Everton: Player Ratings

A sunny day, the end of the PL season, JC last game (?), a fine win yet one mingled with regret and disappointment

Given that we played 80 minutes with 10 men against a strong Everton team and a bent referee it was a fine victory. Had we not been cheated out of a point at Everton away, it would have meant much more but in the end we were the 5th best team in the PL. Thursday nights and lots of Sunday games await.

Player ratings.

Cech. Magnificent … Again. He has been superb the last few games. Had little chance with a well -taken penalty. Cut out the ball early from crosses, made an acrobatic save from a Lukaku header and his distribution was faultless.     9

Holding.  In a constantly changing back line he played well, made the odd error of judgement. Continues to improve and must have won a place in the Cup Final    7

Koscielny. Stupid and rash challenge which deserved the red card. Out of the CF.   5

Gabriel. Until his injury the Brazilian was outstanding. Looked a nasty injury. Got a yellow card for his pains when he was in front of the man and got the ball.    8

Monreal.  Was it a penalty? I couldn’t tell. Other than that he played well with his usual energy. After Kos ‘s red card Nacho was understandably more defensive   7

Bellerin. Finally getting his speed back. Non-stop work up and down his wing. Scored a tap in but was there to do so. Better.    8

Ramsey.  Started slowly with inaccurate and poor choice of passes. Improved second half and scored an absolute peach.    7

Xhaka. Terrific. Is becoming the player AW hoped for. No more stupid tackles, even Oliver could find a reason to give him a card.    9

Ozil. Once again in good form. Worked tirelessly, as usual created some chances. Hopefully not his last game at THOF     8

Sanchez.  Typical Alexis game. Non-stop workmate, dangerous on the ball, hugely frustrating in his timing and choice of pass, scored. Brilliant player and I love to watch him. Hopefully not his last game at THOF.    8

Welbeck.  Worked hard. Missed an absolute sitter and should have scored at least two of his chances.      7


BFG. Great to see our Club Captain. Fitted in seamlessly.    7

Coq. 30 minutes & but didn’t embarrass himself    6

Iwobi. Seemed to be everywhere on the pitch in his cameo.    7

Mr Wenger. On a difficult afternoon he got his tactics spot on.    8

Referee:  Michael Oliver. Dreadful. Lost control to the point that a quiet Emirates resounded with “you don’t know what you’re doing”.      2

written by Big Raddy

61 Responses to Everton: Player Ratings

  1. Zee says:

    Thanks, Raddish,

    I was out yesterday and never saw the game, so your summary and player ratings were very interesting.

    The lads did their bit to win that game and stay in the CL next season, but AW was correct that the other teams were already away on holiday, in their heads, and other than a defiant first half by Boro’ who then paid their cheque and said goodbye at the start of the 2nd half.

    Oh, well — onto the Cup Final.

  2. GoonerB says:

    Morning Raddy, morning Zee

    Thanks Raddy, sorry I wasn’t around yesterday to comment on your fine pre-match. Another fine win especially with the Kos sending off in the first half.

    We finished the season with 5 wins from 5, a feat only matched by Chelsea. One can’t help but tie this in with the change in formation. While this should provide a glimmer of hope moving forward it is tempered with the possibility that we will struggle to retain our best players and we will struggle to convince other top players to join us.

    It worries me that AW took so long to implement that change. He seems to sit on issues far too long and doesn’t seem decisive or intuitive enough to address what is not working, and unfortunately for me this is a key reason why the season overall has not been a success. Our problems are hugely self inflicted.

    It is not all just down to Arsene. I am highly suspicious and concerned about our club from the top down. At the owners end you hear nothing, but at Arsene’s end I feel you hear all the wrong things. I don’t like the noises coming from Arsene recently and still feel they could indicate a manager that refuses to accept reality.

    Someone said to me the other day that Arsene hasn’t evolved in recent years as a manager and as such neither has the team. I think it is a very apt way of summarising Arsene and Arsenal over recent years. I hate to say it but the lot down the road seem to have been doing the opposite and have been steadily evolving and improving.

    I can only hope that the fall-out in the summer TW turns out not to be as bad as it could have been, and my concerns are unfounded. I would also hope that AW has taken a long hard look at things now and realised he has to be more adaptable in his outlook.

