Arsenal Player Ratings: Three Threes, Three Sevens and One Nine – MOTM

I’ve tried a player ratings; I’d give a:

3 to Mustafi-Soares-Kolasinac:
They’re supposed to be experienced players, serious professionals, but they keep doing things any decent youth coach would reproach a U13 with, like: taking a nap during the first minutes of the game (Soares, Mustafi), being obsessed with the ball and not checking the forwards’ moves and position (Mustafi), kicking the ball away in desperation, and in ridiculous fashion, under pressure (Mustafi, Soares), not wanting to f…..g learn the offside rule (Kolasinac), being unable to play with his head up and cross the ball to a teammate, not an opponent (Kolasinac), or simply not seeing the delightful move – that any grandma you took to a game for the first time would’ve seen – of one your young teammates (Balogun-Kolasinac). Is that even a 3? Jury’s out.

4 to Pépé:
I’d very much like him to make it, I really would, he’s obviously a very nice lad, but …the great Johan used to say: “You play football with your head, and your legs are there to help you.”, while Nicolas is all legs and no brain, like some kind of soccer Forrest Gump. I’m pretty sure when fans are allowed back into the Emirates, many of them will cheer him up this way: “Run, Nicolas, run”. But that’s his “one-trick pony” side that‘s irritating me most, maybe. In the final minutes of the game, Folarin had this darting run right into the center of the City block, he asked for a simple one-two, and Pépé just killed the whole thing in the egg, to try this curler of his that I can’t put up with any longer (has anyone ever told him that the first thing an attacker has to do, is f…..g be on target???)

5 to: Elneny-Ceballos-Maitland-Niles
Average, what more can I say? After his brilliant performance at Old Trafford, Mo seems to just be going through the motions now. Ainsley obviously has had enough of being given the Mikel’s treatment (right, left, very occasionally DM – where he should have been blooming for some time now). As for Dani, he’s a skillful lad, but his lack of pace is painful to watch (you can do without pace when you’re Toni Kroos, but Dani’s not), and I don’t like this kind of misplaced aggression he displays much too often (at the wrong time, against the wrong guy), not to mention the way he behaves with refs: if he keeps doing this, we’re in for more one-man-down second halves.

6 to: Gabriel- Lacazette
Gabriel is an extraordinary buy, it’s really hard to believe he’s only 22, but at the moment he – understandably, though – wants to do too much, and I’m afraid the PGMO Arsenal-haters have more red cards in store for him too. Mikel has to talk to him about that, and the sooner the better. Never being allowed to play a full 90 minutes, benched, being made captain, having the penalties taken off him, being used as a never-seen-before-kind-of number-10, being cut off from one of the very best playmakers, assist-providers in the world (MÖ10), constantly abused on twitter by a swarm of so-called Arsenal fans (even though he’s still our second-best goal-scorer, and – yes!! – his stats are very, very close to Auba’s … I don’t think Laca will keep many warm memories of his London stay, but in such a context, his performance was more than decent. I, for one, was very happy with his delightful first touch, his hold-up play, his football brain, and … his goal, of course (very well-taken header, great positioning, great resolve). He has to get as far away from this madhouse as possible, and ASAP. I wish he could have fun in a Europa League team playing good, attacking, football, where he’ll be liked and forgiven, for the next 3 or 4 years.

7 to: Willock-SmithRowe-Balogun
They were a joy to watch; Joe has muscled up his game, eventually, he has to be first-choice, he must be picked against Chelsea Saturday, whether in the engine room, or on the right wing (in Aaron-under-Arsène-fashion). His through pass to Martinelli, when our Brazilian wonder was axed, was just delightful. Emil and Folarin are two extraordinary lads, everything they do oozes class; now that we don’t have anything to expect (or fear – this squad won’t go down) in the League, they have to be given playing time.

9 to: Martinelli
What can I say? He’s here for all to see, probably one of the most extraordinary buys this football club has ever made. The way he chases the ball, like a guided missile, and of course the way he wreaks havoc in the opponents’ 40 yards, every time he gets the ball. The risk the staff has taken with him when they kept him on the pitch, and even more so when he was made to come back after half-time, is un-professionalism of titanic proportions. Unforgivable, really.

