Arsenal 2 Cardiff 1 – Player Ratings

Mesut as Captain.

What’s this? Have they made up or just a sop against a lower team?

We shall see.

First Half

Absolutely dire in the sleet. Two poor teams.

Cardiff might have thought they shaded it with slightly more dreadful efforts off target.

Stuart MacFarlane

Neither keeper had his hands warmed in 45 minutes of something you could barely call football.

Laca should have had a penalty when kicked from behind in first half stoppage time. Dean was poorly positioned and didn’t see the challenge.

Second Half

There was a slight improvement after the break with Wobbly on for our centre back screenplay writer.

A penalty was awarded at last when (even) Dean couldn’t pretend he hadn’t seen Kola being tripped in the area. Wobbly’s pass behind the defender was the best pass of the whole game and created the penalty. Finally, we had a clear chance of  scoring. Auba obliged.

Laca scored a well deserved second after 83 minutes having got back on his feet after being fouled (one of the only ways of escaping having someone kicking your ankles on a night for the brave).

Cardiff’s consolation was fortunately too little, too late.


A strange team selection which was 100% reflected in a poor first half from the boys in red and white.

No real pattern or structure in Arsenal’s play. I’m still flummoxed.

Still, three valuable points on a miserable January night.

Stuart MacFarlane


Leno – nothing to do, can’t blame him for that  … 7

Lichtsteiner – subbed for Jenks about summed up how effective he was… 6

Mustafi – it seemed incredible that he arose from the dead like Lazarus after seemingly jarring his ankle irreparably to not only continue but also make a few decent challenges – deserves an extra point for tomorrow’s swelling on his ankle  … 7

Elneny – ’tis a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. … 6

Monreal – thank heaven he was fit – our best defender by a mile   … 7

Kolasinac – flat pack special from the wardrobe – has become plan A … 6

Torreira – still have no idea what his role in the team is meant to be and, it seems, neither has he  … 6

Guendouzi – deeper than Torreira in the first half- why? Kicked so many times without recourse from Dean – his legs are going to be blue tomorrow – still only 19 years old, he’s going to be some player if he survives … 7

Ozil – a test or a punishment? – could be either. Not his best performance or his worst. Waved to the crowd when he was subbed  … 6

Lacazette – worked his couilles off as usual – extra point for the decisive goal  … 8

Aubameyang – reminded me of Adebayor’s first touch in the first half, slightly improved after the break – scored with the pen which is all you would ask … 7


Iwobi – added some forward impetus – superb Mesut-like pass for the pen  … 7

Jenkinson – tried hard and did his best while looking slightly like he’s playing in the wrong league  … 6

Ramsey – did ok when I’m sure he would have preferred to stay in his warm sleeping bag, nearly got the third … 6


Emery – some seem to have a clear vision of what his aim is for team structure, I’ve none – three points not to be sniffed at, though, even if it was against relegation fodder … 7

Wagner – ‘brave’ showing from his team of average footballers asked to run around like crazy, nipping at ankles like Jack Russells on heat  … 5



91 Responses to Arsenal 2 Cardiff 1 – Player Ratings

  1. chas says:

  2. mickydidit89 says:

    “t’is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing”

    It’s that chimp again 🙂

    Thanks Chas
    Did Auba look at the ball even for a second when slithering up to net the pen?

  3. RA says:

    So the phantom Chas was there!! 😀

    Well done to you — for going in inclement weather –and for the report.

    Seemed doubly dismal, and the ratings give a useful mini-analysis.

  4. RA says:

    Steady on, Micky, because Chas wrote “t’is a tale …. etc ” does not make him a chimp.

    And good morning to you! 😜

  5. chas says:

    Prolly not

  6. Big Raddy says:

    Great stuff chas. Loved the Shakespeare quote, we are getting so highbrow on AA. Next we will have quotes from Robert Frost.

    Last night should be Elneny’s final start in the shirt. It was no surprise that Cardiff dominated midfield – he was an Invisible Wall without the Wall bit.

    The first half showed just how damaging the injuries are to the squad.

    Iwobi made some difference and as you say, his pass to Wardrobe was the best of the night, though we did play some pretty football in the second half.

    Lacazette my MotM.

  7. Malaysian Gunner says:

    I tell you what. Some of these struggling teams will resort to kicking to retain their epl status. Some of the gunners were kicked. Lacazett and our young french md were both on the receiving end of some
    very harsh and robust tackles.
    Some of these thugs shd be sent off. Arsenal must be more aggressive when confronting these violent tackles. The problem is the ref will punish the gunners while closing an eye to the other teams rough play.Sounds familiar.
    That’s why the cl and europa leagues are more level.
    Hopefully the gunners can come to grips w ith such teams

  8. LBG says:

    “Half the World is composed of people who have something to say and cant, and the other half have nothing to say and keep on saying it”

    Mesut is a genius!

