Arsenal Player Ratings: One 10, One 8 and Lots of 7/7.5s

Well that was exactly what the Gooner-doctor ordered: a strong team performance and a win. Four goals and twice hitting the woodwork as well, the boys were up for this alright!

Unfortunately, the boys conceded two good Leeds goals in the second half but overall this was a good performance by all. We will analyse the game in the next few days but for now here are the player ratings.

Pierre Emerick Aubameyang

Player Ratings

Leno: 7 – not at fault for the goals and had not much else to do.

Soares: 7.5 – really mature performance and gave his all. Snappy in the one to ones and some fine passing.

Gabriel: 7.5 – really lively and aggressive performance by Big Gab.

Luiz: 7 – steady performance, maybe could have done better positionally with the two goals conceded but he usually plays LCB not RCB. Some good defensive interceptions and calm leadership.

Bellerin: 7.5 – partly at fault for the second Leeds’ goal but an extra point for a fine goal. He may not be our best defender but his attitude is always exemplary.

Xhaka: 7.5 – a very mature and calm performance. Such good positioning and quick, simple passing. Half a point extra for his assist for Auba’s first goal.

Ceballos: 7 – great, clever assist for Hector’s goal and some good passes, but seemed to disappear during some spells in the game. Half a point extra for assist.

ESR: 7.5 – worked hard and positionally strong, fine assist for Auba’s third for which he gets an extra half point.

Odegaard: 7 – worked hard and brought good energy to the team. Some quick thinking and passing, a bit Ramseyesque at times.

Saka: 8 – Bukayo was again the Silk on the pitch. His movement is so graceful and yet powerful, his first touch is glued on and his passing quick and incisive. Half a point for getting us two penalties, even if only one of them was eventually given (for some reason). We have some player here!

Auba: 10 – MOTM – his first PL hat-trick and with a bit of luck he could have had another two. He really benefited from the space Leeds gave us and the hard work by the three attacking mids behind him: Saka, ESR and Ode. Always a threat and really enjoyed himself today.


Willian: 5 – struggled to get into the rhythm of the game and did not add much.

Elneny: 6 – steadied the ship a bit.

Holding: – not long enough on the pitch to score him.

By TotalArsenal.

49 thoughts on “Arsenal Player Ratings: One 10, One 8 and Lots of 7/7.5s

  • Why does Arteta continue to play Willian he is useless, has not contributed since first game of the season, He runs around like a headless chicken, Arteta took of ESR who was playing brilliantly then the game went to shit.
    Willian is the new Mustafi a liability and needs to go. Why do we keep shit players and ship of Martinez the best goal keeper in the premier league and all our young stars, Arteta needs to get these big decisions correct or we will end up mid table.

  • I do not even understand why Willian is subbed on for ESR. Ahead of Pepe and Martinelli, when both of them did have some decent performances on the pitch.

    The ratings were largely agreed upon.

  • Tactically Arteta got it right, Luiz and Gabriel went on some amazing runs into the Leeds half causing all sorts of mayhem in the Yorkist defence, but we maybe missed Rob Holdings big head when that cross came into the box for the first Leeds goal? Swings and roundabouts I guess but will this same team face Benfica or Man City next time out or will there be subtle changes?

    Ceballos brought some excellent movement and slick interplay into our attack, he linked up fabulously with our very fluid attacking trio supporting Auba, Johnno would have been impressed…

    Odegaard was very encouraging, you can see that he has a few more levels to go step up and when he does it’s going to be very exciting. I hope he’s enjoying his stay in England and I hope Zidane stays in charge in Madrid.

    We really needed this result.

  • Nice ratings, TA.

    A few notes.

    Firstly, that Smith Rowe’s cross for Auba was so perfectly weighed that it can’t get praised enough. If Bergkamp’s first touch had a baby with Freddie’s timing, that would be Emile’s cross of yesterday. Splendid.

    Secondly, we should talk about that second-half drop we go through since Arteta’s arrival. We have to arrest that thing. Arteta should work on his in-game management as we drop way too many points from winning positions due to second-half drop energy-wise and performance-wise.

    Thirdly, Holding-Gabriel is our ideal back-line right now. I don’t know what is going on with Chambers but he should get some minutes soon – either as a RB (Cedric is being spent on the left side) or as a CB. Luiz has a costly mistake inside him every time he plays.