    Sorry to add to the Monday morning blues 🙂

  3. GoonerB says:

    BTW, doesn’t mean I am not looking forward to the FAC final and will be there cheering on the boys 🙂

  4. Zee says:

    I hate to admit this GB, but I really, really like your diplomatic and interesting take on things.

    [Naturally, I will deny having said any such thing when I am in a more acerbic mood.] 😀

    That said — I think it is difficult to disagree with owt you have written.

    Silent Stan is an absentee owner, and his son is even more so. Hence, AW takes a caning for matters that should be addressed by the Board, via Gazidis, as both parties have to accept some culpability for the distress of many of the fans, if only because the Arsenal PR is rubbish.

  5. RC78 says:

    Perfect report 🙂

    Koscielny has a knack for missing big games either through injuries or suspension. How stupid was that tackle? The issue though is that Xhaka and Monreal really left him exposed but still – you don’t commit such a foul so early in the game…

    Referee was dreadful and definitely a Liverpool fan, like the one who refereed Liverpool (Lovren shall have gotten a red and given away a PK).

    Without Gabs and Kos, our backline will most likely go back to a back-4 with Bellerin, Holding, BFG, Monreal BUT am hoping that AW will stick to a back 3 with Mustafi – BFG – Holding.

    It is good to see Bellering playing well again.

    I think that Xhaka needs players like Gueye and Rakitic next to him…

  6. Zee says:

    Copying your addendum style, GB, the next transfer window was supposed to address known weaknesses in the squad and the team, which Arsene claimed would happen some weeks ago — now he is back to the usual mantra – ‘We need one, maximum two new players in the summer’ — this was repeated with slightly different words according to various media outlets.

    Now that sounds ominously like the same old baloney we have heard for year after year, and might explain why the club have tried, and it seems failed, to appoint a new Director of football, to shake up the numbers and quality of the players we have.

    I love the honesty and integrity of the man, and his own love of the club, but my oft stated view has not changed, age catches up with everyone eventually, and AW really should step down this summer, and allow new blood to have a go.

    His retirement might be a disaster for the club, if the replacement is not adequate, but it might also be a huge success, and that sums up life in general – so we should not be concerned about the future unknowns. It will happen eventually so let’s get to it.

  7. VP of Oz says:

    But if we had got rid of Arsene and this season was with a new manager, say diego simeone, then I think everyone would be saying, ah yes, a far more difficult season than the last, with Pep, Conte, Klopp and Mourinho bedded in and spending more etc.
    So to finish with more points than the previous season, score a bag full more goals than the last season and to be in to win a trophy compared to the last season, yes we finished 5th by a single point but wow, we are progressing compared to the last season of Arsene.
    And the fans were great this season fully supporting the new manager.
    etc etc

    Personally, I think we did good and could win one of the big 3
    If we dont, then I’ll be down, very down…

  8. VP of Oz says:

    Although fifth is Wenger’s lowest finish, a total of 75 points has actually been bettered by Arsenal only eight times in the previous 25 Premier League seasons.

    “They won 23 games,” he said. “And in the unbeaten year they won 26. We lost too many games.

  9. VP of Oz says:

    Arsenal scored more headed goals than any other team, with 17.
    Arsenal’s total of 75 points was the most for a team finishing fifth in the Premier League era.
    Arsenal inflicted the heaviest defeat suffered by the champions for the second successive season, beating Chelsea 3-0 after having beaten Leicester 5-2 last season.

    yada yada, good night

  10. VP of Oz says:

    Ozil to Ramsey to goal was brilliant

  11. fred1266 says:

    Surely welbeck deserves to 5 for all the chance he missed

  12. GoonerB says:

    Zee, it zeems we zee things similarly 🙂

    I think I have worked out your name thingy. It is a bit like those maths questions “what is next in the sequence”. I expect Zef to grace us with his presence at some point in the future. Be careful when you get to “n” though Zee. Raddy will be all over you with that name inviting you to his naked communes and all that sort of stuff 🙂

    Anyway I concur with your 11.37.

  13. GunnerN5 says:

    Fred’s got a good point, after all what is the striker’s job – surely not to miss so many golden opportunities. If Bellerin had not been Johnny on the spot the outcome could have been very different – entirely to Welbeck’s inability to finish off an absolute sitter!

