Reading: Player Ratings and Analysis

Well, that was fun wasn’t it?

Reading were no pushovers but not good enough to really threaten, that said, Martinez made a couple of fine saves which highlighted our abundance of quality keepers.

At 24, Martinez was one of the oldest Arsenal players, he is older than Ox! Fortunately for him GK’s have a longer shelf life.

And what of the Young Pretenders? Iwobi shone as one would expect. He could be the Real Deal, a future superstar. Up there with Messi and DB10. He has amazing dribbling ability, great balance, a good eye for a pass, he can shoot, tackle (?) and has stamina. I hope AW allows him to develop slowly and not overplay him, thankfully Ramsey is about to return and perhaps Iwobi will get some rest.

Jeff, and Niles found it hard to get into the game but showed flashes of their potential. Both typical Wenger youths; inventive, fast and confident.

Once again, Holding was impressive. Alongside Gabriel we looked solid in the centre of defence. Gibbs showed why he is good enough to play for England but not good enough to start for Arsenal, in other words the best FB on the pitch.

Jenkinson must have been delighted to start again for the club he loves. As one would expect his performance was full of energy but The Corporal has the problem of always being second fiddle to the best RB in the PL.

Elneny held the midfield and did his work efficiently and without too much drama.

Upfront we continually chose or misplaced the wrong final ball. Perez was busy as was Ox but we really should have  put more pressure on the Reading goalkeeper. I cannot recall Perez having a shot on target however it is easy to see why Mr Wenger has such confidence in him, Perez needs Ozil and Sanchez to flourish.

Ox. I love this bloke. I love his energy and his passion. I love his intelligence. But …. he should be progressing faster than he is if he wants to stay at Arsenal. Danish TV had Ox as the Man of the Match . Yes, he scored twice but his passing, especially this crossing, was wayward (I say this without the benefit of stats!). Against a young Reading side in a game with little pressure Ox was the best player on the pitch but I expect more.

The subs did well. Zelalem and  Willock both got a taster but the best news for Gooners was the return of the mighty Giroud. He looked fit and strong , bringing out a marvellous save from Al-Habsi (who had a great game.)

Overall, Arsenal played some wonderful, dynamic passing football making for a really enjoyable evening.

Player Ratings:

Martinez     7

Jens               6.5

Gabriel         7

Holding        8

Gibbs            7

Iwobi            8

Elneny          7

Maitland-Niles       6

Jeff                6.5

Perez            7

Ox                 8

Written by Big Raddy

98 Responses to Reading: Player Ratings and Analysis

  1. Rasp says:

    Thanks Raddy, your match report gave me a much greater insight than I could get from the brief highlights.

    Good to hear we have an energetic Giroud back in the fold. I get the impression that this may be The Ox’s breakthrough-or-go year. The boss is certainly giving him plenty of opportunity, and he can’t be faulted on effort.

    Having previously assumed that JR-A would be our future midfield maestro, it is cleat that Iwobi is indeed the real deal 🙂

  2. Rasp says:

    It appears I may have upset one or two with my ‘naff titles’ comment (LB, chas,Raddy). I was merely responding to someone’s observation that we are not getting the traffic on the site we used to. This is primarily due to the growth of other more immediate social media outlets and also the fact that Arsenal are performing really well and bloggers seem to prefer to criticise rather than compliment.

    We have had some good titles also recently …. I’ll keep my thoughts to myself next time 😦

  3. Big Raddy says:

    Rasp. Don’t you dare …. your thoughts are important to the site and I was just being facetious.

    I agree, the titles are dull

  4. Rasp says:

    Thanks Raddy, simple things like just adding a player’s name in the title will attract more views, we don’t have to go down the sensationalist tabloid path.

  5. LB says:


    I was joking, you are right “A Few Thoughts” is a naff title. I don’t find it easy to come up with catchy titles. A bit of banter that’s all. I have always said that I am happy for anyone to change them.

