Carnage at Craven Cottage!
Fulham 0 – 3 Arsenal: a dream-start for the hungry Gunners!
What a fabulous start by Arsenal: three goals – one by a newcomer, one for Auba and one for our centre forward – a clean sheet and a controlled performance all over the pitch. We will analyse the game over the next few days, but for now here are the BK players ratings:
Leno: 7 – clearly happy to be back and made no mistakes. One word: back.
Tierney: 7 – fine all-round performance and great energy. One word: commitment.
Gabriel: 8 – half a point extra for it being his first game in the PL and half a point extra for his well taken goal. Was well shielded by the midfielders and supporters by his fellow CBs, but composed on the ball and great at winning balls back. What a debut! One word: imposing.
Holdingho: 7.5 – extra half point for that keepie-uppie and general willingness to bring the ball forward and make things happen. Worked hard and was strong in the air. One word: energetic.
AMN: 7 – fine all-round performance and great calm and energy. He also produced a peach of a pass with his weaker left foot that deserved to be an assist for him. One word: task-master.
Xhaka: 7 – kept it tidy and worked hard without too much glamour in his football (legs looked a bit weary from his international games). Was isolated a lot in the first half as Fulham pressed us high and left little space for him to receive the ball in. Was able to get more involved in second half. One word: professional.
Elneny: 7.5 – Reborn it seems. Also kept it tidy and organised in midfield and never stopped running and passing. Together with Xhaka he made sure that Fulham just could not get close to our box and therefore were impotent in attack for almost the entire game. One word: tidy.
Bellerin: 7 – If only his final ball into the box was better what a player Hector would be! Still, he worked hard and supported Holding much better this time round. One word: gutsy.
Auba: 7.5 – Half a point extra for THAT goal – his trademark goal – but a bit sloppy in his passing at times; his final balls to his fellow attackers were below par. One word: pouncer.
Laca: 7.5 – Half a point extra for that poacher’s goal. Alex worked hard in that typical Laca – flee in the fur – sort of way. Good to have him in the team. One word: nuisance.
Willian: 8.5 – MOTM – two assists and also heavily involved in our first goal, and that wins him an extra full point, but it was his overall work rate and calm on the ball that was so impressive. He was also unlucky not to score from his freekick that beat the keeper but landed on the post. One word: efficient.
Ceballos: 7 – some lovely moves and passes.
Pepe: 7 – brought some new energy and focus to our attack.
Eddie: – too little time on the pitch to judge.
42 thoughts on “Holdingho, Two Superb Debuts and a Player Reborn: Arsenal Player Ratings.”
Can not argue with the scores here. I was surprised when sky named Gabriel the MoTM; now, he did well but for impact on the actual result, it’s got to be Willian. He was his usual self, busy all over the pitch but in a controlled manner. Nicholas Pepe will know he has his work cut out for him now, to get starts, unless Arteta gives Willian a more central role; that or an injury to Willian (God forbid!).
It is important to see the boys remain consistent for the next 4 games before we start to believe/agree that Arteta has helped us turn a bend. I like what I see in how calmly we pass out from the back (compared to the heart-in-mouth stuff same boys put us through under Emery). pressure; how comfortable we appear to be defending; I also like the bond in the team. Very important features for a successful season,
All agreed, Erismus. I think we will just focus on OGAAT, and realise we are on a journey. Today we had a great day.
What an impact Willian had! Lot to like about that lineup. I’m glad Arteta said some nice things after the game about Holding. I know he had a run of low confidence after the ACL tear but he’s a player. Before the injury he was probably our best CB. I know we have 50 CB’s now but I wouldn’t be getting rid of Holding. Playing 3 at the back allows us more opportunities to play our CB’s and rotate them more.
That finish by Auba…reminds me of what we missed when Henry left. Sure we had some good eggs in between but the class and ease shown is worth its weight in gold.
Gee our squad is looking nice and thicc at the minute. Arteta turning players around has really made our depth look good.
Nice comment, OzG. All agreed. Holding seems to flourish in three at the back.
Mention in dispatches for Corporal Elneny, he just does his job with the minimum of fuss but now he’s in a team that is finally being coached properly and you can see the benefits of his economical and introverted style, give and go, retaining possession, keeping recycling the ball, always available for a pass and still gets forward, nothing flashy like Matteo G, he just does his job and I think that Arteta likes him and values him for that.
Having the option of three central midfielders competing for two positions has the obvious benefit of motivation and rest. It’s a win win situation with yet another player (Mo) that a year ago many of us were happy to see sold. The value that Arteta and his assistants have added to our squad is immeasurable, players who looked to be lacking in quality, that were confused, dispirited and without direction are looking so good it’s difficult not to go OTT. So I won’t, not quite yet, but it’s brewing…
I have always rated Elneny highly as he is a DM that helps out in defense, giving the other DM a go in attack.
Gabriel just slots right into the team like he had played a few games for us. And that goal was so well taken.
Willian. What can I say? That’s what you miss when you take Ozil off the team.
Feel good feeling is back and an easy watch on the eye. What’s exciting is we have a squad where we can bring on players to change the formation if the system is not working. Players seem happy and squad rotation will be key.
In the ball comments, Kev. You seem at your best around that sort of time!! 😁
On the ball even..
Nice one, 84. Those three had fine performances. What must Ozil think?
Welcome Lance and nice summary of our situation. Long may it continue!
The man from Abuja is on fire this weekend. First he predicted the correct line up and he has 4/4 correct competition predictions too until now.
