Arsenal 2 Newcastle 0 – Player Ratings

No Xhaka, no Kos, Curly is last man standing with Torreira banned. Iwobi gets a run with Auba and Micki as firepower off the bench.

First Half

Consider the Benitez Bus well and truly parked – the wheels were off and it was being shoved backwards and forwards across the 18 yard box on a massive trolley jack.

Nothing to speak of in the first 30 apart from a seemingly perfect goal from Ramsey ruled out by the replusive Taylor for some ‘six of one and half a dozen of the other’ shirt tugging which had no influence on the goal.

Finally a ball broke for us in the area with a cannily crafted assist from two Magpie defenders; Rambo’s left slotting it in off the far post.

Newcastle had one token effort from Rondon which was going wide before some nice interchange created the best chance of the half when Laca swivelled but his shot miraculously cannoned off a square head to leave the score at 1-0 at the break.

Halftime foul count Arsenal 8 Newcastle 4 – yeah right.

Second Half

More of the same from Newcastle – a tedious desire to suck the life out of a game of football.

Auba for Iwobi had an immediate effect. His pace was electric down the right wing but couldn’t quite find Laca with a driven cross. The second when it came was the same combination, an Auba header and Laca slipping round the back to lob the keeper.

Stuart MacFarlane on twitter

The chances now started to flow properly and we should have had a third when Taylor decided he’d seen a handball from Laca which came off a massive goalkeeping glove! He really was terrible tonight – the comical booking of SeadK straight out of the Mike Dean book of celebrity reffing.


A perfect start to April with Newcastle being the only fools on Fools’ Day. Bus parking got exactly what it received – absolutely sweet FA.


Leno – nothing to do against the shot shy Toon  ….. 7

Ainsley – recovered from his knock and played competently throughout   ….. 7

Shkod – some on social media still having a pop even when he does nothing wrong -smh ….. 7

Papa – solid, steely, indefatigable ….. 8

Nacho – another fine performance from La Cabra – ridiculous booking dished out by the man from the Manchester region   ….. 8

Wardrobe – rampaging and rollocking, just couldn’t find that crucial final ball ….. 7

Guendouzi – still caught in possession too often but with no protection from the ref – must have touched the ball most? – never hides ….. 7

Ramsey – crucial goal – not sure what his injury was as he jogged off comfortably enough ….. 7

Iwobi – tried to unpick the bus station doors to no avail  ….. 7

Ozil – all over the pitch, needs to take his class to some away grounds     ….. 8

Laca – didn’t look like he was going to have a right place, right time night until he popped up chasing Auba’s header ….. 8


Auba – made a difference – he really suits that last half hour cameo  ….. 8

Elneny – he came, he saw, he Mo’ed ….. 7

Micki – time wasting sub to allow Mesut to get an ovation


Emery – Everything right again at home against an uninspiring negative Newcastle team – Let’s come up with an away plan now, Unai ….. 8

The Spanish Wagner – Tediousness personified ….. 3

Referee – so many calls wrong it was ridiculous – no wonder we can’t provide refs for big international tournaments – he’s meant to be one of the better ones …. 0



37 Responses to Arsenal 2 Newcastle 0 – Player Ratings

  1. chas says:

  2. chas says:

    The acting from the Toon player here is just disgraceful.
    Don’t they feel ashamed?

  3. chas says:

    Stuart MacFarlane’s photo of Unai after the 2nd goal went in.
    Not quite Simeone but getting there 🙂

  4. LBG says:

    Clear, honest, accurate Chas.
    Two players booked, one for dissent!!? Kola should have given him a Glasgow kiss to say thank you. Ouzi my MOM. ” Delaying on the ball”, ” caught in possession” comments are far more about poor passes to him from defenders when sometimes closed by three oppos, than his deficiency, IMO. Does have to bulk up and win 50/50 front on tackles more, but given his age and where he was plucked from, the buy of the last two seasons for me.
    Best League, worst referees.

