Huddersfield 1 Arsenal 2 – Player Ratings

No Auba or Mesut due to illness and no Rambo with a slight knee.

First Half

Plenty of chances against the bottom team: Laca tackled just as he was about to pull the trigger; Wobbly into the side netting when he should have got his head up.

After a quarter of an hour, a fine cross from Wardrobe allowed Wobbly to expertly cannon a volley off a Huddersfield heel to wrongfoot the keeper and put us one up.

Looking dangerous on the break, we eventually doubled the lead when a driven cross from Maitland-Niles was simply despatched by Lacazette.

Huddersfield huffed and puffed nut were kept at arm’s length. Micki was very good on his return, finding space and using the ball intelligently. Wobbly was also having one of his better games where he looked really dangerous going forward.

Second Half

It’s difficult to say that the second half was comfortable watching.

Aside from a 10 minute spell where we should have got that crucial third goal, It seemed to be a case of holding what we’d got. Huddersfield’s lack of a cutting edge was partly responsible for us looking as though we might keep a clean sheet away from home. Leno did well but bottom of the table finishing was partly responsible for us not conceding earlier in that second period.

Photo by Oli Scarff / AFP / Getty Images

Wardrobe felt sorry for the Terriers in injury time and casually passed into his own net to send the home fans into raptures – their first goal since Adam were a lad.


Three points against the bottom team away from home with a team hit with injuries You can’t really ask for more. Or can you? The gulf in class should have been stamped, double-stamped and triple-stamped. Curiously, the balance of the side was much better in the first half than of recent games.

I didn’t really understand Arsenal’s second half. If Huddersfield had managed to get one back early in the second half would we have just gone up a gear to score a third? I have my doubts.

Maybe the nerves kicked in after such a poor run previously? Maybe the half time team talk was to just try to shut up shop, let the opposition have as much possession as they wished and stay solid?

Either way, it was pretty unconvincing viewing.


Leno – great save early in the second, relatively untroubled by a castrated opponent’s forward line … 7

Mustafi – a liability yet again, some of his passing and decision-making is just shocking … 4

Koscielny – Back in control, definitely one of the classiest players on the pitch – his instant forward pass to Wobbly in the build up to the second goal was excellent … 8

Monreal – struggled manfully as always, let’s hope he stays fit … 7

Maitland-Niles – another ‘chillum in the pocket’ performance, sometimes composed and graceful on the ball, others completely lacking in urgency and nous. You would have thought he would be grabbing the chance to cement a first team spot with both hands and with the utmost eagerness, instead he’s often lackadaisical which is perplexing. Extra point for an assist … 6

Kolasinac – an assist also and he played to his strengths – calves, thighs, shoulders, biceps – shame defending isn’t really his bag … 6

Torreira – Good in the first half, presumably subbed off with a knock? … 6

Guendouzi – I’m still not sure Matteo is a defensive midfielder, but he is still only 19 so maybe even he doesn’t know … 6

Iwobi – dangerous to any defence and to any supporter’s blood pressure. Can be outstanding and then infuriating in the space of ten seconds. Great first half when he looked dangerous. Kept his goal volley down which gains him an extra point … 7

Mkhitaryan – another who had a good first half – lovely to see him breaking the lines, finding space and looking so composed with the ball at his feet – a fine return from injury before understandably fading … 7

Lacazette – I’m sensing a little Wrighty-edge to Laca’s play which I really like, his goal was on a plate but taken with aplomb – love that aggression … 7


Elneny – comical moment when he climbed all over Laca who was waiting for the ball to come down on the edge of the 6 yard box – ran around a lot … 6

Suarez –Β  on for Micki, didn’t really have a chance to shine again … 6

Willock – time wasting sub


Emery – got the job done which is what we ask of him. I liked the team structure far more than in recent weeks – what did he say at half time though? … 7

Wagner – even he can’t keep them from the drop … 4


Moss – oozing both incompetence and lard from every pore … 2



75 Responses to Huddersfield 1 Arsenal 2 – Player Ratings

  1. LBG says:

    Love it Chas…..esp Moss and his pores.
    Difficult to watch, but a win.
    “Are you worried that your (emotional antics and demands on the touchline) might have a negative effect on the pitch?”
    No I’m f****** not! For too long these players had a manager sitting on his hands, not demanding more, a change, determination to get another goal”. ( my words, sorry).
    Chas he also made a point afterwards of saying his number one requirement at half time was a third goal! Clean sheet was good but not as important as third goal, since Hudds could still be dangerous. More rockets up their Arses regularly please, Dick.

