Wembley Beckons – player ratings for Carabao Semi part two

First half

The chavs came flying out of the blocks, high press, overloading the centre backs with Hazard, Pedro and Willian confusing the whatnots out of Koscielny and Mustafi. Thank Dennis their early goal was cancelled out by Nacho’s crazy double kiss header, else the game could have run away from us.

Our midfield was all over the place with no-one quite sure what they were supposed to be doing as the ball flashed past them.

Gradually we got a toe-hold and had the two best chances in the rest of the first half; a Granit fizzer from a free kick and Mesut’s deflected right footer just before the break.

Second half

So much better second half, even without the cones! Chelsea began to play for the away goal counting after extra time. Their rotational fouling was not penalised by the lenient Oliver. Granit must have had a nose bleed being in the chavs’ six yard box but there he was, at a ridiculous altitude at precisely the right moment; almost as if it was pre-ordained. Alexander missed a chance to put the game to bed which, being kind, was probably harder than it looked. No major scares in the last ten minutes – job done, off to Wembley.


Ospina – Busy Doing Nothing – 2 shots on target for the chavs didn’t leave our Colombian much to do ….7

Monreal – Pinball Wizard – Magnificent commitment throughout, his goal came at exactly the right moment ….9

Mustafi –  Working in the Coal Mine – always tries hard, improved as the game went on….8

Koscielny – Leader of the Pack – seemed to be fighting his injuries even more than usual but still imperious  ….8

Bellerin – The Way You Look Tonight – quiet, didn’t do much at all ….6

Xhaka – Road to Nowhere – summed up Arsenal’s performance, chaotic but Johnny-on-the-spot ….6

Wilshere – Push It – barely got a touch in the first half, an inspiration in the second ….7

Elneny –  Nowhere to Run – covered every blade at the apex of the upside down midfield triangle ….8

Iwobi  – Back Door Man – most tackles, most misplaced passes, bizarre  ….7

Ozil – Pretty Beat Up – the man with the weave decided kicking him was the only way to lessen his impact ….7

Lacazette – So Lonely – even less support than normal with the dog-botherer gone and an extra body in midfield ….7

55 Responses to Wembley Beckons – player ratings for Carabao Semi part two

  1. Zee says:

    Who writ that thur review?

    Pretty good ratings and who would argue with them as individuals, but the team as a whole looked hot and bothered.

    The game was decided by two very unusual deflections, and I do not really have any sympathy with Chelsea as we have suffered our own weird defeats – that’s football.

    But if Chelsea had scored them against us, I would have been really pee-ed off.

    What made it more enjoyable, if possible, was not beating Chelsea, it was not getting to Wembley again — it was because I was there!!

    Woo Hoo —- I have not been to the Ems for a while, and this was a last minute opportunity (well, when you add on the travelling time down from Manchester etc).

    Let me say that again —– Woo Hooo ——loved being there to see history being made.

    BY THE WAY – did I mention that, from where I was sitting, there were some questionable off-sides given against Arsenal in the 2nd half — and no call from anyone for VAR to be used. Who can press the VAR button? Why did it not get used?

  2. Big Raddy says:

    Superb chas. The template for future post matches – you have found your niche.

  3. VP of Oz says:

    Great Post Chas. I wouldve given Xhaka same or more than Iwobi as he did score the winning goal plus I’m one of few that like and rate him.

  4. VP of Oz says:

    Breaking News: Arsenal player Kelechi Nwakali has returned to MVV Maastricht on loan after struggling for regular game time at VVV Venlo.

  5. Got ’em all on vinyl, Chas?

    Regarding music, for those who care but are perhaps unaware…
    Mark E Smith, leader of the Fall has died, aged 60.

    By a blogger on BBC site:
    “Only one Brit in the 22 players starting this game. Pretty sad state of affairs for the British game.”

    Can’t stop, busy day

  6. Big Raddy says:

    Al. Busy day? Long walk from the bar to the girlfirend’s?

  7. Eddie says:

    Big – that BBC blogger would prefer JT and Lampard on the pitch no doubt, I wouldn’t

  8. mickydidit89 says:


    Back door man. Could you clarify this comment please?

