Arsenal Player Ratings and match report

It was tense wasn’t it? Even when we scored the second there was a nagging feeling that if Palace scored we would be under pressure and so it proved. How can it be that at two up the team doesn’t relax?

Let’s start with the pitch. It was awful and clearly designed to upset our ball-players and assist the long-ball game. It was uneven and the grass hadn’t been cut since Wright and Bright were banging them in at Selhurst. Perhaps Pardew recognised our difficulties playing on the ploughed field at Stoke and instructed his groundsmen. It is often said that it is the same for both teams but have you ever heard anyone complain about on the magnificent Emirates pitch? Is it unfair to long-ball teams and Man Utd that we have a billiard table to play on?

I was surprised how clean a game it was. I expected Pardew to send out his men to kick our chaps but that didn’t happen, what happened was that CP pressed us from the first, not allowing any player time on the ball. The pundits say this is the best way to play Arsenal and perhaps it is but this should result in Arsenal having more space in the final minutes as an exhausted opponent slows down – it didn’t happen yesterday, in fact the opposite happened – we hung on for the win. Why?

Tactics? Substitutions? CP wanting it more? Fear? You tell me

Pardew identified the wings as the place to attack us. Monreal grew into the game, Chambers didn’t. I like Chambers and am fully aware he is a very young man but is he really a Full Back? A modern FB needs speed, lots of it and this is not an asset Chambers has. In time he is sure to be a fine CB but against the very speedy Gayle and Bolasie he struggled.

So far I have looked at the negative but we won the game, picked up the points, and sit in 3rd place. This is a Happy Gooner.

In midfield Santi surprised me at how well he linked with Coquelin; Palace were unable to play through the middle. Ozil floated through the game finding space and played a wonderful pass to Alexis at the beginning of the second half to Alexis – who should have looked for Giroud for the tap-in.

Ultimately, the result is all that matters.

Player Ratings:

Ospina:  Made some decent saves, distribution good but could have cost us the game with a touch of the Flapianski’s in the last minute    7

Chambers:  A difficult afternoon and a yellow card. 5

BFG: CP poured crosses into the box and BFG did well until the final 5 minutes    7

Koscielny: Our best defender …. again   8

Monreal: Thank goodness Zaha has no final ball. Nacho struggled. 6

Coquelin: Good game for him to show his battling qualities. High energy and focus.    7

Cazorla: Worked so hard on a pitch which was designed to stifle his skills. Lovely pass to Welbz to set up OG. Scored the pen.  8

Ozil: Quietly sets up the team but this wasn’t his sort of game or pitch    6

Alexis:  Not his day. Some lovely runs but no end product    6

Welbeck:  I am yet to be convinced of his partnership with OG. Drew the penalty. Assisted for the OG goal   7

Giroud: Scored. Led the line.  Did his job    7


written by Big Raddy






53 Responses to Arsenal Player Ratings and match report

  1. mickydidit89 says:

    Massive thank you Raddy,
    Plenty of time to read and savour before the fresh airing of the day.
    I do agree Santi played well with Coquelin, but I believe it comes at a price. Namely, the link between defence and attack.
    I like my Santi further up the meadow (and it was), but we are hampered by not having an Ox or Rambo to fill in.
    Funnily enough, I think the dreadful surface hurt Palace as much as us, as on a few occasions I noticed a bobble before their wingers tried to cross having done the hard work in skinning our FB’s.

  2. LB says:

    I only watched the game on a poor steam so I don’t really have much to say but thank you for a fine match report BR.

    Was it the pitch? Could be I suppose but when you consider that we have a 100 million pounds worth of attack I feel we really should be able to play a more flowing brand of football than we do.

    I wrote a post on Giroud and Welbeck being the magic formula now I am not so sure. Yesterday may have been a well fought win and all but it still feels like light years away from the gold standard set by Arsenal in the late nineties.

    Have to go.

  3. Big Raddy says:

    Santi playing deep allows us to play our three best players – Ozil, Alexis and Santi. When Ox, Wilshere or Ramsey return one or more of the artists will have to be dropped.

    Horses for courses but I like the current line-up

  4. Gööner In Exile says:

    Daddy in not so sure because surely Welly makes way and Santi/Alexis/Ozil work as a three going anywhere they please and using Ollie as a pivot.

    Now get Welly to make some good runs for Ollie and maybe we start to see something of the late nineties line up LB referred to.

    Let’s say:


    Ok I’ve had to shoehorn Alexis into Ljungbergs role. And Ozil is possibly more Pires than DB10. Maybe Ollie can be DB10? But then only one of Santi and Ozil can play.

    I think as United are finding out the £100m front line is irrelevant if you can’t get the ball to them, Ollie allows us to go longer to get the ball up the pitch but it requires a huge work rate from the 3 to go up and down all game to support defence and attack. Which is why I’d like to see us braver in leaving one up closer to Ollie, most likely Ozil to give him at least one out ball, Ozil is clever enough to be in the right place to collect knock downs.