  2. VP of Oz says:

    Another excellent post Chas.
    Never heard of the “puffed nut” expression before.
    I had to google it – Frito_lay best explains it, first you hydrate then you dehydrate and then your nut puffs up. Sounds painful.

  3. VP of Oz says:

    damn, you changed it

  4. chas says:

    Sorry, VP.
    Apologies for removing the highlight of the post. Might have to put it back in. There you go. 😊

    Didn’t remember that anyone other than Vines brothers might be up and about.

    I always forget you’ve been up for half a day already.

  5. chas says:

    That reminds me of a time years ago when Peaches accidentally pasted a recipe for Coronation Chicken into one of my match reports while she was formatting it.

    Everyone commented that it was the best bit of the post and asked for more recipes in future reports. πŸ˜•

  6. mickydidit89 says:

    I only read your report out of a deep sense of duty to you, Chas, and all the effort you put into the site πŸ™‚

    This isn’t aimed at anyone, but let’s remember Mustafi is our 4th choice CB, and if Mavro can even walk unaided on two legs, then 5ht choice

    Much as I’m a fan of Iwobi, being local and a worker, the pricipal area of weakness ie difference between us and a top 3/4 side, is the attacking midfield. Iwobi, Mhki (I like both), Ramsey, Mesut, Danny etc simply dont score enough

    England France 3pm today πŸ™‚

  7. chas says:

    Great to know I’m not wasting my time, Micky, ta.

    Thanks for the reminder about the rugby. Forgot there were any games even on yesterday.

    City beating the chavs would be good, too.

  8. mickydidit89 says:

    ha ha, pretty sure I remember the recipe thing πŸ™‚

    Had I penned a chronological sequence of yesterdays viewing, something similar may have happened along the lines of: lovely work by Iwobi. Oh dear, poor end product…wait, there’s . Earl going over for Ireland third try… πŸ™‚

  9. VP of Oz says:

    thanks Chas. The coronation chicken recipe post would’ve been such a laugh.
    Hope you all have a great day today.
    I spent the day vinyl record shopping with my daughter on our bikes. She watched Gang of Youths last night in concert. That band is going to be our next BIG music export from Aust.

    Not much to say about the game sorry. When our world class players feign injury/sickness to avoid playing makes it even harder for those wanting to watch.

  10. mickydidit89 says:

    oh, I thought that was a compliment.

    Clearly others didn’t find the game as dull as moi

  11. chas says:

    It was tedious in the extreme, you’re right.

  12. mickydidit89 says:

    Gang of Youths ….that band is going to be our next BIG music export from Aus

    Wot, better than Kylie and Jason? No way!

    (sorry VP, couldn’t resist πŸ™‚ )

  13. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Fine work chas.

    Agree with your ratings and like you and confused as to why we didn’t push on in the second half. The game was won allowing the team the confidence to play with freedom. Instead we were completely innocuous., make that deadly dull.

    At least it allowed me to do my Italian homework.

  14. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. Don’t forget Rolf Harris.

  15. VP of Oz says:

    showing your age micky, my kids wouldnt know who kylie and jason are yet my 14yr old daughter is wearing an ACDC tshirt that she purchased.

    Kylie’s might be big in the UK but she’s no Sia

  16. VP of Oz says:

    isnt ROLF an acronym? lol

  17. Big Raddy says:

    Arseblog hates Mustafi. According to him the German has lost the confidence of the fans which cannot be recovered. I can only concur.

    Yesterday his performance was dreadful. His passing bizarre – it was almost as if Mustafi is unaware of the colour of his team-mates shirts.

    Young Greek Bloke has to start against Bate

  18. Big Raddy says:

    VP. I am Thunderstruck that Kylie is not as big as AC/DC in Oz πŸ˜€

  19. VP of Oz says:

    BR, dont get me wrong, Kylie Jenner is very popular here but not as big as ACDC, or is she?

