Palace: Player Ratings

A bread and butter win against a poor Palace, with Özil out, presumably to flu, it gave us a chance to see what life would be like with a proper Mesut injury and to my surprise it didn’t look as bad as I feared. His absence seemed to embolden some; freed from having to pass it to the German Genius whenever he is available; players started to express themselves more than usual and it worked well. The Good Guys moved the ball around crisply and seemed to advance with a greater sense of urgency on the break. I will take those kind of wins all day long.

Cech: more confidence oozing from between the sticks; he had a chance to show off his skills three quarters of the way through the second half, making a series of impressive saves in the space of thirty seconds. 8

Bellerin: Hector, I am on first name terms, was even better than he normally is adding more to the attacking cause than usual while always doing the right thing in defence. 8


Easter: with Mustafi on the bench the competition for places is hotting up in the back line and this fact wasn’t lost on our Brazilian; he upped his game accordingly and made it harder for the Boss to consider making a change. 7

Koscielny: this really should be a weekly copy and paste. Another game another captain’s performance, calm, thoughtful and well organised. 8

Monreal: I scoffed when RC78 made the comment at the end of last season that Nacho was the weakest link, I thought it a bit unfair but in view that there always has to be one weaker area than all the others, I feel confident in saying that the first new signing in the summer will be a left back. 7

Elneny: I really enjoyed his performance today, he seemed to add a bit of zip to things, the ball seemed to be moving around a lot quicker, compared to Coquelin there is less lunge and more thought. 7

Xhaka: a few people on here have said that they can see Vieira in him; it happened again, someone sitting behind me at the game said the same thing. For the life of me I cannot see it and I cannot tell you how much I want it to be true. Palace may have been poor but he was impressive, he is starting to take control and his passing was as accurate as Arteta on a good day. 7

Iwobi: my MOTM, with Ozil out Alex had a chance to play more centrally and wow was he good, I know like everyone else that he is a great prospect but I didn’t realise until today just how big a prospect he is. The man ran the show. 9

Sanchez: so what do you think: is he more effective on the wing or in the middle; full of beans as ever and a joy to watch. 8


Giroud: in the first half Arsenal were playing some super quick pin ball machine football the only one unable to keep up is Ollie, but if you can score goals like that you are likely to keep your place. 7

Perez: “I believe that Perez really adds fluid movement and quick passing in the Arsenal school of thought” (Aaron) .  After spending the best part of the game surrounded by people criticising him it really made me feel good to read this when I got back onto the blog. Whereas Giroud will never be part of Arsenal’s quick interplay this guy could and the more of those the better things are in my humble opinion. 7

Written by LB

94 Responses to Palace: Player Ratings

  1. LB says:

    I see a few jealous journalists of the N17 variety I suspect are trying to rename Giroud’s goal the Donkey kick.

  2. Rasp says:

    Great start to the year, thank you LB.

    Arsenal without Ozil can work in the same way as we’re finding a winning formula without Cazorla.

    I agree with all you say. What did you think of Ramsey’s contribution when he came on?

  3. LB says:

    Morning Rasp

    I like the way Ramsey drives into the area, he doesn’t score as many as he should but at least he is there to miss.

    With the emergence of Iwobi and the almost certainty that Ozil will resign I cannot work out how Wenger is going to keep three number 10s happy. Something is going to have to give.

  4. Rasp says:

    Morning LB.

    Your observation about Xhaka beginning to take command is spot on, we can be a very effective team with Xhaka in place of Cazorla. He gets the ball forward more quickly and utilises the wings more – he hasn’t perfected the killer through pass yet though. The Ozil slot is there for whoever steps up and takes the opportunity … Ramsey or Iwobi.

    Every time a player emerges to replace an embedded player, there has to be a change in the players around him to compliment the inevitable change in style. Iwobi and Ramsey are quite different. Hopefully all players will accept they are part of a squad – as Elneny has done, and will be happy to be part of the team when their style is best for the opposition.

  5. Big Raddy says:

    LB. Great stuff.

    It is hard to criticise OG because he really works hard for the team and alongside Sanchez harries defenders continually.

