We will analyse the game soon, but for now, here are the player ratings:
Leno: 7, brave and quick of his line.
Tierney: 6, tough night but often left isolated. Amazing drive, though.
Luiz: 7, great leadership as per leading from the front. Missed his usual excellent organisational leadership, but for that we didn’t sit deep enough as a team.
Holding: 6.5, some good interceptions and headers but there was a poor relationship with Bellerin.
Bellerin: 6, stronger performance in last 15 minutes when shackles came off, but positionally not strong and bad link up with other players around him.
Elneny: 6.5, kept it tidy and did well against a strong Pool midfield.. Worked hard to support the attack.
Xhaka: 6.5, was well isolated by Pool and struggled to get his passing game going, but solid defence of our ‘D’ area.
AMN: 6.5, carried and passed the ball well and gave us time to breath. Should have left Tierney less isolated, though.
Auba: 6.5, well shackled by Pool and left Tierney isolated, but never gave up trying to get us a goal.
Laca: 7, got us the goal and some great runs. Great chance to level the game but keeper did well to read his intentions.
Willian: 6, was isolated as once again our right wing was not working.
Ceballos: 7, added energy and drive to our midfield as we were prepared to take more risks. We were weaker defensively in midfield, which cost us in the end, but he produced some fine passes that could have led to a goal. Alas the gamble did not pay off.
Pepe: 5, two poor corners and seems to play without focus and belief.
Eddie: 6, not enough time to make an impact.
33 thoughts on “Arsenal Player Ratings”
What can I say?
It was an impossible task, but the boys stood well defensively most of the game.
I would have preferred your line-up, TA, with Tierney as LWB and Gabriel as LCB, but we had minimal chance to grab a point, especially with 4 shots and 3 key passes. (In fact 1 should be deducted from both, as Willian’s ball to Lacazette was offside.)
I agree with your ratings in general (perhaps would reduce Luiz, AMN, Laca and Auba by 0,5), but not with your Ceballos assessment. He added +50% to our key passes, including the only conscientious real chance of the game. He wasn’t at fault to Jota’s goal, either. If we play for 0:0 or pray for a lucky, often undeserved goal against superior opponents, then we can do without him alright, but as we were trailing, it wasn’t really a gamble in my view, but a tactical necessity.
It wasn’t the best of games. Fourth time since our last victory at Anfield we have allowed our opponents to equalize. There was a shade of that 2017-18 game when Firmino scored twice in a few minutes right after AMN had scored the opener but fortunately, the result was much better.
There are a few things that bother me a lot and until we fix those, we will struggle to get back to Top 4, never mind closing the gap with Liverpool.
Firstly, Leno. I think 7 is a generous rating given how his distribution didn’t open our attacks. I would accept selling better goalkeeper than Leno if that means the money we got for Emi – 20 millions for the back-up keeper in the age of CoViD-19 is a fantastic piece of business, especially given our not-so-brilliant history of sales – get reinvested in our extremely limited midfield. Alas, that is yet to happen and a good chance to take points at crowd-less Anfield was wasted.
Speaking of wasting chances, how many big chances has Lacazette spurned since his arrival? Has he ever been four time better striker than Giroud as his fee might suggest?
Cheers PB, he got a seven and I thought I was generous with that. The gamble was taking off Xhaka, who had protected the centre in front of the defence well with Elneny, and putting on a much more attack minded midfielder. We needed a goal from that move and hope we kept it clean at our end. The gamble failed, but that does not mean it was not the right thing to do. It was.
The distribution from Leno had been made hard by Pool’s positioning and us being bossed in the air by Pool’s defence, so I will not be as harsh as you are. I do miss Emile’ physical presence but like you said it was a good piece of business.
I am not sure why Arteta did not play both Gabriel and Tierney on the left. They clearly like that side a lot and the combo of Tierney and AMN did not really work.
Our midfield did look limited yesterday and I think we needed a third one there to help with the distribution and passing. I had hoped that Willian would be that player but he seemed to struggle. I wish we had played Saka on one of the wingback positions as he has that ability to both escape a press and produce some exquisite passes and throughballs. But hindsight is a beautiful thing and the boys will learn from this. Linear progress only exists in the textbooks of statistics.
Dial that number, Mikel…
Thanks for the post Total.
Yes I definitely think we missed Emi in a game like this, he dominates his box, comes for crosses, spreads confidence to his defenders, goes long to take opponents off guard a tactic that reduces the prospect of your defence getting compacted by the press, he takes the heat out of situations by falling the ball and taking a few moments, it gives the defence a chance to take a few breaths and gather their faults, he is physically imposing, but he’s gone.
Liverpool’s next game is at Villa Park and whilst Villa aren’t at our level it’ll be Inter to see how Emi performs….
I agree with you about Saka.