See the source image

Last, but not least. Please allow me to introduce to you: Rúnar Alex Rúnarsson
In days of yore, you had only two players on the bench, and none of them was a keeper, so that when the goalie was injured, one of the attackers/midfielders/defenders (for some reason, it often was the CF who did it) had to put the gloves on, and deputize. It was great fun, the whole crowd cheered him up all along; some of them put on truly miraculous performances, and then the crowd went berserk, but most of the time the ball kept slipping between the poor guy’s hands, legs, he dived too early, or too soon, on corners he would miss the ball and punch away the faces of his teammates, and the opponents ended up piling goals upon goals. A stand-up comedian couldn’t have made it up, the whole thing was priceless, and some of these games are among my very best fan’s memories. So yesterday, thanks to Rúnar Alex, I took a wonderful trip down memory lane. After 5 minutes I just kept laughing my head off, which is why, eventually, I’ll leave his rating to you, lads …


57 thoughts on “Arsenal Player Ratings: Three Threes, Three Sevens and One Nine – MOTM

  • Thank you, LeG, for very well written and thought out player ratings. I may not agree with all the scores but in general we are aligned and it is clear that our defence cost us and had we had a bit more from midfield we may have done better as well. But of course conceding a goal after just two minutes in the first half made everything so difficult. We managed to get back into the game thanks to a brilliant goal between Marti and Laca and then had a good twenty minutes or so. Unfortunately, the poor lad of a goalkeeper gave away a poor goal and after that the shoulders dropped, and the defence did nothing to protect their young goalkeeper and more damage was done in a jiffy. Another tough game to endure but not bad to be out of this competition at this stage. Bring on the Chavs!

  • GN5 wrote in previous post:

    Morning all,

    We really watched a junior mixture of players and against a well drilled City team full of great players we were overwhelmed for the majority of the game. However we went in a half time tied 1-1 and came our strongly in the the second half but them three things happened which turned the game on it’s head. 1) we lost Martinelli 2) Runrasson let in a soft goal 3) they scored an obvious offside goal and we were 1-3 down – game over!

    We shouldn’t lose any sleep over this game as Man C are a superior team.The next game may also be a bridge too far at the moment as Chelsea are firing on all cylinders and are odds on to win the game.

    The following five games following Chelsea offer us more hope but Southampton have been proven to be a tough nut to crack. If we came out of these games in the bottom ranks then we should be worried.
    West Brom
    Crystal Palace

  • Gabriel Martinelli’s fitness was a big talking point following Tuesday’s Carabao Cup defeat to Manchester City.

    Our Brazilian forward was hurt following a collision with Zach Steffen and forced to leave the pitch through injury just two minutes into the second half.

    And Mikel Arteta was able to provide an update on Martinelli in his post-match press conference.

    “It was just a really bad kick on his shin and it was swelling up and he could not continue,” our manager said.

    “[At half-time] he was pushing, he was saying he was completely fine, that he wanted to carry on. He had a scar that wasn’t open and he wanted to try, so we gave him the opportunity to try and when he was on the pitch he was uncomfortable so it was an easy decision to take him off.

    “He has a unique energy and a way to transmit his passion for the game,” Arteta added. “He plays the game in a different way to any other player. It’s hard to compare him, but what I have to say is that it’s great to have him back.

    “To bring that experience, that fight… to play against this opponent after such a long time out, in the way he did in the first half, it’s something to be really proud and happy about.”

    Copyright 2020 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source.
    Press conference

  • It might make a lot of sense for Edu and Co. to look to take an experienced goalkeeper on loan during January because the thought of Leno getting injured just leaves me in bits…

  • Don’t laugh fellas, well yes please do laugh as we all need a good laugh atm, but there’s a report that Barcelona are in for Mustafi, yep that’s Barcelona.

    I’ll let that sink in…. 🙂

  • Hi Total/Guys,

    I needed a little light comedic relief and the inestimable Kev gave me that with his comments at 14:09. and 14:10 where he gave GN5 his score predictions —
    2 : 2 and 2 : 2 — it’s a bit sneaky, as he can claim a simple 2 : 2 draw, or a 4 : 4 draw depending on which ‘prediction’ is the better.

    I love it Kev. 😛

  • LeG,

    I liked your player ratings, and the method you adopted to show them.

    These ratings are, as usual, simply opinions so factual ratings by definition are not possible.

    I recognise that you responded to what you saw during the game, and I could not disagree with any of them, even if I wanted to disagree with them — which I do not. 👍 👍

  • AK,

    I wonder if you have mixed up the rumour concerning Mustafi and Barcelona — because in Spain (I have contacts, you know??? 🤪 ) the hot news is that Barca have looked again at Bellerin (who, allegedly, has said he is not interested) and are considering making a transfer bid in January.