    I like Danny but he had a stinker yesterday,

  14. GoonerB says:

    VP, I know you are one of the staunch Arsene supporters on here and I admire you for that. I always like a bit of yin and yang and feel it is healthy for the balance of the blog.

    Your optimistic slant on things is great and I really wish I could join you in agreeing. Unfortunately I do look at some of those optimistic points as more of a clutching at straws. Please don’t take offence at that as I am not here to pick a fight and of course we all have the right to take any view we wish.

    I am not sure that I would class Conte, Pep and Maureen as bedded in at the end of their first seasons. Conte obviously found a way to make his group of players work quicker than the others but it is still season 1 for them whereas Arsene has had a few consistent seasons to develop his team.

    I can’t console myself with us having beaten the eventual champions in these last 2 seasons. It seems irrelevant to me. I would rather lose to them and Spurs twice if we ended up champions ourselves.

    3 more points to me doesn’t represent progress. We have hovered and fluttered around a similar amount of points for many seasons now give or take. Progress has to be a consistent upwards trajectory until you reach an optimal level and then try and maintain it there.

    We have seen no evidence of an upward trajectory and I would refer to comments I made earlier this season that showed the average points required to win the EPL (over the last 11 years as being just in excess of 86. Our average has been 72 in that period. Ours is likely now adjusted slightly higher on the back of this season but so is the 86 after Chelsea’s tally this year.

    We are still 14-15 points away from challenging seriously for the EPL, as we have been for 12 seasons now, despite continuity of manager and better players being available and arriving. I don’t besmirch the FA cup and hope we win it but Arsene has always said himself that the cup requires some fortune and luck to win it, and the true reflection of a team is in the league. Based on his own words we can conclude that we have not progressed and evolved under the current management structure for some years.

  15. GunnerN5 says:

    My thoughts on AW’s future.

    The news is that Kronke and the board all want him to stay for both stability and financial reasons but a few of them, led by Gazidis, want him to add a director of football role. AW will oppose this and will agree to give somebody else a similar role and if they agree he will then sign his new contract.

    We all know that he will simply not tolerate anybody interfering with player choices, team selection, tactics, transfers or coaching – so if they insist on any of these then he will not sign. If there is a board room war then Kronke will have to make the final decision – but he is a total AW advocate so he will arbitrate in AW’s favour.

    In the end I predict that once they have agreed to AW’s terms he will sign his new contract – but in reality he will only be playing lip service to the new role and will then get on with the job of being the manager – unimpeded and with the full support of Kronke.

    Wishful thinking on my part? – only time will tell…………………………….

  16. VP of Oz says:

    GoonB, I can’t support other teams coaches and will always support my own. If I only have straws to show at the seasons end, then I’ll clutch onto them.
    As for fortune and luck, one makes ones own and geez Arsene has been very lucky and fortunate when it comes to the FA cup. Probably he underplays his success somewhat.
    As I’ve said before, my benchmark is my mate who has been a lifelong Derby County supporter. So I feel very fortunate indeed. It’s easy being optimistic when expectations are low:-)
    All I ask is for a Rakitic or Modric to follow in the great Sukors footsteps

  17. GoonerB says:

    I think that will happen as well GN5.

    I am not sure that there are other solid alternatives right now to Arsene so I can understand it from a shorter term stability aspect.

    I can understand a managers reluctance to this director of football thingy but it also worries me with Arsene’s (seeming) reluctance to implement changes to try and drive this club forwards. I wonder if this is evidence (circumstantial of course) that he doesn’t see many of the issues that hold back the progress of the team anymore.

    I think AW needs that help on many issues now if he is to continue and actually progress this club (even coaching and tactical ones), but I think he doesn’t think he does. Sometimes others see the faults in you that you can’t see yourself.

    I would hate to think that Kroenke actually secretly realises that Arsene is not quite at the top end of management quality anymore but likes how he keeps us at a certain level without much investment. I do however feel this could be the case and that would mean Kroenke is using him rather than truly believing in him.

    It will be AW that gets hung out to dry if the same old same old happens next season. Kroenke will be nowhere to be seen.

