Arsenal Player Ratings: Two MOTM, A Beast of a CB, Pepe Delivers in Style

Well that was a hard-fought victory but those three points are vital at this stage of the season, especially with the second hardest away game to come straight after the international break. The first half was uneventful but we also gave hardly anything away and were disciplined. The second half saw us press higher and put more players in and around the box, and it did not take long to reap the benefits of this. Two brilliant team goals in three minutes, based around incisive passing and clever movement as well as precise finishing, were enough to take all three points.

Bellerín leidt Arsenal naar derde zege, Wolves wint met hakken over de sloot

Sheffield United have made a poor start but they know what they are capable of and are just waiting for form to return. They gave us a hard game and hoped for a goal on the break or, more likely, from a set-piece. The Blades are physical and well-drilled site and we needed to be professional to get all the points.

This was a testing week for Arsenal and the boys did us proud in all three games. Under Emery we created a lot and we leaked a lot chances; under Arteta Phase One we create less but leak a lot less too, and we are efficient when it comes to taking our chances. It does not take an Einstein to realise that Arteta is working towards Arteta Phase Two, but this will take time. Before you put in the jacuzzi and new furniture make sure you fix the roof. So every game will be a fight for three points, not always easy on the eye but there will be gems to enjoy nevertheless!

Player Ratings:

Leno: 7 – did his job well enough against a tall and physical opponent during set-pieces. I like the way he sweeps up behind the defence now.

Tierney: 7 – solid, driven, present. Just belongs at Arsenal.

Luiz: 6 – struggled a bit to keep his composure – he was quite lucky not to be sent off – and discipline in defence today but his buddies helped him out.

Gabriel: 8 – pffff, what a beast of a player we have here. Great presence and intelligence and good positional awareness and passing out from the back.

Bellerin: 8.5 MOTM – loved the way he tried to go past defenders in the first half. Yes it was not hard to read what he tried to do and he was not successful at first, but boy did he produce a peach of an assist for our first goal. He also has the assist for our second goal and Arteta will be well pleased with Hector’s ‘bread and butter’ contributions.

Elneny: 7 – just solid and tidy, salt of the earth performance. But he was also involved in our first goal with probably the key pass in the whole move.

Ceballos: 8 – I liked his discipline and desire to make things happen in this game. He got the balance right this time, especially in the second half.

Saka: 8.5 – MOTM – Never stopped trying to find moments of quality whilst also keeping it tidy all over the left wing. I am just so amazed how this 19 year old survived so well amongst the ‘brutes’ of Sheffield United. An extra point for taking his chance so well, beating both the keeper and a player at the first post with a dart of a header. Bullseye.

Willian: 6.5 – He seems a bit lost in this Arsenal team at times but I still liked his allround game and willingness to get stuck in. Moving him to the left and putting Pepe on the right in the second half seemed to free him up to make good triangles with fellow attackers. I am sure there is more to come from him, though.

Auba: 7 – Less involved in the bread and butter stuff at the moment (goals and assists) but his presence and willingness to work still made a big difference. Could have had an assist if Eddie’s first touch would have been better.

Nketiah: 6 – Not his best game but worked hard. Not sure why Arteta picked Eddie ahead of Laca after doing the same at Anfield on Thursday. I guess we know more about this come 2300h tomorrow…

Pepe: 8 – what a cameo – an extra point for that worldy of a goal.

Xhaka and AMN – not long enough on the pitch to score.

By TotalArsenal.

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68 Responses to Arsenal Player Ratings: Two MOTM, A Beast of a CB, Pepe Delivers in Style

  1. pbarany says:

    Look at the Aston Villa-Liverpool scoreline. The champions have been slaughtered. Villa managed 12 shots on target – scoring 7, including 3 deflected shots; that must be a record – with their 30% possession. Grealish (3 assist & 2 goals) and Watkins (3 goals, 1 assist & 1 crossbar) both got 10/10 ratings from WhoScored.

    By the way, TA, the ratings are excellent, and the explanations are solid. I would probably remove 0.5 from everybody, as the play wasn’t that convincing, but I’m in a generous mood as Liverpool and the 2 Manchester teams got 1 point combined in this round conceding 14 in the process.

