Arsenal Player Reviews: Two Almost MotMs but Mr Motivator Deserves it Most

Arsenal 3 – 1 Aston Villa

Player Reviews:

  1. Ramsdale: superb game with both passion and confidence. Made a superb one handed safe at vital moment and his distribution was awesome. Loved the way he moved play on urgently in the 47th minute after a Villa freekick, which ultimately led to the penalty call four seconds before the end of extra time.
  2. Tavares: a very driven performance with real presence on the pitch and great wing penetration. Final ball needs finessing but what an understudy for the tiger of Wishaw!
  3. Big Gab: great presence in and outside the box and a few fine passes through the Villa press. Played with real focus, intelligence and commitment.
  4. Big Ben: unbelievable performance with Beckenbauer runs, committed blocks and great passing. What a CB!
  5. Takehiro: awesome forward drive with a rolls Royce engine and fearless hardness. Good positioning defensively and constant support to our attackers.
  6. Partey: left it all out on the pitch and bossed the midfield with Sambi. Great threat during set pieces. Covered so much ground and one or two mistakes are then inevitable, but his performance and role were pivotal to the team. Very close to MotM.
  7. Sambi: I am so happy with Lokonga’s performance and partnership with Thomas. His positioning was excellent and his physicality was just what we needed. Such presence and fearlessness and forward drive. Will score soon.
  8. Emile: was all over the pitch and conducted our play with joy and excellent forward drive. He oozed quality and was rewarded with a goal albeit with a lucky deflection. Emile made the stadium purr. Close to MotM.
  9. Auba: did a lot of the dirty work with real determination and always provided a threat in front of goal. Took his penalty with a bit of fortune (Martinez did look immense in goal). This was one of my favourite Auba performances. Welcome back, Captain!
  10. Saka: such drive and fearlessness to get stuck in against Mings and Co. Always a threat and secure passing option and good support for Takehiro. Should have scored from a great Tavares pass.
  11. Laca: my MOTM as he took the game to the Villa defence from the first whistle and was infectious with his drive and enthusiasm for the whole team. Mr Motivator put his body on the line and won us the vital penalty. Alex embodied the collective soul of the supporters onto the pitch. Flipping loved him.

By TotalArsenal

37 thoughts on “Arsenal Player Reviews: Two Almost MotMs but Mr Motivator Deserves it Most

  • Ramsdale’s influence is infectious, I don’t feel nervous when the ball is pumped into our box anymore, I’ve not noticed his distribution tbh and that’s maybe because the mistakes in that dept have gone.

    Really loved the energy and dynamism that Nuno brings, his presence forces the opposition to drop of as he so direct, some rough edges but how good is it to have two great options at left back. I can see him getting a few goals as well.

    Gabriel totally dominated Watkins and gave the dirty Villa forward as good as he got, I actually thought that in general that Villa are a dirty team.

    Benjamin White was calmness personified as the craziness was going on around him, a Rolls Royce of a footballer and totally committed to the process. I’m really loving this team.

    But I still feel a bit cream crackered today.

  • Totally agree TA, sorry about the pun! Laca showed why some of us have been wanting him to start matches. He was a tiger with his pressing and the others followed his example. Everyone played their part, including the subs. If the team can maintain performances like the one we saw last night, we may not always win but we will become a team that others will not look forward to facing.

    Villa didn’t know how to respond so, tried the dark arts, including getting in the refs ear persuading him to book our players when I don’t think he would have otherwise have done so. Compare our bookings with what some of the Villa players got away with. The inconsistency and partiality of EPL refs borders on the ridiculous at times. At least he got the big call with our penalty right and wasn’t fooled by the diving antics in the box for which Ings should have been booked.

  • Yeah Ox they were dirty but just couldn’t deal with our intensity and professionalism. The evening out of cards by the refs drives me bonkers.

  • It was one of our best half’s under Arteta. The most important thing now is to recreate this every game. Bit annoying that we let them score to lose the clean sheet but other than that a very good game. As a side note it seems like the brightest talent to come out of hale end is actually ESR.

  • That’s the reason the Internet is full of click-baits and the reason the media love a team to create banter around: plenty of traffic. For our fans, it’s almost as if most get a kick out of moaning about something not going right always. When things go right, not much to say, so on to the next controversial news about the club.

    Yet, it is still a long way to go and I’d say we all need to have our feet on the ground, firmly and be humble till the team gets to perform like this on a consistent basis. We aren’t there yet but last night was a good showing.

  • I don’t have much to say Total, except it’s a joy to see our team show what they are capable of and it was apparent that the drive and desire show by Lacca became contagious.
    I hope that him asking to be taken off does not indicate an injury as we need him on the pitch to lead the youngsters.
    Oh and Ramsdale’s confidence is rubbing off on the defense.

