Wembley – First Half Ok – Second Woeful – Player Ratings

First Half

Arsenal defended pretty well, restricting the spuds to minor chances. Early on it didn’t seem very likely to be our day when the lino flagged Auba offside when put through brilliantly by Jack. ( I was so looking forward to him bamboozling Lloris).

Note how the linesman is meant to be on the line of the last defender but is in line with Mkhitaryan instead, which means he would see more of Auba

On the break we were poor. The team had been set up with quick, talented players at the sharp end, ideal for effective counter attacking. Misplaced passes were to prove very costly when we had clear overloads.

Second Half

We appeared to come out half asleep (as usual). A goal down in the first five minutes to a hopeful punt into the penalty area. Confidence drained, we could have been 2, 3 or 4 down in the next 25 minutes.

Tottenham sat back, alarmed they hadn’t gone further ahead, and we finally created some chances, the best falling to Lacazette almost on the bell.

LB says:

Things we learnt and thoughts on players.

Forget fourth place.

Mkhitaryan is much better playing on the right, evidence Everton.

Wilshere is not good enough when top level tested.

FGG says:

We just didn’t come out with enough intensity second half and it cost us. Then we fell apart for 20 minutes where we could’ve easily been 3 or 4 down, before finally creating something in the last 5 minutes. Not good enough.

What I learnt today is that whilst we all know we have defensive issues, these last 2 games have shown us how our attacking play is just as much to blame for those defensive frailties. I would argue that we defended much better as a team in the Spurs game (certainly first half) than we did against Everton, but our inability to keep the ball or sustain pressure meant that Spurs had loads of the ball and were able to pin us back in our half. It’s too much to expect our defence to hold out for 90 minutes against the likes of Kane if we are constantly on the back foot. The Everton game showed that when our attack clicks (it’s bound to be inconsistent given how new it is, so I’m not overly worried about the attacking performance) then it’s good enough to cover over defensive frailties.

GIE says :

 The defence did well for the majority of the game but were guilty of giving very poor ball to the midfield.

The midfield were pretty good at holding shape and not letting runners go, but were not making most of the ball when at feet.

The attack, when they did get the ball didn’t do enough with it.

Nearly all the above compound each other, and I found it pretty much the reverse of when we played them at the emirates where we were the ones picking up loose balls off their back line and putting them back under pressure, don’t think we did that enough today although they had a plan to go longer from defence to attack so bypassed those passing channels into midfield where we punished them at home.

Player Ratings 

Cech: kept us in the game but wow has his footwork become embarrassing. 6

Bellerin: tough job dealing with Son although he did it quite well, my beef is that there were too many cheap give away passes which after losing possession forced the pressure back onto Arsenal. Spuds simply didn’t do that. 5

Mustafi: probably one of his best games, very pleased with him. 8

Koscielny: jump man for goodness sake. 6

Monreal: had to stay further back than he normally likes due to out of place Mkhitaryan, did ok. 6

Elneny: used every ounce of his limited talent and was well deployed. 7

Xhaka: never going to be a constant goal threat and never going to offer enough of a defensive shield. 6

Wilshere: ran into blind alleys, made poor passing decisions added very little to the defensive cause, being so slow and short and all. Just not top level materiel. 5

Ozil: the telly Ozil that I saw looked as though he was struggling to get into the game, maybe it was different if you were there. 5

Mkhitaryan: look at the difference when played on the right as per the Everton game with his pin point accurate passing compared to his wayward display today. Easy to get this right after the event but I hope we learn from it. Offered nothing defensively and there was me fearing Iwobi on the left, goodness the left is the Nigerian’s best position and again when he came on he was sent out to the right — why? Both players. 4

Aubameyang: still in his honeymoon period, he gets a pass today, mah. 6

Ratings from LB (written just after the game had ended)

51 Responses to Wembley – First Half Ok – Second Woeful – Player Ratings

  1. mickydidit89 says:


    Chas, I take it you have better things to do 🙂

  2. LB says:

    It was a superb pass from Wilshere unfortunately, to me, it signals the exception that proves the rule.

