Three Players MOTM: Arsenal v Barcodes Player Ratings

The so called easy games, the home ones against the ‘non-top-six’ teams, we are supposed to win; and this we did. Even though Arsenal were expected to win, this was never going to be an easy game. The Barcodes sat back and wanted to beat us on the counter or via set-pieces, but we never let them in due to us playing at a high tempo and with constant pressure on the ‘back nine’ of the opponent. It was a great strategy by Emery to keep the Magpies in their own half almost constantly, never give them time to settle and keep cracking the parked busses open with quick and incisive passing. Master Mesut and work horses Ramsey and Lacazette were all immense in setting the tempo and drive the magpies  crazy, and all deserve the MOTM reward.

Player Ratings:

  1. Leno: not much to do but focussed and dynamic with his ball distribution and he read the game well – 7;
  2. Monreal: wonderfully aggressive and solid with his passing and positioning – 7.5;
  3. Big Sok: calm leader with good aggression and positioning when required – 7.5;
  4. Mustafi: a bit frantic and slightly careless at times with a couple of poor passes, but he also had good levels of energy and aggression and this was vital for the system Emery wanted to play versus the Barcodes – 7 All three CBs put in a great shift.
  5. Kola: great aggression and forward runs. Some fine passes and crosses and decent defensive contributions. A bit more composure for the final ball and Kola will become a major force for us – 7.5
  6. Ainsley M-N: same as Kola –7.5. This boy is going to be great. Such composure and athleticism.
  7. Guendouzi: another boy with potential. He showed good aggression and energy and drove the ball forwards well, but his defensive positioning and protecting of the back three remains below par. A few good interceptions and quality passes though – 7
  8. Ramsey: big motor and good passing and good defensive work too. Fine goal – 8.5
  9. Ozil: strong focus on adding value to our attacking play (as always) and chief whip for the team. Some exquisite passes and a key outlet for our defenders and midfielders – 8.5
  10. Iwobi: took a while to get into the game but also showed great energy and desire to penetrate the parked busses. A bit unfortunate with his final balls and lacked composure at times: 6.5
  11. Laca: class act. Great goal which was a direct reward for his hard work. Should have had a second but the ref was determined to spare the Barcodes a spanking. Great work rate and constant bee in the defenders’ bonnet, but also has that bit of class and quality that makes the difference. I want to buy his shirt – 8.5

The Spuds are looking up and can see the red and white arses for the first time this season; long may it continue. Next up are the sweet Toffees. COYGs!

By TotalArsenal.

24 thoughts on “Three Players MOTM: Arsenal v Barcodes Player Ratings

  • Good review TA. We did well on all fronts to keep the black and whites quiet.
    We need to score freely against the team from Naples in the upcoming game, and offensively we did well today but can be better in the goalscoring front.

    St. Totteringham’s day this season? It can be done.

  • Thanks TA.
    On-board with much of the player ratings. Hard to fault much in a clean-sheet 3-pointer.
    With that, would like to step back from the jibe I’d made pregame– about a need to score a bunch.

    We looked ‘City-lite’ on defense with our positioning. To mean we kept the them packed into their end by not allowing any type of counter to develop at midfield. Guendouzi was a big part of that– not just the interceptions– but well-timed challenges that kept Newcastle from having the numbers to merit a dangerous effort. Perhaps, had Benitez shifted formation to 5 in the midfield– more of an attack might have been generated. Likely from both sides.

    Can understand Benitez’s reluctance, as goal difference might have the slightest possibility of coming into play at season’s end. Though his team sits in better position than most at the wrong-end of the division? The possibility of relegation (with Brighton and Soton to come) is a nagging one– should the worst occur. Sitting on 35pts? Wagering Benitez is also aware that no team to achieve 38 pts has ever been relegated from the PL. Rafa seemed a man hedging bets today.

    All-in-all, the effort required– and as needed. OGAAT.


  • Cheers both.

    Agreed Benitez played a tactical game of not losing by much (and hoping for goals from the counter). We did not allow them to come out of their half which was a team effort and well executed Emery strategy. Pleased with the clean sheet and big three points.

  • Before the game I was concerned about Perez making our life difficult. The barcodes were playing quite well and was playing good football to try and save their season. However, it looks like my concerns were not happening and we did well in the defensive and attacking front.

    Like what you mentioned TA, Benitez’s tactics was not losing by much, but had the 2 goals wrongly ruled out for fouls, things would have ended differently. 4-0 would have done us well and leave them for dead.

    Hope that we can overcome Napoli by a big margin this Thursday as next week is a tiring week for us. 2 weeks of Monday-Thursday games is not what we wanted. We have to rotate here.

  • Headline:
    “Newcastle players are left with cold showers after Arsenal defeat,
    but Gunners insist it was same for them.”

    Though Gunners didn’t have a 5+ hour trip home to get a hot one. 🙂


  • TA, am in agreement with your review and ratings. That’s 3 clean sheets in the last 3 games though all home games. We can add the Spurs away game were the one goal we conceded through a penalty was from a wrong call by the ref. Maybe a leaking defence in now a thing of the past. If you ask me I’d say it’s becausd the boys have bought well into Emery’s philosophy of defending all over the field.

    The away game against Everton would be the limus test.

  • Cheers PE. Yes the away games will make or break us and none of the five left will be easy. But we are on a roll now so let’s see how things will go.

  • We still have to face Watford and Wolves at the end of April so it seems that we have to plan well for them not to hurt us.

    If we continue our form and our structure we should have a good chance of cementing the third spot.

