Arsenal 2 Southampton 1

Player ratings:

Cech: it is easy to start getting blasé about the high standard of performance this guy puts in week in and week out. It is only when you look at how bad things could be and by that I mean take a look at the nightmare in the form of Claudio Bravo that Guardiola imported from Barcelona. This guy has won La Liga by standing behind that incredible Catalan out-field which means he had so little to do he could troll on Twitter for the best part of the game. But then, of course, look what happens when he has to do some work as was required against Manu. The man was all over the place. Contrast that with Peter Cech’s performance? Coolness personified ladies and gentlemen, coolness personified. 8

Bellerin: another standout performance from probably the fastest right back in the country. Remember whenever things are not going as hoped think of Hector and the world is alright again. 8

Chambers/Mustafi: I had to do a double take when he first took to the field; his hair and his physicality were so much like he who has gone to Middlesbrough. But that, of course, is where the comparisons stop. This guy has all the strength and determination of Koscielny and that is high praise indeed. Considering that was the first time he played with that group of players he did really well, going from strength to strength as the game went on. Yes, there were a couple of really poor passes at the beginning but after apologising to the bench he sorted that side of his game out – give the ball to Ozil, simples. I was surprised at how high up the field he felt comfortable playing; he was so far up he was almost joining in with the attack. All in all I felt comfortable with him there; his German calmness gives him the edge, in my opinion, over Paul Easter. 8

Koscielny: I had a small wager before the game that King Kos would be the first to score and do so with an overhead kick and I was right, I won quite a bit on money on that bet. This guy is just so determined and it rubs off on other players by encouraging them to try and emulate his commitment. MOTM 9

Monreal: best game so far and he needed it as he has been poor by the high standards he set last season. I have a hunch about this and that is that he is much more comfortable with Sanchez playing ahead of him; there is something about that combo that works. 8

Coquelin: our French ferret was everywhere in the middle of the park yesterday, breaking up play and winning back the ball. He is such an important player and one that will not lose his place to Xhaka; they are both perfectly suited to two different types of opposition. Arsenal – Watford? They were never going to really trouble us at the back so Xhaka is our man. Now we come to play City, who would you prefer sitting in front of the defence acting as a shield? 8

Cazorla: Did you see that last ditch tackle he made to stop Shane Long breaking through for a one on one with Cech? It was a tackle that Tony Adams would have been proud of. That may have got the crowd singing his name but it was his emphatic penalty strike that really got everyone out of their seats jumping for joy. He will lose his place to Ramsey when he returns; the Welshman adds just that little bit more steel in the middle but when it comes to art, Santi is our man. 8

Ozil: if you think I have been fawning over the players I have been writing about so far, you better turn away now because I am about to pour it on as thick as treacle. This is the best player we have ever had at the club; well maybe there is one other occupying the top table on Mount Olympus but if Mesut started scoring a few more goals its possible he could even take that crown. I cannot believe how lucky we are to have this player; he is a joy to watch, a thing of beauty. 8

Oxlaide-Chamberlain: for all those who saw the whole of the game you would have seen a player who made some really good runs in the first half, beating players for fun and then sending in a dire cross because he clearly hadn’t bothered looking up, this infuriatingly happened more times than it should and as such it only served to highlight why people remain unconvinced about his future. He looked very down coming off when substituted but as we all know he is never going to keep Sanchez out of the team and Sanchez is much happier and much more effective coming in from the left which means that that starting berth is going to be occupied for as long as the Chilean is fit. So Alex what to do, perhaps a peek in a few Bournemouth estate agents windows? 6

Perez: early days obviously. A bit off the pace of course but what really made his life difficult was that he was off the wave length, Ozil’s wave length. For this guy to succeed he has to be able to be able to link with Mesut, if he can do that then we have the player that we have been crying out for. His close control was good, very good in fact, not flicks and tricks that Giroud does which sometimes work and sometimes don’t, no. Perez’s close passes were deliberate, he knew what he was doing, he was completely in control of things. As he becomes better acquainted with the best player we have at the club, things will improve and this all bodes well for the future. 7

Walcott: Theo was rightly in the starting line up but it is hard to see him staying there unless he can continue to improve which in all fairness he has done quite a bit of this season. Iwobi replaced him and we got a direct comparison: Iwobi obviously doesn’t have Walcott’s pace but the Nigerian’s control is so much better that he created more dangerous moves in the fifteen minutes that he was on than Walcott did during all the time he was on. Iwobi isn’t quite ready yet but Theo you might want to start looking at estate agents brochures — in Bournemouth perhaps? 7

The Match Report.

