A Shambles in Stratford – Arsenal Player Ratings

No Mesut, not injured but a tactical decision to leave him out of the squad? What does that say to the other players going into the game? Something’s afoot.

First Half

Two equally poor teams created a roughly equal number of half chances. Really dreadful viewing. Is anyone else sick of watching forwards running around like blue arsed flies trying to close down centre backs with the ball. About 10 minutes of that first half seemed to be spent trying to move 20 yards up the pitch. Shockingly painful to watch.

As Didit said “Sick to the teeth of this passing the bloody thing around between 9 ‘effing defenders all sodding afternoon”

Second Half

We couldn’t be any worse, surely? Oh yes, we could.

Three minutes after the restart, a poorly defended breakdown from a corner and the most committed player on the pitch has a free strike from 14 yards. Leno had no chance.

Torreira and Ramsey on for Xhaka and Mustafi at least gave a semblance of hope. Ramsey, playing without the encumbrance of an Arsenal future started to make things happen, popping up all over in dangerous positions. Chances came and went. Auba had one of his barn door days.

Hector added more hope but ultimately we were just not good enough to score.


Wagner will be happy his side sneaked the points. They did seem hungrier and snappier in the tackle. Arsenal seemed lethargic and listless after a week’s solid training to get the team nailed down and perfect for matchday.

We were swamped in midfield as Kola and A.M-N didn’t help at all, leaving Wobbly, Laca and Auba isolated.

Auba and Laca do not a good combination make, regardless of the fact that they’re two of our best players – no linkage whatsover.

Making a poor West Ham side look ok, FFS.


Leno – Nowt to do except pick the ball out of the back of his net … 6

Maitland-Niles – not sure he found a mint choc shirt with one pass in that dreadful first 45 … 2

Mustafi – awful tackling, think he might be a bit thick … 4

Sokratis – tried hard to shackle both Arnautovic and Carroll … 5

Koscielny – not really much to do as a centre back, had plenty of touches trying to get the ball up to the halfway line … 5

Kolasinac – so far offside for the chances he set up in the second, pretty clueless … 5

Xhaka – No command of the midfield today, though missed having a link player to pass forward to. Most ducked the responsibility of making themselves available for a pass … 4

Guendouzi – passing a bit off today – popped up all over when we really could have done with attempting to establish some midfield control – needs to work on his shooting … 5

Iwobi – flitted in and out of the match like a moth battering its head on a lightbulb – perhaps looked most likely to open up the bus once Ramsey had come on … 5

Aubameyang – not his finest day in a pistachio coloured shirt – perhaps should have had at least one … 4

Lacazette – huffed and puffed without really doing a great deal … 5


Ramsey – my MOTM – looks to have had a weight lifted from his shoulders … 6

Torreira – should have been on from the start sat in front of the back four … 6

Bellerin – suddenly the right flank was an option when he came on … 6


Wagner – Overjoyed his team faced an even worse team today … 6

Emery – Oh dear, not good – strange team selection after a full week to get things right in training, led to a disjointed team performance – no discernible plan visible … 3



You also have some player assessments from LB to savour – you lucky folk.

Leno: couldn’t do anything about the goal, otherwise, and in view that they didn’t score anymore, he was fine.

Koscielny: one of the few bright spots in the sense that he no longer looked out of place.

Mustafi: 6th place defender for a 6th place team.

Big Sok: no mistakes, slightly better than recent past.

Kolasinac: couldn’t get his byline thing up and running and we suffered because of it.

AM-N: so disappointing, poor passing, poor positioning, no penetration, let it not be said that he didn’t get his chances.

Xhaka: another of the few and far between bright spots in this game; that’s to say, Emery finally took of his “I Love Granit” glasses off and hooked him. Another school boy error to gift WH the points.

Guendouzi: not bad, wish he would show a bit more strength, he is muscled off the ball too easily.

Iwobi: in the land of the blind the one eyed man is king.

Lacazzete: ran around a lot in the first half, faded in the second.

Aubameyang: poor close control, poor errrrr pretty much everything really completely ineffectual.

What a crap day when Nasri is the most talented player on the pitch.



69 Responses to A Shambles in Stratford – Arsenal Player Ratings

  1. chas says:

  2. mickydidit89 says:

    Those McFadden pics are brilliant

    Thanks Chas and LB

    Team selection was horrible….agree

  3. chas says:

    Cheers, Micky,
    Liked your comment from last night so have added it into the relevant section of the post. 🙂

  4. mickydidit89 says:

    Ah, ok, whatever floats your boat 🙂

    We were not better because of Ramsey per se, rather that we then had an extra man further up the pitch and were thus taking the game to W’ham a little more

  5. chas says:

  6. VP of Oz says:

    Thanks for the post Chas and LB.
    I just cant get into it. Watching the game made me feel so so flat.
    Its as if we are in the off-season.
    Actually, to watch that game again would be like the video chas posted of the aussie politician holding up a dead carp for as long as he can before running off to barf…

    in other news…
    Vey impressive surfing connections from Aaron.