  • TA, I’d have to take another look at that 47th minute action by Ramsdale to set us off onto the move leading to the pen. Ramsdale’s general composure is a breath of fresh air while his bawling as he berates/encourages his defenders is what was needed. Like Kev stated, it is easier to be calm when balls are bombed into the area, with him in goal.

    I join you to say “welcome back, captain”. I won’t say it’s the best I have seen him play but that was up there with his best in the shirt; and it has been long in coming.

    I thought ESR was MoTM, at least, he is mine. However, Laca’s presence was a constant source of discomfort for the visitor’s defence and a glue for our team’s cohesiveness. He fired up everyone else and was always applauding everything good. Like I stated in the last thread, his being in the ref’s ears is an aspect of the dark arts we don’t utilize enough. It helps even as it infuriates opponents. So, maybe a joint MoTM with ESR having a slight edge (for staying on to the end. 😉

  • All agreed Eris.

    It is an art to live in the moment and appreciate the beauty that is all around us. There was so much to admire from this game.

  • Yes Eris, Emile was superb too. I just thought if I took one player out of the team leaving the biggest negative gap, who would it be? That’s Laca for me, but Emile and Thomas were very close.

  • Good news on Lacca – he was just tired.

    Mikel Arteta was a happy man after we beat Aston Villa 3-1 on Friday night.

    Afterwards he faced the media and discussed the performance, Alex Lacazette, Emile Smith Rowe and more.

    Read on for a full transcript:

    on if the first 45 minutes are a blueprint of how he wants his team to play…
    Yes, very close to it. What I liked the most was the way the team reacted from Monday evening – how we finished the game and how they were in the dressing room, accepting that it wasn’t good enough, that we played to a really good level in some parts but at a level that was not acceptable in others. We are the youngest team in the league, but that’s not an excuse. We cannot change the age. We cannot find excuses – we have to find out why those things happen in the game, find the right solutions and then put them right and believe that they can play at that level, because they can.

    on his view of our penalty…
    VAR didn’t give us anything against Palace. I think it’s a penalty. The timing: you can discuss whether or not the time was right. But if you ask me to have a judgment on the action, for me, it’s a penalty.

    on being back in the top half of the table…
    Yes, it is nice. We had a tough start and we’ve been more consistent with results. With performances, there are things that we must do better. But today I’m very satisfied with the performance and the result.

    on Lacazette’s performance…
    I think the [man of the match] could have been anybody. I think individually, they were all terrific. If you ask me about Thomas, about Sambi, about Nuno as well, the two central defenders, anybody. I think the way they played was at a high, high level. Emile was terrific. He’s scoring goals, which we’re demanding him to do, because he’s capable of doing it. I think it’s more about the team today.

    on Smith Rowe starting to add end product…
    That should be a habit and he should demand that in his game, because he’s capable of doing it. I’m pleased he’s developing that. He still needs to develop more in other areas. The other night he wasn’t 100 per cent fit but he made a step forward and wanted to play with a difficult injury that he had. He wasn’t complaining, he was just looking forward. He’s changed the way he’s living a little bit as well, and some habits that he had. He’s been superb.

    on if tonight is an indicator of why bids were never going to be accepted for Smith Rowe…
    It’s a perfect example of why we want to keep him, why we are giving him the opportunity to do what he can do for our club and that we are happy with him.

    on Aubameyang and Lacazette limping off…
    Laca was fatigue. He hasn’t played that many minutes. He worked so hard and at some stage he just said ‘I’ve had enough’ and he was cramping.

    on whether the fans helped the performance tonight…
    Absolutely, I think the chemistry is there. I think the connection is getting stronger and stronger, and I think they are [all] enjoying what they have to do. They are a part of our team, a big part of our team. When there are moments where our stadium lifts, our level lifts. Our energy lifts, our belief, our confidence. I think they were terrific again tonight.

    on why today we were able to keep up the level of performance throughout the match today…
    Because we analysed it, because we discussed it, because we found the right reasons why it’s happening. We don’t think it’s a coincidence or we just want to rely on some immaturity – it’s not good enough. Whatever we have to do, we have to do it now. Football is now, not in 6 months, not in three years – and we cannot waste opportunity because we can do it.

    on Auba and whether he had an injury at full time…
    No, no he was just cramping.

    on whether Mikel has found his perfect formation with a 4-4-2 tonight…
    We were trying a formation against what we thought they were going to do – what we believed could work. Then it’s down to the players to execute it, and they did really well.