    Finally, about the Willian sub thing… I’ve already said that I want to see someone jailed for Willian’s transfer. But, let’s face it, the Brazilian is there and we can’t do anything but hope he eventually does something productive. That’s exactly what Arteta has been doing yesterday. We were 4-1 up, our attack looked fluid and our front line had all the space with Leeds chasing the result. If there is a perfect game to give a confidence shot to Willian, it was the one yesterday. Sadly, it didn’t work out and Willian gave another pale impression of that George Weah’s alleged cousin Ali Dia. We need every player in a good shape for the congested weeks ahead of us and Willian’s experience, in theory, should come handy. If nothing else, his availability should afford a breather to any of Saka, Smith Rowe and Odegaard.

  • Flawless ratings and justifications, TA.
    I would only add 0,5 to ESR, not only because we won the mini-match when he was on by 4:0 and lost the mini-game without him by 2:0, but also because he had the most clearances on the pitch (tied with Soares), which is so very rare for an attacking player.

    p.s. Thanks guys for the posterior acceptance. That’s really very kind of you all.

  • Quick observations….
    Good to see Gabriel looking fully fit. We’ll need Holding for the next tough run of opponents over Luiz.
    Ceballos was good but did have a Mustafi moment giving the ball away right outside our box, we were lucky it didn’t end in a goal. I think most of his performances have been above average and shows some toughness, which originally I didn’t see in him.

    I totally agree with Arteta using Willian to keep him a useful part of the squad. He looked ok, but most importantly to me, he was working very hard. That’s all we can ask of the man. There’s no getting out of that bad contract, so lets get some value out of him. Industrious sub appearances, starting in Europa group games next season, carabao cup to rest Saka and ESR. Maybe even a few assists and goals per season would be some value.

    I’m very interested to see more of Odegaard. I see a tiny bit of Ozil in his touches and skills… don’t kill me … it’s just a quick first impression. I heard he worked very hard in his Spanish loan last year, and looks to me like he may be the languid type who may not appear to be working, even when he is. That’s usually a sign of talent.

    A shout out for Cedric again. I don’t know why some fans were down in him in the past. For a little guy, he plays big and really gets around… to me, a very good pickup for the club. If the fullbacks are all fit, I’d use him more to protect Kierans fitness with regular rest, to protect those muscles, and on the other side, I’d use him occasionally to motivate Hector with competition.

  • Here are the results for last weekend competition:-
    For the weekend:-
    1st – Gooneris with 4/6 plus four bonus points plus a further two points for the correct score.
    2nd – PB, JW1 & GN5 with 3/6
    5th – Kev & Total with 2/6
    For the season:-

    1st Gooneris with 86.33
    2nd Kev with 75.00
    3rd PB with 72.66
    4th JW1 with 69.66
    5th GN5 with 58.66
    6th Total with 58.66
    7th Le Gall with 27.33

    Well done Gooneris for your haul of ten points – the highest for any week so far this season.

  • Here are my choices for the coming weekend:-
    Burnley v W.B.A.
    Liverpool v Everton
    Fulham v Sheffield United
    West Ham v Tottenham
    Arsenal v Manchester City
    Eintract Frankfurt v Bayern Munich.

  • Here are my predictions:-

    Burnley v W.B.A. – D
    Liverpool v Everton – H
    Fulham v Sheffield United – D
    West Ham v Tottenham – D
    Arsenal v Manchester City – H
    Eintract Frankfurt v Bayern Munich. – D

  • That’s a fine ratings post Total and it’d hard to disagree with any of your choices.
    It’s funny that you should note that Odegaard was Ramseyesque at times because that’s exactly what I was thinking about ESR.

    In Saka and ESR (who are so young) we have two players who are already stars in our team but will become our super stars for years to come.

  • Burnley v W.B.A.: Away
    Liverpool v Everton: Home
    Fulham v Sheffield United: Home
    West Ham v Tottenham: Draw
    Arsenal v Manchester City: Draw
    Eintract Frankfurt v Bayern Munich: Draw

  • Ha! “If Bergkamp’s first touch had a baby with Freddie’s timing, that would be Emile’s cross of yesterday.” Superb stuff, Admir. As is Total’s ongoing positivity. Victory grows out of harmony.