  • Coincidentally, came across these odds yesterday– prior to the Wolves-ManU result.
    Very good chance at third– according to Betfair:

    Top three finish odds: 5/4
    Top four finish odds: 2/5
    Not to finish in top four odds: 9/5

    Top three finish odds: 12/5
    Top four finish odds: 8/13
    Not to finish in top four odds: 6/5

    Top three finish odds: 7/2
    Top four finish odds: 6/5
    Not to finish in top four odds: 8/13

    Top three finish odds: 11/2
    Top four finish odds: 15/8
    Not to finish in top four odds: 2/5


  • Well, Hello, TA and the merry BK’ers,

    I did not know that the flame of BK had sparked back to life, as I had hoped it would. Excellent! 😁 👍

    A delightful post-match and player ratings review, TA, and I agree with you entirely, especially the ratings that give a score and an explanatory summary for each player, which I think are spot on.

    Manager’s have to play to their strengths, of course, but also with regard to the quality of the opposition, and it is a credit to Arsenal that Benitez, a wily, old soul, chose his team of barcodes to park the bus right from the start of the game.

    With a different referee/linesman, the score could have been much greater in Arsenal’s favour.

    Go Gunners!!

  • Hi RA, good to hear from you. Yes the refereeing was very poor but luckily it did not cost us on this occasion. Makes you wonder why VAR was not introduced at the start of the season. The biggest club competition in the world but still relying on the there and then/ human direct judgement… doesn’t add up.

  • Again, I agree with you, TA.

    My concern is the ‘re-interpretation’ of the offside Laws that had Riley & Co saying Totnum’s equaliser against us was justified because altho he was in a position 2 yards offside, he was not offside until he became active – but instead of that being given priority as a foul — the ‘active’ status resulting in a penalty for a push on him by Mustafi took priority.

    Ridiculous! So either the referee or the linesman has to have superhuman powers to watch the exact moment the ball was kicked, and at the same instant to know where two or more moving players were.

    VAR will simplify that, but the interpretations are becoming more bizarre as time goes by — and the Offside Law is changing from next season – just to confuse everyone even more.

    Still, the lads on here will have fun/frustration trying to make sense of it next season too!! 🤪

  • RA, the challenge is to create objectivity for VAR-decision making and consistency in decision making. This looks to be hard/missing as a push in the box can be a pen in one game and nothing in another, etc, etc. I fear this subjective interpreting of rules is likely to continue and not help the refereeing..

  • Totally agree,

    It is the inconsistency of decisions made and the subjective interpretation of the Laws of Football that worries me too, TA. 😩

  • The IFAB released a paper on VAR that might be of interest.

    Thanks AK,

    The is the IFAB rules change regarding VAR for next season showing the editing of the Protocol.

    VAR Protocol

    Reviewable match-changing decisions/incidents.

    The categories of decision/incident which may be reviewed in the event of a potential ‘clear and obvious error’ or ‘serious missed incident’ are:
    a. Goal/no goal
    An offence by the team that scored the goal in the attacking phase that ended with the scoring of a goal, including:
    •attacking team offence in the build-up to or scoring of the goal (handball, foul, •offside etc.)
    •offside: position and offence •ball out of play prior to the goal
    •goal/no goal decisions
    offence by goalkeeper and/or kicker at the taking of a penalty kick or encroachment by an attacker or defender who becomes directly involved in play if the penalty kick rebounds from the goalpost, crossbar or goalkeeper
    b•. Penalty kick/no penalty kick
    attacking team offence in the build-up to the penalty incident (handball, foul, offside •etc.)
    •ball out of play prior to the incident
    •location of offence (inside or outside the penalty area)
    •penalty kick incorrectly awarded
    •penalty kick offence not penalised
    •offence by goalkeeper and/or kicker at the taking of a penalty kick
    encroachment by an attacker or defender who becomes directly involved in play if the penalty kick rebounds from the goalpost, crossbar or goalkeeper
    Text simplified and bullet points moved as offences at the taking of a penalty kick are ‘goal/no goal’ incidents. There are 31 Law changes 2019/20 – text and explanations
    Original decision
    Amended text
    If an assistant referee delays a flag for an offence, the assistant referee must raise the flag if the attacking team scores a goal, is awarded a penalty kick, free kick, corner kick or throw-in, or retains possession of the ball after the initial attack has ended; in all other situations, the assistant referee should decide whether or not to raise the flag, depending on the requirements of the game
    Clarification of when the assistant referee must raise a ‘delayed’ flag for a very close decision.
    Amended text
    The VAR can ‘check’ the footage in normal speed (…) or to decide if it was a handball was ‘deliberate’ offence
    A•mended text
    For subjective decisions e.g. intensity of a foul challenge, interference at offside, handball considerations (position, intent etc.) an ‘on-field review’ (OFR) is often appropriate.
    The referee can request different (…) or to decide if it was a handball was ‘deliberate’ | offence
    | | | |
    Procedures Check
    | ||
    | ||•(…)
    Change to be consistent with re-wording of handball in Law 12.
    32 Law changes 2019/20 – text and explanations:

    ‘ Playersrs, substitutes and team officials
    Amended text
    A player/substitute/substituted player/team official who excessively shows the TV signal or enters the RRA will be cautioned
    A team official who excessively shows the TV signal or enters the RRA will be
    publically officially warned (or cautioned where yellow and red cards for team officials are in use)
    A player/substitute/substituted player/team official who enters the VOR will be
    sent off; a team official who enters the VOR will be dismissed from the technical area
    Reference to RC/YC for team officials, following change to Law 5 and 12.

    I suspect a clearer ‘edited’ version will be made available — if it has not already done so. (I hope) 😳

  • Kev that’s prolific by the young Balogun. There was a famous Nigrian striker Tesilimin Balogun who was nicknamed “Thunder Bott” for his ferocious shots by the British press when a Nigerian team toured the UK in 1949 (first time). How does Folarin score his own goals?

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