    Thanks for that BR

    I like Rasp agree that I got more from your words than I did from 5 minutes of highlights.

  6. chas mobile says:

    Excellent, BR, you really are the all-round package ( a bit like Iwobi’s mum).

    I only caught bits of the game, what with swapping streams, buffering and cooking pizza, so your words of insight are of great help.

    I, too, was only dicking about pretending to be offended about the titles comment. It’s so rare that I contribute post-wise that I have no grounds for throwing a hissy anyway.. 😊

  7. IanRealGunner says:

    A bit off topic but did anyone else notice the change in tradition last night – looked like a mixture of short and long-sleeved shirts. Normally chosen by the captain and having to be adopted by all. Does anyone actually care though???

  8. VP of Oz says:

    BR, a great read. Better than most commercial sites. If you’re after sensationalist headlines, than I’d change the title to one of –
    Last Chance OX
    Fit Strong Giroud back to his Marvellous best
    Second Fiddle Jenkinson
    Iwobi better than Messi
    No Threat from Reading says BR

  9. RA says:

    A superb summing up, Raddy, many thanks. 🙂

    I did not see the game other than the highlights, like most others on here, and having read two sports reports today, it was interesting to see the contrast between your positive and informative view and the generally luke warm stuff I read in the papers.

    You are a Gooner and there is no surprise in the above, but I value your opinion far more than the unreliable commercial stuff bashed out by the media almost as an aside.

  10. Rasp says:

    Chas, I know how much work you put into the widgets etc – so you are a major contributor 🙂

    Speaking of widgets, when The Ox’s 2 goals are added we will be on 34 goals in all comps without starting the FAC – so we are on course to smash last season’s total of 90 goals ….. and we are scoring goals from midfield which was a problem last season.

  11. fred1266 says:

    Yea nice to see Giroud back

  12. GunnerN5 says:


    The daily contributions you make with your widgets, videos, pictures etc: are a big reason that AA is such a good place and when you writer posts or pre-match thoughts they are always superb.

    AA has improve immeasurably without the amount of negative commentary that used to occur – Oh dear that’s most likely to signal a downturn in our form and the return of negativity.

  13. GunnerN5 says:

    Thank you for the post Raddy, I could only listen to the game on so it’s a treat to get more details from a viewer,

    It never fails to surprise me when you look back at the ups and down’s of player’s career’s. At one time it looked as though 6 Arsenal players would form large parts of both the Arsenal and England teams. Ozlade, Walcott, Welbeck, Chamberlain, Gibbs and Jenkinson. Now, for various reasons, the only regular is Walcott.

  14. LB says:

    I am going to write the report on Saturday and I am considering this title.

    Exclusive pictures of Kate Middleton with her kit off at the Emirates

    Oh, and by the way, Arsenal beat Sunderland to go top of the League.

    What do you think?

    Don’t bother with the Arsenal bit?

  15. GunnerN5 says:

    That will be a Royal tit bit LB.

  16. Eczelo says:

    I don’t want to care about traffic too. This site is much the best ever Arsenal site I’ve seen. Blokes real good, real Arsenal and real banners and bonkers. I knew I was made by Arsenal once I discovered this site. I’ve referred a few of my gooner friends and few because you’ve got to be true Arsenal in thought and living before I consider giving it out. To admit I feel it’s like my secret fantasy. God’s grace AA’ers.

  17. GunnerN5 says:

    Keep enjoying your fantasy Eczelo,

  18. Eddie says:

    Eczelo – never mind the top blockes, what about old girls here?? I do try my best you know

    cheers Raddy, very generous of you of your red wine 🙂 I thought it was an average game, boring at times and didn’t see the last 20mins. Ox, oh dear. You are so right. Last night I was about to post a comment about his passing to row Z when he scored a beauty. Bloody schizophrenic team, not an easy task supporting them

  19. RA says:


    I think that is a great idea for a Post.