  7. VP of Oz says:

    love the Niko comment

  8. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Chas. On the button summation of a dreadful performance.

    Selection was inexplicable.

    LB’s ratings amusing and apt.

  9. chas says:

    Couldn’t we have just shoved Mustafi further up the pitch where he could do less damage?

  10. Big Raddy says:

    7.15 pic. A work of art. Wonderful.

    Do Gregg’s still do vegetarian hot pies? If so I must try one when next in UK, they are not quite the quality of a fine Cornish pasty but an acceptable substitute in dire times.

  11. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh cosmic Chas, so add Mustafi to the attack 🙂

  12. Big Raddy says:

    7.47 😀 😀

  13. Big Raddy says:

    Fine idea Micky. Play PEA at CB. and Mustafi at CF.

  14. mickydidit89 says:


    For goodness sake brace up will you, we’re in the middle of a fucking crisis here and all you can think about is hot vegetarian pies

  15. chas says:

    I’m doing Veganuary.

    The fuss made by Piers capital ‘M’ small organ about Greggs’ vegan sausage rolls was pretty hilarious.

  16. mickydidit89 says:

    No idea what you’re on about here Chas. Maybe you are the only one who follows Morgan on Twistter 🙂

  17. chas says:

    I just thought I’d explain that it’s the reason he’s in the Greggs composite.
    Did you just think he was in it because he’s a front bottom like the rest of them?

  18. mickydidit89 says:

    yip 🙂

  19. chas says:

    I think it was on Good Morning Britain but I presume the intersection between Didit Devonian life and early morning ITV programming will be fairly miniscule.

    p.s. I only heard about it on social media. I’d hate anyone to think that I could ever watch that arsehole do anything.

  20. mickydidit89 says:

    Actually, I clicked on the pic and it takes you to the creator’s site. I did get that the images are topical (ie the drone etc) but couldn’t make any connection to Greggs

  21. Pony Eye says:

    “About 10 minutes of that first half seemed to be spent trying to move 20 yards up the pitch” ….. thought you should have pointed out that it was a pattern that kept repeating all match long which you did aka Didit said. ” Sick to the teeth of this passing the bloody thing around between 9 ‘effing defenders all sodding afternoon”.

    The ‘effing defenders set the tone for the rest of the team. I have noticed that when Leno’s pass success rate drops in a match (i.e. booting it away a lot of the time) our performance improves, eg against Fulham.

  22. fred1266 says:

    Can someome explain to me this Wagner joke

  23. fred1266 says:

    The way how emery treating mesut and ramsey reminds me of mourinho and pogba a bit

    Wenger in

    Really hate how ramsey is being treated one our best player in recent years and playing like David Luiz starting over him just typing this makes me angry

  24. chas says:

    Fred, it’s been going on since November and the Wolves game. Has it really taken you this long to notice?

  25. chas says:

    David Luiz?
    Is that a new joke?

  26. chas says:

    Unfortunately BT Sport have got their hands on this one so it’s not on the BBC red button but conversely because it’s on BT, it’s more likely there’ll be a stream somewhere if you do fancy a watch. 🙂

  27. VP of Oz says:

    I get the Wagner joke, excellent stuff.
    But as for Fred, I’m still perplexed in trying to work out which one of the Vines he is?

  28. chas says:

    His IP address is from Trinidad. No word of a lie.

  29. VP of Oz says:


  30. LBG says:

    With due apologies to the real Fred, whoever and wherever he is, I take exception as Senior Vines, to the implication that we would try to impugn the integrity of AA with deception of this quality on the blog.

  31. Rasp says:

    Morning all, it was a dreadful performance where no player shone …. just goes to show that it is a team game. We still lack that strong personality who can take charge and lead the team. It was also clear that the midfield and lack of creativity in the last third were our problems.

    However, there have been some massive over-reactions from across the media and on here …. p…a…t…i..e…n…c….e….!!!

    You don’t need me to remind you of the massive Mayesque task UE faces trying to bring in a new blueprint to our play after a 22 year reign by the most successful manager we’ve ever had.

    We’ve criticised other clubs for being impatient with their new managers and changing them twice a season. It’s a test of the quality of our supporters now to see if we can keep faith and give the new guy a chance. As with AW, we know nothing of the politics of what’s going on behind the scenes. It’s up to you, but I’m gong to reserve judgement until this time next season.