  18. GunnerN5 says:


    Having worked in and for American owned companies for over 50 years, starting in England as a manger and ending up as a VP and general manager in Canada – and serving on BOD’s – I know full well that to them God is the bottom line – full stop.

  19. Gööner In Exile says:

    I’ll play devils advocate on formation change for me there is one comparison to make to understand why it might not have happened sooner….

    Guardiola and Maureen vs Klopp and Conte

    Midweek training vs midweek European matches

    Simply it’s far easier to change systems when you haven’t got to go from Match to match during October to December with only recovery time in between matches.

    You also have to wonder whether we had started working on 3 at the back around end of January but the players weren’t comfortable or we hadn’t found the right combination, so we didn’t do it until later but meaning we lost some of our fluidity during the period where the players had too much information about the differing styles required.

    Certainly since changing we have found some fluidity but for me still nowhere near what we have come to expect and whilst the formation can be given as one reason, the return of Rambo and making choice between Xhaka or Coq rather than continuing with both has also helped which didn’t need the formation change to operate.

  20. GunnerN5 says:

    Once they regained their confidence their natural ability took over and the fluidity returned, having said that I have no idea why they lost their confidence or how it was recovered. One thing I do know is that regardless of formation and training the one major variable that can create either a positive of negative atmosphere and have a big on the results is dressing room chit chat. Any dissension or conflicts are outside of any managers control.

  21. GunnerN5 says:

    have a big on the results — should read

    “have a bid affect on the results”

  22. GoonerB says:

    VP, I don’t support other managers either and being critical of ours doesn’t mean I will not support him while he is still our manager, but I do look at other teams and managers to see what and how they are doing things as a potential barometer.

    GIE, you provide a good explanation as to why the change didn’t come sooner and it could be correct. My only caveat is that not changing or adapting quickly enough seems to me to be an Achilles heel of ours for some seasons now, and this is just another example of others that have come before.

    Not so sure that the change in formation didn’t help with the Rambo / Xhaka partnership. I think neither one is defensively disciplined enough with the back 4, which with us often ended up as a back 2. This placed more importance on using the more disciplined Coq. The back 3 gives both a bit more licence to them to help offensively and share defensive duties between them with that extra cover behind them.

    GN5, I don’t know. I feel plenty of managers have managed to keep a harmonious dressing room despite conflicts. I forget which 2 it was, but I am sure that Andy Cole had a really poor relationship with either Yorke or Sheringham but the team still functioned well enough. Likely the manager didn’t allow it to affect the team and left them in no doubt as to what would happen if it did.

    I couldn’t believe what Kos did as an experienced defender. He made completely the wrong call there, almost the kind of mistake you expect a young rookie to make.

  23. Troll Shard trolls hard says:

    Hi Gooner B

    Don’t have too much time right now, so just a few words and I’ll be off.

    On Kos. Firstly, I am not convinced it should be a red card. Far worse tackles are let off in the league, and like with our other red cards this season (both for Xhaka), it appears to me that Arsenal are treated harsher by the refs. (Especially if you compare to Spurs and how they play)

    In the event that it would be a yellow, it was a decent foul to make. But even more so, I think Koscielny has said he is suffering from a chronic achilles problem which requires a daily fitness regimen. I think it might have slowed him down a fraction, which meant that he thought he could get there in time but didn’t quite manage to do it. I don’t think it was such a terrible mistake by him. Just had terrible consequences.

    On the dressing room stuff. You can’t compare 20 years ago to now. Player power is much higher and if a player wants to be disruptive, there isn’t much that can be done beyond selling him (that too if he’s willing). However, I am not sure that is what was happening. More likely it was a combination of various things that led to our poor form.

  24. RC78 says:

    Do you think that we will give the Europa League a real go next year or will AW use it as a platform for subs + youth?

    Being behind Liverpool and Tottenham really sucks – not used to this…

    If you want a good manager for cheap, Laurent Blanc is available…He will come with Gasset as a coach but I think he will keep the rest of the staff. Also – he is keen to have a Sporting Director that handles the transfers. He is very keen on having possession so he is a fan of a three-men midfield but he also LOVES having a playmaker so Ozil would flourish under him – it would be a 4-3-1-2 with:

    Cech – Bellerin, ?, Kos, ? – Ramsey, Xhaka, ? – Ozil – ?, Sanchez

    He will ask for a solid CB, a player with a big engine in midfield, and a player than hold the ball upfront and is good with the ball too.