    — ‘A little Titter ran through the Team when Ox scored’ —

  20. Cheers Raddy,? and hello Redders.

    I still have an ear infection so had to listen to the radio? So I thought we lost 3-1. I should have known something was up when I vaguely heard it was Folk Music hour. Did you know Raddy, Simon & Garfunkles Sound of silence is about a failed relationship.? Fascinating, I thought it would be the other way? If the Ex Wife never spoke to me, I would have won a prize for Hisband of the year. I would also have made a million Quid from penning the musical classic “The sound of your voice gets right up my wick”

    Anyway according to the radio, Iwobi was class and Garfunkle hated Simon. Also, Chamberlin was explosive and those who sing Cumby Yar should start fighting back.

    Apparently, Holding played well again. I have high hopes for this kid. I am now also a big fan of John Denver. His music makes me fondly reminisce for the Vietnam War. Coming back home to a sleepy back water town were I find my childhood sweetheart has taken up with the the draft dodging bloke who at school would nick my wine gums.

    They end up with three kids and a nice boring life, whilst I become a New York Taxi Driver who takes dates to the pictures were we enjoy a lovely romantic evening watching a hard core porn film.

    Take me home Country Road.

  21. Eddie says:

    Great British Bakeoff. Who won? Who did I say would win?
    Girl with the pout.

  22. Rasp says:

    We’re home to the Saints in the EFL QF

  23. VP of Oz says:


  24. Rasp says:

    Morning all, no surprise that there was trouble at the wham/chavs game last night. I wonder how Karen Brady would have responded on The Apprentice if someone had got a massive stadium for next to nothing but then not invested in policing, security, training and communications to make sure the ‘customers’ were kept safe.

    It’s a farce. apparently the mobile mast that was erected for the Olympics was taken down because nobody would pay the £5k a year and for that reason, the police were having difficulty communicating with each other.

  25. VP of Oz says:

    Thanks Eddie for the warning at 8:28.
    For now on I’ll wear a scary clown mask.

  26. Eddie says:

    good idea VP 🙂
    stupid man masturbating in front of a stranger and then complaining that he was scammed!! Seriously! He deserves all he gets, no sympathy

  27. VP of Oz says:

    The story is probably a scam about a scam. Seriously, who would do something like that… maybe Trump

  28. Eddie says:

    rasp – I listened to some commentaries from the media and the public about yesterday’s game and I find it difficult to assign all the blame to WHU management. Both sets of fans were prepared for violence, it was impossible to stop them. What have you got against Ms Brady? I rather like her

  29. Eddie says:

    VP – Trump doesn’t have to. He is rich so when he sees a woman he fancies he grabs her pussy 🙂

    Mourinho charged by the FA after comments about referees

    Now that is a dilemma I have – who do I think is more disgusting human – Trump or Jose? hmmmmmm………..don’t know

  30. GunnerN5 says:

    Morning all,

    Daddy was tucking his 3 young daughter into bed when after saying goodnight she said to him-

    “Daddy; I wish I had a sister as all I have is brothers”

    Trying to be humorous responded.

    “But Honey you already have a big sister”

    The confused little girl asks – “I do”

    “Yes Honey it’s just that when you come in the front door she is always leaving by the back door”

    After a few moments she said –

    “Oh I see, you mean just like my other Daddy does”

  31. Big Raddy says:

    Back after a great trip to Sweden.

    I support Malmo FF; if they won away at relegated Falkenberg and the team in second lost, Malmo would be crowned Swedish Champions and get a place in the CL qualifiers.

    And that is exactly what happened.

    Happy Days

  32. Big Raddy says:

    chas. 2.04 ???

  33. chas says:

    I just saw an episode of Black Mirror which echoed that skype nonsense that Eddie posted earlier.
    I was struck by the similarities.
    No more than that.

