Arsenal Player Ratings: Three Potential ‘MOTM’ but One Outscores Them All

Arsenal 4 – 2 Dundalk

Geplaagd Arsenal spoelt Premier League-zorgen even weg, groepswinst voor Bosz


Rúnarsson: 6 – some good footwork and passing, but probably should have done better with Dundalk’s first goal?

Chambers: 6.5 – nice to see him back on the pitch and a committed performance with some good progressive passing. One point deducted for letting in two goals through the middle of defence (same for the other two CBs).

Mustafi: 6 – energetic and committed performance. One point deducted for letting in two goals through the middle of defence.

Mari: 6 – see Chambers and Mustafi.

Soares: 7 – pretty solid, all-round performance. He just looks better on and off the ball than Hector: a more natural passer and mover, better crosses, better shot on goal and defensively not inferior to Bells.

Willock: 8 – solid, energetic AND intelligent performance, and he topped it off with a goal. A scoring midfielder…. a scoring midfielder. Extra point for the goal. Almost MOTM.

Elneny: 8 – tidy and mature, links up play so well and what a screamer! Extra point for the goal.

AMN: 7.5 – solid, energetic, masterful performance. He is so Zen.

Pepe: 7.5 – harder game for him to be motivated about but Super-Nic played with verve and enough desire to make a difference. Half a point extra for his assist.

Eddie: 7.5 – got his goal through perseverance and put himself about with a fine combination of energy and Zen-calmness. Extra point for that goal. Still feel there is more to come from Eddie this season.

Smith Rowe: 8 – fine ball control, movement and passing. He gave us momentum and options and Dundalk had no answer to him. An assisting midfielder….. an assisting midfielder. Half a point extra for the assist (Elneny). Almost MOTM.


Ceballos: 7 – kept it relatively simple with a few fine passes.

Balogun: 8.5 MOTM – benefited well from the tiredness of the Dundalk defenders and available space. Good hold up play, positioning and anticipation. Fine goal for which he gets an extra point, and another half point for the assist. Some return for 30 minutes on the pitch.

Cottrell and Azeez: not long enough on the pitch to score them but especially Azeez made some impressive passes, showing good awareness of his fellow players around him.

By TotalArsenal.

32 thoughts on “Arsenal Player Ratings: Three Potential ‘MOTM’ but One Outscores Them All

  • Will watch the match later, But I trust your view so much TA, I could just read here to get a sense of our performance. I agree with the guys it will be sad if we can’t hold onto Balogun. It’s tough on Arteta because he got here too late to affect that situation, contract already running down, really limited chances to get him in practically, though from what I hear from everybody about him, I would’ve got him in games more. Understandably the manager has to focus on team results though.

    I like when you describe Ainsley as Zen… I always say he’s silky in movements. Though we know he can be a hard nosed defender too. I think there’s a lot of talent there, and I want us to find the best way to use him. I know you and I want to see him in midfield. I think he could be more valuable there influencing games, and could get more minutes even. A lot more valuable than a backup fullback. But I am for having some constant competition for Hector, including Cedric.

    I hope Mikel is seeing enough to try working Smith Rowe in more. We really need a spark.

  • Balogun’s played 61 senior mins and scored 2 goals and added 1 assist.

    Would be nice to see him make the bench for a league game soon given our dreadful goals output. I find he offers more than Eddie for what we need right now. Our STs seem to be shot shy and Balogun always looks like he’s ready to blast one.

    Agreed on the player ratings. Mari showed me some speed that I didn’t realize he had as he galloped up the pitch on a few occasions. If it were up to me, I would start AMN ahead of Bellerin this weekend but I doubt that’ll happen.

  • Very generous set of marks for Afc players but Azeez looks an interesting prospect also interesting remarks about Soames and Bellerin after watching Hector for years i still cant make out wether he is a world class full back or a pretender ?
    Finally a word for Pablo who looks like a leader on and off the pitch if he can perform constantly for us then we have a potentual partner for Gabriel or a back up if Gabriel or Saliba is injured along with Rob Holding.