  2. TotalArsenal says:

    Wow, Villa were rampant. Just two teams left with an unbeaten record this season: Villa and Everton. Our Invincibles status is looking good for another season.

  3. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers PB, I think we only have to look at the Villa game to understand how important it is to be solid defensively first. The game may have been dry, I agree, BUT it was the right approach to get that result and now we are even above Pool (and Citeh, Manure, Spuds and Chavs) even though we lost at Anfield. Something to build on and that is what really matters at this stage of this (bizarre) season.

  4. TotalArsenal says:

    I was extra generous taking into account that this was our third game and it was really important to take the three points, which indeed so many of our competitors did not manage to do.

  5. pbarany says:

    Indeed.
    Now there will be a 2 weeks break for the internationals, and I would say 3 tough games against Manchester City, Leicester and United, but let’s add Aston Villa to the list as they are leading the table from lost points perspective. 🙂
    How many points would you estimate we gain from those 4 encounters?

  6. oz gunner says:

    Cheers for the ratings TA. I have a sudden urge to have some toast with butter on it…haha.

    Always good to scrap through the hard-fought games with a win. A bit disappointed with 27 mins without a shot but we got there in the end.

    Saka is just a machine. Complete all-rounder. I cannot believe he’s only 19. It’s interesting to see how the game has changed – with speed being the number 1 commodity in football right now it does allow for younger less developed players to get a chance. Saka would have been given the eyes treatment 10 years ago and they would need to put him in cotton wool. Now it’s the opposition that needs protecting. Gabriel is a beast. Pepe has looked really good in the past 2. And I think Ceballos is almost our most important player at the moment.

    Not sure what is happening in the league at the moment but I love it. Leicester beating Chelsea 5-1. Totts beating United 6-1. Villa setting up a magnet behind the goals so every deflection went in on their way to a 7-2 win…madness.

  7. TotalArsenal says:

    PB, OGAAT my friend. First up is Man City and that is a tough one, especially straight after the International break. I wish we would play an easier team next but it is what it is.

  8. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Oz, yes Saka is amazing. They were trying to rough him up but he stayed calm and then scored that goal.

    Weird games indeed and the fearless with low expectations are having a ball at the moment. Arsenal just could not afford to play like that right now, so I appreciate the way Arteta is going about it with our team.

    What are your predictions in for tomorrow’s last day of the TW?

  9. Jnyc says:

    All good ratings TA. I’ll just mention a couple specifics for today’s game and in general.

    I thought Nketiah may have been the weakest, because of a couple weak passes and didn’t have much influence. He is absolutely one of our players that needs service for striker runs, and nobody is getting much of that for us right now. Also not a great first touch we’re seeing lately. Still seems to be working hard when he’s out there.

    Aubameyang… it just felt right when he moved to the middle, and that’s always where I thought he belongs, Especially if we want to get more value for our money.

    Pepe again showed the super quality he possesses. But he needs a lot of work to make it in this league. Instruction specifically. If you watch his pre- Arsenal videos, he was able to dribble his way out of 2 and 3 defenders in France, and easily outrun opponents. This league is a much higher level and he has to learn to get his head up and pass his way out of most of those situations rather than trying to do it all himself. Also needs to use those long legs to get the ball off opponents more, I hope Arteta can improve him in these things. I think Willian can’t give as many quality minutes as we hoped, and we need Pepe to take much of those. I don’t know whats up with Nelson.

    Elneny.. I was smiling when i saw his foray into Sheffields box, then even more when Saka scored. Still needs to be 5th choice in Arsenal midfield, not top 3. Starting cup games mainly. That’s mostly up to Edu and the owners… although Arteta is not blameless.

    On Ceballos, you know I’m with OZ that he has been vital to us, largely because we don’t have anyone else that has his attributes. Nobody central who can move with the ball and spot an Arsenal quality pass. Xhaka is more of a stationary…. one, two step then pass guy, as great a passer/distributor as he is, its not the same. That’s another reason why this year I’m crying for midfield additions.

    I’ll stay reserved on Gabriel, because I don’t want to jinx anything, but my hope is that we have a young defender better than what the checkbook managers pay 50 or 60+ million for.