  34. chas says:

  35. chas says:

    Did you go on the pitch and have you grown a beard? (See 59 seconds.) 🙂

  36. chas says:

    live in the flesh…..HD

  37. chas says:

  38. chas says:

  39. chas says:

  40. chas says:

  41. Eddie says:

    so I’m talking nonsense again. I don’t think I’ll bother in the future

  42. chas says:

    Not you, I was talking about that article.

  43. Eddie says:

    I actually enjoyed the 6:26 question time. Slump Dog Millionaire, really?

  44. LB says:

    That was a good film………….

  45. TotalArsenal says:

    It still is 😀

  46. TotalArsenal says:

    Fine match review Big Radinski and all agreed. 🙂

    Love the picture and vids, Chazzer. What a drive by Rambo. If the ball hadn’t gone in the net it would still be circling the earth.

  47. chas says:

  48. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    7.04 I fear Xhaka has been inspired by this vid.

  49. Eddie says:

    it was a good film, but not the best ever. Ox’s reaction was brilliant

  50. chas says:

    I think it’s time for your tri-annual, druid-led, positive thinking evening of bonfires and forest rituals. 🙂

  51. chas says:

    Shawshank – well, it’s a classic I haven’t watched

  52. Eddie says:

    ha ha ha, that was a good reply from Iwobi 🙂

    England’s next manager will “not just be a mercenary for short term gain”, says Football Association chief executive Martin Glenn – this could only mean one thing, they have a new manager in mind and we know whom

  53. Big Raddy says:

    chas. You are right. We need to get one in before the winter solstice. I will talk to the boys

    They are not try-annual, these are ancient rites developed over thousands of years to reflect the earth’s vibrations. Without a great deal of alcohol and herbal stimulants you will never understand

  54. Big Raddy says:

    Eddie. It means they cannot find a manager with experience who will take the poisoned chalice.

  55. Eddie says:

    raddy – me thinks they found one already.

  56. Eddie says:

    Santi is the 13th slowest player in EPL
    Elanany 11th, Giroud 5th and Cesc 3rs. Rubbish.

  57. chas says:

    Who knew Steve Bruce was an ‘author’?

    Here’s a review of his third novel ‘DEFENDER!’.
    This followed his earlier books ‘STRIKER!’ and ‘SWEEPER!’.

    Sometimes reality is stranger than fiction.

  58. chas says:

    I fear they are having far too much fun.

  59. Eddie says:

    …at your expense 🙂

    Eddie went to the butchers’ today and had the usual chit chat about football with one Arsenal and one Tottenham butcher. And the Tottenham guy said he cannot wait for Wenger to leave Arsenal and see the Gunners suffer after. Hm, perhaps he is right. Sad state of affairs is Spurs fans are more appreciative of AW than Arsenal own fans.

  60. Eddie says:

    actually I am convinced that that’s what this photo says ‘Thanks guys, we really appreciate you spending your money on us! Keep coming back :)’

  61. LB says:

    Some of our own fans……………………

  62. Eddie says:

    yeah, that’d be me 🙂

  63. LB says:

    I thought politeness would be the best way to deal with that 🙂

  64. Eddie says:

    ha ha ha 🙂 well done!

    I am not sure how I feel about Wenger’s eminent departure. Sometimes, especially when we lose or draw winnable games I want him gone. But then again the uncertainty is probably even more scary. What would happen if some Arsenal fans got their wish and Moyes was managing our team??

    Who are we going to get? Diego Simeone would be good, no?

  65. fred1266 says:

    Simeone reminds me of Mourinho please no

  66. Eddie says:

    Freddie – you are trying my patience with your enigmatic one liners!! Explain yourself please – how does Simeone remind you of Mourinho?

  67. fred1266 says:

    Well I watched a athletico games and he has the same antics as Mourinho, think I noticed it more in the CL final

  68. Eddie says:

    do you mean his personality or the way his team play?