  32. chas says:

    Kings Road 1968

  33. VP of Oz says:

    ok ok
    I now believe that Fred is a real person
    that the Vines are not deceivers of this quality
    no offence to anyone please

    I’ll just wait for the 3rd season of stranger things to start to straighten me up
    lets hope the 2nd season of emery is much better than the 1st

  34. RA says:

    Good Afters, Gentle Folk,

    Well you win some – you lose some; that’s football, and not unexpected — trouble is the ‘lose some’ guff has has been prioritised for about the last 15 years for us.

    For a huge amount of the game I could have sworn we were winning 6 : 0 and were playing carefree, and careless, possession football in our own penalty area with an equal number of Wham players in attendance, usually resulting in the GK kicking the ball out of play, or onto the heads of the Wham defenders who returned it with interest in counter-attack after counter-attack — by them.

    What is that? Tactics? Stupidity? Showing off?

    Rasper is right, Emery has to be given time to mould a new Arsenal, but, some months ago, when questioned about the type of GK we needed, he said something along the lines that modern football required GKs who could play out from the back, like Citeh do.

    OK, but Citeh players do not stand around like statues allowing the Wham players to smother them, and then get tackled or pass the ball to no one in a funny coloured shirt.

    No, they get set at the back, and then unleash some high speed attacks with their players able to dribble and pass with great accuracy.

    Get the right quality of players in first Mr Emery – then play like silly buggers.

  35. LBG says:

    Bournemouth look twice the team we were yesterday.

  36. Gööner In Exile says:

    “Mustafi – awful tackling, think he might be a bit thick”

    Bloody hilarious, if only he wasn’t one of our centre backs 😦

    Most disappointing result, didn’t see the game because thankfully I was doing something more enjoyable (Dad & Son bike ride after my 45 miles round Thetford on a MTB on a cross route in November I am soon to be investing in a full on gravel bike)

    Anyway wasn’t even sure on kick off time or whether we were on TV, so checked BBC at end of our ride and had seen we had lost 1-0 then saw team selection and scratched my head a little more.

    The tinkering is getting a bit much now, either Emery has a plan and can’t get the players to fit in to it and so is still trying to work out who can and who can’t, or there is less of a plan than we hope?

    The problem he has if he wants to implement a new style while trying to achieve top 4 something has to give you can’t drop your best players. If you are axing Ozil because he doesn’t fit the style then axe the rest too, in fact sell all our star names and older but no longer required, put the kids in, all of them, and find younger players and mould them into shape. At least we have the opportunity of seeing improvement and the support can accept some bad days at the office. If 4th is an aim and the fans won’t accelt anything less, we have a long second half of the season in store.

    Final thought, we all criticised Mourinho for axing Mata at Chavs and then arriving at ManUre and preferring Fellaini. I find a worrying similarity with Ozil. Sell him or use him.

  37. LBG says:

    The irony is yesterday was the day to use him from the start and sub if necessary. Next weekend might be the other way round.

  38. Gööner In Exile says:

    Would certainly make more sense in terms of how we played earlier in the season, especially with Mikhi out of the side. Don’t see that Iwobi and especially PEA offer much more defensively but somehow Ozil is scapegoated?

  39. Aaron says:

    Chas and LB,
    Thank you for the details on a dreadful performance.

    As LBG said that game was screaming for Ozil to be played, yet Emery refuses to use him.
    There was NO creativity in the midfield area or link up play- at all.
    Mesut was the answer.
    So, I have stated before, the Arsenal should go with 4 at the back with a super strong cb, need to tighten up the defense and win a few games 1-0 to the Arsenal.
    Emery will not get this team to 4th by outscoring every team.
    He should however, not play Ramsey, Ozil and Xhaka all at the same time, as there is no real pace within that group, and the team will get caught out most of the time if they continue to play a highline.
    If Emery continues with his constant over-tinkering, and neglecting sorting out the defense until the end of the season, the Arsenal will be fortunate to get 8th place.

  40. chas says:

    Always good to see the spuds lose regardless of how shit we are.

    The only surprising thing is the mancs still being behind us on GD.

    Can we miss Europa if we come 7th?

  41. chas says:

    Mike Dean with all the skills …

  42. RA says:

    Forgot to thank, Chas, and LB, for their Post/Ratings.

    Well done Guys. 😁

    It is not a nice thing to say, but regardless of the result, both these teams Manure/Spuds are light years ahead of the current Arsenal.

    That said, I was rooting for Manure, and their win was very welcome.

    [Don’t read this bit: but I enjoyed watching that game for the skills, the pace and the athleticism — contrary to yesterday’s game which was pitiful!]