  9. Big Raddy says:

    LBG 😀 Mr. Frost didn’t know diddlysquat

  10. Big Raddy says:

    RC. We are being linked with Yannick Carrasco. Is he any good?

  11. Rasp says:

    Thanks for the report chas. I was lucky not to see the game by the sound of it.

    I did follow various text reports throughout the game and the consensus was much as you have written.

    As regards UE’s vision for the team, I don’t see how anyone can make much of a statement with the injuries we currently have. One thing that I am reminded of was what Unai said a couple of months ago where he said something along the lines that he wanted to give all the established players the chance to prove themselves … not only to him, but to the supporters.

    I think most might conclude from the tough test last night that Elneny and Licht are not up to it.

    As regards Mesut, I’ll repeat what I have said before. He’s brilliant in the right game against the right opposition, but certainly not a player you can build a team around if he can only perform under certain circumstances. He’s a very gifted niche squad player who should start more games than he misses.

  12. RA says:

    Mark Twain is the man BR.

    One of his best quotes is;

    — “It’s better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt”

    Many (all) blogs should have that displayed.

    I put plaster on my mouth long ago when typing — I am also putting plaster on my fingers in future — me smart.

  13. LBG says:

    Rasp ” keep on saying it”.

  14. RA says:

    I have seen Yann the man only in Belgium internationals, BR.

    Wikipedia says:

    Yannick Ferreira Carrasco is a Belgian professional footballer who plays as a winger for Dalian Yifang (?) and the Belgium national team.
    He began his career with Monaco, where he scored 20 goals in 105 professional games, winning Ligue 2 in his first season and finishing runner-up in Ligue 1 in the second.
    Born: 4 September 1993 (age 25 years), Vilvoorde, Belgium
    Height: 1.81 m

  15. Rasp says:

    Very clever LBG

  16. RC78 says:

    BR – Carrasco played for Monaco and Atletico. He is a very fast winger with a decent work rate a good ability to dribble and shoot. Not the best engine and can be a bit of a diva. I would be happy if he joined us because he is a real wing player and we need that. He would definitely add pace and width to our game.

    Our first half was disastrous, we were all over the place…
    Laca put in a good shift again, Guendouzi ran as always, Torreira was OK, Kola industrious and the rest of the team quite anonymous. Monreal our best defender but that does not reflect well on our team really…I am baffled by the coach and also start doubting whether he has a vision for our team…

    Anyways, against CIty, we better improve or we are in for a massive loss

  17. RA says:

    Hi Rasper,

    If we did not all keep repeating things, the blog world would disappear.

    As I admitted years ago, I have never had an original thought — bugger — I forgot me Mark Twain. 🤪

  18. Rasp says:

    Morning RA, we all repeat ourselves. Congenial disagreement is fine, bullying and sarcasm not great. If a blog is not open to different shades of opinion then that’s fine as long as it is made clear to guests. I’d like to think AA is not like that.

  19. RA says:

    Well said, Rasper.

    I am still not able to do much blogging yet, someone is always telling me off as I do struggle with my eyesight problems.

    Anyway, the rumours and counter rumours have been pretty rubbish this month, and the only ones I have heard are about wingers and attacking midfielders.

    It seems we do not care about our rubbish defence — which is puzzling given the injuries to Passthepolos and Kozzer.

    We have Mav and Medley coming thru but I am not convinced Emery trusts the kids — he (actually probably the background recruitment team) seem to prefer old, pre-retirement players. Gawd help us. 🥺

  20. Big Raddy says:

    RC. He sounds like Theo 😀

  21. RA says:

    Just ignore this girls, but I am intrigued as to why my emojis are spewing out ??s
    Testing- testing – stand by your bunks!!

    First: 😎

    Second: 🙂

    Fifth: 😜

  22. RA says:

    Sod me! 🤩

  23. Rasp says:

    I agree RA,it’s a mystery to me why we’re not looking at defenders … I’d certainly take Cahill until the end of the season (if he is available). In the meantime lets hope Mavro and Medley get a chance. I think Mavro was on the bench last night so he must be on the cusp of starting a game soon you’d think.

  24. RC78 says:

    BR – I d say he is very similar to Theo except he is taller, faster, younger and he is better at adding width to the team. He is also a ladies’ magnet so he d be the new Giroud of our team when it comes to our women fanbase.