  20. VP of Oz says:

    Chas, 2Cellos are croatian so very appropriate:-)

  21. mickydidit89 says:

    Kylie was recently engaged to my brother’s godson. We, the elder males (of uncles, godfathers and family friends) were “good on you” and generally phwoar’ing.

    His mother, on the other hand, took a very different view, and promptly cut him off πŸ™‚

  22. VP of Oz says:

    Kylie has been very unlcuky in love me thinks.
    what team does she support?

  23. LBG says:

    Another watch to assess Wrighty’s comments on Wobbly. Hope he’s right, right, right, but feel he doesn’t make ” natural” decisions on the ball. Head up, cross, for side netting shot; use your left foot for last chance, look along the line for disallowed ( although perhaps unfair there!)
    Agree liked Micky’s early input, and think it significant that early, dynamic, forward passing coming from Ouzi, Micky, even Kos and Nacho, and I think, no Xhaka, is one of the reasons for that.
    Interesting the comment as to not “pushing on” in the second half, as it was a combination of two full backs pushing on too far and Terrier’s substitution that provided Hudds with all their space over the top and down the sides, that made them dangerous (More dangerous than they should have been). Kos a fabulous 9, and pleased to have Nacho back in general. Laca could have had 4 with the right ball played.
    Happy Sunday AAers. Come on you whites. Swing low!

  24. Big Raddy says:

    3 away points and the cricket was better. Happy

    England and City wins will continue the bonhomie.

    VP. IKylie is nowhere near as big in Europe as AC/DC.

    Micky. 8.29. Sounds a bit “Notting Hill” to me

  25. TotalArsenal says:

    Excellent stuff, Chas, and all agreed other than that Iwobi deserved an 8 imo. Pivotally involved in the second goal with a pre-pre-assist by a well-spotted throughball and fine technical finish for his goal. Any game away we win without the Xhaka-Torreira DM partnership is a blessing. Playing with one proper striker and two/three attacking midfielders – two on the ‘wings’ – does seem to suit us much better than trying to fit in both Laca and Auba. Remain pissed off with the exclusion of Ozil but it is what it is. Three points are three points.

  26. chas says:

  27. chas says:

    The following social media exchanges made me feel both sad and guilty for questioning his commitment. 😦

    Images: Ainsley Maitland-Niles responding to fans about his performance against Huddersfield yesterday on his latest Instagram post. [screenshots via @afcDW
    ] #afc

  28. Football Cable says:

    Arsenal were poor despite d win.. Honestly, Huddersfield would have could their way into d game..

  29. LBG says:

    Chas 1133
    Sad that a different generation are ” almost forced” to read the criticism of themselves, because this is what they do. Strong mind needed to read it, even stronger to reply as he has.
    Question however, is his cultural background, family genes, whatever you want to call it such that the “laid back” is ingrained?

  30. RA says:

    Good match report, Chas.

    I didn’t see the game but I just watched the goals and mini-highlights on Sky and we were fortunate.

    – Iwobi’s shot hit the defender a couple of metres in front of him and diverted the ball past the keeper.
    – Kozzer was lucky a penalty was not given against him for handball,
    – Hudds could have scored two more goals and our defence did not have a clue how they missed.

    The three points were very welcome, but we could have been moaning about a loss.

  31. GunnerN5 says:

    Hi Chas, Thanks for taking the time to write about a very forgettable game.

    The team continue to mystify me, they show us glimpses of their talent and then go back into hiding.

    Iwobi – is a great player waiting to happen – two questions (1) how long will we have to wait (2) will it ever happen?

    Koscielny – is a great player and it shows.

    Guendouzi – is very good will become a great versatile player.

    Leno – is an average goalkeeper – we need better,

    Mustafi – is a complete waste of space.

    AMN – is struggling at the moment but looks like he has the tools to be a great.

    Monreal – is still good but is showing his age.

    Lacazette – is a star in need of better support.

    Torriera – started off like a buzz saw – but his blade now needs resharpening.

    Mkhitaryan – is one that show us glimpses of how good he is – but is very inconsistent.

    Kolasinac – gets better the more he plays.

    Suarez – an unknown quantity who has showed us very little in his appearances as a sub.

    Elneny – is a very good squad player.

    We were only a confident striker away from losing badly to the worst team in the EPL – they may become the worst team ever?

    I should be happy at getting 3 points – but frankly the league games are now just an opportunity for UE to try out formations and train the team with his methodology.

