Arsenal Player Ratings: Sumptuous Saka, Unsung Hero MOTM, AMN/Joe/Laca Superb-Subs


A battling, fine win at Molineux that all of a sudden offers a way into the top five. We will analyse the game over the coming days, but here are BK’s player ratings.

Player Ratings

Martinez: 8 – Did he make a mistake yet since replacing Bernd? Great interceptions and anticipation of danger. Offers real presence from set-pieces and on one-to-ones with attackers. Love him.

Mustafi: 7.5 – MOTM according to BBC football. Offered real presence and showed again his ability to outleap his opponents time and again. His distribution and passing out of defence was below par but he did well defensively and has become one of Arteta’s first choices.

David Luiz: 7.5 – Had a fine game and lead his defence effectively. There were a few moments when Wolves threatened to overwhelm us in the second half but Luiz’s presence and decisive interventions redressed the balance straightaway. This was vital.

Kolasinac: 7 – Slowly improving game by game. Closed a lot of gaps and did not allow his opponents any time on the ball.

Soares: 7 – Tenacious and energetic. Just looks like he has been playing for us for ages. Great pass to Auba for our first goal. We needed that quick thinking and accurate pass to break open the stubborn, well-organised Wolves’ defence.

Ceballos: 7.5 – Disciplined and tenacious. This time he had to sit deeper to protect the defence with Xhaka. So no sexy throughballs on this occasion but graft and discipline instead. He nevertheless produced some lovely touches and passes. Is growing on me.

Xhaka: 8 and MOTM – Another great shift by the Swiss maestro against a very strong Wolves midfield. A good DM is often at the place of danger at the right time – it is a sense Granit has in abundance; Xhaka did that time and again. His passing was crisp, he interceptions forceful and his positioning spot on all night. Einfach Wonderbra.

Tierney: 7 – Getting better every game. There is more than a bit of an Ashley Cole about him.

Saka: 7.5 – Sumptuous goal that made all the difference. In my overenthusiasm I called it Messi-esque but there really are only a few who can ‘pass-volley’ the ball in like that from such a high bouncing ball at speed. Would like him to play a bit more central than he did but another good game.

Nketiah: 7 – Put in a shift and was unlucky not to score with a fearless attempt before Saka scored. Linked up well with the other attackers and plays with great energy and confidence. Really gives Laca a run for his money now.

Aubameyang: 8 – Put in a great shift and had such desire to do well for the team and set an example, which of course is super important in games like these.

The Subs:

Bellerin: 6 – Took over well from Soares. Couple of a good interceptions.

Torreira: – Not long enough on the pitch to rate him.

AMN: 7.5 – Loved his presence on the pitch straightaway. A couple of great tackles and he helped us to re-boss the Wolves again. Great tactical sub by Arteta.

Willock: 7 – Similar to AMN, he added presence and a good passing outlet. Joe topped it off with a fine assist for Laca’s goal.

Laca: 7.5 – Superbly taken goal with a smooth first touch and a wicked diagonal shot into the far corner. Alex needed that goal badly and so did we, the supporters, too.

By TotalArsenal.


18 thoughts on “Arsenal Player Ratings: Sumptuous Saka, Unsung Hero MOTM, AMN/Joe/Laca Superb-Subs

  • BBC facts post the game:

    Arsenal have won three consecutive league games without conceding for the first time since November 2017, while this is the first time they have won back-to-back away league games without conceding since October 2015.

    Wolves suffered their first Premier League defeat in nine games, while this was their first league loss by more than one goal since September (5-2 to Chelsea).

    This was Arsenal’s first away league victory against a side starting above them in the league table since September 2015, when they won 5-2 at Leicester.

    Wolves managed just one shot on target in this match, with that coming after just 17 seconds courtesy of Adama Traore.

    Bukayo Saka’s goal was his first in the Premier League for Arsenal – aged 18 years 303 days, he is the second youngest English player to score in the Premier League for the Gunners, after Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain against Blackburn in February 2012 (18 years 173 days).

    Alexandre Lacazette’s goal was his first away from home in the Premier League since February 2019, ending a run of 16 away games.

    Despite only coming on as a 76th-minute substitute, Joe Willock’s two chances created – including the assist for Lacazette’s goal – was more than any other Arsenal player.

    Emiliano Martinez has kept a clean sheet in six of his eight Premier League starts for Arsenal (75%), the best ratio of any Gunners keeper with at least five starts in the competition.

  • Hard to disagree with any of your player reviews Total, so I won’t…

    Kolasinac has surprised me, he has settled into the back three as if he’s been playing it all his life, shades of Monreal if not quite up to that standard. But he’s certainly worked on his game and has bought into the all action Arteta pressing game and even his passing has improved.

    Bellerin needed to be on point as soon as he replaced the impressive Soares and he was and looked a lot more switched on than previously, competition has certainly woke him up.

  • For Tor i will give him a 7.
    Got into winning all his challenges and helped to peg back Wolves.

    AMN had Adama Traore in his pocket. Traore just could not get past AMN. And the team had a strong and huge presence on the pitch with 3 at the back. 3rd clean sheet in 4 games is something that you can never buy and the lads were just brilliant.