    Blanc’s team would look like:
    Cech – Bellerin, PEPE, Kos, BAINES – Ramsey, Xhaka, VIDAL – Ozil – ARNAUTOVIC, Sanchez

  25. Red Arnie says:

    Thanks a ton, Raddy. Watched the game. Been there done that, we put our weaker foot forward, but that was adequate on the day.

    Not quite so adequate for the season, but, hey every good thing must come to an end. Not happy with Wenger’s excuses.

    But, Wemberley awaits. so, onwards and upwards

  26. chas says:

    Thanks for more well-written thoughts, BR.

    I enjoyed the day and especially the 10 against 12 performance.

  27. fatgingergooner says:

    I think it was Holding who gave the pen away.

    On the Kos tackle, I dont think it was that bad. He missed the ball by a split second and only looked bad because it was full speed. Absolutely no intent to harm Valencia and was just trying to win the ball. It was a booking for me.

    As for the contract stuff, I think the Wenger decision has impacted on the decisions of Sanchez and Özil and that’s why they haven’t been agreed. No doubt the players will want reassurances about various things that the manager decides, and if Wengers future is up in the air then they will be waiting for a resolution. If that is the case it puts a lot of pressure on the manager and the club. Player power is big these days and if Sanchez and/or Özil want Wenger to stay/go then that could be a reason for the delays. It could also be that Wenger currently has power over certain things that Sanchez/Özil want but the club were thinking of changing the structure which means Wenger no longer has the final say in these things. All speculation obviously, but I do think there is a link between Wenger’s future and that of Sanchez and Özil. Hopefully the club get it sorted and we can move forward with a better squad next season.

    Finally, with Kroenke, what is it that people want from him? We spent £100m last summer, if that continues then surely that makes us competitive? Or is it just that people want him to sack the manager?

  28. fred1266 says:

    Monreal gave the penalty away, not sure why he tried to chest if instead of headlines it

  29. afcfootball8 says:

    Completely agree with the player ratings, Xhaka is looking like a class signing, he has the skills of a leader and is an amazing deep lying playmaker.
    The only rating I disagree with is Koscielnys. He only managed to stay on the pitch for 15 minutes knowing he has a cup final the next week which he will now miss, he’s our experienced centre back and one of our most vital players and one reckless tackle now means he misses the final which could cost Arsenal. I would have rated him a 2, 15 minutes of gameplay before a red card the week before a cup final isn’t acceptable for our best centre back.

  30. Troll Shard trolls hard says:


    Where have you been? More importantly, how have you been?

  31. Red Arnie says:

    ha ha ha, Shard, not been too well! but surviving! how’ve you been? 🙂

  32. fatgingergooner says:

    About 3:19

  33. Gööner In Exile says:

    So cheaper season tickets for you lucky ST holders next season, but unfortunately Europa included in your 7 cup matches which means most will be gone before FA Cup starts, they should probably do away with including Cup credits in pricing and just make it an obligation to buy at whatever price is like most other clubs do.

  34. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Horrible news from Manchester. Why anyone should commit such an act is beyond my understanding

  35. mickydidit89 says:

    Thank you for post Erik
    As I said, v busy, not sulking

  36. Eddie says:

    22 dead and 59 injured, my dear god, how awful

    someone in the know told me that the security services unfold at least one terrorist plot a week. All it takes is one going undetected.

  37. Eddie says:

    good players’ ratings, thank you Raddy

    I cannot help thinking that it was not necessary to play the strongest squad in a completely meaningless game. It has considerably reduced our chances for Saturday. It is going to be 30 degrees in London this weekend. Which team has more players from hot countries?

  38. Eddie says:

    raddy – I am not sure what you hear abroad about the attack. In uk a lot is being said about people of Manchester. The area was cordoned off and many couldn’t go home. Residents were opening their doors and inviting strangers in, taxis were queuing to drive people home for free, add some acts of bravery – humanity at it’s best fighting the evil of possibly 1 man

  39. RC78 says:

    Sorry about Manchester guys – heart goes to Manchester peeps as well as to the UK.