  • Not too much variance from what I saw TA. Might have given Chambers that extra half-point back. As he cleared a ball from front of goal which had been delivered on a cross– that #20 casually observed from start to finish. Like he had an SRO ticket.

    Balogun is a keeper. Arsenal allowed their last true CF to escape. Ostensibly due to Lacazette’s presence. Don’t let us rue this one getting away too.

    Saw Azeez play vs Derby U23 recently and thought well enough of his performance in a 3-1 win. Today, in the midst of better quality players– he looked right at home. Quite smooth. On the left wing, Smith Rowe played 90 minutes– running hard start to finish. Great engine. He’s filled out with a good physique for a midfielder (always have Ramsey in mind when I watch ESR). He needs to be on the bench for PL matches. Drop Kolasinac or Mustafi from the bench. Arteta can move Elneny or Xhaka into defense if required.

    Not to go too far overboard? As these young players are next year’s regulars at best. But Arteta can’t allow their progress to be stunted by more senior squad players– who won’t be with us in a month or six.


  • Jw, I didn’t even know about a guy like Balogun, and I still was saying to sell Lacazette in the window. I hope we can convince the kid to stay.

    Another interesting idea…. Eddie’s performance and goal tally in the NT U23s is well known. Maybe a smaller club would put in a decent offer? I do think he’ll be very good striker, as long as its not for a rival. Of course only if we could nail down Balogun first… I’d try to do it basically simultaneously.

  • You might be a bit harsh on the CBs, TA, but finally you’re starting to rate as the WhoScored machine. 🙂
    I think our defenders deserve some appreciation as they allowed only 3 shots of which only 2 were on target. It is an unfortunate situation that both of them ended up in the back of the net, which is probably a result of quality finishes, bad luck, and imperfect positioning from Rúnarsson, but the number of shots allowed was the lowest in the whole group stage (tied with the home fixture against Dundalk, but they weren’t that lucky then).

    I really appreciate Balogun, and he worked hard (including trainings) to earn the MotM award, but demanding him ahead of Lacazette and Nketiah is might be a bit overreaction. As TA pointed out he had some advantage against tired defenders on a wet ground and while both of his goal and assist were impressive they were closer to ‘expected at this level’ than extravagant. I think he should finish this campaign in the U23 as well as getting a few 30 min appearance from the bench in the the FA Cup and in the EL (if we get a good draw) and he should go on a Championship/PL/Bundesliga loan next year(s) so he get the experience and confidence to join the first team when Aubameyang retires (or gets sold).

  • Cheers J, AMN may well be one of those players whom Arteta had in mind when he was talking about some players developing into the sort of players he feels he need (rather than having to buy them) I see him as nr2 to Xhaka’s position and he could well become the nr1 for that position sooner or later.

  • HH, good shout for Mari. You can tell he is getting better but not there yet. A fine prospect, especially for playing with a back three with Gab in the middle flanked by Holding/Saliba and Mari.

  • Thanks Stan, I saw a good performance and good equates with the number 8 where I come from. Some where better than others and that is reflected in the comments. But of course rating players is subjective as we all see (certain) things differently.

    I like your assessment of Bellerin. Somewhere there is a good footballer in Hector, but he is not a wingback and probably not a right back either. I am wondering whether he should play right midfield (in a three with Xhaka/AMN and Partey), with a proper right back behind him (Soares, Chambers) and a proper right winger in front of him…

  • Ha PB, I can beat any machine! 😀

    We played an average team and we pressed up yet kept some solid midfielders in front of the defenders (3CBs!)…. and still we conceded two goals out of a few chances. I cannot score a CB more than a six – in fact, I probably was generous rather than stingy!

    But we all see it differently and I am sure a few computers have been diligently adding up blocks and interceptions, etc. Two goals against in a game we utterly dominated…. sorry computer, you lose. 😀

  • Gooneris, today is your last chance to give us your predictions.