  • A few bits of curiosity about the game:
    – Bukayo Saka has passed his 5000 senior minute milestone against Leeds (cca. 3500 PL, 800 EL, 360 FA Cup, 300 League Cup, 90 Community Shield). He scored 9 (PL: 6, EL: 2, FA Cup: 1) and assisted 16 (PL: 8, EL: 5, FA Cup: 1, League Cup: 1, Community Shield: 1) in the process.
    – Apart from the injured Tierney this was the line-up with the better/best passing players in every possible position – resulting in a really creative team reaching double digits in key passes (while Holding could be more reliable defensively, Luiz is clearly the better passer). The game was joy to watch, but there were some defensive shortcomings.
    – Aubameyang’s penalty was not simply good, but otherworldly unsaveable, just like all of his previous 5 (retaken against Norwich, last round vs. Watford, FA Cup final vs Chesea, shoot-out at the Community Shield, winner at Old Trafford) each of them were strong and surgically precise – genuine masterpieces.
    – The last time we faced Leeds at the Emirates was last January (FA Cup third round) only Xhaka and Luiz played from yesterday’s heroes, and the team included players already left the club (Martinez, Sokratis, Ozil), players that are currently on loan (Kolasinac, Guendouzi), players from the bench (Holding, Lacazette, Pepe) and first team outsider Nelson – who scored the only goal of the game.

  • Nothing to add to the ratings, TA. Spot on with them all, and agreed with the extra half points too. It was a game where we had to be the more aggressive side to win and we were, except for the drop-off in the second half. I put it down to the one week we had to rest and then prepare, without consideration for a game in midweek.

    With the 1st leg game against Benfica coming between our Sunday clash with City, expect Arteta to give most of the lads who played last Sunday a rest for the Europa league clash. It is the only way we stand a chance to give City a game when they come visiting. As it stands, they play Everton on Saturday but don’t get to play in Europe till the 24th of February.

    This run has got to carry on. We need some wins, badly.

  • PS: do we really think ESR’s Assist for Auba was intended? Looked like he was trying to bend that one into the far corner but miscues it. Either way, who cares, right?

    GN5/TA, thanks for the accolades (takes a bow). I like it when my good runs coincide with that of the Arsenal. 😀. Hope the run lasts for a bit.

    Yesterday, I really did want the kind of scoreline TA predicted. We need to improve that GD column a bit.

  • GN5, my predictions for the picks are:

    Burnley v W.B.A.: H
    Liverpool v Everton: D
    Fulham v Sheffield United: H
    West Ham v Tottenham: H
    Arsenal v Manchester City: D
    Eintract Frankfurt v Bayern Munich: D

  • Eris, interesting question about the ESR assist. I’m not sure either because it was rather low. I do like to point out his pre-assist to Xhaka who put in Aubameyang for the first goal. Perfect one touch pass again (his specialty) from Smith Rowe.

    PB, I was impressed with Aubas penalty too, it was as unsaveable as can be done. It wasn’t even in the corner, but in the side netting. Perfect.

    Kev you described another impression I was feeling about Ødegaard, having more levels to step up. It’s exactly why I’m so interested to see him play more.

  • I think that ESR’s meant it for Auba, you could see him look up and considering his position, the fact that there were two defenders in front of him with little space. He makes space, looks up and see Auba on the far post and floats the ball in-between defenders beyond the defender in front of Auba for a beautiful ball to head home.
    Its really sad that Arteta who is himself a young coach with his first big job with a big club, doesn’t trust youngsters enough and falls back on Willian every time. Arteta needs to realize that Arsenal had faith in him to lead the club to the next phase and his job is to integrate Youngsters into the team. Iam really disappointed that he is not doing this enough. Look Willian is not a Gundagaon to keep playing him. He has had his indiscretions i.e. Dubai trip in the middle of pandemic and is not performing. Arteta’s treatment of youngsters like Saliba, Guen, Torriera and now fearfully Martenelli shows a pattern. Frankly its bad man management and we are probably loosing good amount of money by not integrating Saliba, Guen and Torriera into the first team. They are all likely to leave in the summer and with very little transfer money. Every club who is buying them will say that they are taking a problem child off Arsenal and demand heavy discount. I fear that Martinelli will start making noises about his playing time and will ask to leave come summer.

  • Madhu don’t get me started on Artetas handling of Guendouzi and Torreira. But I am worried about Saliba and Martinelli. Can’t afford to lose promising talents and their possible value. I think we should watch how he handles Martinelli closely in the coming weeks. Needs to work him in. I defend him using Willian a little … but I warned at the time of Willians signing that he would block Martinelli and Reiss Nelson. May have already ruined the Nelson situation for him and Arsenal.

  • Sorry TA, just some rants about an underperforming individual.

    Here is a proper summary of the game:

    We did relatively well and were bossing the midfield via Saka, ESR and Odegaard, along with Xhaka and Ceballos. All 5 did well in my opinion, running the show together in a show of technique and positional strength in the first half, and Leeds had the upper hand in the second half after we had gone 4 up when Auba had his hat trick. Every game that we played we invited the opposition team to come at us in the second half, and making our lives difficult.

