Truly, Ugly, Deeney – Watford Ratings

Troy Deeney being fit to play (when I say fit, I mean breathing and able to walk as long as it’s not uphill and too fast) was the best news this game could have had. With Watford in the relative safety of mid-table obscurity and ourselves being so far off the title pace, meant that there was little to play for except a few points and some comparisons of testes size. Deeney was the vital ingredient in the latter and he didn’t disappoint.

 First Half

Shkodran scoring a carbon copy of his goal against the spuds after 8 minutes calmed any supporter fears that Watford might spawn a couple of early goals as they did at the Emirates last season. It was a perfect delivery from Mesut with which he smashed Cantona’s first to 50 assists record. How the first half finished 1-0 is anybody’s guess. There really were some great chances. 4-2 was Ant and mine’s assessment of the possible goal score.

Amongst our better chances, Auba missed a one on one right at the start of the game, The Beast battered one across the penalty area so quickly that Auba could only get a toe on it and then Mesut got into a magnificent position with a glorious first touch only to lose his composure with the keeper floundering on the deck. Pereyra missed Watford’s best chance skying over after Petr had ended up behind his goal line blocking a free kick.

Second half

The cones did not do their job at the start of the second half. The Arsenal crowd and players all looked as though they wished they could be at home (along with the many who didn’t bother attend). Watford, on the other hand, had their best spell, pressing Arsenal back towards the Clock but without giving us too many heart flutters.

Our first attack of note in the second period resulted in the BVB connection putting us two up. Micki slipped the ball through to Auba with perfect weight, stranding the keeper in no man’s land.

Then came the moments everyone had come to see. A Watford striker went over Maitland-Niles’ knee (in live time it looked to me as if our young Tory had got himself in a position to field a cricket ball rather than make a tackle) and the ref had no option but to give a pen. The pantomime villain stepped up to take the kick, only to allow Cech to make a one handed block which went away from the goal rather than back towards fatty. Cue wild celebrations – it was just like scoring a goal. Two one and things could have gone tits up quickly, but with a two goal lead we were still cruising. Great fun.

Conceding and then saving the penalty woke up both the crowd and the team. We looked comfortable from that moment onward, even with Calum having to deputise for Shkod. The third goal came with a quarter of an hour to go when Micki and Auba reversed roles allowing the Armenian to notch another Arsenal goal so quickly after his crucial effort against Milan. The Emirates crowd even produced a little volume, asking Mr Deeney if he knew what the score was. To his credit, he did seem to be smiling, the hideous gargoyle.


(Ratings are always subjective and always likely to be swayed by confirmation bias. Some like them, others don’t – perhaps it’s worth remembering that they’re there to give you something to bounce off.)

Cech – A save from a penalty against our Troy, no flapping and 200 clean sheets, lovely … 9

Maitland-Niles – a few sloppy passes didn’t detract from a quality performance, defended well with both interceptions and tackles, while looking smooth with the ball at his feet  … 7

Mustafi – Excellent early header, drove the defence and looked more like the leader he could be. Hope his groin isn’t too sore this morning  …7

Holding – All of our defenders struggle against the high press when the rest of the team do not give enough options for a pass, Rob was no exception. Made some fine tackles and blocks, and was even making better decisions about when to just get rid, TA6 style as the game progressed  … 7

Kolasinac – Improving as an Arsenal player, whether that’s partly down to the standard of opposition or down to eating less fish and chips, we’ll find out later  … 7

Elneny – Had a fine game in the centre. Chosen to start alongside Xhaka we might have thought that the midfield would look a bit static and lacking forward drive, but Mo provided plenty of thrust and no small measure of forward attacking passes, too … 8

Xhaka – Granit’s form is improving game by game, his defensive positioning is better and I still love his left foot  … 7

Ozil – No subjective rating is ever possible for Mesut, he oozes class and the number of goals and great chances he creates is testament to that  … 8

Mkhitaryan – Looking more like an Arsenal player with each game, should have had a penalty which Atkinson (Fifa referee, yeah right) chose to ignore to add to his goal and assist … 8

Iwobi – Watching Alex from the upper tier, you can see that he’s seeing great passes all the time, it’s just that, at the moment, his execution is lacking somewhat. It’ll come, keep working hard BIG17  – 6

Aubameyang – Settling in nicely, once he gets his razor-sharp finishing back up to scratch, his partnerships with Mesut and Micky could be most productive  – 7

Subs – Chambers slotted in well, Danny produced a rasper and Jack came on for no good reason.



38 Responses to Truly, Ugly, Deeney – Watford Ratings

  1. Eddie says:

    you are right, the pen save was the best moment of the game 🙂

    I thought it was a good game, we were the better team but most of the time it was end to end at fast pace. Watford were hardly pushovers

    i couldn’t see it properly but at one stage one of our lads was knocked, he got up, it looked as if he punched the opponent in the ribs, and then he had fallen on the pitch again. What was that all about?

  2. Eddie says:

    i take back what I posted about Jamie Carragher. He spat at a car driven by a twat winding him about about Pool losing. The twat was driving and filming, an offence. He was laughing at Carragher, what did he expect? I fooking medal? Some people love starting trouble and then playing innocent victims.