    Tierney, in a team that’s struggling in creating chances, we need to find a way to get him involved in the attack as much as possible.

    Saka… he is always a threat, and we need to maximize his skills, it will definitely help Aubameyang too. Basically less FB, more winger.

  10. TotalArsenal says:

    Good comment, J. Agreed with most of it.

  11. TotalArsenal says:

    There is only one classical work that goes with TW Day, Ravel’s Bolero. It is all about the end, the final hours.

  12. allezkev says:

    Really enjoyed that read Total, nice to see Bellerin getting some brownie points after his long journey back from injury.

    ‘One man team’ – ‘One trick pony’ – ‘Flat track bully’ – we’re not hearing any of these low level insults thrown at us in the media now because everyone is contributing to the goals, so I’m not worried about PEA not scoring in X games I’m just delighted that we’re winning.

    I have seen on some other sites/media etc faint praise afforded to Arsenal after a ‘narrow’ 2-1 win, well Sheffield United won’t go down, I’m certain of that, they’re a good team and a tough team.

    We’ve just come out of two titanic struggles with Liverpool, 180 minutes plus of full on, in your face, committed high intensity combat and look at what it did to the Scousers?!!!

  13. allezkev says:

    Ben Godfrey, Norwich to Everton for £20m looks a tidy piece of business, Ancelotti is putting together a very competitive unit at Goodson, one to watch.

  14. TotalArsenal says:

    Ah yes, Kev. Pool got nihilated yesterday and just imagine those nightmares their defenders will be having now… next up their friendly neighbours who are TOTL right now. That will be some game.

    I loved the way Bellerin tried hard to do some attacking wing-play and get past a few defenders. It did not look natural but I could see he was trying to overcome his fear and in the end it paid off with not one but two assists. I am not his biggest fan but that was a great performance.

  15. TotalArsenal says:

    My biggest concern is with Spuddies, Kev. I hope the Hammers give them one in a fortnight.

  16. allezkev says:

    I’m afraid Total that we might be in for some slim pickings when it comes to NLD’s while the Entitled One is at WHL, he is our Jonah as there’s nothing we can do about it.

  17. allezkev says:

    Nobody expected Aston Villa, Everton and Tottenham to be looking so dangerous this campaign Total but then we’re living through unimaginable times…

  18. TotalArsenal says:

    Light will always overcome the dark side, Kev. They play well against attacking sides, which is typically Moaniho, but less against teams who sit back and play them at their own game. So I am hopeful they will drop a lot of points in those games.

  19. TotalArsenal says:

    Indeedo Kev, but it is only early days and it is good to see that teams are not just accepting defeat against Pool and Citeh this campaign. Don’t forget Leeds and Leicester, they can give any team a game too.

  20. TotalArsenal says:

    Yesterday, when I asked Mikel Arteta if they were bringing anyone in today and he revealed “we have had some news internally but nothing has been finalised and at the moment we can’t announce anything”.

    Mmmmm could this be about Jorginho?

  21. Admir says:

    Hello, people! 🙂

    Good weekend for us, even if we had to watch Spuds enjoying their big moment.

    I have to admit Spuds look extremely clinical in the Premier League and were unlucky not to get 9/12 so far. 11 goals in two away games speak volumes with Kane returning to his best form, Son forging strong partnership with him and Bale is yet to make his reappearance. Mourinho has quietly addressed weak spots in their game – FB/WB positions and the CM one – while getting the best out of Kane and Son. We will have our hands full with them in Europa League.

    Aston Villa are the top story of the weekend. They were lucky before the match with Alisson, Henderson and Mane all being unavailable for Liverpool while Thiago is still out of the team but they earned their luck on the pitch. They simply looked like a team that wants points more than Liverpool and covered every proverbial blade of grass with sweat. Barkley and Grealish destroyed their backline, Watkins was lethal in front of the goal (even if he should have got at least two more) and our Emi made a few astonishing saves (with a note that he almost gifted an equalizer to Scousers). Villa had come close to beating Liverpool last season but Mane was there to the rescue. Last night, Liverpool looked like teams usually look against them – ran over, outclassed and ripped apart over and over again. Villa should and could have scored ten with Barkley and Watkins missing good chances to add to their tally.

