Arsenal back to winning ways and player ratings

We all know the drill by now, lose against weaker opposition (Watford), drop out of the title race and then when the pressure is off we put in a barn storming run to the end of the season. Yep, no real pressure today and the barn stormer seems to have got off to a flyer. We were always on a hiding to nothing playing Hull because as we also all know, beating Hull is to be expected and would have only have drawn any real attention if we had gone and done something stupid like lose. But we didn’t, we won and we won pretty well really.

We ran the show in the first half with the lion’s share of the possession and guilt edged chances created galore. There were so many that pretty much everyone had the opportunity to put us ahead but it took the Chilean pocket rocket to do what he does best and put the ball into the net. Not a thing of beauty, quite a scrambled affair really with Hull players pleading for a handball decision but the goal stood and nerves were calmed.


………………..The Hand of Dog ………………

There wasn’t a great atmosphere at the ground and next to no enthusiasm during the break but there were a few really heartfelt renditions of “we love you Arsenal” that resounded throughout the ground. Maybe many people protested by not turning up; there were a lot of empty seats but the sincerity of the singing albeit short was read by me as just as much of a defiant protest, a protest by those who felt it important to turn up and support their team. Well done to you I say.

The second half started in the normal blood and guts, hundred miles an hour kind of way, the way that we have pretty much started most games recently, the way that does make me wonder what on earth are they taking during the break. Hull nevertheless were well organised and showed no signs of rolling over easily but equally they never showed too many signs of scoring either.


…………. Theo Gets Tough ………………

It all looked as though we were going to get the three points with just a one goal margin when close to the end we found ourselves in a break away with Sanchez tearing down the left and Perez charging down the right in support, Sanchez sent over a pin point accurate pass for the, by then, free Perez who headed it goal bound only to have Clucas handle it for which he received a red card.

The funny thing here was watching Wellbeck innocently get the ball and take it to the spot, nonchalantly appearing to be the one who was going to take the penalty. Good try Danny but Sanchez was having none of it and bounded over and took control, probably just as well because he is full of confidence; the goal keeper having obviously watched his last chipped penalty stayed in the middle but Sanchez was ahead of him and drove it low and hard into the net and with it got us all three points.

Quick player ratings.

Cech: made some fine saves in both halves, dodgy clearances as usual but a clean sheet still counts for a lot. 6

Bellerin: good attack play, decent defending, should have done better with his goal scoring opportunity in the first half. 6

Mustafi: a perfectly good performance, some may have fallen out of love with him but he is still in his honey moon period with me. 7

Koscielny: one of his trade mark top drawer performances, did everything right. 8

Gibbs: all credit must go to Kieron for his excellent foul on Markovic who was Hull’s best player and needed to be brought down to stop him getting what would have been a one on one with Cech. Overall, a decent performance. 6

Coquelin: Le Coq wasn’t needed today, more of a ball player rather than a stopper would have been better but as they were all injured or banned we had to make do. Nothing wrong with his performance. 6

Oxlaide-Chamberlain: a very calm and collected performance from Alex which is something I don’t think I have ever written about him, normally he is a but erratic and loses the ball far too easily. He is starting to grow on me in his new found midfield role. 6

Ozil: not great not poor, still love watching him play in an Arsenal shirt. 6

Walcott: the only silver lining I can see to Wenger retiring at the end of the season is that he might take Theo with him or the new manager will tell him he should consider taking up a different sport. Why so many fans are still blinded by his pace remains a mystery to me. 3

Sanchez: if it weren’t for the fact that he scores goals this players would be getting a bigger roasting than Walcott, why, why, why don’t you just pass the ball to the player who is open rather than feel the need to unnecessarily try and beat two opponents before doing so, it looks good when it works but we lose the ball far more than we need to. Frustrating at times but he scores goals and that’s what it’s all about. 8

Iwobi: continues to improve week on week, another tireless performance and although it is not easy to chose a stand out player I am going to give it to the person who seemed to give just that bit more. Alex Iwobi MOTM. 8

An LB offering

113 Responses to Arsenal back to winning ways and player ratings

  1. mickydidit89 says:

    Nice work LB, thank you

    You see the team sheet, then do Theo’s player rating before a ball has been kicked, don’t you? 🙂
    ps I’d do the same thing with Ollie and Rambo, so I’m not getting at you

    In line with a comment Erik made yesterday that if we play like that against Bayern, we’ll get thrashed, and I agree, I’d say your overall assessment has a little too much gloss, but hey, you’re a Gunner, that’s what happens 🙂

    Thanks again.

