December starts well! – Unai pops his NLD cherry – Arsenal v spuds Player Ratings

Everything you want to happen in an NLD does happen – Christmas has come early.

Hark the Herald Arsenal Sing, Glory to our new born King.


Leno – several decent saves from Son and Kane to counterbalance his near post calamity for the spuds equaliser… 8

Bellerin – quality throughout – his one small misdemeanour we can forgive – Hector knows what an NLD is all about … 8

Sokratis – Solid, indefatigable, rock-like, showed some pace tracking Kane … 8

Mustafi – demonstrated that he has got something to contribute – warrior-like for a derby which is exactly what’s required … 8

Holding – felt sorry for him – all that bollix about him lunging in for the pen, he was trying to block a potential shot, not making any kind of tackle – it was a dive pure and simple – Mike Dean hang your head in shame – Rob looked good in possession … 8

Kolasinac – stood like a fat sack of potatoes for the spud first goal, playing 3 players onside, but his cut backs were a feature of his play in the Bundesliga and playing in a back five relieves pressure on his defensive shortcomings … 8

Torreira – what a magnificent purchase – sets the tone of Arsenal’s performance with his energy, enthusiasm and will to win. Brings ‘La Garra Charrua’ to Islington. A glorious first goal, too … 9

Xhaka – Granit plays as if the captaincy really means something to him – love his left foot – crossfield balls opened up the spuds in the first half … 8

Mkhitaryan – gave it his all in the first half – sometimes appears a luxury player – perhaps not the blood and guts player for a derby but full of rich quality … 7

Iwobi – looked dangerous – but rightly sacrificed for the second period … 7

Aubameyang – that second goal was so pivotal to the outcome of the match – Lloris didn’t have time to move – a real peach – two goals, great celebrations, back to smiling his tits off … 9


Ramsey – Aaron is really contributing even with his contract disputes – two assists made a big difference to the game’s outcome … 8

Lacazette – the way he skimmed the ball in of Dier’s shin was magnificent … 8

Guendouzi – he loves Arsenal – I love Guendouzi … 8

Other ratings

Unai Emery – masterful half time subs – what a way to pop your NLD cherry … 10

Mike Dean – awful, egocentric performance – thank Dennis it didn’t cost us in the end … -2



42 Responses to December starts well! – Unai pops his NLD cherry – Arsenal v spuds Player Ratings

  1. LBG says:

    Thanks Chas
    We missed you yesterday but will make up for it next week, hopefully.
    Perfect grading other than I would give a a slash grading for heart/passion as in Torreira 9/10 for 💓. Mustafi 8/ 10 for 💓. Even Lichsteiner / 10 for touchline 💓.
    Have a great week AAers. Now for Manure.

  2. chas says:

  3. fred1266 says:

    Iwobi deserved at least a 5

    Could have made it 2-0 and still trying to figure out what he ended up doing

  4. Rasp says:

    10/10 for the match report chas.

    We wanted it more! more passion, more heart, a better team …. I’m delirious ….

    The banana incident is a disgrace and just goes to show you how far behind the tiny totts are in every way.

  5. fatgingergooner says:

    How satisfying is it to watch that video of Diet knowing that ramsey came on second half and ran the game!

    I was really impressed with the side when we went 2-1 down. It was a little scrappy for a few minutes but then Emery managed to calm the team down and we just passed the ball around for a few minutes to slow the game and clear our heads. After that we finished the half strong and I think that was important going into the break. Under Wenger we had a real frenetic nature to our team and we would rush to try and get equalisers straight away and that would often lead to us conceding again on the break, but with Emery we tend to slow the game down again first before then launching sustained attacks. He talks a lot about having control of the game and apart from a 10 minute spell in the first half we absolutely did that both in terms of possession and territory. I don’t remember many times where they had a 3 on 3 or something of that nature. We managed to keep our numbers behind the ball and remained in control, even when losing.

  6. fatgingergooner says:

    I’ve got to say I wasn’t really expecting any more than 4 points from Bournemouth away, Spurs home, and United away, so to have 2 wins so far is fantastic. If we can find a way to get a result at Old Trafford then momentum will really be with us going into a tough Xmas period.

  7. fatgingergooner says:

    Just realised I’ve put Diet instead of Dier. Seems to work though for the fat bastard!!!