    Everton are the league leaders and that’s mostly down to the quality of their most recent purchases. James has been extremely inspiring signing and he runs the show for the Toffees right now. Excellent Doucoure, one of the players I admired for his drive and engine, is also worth of every penny. Presence of top players helped Calvert-Lewin to find his shooting boots and so far he regularly delivers. What I expect, though, is typical Ancelotti’s decline come January/February when fatigue kicks in and his regular starters become holograms of themselves (as someone perfectly described Bruno Fernandes’ form) due to hectic schedule.

    As for our team, we faced a well-organized yet limited team (Sheffield United scored just 39 goals last season to win 54 points) and despite a very exhausting two games over the week, we found the way to win. The key moment was a switch of Auba to the middle (which could have been forced with Auba’s first-half injury as well), Pepe to the right wing and Willian to the left. It’s no wonder it was Bellerin he delivered both assists for our goals – Pepe’s introduction offered us a specific quality on the right side. As some of you have already pointed out, Saka is enjoying this football era. If you want to know how good is your team, just ask yourself which of your players would have quality to play for Flick’s Bayern. Saka is the first name I’d say.

    Gabriel did well and so did Tierney. Luiz doesn’t feel comfortable in the back four but I don’t agree he was lucky not to see red. Mason was biased towards visitors anyway as that tackle on Auba should have seen red every day of the week.

    As for the international break, I have to return to Saturday’s game between Leeds and Man City.

    Bielsa’s Leeds put another strong performance against the favourites and, in a way, can feel unlucky not to win the game. City, without a natural striker, lack sharpness in the final third as Sterling is more useful in the wider areas and with a focal point of the attack.

    Which gives us an opportunity to make the best out of the City injury crisis in the attack and rub more salt to their wounds.

    All-in-all, we might be in for a season in which eventual champions would collect 85 points max. Why wouldn’t we take the chance?

  22. allezkev says:

    Charles Watts has reported some progress in the Thomas Partey Affair.

    Hold the back page!

  23. TotalArsenal says:

    Good shout about Saka and Bayern. Don’t think Tierney is far off and Auba of course…

    Good comment!

  24. allezkev says:

    Charles Watts
    @charles_watts
    Replying to
    @charles_watts
    Terrible time for the website to crash, story still hasn’t uploaded. But basically, I’m told Arsenal have indicated they will pay Partey’s release clause. Legal team is at Colney now working on the transfer. Negotiations not needed with Atletico.

  25. allezkev says:

    David Ornstein
    @David_Ornstein
    Police cars revolving light Arsenal make late move to sign Thomas Partey from Atletico Madrid. Contacted 27yo camp expressing intention to pay clause. #AFC making all necessary arrangements (medical in Spain etc) + optimistic. Credit
    @charles_watts

  26. TotalArsenal says:

    I wonder who Merson is talking about…

    Merse speaks: “I don’t think that’s a lot of money at all for the quality of player you’re getting here,” he says on Sky Sports, when asked what Thomas Partey could bring to the Arsenal … eh, Party. “The one thing he brings as well: discipline. He’s played at Atletico Madrid, who are one of the most disciplined teams in Europe. He’s not a midfielder who goes running all over the place, leaving you wondering ‘Where’s he gone?’. I think he’ll be a great signing.”

  27. Admir says:

    TA,

    completely agree with Tierney and Auba. It’s just Saka is such an exciting combo of youth, pace, strength, technique and, above all, decision-making.

  28. TotalArsenal says:

    Agreed, Admir, agreed, agreed. I love the way he passes the ball. Such feeling in that sweet left foot. I also like the way Mikel does not overplay him, gives him rest in time. That way he can develop without too many injuries (I hope).

  29. allezkev says:

    Get French Football News
    @GFFN
    St Étienne have now made William Saliba their #1 target to replace Wesley Fofana on loan after it emerged this morning that they will struggle to cover the wages required in a deal for Panagiotis Retsos (Bayer Leverkusen) – talks on right now – full story.