  5. mickydidit89 says:

    I agree with all of you.
    The Vieira/???? has to be Rambo, Jack or Ox.
    Naturally, I’d go for the Ox 🙂

  6. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh nooo Exile
    I hadn’t seen your last para.
    I don’t like your “going long” thing at all. Sounds far too Wimbledon 80’s 🙂

  7. mickydidit89 says:

    Well, it’s been a joy to have an early post, thanks Raddy.
    Now out.

  8. Bloody hell, Raddy got his match report out ahead of schedule… probably taken some medication which got him up and ready this morning 🙂

    I’ve said everything on my blog this morning. But good report Raddy, very fair. Palace could have nicked a draw. Now onto Monaco.

  9. Gööner In Exile says:

    Wimbledon 80’s or Arsenal early nineties, who can forget us all doing a long “shoooooooot” every time safe hands had the ball in hand, especially after the assist he gave Wrighty that came off the cross bar (Derby home I think)

  10. Cruise says:

    It was Sanchez that passed the ball to Welbeck.

  11. Big Raddy says:

    Thanks Cruise. Too many beers last night 😦

  12. Bhiza says:

    Thot Sanchez gave the pass to Welbeck, not Santi, Santi struggled, but a lot of them did

  13. Iyt was Sanchez… I got it wrong as well, i thought it was Ozil.

    Video evidence…

    this video should clear up who passed to Welbz for the second goal by Giroud.

  14. ‘morning all, Fine summing up BR. Dodgy pitch, dodgy commentator and pundit, no doubt about the penalty and Welbeck wasn’t offside for the pass to Giroud.

    Too many Arsenal defenders on the pitch at the end of the game caused confusion and resulted in their goal and almost an equaliser.

    Still three more points and up we go to third. Kushti.

    Peaches/Rasp, post sent to arsenalnuts.

  15. Rasp says:

    Great MR Raddy. Well we won again without playing well for a large portion of the game. I shouldn’t complain, but I do hope we can produce consistent quality for longer periods for the rest of the season.

    So far so good, the results have gone our way this weekend. Tiny totts 1 nil down to wham as I type 🙂

  16. Maureen is up to something the sneaky little portuguese wanker: This is his recent statement about Arsenal and Arsene:

    “I don’t understand why they are not up there with Chelsea and Manchester City,” says Mourinho. “Arsenal are a team I like very much. They have very good players and Alexis (Sanchez) is a very important player to add to what they have got. They are a team for more.”
    On Arsene Wenger, Mourinho says: “He has a dream job, everyone would love to have the security he has of being manager year after year after year. He won so many titles in a certain period and that gave him that credibility he deserves. He is obviously a fantastic manager. He has a fantastic situation to be successful.
    “When you look at the players in the squad, they are capable of playing very good football.”

  17. Rasp says:

    2 nil wham 😆

  18. chas says:

    Flippin WordPress acting the knobhead.

    Nice match report, BR.
    We were a tad lucky, true.
    Trying to hang on to a 2 goal can lead to calamitous defending.
    Ask Fat Sam.

  19. chas says:

  20. Rasp says:

    No worries chas – sorted.

    7 minutes of ET – where did that come from?

    The pain is yet to come for the F.I.O.S. 🙂

  21. Gööner In Exile says:

    Surely a dive by Kane?!?! All this fuss about getting points from losing positions, that’s just an indication if how many times they’ve gone down in games.

    Anyway 2 points dropped, same for Liverpool v Saints and I’ll be a happy Gooner.

  22. Big Raddy says:

    Going well so far. A draw for L’pool and the weekend has been kind.

  23. arnie says:

    lovely match report, Raddy. 🙂 agree with everything except Alexis getting only a 6.

    We made it hard for ourselves. But we are winning against the minnows. How we win does not matter so long as we continue to put these points in the bag. No complaints.

    Any other team Ollie would be a hero. we are ungrateful barstewards. last season he kept standing the whole season while all the other dainties were falling like kingpins. 20 goals as well. may be not the best in teh world, but he is the best we have.

    this year, Ollie was injured early on. Welbz filled in the gap reasonably OK. Got a run in the team. Did we see a 20-goal a year Giro? Nope. Now, Giro is back. 11 goals and counting.

    Welbz may turn out to be good, as good as Giro, but not in the next two years. hmmmm. thats my twopence.

    We have lost a lot of strikers by being ungrateful and nasty to them. Will just give one example, Gervs. Let us not lose this “bird in the hand”. COYG. 🙂

  24. Big Raddy says:

    2 PL games ago the Miscreants were skinny cock-a hoop, now they are 4 points behind us.

  25. arnie says:

    GiE. I thought you were desparate to have Kane in our team? 😛

  26. chas says:

  27. Gööner In Exile says:

    Arnie how very dare you.