    Eric Diet 😂

  8. Red Arnie says:

    “Hark the Herald Arsenal Sing, Glory to our new born King.” ha ha, Chas. 🙂 Great conversation starter.

    Agree with your ratings. Except perhaps the ref. 🙂

  9. RockyLives says:

    Very enjoyable game and excellent ratings Chas.

    I watched most of the Spuds v Chavs game last week and the Spuds looked very good, so I wasn’t especially confident about yesterday (if anything I was expecting a draw).

    But thanks to the result, performance and sheer passion of the team, yesterday now feels like something of a watershed. We were better than the Spudders by as big a margin as they were better than the Chavs a week ago. Of course that doesn’t mean we’d beat the West London mob 8-0 if we played them now, but it does give an indication of the level we’re playing at.

    The melee after their first goal brought back memories of Arsene’s early title-winning teams, who loved nothing more than the occasional mass brawl to show the other lot who was boss.

    Happy days and much respect to Unai.

  10. Rasp says:

    Hi Rocky, good to see your name in type again.

    I agree, I haven’t felt this buzz around the team since the early days with Arsene.

    Is Kolasinac the new Lauren? … no-one messes with him in a melee 🙂

  11. RockyLives says:

    Hiya Rasp

    It’s particularly encouraging when you think that Emery is working mostly with an inherited squad and has not had much chance to bring in “his” players yet.

    The ones he has brought in – Terrier, GoonDoozy – have been great additions. Can’t remember whether Leno was an Emery signing as well but he’s also made a decent start…

    And how refreshing it is to not have to wait until the 70th minute to see a tactical change.

  12. Rasp says:

    Couldn’t agree more Rocky … Arsene has my total respect, but how good it is to see a manager active on the touchline and celebrating goals with as much verve as the players … having said that, the most important thing Unai did apart from the substitutions was to get the players to keep calm and exercise control over the game.

    It will be fascinating to see who (if) he brings in during January. Personally I see the absence of Ozil benefitting Ramsey …. and Xhaka is a much better player with Terrier alongside him doing the donkey work.

  13. Rasp says:

    …. I hope the club can find a way to retain Ramsey if Ozil is not going to feature.

  14. RockyLives says:

    We’re on the same page Rasp.

    I will never feel anything but the greatest affection and gratitude for AW and what he did for us but it was probably time for a change.

    Personally I’d like us to keep Ramsey and consider playing him generally on the right side of midfield (but with the option to move him to CM or the No 10 position when needed).

    It’s starting to look as if Mesut may be entering the final period of his Arsenal career. If we lost both him and Ramsey at the end of the season (or even in January) that would leave a big creativity deficit.

  15. RockyLives says:

    Snap Rasp

  16. RockyLives says:

    Maybe scope for a “poll” post: who should we keep out of Ozil and Ramsey (if we accept it’s likely one of them at least will be going).

  17. Rasp says:

    I understand why the Ox wanted to leave for the more ‘energetic and vibrant’ atmosphere at Pool last season, but we’ve got all that going on at The Arsenal now.

    It was great to watch Ramsey joining in the celebration of Auba’s goal, but there was a point at which he remembered his situation and backed off leaving the rest of the team in a pile on the ground. He clearly loves it when we play beautiful football and he is a part of that. Unai has overcome many challenges in his short time as manager, but the challenge of solving the Ozil/Ramsey conundrum will certainly test him.

  18. GunnerN5 says:

    16) There goes that power shift. This was supposed to be the season where Arsenal were in transition, when they started their daunting post-Wenger journey and, like all fallen dynasties before them, would struggle for years in the wilderness. Manchester United are still trying to find their way more than five years after Sir Alex Ferguson left; how would Arsenal fare in worse conditions?

    Wenger’s work in his final years at the Emirates Stadium may never be respected for what it was. He was largely to blame for a gradual depreciation in results and performances, but he also oversaw their first steps into life without him. He rid the club of most of its deadwood, helped put in place a more secure body of power, and bequeathed upon his successor an excellent squad that could be moulded in their image. Emery deserves immense credit for taking Arsenal back to their seat at the top table in record time, but Wenger pulled the chair out for him.

    Matt Stead

  19. GunnerN5 says:

    Above is the last of 16 conclusion’s by Matt Stead on Football365 – it was very well thought out article and makes easy reading for Arsenal supporters.

  20. Big Raddy says:

    Thank you once again Chas.

    What cheered me (apart from the victory) was the spirit.