  2. chas says:

    Cheers, LB, a fine read to go with our majestic performance yesterday. 🙂

    I don’t think you were harsh enough on Theo!

    Along with the England rugby team snatching victory at the death and the spuddies bottling it at Anfield, it was a most enjoyable day.

    I just googled ‘Hull handball’ and, most surprisingly, couldn’t find a photo of the only handball actually given in the match. There are umpteen of a different incident in the first half. Clattenberg apparently ‘apologised’ according to some meathead Hull defender. Yeah right, refs do that all the time, don’t they. 🙂

  3. LB says:

    Morning Chaps

    Good pics Chas.

    Micky, interesting idea that I have already made up may mind about Walcott’s performance as soon as I see his name on the team sheet, hmmmm, I can see why you say that but I am not sure I agree, I think it is slightly more the case that I take my seat and think OK this time prove me wrong Theo, show me that you really do justify your starting berth and sadly almost every time after only a few minutes I start thinking of better alternatives.

  4. mickydidit89 says:

    Ok LB
    That just about mirrors my way of operating. Well, you need to substitute the word seat for armchair, but we’re nearly there 🙂

  5. Eddie says:

    LB – bless you! The match report seems to be more enthusiastic and buzzing than the game itself

    I would not give any of the players more than 6, but I didn’t write the post and therefore have to accept your ratings 🙂

    chillean pocket rocket, I like that a lot. He is like a Trident missile, fired to explode on the African shores and instead heading for American cost. You are so right about him – if he didn’t score goal he would be useless as a team player.

  6. mickydidit89 says:

    What is the rule regarding the Sanchez goal

    I thought it was ok as unintentional, so what would the ref be apologising about anyway?

    I thought Gibbs should have been sent off anyway, so suspecting the ref had a little gunner dna

  7. Eddie says:

    unintentional 🙂 🙂

  8. mickydidit89 says:

    Did you watch the rugger?
    I would have thought you’d prefer it

  9. mickydidit89 says:

    It was Eddie, no way he could have got the arm out of the way

  10. Eddie says:

    feck off didit 🙂 what. are his arms hard wired?

    I don’t understand rugby rules and I hate scrums – too much touching for my liking

  11. mickydidit89 says:

    I don’t know the rules of either sport
    Too much touching 🙂 🙂

  12. mickydidit89 says:

    Here we go Eddie
    Watch the slow motion
    His arm was up there before the ball pinged back

  13. LB says:

    OK, today’s Arsenal quiz is: who is the person sitting next to Arsene Wenger (on AW’s right) shown clearly in Micky’s 9.32 clip?

  14. Rasp says:

    Excellent, thank you LB.

    I’m with you about Theo. Pace is useless without close control, add to that he has no tricks and he becomes a one trick pony. My biggest gripe about him is the way he saunters around the pitch when we don’t have possession … he doesn’t look remotely interested in defending.

    As for the game .. it was always going to be a nervy affair. The handballs are a smokescreen, Hull are now a difficult unit to beat who can hurt you on the break … so all in all, an excellent win.

  15. Rasp says:

    BTW, they asked the question ‘which 3 teams have scored the most hattricks in the Premier League era’ on TS this morning … Arsenal are top with 38, pool second with 36 … manu have 32

  16. mickydidit89 says:

    Kylie Minogue?

  17. chas says:

    Boro Primorac

  18. LB says:

    I don’t actually know, I was hoping that some super knowledgeable Arsenal type would be able to tell me.

  19. chas says:

    Looks a mean mother

  20. chas says:

    Not super knowledgeable – just good at googling. 🙂

  21. chas says:

    Can anyone name all 4 of these, please?

  22. chas says:

    I know 1 and 2

  23. LB says:


    So who is BP any idea?

  24. chas says:

    See 10.25

  25. Rasp says:

    Arsene’s buddy and fluent in nine languages 🙂

  26. Olukoya Olaoluwa says:

    Your judgement is very biased. Ozil was awful yesterday. He has lost his form and his passing. Coquelin was awful too With his passing. You obviously didn’t watch the match.

  27. LB says:

    Olukoya Olaoluwa

    I did more than just watch the match, I went to the game — did you?

    Although, that said you do have a point that neither Ozil or Coquelin were very good but when writing I thought that we had done enough self loathing recently and a breath of optimism would make a welcome change, hence the slightly more generous ratings.