    I only watch the league games due to an ingrained habit, any sense of anticipation or excitement is long gone.

  32. GunnerN5 says:

    Oops – so sorry Fred that was too long……….

  33. Red Arnie says:

    Thank you, Raddy, thank you, Chas. πŸ™‚ Sorry, knot ear.

    Got the job done. Onwards and upwards. If come 13 April, we are there or thereabouts, in touch with 4th place, I will be happy. πŸ™‚

  34. LBG says:

    David Silva…..nine years at Shitty! Of all the players AW ” could have signed”, probably the one I most wish hadn’t just been words!

  35. LBG says:

    Interesting assessment of (some) of the squad!
    Terrier ” needs resharpening”. Think the problem, with split CBs, one of which is the biggest waste of Β£35m in living memory, together with marauding full backs, STILL, too far forward when ball is lost, is, would need to be three of him to fill the gap!!
    Elneny would have been a “good” squad player in the Graham era, with a ” very good” defence being him. IMO, of course.

  36. LB says:

    David Silva is obviously a very good player but apart from that the thing that is impressing me — is his hair.

    That really is a good hair job; he looks like one of those Action Men, the ones that were first introduced with hair.

    For the follicly challenged this is a big deal.

    Thanks for the read Chas

    You managed to find an upbeat take on things, to my shame I couldn’t.

  37. Rasp says:

    Thanks chas … for managing to squeeze something out of an uninspiring game!

    I see more positives than negatives. Positives are the 3 points, an away win and the performances of Iwobi, kozzer. Negatives are the failure to crack on in the second half … an Mustafi.

    If UE is half the manager I hope he is, Mustafi will move on in the summer.

  38. LBG says:

    behind him

  39. LBG says:

    Skipp’s big chance!

  40. Rasp says:

    No … not behind him … have you joined the UE out brigade LBG?

  41. LBG says:

    Don’t know what you are talking about, Rasp!! My “behind him” was a correction to the predictive text in my previous regarding Elneny.
    I am on record as a wholehearted supporter of Dick, and feel he should be given a minimum of three windows to prove his credentials.
    Fickleness is not a trait of mine!

  42. LBG says:

    Son should already have been booked for diving, and Leicester 2-0 up. Lucky old Totteringham!

  43. Big Raddy says:

    Spurs so lucky.

  44. Rasp says:

    OK LBG .. your comment followed on from mine and seemed to be a reaction to my line … “Mustafi will move on in the summer” πŸ™‚

  45. LBG says:

    Apology accepted!

  46. LB says:

    I am a bit confused about these Emery in – out comments.

    I don’t remember ever reading a bad word about him on this site, ok, maybe a scratch of the head over a particular player selection here and there but expressing doubt about his future, maybe on other sites, but here? I don’t think so.

  47. fatgingergooner says:

    Youri Tielemens settles into the PL well. I twanged is to sign him a few years ago when he left Anderlecht but he ended up at Monaco. Only young and someone with huge potential. Been fantastic today and ran the game for Leicester.

  48. Rasp says:

    Hi LB, my comment did not refer specifically to on AA. There are several sites (LG in particular) that are already banging the Emery out drum, As far as I know, only one blogger on here has actually stated that we got the wrong man, others have just hinted at their dissatisfaction … all of which is their absolute right.

    But make no mistake, there is a growing movement of the ‘entitled’ who think we should already be winning the league and therefore UE should go.

    Like a lot on here, I’d be happier if we could just see more of the really beautiful flowing football to which we had become accustomed.

  49. Rasp says:

    LBG, I didn’t apologise … just put you straight πŸ™‚

  50. Rasp says:

    City currently beating the chavs by 3 after only 20, minutes … another 3 and we climb to 5th ….

  51. LBG says:

    Shame, then!

  52. Rasp says:

    Absolutely nothing to apologise for unless you’re incredibly thin skinned … it’s not my fault you didn’t reference who you were responding to … if you read back, your comment follows on directly from mine … so it was a perfectly logical assumption ..

  53. LBG says:

    Shame you don’t have the balls or manners to know when an apology is required, and Instead feel a cocky comment about straightening me out is appropriate. I’m done with you, but sure you’re not!