    Because I think you are implying Alex prefers the company of other gentlemen 🙂

  9. chas says:

    I was going to put ‘Back Door Bandits’ so that people got a surprise if they googled it. (It’s a porn film whose title stuck in my mind for some reason)

    There isn’t any real reason for Back Door Man. I thought Alex did well in his defensive duties, so I googled song titles with ‘back’ in the title.
    Looking up the Doors track on youtube, I liked the song, so poor Alex got lumbered. Sorry Alex, no slight intended. (just in case someone read this garbage and pointed it out to him) 🙂

  10. chas says:

    This video is entitled Pimball Wizard

    The first comment underneath and replies are……

    Tonny — That deaf, dunb, amd blimd kid sure plays a neam pimball!

    Angerlo Angler
    featured by Eltom Johm!

    Santiago F
    That’s fummy

  11. chas says:

    Last one, I promise.

  12. chas says:

  13. mickydidit89 says:

    As far as I’m concerned, you’re far from out of the woods 🙂

    You knew precisely the reaction you’d get

    At least from me

    Dashing for a while

  14. Rasp says:

    Great job chas ….

  15. Rasp says:

    ’twas a sweet victory … and for the second winning game in a row, my daughter took her totnum supporting boyfriend …. I’m considering getting him a season ticket.

    Zee … there were actually 3 if not 4 incorrect offside decisions given against us.

  16. RC78 says:

    We won the game – not a pretty win but a win

    Would be nice to see the team support our striker a bit more – he is definitely supporting the team with his defending and his runs but he is not getting much service

    Monreal – still think that we should try him as HM but seems he is boosted to do better offensively since Koli arrived

    El Neny – doing well recently
    Xhaka – great spirit yesterday

    Kos – great to have him back just for attitude purposes

    Iwobi – not a fan…

    We beat the Chavs 🙂 Now must beat the Citizens

  17. RC78 says:

    England will have a good team out in the WC – I wouldn’t be so down beat…

    I think your team is as balanced as the 2010 team that was robbed a semi-final by ze German

    Your spine is strong
    You have pace and skills

    I can see a top 8 minimum for you guys

    The favorites would be:
    Heavy favorite: Brazil
    Will be close: Germany, Argentina, Spain
    Could be close: Belgium, France, England, Portugal

    May pull it off somehow: Uruguay, Russia, Poland, Croatia
    Long shot: Egypt

  18. chas says:

    A little dig at someone maybe? 🙂

  19. Rasp says:

    I certainly think you can see from our last two performances that Sanchez leaving has removed the shackles from some of our players.

    The players seem to have a new sense of cohesion now Sanchez has gone. I used to get frustrated for him when he was executing his one man press … yesterday, we doubled even trebled up on players and hunted in packs. No normal human being has the energy levels of Sanchez, but that in itself stopped him from being a team player a lot of the time.

  20. LB says:

    A good fun post Chas on this happy day after that uplifting night.
    Uplifting, actually, I am feeling as happy as a kid in a sweet shop, a pig in pooh, nah, still haven’t got the right description, got it. As happy as an Arsenal supporter after his club knocked out Chelsea in a semi final, yep that’s the one.

  21. Big Raddy says:

    We got lucky.

    Willian got injured and the game changed. Our goals were fortunate in the extreme.

    It doesn’t matter, we won, but let us not pretend this team is better than that with AS – it is not.

  22. chas mobile says:

    I’ll pretend anything I darn well like, thank you very much.
    So much for uplifting, you miserable git. ☺

  23. fatgingergooner says:


    I would disagree. It’s early, but I think this could be a much better ‘team’ than with AS. We badly need to build from the ground up and the realisation that we can no longer rely on a ‘jack in the box’ type player to win us games should make the other players step up and work harder as a unit.

    Sanchez is a fantastic player and was fantastic for us, but he didn’t make us a better unit. These players will have chance now to improve and show what they can do and that’s exciting. A dark Sanchez shaped cloud has been lifted and you get the impression the players are happy about it.

    We were more of an attacking threat with AS, who wouldn’t be, but were we a better team? Time will tell.