  30. Admir says:

    Right now, it seems that we are using the obligatory release clause in Partey’s contract, not just to get our man but also to force their hand to pay up as much as we want for Torreira.

    Partey would add proverbial steel to our midfield and enable us to play with the back four week in and out. He’d also help Xhaka to do his stuff which leaves us with – probably – Ceballos as our most advanced midfielder with a possibility either Willian or Saka playing as our most advanced midfielder.

  31. allezkev says:

    You know Total, for fans of a certain vintage (me) we recall when George Graham first came to Arsenal, he went head to head with Everton for Tony Cottee who was tearing it up at West Ham.

    The asking fee was £2m which today would equate to around £80m, so it was a big fee, but Cottee choose Everton because they were the team with the biggest profile at the time and they also offered more in wages. That decision meant that Graham promoted a teenage Paul Merson into the squad and he ended up eclipsing Cottee and winning 6 major trophies.

    So although it’s disappointing missing out on Aouar it might mean that the likes of Nelson, Smith Rowe and Saka will benefit from the opportunities the Lyon man would have got and long term it’ll be better for us.

  32. TotalArsenal says:

    I can tell you are having some extra tasty biscuits with your tea today, Kev.

    But I totally agree. Aouar would have been a luxury but Partey, as per Admiro Shakespearo’s comment above, will add value to the team.

  33. TotalArsenal says:

    Admir, he could be the missing link.

  34. pbarany says:

    Well, Aouar would have assumed a role we already have players (Smith-Rowe and maybe Ceballos to some extent), but Partey will be the one and only for the holding midfielder role (assuming Torreira is out, and Xhaka & Elneny offer a different portfolio of services in the midfield). Yet, I think Aouoar is a younger and better player in his game than Partey is in his own league.

    If I would have to make the choice to pick one from those two, I would not hesitate to pick the Frenchman, but I am known to be a “key pass fetishist”, and I don’t see Partey adding to our chances, unlike Houssem.

  35. TotalArsenal says:

    I think we will get more key passes, PB, but rather than having one ‘super salesman’ we will have a number of very commercial account managers… they just needed someone to take a bit of admin away and get closer to the sales arena.. But that is for a future post. 🙂

  36. Jnyc says:

    I love the account managers view T.

    I always reserve comment on the actual incoming transfers until I see them play a bit with us, but Partey sounds promising. My remaining concern is numbers. This is going to be a very taxing season on the squad with all the competitions, isolations and whatever else pops up. I think we really need another player in to shore up the midfield and lighten the load on Xhaka, Elneny and Ceballos. A loan of an experienced player, if not, maybe I’d hold back on one of the rumoured outgoing loans.

  37. pbarany says:

    Amen to that. 🙂

    According to Daily Star the purchase of Partey will allow Arteta to revert back to the 4-3-3 formation. In that case we have only 2 CB spots (and it is questionable whether Luiz operates well in either of them), but we can have 3 midfielders from the Partey-Xhaka-Ceballos-Saka quartet.
    Up front we can go with the Willian-Lacazette-Aubameyang trident, but Daily Star recommends the trio of Pepe-Auba-Willian.
    https://www.dailystar.co.uk/sport/football/arsenal-transfer-news-partey-arteta-22796376

    However if Arteta sticks to his (seemingly) preferred 3-4-3 formation, then there is only 2 places in midfield. That doesn’t help Elneny’s case, but a Partey-Xhaka engine should minimize the shots on Arsenal’s goal against hardcore teams, allowing some kind of 7-3 counterattacking formation.

    But that’s indeed the scope of a future post…

  38. pbarany says:

    I often agree with Jnyc, but I think our squad is unreasonably large. We should sell Iliev, Sokratis, Kolasinac and Elneny (if Partey is signed) and send Chambers, Guendouzi, Smith-Rowe, Özil (?) and Nelson on loan. (I would add Willock to the list, but nobody will agree.) Still we will have Xhaka, Partey, Ceballos, Maitland-Niles, Willock and Saka to play at midfield, while we would still have Soares to be our backup RB/RWB and Martinelli to play LW if Aubameyang rests and Saka is occupied at midfield.