    However, I see you are still going through the self loathing stage — I understand completely and wish you luck in being able to come out of it soon.

  28. chas says:

    Maybe it’s just a matter of opinion, Olukoya?

  29. chas says:

    A MAN has ruined a lovely weekend with his girlfriend after answering a question truthfully.

    Martin Bishop, 32, and Eleanor Shaw, 31, had stopped for a rest while out for a countrsyide walk, when Shaw suddenly asked Bishop what he was ‘thinking’.

    Bishop said: “I was thinking what most men would in that situation – ‘I could survive out here on my own, no problem at all. Bear Grylls is a total fraud’.

    “She looked at me as if I’d asked if I could film her having a pee. For someone who’s always said she values honesty, she seemed upset that I didn’t spin a load of drivel at that particular moment.”

    Shaw, 31, said: “I was hoping for maybe ‘this would a great place to bring kids’ or something else from the List of Approved Sentimental Horseshit.

    “I assumed he knew the rules.”

    Shaw said the relationship was now at ‘Year Zero’ and that Bishop’s re-education would be ‘traumatic’.

  30. Ant says:

    A pundit talking!

  31. Big Raddy says:

    LB. Another cracking post to add to your fine body of work,

    Absolutely agree about Theo. He was useless yesterday. 3 is generous.What has Perez done to still be on the bench? If anything it makes more sense to use Theo’s pace in the latter part of games and have Perez start with Theo subbing on 70 mins.

    Ozil was also not at his best. He tries, never stops trying but ATM it isn’t working for him.

    I agree that Iwobi was the MotM. I also agree about Sanchez and his passing.

  32. Big Raddy says:

    Approved Sentimental Horseshit 🙂 😀

  33. Nice post, was looking for a good source of information concerning Arsenal as I am getting sick of listening to Claude et al. moan on Arsenal Fan TV haha

  34. Big Raddy says:

    Ethan. Welcome. Can’t guarantee that AA is a good source of info but we do care and care deeply

  35. fred1266 says:

    Chelsea held by Burnley

  36. Rasp says:

    Result!! Burnley 1:1 chavs 🙂

  37. chas says:

  38. chas says:

    Nice goal from Liam…….

  39. Thank you LB for a fine and upbeat report. You, like me, got frozen in our pursuit to mend the recent damage to our Arsenal hearts. Three points was enough to make me feel that the trip was worthwhile 🙂

    Seeing Theo getting tough was an amusing added bonus.

    Watching Danny almost score in the dying moments of the games nearly thawed my frozen feet.

    Hand helped into the back of the net and a penalty, you gotta love watching football 🙂

  40. Totts losing later on made the day even better and now chavs have dropped points. Only problem is that chavs dropping points helps everyone with title winning aspirations …….. including US.

  41. chas mobile says:

    Title winning aspirations – hahaha haha.

  42. From the safety of my keyboard 😉

    Anyway I can have title winning aspirations even if my team seem not to, can’t I?

  43. I’m sure Leicester City supporters have aspirations of staying in the Prem even if their team don’t. Their season thus far has to be the biggest joke of all.

  44. Rasp says:

    Chelsea are not completely out of sight yet, they could lose their two games against the other title contenders and be within reach, the question is, in reach of which from the chasing pack. We still have to play four of the six title contenders, so we would need to improve considerably

  45. chas says:

    Of course you can, P.
    It just made me laugh is all.

  46. Aaron says:

    Appreciate the fair degree of optimism.

    Feel the exact same way about Theo, Aaron and Coq depending on who he is in with.

    Now that being said, the D always gets 7’s no matter what if a clean sheet is maintained including divine intervention. Just the way it is. I know it is really more complicated than that in the long run during the course of the season. But, if a team keeps clean sheets, and is near the top D in the league during the season, than that team will be near the top place in finishing if there is some type of scoring going on. Ask Szcz how that is working out at Roma-they are in 2nd!

    Same with goal scorers-always an 8 because that wins games and is always harder than it looks-see above.

    Now about Mesut, the team is not balanced right now with Elneny and Xhaka out, with makeshift team selections being make because of extenuating circumstances, suspension and AFC etc. Also he works well with close passers of the ball, and unfortunately Ox is not that type of player. If you do not believe me just ask pool about Mane. They were amazing to watch in the 1st half yesterday. Enjoyed spuds looking like spuds-no shots in 2nd half.