Cazorla saved our bacon in the last minute with a well taken penalty to give us the all important three points. The team got better and better as the game went on although we were lucky that Shane Long wasn’t on the same annoyingly good form he was last season as he had two really good chances to embarrass us. But he didn’t, as we know, which means we get the luxury of basking in the glory of our unbeaten run this week.

Written by LB


60 Responses to Arsenal 2 Southampton 1

  1. Eddie says:

    and Mustafi? I thought he did very well, settled in already.

    Great match report, thank you LB.

    Where I was sitting, people on the right were clapping Theo off, in relief. I was too, thought he was useless. Same goes for Ox, I would give him 5 at the very most.

    Ozil. I need to watch the game on TV and pay attention to Mezut. He is good, but the best Arsenal player ever? Not for me.

  2. mickydidit89 says:

    Thanks LB

    Superb and detailed stuff. I thought you were being kind and a little generous as I read. Then I got to this at the end: “our unbeaten run this week” 🙂 🙂

  3. Eddie says:

    LB – with the high scores given to most players. did you think it was a great game and we performed very well? I didn’t think that

  4. mickydidit89 says:


    I had some real Ox haters next to me. Ok, they weren’t the booey verbal sort, but what annoyed me most was how they had it in for him from the first whistle. Blimey, at least start a game thinking good things.

  5. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh, and Mustafi?

  6. Eddie says:

    micky – I don’t think the righties next to me had it for Theo from the start, he just grew out of them as the game progressed

    To my left was a loon shouting at Foster proper abuse 🙂 Go on, take another effing walk round the goal. Now waste some time you ****. I thought it was funny 🙂 Foster was only doing his job, Szcz was the king of wasting time when necessary.

  7. mickydidit89 says:

    I was in a really really dull bit of the crowd. No spice at all.

    Perez. I wasn’t as quick as I’d hoped.

  8. mickydidit89 says:

    He not I

  9. Eddie says:

    I am REALLY enjoying the media slaughtering Mourinho, bliss!!

    Pepe 2: Jose 1.
    Man City put Man Utd in their place
    Guardiola beats Mourinho again
    Mourinho failed to match Guardiola
    …and it gets better and better. The journos really hate Jose, don’t they

  10. Eddie says:

    Perez – he didn’t try to score when he had the ball and opportunity. He passed. That’s not a prolific striker material. But its just his first game, I am prepared to give him some slack, ie 2 more games

  11. mickydidit89 says:

    It was hard on Perez not enjoying both Sanchez and Mesut around him

  12. mickydidit89 says:


    Could someone change Chambers’ name for Mustafi in LB’s player ratings. Thanks.

  13. Big Raddy says:

    Bournemouth 😀 Very entertaining read LB, thank you.

  14. Eddie says:

    Wilson scores this goal, but the media make it all about Wilshere’s debut at Bournemouth

  15. Rasp says:

    Morning all, the Chambers/Mustafi heading is deliberate as explained in the first line of the rating 🙂

    A generous and witty report, thanks LB 🙂

    Great to see Micky, Eddie, JC and the Vines’ yesterday.

    As for the game, we got the all important 3 points – room for improvement.

    Its too early to judge Perez, he needs to build an understanding with the players around him. He did play wider than I’d hoped and as they said on MOTD, I’d have liked to have seen him attack the box more.

    I’m increasingly thinking that maybe the ox should have gone out on loan and we’d kept Campbel and as others have said, we looked better with Iwobi on for Theo.

  16. VP of Oz says:

    From my perspective, I had a sense that there was some steel being forged in the Arsenal. When we had to defend at the end, the whole team defended strongly and I did not get a sense that we would concede whereas in other games/seasons past, I felt that we would either concede soon after we score or get lucky and just hold on. This time I was calm after both our goals as I felt that the defending was strong and sure enough we did not concede. In fact I thought that Cech had less to do with the defensive steel of the players in front of him and if it was not for the error/bad luck, we would have kept a clean sheet. And we beat Southampton, something we could not do last season.
    Mind you, that all said, its hard to form a sense of anything at 2am.

    I am very excited that this team is going to become not just better, but stronger as the season progresses. The real test will be against the high end teams.