  39. jw1 says:

    Guendouzi loaned to Hertha Berlin.

    jw1

  40. allezkev says:

    Get French Football News
    @GFFN
    ·
    2m
    PSG asked Arsenal to let defender Sokratis terminate his contract so he could join for free – the Gunners said no, according to Téléfoot Chaine

  41. Jnyc says:

    PB I’m really referring to what I call our barbell squad… heavy in the front and back, (in players and salary) very thin in the middle. Not speaking of CAMs …Willian, Saka, Smith Rowe, who might be tried as number 10’s. And I’m not counting Willock at all because he is mostly just a body out there. Everyone will complain that I said that, I know.

    We are very shallow in experienced midfielders then. So if Kolasinac stays, we should start getting AMN time in midfield, even though he hasn’t had much time centrally in a while. Should have kept Guendo or brought in a loan.

    Anybody for Jack Wilshere on some kind of special deal? Don’t laugh!

  42. jw1 says:

    Guardian stating Arsenal have met Thomas Partey’s release clause.
    Less substantiated claims express Partey agreed terms prior– and that the first half of a medical was performed in Madrid.

    jw1

  43. jw1 says:

    J– Had the same thought about Wilshire!
    Arteta knows him well enough. Healthy, he would be a good man to have to spell Dani in cup games. IMO– Jack is an ASP.

    jw1

  44. oz gunner says:

    @ JNYC

    I know it was a joke but somewhere in an alternate universe you know Arsene is still managing Arsenal and he’s just agreed to sign Wilshere.

    Lehmann, Flamini, Sol, Henry…Arsene loves a feel good story, has a soft spot and worst-case scenario likes to offer past players a nice retirement payout.

  45. oz gunner says:

    With all these defenders we will be set when we only need to a draw to secure the league:

    Leno
    Chambers – Holding – Luiz – Mustafi
    Sokratis – Saliba – Gabriel – Kolasinac
    Mari – Tierney

    Subs:
    Macey
    Mavropanos
    Bellerin
    Soares
    Maitland-Niles
    Xhaka
    Elneny

  46. TotalArsenal says:

    Evening guys. Hectic hour to come?

  47. oz gunner says:

    I really hope we can get Chambers, Sokratis, and Kolasinac off the books and out on loan. Just to trim the fat. If we have to play people in cup games I’d rather give youth a go or those that are in our future plans. Plus if they’re playing at least they’re increasing their value vs. sitting on their arses doing an Ozil for the entire year.

    I do like Chambers but with Mari, Gabriel, and Saliba in the team I don’t think he’s needed. A year at somewhere like Newcastle would be perfect because next year we could potentially be without Sokratis, Luiz, and Mustafi so there could be a spot for him to fight for.

  48. oz gunner says:

    Theo finished off his sky sports interview with a pot shot at Tottenham 🙂

  49. allezkev says:

    David Ornstein
    @David_Ornstein
    Partey to Arsenal is done

    @TheAthleticUK

  50. TotalArsenal says:

    That is a hell of a lot of defenders, Oz.

  51. TotalArsenal says:

    Good news, Kev. Just need it to be confirmed by BBC, the guardian or arsenal.com

  52. allezkev says:

    It’s on the BBC now Total, also Torrieira going the other way, I did hear that we get a £7m loan fee for Lucas, so let’s see if that’s confirmed.

    Talks ongoing over Saliba, but I’ve not heard anything else.

  53. TotalArsenal says:

    Well I am chuffed with this, Kev. XhakA and PARTEY main options with Elneny and Ceballos understudies? All get plenty of games this season. We may play a nr10 now as well.

  54. jw1 says:

    Guardian showed a tweet from Atletico:

    Atlético de Madrid
    @atletienglish
    .@Arsenal pay Thomas Partey’s buyout clause at La Liga headquarters.
    The player has unilaterally terminated his contract with our club.

    Guardian’s Nick Ames claims Partey to join Arsenal after the interlull.

    jw1

  55. allezkev says:

    Charles Watts
    @charles_watts
    ·
    3m
    Thomas Partey will wear the No.18 shirt at Arsenal.