  3. chas says:

    Agree about Carragher.
    Some reckon it will end his Sky Sports career but I think it might enhance it.

  4. chas says:

    By the way, I’m back to work in the middle of this week, so won’t have any time to bore you all with my drivel.

    Thanks for all your support.

  5. Rasp says:

    Great work, thanks for the match report chas ….

    It was a good performance in light of everything that has preceded it lately … barring the victory over AC.

    I’m getting excited about the BVB partnership, all we need now is to see a similar understanding between Ozil and Lacaz when he returns and we’ll be a potent attacking force once more.

    Good to see Holding perform so well. Am I the only one that thinks Mustafi plays better when not partnered by Kosser… it’s an odd one, it shouldn’t be that way … maybe coincidence.

    I agree with FGG about Sanchez’s disruptive effect to our … and now manu’s midfield. Auba is a different type of striker, but at least he spends most of his time where he’s supposed to be … I’m happy we’ve got the better player for our team.

  6. Eddie says:

    ha ha ha, old classic 🙂

    what do you make of the spitting incident?

    and why did you call Deeney ‘our Troy’, not mine he ain’t, fat bastard was puffing after 10 mins

  7. Rasp says:

    Carragher always was gobby … I’m not sure it was even him … although it was the spitting image ….

  8. chas says:


    Not sure about the ‘our Troy’ bit. When I first started meeting northern people, I found their use of “our” in front of their brothers and sisters names a bit odd. Liam and Noel Gallagher use it alot.

    It implies a sort of ownership and as Arsenal owned Deeney yesterday, I suppose that could be the only reasoning. 🙂

  9. GoonerB says:

    Thanks Chas for the report and your pre-match yesterday.

    A good win and hopefully we can go on a winning run now. Very welcome was this win on an independent basis, but as I am want to do I like to look at the greater picture over our last few games, and the ones before these, and put each of them into perspective collectively.

    I feel like we have a lot of unexplored potential in our squad. We still need 3-4 changes and /or additions at the end of the season to really kick on, but I do feel we have the ability in the squad right now to be permanently on a different level than we have seen for most of this season.

    Having been at the Carabou cup final I decided recently to look at the game again from the live footage. I watched it up to the 64 minute mark when we went 3-0 down. Seems like a thumping and us being massively outclassed, which from the score line it is I suppose, but when you actually watch the game more analytically again you realise we were not that distinctly different in a more general sense.

    Their 3rd goal was the only one I felt had more class about it where they really opened us up. The other 2 were more gifts from us in different forms. Outside of this we weren’t being torn apart and carved open at will with new levels of sublime play not witnessed before, and most of the general play looked fairly even.

    Little factors like them being more resolute in how they pressed and defended as a team, how they got players in support of the striker, and how they used the width of the pitch to stretch us and give themselves better passing opportunities when trying to go forwards. I was actually surprised how often they put balls in from wide positions once you looked at it more carefully. City had dotted their i’s and crossed their t’s better, to gain those fine margins in 2-3 areas of play.

    Similarly, when you look at the Milan game, and the stats, we were not as dominant as it seems. They were rather toothless in the last 3rd while we were clinical with our opportunities but they edged it in possession, passes and shots taken, and had more corners and blocked shots against them and I actually don’t think our levels of play were as distinctively different in both of these games. Yesterday may be fairly similar on closer inspection.

    I just feel we need to tweak a few aspects to get that consistently winning formula rather than our traditional season with periods of boom and slump. I always feel it is important to take positive things, where possible, from a loss but to also look for areas of improvement with a win, looking at factors that could undo us in other games if left unaddressed.

    Good win and great report though Chas

  10. GoonerB says:

    Sorry to go off on a more general tangent Chas rather than just comment and give a big thumbs up for this game. I think it was last nights discussion, that I read today, about Iwobi (and other younger players) and whether they are progressing in respect of where they should be age wise. It kind of made me think more generally than just about this game.

    It has been one of my worries for a while that we seem to frequently produce or have promising young players that we deliver to the “knocking on the 1st team door” level where we are looking for them to be polished off into a top player at this level, so to speak.

    We seem to be consistently failing with these players from this point, and I feel something is not right once they get to that position and much of the early promise seems to dissipate, with players always being said to “not be good enough for us”, or “going backwards”, or “failing to realise their potential”.

    Is there a pattern at play here with Arsenal, and is it something that could translate to the general squad inconsistencies we see every season with many players playing beneath their potential?

  11. fred1266 says:

    Nope it will not come

  12. fred1266 says:

    Any word on lacazette injured last I heard he was was out for 6 weeks not sure how much time has passed since that

  13. Eddie says:

    2 weeks fred.

  14. Eddie says:

    rachel misspelled ‘cojones’. Cajones are drawers, cojones is what Deeney cannot see without a mirror. just saying

  15. Eddie says:

    GB says: “It has been one of my worries for a while that we seem to frequently produce or have promising young players that we deliver to the “knocking on the 1st team door” level where we are looking for them to be polished off into a top player at this level, so to speak.

