Spud Bashing – Player Ratings

Team up for it, crowd up for it, great day in the Red and White side of North London. Grown men singing Sweet Caroline at the tops of their voices as they left the ground – Good times never seemed so good – and Neil Diamond was not wrong.

Cech: his maturity counts for a lot, solid as ever and a great save at the end to keep an impressive clean sheet. 8

Bellerin: excellent going forward, always there to offer an outlet on the wing, some decent defending and some down right worrying defending towards the end. 7

Mustafi: there was a reason why the defense worked today rather than not on other occasions and that was because of the return of Shkodran. A general in his organisation and a tower of strength to the other defenders around him and if that isn’t praise enough he set us on our way to the fine weekend that we are having now with a brilliantly headed goal, my motm: 10

(Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Koscielny: seemed to be inspired and lifted by his fellow CB, some superb defending and some down right poor passing in the first half. Maybe this is harsh as the noticeable thing was that he was the only player who was looking for the Lacazette runs, I noticed in the week that the French national team understand our number 9’s runs and know how to find him, they are still working this out at THOF. 7

Monreal: a very calm, sensible performance nothing fancy nothing silly just went about his job in his professional way. 7

Kolasinac: the honey moon period is over now and there is a touch of the Emperor’s new clothes going on here, don’t get me wrong I am as pleased as punch with the Oxlaide-Chamberlain upgrade but I am still struggling to see exactly what he brings to the table and is what he brings enough? That said if you play in a team that beats spuds 2-0 you will always be worthy of praise and so should his compact, no frills performance today. 7

Ramsey: probably the player that raised his game the least today and as for playing in trainers for most of it, sliding all over the place and loosing possession cheaply, that was not good; he finally changed his boots and got a bit more to grips with things. 7

Xhaka: this player always worries me as it always only seems like a matter of time until he gets sent off — but he didn’t today, I am not known to be the biggest Wilshere fan but I would have Jack in that team ahead of him everyday of the week. Granit sprayed the ball around well and clearly has a lot of self belief which is a useful asset. 7

Ozil: here’s a question, were you a Bergkamp fan or an Henry fan? If you were like me a Berkamp fan and are of a certain age then there is a linage that you have followed: you loved Liam Brady, you secretly admired Paul Davis more than Rocastle, you liked Merson, you thought and think that Bergkamp was and is the greatest player you have ever seen in an Arsenal shirt and you were a great admirer of Pires and yes you still have a soft spot for Fabrigas. Why all this? Because they are all a similar type of player and can be traced through the decades; the more skillful type rather than the pure goal scorer and as such, you, like me, love Ozil more than any other player at the club. We’ve got Ozil, Mesut Ozil, I just don’t think you understand. 9

Lacazette: he is getting close isn’t he, you can sense that there is so much more from him to come but it is coming isn’t it. Interesting that Wenger remains cautious wit him, only ever playing him for 70 minutes. I suspect Wenger knows the levels of fatigue that the Christmas calendar has on players and wants to make sure he is still standing in the new year. Good day today. 9

Sanchez: another brilliant performance, committed as ever and Johnny on the spot again to fire home our second. 9

Match thoughts from a jubilant LB


52 Responses to Spud Bashing – Player Ratings

  1. GunnerN5 says:

    Great pot Chas, we differ on Kolasinac as I really like him and think that when he is on the field he improves our defense and links up with Sanchez really well. He also possesses one of the hardest shots I can remember. Way better than Ox.

  2. GunnerN5 says:

    Great pot ?

  3. GunnerN5 says:

    I LOVED Bergkamp and Brady.

  4. mickydidit89 says:

    Bloody superb LB, thanks

    Talk about hot off the press.

    I’m a Bergkamp man, ergo… 🙂

    Agree with all your ratings, although I’d have to watch the game again (which I won’t) to disagree with your Kos and Mon markings, as I thought they deserved one more point each

  5. mickydidit89 says:

    Sorry GN5, hadn’t seen your DB10 comment

    Mesut is other worldly. Build the team around him and we play sublime football

  6. GunnerN5 says:

    Oops sorry LB, I thought it was Chas who wrote the ratings…….

  7. mickydidit89 says:

    Is Eddie still on the other page 🙂

  8. Excellent LB, thank you for your ratings. I too thought Mustafi was immense today.

    Bergkamp v Henry, must be a guy thing 😉 Some of Ozil’s passing today was just sensational, I love watching him.

