Watford 2 – 2 Arsenal
We will do some deep analysis tomorrow or so, when we are less emotional and have perhaps a bit more perspective. Let’s first do some player ratings, so we can continue our discussions tonight.
If you go two up quite easily in the first half then a team like Arsenal should of course not give two points away anymore. Away games after international breaks are never easy, but I was shocked by how chaotic we looked and played from the off. This was another game in which we allowed dozens of shots of which nine were on target… We are all over the place and seem to play like we only just met up for the first time.
Leno: 7 – dealt well enough with the many crosses and corners into our box. His distribution is good but as a team we really don’t make it easy for him, as we are too static and too ucomfortable on the ball when surrounded by opponents.
Kola: 6 – an extra point for the assist and for the shift he put in. On the wing he is limited as he is neither a quality defender nor comfortable with the ball for long; as a result, too many times he plays the ball back and stops our attacking momentum. But, as Goonereris noticed during the game, he was also left isolated a lot.
Luiz: 5 – there is so much to like about David during a game, but he made a schoolboy error that cost us. I thought it was a harsh penalty but when you play away you have to be extra careful and not make any contact if you can help it.
Big Sok: 5 – same as Luiz. Made a mistake that cost us and allowed the Hornets back into the game. Furthermore, he and AMN did not defend our right side very well with many Watford attempts and crosses coming from that area. However, they also did not get quality defensive support from midfield and it took Emery far too long to realise this and sort it out.
AMN: 5 – an extra point for a quality assist (avoided being offsite and a calm ball into the free Auba). But he made too many mistakes throughout the game and was just too slow to deal with Watford’s wing-play.
Xhaka: 5 – decent first half and tired a lot towards the second half. Was he fully fit? Many of us have said it but the combo of Xhaka and Guendouzi does not work, as they do not compliment each other whatsoever: they both need a defensive midfielder next to them and to play in tandem with them. Emery seems to disagree.
Guendouzi: 5 – tried hard to make up for his lack of defensive ability and appeared lost in Emery’s midfield set-up. Failed to support defence and link up with attack. See also Xhaka’s text.
Ceballos: 6 – finding his (rather hockey sticky) feet in the team but had some good moments both in defence and attack. Not sure why he was taking off but there you go.
Auba: 8 – Lethal. MOTM and single-handedly carrying the team.
Pepe: 6 – a few moment of quality but he looked rusty and often lost within the team set-up.
Ozil: 6 – great pre-assist for the (normally all important) second goal and he was very lively in the first half with more quality passes. Faded away a bit in the second half.
Nelson: 5 – really struggled to get into the game and with the Hornets’ physicality. Seemed a bit low on confidence.
Willock: 6 – really wanted to make a difference but was also lost in Emery’s tactics.
Torreira: 6 – put on far too late and should have started the game next to Xhaka (or Guendouzi for those who somehow believe he is better than the Swiss). Did his very best to stop the mess that was happening in midfield and got close to scoring. I would always play the Uruguayan Terrier, but Emery really cannot afford to start him on the bench in away games.
Emery: 4. Some will say that the defenders let him down, and they did, but there is so much more wrong with the way he sets up the team and instructs and motivates the players. Freddie before/in the Fall?!