.. I don’t get you TA..

    We are talking about a game.. Player rating of the game.. Nothing else..
    And for me tonight game.. Willock play very unsuall of him.. As I said ‘nervous’.. Maybe because of his debut in PL.. And for that he didn’t deserved a better point that Chambers..
    That’s all.. Hehehe..

    What’s wrong with you..??
    I don’t even said anything about Wilshere.. Hehehe..

  • Willock gets a six partly because he is only 18 and it was his debut. Now that is something you could consider too, Henry.

    Chambers on the other hand has been around for a while now and really looked under par when attacking: slow and heavy. But I did say he is not a FB and I have hope for him as a CB.

  • Yeah I know TA.. I mentioned it also..
    But still he didn’t deserved a better point than Chambers.. Or can I say that Chambers didn’t deserve the worst player of the game.. Cause some player didn’t contribute better than him.. Hehehe..

    And We can’t rate his performance by his debut.. He already with the team in several Cup’s games.. And did okay.. Better than tonight.. Hehehe..

  • T A me a tough guy?. No chance. I just think top keepers like De Gea can save a team 10 points
    A season. De Gea at the Emirates earlier this season was incredible. I just think Cech is past his best and is becoming more of a liability. His distribution is getting worse as well.

    As I have said many times before I like Elneny and undoubtably he is improving, but he doesn’t create much and if he scored I would probably faint. I think many good sides have an Elneny type and if you are winning that’s great. However when you are losing and I heard today we have the worst away record in all four divisions this year, Elneny getting Motm just tells that the rest were pretty poor. Just my opinion

  • Btw.. MU lost at home to WBA.. Hehehe..
    So maybe we do will win at OT also.. Hehehe..

  • T A. I think you have misquoted me about Mourinho. I said he is a winner (no one can argue that surely). Would I want him st the Emirates? Probably not. And then I said it would be interesting to see what he would do?..

  • Can’t agree with you on Elneny Retsub. Players like him are not usually the stars, but they help make the rest of the team better. They can’t stop others playing badly though. All good teams have players like that. Parlour and Gilberto were examples in our recent past. They may rarely shine, but the best teams can’t do without them in the mix. They probably do a lot for team harmony through their work rate too. Nacho has been another like that. A steady 7 out of 10 performance most weeks. Rarely a 9, but very rarely less than a 6. Invaluable over the season. Sadly he may be past his peak now. Elneny has years to offer I hope.

  • hahaha Retsub, you are a funny guy as well. You don’t want him at Arsenal but then it would be interesting to see how he would do….

  • T A nearly right. I said I wouldn’t want him. But it would be interesting to know what he would do? who would he keep etc. As opposed to how he would do.

  • hahaha Retsubster, we are getting there. He would ask for a lot of money, install two new CBs, two Holding Mids and play not to lose and steel one or two goals a game through Ozil, Auba and Lacazette. First year he finishes fifth, second year third and third year ninth, when he gets the sack and two years pay in one go. 🙂

    He will win a League Cup or two and say Wenger was never able to win it and I am the greatest!

  • t A. Well I certainly like the 2 new centre backs.. I don’t like the guy either, but you can’t argue with his record.

  • His record is broken 🙂

    Only joking, Retsub, he has won a lot of stuff with not always the best team (but very often so). But he never set the football world on fire like Wenger, Guardiola or Van Gaal have done.

  • Leaving Ozil, Rambo out meant that our creative department has been blunted.
    And we have a whole week off. Just don’t understand why Mustafi is playing when he is really bad in the recent games.

  • Coming on late and have to drag us back to the Player ratings, seeing as we’ve long moved away from it onto the other game today, and all the way to the merits and demerits of having Jose Mourinho at our club. Quick reaction to the latter: Nothing doing! And I know retsub hasn’t advocated it, either….. but even the thought of it..😜

    Back to the rating, I do not recall Cech making too many saves in the game to warrant a score of 7; it is painful to know that he flunked the tests on both occasions he was needed to stop goals. He looked desperately hapless the way he half-heartedly dived to his left, fractions too late, for their first goal and he should be communicating more to alert those in front of him to imminent danger. I’ll say more like a 6.
    Mustafi probably deserves less than his 5.5 today, but we have to be fair to the man (as he does try and makes some good tackles at times) as he’s made to play with experienced partners one week, then a couple of up and coming defenders, the next. Coupled with his penchant for errors playing on his mind, that situation where you feel responsible can weigh on his mind as scenarios repeat themselves and he makes replica errors. It was shocking to see him slow to react. I feel he’s still learning his trade and seems to feed on confidence from the love of the fans. If only he can get some support, to help his fragile mental state.

    Chambers did get involved a lot today; he wasn’t fantastic as you pointed out but on effort, maybe he should be more of a 6. He missed two possible goal scoring opportunities and had a volley, albeit mis-hit, straight at the keeper.

    There was a bit missing in our game today; nothing to do with the game plan but more to do with the application of the personnel. Cohesion was obviously lacking Up-Front as can be expected with the number of changes we had to make. We needed to be quicker with our passing at times while our strikers were not getting in behind their defence enough. I guess the absence of Ramsey meant that we were short on runners (going in behind) while creativity of Ozil and Jack was missed, which probably necessitated Auba playing out wide. Knowing he can’t play for us in Europe, I’d have thought Auba will take the opportunity in games like this one to show us what we’d be getting next season.

    For me, maybe we should have put a slightly stronger team out there to keep the team winning as we approach the Europa games coming. If winning becomes a habit, home or away, it can only serve the team well. Losing a game to a side that last beat us over 12 years ago isn’t helpful for team psyche, that’s why teams like City hardly rest players wholesale because Pep wants to give the team a chance to win, always. On a good day, even this side we put out should beat this Newcastle team, but with that extra edge missing in the boys’ application, we made it hard for ourselves.