    Hope those two go straight into the team for Bayern, or at least Perez or Wellbeck on the right instead of Theo! The balance will right itself and Arsenal will be competitive again.

    Look forward to the upcoming games, no matter what happens.

  47. IanRealGunner says:

    Amazing what a team with so-called lesser talent, but a degree of organisation (and dare I say it, aggression and will to win) can do to Chavski!!! Burnley’s performance today, highlighted our poor performance from last week.

  48. WilliamMcGoonagal says:

    Yawn! Another Arsenal baiting witch hunt in the ms media and social media! You could write a book about the Eduardo/Boric saga several years ago. Of course the acid test is whether Clatenberg attempts a retro yellow card for Sanchez when there was clearly no intent and NOT handball within the current rules.The handling incident before the first goal at Sunderland yesterday merits much more attention…mano de Dios dos!!

  49. IanRealGunner says:

    Interestingly the same referee (John Moss) who has sent off Xhaka twice for a deliberate trip and then a two-footed tackle only produced yellows today for Cork (Swansea) and Huth (Leicester) for exactly the same offences!!!!

  50. Top stuff LB

    I was fairly relaxed yesterday. Only a fool would think we can walk the title now. So I believe we will do it on goal average.

    The most amusing thing yesterday was Theo’s spat with that Hull defender who bears an uncanny resemblance to something that escaped Peter Cushings laboratory. Theo must have suspected you were going to give him a 3 LB, so Imagined Maguire was a cycling enthusiast who was preparing to do a post match report exposing him as a charlatan.

    LBs match ratings are enough to bring anybody to a rage, especially charlatans and players with limited technical ability. If I was a one footed winger, I would live in terror of LB

    Fortunately for Theo, though Maguire may have the body of a convicted murderer, Cushing managed to procure the brain of a world renowned economics proffesor so Maguire let Theo off with an insult on how his wages are an insult on the laws of supply & demand.

    The only other thing worth mentioning is how Gibbs got away without getting a red card. Though like Theo, he’s a lovely lad, I’ve always suspected Kieron has a software problem, but have now realised it’s a hardware malfunction.

    This is a serious issue. I myself have a hardware ailment but can not take the laptop for remedy for fear that my google search history “Idi Amins cannibalism – did he use salt & pepper?” or “Keith Vaz MP-were dies he live and does he have security?” may bring me to the attention of the authorities.

    That aside, a routine three points and enough to keep the win it on goal average ambition going.

  51. chas mobile says:

  52. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    6.57. Cader Idris?

  53. mickydidit89 says:

    Monday eh

    Game Saturday, Sunday warm down, game Weds, Tuesday warm up, which leaves Monday in limbo

    Mmmm, thinks

  54. mickydidit89 says:

    Saw the lizard still and I thought of Theo. Chin up giving it the “come and get me if you think you’re hard enough”

  55. Big Raddy says:

    Strange I didn’t think of Theo when looking at the lizard. My first thought was “why” and the second was it reminded me of Almunia

  56. mickydidit89 says:


    You’re mind does move in strange ways

  57. chas mobile says:

    Helvellyn apparently

  58. chas mobile says:


  59. Eddie says:

    not much to talk about 😦 I have nothing to say, unusual 🙂

    I know, I know, there is something – I watched an amazing film last night, ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ directed by Mel Gibson. Not for faint hearted this one, I couldn’t sleep at night, Japs were in my garden

  60. Eddie says:

    chas – is the photo of Morskie Oko?

  61. mickydidit89 says:


    We can’t have gangs of Japanese WWII POW camp commanders roaming the streets at night. Not on at all.

    Perhaps you could set up a firm arm of Cuffley Neighbourhood Watch

  62. mickydidit89 says:

    That looks superb fun to be able to ice skate over such a large area

  63. mickydidit89 says:

    5 a side hockey on a pitch that size. Two touches only. Control and pass

  64. Eddie says:

    I cannot post a comment about French bulldogs 😦 they are disappearing

  65. Eddie says:

    Morskie Oko is an amazing place and the walk up the mountains to reach it a great adventure. I have never skated on the lake, but visited it several times, breathtaking

    Re Japs – perhaps I just imagined it 🙂 The film was so powerful that I was reliving it all night. Great (true) story, inspirational

    But my most favourite film of 2016 was Manchester by the Sea, loved it

  66. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh God, I’ve just received a pic of the Bayern team bus arriving at their hotel from my man in Germany

    What the heck are they doing in a hotel two days early, in their home city. Anyone would think they’re taking the game seriously.