I don’t want to be too harsh on Mikel, not just because I liked him a lot as a player but also because he’s been dealt a hand that requires a lot of bluffing and even then you can’t beat someone who has Royal Flush.
I think I can explain how his mind worked, based on options he picked and comparing them with our CS team against the same rivals.
Leno was the first big call he was forced to made. Emi wanted a guaranteed place in the first team, Arsenal needed money and we had to sell now or never. Sticking with Leno meant different sort of goalkeeping qualities he brings to table. He is a better shot-stopper than Emi but Emi beats him in other areas. So, that was the first major difference.
Holding-Luiz-Tierney back-line pretty much picked itself. Holding is there where he is as a right-footed central defender. He is, right now, our only option for RCB in the back three as Mustafi, Chambers and Sokratis are either injured or nailed at the backyard with a huge “FOR SALE” sign in their mouth. David Luiz is our best option for CB and someone who can send a long ball forward to the counterattacking unit. Now, the real dilemma was what to do with our LCB position. Tierney has already played against Liverpool while Gabriel – for all praises he got – hasn’t been entirely convincing in terms of positioning. Salah is a tough mofo to deal with as well as TAA and we needed a well-known combo that worked there. Hence decision to put AMN on the LWB position to help Tierney.
As for our right side, we had Bellerin-Willian combo that didn’t work but honestly, who can blame Mikel for going with two of our most experienced RWB and RW players, especially given that Saka and Pepe had a tough mid-week game at Leicester?
Oh yes, Saka… In CS, it was Saka who made a difference upfront. It was Saka who found Auba with his fantastic switch from the right wing. At Leicester, Saka and Maddison looked like top quality players that were put on the pitch with players of a lower quality level.
And, finally, attack. As we have learnt the other day, Eddie is not just a poacher. He created himself a good chance in CS by pressing the Liverpool back line and forcing them to make an error. As I said, I can understand why Arteta decided to start with Laca – after all, Laca did score last night. He went with fresh and experienced players over two teenagers. If he had started Saka and Nketiah and we got mauled, their confidence would’ve been shattered.
Unfortunately, that leaves my post with a gapping hole in the midfield. We need players with both individual and team quality there. Elneny and Xhaka have the latter but, sadly, against big teams their lack of pace and ability to push the ball forward get exposed. Ceballos worked well only because Liverpool didn’t need to suffocate our midfield as they had done earlier. If he had started, we would have problems similar to the ones from the last season. Given that the club decided to put Torreira in the same backyard as our aforementioned CBs, that Guendouzi was always massively overrated and that Mesut apparently no longer exists as an Arsenal player outside social networks and payroll, Arteta opted for the best (and only) option he had.
Good morning all,
Maybe I’m in the minority but I was impressed with our performance against arguably the best club team in the world. We were only one goal behind until close to the end of the game and Laca
should have made it 2-2 but missed an easy chance from a peach of pass from Ceba.
It was another learning experience for a motivated team, we obviously have a long way to go but by all indications we are on the right path. Is a top four position possible? I don’t know but we are in a better position than we were 12 months ago.
Fair assessment, Admir. Arteta made many good choices, but I think on this occasion Klopp outthought him tactically. I know that XhakA can be great against top teams too, but he was targeted and there was not much help. Still we were solid through the middle but iffy on the wings, and we paid for it.
It was great to read Dennis’s thought, TA. Thanks for the link.
I accept your Ceballos rating. In a team of 6s and 6,5s this is indeed a high score. And I don’t think we should over-criticize Mikel, Leno, Holding or others. When a team visits Anfield the target is to lose with heads held high, and I think we established that.
I think the Xhaka’s contribution to our goal was underappreciated (not by you, in general), as his swift and precise pass was the real deal in the quick counterattack (Laca’s flick was nice as well). But Xhaka’s pass was something that Elneny might not be capable to provide, and even he could he would never go for it.
Kev, good comment. I thought Leno did brilliantly with his close range Mane stop and putting of the late Pool goalscorer by quickly coming out of the goal. But yes the calm presence of Martinez was missed
GN5, spot on. We will learn from it.
Agreed PB, the boys did well. We will learn from it and if we were to play the Pool first team again next week, I think we would see further progress.
I think if Klopp and Arteta would have an agreement that “whoever played at least 45 minutes on Monday shouldn’t start in the Caraba Cup” then we would beat them with a clear margin. However I doubt if there is some agreement in place. Nevertheless I expect to see a different goalkeeper (?), midfielders and attackers playing. But I think we will recall at least one defender from yesterday, but probably 2.
PB, are you interested in writing a match preview including possible line-up?
Oh, I don’t know anything about match previews, I’m afraid, not just not being in the same ballpark as GN5.
However I can scratch 2-3 possible line-ups, if somebody complements them with the historical part…
No need for historical part, as we just had that re Liverpool.
We only need a few hundred words and a line up, PB. You could make a reference to last year’s encounter with them in the league Cup. But just focus on team considerations and how you think we can beat the Dippers.