  • Well, it looks like I started writing that on the Sunday and finished (after frequent distractions) on Monday. Hahaha!

  • Generous rating, TA.

    I’d say:
    Cech ——–5.5
    Musti ——–5.5
    Willock——-5 (everybody should be rated on the same scale imo).

    I would have asked a bit more energy-wise from the team.

  • “I’d have thought Auba will take the opportunity in games like this one to show us what we’d be getting next season.” @ Eris

    Eris, my worry is totally different. Auba is a world class goal scorer who thrives on the service of others. Because of our focus on the EL, he is made to endure playing with the likes of Iwobi, Willock and even at that gets shunted wide. I hope frustration doesn’t get the better part of him and eat away at his striker’s confidence. Strikers thrive on confidence.

    I would have preferred Laca behind him because he (Laca) is better at team build up. Auba should be set free to go get the goals!

    It looks a bit like Laca is trying too hard. Kind of over competing. I hope am wrong otherwise the two won’t gel and we’d be force to ship off one (Laca) at a loss possibly.

    Ozil, Mkhi and Rambo as a group are vital to the team. Without them we become ordinary offensively.

  • On the surface you’d think Mustafi is a warrior. Am now nearly fully convinced that’s a lie and what is visible is merely a facade. He is so fragile inside that one error knocks all the stuff out of him. I believe he should be seen and managed as such.

    Potentially I rate Holding higher than Chambers. He has a more cerebral approach to defending which is crucial to great defending.

    When I look at everything I wonder if we are drifting.

  • P E agree with you about Holding and Chambers. But Wenger does persist in playing Chambers at right back. Which he clearly isn’t.

    Holding was great last season when called upon, but like many before him had a bad patch and lost confidence. John Stones is a good example of this.

  • Eris

    Cech made a couple of good saves and on top of that he offered his usual calm to our all-over-the-place defence. I have no doubt that he would still be getting clean sheet after clean sheet in a team that has a good defence (MC, MU, even Spuds)… we cannot defend but Cech is still the calming influence and safe pair of hands for me. So a seven for me.

    When a player is allowed to come in front of a defender and make contact with a strong, fast ball into the box, it will be hard for a keeper to save it. Cech had little to judge from in terms of where the ball would end up – it was a bit of a pinball action – and it needed to be a reaction stop. He has made many of these this season but this time he did not do it.

  • I thought we played well for a long period of the game, PE, and that is reflected in the ratings. 15 shots, only three on target, and 72%!! possession. NU had half the shots but managed four on target (and scored twice from those). So what I do not want to do is reflect the score line in the ratings, which I think you tend to do my friend. However, if that is how you saw the performances of the players then that is your prerogative. 🙂

  • TA, we all see it differently. That’s where the journey to democracy began. A pragmatic too for resolving differences in opinions. Philosophically and not emotionally I recognize that I might have seen it wrongly.

  • PE 🙂

    I watched PSV v Ajax yesterday and the Amsterdam team played the better football but were unlucky and unsharp up-front and woeful at the back…. they lost 3-0. They like us, did not have the basics sorted as a team, and it cost them dearly (PSV became champions yesterday).

    I was disappointed in the way we finished the game and I can see why you would have scored players lower from an emotional point of view.

    In hindsight I may have been a bit harsh on Chambers. That was probably my emotional response to the game! 🙂

  • Hindsight is always clearer.
    Believe the manager was caught between two minds in his approach to the game. And the early goal by Auba/Laca confirmed the pregame conception. In hindsight, perhaps it should have been Auba through the middle and Danny on the left. Laca replaces Danny at half or at 60′, Auba goes wide.

    Here’s the real hindsight. This one would have been perfect to hold out Mustafi for a game. Mentally, it’s clear he needs to decompress. Could have used any number of combos in the back-4.
    Can’t see it done next weekend.


  • 2/2

    Where Wenger is caught between minds? Is his admission that Europa-to-CL is the prize– yet still compromising the players required to win it by using them in PL matches.

    Selection-wise, (not so critical) we were fine up front. OK in midfield (though Mo could have sat too). But honestly, does it really matter who we line up in defense at this point? The downside is that we play some regulars and continue to give up amateurish goals. The upside is non-regulars get PL minutes/experience at the risk of giving up some amateurish goals.

    Just play the kidz in the PL please?


  • I think we’ll see quite a strong team this weekend vs West Ham, to get the Newcastle game out of our system before the season defining game against Atletico.

    The game to really go for the Yoot is Man Utd away, make it clear what the selection intentions are, take any sting out of the game so the result is seen as an irrelevance, get it out of the way and move on to the Calderon and hopefully a miracle…

  • The Man U game sandwiched between 2 Atletico games would be 11 changes. Every defender not in the 1st team that we can lay our hands on would be deployed in a 5:4:0:0:0:1. Poor Auba, as the solitary man upfield.

  • Kev, P E I don’t think I could handle another mauling by .manchrster United like the famous 8 2
    I very rarely miss an Arsenal game on tv, but I did that one. I can’t remember why but I watched it in speeds up motion and it was horrible 8 times. I don’t doubt we will put out a weakened side and get beaten,, but a winning mentality does wonders for a team.

    Interesting discussion about Manchester City. Everybody says what a fantastic team, but everyone would also say , they spent a fortune on the team. What is interesting is the vast majority of the fund last season was spent on the defence.

    Be it Wenger or whoever I really hope the transfer funds next season are invested in our defence

  • retsub–
    I’m with you on your opinion.
    Aside from City, as well, the majority of CoutinhoCash was plunked down on VanDijk.
    While it took some time to get he and the ‘Pool Clown Car on the same page? They’ve done much better on defense since.


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