    Forget the rumours — I do not believe Barca have slumped so far as to want either of them — I don’t. 🤪

  • Here are my swags for this weekend:-

    Leicester v Manchester United – H
    Aston Villa v Crystal Palace – H
    Arsenal v Chelsea – A (1-3)
    Sheffield United v Everton – A
    Wolves v Tottenham – A
    Dundee v Motherwell – D

    I just need the predictions from Gooneris & Total – unless I missed them along the way.

  • Well done Le Gall – I think you have created a new standard in how to present player ratings.

    It’s also very hard to disagree with your ratings

    Suffice to say the Pepe is a total disappointment and should be sold for whatever we can get in January – I’m extremely saddened by his performances as I had such high hopes when we were able to sign him but……………………………?

  • It’s a shame as i seem to be here when RA’s finished for the day – I guess being five hours behind the UK doesn’t help.

  • Leicester v Manchester United – A
    Aston Villa v Crystal Palace – H
    Arsenal v Chelsea – H 4-1
    Sheffield United v Everton – D
    Wolves v Tottenham – D
    Dundee v Motherwell – H

  • Same problem with time difference for me N5.
    ….. Le Gall, very entertaining for a ratings post. I am wondering, for you guys who follow all the youth games, etc in more detail…. how many game minutes has Martinelli had coming back from the injury, before this match? I really expected a few very short stints to begin with. Nothing to do with the knock he took, just that I’m overly cautious with our players. I couldn’t see the game because I won’t pay a penney for ESPN.. Kev would understand why. But here’s a clipping from a goal .com summary.

    Maitland-Niles the worst of a bad bunch
    No Arsenal player covered themselves in glory, but Ainsley Maitland-Niles was particularly poor. He lost possession 20 times – more than any other player on the pitch – won just two of his nine duels and failed to play a single key pass.

    Where exactly was Ainsley playing? And was it really that bad?

  • Hi Red, you have to find a little levity wherever you can find it these days mate especially when watching Arsenal. So, from what I’m seeing Barcelona are in serious financial trouble, again, but this time getting bailed out by a bank might prove more problematic in the present climate so maybe the odd free transfer is an attractive proposition and Mustafi is a World Cup winner despite what we might think of him. Tbh it’s all irrelevant where he goes in the summer as he’s out of contract and frankly all I’m concerned about is who at Arsenal wanted to offer him a new contract?

  • Excellent ratings post, can’t disagree with a single one of ratings and the Runarsson one gave me a good laugh through tears. But hey, we can always sack our scouting network for getting players like Runarsson…ooops, we can’t because we have already done that!

    I was thinking about something else:

    if there is one club of a solid stature in one of top European leagues that can envy us, it’s Schalke 04. They haven’t won a league game since that Wuhan bat was well-digested and it looks like their run would never finish.

    How about we send Mesut there on loan for the second half of the season?

    Mesut takes a pay-cut to join his childhood club and we relieve both a financial burden and a psychological one. Schalke get reinvigorated. Mesut gets a chance to get at least one of his beloved clubs out of the mud.

    Anyway, that’s too reasonable for Arsenal, Schalke and Mesut so I’m just wasting my time proposing it.

    As for the game against Chelsea, I’m touched with TA’s prediction about us scoring four goals in a single game against a Premiership club while Aubameyang is injured. We have scored 12 goals so far and we got eight of those 12 in the opening four games.

    All these stats just prove that the Chelsea game is a last chance saloon and not just for Arteta. Willian, Pepe and Lacazette all have a point to prove. Lampard is completely opposite of Mourinho as his teams defend naively (even if Mendy and Silva have improved their defence as well as emergence of James and excellent Chilwell) and they are going through a full-back injury crisis. If our massively paid forward-line can’t get a goal against them, we should search for different options and cut our losses.

  • thanks a lot for your comments, lads
    they’ll make my day
    my birth-day actually
    december 24th, 1958 – feel like a football dinosaur, it’s been 51 years (december 17th, 1969), since i saw Bertie Mee’s Arsenal draw 0-0 with my dear old (battered) Footbal Club de Rouen, at my dear old Stade Robert-Diochon
    This is, by a mile, the most glorious moment in the history of “Le FC Rouen”, here are the lads who played that night

