Chaos at Dean Court – Arsenal FC ratings

First Half

We really looked poor in the first period of the game. Vulnerable on every Bournemouth attack without conceding that many shots on goal, but that ignores the balls across the box which just required a touch to be a goal. Terrier had our one moment of brightness, hitting the post with a decent effort from distance.

Gradually we took control and the magnificent OG was just reward for our domination. Everything was going smoothly up to half-time with a few half chances which might have made it 2-0.

1 minute signalled as injury time – just make sure you go in ahead at the break for the first time this season. Nah, let’s chuck 9 players forward to try to grab the second, tit about doing tricks in their area, lose the ball and concede on the stroke of half time. Wengeresque Arsenal – if that’s not being too unkind to Arsene.

Second Half

Helter skelter all the way. Shed loads of possession, some great chances especially on the break. Arsenal’s mastery over xG seems to have gone. Then bang! Auba finishes after the Wardrobe gets behind the Bournemouth full back.

All photos Stuart MacFarlane

Come one, lads, see the game out – just as a side aspiring to a top four finish would do. ‘No chance’, say the boys in peacoat mint or whatever hideous description of that colour Puma have us playing in. Chances are spurned and Bournemouth sense a way back in.

The substitutions will make us more secure, surely? Nope, far less secure. Ramsey playing in his ‘I’ll do whatever I like’ mode and Guendouzi effective but not as effective as Torreira.

Mustafi’s tackle right on the edge of the area just to give Bournemouth one last sniff was heart-attack inducing.


Written just after the game, I am struggling to understand how we made such hard work of it. Still, job done, a fine three points at a difficult place to go – what the hell am I complaining at?


Leno – had the shot covered which hit the post from our first goalscorer – playing out from the back often became, hoofing it out and losing possession. Oh well … 7

Bellerin – seemed to enjoy the freedom of not having to cover his a*se so much with three at the back … 7

Mustafi – some good, some bad – a typical performance all round … 6

Sokratis – seemed a bit baffled by the pace of the Prem but struggled manfully … 6

Holding – Our most composed centre back again … 7

Kolasinac – good going forward in the second half especially – two vital assists, extra point for that … 6

Torreira – tidied up in his usual effective way. Subbed because he was knackered? … 8

Xhaka – some good, some bad, some sweet, some sour … 7

Iwobi – tried hard, made a few poor decisions, should practice getting his foot over the ball when shooting … 7

Mkhitaryan – my personal most frustrating player of the day – so many good positions wasted – almost non-existent in the first half … 5

Aubameyang – doesn’t really lead the line – a couple of decent half chances spurned before his tap in – 20 goals in 31 games can’t complain … 7


Guendouzi – good enough but why? … 7

Ramsey – why? … 6

Nketiah – brought on to waste time which almost gave Bournemouth enough time to equalise from a free kick … 6



22 Responses to Chaos at Dean Court – Arsenal FC ratings

  1. LBG says:

    Cheers Chas
    You did a much better job than I would have.
    Sometimes reading other so called experts it’s difficult to think they were even at the game.
    BBC make Aubang man of match “ably supported” by Wobbly and Micki!!
    Wonder if everyone is convinced by three at the back. Significant for me that Rob commented on the difficulties with the system. Don’t disrupt his progression. Back to four at the back for the Spuds please, and sorry, if Nacho is not ready, it has to be AM-N at left back (despite wanting him in midfield myself).
    Or……what about giving this guy Thompson a go on Thurs to see what he can offer. Occasionally you get an instant star (Eddie) who could be lifted by the chance to play against Totteringham. Away with the fairies again?.
    All in all, think the European game is very significant to”test” who’s fit and up for the weekend.

  2. Big Raddy says:

    This from Fatgingergooner:

    It’s good to have a CB or 2 who want to attack the ball and get tight to the attackers. The problem we have is that Sokratis and Mustafi are very similar in the way they defend and we end up with nobody covering if either of them fail to win the initial challenge. Koscielny is badly missed in this respect as he is/was very good at reading the play and he has/had the pace to get around and cover any mistakes made by his defensive partners.

    I hope he comes back strong but with his age and the type of injury he’s had I fear that his best days are behind him.

    Got to say though that I was really impressed with Emery’s tactics. Bournemouth’s wingers have been excellent this season, but by playing 3 at the back we managed to get our wing backs in space and that made their wingers defend and put them in places they didn’t want to be and ultimately that won us the game. I also liked the fact he chose a team of hard working players who had the energy and legs to match Bournemouth. It was a fantastic result and one we desperately needed going into the Spurs game next week.

  3. LB says:

    I was just about to put Slim’s comment up there, it really is a top rate little summary.

    Thanks for the read Chas, I was just so relieved by the win I forgot all the frustrating bits really quickly.

  4. Big Raddy says:

    chas. Thank you.

    For once I agree with most of your ratings, though having watched the re-run of the game, It is clear that Mhiki had a stinker and I wouldn’t give him more than a 3.

    Sokratis was lucky to stay on the pitch. He is a vastly experienced player and in any league manhandling players leads to a yellow.

    Mustafi was Mustafi.

    We must hope that Kos is fit for the season run-in and play alongside the fast improving Holding. It was lovely to see Holding show some silky skills in the B’mouth half late in the game – he has good feet for a big man.