    Xhaka: Still coming to terms with the pace of the PL. He is learning to create a little space for himself so he can deliver his long passes. This is what makes him special and adds to our short passing game.

    Bellerin was magnificent yesterday. If he learns to finish he will be the complete player.

    Elneny. I prefer him to Coquelin for the reasons you give.

    Perez. Apart from pace the difference between him and Theo is strength. Perez is solid, very solid.

  6. TotalArsenal says:

    As per usual great observations, LB. On TV the runners of the show were Xhaka and Elneny who bossed the midfield and provided the four attackers with great service and support. Iwobi in the free role was a delight to watch, even though he still has a lot to learn, which he will do from the German conductor.

    Xhaka is best suited in the deeper Coq role, even though he is a different cattle of fish to the French ball winner. Next to him we need a b2b with a big athletic engine AND defensive qualities, and Elneny suits this very well. Having said this, Rambo is the one who should fit this role best…. and he will get his chance tomorrow, I reckon.

    Xhaka Rambo
    Perez – Ozil/Iwobi – Alexis/Iwobi
    ——– Ollie/Alexis ————

    Fully agreed re comments on Perez. What a difference he made compared to Ox and Theo. Would play him every game – he reminds me of Freddie.

  7. fred1266 says:

    Nice to see Perez getting a run

  8. Excellent LB

    Love Hector. Do you remember that Roberta Flack song LB, “The first time ever I saw your pace”? that’s how I feel about him.

    Iwobi is a great lad. I could share a prison cell with this lad and know he would fully respect the need for toilet paper conservation and that his spatial awareness is so good, the four walls would expand to the point were you believed you were living in Bishops Avenue.

    I am going out on a limb and am ready to bin my self respect and principles? I shall be engaging tonight in a financial transaction with a lady that will accompany me to an old University reunion masquerading as my beloved. I hope no one there is an expert on top shelf magazines circa 2007-12 ??. I’m really glad Clive Allen wasn’t at Uni with me.

    Anyway, enough about the things I enjoy, back to sacrificing my principles, I hope Totnumb beat Chelsea. Disgusting I know, but we can still do this.

    The Ghosts of the Thirties are Stirring

  9. Big Raddy says:

    TA Good call. Perez = Freedie

  10. Big Raddy says:

    Terry. More genius. Thank you LoL.

  11. TotalArsenal says:

    Sharing a prison cell with Iwobi hahaha 😂

  12. fred1266 says:

    Iwobi celebration though lol

  13. chas says:

    Cheers, LB.

    I enjoyed yesterday’s performance without really noticing who did better relative to their teammates.
    I thought it was a good all round team performance, so I suppose everyone did ok as far as my cloudy judgment is concerned.
    Maybe I was a little disorientated when Peaches took us the long way round to the ground which was exposed and soaking wet in the pouring rain.
    I believe it was the chosen route because she didn’t want her massive golf umbrella to be crashing into the massed crowds along St Thomas’s Road.
    Peaches’ navigational rating – 2/10 🙂

    It was a damn good job Benteke missed that easy header to equalise at the start of the second half.

  14. chas says:

    Anyone watching Boro v Leicester?
    Nah, thought not.

  15. Rasp says:

    Half way through the season and we have scored 41 goals in the EPL as opposed to a total of 65 for the entire season 2015/16 … that equates to 26% more goals pro rata 🙂

  16. fred1266 says:

    Am watching the game chambers looking solid

  17. chas says:

    Good lad, freddie.

  18. GoonerB says:

    Thanks LB. Glad my pre game nerves were just paranoia. Allardyce sides tend to make me uneasy. Truth be told 5-0 wouldn’t have flattered us.

    Ollies goal was great but not in the same class as Dennis’s against Newcastle or the TH14 volley against Utd. It was the only way he could get anything on it so he instinctively reacted and it happened to fly in the right direction at the right trajectory. Those other 2 involved a conscious thought process about what they wanted to do so required a far higher skill level. Not to take anything away from the big man it was still one for the long term memory bank.

  19. fred1266 says:

    How to post pictures have a cool one with Girls and flamini

  20. chas says:

  21. fred1266 says:

    Anyone here went the game and realized he scored via a scorpion kick or they only notice on the screen

  22. Rasp says:

    Hi fred, I was the opposite end and I could see it was something very unusual but wasn’t sure quite what had happened. A buzz went round the stadium …. but the cheers were louder for the replay on the big screens than for the actual event because then we saw exactly what he had done.