    We seem to be consistently failing with these players from this point, and I feel something is not right once they get to that position and much of the early promise seems to dissipate, with players always being said to “not be good enough for us”, or “going backwards”, or “failing to realise their potential”.

    Is there a pattern at play here with Arsenal, and is it something that could translate to the general squad inconsistencies we see every season with many players playing beneath their potential?”

    in a nutshell – at Arsenal we ruin talent.

    Maybe, but how many of our players did better elsewhere? Not many. So perhaps the nutshell should be – we don’t buy best players and have to do with lesser talent.

  16. LB says:

    I think I’ve got it

    Rachel has no cajones and Deeney has no cojones.

  17. Eddie says:

    ha ha ha, so rachel all gagging to do ‘it’ but Deeney cannot 🙂

  18. RA says:

    A very good Post, Chas, and the ratings are fair enough for me.

    I only saw a part of the first half and then only saw a part of the second half — the whole of one conflated half you might say — so that makes me an expert on that game then??

    There was something listless about the performance, despite the welcome win, and an improvement in some areas, especially Elneny’s distribution and refusal to join in with the sideways – backwards – oops, that’s yours keeper – tactics.

    The listlessness is probably because the players recognise the game is up, and 6th is about all that they can achieve from now until May — altho if they had asked any of us we could have told them that last Xmas – probably better we did not then, or we may now be in a relegation tussle — tho that might have been fun.

    Oddly enough, I think Iwobi has the makings of a good player – trying too hard just now — Maitland-Niles (what is it with young players who have double-barrelled names these days?) is another with plenty of potential, tho a strong word from a strong captain, whom we do not have, might stop him being too careless and laidback in passing and positional play — but that’s being a little critical of a young man, I guess.

    Anyway, it was a good(ish) game and a well earned result which was much needed before next Thursday’s make-or-break game.

  19. RA says:

    So what you are saying LB, is that Rachel has no cajones or cojones, while eenie meanie Deeney has no cojones and no need for cajones? 🙂

  20. fred1266 says:

    GB i don’t think it Arsenal’s fault the players aren’t progressing i think they genuinely doesn’t have what ittakes

    how many of the younger players have gone on to have promising careers I remember when the like of Awobe Hayden etc thinking hey had what it was

    Could it be because we had so much younger players in the pass getting into the first team i think we expect the trend to continue

  21. fred1266 says:

    oh eddie that exactly what i was thinking your just sounds better lol

  22. Eddie says:

    fred, are you flirting with me? Bad idea 🙂

  23. fatgingergooner says:


    As others have suggested, how many of the youngsters we are supposed to have failed have gone on and become quality players? Ozyakup is the only player who springs to mind who seems to have developed elsewhere.

    We are a club who give youngsters a chance and therefore we tend to hold on to the ones who we feel are worth the effort so i suppose it’s difficult to judge based on players who have left as they tend to be sub standard in the first place. We have had a bit of a worrying development in the last couple of years though with youngsters leaving who we wanted to keep. Serge Gnabry, Chris Willock and Marcus Mcguane have all left us recently to try their luck elsewhere, and maybe their development will give us more of an idea if it us holding players back or the players just not being good enough.

    Whilst there is nothing more satisfying than seeing ‘one of our own’ becoming a star player, developing youngsters is not the way to win in this day and age. It’s about buying ready made stars and forming a unit from them. The dream is still to have a side like United in the 90’s, and that is how a legacy is made, but it’s so rare to get that sort of group coming through and so the first model has to be buying players in the transfer market with youngsters being used to supplement the squad where needed.

    It’s a shame, but money has made this the case.

  24. Eddie says:

    how many ManCity players came through the mancunian academy?

  25. Eddie says:

    oooh, game on Thursday and draw for quarter finals Friday noon, hot hot hot. I hope we avoid Atletico, Marseille and Lyon (final is in Lyon in case you didn’t know that micky)

  26. fatgingergooner says:


    Brahim Diaz and Phil Foden have played 49 Premier League minutes between them this season.

    Zinchenko was bought last year for £1.7m so not sure he counts.

  27. fatgingergooner says:


    Let’s finish the Milan job before worrying about the draw!

  28. Eddie says:

    don’t be a woose fattie, The Italian Job is done. And dusted.

  29. Eddie says:

    I hope that father of the spitfire is charged and loses his licence. He is the real culprit in the incident

  30. mickydidit89 says:

    Sorry, busy, but thanks Chas

    Father of Spitfire????

  31. mickydidit89 says:


    Eeeks, Milan get one first half and there will be much gnashing of teeth and clenched buttocks I can tell you

  32. Eddie says:

    spitfire = carragher spat
    father of the girl the spat landed on
    Carragher was a defender, his shots on target were worse than Welbeck’s.

  33. Eddie says:

    clenched buttocks? are you going to pilates?

  34. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh Carragher. Yip saw the vid. Yuk, filthy oik. What kind of grown up chap does that. By all means stop by the roadside and have a full on brawl, but gobbing!

    He deserves to be homeless by Thursday pm, latest 🙂

  35. chas says:


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