    Arteta: “We have been watching Thomas for a while, so we’re now delighted to add such a high quality player to our squad. He is a dynamic midfielder with great energy

  56. goonereris says:

    Great news. It’s Partey time at the Emirates then.

  57. oz gunner says:

    45 million for a defensive midfielder of partey’s quality is very cheap tbh. Amazed that his buyout clause was so small.

    A defensive thug/scrub from a lower premier league team will cost you 20-25 million

  58. goonereris says:

    Torreira going the other may soften the blow for Simeone who I hear is angry at Arsenal’s late show. Who would have thought we could muster the financial muscle required to close this deal. Huge statement and for me, Partey is a steal at £45m; hopefully, he proves Arteta (and me) right.

    Good job, the Arsenal management. Carried on like they were skint; distracted with Houssem Auoar and a couple of midfielders in Italy, even threw in an interest in Jorginho into the mix but Atletico didn’t budge. So, clause triggered and cash on the table. Left the Atletico management with little time to buy a replacement from a foreign league.

  59. Jnyc says:

    Oz I love the defensive 11 lineup + subs.

  60. Jnyc says:

    Total I agree and hope against some clubs we’ll play 3 midfielders. I really do want to see Saka get a look there.

  61. jw1 says:

    Eris–
    Felt management (up to KSE) knows Arteta is the real deal. After watching the (supposed) top-two PL teams get eviscerated these last 2 weeks? That 45M might be a worthy amount to back MA this year. Not a small sum. But enough to make a run at top-4– and who knows what else?

    Bringing Thomas Partey aboard is an Arsenal statement of intent.

    jw1

  62. jw1 says:

    “… Simeone who I hear is angry at Arsenal’s late show.”

    Apparently, the club paid the release clause in person at La Liga HQ. About 9km from Atletico’s offices. Someone knew who was going to be angry.

    jw1

  63. njk84sg says:

    Good defensive game during the weekend, but another heart attack moment in the end. We almost did not get all 3 points.

    Pepe is starting to be confident against PL defenders, and his goal is a beauty. Partey’s arrival and Tor’s swap (although not a straight swap) will be good for both teams. Hope Simeone will be glad at having Tor in his squad. He will be the next Santi Cazorla.

  64. Jnyc says:

    Njk I think the Atletico fans will adore Torreira, as we did. People forget that he was player of the month for us a couple times, might have been back to back. That’s no small thing from his position. Sorry Arteta couldn’t make it work.

  65. pbarany says:

    I hope that Partey will become as good as you all claim, but he was definitely not cheap.
    The 45M (which was seen to rose to 54M with VAT, and agent fees) is a hell lot of money for a defensive midfielder. Let’s keep in mind that this is not the same market as it was a year ago.

    He was the 10th most expensive summer transfer this window, the 5th most expensive midfielder and the 2nd most expensive DM behind only Miralem Pjanic. And what makes him even more expensive is his astronomical salary. It varies depending on different news sources, but it is reported to be between Ł220.000 and Ł250.000 making him the 8th-9th highest earning footballer of the Premier League. And besides Pogba and De Gea there are only attackers (ST, W, AM) ahead of him, so he is the PL’s top earning DM and the world’s second slightly behind Sergio Busquets. If he is the greatest defensive midfielder on the planet that salary could be justified, but according to some lists he is not exactly top 10.
    https://sportsshow.net/best-defensive-midfielders/
    OK, this SportsShow site is clearly bull, with Dier and Matic on the list, but my point is that we are celebrating as if we signed Messi or Mbappe, while Thomas is “only” the 12th most valuable DM. And players like Kimmich, Fabinho, Neves, Ndidi, Zakaria and co cost a lot less (often a fraction) and earn half as much as Partey.

    I don’t want to spoil the fun, and I agree to be optimistic with this marquis signing (as well as having high expectations), but don’t lose the ground of reason in the process.

    By the way Torreira is the world’s 15th most valuable defensive midfielder, who was worth 5M (50M) more than Partey (45M) a year ago. And we bought him for 27M with a 75k weekly salary. Now that was a transfer masterstroke. And with full agreement with Jnyc: it is a shame that after a great start under Emery it didn’t work out between Lucas and Arteta.

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