    If AW is going to use Jack then why not give him a few minutes today – he’d have loved it.

    But I’m not complaining, it was a great game and I loved the fact that we picked up more yellow cards – proper hard 🙂

  9. Rasp says:

    Lovely celebration of our best performance of the season LB.. Nothing to argue with …. particularly since I haven’t seen all the game yet …. The stats fouls per card shows we were treated more harshly that the totts … but with Dean you expect no less.

    The offside for the first goal was debatable, at best minimal … no lino could be expected to call it and I’m not sure it would have been disallowed if it had gone to a video decision.

  10. VP of Oz says:

    Great ratings/post LB
    After reading some comments from AW about his confidence going into this game made me very confident of a win. I was so confident I dumped Eriksen from my fantasy team and purchased Salah.
    The pressing from the team was relentless, it was great to watch the off ball tactics.
    Simpy put, 11 vs 11, Arsenal were the best by far.
    Power shift, my ARSEnal.

  11. VP of Oz says:

    Sorry, that Should read, Arsenal ARE the best by far

  12. GunnerN5 says:

    Oz they were and are 🙂 🙂

  13. LB says:

    Had to edit the Ozil comment to try and explain myself a bit better.

    Night, night.

  14. VP of Oz says:

    from the ABC:
    AC/DC co-founder and guitarist Malcolm Young dies aged 64

    Legendary Australian guitarist and AC/DC co-founder Malcolm Young has died aged 64.

    Known for the powerhouse riffs and rhythm guitar that propelled the Sydney group to superstardom, Young’s family said in a statement he had been “suffering from dementia for several years”.

    He was replaced by nephew Stevie for the band’s last tour promoting the 2014 album Rock Or Bust.

    Young started AC/DC in 1973 with his younger brother, fellow guitarist Angus.

    Their other brother George Young, a member of The Easybeats and a producer for AC/DC, died in October aged 70.

    While Angus Young, the group’s school-uniform-wearing lead guitarist, was the public face of the band, Malcolm Young was its key writer and leader, the member the rest of the band watched for onstage changes and cut-offs.

    AC/DC were consistent for over 40 years with its mix of driving hard rock, lusty lyrics and bluesy shuffles, selling over 200 million albums, surviving the loss of its first singer and creating one of the greatest rock records ever in Back in Black, the world’s second best-selling album behind Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

    Malcolm Young died peacefully on Saturday with his family by his bedside, a statement on AC/DC’s Facebook page said.

    “As his brother it is hard to express in words what he has meant to me during my life, the bond we had was unique and very special,” Angus Young said.
    “He leaves behind an enormous legacy that will live on forever.

    “Malcolm, job well done.”

    Young is survived by his wife O’Linda and two children.

  15. VP of Oz says:

    Key quotes from above after game panel analysis:
    No Power Shift Anymore
    The Power Shift was short lived

    discussion on all the Spuds best players contractual situations including the coach… “maybe that Tottenham are looking at the end of this team if they cant keep those players together”, “Wow, the end of this team at the start of a brand new era, what power shift”

    Kelly Smith – Now Arsene Wenger is looking like god again

    Glen Hoddle – Tottenham believe their own hype.

    and a lot of talk about their lack of trophies and that they cant win trophies.

    Meanwhile over at Arsenal in the last 3 years whilst all the power shift hype was building for Spuds –
    6 trophies:
    FA Cup Trophies
    2017 Beat Chelsea 2-1
    2015 Beat Aston Villa 4-0
    2014 Beat Hull City 3-2 (aet)

    Charity/Community Shield Trophies
    2017 Beat Chelsea 4-1 on pens (aet: after 1-1)
    2015 Beat Chelsea 1-0
    2014 Beat Manchester City 3-0

    2016 League runners up
    CL qualification 2014, 2015, 2016

    vs Hyped up Spuds –
    0 trophies
    2017 League runners up
    CL qualification 2016, 2017

    even vs Liverpool –
    0 trophies
    2014 League runners up
    CL qualification 2014, 2017

  16. chas says:

  17. chas says:

    Spud fans scenting the power shift………………..

  18. chas says:

  19. Eddie says:

    what fantastic player ratings, thank you LB!!