  3. andy says:

    A hopeful punt into the penalty area? It was actually a perfect curling cross – right onto Kane’s head. If you want to bitch about the goal – you could talk about the failure to challenge Dembele before he passed to Davies (Arsenal midfield terrified of him) the absence of any challenge on Davies – and the fact that Koscielny is half the player he was.

  4. Big Raddy says:

    Morning ALl,

    Copied the above chas link to cheer myself up.

  5. Big Raddy says:

    Ooops. Now I can’t turn it off 😦

  6. Big Raddy says:

    I haven’t seen the game in full having watched much of it on x4 speed. only stopping when there was something exciting.

    Their goal: Once again terrible refereeing and cheating from a Spud. I can’t believe no-one has highlighted this. Nacho is tracking his man and has the chance to hinder Kane’s jump, instead he is pushed from behind and loses balance. Just watch his post-goal reaction.

    This is not to deny the excellence of Kane’s header nor the lack of elevation from Kos but, decent officialdom would have cancelled the goal.

    Lacazette. A poor miss. Had one asked Laca pre-game he would have chosen to have exactly a chance like that, running in with the GK committed and a third of the goal to aim at. He should have scored and won us a point, he didn’t and questions must be asked.

    Lack of confidence, trying too hard, not good enough? Probably all 3, though my guess is that he scores that 7 out of 10 opportunities.

  7. chas says:


    I genuinely didn’t see the shove from Dele Alli on Nacho for their goal. It probably doesn’t help that I never watch with the sound up. Was it remarked upon i the commentary?
    I assumed Nacho was complaining about Kane’s hands on Kos’s shoulders which only happened after Kane was three feet above Kos because Kos didn’t jump.

    The Laca chance was difficult for a right footer coming in at a narrow angle from the right side of the pitch. You can’t bend it round unless you use the outside of the boot.
    Three choices, maybe,
    Wait for the Lloris to go down as he did very early last week against Salah
    Get your shot off before the keeper’s position is set, Wrighty-style
    Blast it and hope.

  8. chas says:

    This made me laugh.

  9. chas says:

    This too, in a totally different way though.

  10. Eddie says:

    less said about that game the better

    Stoke v Brighton was funny. Stoke diver wins a pen and argues with the team mates that he should take it. No, they insist that Charlie Adam should take it, he does and misses 🙂

  11. Eddie says:

    good on Roy Hodgson

  12. Eddie says:

    this is from chas’s amazing source:

  13. Red Arnie says:

    Thank you, Chas and everyone else who contributed.

  14. Red Arnie says:

    Chas. 8:50. top comment

  15. chas says:

  16. Rasp says:

    Morning all … Woy’s gone way up in my estimation … I love that interview 🙂

    My thoughts on where we are:

    Were we better than the sum of our parts ….no

    Did we get our tactics/positioning right …. no

    Are we still 2 – 3 players short of a title winning team … apparently yes

    Do we learn from our mistakes …. seldom

    Is it worth spending big in the summer (do we ever?) whilst AW is in charge … as long as he doesn’t choose the players IMHO …..

    Cech did well yesterday but he hasn’t got another season in him. Xhaka is not the midfielder for us, we need an efficient DM if we want to play attractive attacking football involving the fullbacks.

    Lacazette has suffered whilst with us … it may be that he is one of those confidence players that can’t cope with the pressures of the EPL. We should know by the end of the season … it might be best for all parties to let him go if he can’t find his feet.

    Thankfully we still have a cup final to look forward to and a punt at the Europa league. Top 4 is beyond us now, we should work on how to get the best out of the squad for the rest of the season so it will be easier to decide what’s needed in the summer.

  17. fatgingergooner says:

    I don’t think we should give up on Lacazette. He’s been unfortunate in that he’s had to play in a side that was a bit of a mess first half of the season. If he got the chance to play the Pl games to the end of the year with the likes of Mkhi and Özil pulling the strings then I would bet that he scores far more than he has up to now. I’d actually like to see us play 2 up top in the PL and go all out attack until the end of the season.