    To have two players in Sokratis and Kolasinac who will get into the faces of the opposition when there is a melee is back to the Bould/Adams/Keown days. Even the giant Sissoko backed down. We have needed this for many years.

    Holding was superb throughout.

    I have to talk Dean. We were playing against 12 men. Dier, whose goal was offside, should have been off earlier in the game. It wasn’t a penalty. The man had a shocker and it is not the first time.

    But the very best thing was the Gooners. What an atmosphere, even when we were losing. I would have given a month’s wages to be there.

    BTW – I detest Dele Alli.

  21. Big Raddy says:

    Great to see both Rocky and Micky 😀

  22. GunnerN5 says:

    A Biker, is stumbling through the woods, totally drunk, when he comes upon a preacher baptizing people in the river.
    He proceeds into the water, subsequently bumping into the preacher.
    The preacher turns around and is almost overcome by the smell of alcohol,
    whereupon he asks the Biker,
    “Are you ready to find Jesus?”
    The Biker, shouts, “Yes, I am.”
    So the preacher grabs him and dunks him in the water.
    He pulls him back and asks, “Brother, have you found Jesus?”
    The Biker, replies, “No, I haven’t found Jesus!”
    The preacher, shocked at the answer, dunks him again but for a little longer.
    He again pulls him out of the water and asks,
    “Have you found Jesus, brother?”
    The Biker, answers, “No, I haven’t found Jesus!”
    By this time, the preacher is at his wits end and dunks the Biker, again but this time holds him down for about 30 seconds, and when he begins kicking his arms and legs about, he pulls him up.
    The preacher again asks the Biker, “For the love of God, have you found Jesus?”
    The Biker, staggers upright, wipes his eyes, coughs up a bit of water, catches his breath, and says to the preacher,
    “Are you sure this is where he fell in?”

  23. fatgingergooner says:

    How did yesterday’s atmosphere compare with the best days at the Ems? Has there been a better atmosphere? Barca 2-1 maybe? As an armchair fan I’d be interested to know.

    Yesterday really felt like a moment of change. The fans really connected with this new look team, and I think finally the fans got to see something close to the finished article of exactly the type of football Emery wants to introduce. We’ve seen glimpses, but yesterday we saw about 80 minutes of near perfection, and I for one liked what I saw. Without the ball there was real energy, pressing as a unit, snapping into tackles in midfield, and organisation at the back. With the ball we were moving it quickly and accurately when winning it back in their half, but at the same time patient and controlled (bringing them onto us) when building from the back. As others have said, even at 2-1 the fans and players understood there was a long way to go in the game. Under Wenger we would’ve seen an anxious manager on the touch line, leading to anxiety in the players, and then moans and groans in the stands, but yesterday it was Emery himself who lead the calls for calm. The players responded by keeping the ball for a good few minutes before regaining control at the end of the first half. This surely must’ve kept the fans in the stands calm as well. Personally, I felt confident going into the second half. That definitely wouldn’t have been the case 12 months ago.

    It’s easy to get carried away with 1 good performance, especially when it involves beating your nearest rivals, but it really does feel like the fans can start to look a bit longer term and stop worrying that every defeat will cause us to collapse. Even when on a good run, there was a real fragility in Arsene’s later teams, but i don’t get that feeling now. Our form hasn’t been all the great the last few weeks. We couldn’t hold on at Palace, earned a late draw against Liverpool, got away with one against Wolves, and battled to a good win at Bournemouth, but the fact we didn’t lose any of those games shows that we are quickly becoming a team that grind out results when not at their best. How many times did we see similar sorts of games end in defeat in the last couple of years?

  24. LBG says:

    Surely we have done the Ozil or Ramsey debate before!
    I certainly believe Ramsey’s best position is where he played yesterday. He still has the engine there, and will (perhaps) run more, and get into more potential scoring positions than Mesut when playing there (perhaps). But in my opinion will never have the creativity/genius of Mesut
    Keep Aaron if a reasonable agreement can be made ‘re salary; play him like yesterday generally as an impact player (and as we now have Dick, this can be from half time or soon after!). But if he rates himself better, sorry, bye.
    Most of us could name a few who could offer more.