Would that be something for you 😊
I’m taking the result in stride. We were fortunate to still be in with a chance to draw when Lacazette had his one on one with Alison. On the glass-half-empty side, they did dominate and the shots stats are pretty ugly. But we didn’t get the embarrassing result we’ve seen too often.
I would like to say, and it’s not just from posters here, I’m hearing it on Arsenal podcasts, YouTubes etc… We need to let Emi go, we’ve had our mourning period. He was my first choice also, but he’s gone. The comparisons only make us feel worse.
I think Leno is a very good keeper, and our only real fear should be our backup because we don’t know anything about him.
When we defend maturely, Bernd doesn’t let us down much, and he’s brave and doesn’t complain when mistakes are made in front of him. Let’s support him.
Great opinion from Admir:
“Unfortunately, that leaves my post with a gapping hole in the midfield. We need players with both individual and team quality there. Elneny and Xhaka have the latter but, sadly, against big teams their lack of pace and ability to push the ball forward get exposed.”
I think its worse than that, because it won’t only be a problem against top teams, but most of league that aims to shut us down. Teams like Brighton and others. We do not have anything even approaching an Arsenal quality midfield. Unfortunately, one addition will not be enough, but we’d better at least get that.
Elneny and XhakA had a great game v Pool a few weeks ago and XhakA was outstanding v Citeh in the semi finals of the FA cup. Look, the were below par yesterday but there were reasons for this. Let’s stay behind our players and let Arteta sort the tactics out. XhakA and Elneny will be key even if we were to get Aouar and Partey. They are greener grass right now and would need a season to settle in properly.
I agree with you on Leno, J.
OK, let’s do that. 🙂
Here are the results of week 3 of the results competition –
1st place = Kev with 3 out of 6 so he gets 3 points plus 4 bonus points for a total of 7 points.
2nd place goes jointly to GN5, Gooneris & JWL each with 2 out of 6.
Overall we have =
Gooneris with 13 points
Kev with 11 points
JWL with 8.33 points
PB with 8.33 points
LEGALL with 7.33 points
I’ll post week 4 choices in the morning.
Cheers, GN5!! Kev is in his taxi now!! 😁
Hey, GN5, I also had 2 right predictions. 🙂
Oops that’s correct PB so we had a 4 way tie for second – but it’s correctly reflected in your overall score of 8.33 points.
A report that Lyon have agreed on a deal with AC Milan for the transfer of Brazilian midfielder, Lucas Paqueta. Paqueta being sought as replacement for Houssem Aouar– supposedly.
Fingers crossed on this being accurate.
My 2¢/2p on yesterday?
Watching late 1stH yesterday while my better half was gaming on a tablet. Grumbling aloud while silently hoping for the best. She hears me griping about Arteta having gone against his own grain. Coy in asking his XI to play a fashion they hadn’t previously– with different personnel. Refusing to change tactically– when Klopp had started the match at an advantage, neatly negating Arteta’s plan by pressing with an extra MFer up front.
After Lacazette scored? Go to a back 5 and bring Laca deeper to connect with Xhaka and Mo. Outlet from the middle and counter down the flanks. It (accidentally) worked just like that a couple of times.
When they started the 2ndH with no changes– ten minutes in I got up and snapped something like ‘I can’t watch this– he’s just got it wrong;’ or some other and headed for the kitchen– for about a minute… Ceballos arrival sparked some hope again– and I thought ‘maybe’? Unfortunately Laca shot instead of chipping or pushing wider– and Alisson anticipated well. There was just no Plan B in the offing. It’s possible to give Klopp a go tactically. Arteta has done it. Yesterday, was a rarity– when Mikel is undone by his own plan.
Not too upset after all was done. Realizing, this is but an above average team– made to play above it’s cumulative abilities, by a charismatic first-year manager. One who– for the first time in months– didn’t have the answer. Or– pulled a rabbit from a top-hat.
Arsenal’s effort was great. Nearly matching Pool for the intensity required.
Mikel needs more talent. By Monday preferably.
So Total/GN5, I’m second taxi on the rank… 🙂
You sure are Kev and you’re putting a lot of pressure on Gooneris.
JW, that is a balanced way of looking at it. How do you evolve a football team? A combo of improving what you have and some new blood. However, he will not doubt his current group of players every time there is a setback. That is the fans’ prerogative.
And it wasn’t really a setback if you think about it.
Ferencvaros back in the PL
Don’t know if the club is dear to your heart, pb
My old man was born in ’24, and he often mentioned Honvéd as the formidable team of the 1950s
There’s this french documentary film maker, Jean-Christophe Rosé, whose “Onze Footballeurs en Or/”Eleven Golden Footballers” deals with the 1954 “should-have-been-champions” Hungary team:
The film is truly remarkable, has it ever been shown in Hungary?
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