    Bring on Leicester

  • High marks TA. Think you’ve captured all of it accurately. I’m more proud today in looking over these (your) assessments– for the sum of the parts– adding up to a (ahem) total victory. In my mind individual highlights and marks are eclipsed by the overall defensive effort on the pitch– credit to the scheme from Mikel and his staff. Few teams do, but today Arsenal outworked Nuno’s Wolves.

    In a word: Impressive. So satisfying. Cannot recall the last NBCSN post-match report where that theme was expressed more than cursorily. Worth basking in tonight.

    For the first 20 minutes of poking and prodding by our back three– mostly around and up the flanks across the midfield stripe– I’d had this worry we’d lost our collective aggression (as at Soton and Norwich). Instead, proving a hypnotic effect. Inducing Wolves 5-man midfield to be drawn forward and toward us. Opening pockets of space, slowly loosening them from their disciplined positional stance (‘Boring Arsenal!’ 💤).

    The back-3 of Mustafi-Luiz-Kolasinac shone brightest IMO. Granit and Dani as a pair not far behind. Cannot recall the last match where Arsenal dominated every aspect of a match against an opponent of Wolves quality. A proud win.


  • mikel and the boys in grahamesque fashion, that’s all it takes to warm an old fan’s heart.
    “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee” indeed: in no time, our brand new headcoach has taught his lads to go to the rope-a-dope; laca’s punch was ali’s hard right to foreman’s jaw.
    if the team can achieve that against the (very) few stronger sides than nuno’s pack, well … sky’s the limit, isn’t it?
    as always, there’s not much to add to your ratings, ta, but this morning i have special thoughts for:
    – laca: we’re truly blessed with a 29-year-old who has it in him to take a talented youngster’s competition like a man, not a crybaby
    – AMN: i must have watched all of his games for The Arsenal, i’ve always liked him a lot, but yesterday he took my breath away, turning his wing into his own personal fort alamo.
    with lucas back, dani blooming, joe’s coming of age, i think it would definitely be unwise not to keep partey’s £50m in our coffers
    well, fox-hunting now. can’t wait.

  • Cheers Kev, I need to have another look at the game and especially Kola. I seem to notice him less than the other players but that may not be a bad thing…

  • jw1 wrote: “In my mind individual highlights and marks are eclipsed by the overall defensive effort on the pitch– credit to the scheme from Mikel and his staff. Few teams do, but today Arsenal outworked Nuno’s Wolves.”

    This is so true, jw. The tactics and workrate made the real difference and in a way the whole team were MOTM.

  • LeG, excellent point re Laca and taking the competition in the right way. Arteta can use both Laca and Eddie on a 50/50 basis and thus keep them both fit and focused.

  • The thing I find about Kolasinac – and I’m not a big fan Total – is his defending, which I’ve thought in the past isn’t really his strong point and that’s odd for a defender. But he now looks so much more focused on the job in hand and more disciplined and whilst he is still just a temporary fix in that position you cannot knock his effort and application.

    I guess what I’m really enjoying is seeing players that I’ve heard other fans dismiss (not on here) and basically say ‘get rid’ of that are now showing that with the right kind of coaching that they actually have some value and could if need be generate badly needed funds to improve the squad elsewhere.

    Leeds must be sick for example, as it was fairly well reported that Bielsa had a deal pretty much agreed with Arsenal for Emi Martinez in the summer. I have no idea if a fee had been agreed but I’d imagine that the value of our Argentinian stopper will have doubled during this period.

    Mustafi is looking a proper defender again and with it his value will have increased if we decide to sell this summer. It’s all due to some proper instruction from Arteta and hard work.

  • That’s one hell of a pool and a garden LG, certainly one that any proletariat would be proud of. 😉

    Che Adams has scored one hell of a goal against Man City, definitely worth a watch.

  • I did notice the hunting in packs you mentioned and didn’t even register as a Pep influence at the time, but I love it. That’s Arteta. We went from a non pressing team to a slightly more, just learning to press team under Emery, now if we can make the step up to the next level, it will be fantastic. Even though we did it a little, we need to become proficient in it, as is Man City. Aubamayang got involved (it’s a talent Lacazette already has, with sneaky tackles from behind, I’ve always loved that about him) and i want to see it from Eddie more, as our future star. It’s no surprise that the top 2 teams in the league the past few years are also best at employing the tactic, regardless of the overall attacking talent on their rosters…..

    More raves for Arteta for instilling discipline and shape to a team that had none, and not only the back line, but our 2 main midfielders. I didn’t find it boring or frustrating at all because i know we have so much raw ability up front. I certainly didn’t miss the ridiculous chances we were allowing in our box just a few days earlier. My hope is this, “that” Arsenal (sloppy defending, a mistake waiting to happen) will become a thing of the past. Leno save statistics even showed how many opportunities we allowed on top of too many actual goals.

    I will be perfectly happy for Mikel to be a blend of Wenger, Pep, and even some Moyes influence. I’ve admitted before that I liked the Emery hiring because of his resume, but I was never really comfortable from when he said he preferred to win games 5-4. I think Arteta, as an observant, intelligent player, knows what it takes to succeed in England.

  • yep, kev, absolute beauty, pure instinct and talent – playground football at its best
    the worrying thing is about that game is that, obviously, the only thing citeh have in mind after thrashing liverpool, is their facup semi-final against us

  • Hopefully LG the Champions League will act as a distraction, but I can’t see Pep letting them ease up, that’s not in his DNA…

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