    And finally, it looks like Leicester are going to finally have that relegation battle they missed out on last season. I wonder what Mahrez is feeling (I dont care about Vardy).

  17. Eddie says:

    chas – those 2 divs who left early didn’t see Santi’s pen, they must have been at the bottom of the stairs by then 🙂 ha ha ha ha

  18. LB says:

    Ohhh, I like this line.

    “I had a sense that there was some steel being forged in the Arsenal.”

  19. LB says:

    I was looking forward to coming back and finding out how many fish I had caught in the net only to find that the net had been cut. Are there really any people who think I don’t know the difference between those two players? It wasn’t that subtle.

  20. mickydidit89 says:

    That’ll be me LB

    I did read the rating and of course it was about The German as you said.

    In fairness, it takes me a while to get out of the blocks in the morning, and I usually ease myself into the day with something easier to digest than football 🙂

  21. mickydidit89 says:

    I love it when people miss goals on 45 or 90 to leave early, and it happens a lot.

  22. Eddie says:

    LB – you got me I am afraid. I almost googled Chambers nationality 🙂

    micky – those 2 divs left first half at 40mins to go to the bar, came back 10mins late and left 5 mins before the end. Each time we had to get up and let the arsholes go. in the end there was some malicious eyeballing going on 🙂

  23. mickydidit89 says:

    Ok, off surfing and I feel lazy. Hopes low.

  24. chas says:

    Cheers, LB.
    I like the in-depth look at the players and brief match report format.

    Not being a purist, I really don’t give a rat’s arse that yesterday’s 3 points were a little fortunate and hinged on a referee’s decision.

    I must say that sat alongside Eddie, I felt safe when the early leavers got slightly shirty with us for criticising their ridiculous matchday habits.
    You should have heard the foul-mouthed tirade coming from my right. Nearly made me blush, it did. 🙂

  25. chas says:

    I love games where the team wasting time for the whole of the second half gets punished in added-on time.

    I realise there is no justice in the world but little glimpses of how it might be, give me such a warm glow.

    I don’t understand why, once a goalie is booked for time-wasting, he is then given free rein to continue with exactly the same tactics, knowing the ref won’t have the cojones to give him a second yellow.

    I can’t stand Forster, such a good keeper and always has a worldy against us (not that he needed to yesterday as we barely gave him a shot on target to save).

  26. chas says:

    Fraser Forster 6
    Booked. Yellow card for time wasting at start of second half.

  27. Eddie says:

    I didn’t swear fecking once, there was a woman sat next to me.

    you burn more calories talking than laughing

  28. Bleeding gums Murphy says:

    You are joking that santi will lose his place to Ramsey I hope. Ramsey is not good enough for us. Square peg in round hole. Cannot operate with Ozil and Sanchez because technically not on same level. It’s such a joke that even one of pundits said we need to set up like Wales to get best out of Ramsey. Hahahahahahaha

  29. Hi all

    Thanks for the report LB. I read it very early this morning and got sidetracked before being able to leave a comment.

    Now LB, did you get a new pair of extra rosy spectacles for your birthday or were you soaked with alcohol while watching the game? I love a positive supporter and I love the way you write but 8’s? Really? That was a poor game of football although wildly exciting in the last moments and bagging the three points made trudging through the rain worthwhile 🙂 🙂 🙂

    I’m pleased you recognised Coquelin’s value to the side yesterday, I thought he was super, putting out fires all over the pitch. Love him.

    Can’t wait for Tuesday night to watch some more.

    I thought the addition of Chambers was very clever 😉

  30. wally says:

    Coquelin might keep his place. As the game progresses he finds himself increasingly forward instead of protecting the cbs. A good team will punish that. He needs to be given good yank on the chain.
    Cazorla loses out to ramsey? not on the basis of yesterday’s game. Cazorla was the one directing traffic, the only one as ozil looked lost out there. Ramsey could never boss the team the way santi was yesterday.
    Walcott and ox were good effort guys but produced little or nothing. Maybe that’s down to perez and them not knowing each other.
    I suspect kos will be missing a few games. He may even have a concussion.
    All in all a good result, a good start for the new team.

  31. GunnerN5 says:

    Hi LB,

    Just read your report – I like your format and think you may have found yourself a new part time job of love – the only compensation being our thanks – well done.