    Please note that having conservative pro-Brexit policies leads to more divided societies and enhances the chances of isolated terrorists attacks. Vote Labor or Libdem at the next elections – The UK must remain United 🙂

  40. GoonerB says:

    Terrible news in Manchester. my thoughts are with them.

    Not so sure there is a direct correlation between the conservatives and increased Terrorist attacks RC, and that a Labour / Libdem government guarantees reduced terrorist attacks. Under Hollande wasn’t France operating under a supposed left wing socialist government? Did this reduce the prospect of terrorist attacks? I don’t know RC, but you may have opened a can of worms with that one.

  41. GunnerN5 says:

    My thoughts are that random terrorist attacks by individuals are all but impossible to avoid. Their actions are not influenced by the political party in power they are due to their ingrained, misguided ideology.

    They are the proverbial needle in a haystack. The only good that can come from this atrocity is the possibility that the resulting investigation will expose and root out other potential perpetrators.

  42. GunnerN5 says:

    I wonder if, or how, this will affect the FA Cup Final?

  43. GunnerN5 says:

    I simply cannot imagine the grief and suffering being experienced by the loved ones of the victims, it must be devastating. What a hopeless feeling it must be – my heart aches for them.

  44. Eddie says:

    in absence of footy can someone tell me what happened in seasons 1-4 of Breaking Bad. I’m watcbhing season 5 and have no clue who is who and what is what. HELP!!!

  45. I’m kind of with GN5 on the perpetrators of evil care little about the ruling party. Last year pre referendum Jo Cox was killed by a white Brit with a grudge and a gun.

    Let’s just call these people what they are……banned word (the most extreme one)…..and move on in the understanding that there are 7.5bn people living on this little blue dot, and most of them want for nothing more than adequate shelter, water, food and the right to live without fearing for their life.

    If Nuttal tries to use this atrocity to further his ideals and fuel segregation and hate then he will show himself to be what he is.

  46. wally says:

    You need to go back and watch from the beginning. There is no other way. Otherwise we’ll be here all day, all night, and again tomorrow. Only by seeing it from the start can you truly appreciate the show and the evolution of the characters and their relationships.

  47. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Grey skies here after a few days of delightful sunshine.

    International one day cricket today, followed by Ajax against Me Utd.

    A fine days sport.

  48. mickydidit89 says:

    “can someone tell me what happened in seasons 1-4 of Breaking Bad”

    Classic Eddie 🙂

  49. Eddie says:

    well micky – so far there are 2 bald guys arguing and 1 young a bit dense lad. 2 women. Lots of shouting. All I need to know who are the characters and what are they up to. Briefly please

  50. mickydidit89 says:

    How many episodes in a season ie what sheer volume of info catch-up are we talking about?

  51. Zee says:

    They did much the same now as they were doing at the start.

    The End

  52. Eddie says:

    4 seasons, 15 episodes each so it could be a lot of motion but not much progress, just as Zee said.

  53. Big Raddy says:

    Just read that Real Madrid have signed a 16 y.o. Brazilian for over €40m!

    How is this possible? I thought there were rules about the signings of such young children.

  54. Big Raddy says:

    Eddie. Why bother with the the opening chapters of a book – just read the final chapter and Google the story.

  55. Eddie says:

    Raddy – I do it all the time. My ex used to go mad when I would read a book in a day – first few pages rubbish, skip the middle, enjoy the end 🙂

  56. Eddie says:

    re manchester horror reports – they make me squirm. Those journos are pretty disgusting and stupid. Asking questions like ‘why and who’ and inviting psychologists to do profiling. Feck that. We all know there was no reason and was carried out by an abomination, a psycho.

    Or they are reporting that there were 3 poles amongst the dead. Why does that matter?? Kids, youngsters, innocent is what they all were.

  57. chas says:

    Don’t watch this, it’ll spoil the next six months……

  58. Big Raddy says:

    Eddie.Do you know where the word journalist originates?

    It is a French word. Jour meaning day. The writers in newspapers who were not considered of good enough quality to be full-time employees were paid by the day …. hence jour nalists.

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