    We had some chances to put the game in bed by scoring a 5th, but we didn’t and instead we let in 2, from the opponent’s left hand side.

    I know that Willian is not to blame for any of the goals that we conceded, and the fault lies with our weak underbelly: We got beaten too easily by quick one-touch passes throughout our history.

    By learning from Leeds’ implosion, we need to change our tactics dynamically, and think of different plans and ways for different types of opponent.

  • Jnyc , agree with you Martnelli is a worry for me for sure. If he goes than Arteta needs to be sacked. Look i don’t have a problem if Arteta thinks few of these youngsters are not what he needs, but there is a way to handle that situation. You need to be smart and not relay that to the entire world that you don’t need a Saliba or a Guen. The moment you do, you are bringing down their transfer value. That’s really an ego issue rather than anything. What is more dismaying is that Arteta himself is a young coach and should recognize that a big club like Arsenal has trusted him in this role. Surely he needs to understand that he needs to trust his younger players always, especially when senior professional like Willian and Luiz are not delivering for him. Its really poor man management and one that is losing us money in Transfer market as well.

  • Madhu, agree completely. Even from an owners perspective, it’s unforgivable to waste young prospective assets that you already own, but to squander them and let their value go from very high down to almost nothing, as in the case of Guendouzi, could be a firing offense. To let it happen more than once would be enough for me.

    I’m hoping he’ll work in Martinelli in the next few games… let’s wait and see, as most of us like the player. Also Saliba next season. He’s getting rave reviews again isn’t he? He also can be a huge talent for many years for us, and become a player of huge monetary value.

  • Well from a distance it easy to think and say that, but what is the club to do with underperforming players?

    Torreira on loan made sense. Best way to keep his value up.

    Guendouzi ditto.

    Martinelli is playing way below his level/ what is required at the moment and his chance will come when Arteta thinks he is ready again. He gave him plenty of chances already this season.

    Saliba did make the grade and why not trust Arteta’s judgement?

    There is no point in keeping players at the club if they are not either really young or part of the core-18. All the players you have mentioned bar Martinelli are deemed not to be in the core, so…. what else is Arteta to do?

  • I’m with Madhu and Jnyc on Saliba and Guendouzi.

    While it could make sense to sell Özil (which is not the good word as we did have to play him to go) it is obvious that it had nothing to do with training and game performance (as reported by several players on Mesut’s training attitude and quality). And if team selection would be indeed solely based on form and training performance then Willian wouldn’t have 1320 minutes under his belt. So we might trust Arteta’s judgement if we prefer, but not his public statements.
    And we are not only talking about a few individual careers (Saliba, Nelson, Mavropanos – maybe Ozil and Runarsson) as I’m sure every PL team have their sad stories, but destroying and depreciating serious Arsenal value too (Saliba and Nelson again, Torreira, Guendouzi, Mkhitaryan, Kolasinac, Mustafi, Sokratis). Some of them are spilt milk, but Mikel and the club could still save/salvage important players and heavy millions.

  • Did you attend the training sessions, PB? Do you know what standards Arteta is setting? Your opinion is fine but I cannot do anything with it.

  • Not at all (was I implying that Willian shouldn’t play). I fully agree with Admir that “the Brazilian is there and we can’t do anything but hope he eventually does something productive”. And while I have never wanted him joining our ever-growing RW contingent, since he is here already I don’t mind him coming from the bench, maybe he gets his confidence back and reminds us his Chelsea days. I accept that there are several other factors than the current form, and we don’t want to make another Ozil from the Brazilian.
    However let’s not play the game that whatever Arteta said must be true just because he said that. If Ozil were that poor then we wouldn’t have needed an oversized squad to justify his exclusion from both the PL and EL lists. We would have seen him play some below par games and came to the same conclusion that he should go. So the only reason that we had to struggle with Sokratis, Kola and others in a 30+ squad was that Mikel could force Mesut out of the team and recoup some of his salary.
    That could be okay, and maybe the end justified the means and it was the right thing to do, but the official reasons were – to put it delicately – not true. Because not everything is true what club officials say – even they are as likeable as Arteta.

    On Ozil’s training behavior and performance, while I didn’t attend, there are some who did. And for me it is way more plausible that Mikel was lying than each and everybody else:

  • Cheers, PB, for explaining yourself. If you look at ESR you will see why Arteta was not happy with MO anymore. Not that the original discussion was about Ozil.

