Arsenal 0 – 1 Vardy City
Leno 6 – did well to stop Vardy’s chance to make it two but offered a good chance with a poor kicking at the very opening of the game.
Bellerin 5 – lucky to stay on the pitch as it was a clear second yellow. The referees don’t like Arsenal but for some reason they like Bellerin – that was third time I can recall he was allowed to get away with a second bookable offence (Manchester United FA Cup 2015, Spuds 2015-16). He is worse player at 25 than he was at 20.
Tierney 6,5 – unlucky not to get an assist to his name.
Luiz 6 – one of rare players with a passing ability in the team. Was unlucky to get injured.
Gabriel 6,5 – another strong performance from the Brazilian. He has been surprisingly good for us.
Partey 6 – was isolated by his own men.
Xhaka 5,5 – what the hell was he supposed to play? A LB? A LCB? He was supposed to play in the middle, not wide.
Ceballos 4 – awful performance. Created nothing worth of a note. Games like this make me say: “Thanks God he is only on loan with us.”
Saka 6,5 – our only creative player wasn’t himself after Fofana’s foul. He was withdrawn due to injury. Poor touch on the ball in few occasions when things could have been better for us.
Lacazette 5 – he did score a goal that was disallowed for some reason but made another expensive miss. One of those players who has been burying Arsenal managers, one after another, because no other big club in the world is ready to buy him.
Aubameyang 4 – invisible. He was supposed to be our a) captain, b) top scorer and c) top earner among the registered players. He doesn’t play like he has accepted any of his roles. Playing him on the right was always a mistake.
Mustafi 0 – the worst Wenger’s purchase of all times. In universe. If Arteta is indeed a righteous leader who punishes players for their lack of commitment, he should fire Mustafi to the Moon after watching the video of Leicester’s goal and the one when Leno had to make a save. Another gravedigger among the players.
Pepe 2 – offered nothing after introduction but at least he wasn’t at fault with their goal.
Nketiah 6 – tried something but never got a chance or a decent ball from his team-mates.
Manager: Arteta 4 – poor in-game management and inability to keep the same level of quality from the first half for umpteenth time. His gamble with Özil looks more and more pointless as every game passes by. He still has my support but let’s not fool ourselves – we looked so poor that we might celebrate finishing 10th this season (Liverpool, Man C, Leicester, Man U, Chelsea, Spuds, Wolves, Everton, Aston Villa, Leeds, Southampton and even West Ham look better than we do).
The Big question:
I’ve been worried about chance creation for some time and it’s simply not by adding a creative player that will help. The quality of our chances being created right now is dreadful, aside from the occasional moment or two of brilliance we’ve only seen in glimpses.
We really need to either try playing Willian, Saka, Ceballos or ESR through the middle in a more advanced role to generate some more through the middle. A plan B of sorts would be beneficial in keeping things fresh, but I understand the attacking patterns will take time to learn. There’s quite frankly too much talent in this side to be as impotent in attack as the underlying attacking numbers are suggesting.
I’m still incredibly deflated, more so because the second half of the Leicester game was a carbon copy of the Villa/Spurs/City games where teams essentially backed off the press and forced us to break down their low block and we still have no answers.
Anyone have some ideas for solving the low block (or just some general positivity)? I feel we are too stationary and are ball watching, do not move the ball quickly enough and most players have not been brave enough to make the incisive forward passes when the opportunity presents itself.
By Highbury Harmony