    Emery said he will not take defenders because we already have too many and he does not want to be piling them up because int he summer, he will have an opportunity to buy better players and offload some of our current players.

    Rumour has it: he is happy with Holding, Sok. He wants to keep Koscielny because of his personality. The rest of our CBs – up in the air. I think Emery missed out on Pepe and then decided not to pursue another one.

    This summer – there will be a clear out. Emery will reduce the squad and he will also create space for young hungry players in the team…

  25. fred1266 says:

    the smile on dean face while huggin matheo


  26. JM says:

    Lacazette + Aubameyang (for Arsenal) = Suárez + Cavani (for Uruguay)

    especially when the team plays a 4-4-2 diamond.

    (Torreira + Xhaka + Guendouzi + Ramsey/Özil/Iwobi) = (Torreira + Vecino + Bentancur + Nández/Lodeiro/Pereiro)

    Uruguay’s back 4 is slightly stronger than our 1st team’s: (Godín + Giménez + Laxalt + Cáceres) against (Koscielny + Sokratis + Monreal/Kolašinac + Bellerin), although Leno is better than Muslera in goal.

  27. TotalArsenal says:

    Great stuff, Chas. It is difficult to beat a team that is down and sad, so 2-1 is about as good as it gets in these circumstances. Three points, something to cheer on for the Bluebirds supporters at the end, and no further injuries… cannot complain. Big test this weekend, even more so after Citeh’s loss to the Barcodes. Hopefully he will then play Xhaka and Torreira in the DM pivot and allow Mesut to shine once more.

  28. fred1266 says:

    Didn’t Guendouzi also make a brilliant pass in the first half

  29. fred1266 says:

    Yannick he alright player IMO , but also similar to mkhitaryan and also not better than Perisic

  30. fatgingergooner says:

    I saw a stat yesterday which said Özil hasn’t started any of our last 5 games against teams in the top half, and 7 of his last 8 starts have been against sides in the bottom half. I guess Emery doesn’t fancy him.

    I always think back to a game earlier in the season when we went away to an in form Bournemouth and he left Özil out in favour of runners like Iwobi even though he’d started the previous 4 league games. Since then he’s struggled to get games.

  31. LB says:

    ‘As regards Mesut, I’ll repeat what I have said before. He’s brilliant in the right game against the right opposition, but certainly not a player you can build a team around if he can only perform under certain circumstances. He’s a very gifted niche squad player who should start more games than he misses.’ The Graham Brady amendment.

  32. LB says:

    Well spotted Fred.

    I thought that Guendouzi upped his passing game substantially last night.

  33. LB says:


    My take is that there was a disagreement between Emery and Ozil around the time of the Bournemouth game. I think that Ozil did ask to leave and was kept in cotton wool on the off chance that someone in the CL wanted to boast their chances of winning it by signing him.

    The sale obviously didn’t happen so power has swung back to Emery in the sense that Ozil plays as and when Emery sees fit and Ozil doesn’t moan.

  34. LB says:

    There were a few Guendouzi passes in the first half that made me think, wow.

    These were in contrast to the absolutely appalling inter play between Lacazette and Auba, those two seem to get a free pass on this but they were poor yesterday and pants against United.

    The only other person in attack who can engage in close, accurate interplay with Ozil is Iwobi and that says everything we need to know about the state of things.

  35. GunnerN5 says:

    The weather here is as cold as our team. It’s -21c with a wind chill of -32c.

    Last night they dished up a plate of freezing cold Cod’s wallop. Even considered the amount of injuries it was still inedible crap.

  36. LB says:


    Do people just go about there normal daily lives as people do here or do those temperatures change things.

    I just cannot get my head around those numbers.

  37. Iluwa says:

    arsenal can win big only when lacazette start as a lone striker while aubameyang super sub. auba misses too much unlike laca, auba the worst winger i ever seen. can only score one on one with empty net. iwobi remain arsenal best player, guendouzi arsenal best midfielder,

  38. Rasp says:

    Interesting take LB … obviously based entirely on speculation 🙂 “The Graham Brady amendment”

  39. Rasp says:

    It looks like the Suarez deal will get over the line now …. Guillem Balague is a fairly reliable source. I do hope supporters will give him a chance, it seems a few have already made their minds up about him.

  40. LB says:

    No longer speculation Rasp, the amendment passed last night and for the first time united all factions.

  41. Rasp says:

    I was referring to your conjecture LB … as I’m sure you are aware …. there may be parallels between the machinations at Arsenal and Brexit …. but they’re lost on me

  42. LB says:

    The bar is pretty low at the moment, if Suarez can’t get over that then he deserves all that comes his way.

    I am enthused by the idea that Emery has worked with him before at Sevilla.