  24. GoonerB says:

    Thanks Chas. good ratings. Delighted to be in a final. Really still got fingers crossed for Aubemayeng, as I think pairing him and Lacazette could be phenomenal. I agree with everyone who is saying that we look more of a team and cohesive unit now. Too early to say whether it will have a negative effect with Sanchez going but the last 2 games suggest otherwise, and if we get the above mentioned player I don’t think he will be missed.

  25. Big Raddy says:

    Do you really think there’s someone else in the squad who can score 30 goals a season?

    But I hope you chaps are right and we will be better without him

  26. Eddie says:

    Raddy – one Oliver Giroud is the man you are looking for

  27. GunnerN5 says:

    Individually Sanchez was one of the most amazing players I have seen in an Arsenal kit. My issue with him was that his individuality caused him to be selfish and was moody when things did not go his way ie: he made a run and the pass to him was misplaced. His individual brilliance will be missed, but not his moods, I truly believe that the team will improve without him.

    Good idea on a post match summary – thanks Chas.

  28. GunnerN5 says:

    But then again I’m always optimistic.

  29. mickydidit89 says:

    Re Sanchez

    I find any player leaving so easy to analyse

    They’re all tossers and therefore we’re better off without them

    There, that tidies up my view

  30. mickydidit89 says:

    nb those choosing to leave, obviously, rather than the poor fellows being given the heeve ho

  31. fred1266 says:

    Apparently not happening any more

  32. fred1266 says:

    Only lacazette I can see scoring 30 goals hopefully getting supply from Henrick and ozil helps him

  33. fatgingergooner says:

    I think Lacazette could get the goals once we’ve figured out a way to play that gets him chances and in space. At the moment he’s having to do a lot of donkey work to get us up the pitch. Once confidence grows and our passing becomes more efficient he will start to bang them in.

  34. chas says:

    Old but good

  35. fatgingergooner says:

    Best signing Arsenal can make right now is Mesut Özil to a new deal. If he leaves it would be a disaster. There aren’t any players available on our radar at the moment who could produce what he does for us (regardless of what the critics say).

    Just thought I’d compare his stats with Fabregas last 5 seasons for us:

    Games 207
    Goals 50
    Assists 82

    Games 181
    Goals 36
    Assists 63

    Mesut still has the rest of this season and if he stays fit he might get pretty close to Fabregas stats. When you consider just how good Cesc was in those 5 years for us, that’s pretty impressive.

    We had a couple of poor seasons from when Cesc left and Mesut arrived (Gervinho anyone!?) and if Özil leaves I can only see a similar dip, only given our position now a further dip could be a huge blow and a huge rebuilding job. If we can keep Mesut then that’s one major piece of the puzzle we don’t need to worry about and it would allow us to strengthen other key areas.

    Sign da ting, Mesut! Please!!! 😩

  36. Eddie says:

    Ollie to Chelsea????????????????? NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  37. mickydidit89 says:

    Belated Motning all

    Arsenal FC first club to sign sponsorship deal with a Cryptocurrency.

    So Auba off? Not in the least bit surprised. Way too good to have been true

  38. mickydidit89 says:

    Great pics and a classic cat vid. Thanks

  39. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    6.32. Very funny

  40. mickydidit89 says:

    What really shocks, appalls and even disgusts me is the thought that I’ve been had

    Were those still snaps of Auba packing his belongings in to his car boot in fact still snaps of him removing stuff?

  41. chas says:

    Twitter thread……

    Jamie Susskind‏

    I took the tube to work this morning at rush hour. It was absolutely mobbed. Carnage. You know the drill. Queues of anxious commuters waiting to board. TFL guy yelling incoherently about the doors.

    Managed to squeeze on. The usual smell of bad breath and shower gel.

    There’s normally a sort of blitz spirit on these occasions. Dark humour. How can there not be, when you can literally smell what the person next to you had for dinner last night?

    But today was different. The crowd was tetchy. There had been some jostling on the platform, and the odd (half-embarrassed) cry of “move DOWN”. When I boarded, a lady with a strong Liverpudlian accent had started yelling at the guy next to her for squashing her arm.

    So we’re barrelling along between stations, and we are squeezed in TIGHT. Barely able to move my head, I turn my head and look to the right.