  18. FGG, agreed as re Lacazette.

    Fact is, he has had lousy service practically every game he’s played. I feel sorry for the bloke.

    If I had blogged before you, Chas, I would have said likewise as regards Lacazette’s first chance. If the ball was on his left foot, GOAL!

    My gripes ?
    Obvious to me, not to others perhaps. Haven’t noticed anyone saying this… the number one striker in the English game was allowed THREE good chances (all headers).
    1. Ball just too high for him while our defenders, especially Kos, stood still …woeful.
    2. Excellent goal re Kane, but our attempts to contain him and challenge…woeful.
    3. His easiest chance – should have scored. Again, our defence…woeful.

  19. Rasp says:

    I’m pleased I didn’t say we should give up on him then 🙂

    Of course he’s a good player .. but would we have bought Auba if he was banging them in? We can only afford two up front if we get some cover in front of the defence.

  20. Rasp says:

    Xhaka is the one who is not helping the defence. He’s a firm favourite of AW and starts every EPL game

  21. Eddie says:

    chas @10:46 – shit, is this the stadium we are playing at on Thursday??!!

  22. chas says:

    Yep, apparently the game won’t be called off unless the temperature goes below -15 C and at present it’s forecast to be -5 C for the match, so there’s nothing to worry about!!!

  23. chas says:

  24. chas says:

  25. Red Arnie says:

    ha ha ha.

  26. Eddie says:

    I agree, -15 is comfortable 🙂

  27. Eddie says:

    speed skating in Amsterdam 🙂 oh dear god, they really are fooking thick

  28. Red Arnie says:

    anything else would likely be more comfortable now compared to away games in the PL.

  29. Eddie says:

    things are looking up this weekend, magpies are 1 nil up

  30. Red Arnie says:

    ha ha ha ha. thank heavens we have a better ROLF this weekend. 🙂

  31. Eddie says:

    sanchez devastated 🙂 go to battersea you twat

  32. Aaron says:

    Well, I feel slightly better than Laca at the moment, manure just fell flat on their faces, moaninho style.

  33. chas says:

  34. chas says:

    This sort of sums up so much. 🙂

  35. chas says:

    And this…..

  36. VP of Oz says:

    And reports in Germany suggest that Ozil rejected moves to three different European giants, as well as a money spinning offer from China before committing his future to Arsenal.

    SportBild claim that the attacker turned down interest from Manchester United, Barcelona and Paris Saint Germain to stay at the Emirates.

    He also turned his back on an offer from Chinese side Guangzhou Evergrande which would have seen him pocket an incredible £22 million a year.

  37. Ant says:

    ROLF as Micky would say

  38. Ant says:

  39. chas says:

    Holy Fuck

  40. chas says:

  41. chas says:

  42. LB says:

    Morning Chas

    A very enjoyable mixed bag this morning, thanks.

  43. Eddie says:

    yeah, thanks chas

  44. Big Raddy says:

    Morning ALl,

    6.24. What a great start to my day.

    In 1973 I queued overnight to get tickets to see the Who play Quadraphenia at the Lyceum in Covent Garden.. It was the first time they played it to the public. 90 minutes with no other Who songs. Can’t say it was the best Who gig I attended or even in the top 10 …. bit I was there!

    5.15 has it all – brilliant lyrics, superb vocals,Pete’s unique guitar at it’s best ,wonderful horn arrangement and a proper Gooner singing

    Thanks chas

  45. Eddie says:

    my cat playing dead

  46. Big Raddy says:

    Eddie. Animals. Furniture. No.

  47. Eddie says:

    I know Raddy, they took over the house. I have to fight for a space on the sofa! All soft furnishings are ripped by the cat and made smelly by the dogs. I need to do something about it…

  48. Big Raddy says:

    There is a New (and dull) post

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