  43. fred1266 says:

    Usually we are right,

  44. LB says:

    By the way does anyone know if Suarez is defensive mid or attacking mid?

  45. Rasp says:

    Yes, I agree. Emery must think he will fit into his system.

  46. Rasp says:

    I think he is seen as a replacement for Ramsey, and in that context more attacking than defensive

  47. fatgingergooner says:

    He seems more attacking than defensive. From little bits I’ve seen I think we are talking a very technical Spaniard with quick feet like Cazorla. Maybe a little bit lightweight but hopefully he can adapt

  48. GunnerN5 says:


    We typically have a long (4/5mths) cold winter here in Canada but this year it’s unusually cold so even though we are accustomed to it we still have to take special precautions.

    Several layers of loose clothing are recommended but I prefer a jacket and pants that are insulated with down, The main danger is to exposed skin which, at these temperatures can get frost bitten in less than 15 minutes, which makes walking very risky.

    The most endangered people are the homeless and local police and agencies will scour the streets and take those that will go to shelters, but many refuse help.

    Personally I’m staying home for the next 4/5 days until the frigid arctic air passes through.

  49. LB says:

    Thanks for that GN5

    Frost bite in less than 15 minutes — scary

  50. Big Raddy says:

    Douzi had one of his best games last night despite the non-stop kicking he got. The imbecile commentator said the fouling was understandable because he works so hard.

  51. Big Raddy says:

    GN5. I went skiing in Lake Louise where the temp was minus 30 at the mountain top. The ski-lifts had heaters in them and they gave out free handwarmers as one got off the lift.

    Even so, it was an unforgettable experience. Any moisture in the air turn instantly to ice. Very beautiful against a blue sky.

  52. GunnerN5 says:

    BR. we are used to the cold temperatures and when my knees would allow my wife and I would walk through the local park every morning, we really enjoyed the brisk air – it was invigorating. But now my knees shout at me so a kilometer is about all I can handle.

  53. chas says:

    Summat tickled these two.

  54. fatgingergooner says:

    They are probably laughing about how pointless that armband is at Arsenal. I can’t remember the last time we had a real captain worthy of that thing!

  55. fred1266 says:

    Denis Suarez has joined Arsenal on loan until the end of this season and extended his contract with parent club Barcelona until June 2021, the LaLiga champions have confirmed.

    The ex-Manchester City and Villarreal midfielder has been linked to a reunion with his former Sevilla boss Unai Emery throughout the January transfer window.

    Arsenal will pay Suarez’s salary throughout his time at Emirates Stadium and the switch contains an option to buy, even though Barca have extended the 25-year-old’s deal by 12 months.

    Since the Catalan giants exercised a buyback clause to sign Suarez from Villarreal in 2016, Suarez has made 71 appearances across all competitions and scored eight goals.

    The transfer is Arsenal’s maiden move in the mid-season window and their first signing since announcing head of recruitment Sven Mislintat will leave the club on February 8.

    Emery would also appear to be in the market for a winger, with speculation over recent days suggesting Inter’s Croatia international Ivan Perisic is an Arsenal target along with Belgium’s Yannick Carrasco, who is currently plying his trade with Dalian Yifang in the Chinese Super League.

  56. fred1266 says:

    Finally got him guys

  57. fred1266 says:

    Probably didn’t get it my joke lol

  58. fred1266 says:

  59. Rasp says:

    Can anyone educate me here … doesn’t he fact that Barca gave made him sign a contract extension mean he could cost us a fortune if we want to buy him in the summer …. even worse, the better he does, the higher the price …. or will there just be a buyout price?

  60. fred1266 says:

    No I think it means that they don’t want to sell

  61. Rasp says:

    The player does have some say about where he plays … they’re not prisoners. If Suarez asks for a transfer then Barca have to make a decision

  62. fatgingergooner says:

    I think it’s more about getting money back for Suarez than asking for crazy amounts or wanting him to stay. I imagine the option to buy price is already agreed between the clubs, but it doesn’t sound like we have an ablogation to buy him like some deals state. If he went back at the end of the year and we didn’t buy him then he’d only have to 12 months left in his original deal and 6 months before talking to foreign clubs, so the new deal stops us sending him back, waiting 6 months and getting him to agree a deal with us for nothing. It also stops him going elsewhere on the cheap because he would’ve been in his last year.

    Smart move from Barca as they are guaranteeing themselves full price for the player, but I don’t think it necessarily means we have to pay over the odds to get him. Just the market price.