    Wolves v Villa
    Newcastle v W.B.A
    Man U v Man C
    Everton v Chelsea
    Arsenal v Burnley
    Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid

  • Dear fellow writers and bloggers,

    Today the blog reached 337k views for the calendar year and that makes it the best year in the past five. So a big thank you to all the co-writers: GN5, 17HT, Kev, PB, LeGall, Admir, HH. Hope that is everyone! 😳

    Thank you also to all of you who comment on the blog as without it we simply have not got one.

    This has been a very difficult year for many of us, and I fear for the health/life of LeGall of whom we have not heard of despite a couple of emails from me to him. I miss his contributions and musical references. There are a few others who have stopped commenting but I am assuming that is by choice: PE, 17HT, OzGunner, HeheheHenry come to mind. I hope we will see them here again at some point.

    Luckily, Arteta gave us a light and festive summer and we were able to pick up the second biggest price in the county: the FA Cup.

    Now that we know that Arteta is undertaking a restoration project and it is all a bit bare and cold currently, let’s hope we will see gradual improvement and Arteta will get us to play the football of kings again. Together we can witness and discuss his progress on this blog and that will make the journey a lot more easy and enjoyable. Well at least for me.

    Remember our motto: Victory Through Harmony. It sounds so simple yet it asks for the highest levels of mental fortitude of the supporters. Thank you all for your support to the blog and the club we all love so much.

    C O M E O N Y O U R I P R O A R I N G G U N N E R S!!!

    Many thanks and Best Wishes,

    AKA TotalArsenal.

  • Good morning all.

    Total as you are aware I’ve contributed to various blogs over the years, most end up with contentious dialogue between the bloggers and the sites administration which turned me off of blogging for a good while until you suggested BK as an alternative.

    I’ve been participant on BK for around a year now and I cannot remember any distention between bloggers which is a credit to both the bloggers and your good self.

    I’m amazed at the skill sets, knowledge and writing abilities to be found among the bloggers, it’s an extremely harmonious group who make blogging a joy.

    My own participation has slowed now in recent weeks / months due to various old age issues which I’m hopeful will work their way out and the new year will be kinder to me.

    Let me be the first to say that I wish you all a very Merry and most of all HEALTHY Christmas and NEW YEAR.

  • This is too early for me to articulate my Christmas wishes as we will have many posts in the next 2 weeks (but thanks nevertheless), but a big congrats to TA for passing that milestone!

    I personally used to visit PainInTheArsenal and JustArsenalNews, but not any more as I found the former becoming excessively mean (both in terms of writing and commenting) and the latter moved into a gossip mill direction with little to none value added. Now I only follow/participate Bergkampesque, with occasionally taking a peek to Jeorge Bird’s blog and Twitter feed on Arsenal Youth. (I have Arsenal’s TransferMarkt and WhoScored sites bookmarked for research purposes.) But I absolutely agree with GN5 that the level of posts and constructive discussions here is simply unprecedented.
    And a big thanks to him too for the prediction game.

    Best of wishes to LeGall and best of luck to Arsenal!

  • Woke up to the news that Szoboszlai has agreed to join Leipzig 😦

    Knew the outcome was as inevitable as Thanos, but still held on to some semblance of hope that we would at least be in the bidding for him! Turns out we didn’t even submit an offer…

  • TA, lovely comment there and thanks for the kind words. It’s a pleasure to be back on BK to join in with a very intelligent and reasonable group of Arsenal supporters. Great community here and it all starts with you!

    Wishing all the best to the bloggers here and the ones that haven’t been around as often as you had mentioned.

  • TA, any info on RA ?
    Prayers for LeGall, I worried when you last mentioned it, i was hoping you’d gotten in touch since then….
    Oz, Henry, and 17ht (an especially big contributor). I hope they drop in once in a while. I miss the whole squad. I understand that people get busy. Last year was a tornado of events for me, but just checking in here occasionally always cheered me up. I miss the whole squad.