  28. Gööner In Exile says:

    I think I said Kane to Madrid, Bale to us

  29. Gööner In Exile says:

    Am thinking Saints getting a terrible run of decisions from the ref, think the second penalty shout was a definite foul. First one as soft as the one Kane got this morning. Still Dipperswin or draw good for us.

  30. arnie says:

    GiE. 🙂

    lovely photo, Ant. 🙂 meeting JC is top on my wish list. 🙂

  31. Big Raddy says:

    Lovely pic of a pensioner and JC

  32. arnie says:

    Peaches looking her usual bubbly self. 🙂

  33. Big Raddy says:

    S’ton totally dominant, L’pool playing a rearguard game. What does Rodgers do? He brings on Sturridge for a midfielder.

    My type of management!

  34. arnie says:

    ha ha ha, Raddy. fair enough.

    I bet Brenda will take L’pool to CL 18 years in a row. 🙂

  35. arnie says:

    good good. 2-0. cannot complain. 🙂

  36. stevepalmer1 says:

    Evening all,
    Another fine report Raddy, I go along with your Markings for our players, but i feel you could have been a little kinder with our full backs.

    I felt that they were run ragged Palace’s wingmen were a threat right through the game, but our boys fought right to the end. When looking at these two players we have to remember that really they are second string players, when both Gibbo and Debuchey are both back to 100% these players will probably cove others who are injured.

    We were under extreme pressure yesterday, right from the start till the last minute, never did we impose our game on them, and yes your right Raddy, we were lucky to get the 3 points.

    Although i wasn’t happy with our passing, i did feel that that the players worked hard, i would say that some of them were not up to what they can produce, but even so winning ugly is still an achievement

    I did feel that the players worked hard, on a ploughed field where cattle could have been fattened up on certainly never helpped but the same for both teams

    I dont go along with the theory that if a team trains on bomb site that they get used to it as that would bugger them when they play away. I was happy Theo didn’t play as he is a passenger in games such as this and all he offers is a bit of pace up front, when your pinned down like we were Theo would have been a blank space.

  37. chas says:

  38. chas says:

    Beware – not for those of a nervous disposition.

  39. chas says:


    Cheers Raddy

    We were average to slightly shit but still won. That annoys the f*uck out of our rivals, so I gain great pleasure from it

    It was a funny performance. At one stage I thought i spotted Ozil lying on the half way line having a kip. But realised a bit later he just didnt enjoy that sort of game, so thats ok

    Chas, please tell me those Totnumb things are a joke? What a bunch of classless bastards.

    If we get to the coco pops final we are almost embaressed about it and tend to keep a low profile.

    “Going to the coco pops final Terry?”

    “Oh yeah, that. Only if when i get up I dont see a sad story on the news about some fat kid refused entry on a plane for fear he tilt the plane. And if its cold, no way”

    They get there and its like theyve been invited to a sex party.

    F*uckers. i hope every one at the party looks like Steve Archibalds uglier brother and they lose 5-0

  41. Big Raddy says:

    Terry. I hope they win. Love to hear the excuses from Moaninhpo and then will enjoy laughing at Spurs fans getting lairy …..

    “We won the Cup. Finished 6th again but we won Silverware and that is all that matters. CL is nothing if you don’t win it and a season where we finished less than 10 points behind Arsenal is as good as we can hope for. And we won silverware and got to ride an open top bus down Tottenham High St cheered on by the Enfield Girls Hockey team. We are Tottenham, Super Tottenham, The Losers from the Lane”

  42. chas says:


    hahaha, I still want them to lose Raddy

    Not that I have anything against a 45 year old and his 30 year old son getting lairy. Ime just against wearing white socks and dating my mothers daughter.

  44. RockyLives says:

    Thanks for the report BR – I wasn’t able to watch the game so it’s much appreciated.

    As you say, the points are what count.

  45. RC78 says:

    We almost blew it again but in the end…we managed the 3 points. Ospina was a bit scary today and Chambers was off and so was…Sanchez…I think we should rest our favorite chilean for a few games. Walcott is back – let us play him and Wellbeck and Giroud. We will score goals…

  46. Gööner In Exile says:

    Don’t like getting political on here but watching MertTheUKippers…….oh dear oh dear oh dear.

  47. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    3 games in 8 days. Monaco, Everton and QPR.

    Despite our inconsistent form I am quietly confident

  48. LB says:

    I just put “MertTheUKippers” in Google and it came up with “meet the kippers”.

  49. chas says:

    “Rozanne Duncan, who was a prominent member of Ukip in the Thanet South seat where Nigel Farage is running for Parliament, was filmed by the BBC saying she disliked “negroid features”.

    The same documentary also featured the local Ukip chairman Martyn Heale attempting to draw a line under his past membership of the far-right National Front, by saying: “I was never a member of the Gestapo”.

    Ukip expelled Ms Duncan in December as soon as the party hierarchy became aware of the remarks, but the comments that led to the decision are revealed in full for the first time in the fly-on-the-wall documentary Meet the Ukippers.”

  50. Rasp says:

    Morning all ……

    ….. New post ……

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