    I really enjoyed reading it.
    Did Ramsey really change his boots?
    I love Bellerin, perhaps that clouds my judgement, must pay more attention. I always think he is superb and I will be sad when he goes to Barca. Do they really want him? Perhaps not

    Bergkamp, Pirez and Mezut are maestros, no doubt about it. I cannot understand why some tools still insist that Ozil is not a great player?? Unbelievable. Let’s not forget Wrighty in this line-up. He was sheer class too.

  20. Eddie says:

    ours was the only good result yesterday

  21. LB says:

    Ahh but you see that Wright belongs to the Henry linage. Very different.

    Eddie, Ramsey did finally change his boots after sliding over several times and each time losing possession.

  22. Eddie says:

    LB – yeeeeees and no. I feel weird trying to argue with you, but Wrighty was not just a CF, he was excellent off the ball too. But I know what you mean, ie the traditional number 9s. Ok, I talked myself out of it, forget about IW

  23. LB says:

    IW was a great player as was Henry but Bergkamp they were not.

    Still, glad you enjoyed the read.

    I purposely try and express the more radical thoughts that enter my head in an attempt to keep things interesting.

    I liked your Iwobi comment yesterday, it made me think.

  24. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Still basking.

    Unusually I do not agree with a few of LB’s ratings though this may be because I watched the full 90+ minutes again this morning in a more analytical frame of mind.

    My MotM was Koscielny, closely followed by Mustafi, Ramsey and Ozil. I accept that Mustafi brought a solidity lacking with Holding or BFG but it was Kos, time and time again who snapped into tackles, blocked shots or headed away danger. He was superb, to be fair they both were.

    Ramsey was everywhere and one of the main reasons why neither Eriksen nor Oilli managed to be influential (nor Dumbele or Wanks)

    Ozil? As always it is the media who question his commitment and ability. Last night some talked about his running off the ball – may I suggest they take a look at his stats? Lazy journalism.

    Once again, Sanchez’ choice and execution of passes could have been costly. He remains a wonderful player up and he is the best striker we have BUT he could be so much better.

    My Ratings:

    Cech 8
    Bellerin 7
    Mustafi 9
    Koscielny 10
    Monreal 8
    Ramsey 9
    Xhaka 8
    Kolasinac 7
    Ozil 9
    Sanchez 8
    Lacazette 8

    Overall it was a very good performance and one which augurs well for the future.

  25. Big Raddy says:

    BTW the Henry/ Bergkamp discussion is definitely worthy of a post

  26. Big Raddy says:

    LB. 10.14. Yes me too, It made me think that Eddie was talking bolleaux about Iwobi 😀

  27. LB says:

    I think the thing that hasn’t been touched upon is how brilliantly Wenger tactically out thought Podgy.

    All the focus is on how many of their players didn’t turn up but we played in a totally different yesterday.

    There was such a sea change in tactics from the game we lost last season at the lane.

    I am struggling to explain, Slim might be able to, he is pretty good at this stuff?


  28. Red Arnie says:

    Brilliant, LB. 🙂 Thank you. Warm feeling. Did not want to get out of bed today, but finally gave in.

    I do not entirely agree with the ratings. For me, it was not individuals but it was a superb team game, so everyone in the team should be (almost) equally credited.

    So, a 10 for Mustafi I can agree with, 9.5 for Oz, Alexis, Lac and Kos, and 9 for everyone else, including the used and unused subs, 8 for the crowd (would have been 9 if they did not groan for the sub), and 7.5 for the officials.

    Did I forget someone? Oh yes, 11.5 for Wenger. 🙂

  29. GunnerN5 says:

    Morning All,

    Oh Boy nothing feels quite as good as crushing the Olde Enemy. They have been brought back to earth with an almighty thud – that is still resounding in my ears. The team fought for themselves and for the fans, it must have felt really good to Ozil walking off to a standing ovation.

    It will be a crying shame if we lose both Alexis and Mesut at the end of the season, but lets enjoy them while they are still Arsenal players.

    I’m picking up on Raddy’s suggestion and I’m putting together a post on Denis Bergkamp and Ian Wright.

  30. Eddie says:

    oh yeah, Eddie is talking bollox now? We shall see, I will be collecting in 2 years time.
    I remember you dissing me when I kept complaining about the brilliant André Santos. Who? The brilliant Santos, yep, him, usless so and so.