  43. LB says:

    Hmm, good choice of word — ‘Pitiful’ says it all really.

  44. VP of Oz says:

    GIE what sort of gravel bike. I’m looking at a cannondale slate.

  45. Hi VP, looked at a Cannondale, but not the Slate, that’s serious money and I am by no means a serious biker, not serious enough to warrant that kind of cash!

    I have been using a MTB for a couple of years, enjoying it, but realising on rides with my kids (6 and 4) I am not really getting the use out of it that I could, and I’ve started taking up these road/cross challenges which the MTB was fine on the offload sections but onroad was a serious drag, and heavy to get up hills, so need something between road bike and MTB and the gravel/adventure bikes seem to fit the mould. Been looking at a couple of Boardmans, a Pinnacle (which is one of the shops here’s own brands), GT and Kona Rove. Can’t decide on frame size so means I have to go to the shops, and the January sales are coming to an end, so means I am going to be paying full price.

  46. Gööner In Exile says:

    Also in need of cycle clothing for the more generously proportioned man, so this shop is going to be a serious supplier:



  47. fred1266 says:

    No noticed long time, but was hoping they would change there minds , then seeing how ramsey change the game any time he comes on

    Then it just remind me of mourinho,

  48. fred1266 says:


    Well if some explained the Wagner joke then might get it also

  49. chas says:

    For those wondering what planet Fred is from…

    His 8:22pm “Yea” is in reply to my comment at 9:36am…
    ‘David Luiz?
    Is that a new joke?’

    His 8:25pm “No noticed long time…” is in reply to my comment at 9:35am…
    ‘Fred, it’s been going on since November and the Wolves game. Has it really taken you this long to notice?’

    And his 8:26pm “Vines …” is in reply to VP’s 10:22am…
    ‘I get the Wagner joke, excellent stuff.
    But as for Fred, I’m still perplexed in trying to work out which one of the Vines he is?’

    My comment before that his use of the reply feature in WP might sometimes confuse others as to what he’s on about at a particular time has fallen on stony ground.

    Hope the above explanation clarifies his latest contribution and makes them (the comments) seem less like a stream of consciousness.

  50. LBG says:

    Solar system! But we love him for all that!

  51. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    There’s a reply feature?

  52. chas says:

    Only if you’re logged in as a wordpress user and that is how Fred views the site.

  53. chas says:

    It’s when you’re in the Reader part of WP.
    Like this – see ‘reply’ at the bottom of each comment.

  54. chas says:

    This is what the site looks like to Fred….

  55. chas says:

    Anyone got any idea for a brief post this morning?

  56. mickydidit89 says:


    There appears to be a 10’ish hour delay in response time from Fred.

    I suggest you delay asking him questions by 10’ish hours to close the gap

    That should work

  57. VP of Oz says:

    thank you thank you thank you Chas
    the mystery of Fred is starting to make sense
    I honestly thought it was two people
    Sometimes Fred comments were spot on & current and other times I had no idea what was going on.

    Excllent stuff Fred, keep on going strong

  58. VP of Oz says:

    GIE, I just love the cannondale lefty fork and am keeping a close eye on the Slate on ebay etc. The slate seems to tick the boxes as per what you were saying, a bike for all surfaces and fast. But yes very expensive hence I am looking for 2nd hand. However in Aug this year I will down to only 1 set of school fees so will have extra dosh and plan to buy one in installments if I dont find a 2nd hand one by then.

    I also have to be discreet as my wife will be pissed as I already have a mountain bike and a road bike so a 3rd bike is supposed to be out of the question.

    love the fat lad out the back website. excellent

  59. mickydidit89 says:


    No-one here has any sympathy for you, as we’re all aware of the lengths LB had to go through in order to cushion the blow of announcing to his wife the aquisition of his 57th bicycle ie a private jet and a villa in St Moritz

  60. mickydidit89 says:

    a post? tricky, really tricky. it’s going to be an any-old-shit day 🙂

    A poll

    What is the one thing most likely to get us 4th

    – spending
    – cuddling Mesut
    – sir henry norris

    We/I have 10 mins to get this right

  61. chas says:

    I like the idea of a poll with off the wall choices

  62. chas says:

    I’ll have a crack at it.

  63. Big Raddy says:

    I agree. Not inspired this morning. Will get back in the saddle for the next couple of day’s posts. Maybe an in depth study of which colour boots look best on Bellerin

  64. VP of Oz says:

    if youre doing off the wall choices then dont forget to include Arsene return or Hair Transplant half time talk to the lads

  65. VP of Oz says:

    or Wagner to coach

  66. chas says:

    NEW POST (soz)

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