    on limiting Villa to no shots in the first half and how pleased he must be by the performance…
    It is really pleasing because that meant we were able to control the game the way we wanted, and take it where we wanted. But they are a top side. I was really impressed when I was analysing them again – they are a really difficult side to play against.

    on how Emile Smith Rowe has had to adapt…
    Well when you want to take the game to the next level, when you become a really important player in such a big club, that should be the only priority, and every detail is important and relevant. You have to make them aware of that – you cannot give percentages away that can make big differences. He’s changed that, and credit to him and the staff here that are monitoring and trying to build that education with him, and it will get only better.

    on Partey’s goal…
    Yes because he’s be chasing it for a long time, and he could have scored another two to be fair. I’m very happy for him, I think he enjoyed that moment in front of our supporters and I’m happy for him.

    on Tierney’s injury and how long he’ll be out…
    We don’t know how long he’s going to be out, he could not carrying on the other day and he wasn’t available to play.

    Copyright 2021 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source.

  • One of my main notes from the match also was incredible display of distribution and passing by Ramsdale. Southgate was there again watching our boys White, Smith Rowe, Aaron. Saka doesn’t need to prove anything.

    White with some excellent blocks,, not sure if he was one responsible for giving too much space for our allowed goal. His passing is exciting to watch.

    Partey was much better, maybe his best performance for us.

    Someone needs to have a word with Lokonga about his decisions to shoot. After his last 2 starts, he’s starting to appear selfish and immature in that aspect. Overall he was very good. Seeing him carry the ball through midfield and passing after pulling opponents out of position show his great potential, and what we’ve been missing since Guendouzi left.

  • After an Arsenal win the world indeed looks beautiful. TA that’s why I guess everyone was enjoying that feeling and not coming on this blog :). Even after decades of flowing this club and greying you would think that it’s easier to accept bad results. But honestly it never gets easier and that was the feeling after Palace game. It was a miserable few days till the Villa win.
    It was fun to watch the game abd with villa struggling to get any shots in the first half I was chuffed. I expected us to have a tuff game but going into half time you had to be happy. Though the second half was a bit tougher the team didn’t let their guard down and we could have had more goals. All in all an enjoyable game which brightened my life for sure till the next game.
    After the match the ritual of looking at the table and remaining match schedules makes you even more sicker about the palace game. Mind wanders to the possibilities if we had 16 points instead of 14. The many times you look at the table and calculate the jo of points seperating out team at the top four secretly wishing that we reach closer evey game. That’s why the palce game becomes even more heartbreaking. That’s how a fans mind works and no matter If iam in my 20s when I started to my late 40s that iam in now It hardly matters. The world is indeed brighter and slightly better place after my beloved Arsenal’s win.
    TA it’s precisely the above reasons I become bitter after a bad game and find a place to vent which you are providing a healthy platform unlike a toxic Twitter where I dont even have an account.

  • I understand Madhu. CP was a must win on paper so it was two points dropped for sure. We all felt that. PB clearly had a plan and knew Arsenal v well and Arteta did not have an adequate answer.

    I have definitely moved on in terms of a ‘bad’ game affecting my mood in recent years. I focus on the bigger picture and this remains bright for me.

    On Tuesday its Leeds at the home of football ⚽ ⚽ ⚽ ⚽!! 😁

  • Been busy, but yeah, Tomiyasu was back to his cavalier best, dominating and getting forward, I could sense a few having doubts about him after the Brighton and Palace games but he’s still adjusting to the heavy metal of the EPL after the Cha Cha Cha of Serie A. He specialises in the minimalist tackle, just like our Benjamin, effectively breaking up the opposition without a load of fuss.

    Albert and Tom had a point to prove after Palace and didn’t they just prove it, both ran and worked themselves to a standstill and I think that Villa’s goal come from them both hitting the wall in the last 10 minutes. Maybe Elneny would have been a good sub in those dying minutes, to settle things down, but two huge performances from the beating heart of our team and a goal at last for Tommo.

  • What can we say about Smudger Rowe, maybe a point to prove against the club who had no chance in signing him in the summer but he has in truth nothing to prove to us, the supporters as we know he’s a special player and stands among some of the best that the Arsenal youth academy has developed in my time going back to Pat Rice and Co. He’s as slippery as an eel with a natural attacking style, everything in his game is geared to going forward and he currently is out performing his club contemporary Martin Odegaard who actually looked strangely pedestrian when he came on. Smudger wants to stay for life and I say hurrah, therefore the club better make itself competitive enough for him to want to stay for his entire career, over to you Stan, Vinai and Edu, make it happen!