  31. chas says:

    no, not ‘now’, but always

  32. the real chas says:

    I’ve no idea why Eddie now sees fit to impersonate me.
    The comment from 5:41 pm is from her IP address.
    Very strange behaviour.

  33. Eddie says:

    it was an attempt to practice ‘mental insight’ 🙂

  34. the real chas says:

    Ah, that’s ok then.

  35. Big Raddy says:

    If I am alive and remember I will be gloating about Iwobi. He is special.

    Mental insight? Is that like second sight?

  36. the real chas says:

    Meanwhile on twitter, yesterday some knob from the Daily Mail tweeted this……

    Arsenal admin on twitter tweeted this in reply after the game……….

    The Daily Mail knob then started complaining because he got some abuse and attempted to direct how clubs react to journalists on Twitter in the future. You couldn’t plumb the depths of the hypocrisy of the clickbait tosser if you tried.
    (Obviously Arsenal are followed by some obnoxious idiots who do not recognise the boundaries of civilised abuse – no-one condones their actions if he was, indeed, abused in that way)

    p.s. this has been going on Twitter all day, so I thought I’d share it with those who hadn’t seen it (just to confirm in your own minds that you’ve made the right decision to stay off that platform, if nothing else 🙂 )

  37. chas mobile says:

  38. chas mobile says:

  39. chas mobile says:

  40. chas says:

  41. chas mobile says:

  42. chas mobile says:

  43. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Not much to say about the DM nonsense. If you give it out you have to be able to take it, and making a fuss is just embarrassing.

    BTW Mike Dean can have his underground parking spot at the Emirates back.

  44. fatgingergooner says:


    Change in tactics? No, the change was that we worked tirelessly off the ball and instead of just getting back into position and watching the opposition play (like we did away at Watford) we actually effected the areas Tottenham had the ball in and we forced them to play how we wanted them to. This included our front 3 pressing as a unit, often backed up by Ramsey, which forced them to chip long balls into Kane. When they did manage to get it centrally we often forced them wide or backwards by packing the central areas and being aggressive when the ball was played towards Kane or Alli’s feet. Defensively it was our best performance in a long long time and it makes it even more frustrating that we don’t put that effort into every game (but let’s save that for another time).

    So often I’ve watched Sanchez run 40 yards across the field chasing defenders on his own, but the key on Saturday was he didn’t have to. He chased in his area, then when the ball went central Lacazette did the same, then when the ball went left Özil was the next man up and so on. We worked as a unit and backed each other up. It’s simple pressing but when applied correctly it works. We also managed to sustain attacks by winning the ball back quickly and making it difficult for Spurs to play out. I think our second goal came from Xhaka or Ramsey snapping into a tackle in their half and feeding Bellerin which meant he was straight onto their back 4 and able to slide the ball through to Lacazette. I also think that Mustafi being fit made a huge difference to our performance. Not just in the fact he had a blinder, but also it allowed us to push up the field a little more which means Ramsey and Xhaka can get closer to their midfield and make it difficult for them to play through.

    I think aswell that Spurs not really playing with any wide attackers played into our hands. We sometimes struggle with balls down the channels stretching the back 3 (Liverpool seem to do this well against us), but Spurs prefer to get the ball into Alli and Eriksen’s feet in between the lines. Kane is usually the one who works the channels but he looked injured to me on Saturday and his movement was nowhere near what it usually is. That allowed us to stay compact as a 3 and meant that our wing backs could tuck in if needed so we had bodies around the edge of the box when they did get close.

    Going forward we did enough to win the game against a usually very good defence, but I don’t think we were outstanding in that respect and often lacked the final ball (it opened up once we scored but it took a set piece to break through and in the first half we didn’t capitalise on some good opportunities).

    A lot of waffle there LB, people may see it different, but my main point is that I just think we worked far better defensively rather than doing anything unique tactically.

  45. Big Raddy says:

    There is a New Post

  46. fred1266 says:

    6 more days so ex

  47. mickydidit89 says:

    Team to play Huddersfield: Cech, Bellerin, Koscielny, Mustafi, Monreal, Kolasinac, Ramsey, Xhaka, Ozil, Sanchez, Lacazette

    Subs: Ospina, Mertesacker, Wilshere, Giroud, Iwobi, Welbeck, Coquelin

    And I’m in a meeting
    Mesut in
    Enjoy game all
    Keep comments flowing

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