    Anyway, sleep well and let’s hope for a Willian brace in Rome. ⚽🙏

  • Burnley vs Baggies…. H
    Scouses vs Toffees…. H
    Cottages vs Blades…. D
    Hammers vs Spuds… A
    Gooners vs Oilers….. D
    Eintract vs Bayern….. A

  • Willian brace it is, TA.
    With him in the middle plus Martinelli and Pepe/Nelson on the flanks that would be a capable support for Lacazette/Nketiah up front. Let’s go for a convincing victory.

    My piece is in the mail…

  • Burnley v W.B.A – Home
    Liverpool v Everton – Home
    Fulham v Sheffield United – Draw
    West Ham v Tottenham – Draw
    Arsenal v Manchester City – Draw
    Eintracht Frankfurt v Bayern München – Away

  • I saw some brief highlights yesterday of Maitland Niles playing for West Brom and Willock playing for Newcastle, with both of them doing quite well. The loaning of that pair is certain to raise their profile and increase their value which obviously was a major consideration in loaning them out in the first place.

    It’s still early days for both of them at their new clubs and we must hope that they’ll both continue to improve and become serious players for their loanee clubs but I wonder if either of them have or will do enough to secure a regular 1st team squad career at Arsenal afterwards?

  • Kev, I watched both their games and they did OK. They played similar roles for their respective teams and were very disciplined. Willock got close to scoring again and AMN ould have had an assist but he messed up a decent opportunity.

  • AMN and Willock are examples of productive loans that we all agreed were good moves by the club. Much more controversial, and I view as counter productive, are the situations of the many others discussed. What I’d like to see is players not frozen out to a point where they lose all their value as players for us, and assets we could move. There is no doubt in my mind Reiss Nelson, for example, could be a good saleable asset that would get some interest from prospective buyers if handled correctly. He and Martinelli are directly affected by the money pit Willian. I am in favor of getting Willian some playing time, since we’re stuck with him.

    The only way to judge the wisdom and success of a signing, is, would any club in the world take the player and the contract off our hands? We know the answer in the case of Willian. I think he’s been good in his last couple appearances, especially his effort. Any sharpness that’s missing is understandable because he’s used to playing a lot more. At his age, he’ll have to get accustomed to more spotty playing time.

    Nobody wants another Ozil situation where we pay so much salary and get only a tweeter.

  • Torreira and Guendouzi did not make grade, so what was the best thing to do? Loans so they can improve and come back stronger or get sold. The same goes for AMN and Joe, and next season the same can happen to Nelson and even Willian.

    The market for selling players is heavily affected by the C19 financial crisis btw.

    Football is competition and some will not make the grade and decrease in market value, where others increase in value and the club can make a profit on.

    I genuinely cannot see what Arteta could do differently.

  • Re Willian, he has been a disappointment until now, and who could have predicted that? He was such a good player for Chelsea and we bought him for his goals and assists. Something much more likely to get from him than the youngsters this season.
    For some reason Willian is not delivering and that is of course a worry for Mikel. Luckily this can still change and all of a sudden we get a healthy ROI. And if not then we just have to count our losses at some point, same as Manure had to do with Sanchez for example.

  • PB, some bad sources you use there. But just think a minute… IF Arsenal could have sold Big Sok, who didn’t feature in Arteta’s plans any more, why would they not have done it? 😅

  • Though I almost always agree with PB in general, I have to say, I always ignore most of those clickbait websites, including major newspaper sites. I only get a little interested when a journalist with a reputation to uphold reports under their own name. John Cross, Ornstein.

    The clickbait people literally make up rumours and you can tell they piece them together from needs and wants of some clubs and fans, and base them on what they already know are rubbish sources they’ve come across, compounding the nonsense.
    …. When my friends send me their links I don’t even read them. They also cause frustration among anxious fans, and create unrealistic expectations, even on the sell side.

    The way TA reasoned out the Sokratis situation is the only way to do it.

    My regular Champuons league matchday rant coming. Watching Szczesny prepare right now, it always annoys me. This was not a case of 20/20 hindsight. At the time I was really disappointed how Wenger handled him. Most fans were still not appreciating Szczesny at that point, because of past immaturity. But for me, at the point Arsene gave up on him, he was growing in consistency with regular CBs in front of him. Had a clown personality but lots of keepers have that. Always had the build physically, very strong coming for high balls, quick for his size, and capable of excellent saves.

    What I was noting about him, obviously Juve scouts were seeing on his Italy loan, and was another case of wasted value to us, 10 mil or so for a young guy to replace a legend.
    Arsene and staff did screw that all up as far as keepers go, because at the same time they never considered Emi Martinez. Their job is to know our own players, at all levels. On the bright side, I love Bernd, and he didn’t cost us Kepa money .🤣

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