    I’m with Peachs and feel that you were a tad generous with your ratings. I was very concerned until AW did the obvious and took off Lucas who was off the pace and left a lot to be desired – but it was only his first game and he has lots of time and practice sessions to gain his knowledge and improve his understanding and pace.

    Ox was outstanding until it came to delivering the final pass/cross – he has to improve in that area or he will be a forgotten man.

    Santi was my man of the match – he was born to play football and he oozes confidence – which rubs off on those around him – great captain material.

    Kos was also outstanding and along with Coq they dominated their areas.

  32. LBG says:

    Greetings from not so sunny Carmel by the Sea, CA.
    To use a a phrase oft quoted by my delicate younger sibling, I don’t give a “rats Arse” how we won. We won, and climbed closer to Maureen and his smug pile of manure of a team! Watch out, we are going to pull your knickers down next!

  33. LB says:

    Here’s how it works folks. It would have been really easy to write one of those dour, we just scraped by kind of reports but where is the fun in that when we all went home happy bunnies with three shiny points in our pockets.

  34. Eddie says:

    LB – then why not go all the way and give them all 10? That would have been really funny 🙂

    aha LBG, have I sat in your seat yesterday?

  35. Does anyone know how Jack got on yesterday?

  36. Eddie says:

    peaches – he did well, played for half hour and didn’t bet injured.

  37. LB says:

    It’s funny you should say that Eddie — I was very tempted to do just that.

  38. LBG says:

    Eddie, your were welcome to rest your delicate posterior in my front row seat provided you didn’t abuse those” lovely men “who like to arrive late, leave early (often missing goals) at both the start, middle and end of the game………or loudly abuse that master of the art TW!
    “I’ll be back!”

  39. chas mobile says:

    Absolutely love your reason for the flavour of your match report.
    I’m still buzzing now. 😃

  40. GunnerN5 says:

    Chas I totally agree wiyh your comment – especially with Chelsea losing 2-1 with less than 20 minutes left in the game.

    Absolutely love your reason for the flavour of your match report.
    I’m still buzzing now. 😃

  41. chas mobile says:

    Chavs dropping a couple is always welcome. 😊

  42. GunnerN5 says:

    They are very dependent on Costa, you can only love him if he plays on your team.

  43. Eddie says:

    have the chavs lost??!! wha-hey, happy dayz 🙂
    oh no, 2 all 😦

    LBG – ha ha ha, not sure about the delicate posterior, but I must say me fat arse was very comfortable in the front row, thank you 🙂 your sibling comment gave you awayy

  44. Big Raddy says:

    Just watched my first football of the weekend – 2nd half at Swansea.

    Chelsea are a revolting bunch of cheating villains relying upon a few proper players (Hazard, Willian, Oscar).

    GN5. I can understand your admiration for Costa but ….

  45. TotalArsenal says:


    Excellent player ratings and all agreed. And I love the number 8 too. 😉

    You are so right re Mustafi looking like Chambers, in fact it must be him but upgraded.

    Also agreed re Rambo becoming the regular b2b once fully fit. Xhaka deep, Rambo the running connector and Ozil the nr10 creator. What a threesome to power the midfield. Having said that, Santi looked very good yesterday and so did Coquelin, and they will of course play a lot as well. So much choice – welcome to the post stadium investment years!

  46. GunnerN5 says:

    I’ve never seen an Arsenal side with such a powerful bench, it will scare a lot of teams and gives AW multi different options.

  47. LB says:

    I’m on one of my rolls, I have another small offering for tomorrow. I will post it unless I am told other wise.

    Although, I must warn that I will not be able to write the PSG report on Tuesday night.

  48. chas says:

  49. mickydidit89 says:

    ha ha ha chas
    brilliant 🙂

  50. mickydidit89 says:

    Erik at 6:50
    “Just watched my first football of the weekend – 2nd half at Swansea”

    Lucky you. I went to a game, and didn’t see any 🙂

  51. mickydidit89 says:

    Blimey, 31 degrees in London on tuesday

  52. chas says:

  53. chas says:


  54. mickydidit89 says:

    he he he, that’s even funnier than the cat vid 🙂

  55. LB says:

    New post, a bit early but hey ho.

    Good cat vid.

  56. mickydidit89 says:

    Here’s a theory, Mesut tried harder and was much better after the 62 minute mark when Sanchez came on.

    (I have a feeling LB once said Mesut doesn’t like passing to anyone else given the option). Also, Theo had less touches of the ball than anyone, which may endorse this theory.

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