That is why I like to call him Erismus ⚽😊
Morning Total, yes mate I’ve never been a morning person, I much prefer sitting up late. 😉
You know I want the media to keep on if not exactly dismissing us but reserving their judgement, that’s right we’re a top six team and you press guys keep on saying that all season until we get the Easter programme and Arsenal are in the top three.
Thumbs up, as always TA
I’d have given an extra half-point to Ainsley, for his tactical flexibility
He has become a kind of “x-factor”, allowing the team to shift from
… in the blink of an eye (to be more specific/accurate, I’d have to watch the game again, and pause time and again, which I won’t do, but you got my point, I think)
It takes an amazingly focused, intelligent, and cool-headed lad to open up that many possibilities for his team. And of course, it also takes a brilliant coach/manager, who can put his message through very clearly, as well as pump up the confidence of his boys, so they implement his plan without fear.
The October schedule may be daunting, but even so it’s hard not to feel optimistic this morning.
Fine start to the season. Elneny was the biggest surprise both in his selection and his performance.
Only concern is how MA is going to find space for all the talent at his disposal. Martinelli’s return in January will be a major boost.
The night life ain’t no good life but it is my life… Who sang that Kevinski?! 🤩
Yeah the press can keep doing that. We are on a journey and don’t care about the weather, Kev.
LeG, good shout re Ainsley. All the wing players deserve praise for keeping our wings locked up for opposition attacks AND support our attack amap. Ainsley was used wisely, and a seven is not a bad score, especially taking into account the level of opposition we were dealing with. But half a point extra is fine with me. 🙃
Hi Erik, good to hear from you. GN5 was asking about you the other day!
Talking about GN5… The unlucky man’s computer blew up yesterday and now he is incommunicado for a while.
Ozil must think: Without me and Willian you guys were not as incisive.
In all seriousness, both Willian and Ozil are different playmakers, but what a difference did Willian do to us yesterday. We were running at Fulham and am better at shooting on target.
Thanks for that update on the BK predictions competition and how I am doing (takes a bow, slowly, to savour the moment even more 😎). Lucky guesses, largely; it would seem United start with Palace and not Burnley though. Is that deliberate?
Look, JK, I can’t see any room in this team for Ozil in the starting 11, unless in the Europa league, Carabao & FA cups; or if we have to change formation to a 4-3-3 and any of its variants). It’s that simple. Arteta’s formation and use of wingbacks and wingers doubling up in midfield has made the need for a strict No. 10 superfluous, at this time. My guess is Ozil May have to do with a bit-part role and sub appearances to see out his contract here. Don’t get me wrong; he deserves better treatment for what he brought to us (super star influence to break the “X seasons without a trophy” narrative); shirt sales and even revenues from his huge follower-ship on social media) but since signing that huge contract his quality has shown forth in fits and starts, where we needed consistency. He was also frequently injured and gave the media too much for our coaches to provide explanations over.
Such can be disruptive and frankly, he should have looked to leave this summer, even if for a lower pay day (China or the Middle East will probably have offered him more), just to elongate his playing days. We have a midfield of Xhaka, Ceballos, Elneny, Torreira, Willock, possibly Willian and Saka. All are skilled grafters; Ozil’s inclusion will mean changing the roles of the other two midfielders and wing backs.
Still, it is a long season and anything could change, but I am only viewing this in the Now.
Ozil may well think that but we know they are not the same.
Eris, GN5 picked the games so not sure. Will have a look.
Pity about GN5’s crashed computer. And there I was thinking “the man must be busy sorting out our predictions on his magic excel board”, explaining his silence yesterday. Hope it gets it up and working soon enough.
I don’t know Total, but didn’t George Benson once sing ‘Give me the night’?
Good old George… 🙂
Haha, Kev, and he sang it for the likes of you 🙃🙃
BTW it is Happy Birthday to Bergkampesque.com today: 8 years and going strong!! 🌱⚽
Blimey, I remember you starting it up, hasn’t the time flown by.
this site is the very kind of “partition of cyberspace” the berner-lees of this world envisioned in the first place
congrats TA – and the regular posters/contributors; what a great job you’ve done
Merci, LeG, and yes I could not have done it without all the co-writers and bloggers. Special thanks as well to L’Homme Statistique et Match Preview, GNcinq 🙂
Emi Martinez has completed his £20m move to Aston Villa this afternoon. He has signed a four-year contract.
Oh first im sad to see we have lost Martinez i read earlier that Villa were after him.
Thanks for update allezkev , he was a brick wall for us . wish him well for his future. I suppose arfter Argentina called him up he simply has to play week in week out.
Like what i see from the Gunners atm , Im full of optimistic outlook for our season.
A 100 % MO gets in our team still as far as i am concerned . I hope for him and us he gives everything this season as his time is running out.
Hell everyone btw long time no talk.
All the best .
We are totl say we are totl 🙂
Good to hear from you, PG.
Hmmm. Congrats, TA and a happy 8th anniversary to the site.
PSG have lost their opening two fixtures in Ligue Un, scoring zero goals with Thomas Tuchel saying at the post match I/v that he hopes the club signs some players…
Could a bid for Matteo Guendouzi be in the pipeline?
It’s a shame PG but Arsenal had no choice because Emi wanted guarantees that Mikel couldn’t give him, but I wish him all the success there is except against us – and there will always be Wembley 2020…
Kev, it could be Guendo but it could also be Laca or worse… Auba….
New Post 🙂
Well yeah Total, until he has actually signed there is always that danger, but I can’t see that happening, not really, unless of course the lad from Celtic is he’s replacement?
Or Laca’s replacement, Kev. Or just an addition as we still need somebody who loves heading in lovely crosses from the wings… Is he that sort of player?