    Rigoni, the keeper is said to have had the game of his life three weeks later at Highbury
    Rio, right CB (standing, third from left) became a French international with “Le FC Nantes”, Rob makes me think of him a lot; his parents run the “café” next to the satnds where my dad and I watched the game that night
    Leroy, RW (sitting, far left) became famous as the coach of multiple African national teams (Camerun, in particular)
    Douis, playmaker (sitting, third from left/right) was the most famous of a local (le petit-Quevilly), where the stadium still stands – more or less) “dynasty” who gave numerous players to the club
    Bruant, LW (“Bunting” in English) became a journalist for the local paper (“paris-normandie”), and was always very nice to the lower-league players he had to rate on sundays
    Pospichal (sitting, second from right) was a Czech international (at the time, players from countries east of the Berlin wall, couldn’t leave thier countries until they were 28, quite a few of them ended up in Rouen (I suspect because Le Petit-Quevilly was a very industrial, strongly communist town, and had links with the federations over there). Pospichal was propbably the best, but i also have very fond memories of Bula, a Polish international
    Well, that’s it, thanks again, lads, don’t let the Arsenal (temporary) gloom darken your Christmas celebrations …

  • Happy birthday, Le Gall. I calculated 62, but you don’t seem a day older than 58. 😛

  • Christmas greetings from the Bay of Islands. Thanks for all the interesting reading over the year.
    A bit of T.S.E. to remind us that even in “the dead of winter, the very worse time of the year”, when we question whether we are witnessing “a birth or a death”, there still lies a hope.
    And, as the Good Book says, Hope maketh not ashamed.

  • Here’s our latest team news update ahead of Saturday’s match against Chelsea:

    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
    Right calf. Sustained a slight calf strain in training last week. Auba is working hard with our medical team in order to regain full fitness as soon as possible. Has now joined outside drills and will continue to be assessed regarding availability ahead of Saturday.

    Gabriel Martinelli
    Right shin. Sustained heavy impact and bruising to right shin during our match against Manchester City on Tuesday. Gabi is recovering well and we hope he will be able to participate in full training ahead of Saturday.

    Thomas Partey
    Left thigh. Sustained a thigh strain during Tottenham Hotspur (a) on December 6. Thomas is currently unavailable, but is progressing well to now working outside on close ball work, together with the continued focus on his overall fitness rehabilitation.

    Granit Xhaka
    Available after serving a three-match suspension.

    As part of Premier League protocol, all members of our first team squad and support staff continue to be regularly tested for COVID-19.

    Copyright 2020 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source.

  • Hey Le Gall, happy birthday ami, it was mine on the 11th, so December is a busy month.

    If any of you fellas frequent You Tube then search for a site called ‘Inside Arsenal’ and you’ll find some really interesting and well made vids…

  • You can also source podcasts like Arsenal Vision and Arsecast.

    Highbury Years is another that you might find interesting.

    I’ve just been watching a documentary on Sky Arts about the Marx Brothers, how I laughed, it’s the kind of humour that never dates and in these trying times a good laugh is like a medicine,

  • Kev, I watched Duck soup a couple weeks ago. I loved it so much as a kid. I watch a couple Arsenal podcasts on YouTube, people who are realistic, constructive, and are passionate about the club as we are on Bergkampesque. Try “Not Another Arsenal Podcast”…. Anything but AFTV.

  • Evening guys, good comments and a nice poem by Stuart too. 👍🏿👍🏿

    A belated Happy birthday to you, Kev. 😁

    Hope you and your family are safe, BKers. I think if we have learned one thing this year it’s that human warmth and togetherness are more important than anything else. It is all a bit bleak and cold without being able to hug each other, shake hands or just sing together in a pub, at a game or a club. 2020 has been dehumanising and let’s hope 2021 will see us go back to normal at some point.

    Let’s also bare this in mind when we are reviewing our players. They have to go on and try and do their best for the club in challenging circumstances at two games a week in cold, empty stadiums. They are just humans like us in the end. 😔

    Anyway, I like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy and Human-Warmthy New Year. 🎄🎄🎄

    Victoria Concordia Crescit ⭐⭐⭐

  • T A Couldn’t let Christmas come and go without wishing all my old friends at B Ka very happy Christmas. I had promised i wouldn’t post until things picked up a little. Hence my radio silence. If I remember correctly we had to enlist Terry Mancini to save us.

    Interested to se Le Galls note on Rouen. Pretty certain I was at Highbury for the home game which we won 3 – 0 if my memory serves me well. Le Gall I probably have the programme from the match buried somewhere. If you are interested I will happily forward it to you. it’s only gathering dust. If you don’t mind letting T A know where to post it to I am sure he won’t mind passing the address on to me.

    Kev belated greetings beat you to being an OAP by a week.

  • Merry Christmas, Retsub. Nice to hear from you and of course I am happy to be the go between. LeG can email me the address details and then I will forward it to you plus his email address, if he is OK with it. Really nice gesture btw. 😀

  • Fine comments, as always, gents.