  69. chas says:

    My thinking, completely removed from all things football, is that the past is made of memories, some verifiable, some completely fictional redesgned to suit one’s own view of history.

    The future is 100% unknown.
    Tomorrow, the end of 2016, summer next year, all unknowable.
    What happens when someone takes over from AW? Unknowable.

    All we have is now, today.
    The bookies think that Sunderland winning tomorrow or even drawing is against the odds.
    We are odds on to win.
    We were odds on to win last season, but drew 0-0.

    If football matches were predictable, they would be exceedingly tedious to watch.

    How does anyone know if Arsenal Football Club will be better or worse off when Arsene leaves?

    Some of those spuddies (as above) were singing ‘we want you to stay’ to Wenger only recently, when they (in completely misguided fashion) thought they would finish above us.

    Support the current squad, support the current manager – anything else is just pissing in the wind.

  70. chas says:

    p.s. I’ve been up the pub. 😆

  71. Eddie says:

    obviously 🙂

    fooking Plato from Enfield

  72. Big Raddy says:

    Was Plato from Enfield? One learns something new every day!

    Next you will be telling me that Socrates was from Kings Lynn

  73. Big Raddy says:

    chas writes the truth. Everything is transient, all is evanescence. Carpe Diem.

    I have been on the Valpolicella 😀

  74. Fooking Plato from Enfield says:

    Cheers. 😠

  75. Eddie says:

    yeah and I am Mother Theresa from Warsaw 🙂
    night boys xx

  76. fred1266 says:

    His personality

  77. GunnerN5 says:

    Two children at school.

    Child 1 – Do your family pray before dinner?

    Child 2. No, my mum knows how to cook!

  78. GunnerN5 says:

    I’ve no had any wine yet so my sober thoughts are.

    Arsenal will be a better team when AW (decides to) retire than the team he inherited when he arrived.

    It’s unthinkable that we could lose to Sunderland tomorrow (7:30am lick off time here).

    Our futures are 100% known – we will all expire.

    Some football matches are very predictable – Mourinho will always be an arse.

    How many times have the Spuds won either the PL or FA Cup this century? – They need to be constantly reminded of the facts!!

    Always support the current manager and team especially the current ones………………..

  79. TotalArsenal says:

    Make your lives extraordinary 😉

  80. TotalArsenal says:

    Chas, what pub will you be in before the game – do you have a postcode? Not sure we will have time but just in case we do.

  81. chas says:

    I’ve somehow managed to dislocate my knee (an old injury) this morning coming down the stairs, so won’t be making the trip.
    Ant is still planning on going, though probably a little later than we first arranged.
    He will be taking both tickets, so I don’t know if you have anyone else who might like to go?
    The pub is the William Jameson, 32 Fawcett St, Sunderland SR1 1RH.
    If you did want the ticket, I suppose that would still be the best place to meet.
    I haven’t spoken to him about this, so I’ve no idea if it’s practical.

    Give the lads a cheer for me.
    Cmon you Gunners. 🙂

  82. Eddie says:

    calamity chas. fancy dislocating a knee on the match day…pssshhhh

    can’t you take a few painkillers, a few pints, some apple cider vinegar and go?

  83. Eddie says:

    holly shit, knee dislocation is more serious than I thought
    “Inappropriate or delayed treatment of a knee dislocation may result in loss of the leg”
    Perhaps you shouldn’t go to the game after all 🙂

  84. TotalArsenal says:

    ouch Chas, I had the same 10 years or so ago during a football match, and a few smaller ones afterwards. You getting one ‘coming down the stairs’ made me feel that pain all over again. Take it easy and let’s hope the boys win just for you 🙂

    I have nobody I can get to Sunderland with giving them such short notice unfortunately, so you may want to try somebody else. Thanks for offering the ticket though, top man.

    Hoping for an emphatic win and the return of Micky’s favourite Frenchie 🙂 COYRRG!

  85. chas says:


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