  23. chas says:

    Giroud said it was spawny as f@ck in his post match interview.

  24. fred1266 says:

    Hopefully next time he does it on your end Rasp lol

  25. Rasp says:

    Good to see that chas has signed up for more of peaches’ guided tours of Holloway 🙂

    Back to the game. We scored from 2 half chances and missed some much easier opportunities.

    Credit must go to Iwobi too for looping that header in just about the only direction he could have scored.

  26. Rasp says:

    I think he prefers the fairer sex fred 🙂

  27. chas says:

    To post a photo, just post the URL of the photo, making sure it has .jpg or .png at the end.

  28. Rasp says:

    …. although some of the ladies on AA might oblige 😕

  29. chas says:

    I’m not sure Rasp would fancy a scorpion on his end

  30. chas says:

    How’s Boro Leicester going, Fred?

  31. fred1266 says:

    Any one through Alexis was crowding Iwobi space, I heard a fan yelling at him to stay central lol

  32. fred1266 says:

    Still nil nil

  33. fred1266 says:

    Commentators praising chambers

  34. chas says:

    How many would you give him out of 10, fred?

  35. Big Raddy says:

    Very impressed OG knows the word “spawny”.

  36. fred1266 says:

    Yep I actually go ogling it now

  37. 7!!!!!!!!! 7?????????? 7!!!!!!!!!! for the man who has possibly given us the most exciting goal for a decade!!!!!!!!!

    LB I rarely disagree with a word you write and always respect your views of how a player has performed but on this I feel you have undervalued Giroud massively. Not only did he play a part in the build up to the goal but he bloody bust a gut to get on the end of it.

    I know he’s too sexy to be a footballer but he plays for us and his goal is on everyone’s lips…………it’s a long time since that happened, even sky couldn’t help themselves talking about it at length.

    Last week he saved our bacon heading home in the final minutes of the game. He is important to us . No less than an eight will do.

    Much love peaches xx

  38. Off to read the comments ………

  39. fred1266 says:

    After giroud scored he was smiling for the rest of the entire game

  40. chas says:

  41. RockyLives says:

    Nice one LB

    Hard to disagree with any of your ratings, although I would be tempted to give Easter an 8 as well. Because he was a bot dodgy last season I think he tends to get marked down a bit but his performances in the last few games have been very good.

    It’s nice to see a player getting better after a shaky start.

  42. Big Raddy says:

    Mike Dean ruins another game. How can they keep this buffoon refereeing anywhere but a local park.

  43. TotalArsenal says:

    GB 😀

    Not sure why a deliberate effort is per definition better than a spontaneous one (and I actually reckon that both Dennis and Thierry’s goals were also more spontaneous than deliberate). It takes something special to make something out of nothing and I reckon only left footers have the speed of thinking and creativity to pull a goal like Ollie’s off. Alexis put in a rubbish ball to Ollie, as he so often does unfortunately, but in a split second Ollie decides the only possible way to score is a flick with his heel, and he is able to execute it to perfection. Of course it still needs to come off and a dollop of luck is required, but his speed of thinking and execution are what made it so special, as many top footballers would just not be able to do this like Ollie did in that small space of time.

  44. Big Raddy says:

    Rocky. I agree about Gabriel, he has improved as he gets a run of games, but would you pick him if Mustafi is fit?

  45. chas says:

    So we all agree, Giroud’s goal was spawny but feckin ace and a joy to watch, too. 🙂

  46. chas says:

  47. chas says:

  48. chas says:

  49. chas says:

    I forgot how tall Kanu actually was…..

  50. fred1266 says:

    Why we calling him Easter

  51. fred1266 says:

    If Gabriel keeps that performance I would say yes over Mustafi

  52. Eddie says:

    agree about some, disagree about others, what’s new. Hector and Ollie deserve 9, Perez and Xhaka less.
    As for Iwobi – he is not 19! Did he have to lie about his age to get into UK? He looks and acts as he is 25. But shhhhh don’t tell anyone, we want him to stay

  53. Big Raddy says:

    Fred. Because his name is Gabriel Paulista-

    Kanu was a deceptively tall chap, from the terraces and at distance one could think he was of equal height to TH14, but he isn’t. Kanu is well over 8 feet.