  63. Rasp says:

    Thanks FGG …. I know we’re jumping the gun a bit, let’s see how he does. The worst case scenario would be for him to excel and then us be unable to afford him. Some supporters are never happy 😂

  64. fatgingergooner says:

    Reports are £18m transfer fee if we want him at the end of the loan (plus we’ve paid £2m) to loan him, so not crazy money. The new contract also protects Barca if player picks up a long term injury. That way they don’t end up with the Welbeck situation where he just hobbles off on a free transfer!

  65. Rasp says:

    Excellent … I want to see us building a team … not patching one up

  66. LB says:

    Barcelona wanted Suarez to sign a three year extension: the aim I suppose was to protect their asset in case Arsenal do not take up their option to buy — they don’t want him to do a Ramsey.

    Suarez agreed to a one year extension, this protects him if Arsenal do not take up the option (he will still have a place of work) but does not stop him for too long doing a Ramsey.

    I think this deal works all round, we get a chance to have a proper look at the player before buying.

  67. TotalArsenal says:

    501 goal scoring chances… that’s why a team should be build around him and he was signed up for.

    “The truth knocks on the door and you say, go away, I am looking for the truth, and it goes away, Puzzling.” Robert Pirsig 😆

  68. Rasp says:

    Thanks LB, this will be a real test of UE’s acumen … he obviously thinks there is a good player in there … it’s his job to develop him

  69. TotalArsenal says:

    Will be interesting to see where Suarez will play and who he will displace. Good thing is Unai knows him well and they speak the same language, so should have an impact pretty soon.

  70. RA says:


    You are right — the players do have some say in transfer negotiations — to do, or not to do.

    But according to the rumour, Suarez has signed a new contract – that was his decision, so probably a hike in his salary, and it also gives Barca security over their asset.

    I am not too keen with January transfers — always seem like ‘distress’ deals, and for players their current club do not rate. Maybe I am wrong, but …

    Go get another defender, Unai.

  71. RA says:

    How’s it going, TA? More relaxed? 😁

  72. TotalArsenal says:

    Imagine me on a tropical island with all a man could wish for, Redders! 🙂

    Hope your health is keeping up and good to see you are as sharp as ever in your comments.

  73. RA says:

    The tropical island really appeals. 😀

    If you get a chance – I can honestly say that Hawaii is the place to go. Love it.

    If you want a volcano – go to the Big Island (Hawaii); – for fun, great beaches and surfing – then Oahu; then there’s Maui, Kaua’i and Molokai as well as a bunch of others — all those islands, and travel between them costs peanuts.


    [Still getting over the operation – thanks for asking.] 🥺

  74. TotalArsenal says:

    Would love to go and one day I will, RA. 🙂

  75. VP of Oz says:

    So many great literature quotes and references in the post today it puts pressure on the rest of us.
    OK, here goes –
    from what I saw of the game it was a real “Cold spaghetti, cold spaghetti. Whooo, wiggy wiggy wiggy, Mashed banana, mashed banana” …the wiggles

  76. Big Raddy says:

    VP. Bonzer work from the Okker

  77. Rasp says:

    Currently Bournemouth 3 Chekski 0

  78. fred1266 says:

    Who you all voting for

  79. fred1266 says:

  80. fatgingergooner says:

    Up to 4th due to Chelsea’s hammering at Bournemouth! 😂

  81. LB says:

    I see Higuin is working out well for them.

  82. fatgingergooner says:

    Shame about the Spuds comeback but a great set of midweek results which put us in a bit of a bonus position going into the City game meaning a defeat is not catastrophic. United have some very tough games coming up and Chelsea are a bit of shambles at the moment. Maybe top 4 is actually a possibility!?

  83. fred1266 says:

    Clearly giroud is the better player just start him jeez

  84. fred1266 says:

    Yea thought the same thing

  85. mickydidit89 says:

    LB Fred

    First thing I did this morning was look at results. Then zoomed in on sky Chavs report to see team selection re did Higuain start LAMOW

    Then saw the LB comment

  86. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Spurs luck another undeserved win but the Chelsea thrashing was good 😀

  87. Big Raddy says:

    LAMOW ? Is that Devonish?

  88. LBG says:

    Will be disappointed if Smith-Rowe and Eddie go out on loan today, because it would mean Dick 1. Doesn’t think he is going to use them enough 2. He is happy to stick with players who are no longer good enough to be in our squad IMO and 3. This type of player could decide ” the grass could be greener” for them abroad.
    Suarez, Perisic, Carrasco, could be long term “solutions”, but will need time to settle. Try the youngsters out consistently Dick. We are giving you time. Long term quality is more important even than short term Champions League or Europa Cup IMO.

  89. Big Raddy says:

    There is a New Post

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