    Wobbly had a decent game as did Wardrobe, though as you point out, Wardrobe was assisted by Emery’s unexpected formation.

    Against a strong midfield Xhaka and Terrier did well, they will be sorely tested next Sunday.

    Bellerin was well marked every time he ventured forward but once again had a solid game.

    Which brings us to Auba. If he hadn’t netted a very simple chance one could say he massively disappointed, but he did and everyone will point to the stats. Did he play like this at BD? Hardly contributing and finishing one out of 4?

  5. Big Raddy says:

    Like LB, I was delighted with the win and was fortunate enough to know the result when watching the game.

    Emery’s tactics were courageous. We are not a team which plays Back 3 but it worked and allowed Wardrobe the freedom to attack.

    I don’t have a problem with us attacking to the very last minutes of the first half. Pragmatism isn’t always the best policy. What would Didit say about us defending and holding a lead?

  6. Rasp says:

    Morning all. I am delighted with the result …. not with some individual performances. What pleases me most is that the manager worked out a way for us to win in advance and selected and coached the players to execute his plan. Leaving Ozil on the bench shows that no player is a ‘must’ however much we are paying them.

    Aubameyang is there to score goals … he’s equal top scorer in the EPL – one more than HK… so that’s fine by me, he’s doing a good job.

  7. Rasp says:

    A question for you tactical geniuses ….. Is the ‘not very good in the first half’ a deliberate tactical strategy? It seems that even if we go a goal down in the first 45, we know we can turn it over in the second half.

  8. LBG says:

    Papers saying Mesut needs more peaks and blinders to justify his position. Bollocks. In for Sunday please.

  9. Big Raddy says:

    LBG. As you say, we must start with Ozil on Sunday

  10. Rasp says:

    I would also start with Ozil on Sunday … but wouldn’t be surprised if he gets subbed if they are overrunning us in midfield. It will be very interesting to see UE’s tactics for that game. We are all assuming a return to a back 4 … but maybe not!

  11. Pony Eye says:

    Sorry to disagree about Auba. It wasn’t just a simple tap in. His positioning, his alertness, his reading of the opportunity, his movement, the adjustments to his movement, his pace, these are some of the things behind the “tap in”. Confirmation? He does same time and again. There is no better poacher in all of Europe!

  12. RC78 says:

    Leno – 8. He kept us in the game.
    Bellerin – 6. Nothing good but nothing bad either
    Mustafi – 5. We need to sell him. He is not good enough.
    Sokartis – 6. OK.
    Holding – 6. OK
    Kola – 7. Exposed in the first half but he did well overall. Better going forward than Monreal.

    Xhaka – 6. Still exposed at times but decent passing.
    LT – 6. Not his best game.

    Miky – 6. Creates but also fails to convert. Needs to chill a bit.
    Iwobi – 7. Inconsistent but provided a good pass to Kola leading to the assist to Auba so gets 7.

    Auba – 6. A goal but also a more than average game.

    Subs – Ouzi – OK. Ramsey – Why oh why does he want to complicate simple things?. Nketiah – no comment.

    Emery – 7 A brave decision to change shape and to drop Ozil. Paid off in the end.

    Now for derby against Spurs. We must prepare because Spurs destroyed Chelsea thanks to Pochetinno tactics. I swa we play a very rough 4-4-1-1 with:

    Leno – Bellerin; Mustafi, Holding, Kola – Lichten, LT, Xhaka, AMN – Ozil – Auba

    We need to crowd the midfiled and block the wings. Very defensive indeed but full of running and robust.

  13. fred1266 says:

  14. fred1266 says:

    Oh let’s not forget Iwobi through ball to Kolasinac

  15. RC78 says:

    Fred – I agree and put it in my comments 🙂

    Who thinks that we will win against Totteham?

  16. LBG says:

    Good job it’s a game of opinions.
    Have to disagree re Wardrobe. Nacho superior in all areas of defence and attack.
    Terrier my MOM.
    Please, please don’t include Mustafi in any team against the Spuds!!!

  17. RC78 says:

    LBG – Who can we buy to replace Mustafi? I liked Koulibaly but he is too expensive. What do you make of Bailly?

  18. RC78 says:

    Nothing to do with Arsenal but who should win the Golden Ball according to you?

    For me, it has to be a French player bc it was a World Cup year. There are 3 contenders in the French squad:
    – Varane because he won the CL and the WC;
    – Griezzmann because he won the EL and the WC
    – Mbappe because he won the French League and the WC

    My vote would go to Griezzmann because he was really good in the EL and WC and maintained good form throughout the year.

    People say Modric will win but he has been torrid since the World Cup and he did not win it. He was great in the CL and the WC so ultimately, for me, he should get second or third…

    Here is my Top 10:

    1. Griezmann
    2. Modric
    3. Ronaldo
    4. Varane
    5. Mbappe
    6. Messi
    7. Kane
    8. Hazard
    9. Ramos
    10. Rakitic

  19. LBG says:

    Anybody! Or blood an Academy player! Or don’t replace him….or play Steve Bould!

  20. VP of Oz says:

    RC78, Griezmann dived in a WC final and shouldnt be rewarded.
    Modric or Mbappe

  21. chas says:


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