    I think he comes from Owerri which is in the state of Biafra which as everybody knows is home to some of the world’s tallest people. I know, I have been there.

  54. LB says:

    Well if the ratings were based on the goals then Giroud would have got a 10 but my ratings are based on a player’s performance over 90 minutes and much of the first half Giroud was an oaf………………

    As I say above Arsenal were playing super quick pin ball football which was working well but it broke down seemingly every time the ball went to Giroud who wasn’t able to control it and we lost possession.

    But again good goal.

  55. Eddie says:

    fred – his name is Paulista. Paul Easter ha ha ha ha

  56. Big Raddy says:

    Terrible decisions at WHU, much like the two offside goals we conceded at Man City

  57. Big Raddy says:

    Paul Easter was one of NB’s. Wonder where the old boozehound is?

  58. Eddie says:

    good goal. good goal. ok

  59. Eddie says:

    no, actually it wasn’t a fecking good goal, it was amazing like, mind blowing, awesome. Get a life LB.

  60. Red Arnie says:

    Lovely, LB. Did not get to see the game, except replays of the goal, yes that one, so for me this was as good as it gets. 🙂

    However, however. “Giroud will never be part of Arsenal’s quick interplay” eh? 🙂 🙂 🙂

  61. Red Arnie says:

    Check out #3 from 0.42 against Palace as well.

  62. TotalArsenal says:

    Spot on Arnie, just because Ollie is not fast it doesn’t mean he cannot be part of fast flowing pinfootball, but they have to feed him the ball ocasionally 😜

    Two goals in two games, six points for the team, Ollie is back

  63. TotalArsenal says:

    Wow Chas, Kanu looks like that Rio statue. Never forget his hat trick against the Chavs

  64. TA, Arnie and Eddie you’re in my team 🙂

    TA is correct that often neither Alexis nor Ozil have previously passed the ball to our HFP (handsome french prince) when marauding forward mainly because he has let them down in the past. But he is Plan B, he doesn’t have the speed of feet to play pinging football on the run but he can still be a part of pin ball football if he’s in place as the goal against Norwich shows.

  65. TotalArsenal says:

    That’s a winning team, Peaches. 🎯😍
    I agree with you. Giroud and Alexis are different types of CFs and require a different style of attacking plan. I prefer Alexis as CF, but Ollie is a great team player to have. I bet his minutes between goals/assists stats are great this season.

  66. Time to watch it again

  67. fred1266 says:

    Have you all forgotten Girls ticky passing with Wilshire to score 2 or 3 season ago

  68. Exactly fred, the goal against Norwich in Arnie’s link – a double flick from Giroud 😁

  69. chas says:

  70. chas says:

  71. Sorry I made you and your bros walk the long way round yesterday. It was entirely so that I could have my umbrella up without gouging anyone’s eyes out 😳

  72. chas says:

    I thought it was funny.
    Jon and me were laughing at Ant steaming on ahead with his miniature extendable. 😅⛱💦☔️🌧

  73. chas says:

  74. chas says:

  75. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    The guys face at the end of 9.33 is priceless. As is the New Yorker cartoon.

  76. Eddie says:

    I like Pep 🙂 🙂

    what has actually happened?

  77. Eddie says:

    don’t bother answering me, I have seen it now. Good man Pep.
    The EPL is full of nice managers bar Jose, Pullis, Fat Sam and Pardew. Hold on a second, the foreign managers make nicer people….hm

  78. Eddie says:

    except for Mourinho, he is the special case

  79. Big Raddy says:

    Eddie. Who do you like and what do you base your affection upon?

  80. Eddie says:

    Pep held his tongue. Clearly he was furious, yet behaved with dignity and class. Strong character, I like that

  81. LB says:

    I thought he made himself look like a spoilt little petulant child who was sulking because something hadn’t gone his way.

  82. Big Raddy says:

    LB. I agree,

    There is a New Post

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