  • I was surprised to actually see Saka start but then maybe I shouldn’t really be surprised because this lad is made out of titanium and as is usual he of course suffered his kicks and fouls, got booked himself whilst those kicking him escaped until it was impossible for Pawson to ignore the rough treatment Villa were dishing out. Dean Smith suggested that Arsenal outmuscled his team but we did it with strength and determination minus the late kicks and snide challenges. We’re becoming so used to the level that Bakayo reaches that we maybe get a tad blasé about how good he is, but we have a very special player on our hands in Saka and our clubs has to make him content to stay by making us truly competitive for all the top honours or we’ll lose him eventually and that will be on Stan

  • Aubameyang put in a thoroughly effective 90 minutes and he looked well happy to have his partner in crime alongside him, almost got a classic Auba goal when he came onto his right foot on the edge of the box to curl one into the far side of the net but Martinez was aware and pulled off a good save, nobody could fault his effort in this game but he was eclipsed by Laca.

    Yes Total, my MotM as well was Lacazette, he drove the tempo for this team, he set the standard and everyone followed his example. If he keeps up that level then he’ll seriously increase his value should we decide to sell him in January, but should we sell him? Is the chat about a new deal for Laca just grandstanding in order to get a good fee for him or does Arteta actually see him now as he saw Xhaka, worth a new contract?

    Players do have a tendency to suddenly up their levels when looking for a new contract, Theo Walcott has made a career out of it and we saw the worrying decline in Auba following his new deal, a decline that he finally seems to have shaken off. It’s damned if you do sign him and damned if you don’t.

    But Laca was brilliant, the glue that tied it all together, he seems to thrive in among all the youngsters doing his thing why they dance across the pitch also the return of the crowds have certainly energised him he is interacting with the fans and I love to see that because we’re all in it together, they need the fans and we need them to be excited and involved – it’s brilliant.

    Best game I’ve seen since we smashed Tottenham 4-2.

  • Three gems of comments, Kev, and all agreed.

    There is indeed an eelly slipperiness about Emile. The way he gets past players is special and very hard to stop.

  • Indeed a big question re Laca and a new contract, Kev. His attitude has always been great but his output can be hit or miss at times.

    I feel that with Auba, Laca, Saka and Emile we have a strong quartet, and Laca is the only extrovert of them. I’d be happy to keep him.

  • Lacazette is such a thoroughly professional, and well rounded striker. He has a great attitude, but I get the feeling he wants a new challenge. His attitude was welcoming and perfect when Auba was brought in, where many strikers would have balked and asked to leave.

    He probably wants Champions league through Spain, Italy or France. Also regular time to get in the national team, even if a 3rd choice. He hasn’t made any scenes
    or shown unhappiness. When he leaves, he’ll be very well remembered. I wouldn’t mind keeping him of course. I’ve always said we are blessed with 2 excellent strikers.

  • Thanks for your responses TA, great to read positive posts from Eris, Johnno, GN and the gang, interesting point from Wedge and is ESR our brightest talent, that has crossed my mind as well, I guess if we can satisfy our young stars’ ambitions, if Stan continues to invest as he did this past summer and the club returns to where it was competitively, say around 2007/08, then we’ll know in 3 or 4 years time who the brightest is and maybe it’ll be Charlie Patino? 😉

  • Kev there is a future taking shape, and the mention of Patino is exciting. Continued strategic investment, I agree. Trying to add final pieces. What I was thinking during the match was, we have assembled a team of gifted passers with White, Tomiyasu, Partey, Lokonga, Øde, even Gabriel…… and to top it all off .. Ramsdale passing. It is beautiful to watch.

  • Some big results today in the PL. It looks like Citeh, Chavs and Pool are too good this season, but that fourth place is up for grabs. Now, I don’t think we have what it takes to claim that position yet, but you never know. Big game v The Foxes next Saturday.

  • Young players are by their nature inconsistent, therefore it follows that young teams will be inconsistent and I think we’ve showed that fully this season Johnno, some of our performances this season have been very disappointing and Arteta has maybe over complicated things, sometimes when you find that a player performs well in a certain position/role, well just leave well alone and focus on the weaknesses in other depts, but we’ve seen flashes also of what this team and this Coach can achieve and that gives me great heart…

  • When you look at the points totals of those teams around us atm, the twists and turns that those teams will go through and also take into consideration their european commitments then I think Total that we’re very much in the mix for a top four place and even though I’ve predicted that we’ll finish 5th we could quite realistically snatch that 4th spot.

  • I had hoped that Liverpool could hit united for 8, right after the red card to Pogba bit they took their foot off the throttle instead. That 8-2 result at Old Trafford, in August of 2011 still hurts. 😥

  • Interesting Eris, somebody mentioned Salah getting annoyed with his team mates when they eased up after the 5th goal, he obviously wanted more!

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