  • Congratulations to BK, then. That’s no mean feat in this age where mis-information and dis-information are the order of the day and the main staple of blogs/the media, aimed at keeping a gullible audience spell bound. BK has been an oasis, of sorts, in the presently crowded field where the greatest attraction of blogs is the controversy and/or abuse generated, daily, about a club we (should all) love. It is all down to you, TA. You’ve been a good captain, leading a cast of valuable resource persons/contributors who have been reasoned and measured in their views.

    Of course, sometimes it is hard to handle it these days, what with the poor start the club has had in the league. So, here is hoping for better days ahead, starting this Sunday.

  • Thanks, GN5. Been a busy week and it’s all I can do to catch up on posts and comments, as I crawl into bed at night with heavy eyelids. Will post my predictions right away…

  • My Predictions for the week:

    Wolves vs Aston Villa… H
    Newcastle vs W.B.A…… H
    Man Utd vs Man City……D..
    Everton vs Chelsea…….. A
    Arsenal vs Burnley…….. H
    Real M vs Atletico M….. H

  • I began looking at Arsenal blogs after doing an IT course in 2008, just as a hobby and used to read Le Grove a an introduction, it always seemed to me an aggressive, angry blog and I think I only commented once on it. It is still overly aggressive and my reticence at posting on there hasn’t changed at all. Many of the contributors on there at the time moved onto other blogs including the one I settled into which was Highbury House, Rico always ran and continues to run a friendly welcoming blog and I still look in on a daily basis.

    I tried Arsenal Arsenal as well at the time but it seemed as if the regulars on there just chatted to each other and ignored everyone else but I did notice latterly a guy who loved to post old pictures of buses I also enjoyed the videos posted by a guy called Chas.

    A Cultured Left Foot always wrote interesting and insightful posts but I never felt welcome on there, sadly we lost Yogi awhile back and the blog with it. Even though I didn’t contribute some of the regulars on there had things to say that were worth reading so I continued to visit just to see what was being written.

    Untold Arsenal and Positive Arsenal are a bit of an acquired taste and although I went there occasionally to have a read I rarely go there anymore. Arsenal Youth is a great read and I always go on there although another youth blog, Jamie Sanderson’s Young Guns has it seems disappeared permanently.

    On here Total has done a sterling job on developing Bergkampesque into what we have today, a blog that is generally harmonious, always polite and with a variety of views and interests from around the globe, from stats, playing systems, history, competitions, youth and scouting.
    I really enjoy the contributions of everyone on here and the mix of posts that bring so much of our Arsenal to the table for us to enjoy, nobody is rude and Total is responsible for that as he sets the tone and big thank you Frank for that.

    My thoughts are with our French ami and I wish him well and a speedy return to our community.

  • Nice words there from Kev. I guessed it had to be you, posting as “Kev” on some of the sites you’ve mentioned above; and your assessments of each were spot-on, really. I used to visit Le Grove and JustArsenal a while back, but found a was usually setting them straight and would find just a bold couple of posters who are willing to see reason, as they engage in a frenzy of criticism of the players and manager. I glean the headlines from a few other sites, from time to time as the content get refreshed and updated.

    Much earlier, some 12 years back, I was on Vital Arsenal, when it was vibrant and had Tim Stillman (Little Dutch- now writes for Arseblog), Amos, etc., going against the groundswell of agitation against how the club was being run. That site seemed to have just died a natural death, I think. Also liked to read Untold, just for its stance on the issues.

    All agreed; BK does have a uniqueness about it. Long may that last.

  • Thanks Kev. That is an excellent summary of Arsenal blog history, and Eris’ addition also is recognisable.

    The blog will be 10 years old in Sept 2022. I know that is a while but if we are still going then we will have a little party in London, or Canada if GN5 is not willing or able to travel 😊

    So please start putting 13 September 2022 in your diaries. 👍🏿

  • Thanks for a week balanced review. I can see your calmness when everything is crazy, just like playing days 🙂

    I like the way you describe the stubbornness of Arteta. That’s equally responsible for this slump, I belive. He sticking with Willian and Bel for PL is nothing but stubbornness. Anyway we are loosing, better to try some youngsters..

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