  25. LBG says:

    Atmosphere was as good as I can remember at Emirates.
    “Continuous Electricity”

  26. GunnerN5 says:


    10- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

    8 – Raheem Sterling

    8 – Sergio Aguero

    8 – Harry Kane

    7 – Eden Hazard

    7 – Callum Wilson

    7 – Mohamed Salah

    7 – Aleksandar Mitrovic

    7 – Glenn Murray

  27. fred1266 says:

    Yea Leno and Sokratis emery signing

  28. fred1266 says:

    Arsenal and Tottenham have both been charged with failing to control their players during Sunday’s north London derby by the Football

  29. fred1266 says:

    Should Diet be fined separately

  30. fred1266 says:

    Unai Emery suggested Arsenal’s contract negotiations with Aaron Ramsey remain “closed” despite being impressed with the midfielder’s form and focus.

    Wales international Ramsey claimed he was ready to pen a new deal when the Gunners withdrew their offer of an extension earlier this year.

    The 27-year-old is a free agent at the end of the season with Bayern Munich, who could table a pre-contract agreement as early as January, believed to be the frontrunners for his signature.

    Ramsey came off the bench at half-time against Tottenham on Sunday and helped instigate the come-from-behind 4-2 victory, leading to fresh calls for Arsenal to reopen talks.

    “Two months ago we spoke together, both for his moment, his present and future. I think it was a very good conversation,” Emery said.

    “I said to you also here in the press conference that I want his focus only on the team, on giving us his performances.

    “His present is as I want, and his future is very important for him and his family.

    “I think in the last matches his focus [is there]. We were speaking between us [the coaches] and I look at him in every match.

    View image on Twitter


    4 – @Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey has provided four Premier League assists as a sub this season – no player has ever assisted more from the bench in a single campaign in the competition. Influence.

    3:14 PM – Dec 2, 2018
    732 people are talking about this
    Twitter Ads info and privacy
    “His focus is positive for us, it helps us. He needs to think about his future, for his family and for him. If he plays like [in the north London derby], it’s the best for him and the best for us.”

    But while he is pleased with Ramsey’s recent contribution, Emery indicated there had no been change to the contract impasse.

    “This conversation is not for today, for us or for me,” he added.

    “It’s one situation that was closed one or two months ago.

    “At the moment the most important thing is he’s smiling, he has the commitment, the behaviour and the performances like yesterday – that’s the best for him and for us.”

  31. RA says:

    That was the first Premier League game I have seen for months.

    My eyesight is improving now, and what a game that was — made me feel ecstatic to see such a performance, with the extraordinary little feller Terrier, all 5′ 5″ of him – made me eat my words about ‘little people’.

    The rather dopy Mike Dean’s blunders did not ruin the game – altho like Moaniho, he seems to think a great game is all about him. Yeah right.

    Terrific to see the cheating Spuds (particularly Ali and Son) – put in their place, and I only hope Rambo and Unai can sort the contract out, because he made a major impact when he came on.

    Sorry to have missed you all today, especially the best author in blogdom, the inestimable Rocky. 🤠

  32. GunnerN5 says:

    Seems like our Emery does not let his emotions interfere in his decision making.

  33. Rasp says:

    Hi Redders, good to see you back. I’m just about to leave work, but just wanted to wish you a full and speedy recovery.

  34. LB says:

    Do you need a short post for tomorrow?

  35. GunnerN5 says:

    Hi RA, great to see you back on AA – I miss your comments. Like Rasp I wish you all the best with your health issues. Looks like this season will a super ride.

  36. RA says:

    Thank you Rasper. That is much appreciated.

    Fingers crossed I will still be around to see our Boys clinch at least 4th place — and maybe….. ????? 🤨

    [Been told to close my laptop — by one of at least 6 nurses I have fallen in love with!! — Not reciprocal – they are used to naughty pillocks like me!!] 🤪

    Bye now.

  37. RA says:

    And you, GN5. — I have had some of your back posts read to me over the last few weeks!! Excellent stuff.

    Dagger eyes is threatening me — gotta go. 😋

  38. chas says:

    Does a bear shit in the woods?🐻

  39. LBG says:

    3rd Round FACup
    Solihull or Blackpool v Arsenal

  40. Big Raddy says:

    Have we ever played Solihull?

  41. Jnyc says:

    Great to see RA in action. It’s those nurse uniforms! They do it for me every time…… As for the Arsenal, things had gotten a bit stale for a couple seasons, and the spirit this year is fun to say the least. Though at least we can say Arsene left us with almost all of this talent, even if they perform best under Emery.

  42. chas says:


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