    Then, to make matters worse, my chum is a Dortmund man, and he was begging Arsenal to take Tuchel!!

  67. fatgingergooner says:

    Both great films Eddie. Have you watched Hell Or High Water? That’s good too.

  68. chas says:

    Liam is 61 today.

  69. Big Raddy says:

    Liam’s looking good.

  70. chas says:

  71. Eddie says:

    no fattie, I haven’t, thanks for recommendation

    How many injuries do BM have? We need half their team crocked

  72. chas says:

  73. Eddie says:

    happy birthday LB

  74. Yes, Liam Brady. I feel sorry for those who never saw our greatest player play. Once he got the ball no one could get it off him. If he wanted he could have beaten the opposition on his own, but because he felt sorry for him, he now and again passed the ball to David Price.

    That’s the kind of man Liam is. Gives to charity and passes to David Price. If that ponce Beckham had played with David Price, by now he would be a Lord.

    When Liam got the ball he was instantly cocked. Which I’m sure we all agree, is an advantage. With a swivel of the hips he would leave defenders on there backside.

    I was behind the goal when Liam scored that brilliant goal in our 5-0 win at Totnumb. I think he won the ball of Ardilas, for those younger ones who don’t know, Ardilas was the was the bloke who played the waiter in Faltty Towers. Chippy then cocked himself before unleashing a beauty in the top corner.

    How many players in today’s game could disposes a Spanish Waiter, paralyse Hoddle by cocking himself, and then silence 30 thousand mugs by producing the best shot ever? None.

    Happy Birthday Chippy.

  75. Again for the younger ones. Chas photo shows a couple of two bob footballers. The Totnumb one is Steve Archibald, a despicable man who many scholars believe is mentioned by St John the Devine in the book of revelation. The other is Tony Gale, ex West Ham defender who now educates the masses by lecturing philosophy & History at Cambridge University and talking shit when co commentating on Sky.

  76. fatgingergooner says:

    PL points since SAF retired:-

    Man City 280
    Chelsea 279
    Arsenal 275
    Liverpool 255
    Spurs 253
    Man United 248

  77. mickydidit89 says:

    Transplant 🙂

    Morning also to normal people 🙂

  78. mickydidit89 says:

    Look at that, just look at that!

  79. mickydidit89 says:

    Here’s a nice 20min vid to ease you into your day

  80. chas says:

  81. Big Raddy says:

    Normal? God forbid.

  82. chas says:

  83. chas says:

    The Archibald photo also features Kenny Swain playing for Aston Villa, not that that makes the slightest difference to anything.

  84. Eddie says:

    normal = regular = average = ordinary = common.

    Raddy is right, God forbid.

    only in Scottland

  85. Eddie says:

    happy valentine’s chas xxx

  86. Eddie says:

    I give up
    there is a good clip with heat maps showing our defenders stepping on each other’s toes, not sure how to bring it here

  87. mickydidit89 says:


    Not only in Scotland. I’ve had a flashback
    When I was about 8, I asked my Dad for a goal for Christmas.
    Where I grew up, the land was not flat other than an area of lawn outside the house that was like a billiard table
    I opened the curtains on the great day expecting to see pristine white posts, stanchions and netting just like they had at Highbury.
    Later that morning my Dad led me to the sloping orchard where the donkey lived amongst tufts of long grass and dung. There I saw three pieces of wood nailed together

  88. Eddie says:

    ha ha ha 🙂 and there went your footballing career, sad 😦

    the fact you lived in a house, had a garden and a donkey makes me green with envy. I grew up on a 9th floor in an apartment half the size of my ground floor now. I remember having a dream that I have a house, open the front door in the morning to put milk bottles outside, my own house…
    Second dream was that I had a partner who drove a VW golf, to dream that I would have and burn one was too much to hope for.

  89. mickydidit89 says:

    I’ve read enough on here about your life to hold you in very high regard
    You’re tough, resilient and compassionate. Bloody awesome combination.

  90. mickydidit89 says:

    I could do a quick post
    Anyone around with power to do things with it?

  91. mickydidit89 says:


  92. Eddie says:

    oh shit, do you mean you have had enough of my sad stories? So have I actually 🙂

    ok, strictly football now. What’s the team news?
    The fact that Bayern went to a hotel 3 days in advance shows how scared they are of us. Yep, that’s Arsenal, lose to minnows and beat BM in style, they are perfectly capable of it

  93. chas says:

    New Post

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