    Just on to wish everyone on here (and the Arsenal fandom) a merry Christmas and a better year 2021! Do enjoy the holidays and stay safe.

  • My predictions:

    Leicester vs Man Utd… D
    Aston Villa vs Palace… H
    Arsenal vs Chelsea….. H (2-1)
    Sheffeld U vs Everton.. A
    Wolves vs Tottenham…… D
    Dundee vs Motherwell…….H

  • Hey J, yeah I love those old comedies, I’m still in stitches when Laurel and Hardy come on, they are just good clean fun. Merry Christmas to you and yours in New Amsterdam. 😉

    Retsub me ol’ mucker, many happy returns for three weeks ago, yeah it’s no fun being a pensioner is it mate, but I’m still not giving in, as long as I can keep going I will, Merry Christmas to you and yours…

    Thanks Total, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and all your Jocko mates. 😀

  • As for you other Gooner geezers who regularity join in, may I wish you all a Very Merry Christmas and a Bon Noel to Normandy and beyond. Take care everyone and hopefully Arteta can give us a surprise Christmas prezzie…

  • Just saw my note from last night , which doesn’t make too much sense. If I remember correctly Frank Mclintock had been sold to QPR our defence was a mess and we were relegation candidates. So we bought Terry Mancini from QPR I think. He was like Bambi on ice as a footballer, but really excellent in the Air. Anyway it seemed to work for a while and obviously we stayed up. I guess that was the end of the Bertie Mee period. Interestingly I saw Terry Mancini on the tube on his way to Highbury to play for Arsenal

    Keep well BK,ears

  • Morning all,

    I hope you all have a wonderful and duly social distanced Christmas.

    The weather here was very accommodating as we had an overnight snow storm and it’s still snowing this morning. It’s nice to be safe at home with no travel or shopping planned for several days. Our daughter (who is part of our bubble) will be here for Xmas dinner (Roast beef with lots of roast veggies) our daughter is vegan so buying a turkey for two did not make any sense.We will zoom in with the rest of our family later this afternoon.

    I hope you all enjoy the festive season and most of all you keep safe.

  • Merry Christmas and Happy Boxing Day to everyone.

    It had been a sad run of games for us, but kudos to Le Gall, your comments made the pain lesser.
    I am not looking forward to wins in the next 3 games though, such is the state of affairs we are in. Its the players that were misused, and the final balls just weren’t there at all.

    However, I am sure that the players can figure out for themselves how to get the ball high up the pitch rather than in midfield and defence. We need to take risks and bamboozle the defence, not getting ourselves bamboozled.

  • Merry Christmas BKers! 🎅🏼
    A Happy BDay to you LG! 🎂

    (Inviting everyone to a party on my own– upcoming on the 31st 🎉🥂😁!)


  • retsub1,
    what a gift it would be … I wish my old man were still here so I might surprise him with it
    He’s the one who told me Rigoni – who was an excellent keeper, lean and hungry, a bit like Lloris, anyway – had had the game of his life at Highbury (he followed it live on … shortwave radio, how’s that for dinosaurish?).
    The game ended up 1-0 btw (Sammels 87′)
    A year ago, this video came out on youtube, on the site of fans of the current version of the club:

    George Graham is mentioned twice, first because he wasn’t supposed to play that night, then because he actually came in during the first half. Marinello is said to have had quite a showdown with Rouen’s left-back Mérelle, and Sammels is said to have heel-kicked the ball into the back of the net.
    For those of you who would be patient enough to watch the end of the video, the first guy answering the interviewer’s questions is Rigoni, who starts cutting his beard in front of the camera (at the time, in France (only??), it was traditional for some players to grow a beard as long as you weren’t knocked out of a cup.
    Then you have André Gérard the very nice caoch who had the team play good, attacking, football; he speaks with a delightful southwest accent (he was from Bordeaux).
    And eventually, you have Sénéchal, the team’s CB and captain, a very, very tough defender (my ‘pa liked him a lot) – who wishes the team hadn’t respected The Arsenal so much, three weeks before in Rouen, but all of them say Arsenal was the better team, Sénéchal in particular underlines the difference in fitness, sheer physical strength, between English and French players, back then.
    I can do as TA has suggested (tanks, TA) … just tell me;
    As for tonight, well I hope Mick will rejuveanate the starting XI a little.

  • Great footage from the olden days, LeG. What a bad pitch. Loved to see the French national flag being waved and it was clear that it was a tightly fought game. The beard cutting in front of the camera is hilarious!

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