  54. fred1266 says:

    Took me some time to read but it was fine G5

    Shock you find elneny is a good squad player I see him much differently

  55. Big Raddy says:

    Elneny is a good squad player, just not our squad.

  56. Red Arnie says:

    yeh! one more required. πŸ™‚

  57. GunnerN5 says:

    “Good” in comparison to Mustafi – or good for nothing.

    I see Rasp is causing trouble again.

  58. Big Raddy says:

    GN5. Chavs taken apart by an excellent MC performance.

    Sterling is a fantastic player.

    MC can afford to have Jesus, Sane and Mahrez on the bench

  59. GunnerN5 says:

    Yes I just watched the game on TV while I was watching England v France on the computer.

    MC are a stunning team I yearn for the day when Arsenal can compete against teams of that quality, but I fear that with the monetary difference it may not happen.

  60. TotalArsenal says:

    Anyone who has played in midfield will know that Elneny is a more than decent midfielder. The man needs a chance to get game rhythm and a bit of confidence (love from the manager), but like Ozil he is in the no-like-you corner. I happily pair him up with either Xhaka or Torreira when either of them needs a break (and would never play Guendouzi in the DM pivot for reasons stated here many times – play him in front of the pivot if he has to play).

    Re Emery, giving a manager a chance does not mean we cannot be critical of him; I’ll support him but not unconditionally.

    Re Iwobi: he did exactly what he needed to do with the Kola pass: aim at goal and towards the ground, so the keeper has to deal with the bounce as well as the direction. A good goal even if there was a slight deflection.

  61. GunnerN5 says:

    Fine comment TA, you show both reason and knowledge.

  62. Big Raddy says:

    GN5. I did the same – rugger on computer , soccer on TV. And the cricket on my ipad. On a cold , rainy day it was marvellous.

  63. Big Raddy says:

    TA. Elneny has had chances, quite a few of them. What he lacks is something that he simply cannot improve upon and that is pace of both foot and thought.

  64. fred1266 says:

  65. TotalArsenal says:

    BR, not under Emery. For Arsene he was a just outside first eleven squad player, not for the new manager. I see Elneny as tidy, good passer of the ball, good balance between defence and passing forward, decent in the air and good under pressure. Not a top player but we don’t need/ cannot afford only top players.

  66. GunnerN5 says:

    The wonders of modern technology Raddy, when I was a kid we had only gas light.

  67. GunnerN5 says:

    I’m off to watch the evening session of the Coral snooker final.

  68. fatgingergooner says:

    I think the issue with Elneny is he’s not really a specialist in any area. You can’t argue with his effort, and he does rotate possession well, but he doesn’t seem to offer much else. You look at City today and all of their midfielders are either goal/assist threats (Silva’s, De Bruyne, Gundogan) , or amazing at defending (Fernandinho). Elneny doesn’t excel in any one area and others in the squad can attack and defend better than him which is probably why he doesn’t get the games. I’d much rather we give the games to someone like Willock who has potential than a 26 year old who just isn’t really good enough for a club wanting to get back in the top 4.

  69. TotalArsenal says:

    Comparison with MC’s midfield is probably not warranted at this stage, and I am not sure whether the likes of Willock is what we need to get back to top four. Elneny on the other hand can be counted on to do a job. Once we are established in the top four we can look at improving on the likes of Elneny in the squad. Not that Emery sees it like that..

  70. TotalArsenal says:

    The massive Chavs’ loss to MC today – despite Kante in midfield for 90 minutes – probably shows how hard it is now to get the balance in midfield right v teams like MC and Pool. Arsene was struggling with this in his last few seasons and Emery is too.

  71. Malaysian Gunner says:

    Emery says winning is more important than keeping a clean sheet.
    The problem is if your attack is geeting nowhere,the defence has to prevent the otherside scoring.Which brings me to MC.
    They have just smashed Chelsea 6-0.Kun was given too much room and space.I am afraid MC will dominate the epl if nothing is done by UEFA to implement the fair play financial system.
    If not football will go the way in Spain/Germany and Italy.I am sure most fans would be sick of this.I for one will stop watching epl.
    However the FA can make sure all sides have at least 5/6 home grown players like in the 90s for the cl games.
    If not MC/MU/Pool/Chelsea just need to turn up and will win.
    Isnt it boring?

  72. chas says:

    NEW (filler) POST

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