    What I see there chills me to my very core.

    About three feet away, there’s a small bloke standing with his back to the door. Must be 16/17 years old. He is truly hemmed in, arms locked to his side, his wee head like the end of a sausage poking out of a hot dog. And the look on his face is one of sheer terror.

    His eyes are wide. His nostrils are flared. He’s moving the top of his mouth in a circular motion and frantically crinkling and uncrinkling his nose.

    The poor bastard is about to sneeze.

    For a moment I wonder if he might be able to suppress it. He’s trying his best. He’s doing everything he can. But I can see that he is ultimately powerless. Like a gathering storm, the sneeze cannot be resisted. It is a force of nature.

    I enter a state of high alertness. On a quick calculation I reckon that I am outside of the immediate blast radius, and so am probably safe. But there must be five people in direct danger. Five grumpy commuters. One of them is Angry Scouse Lady.

    In the microsecond before the sneeze comes, I lock eyes with the guy. He looks at me like a man who has been sent to the gallows. I try to look sympathetic.

    I can still see it in slow motion. It begins as a sort of spasm deep down inside the guy, an irrepressible wave of energy building from his abdomen, spreading up through his chest and neck, rushing to burst out through his nose.

    His head jerks back, hitting the door behind him. His eyes are closed. In the same second, the people surrounding him begin instinctively to recoil

    I can see Angry Scouse Lady’s eyes widening as she realises, much too late, what has befallen her.

    But at the very moment of climax, the instant when I thought my fellow Londoners would be covered in nasal debris, something incredible happened. I’ll remember it til the day I die.

    His jaw clamped shut, our man somehow takes the full brunt of the sneeze internally. His entire face – cheeks and upper neck area – expand outward like a bullfrog before rapidly contracting again. He emits two noises simultaneously: a high-pitched squeak and a deep, gutteral moan

    It was LOUD. Half the carriage crane to look. No one knows what’s going on. The guy’s eyes are half-closed and streaming with moisture. Were it not for the passengers propping him up, he’d have collapsed from the effort.

    I’ve never seen anything like it. It brought to mind a story I saw recently where a dude ruptured his throat trying to suppress a sneeze (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-42687970 …)

    After a few seconds he opened his eyes and we again acknowledged each other’s presence. He must have seen the admiration on my face because he gave me an imperceptible nod – regal, magnanimous – modestly recognising the scale of his achievement, but without wishing to gloat

    That guy is my morning hero, and I wrote this thread in homage to him.

  42. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. Early days, there is still a week to raise and lower expectations.

  43. chas says:

    Dirty Sanchez post?

  44. chas says:

    Haha, just saw it land on twitter

  45. Big Raddy says:

    There is a New Post.

    I know we have already discussed the chap but having written a farewell to Le Coq and Theo, I felt it was due.

  46. RC78 says:

    – Chelsea enquires about Giroud…but AW shut the door until June
    – Aubameyang discussions still held
    – AW still monitoring in defense

  47. RC78 says:

    AW – Miky can also play Box to Box…NO WAY!

    We have Wilshere, Xhaka, El Neny and Ramsey there – why make Miky play there.

    Let us push him forward -> Winger or Attacking Mid, this is our need with Walcott and Sanchez gone and Iwobi being below par

  48. GoonerB says:

    Morning all.

    Not only do I feel Aubemeyang’s individual goals moving forwards are a key to us actually being stronger after this TW, even with Sanchez going, I also feel his signing would have a positive double whammy that it would bring the best out of Laca and his goal rate would significantly increase. This is a crucial partnership to get in place for me.

    The second crucial partnership is Jack and Mesut who I feel could form one of the best CM units in world football so the signing of new contracts with these 2 is critical.

    This is one TW where we should ensure we don’t lose out by quibbling over a £10m discrepancy in valuation or in a £40kpw and £20kpw difference in contracts for Ozil and Jack respectively.

    There has been movement in the back room area that potentially indicates a new positive era. We have but a few days left to present a new strong positive Arsenal that the world and its top players sits up and takes notice of again, or to present the same image of a second tier club with limited ambition that we have fostered over the last 3 years or so.

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