  5. LBG says:

    ” Victoria Despiticus Taylorc***icus”

  6. LB says:

    Thanks for that Chas

    3rd, loving it……..

  7. LB says:

    Ok, you are going to hate me for this.
    Dear old Nacho is an old goat but he is a male goat so it should be El Cabra.
    Too pedantic?

  8. Big Raddy says:

    chas. Excellent. You improve every game

  9. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers Chas. This was a game of three quality players and eight hard working players on the night. Keeping the ball in the Newcastle half ala Barca was the right tactics on the night, so I agree with your score for Emery.

    Ramsey, Ozil and Laca were fabulous and had the Magpies in a constant spin. It is good to see Emery embracing Mesut again and with him we have that extra, Bergkampesque, dimension in our play. Ramsey had the thrust and energy in midfield and now also looks to add good value to every attacking ball he plays (let’s hope injuries don’t stop him once again from properly influencing our season). Laca is a pack of hyenas in one: a constant pest to the Magpies’ defence and he deserved a hattrick last night. Also good performances by Kola, AMN (Brexiteer) and Guendouzi, who all showed promise.

  10. chas says:

    Doing it last night I couldn’t be arsed to look it up

  11. RA says:

    Good Morning Everybodies,

    Super-dooper report Chazzer, and exactly as I recall it! — well I misses some of the game, but I trust you anyway) 😜

    Unlike the view on some other blogs, I do not hold any truck with conspiracy theories involving referees acting as a cabal to do a dirty on Arsenal – sounds just too Marvel Comics to me/myself/I.

    However, Taylor really gets my goat, or ‘mi cabra’ as LB would say, for his sheer incompetence, altho having heard what Carragher said in lamely excusing another ref for giving that dreadful offside decision for the Chav’s equaliser against poor old Cardiff at the weekend, I despair that refs will ever get better given that most half-asssed ex-players are also clueless, and prepared to forgive them, unless it was given against their own Alma Mata.

    In Taylor’s case, what adds to my dislike is that he has a face like the South end of a horse trotting North.

    I have a concern about Go-onDozie, not a major one, but a concern none-the-less. Where has his early season timely tackle gone, will he ever learn to pass to a team-mate not surrounded by 4 opponents, will he stop falling over his own feet, why is he looking so damned slow?

    The contra to the above, is that he showed, early doors, [Aug/Dec] that he has all the necessary attributes to be a top gunner, and the current extended blip is simply a function of a young man growing into his skin, and on the way to learning that consistency is key to a professional career. Maybe?

    [Line up to tell me I am too hard on the lad – and maybe so – but I call it as I see it, and no rose tinted glasses for me, for players having the honour to represent my club. Soz.]

  12. RC78 says:

    What if Lacazette has become the first name on the sheet? He is really working well in the past few months besides his stupid red card…

    If Ozil continues to be as industrious, maybe he will stay on meaning that Mikhy may have to pack his bags…

    Shame to see Ramsey at his best when he is about to leave. Who fecked up his contract negotiation?

    Sokratis really coming through as a solid performer while Kolasinac has made the left wing-back his own. La Cabra (as I have been saying for a while) is more comfortable as a LCB – his lack of pace does not hurt us in this spot and his abilities to read the game and block/intercept passes are massive value addition to our team..

    Guendouzi – continuing his growth and feeling more comfortable. Needs to tidy up his…game at times. Maybe a haircut would allow him to see the game better?

    Iwobi – still on alternative flow…he can be outstanding or go missing as well.

    Auba – decisive as always, especially as a super-sub BUT I like him as a starter as well.

    Overall – team is growing and playing with more effectiveness. With a good summer transfer window, we may well be positioned for greater things next year…Let us see.

    Spots to be improved:
    CB – we still need a major presence in the back. Why not gamble on Moukandji?
    LB – we need an alternative to Kolasinac. I like Guerreiro from Dortmund.
    DM – we really need one guy like Gueye in the team
    CM – we still need one guy like Ndombele or Allan or even Doucoure in the team
    FW/Winger – we still need that wide player like Pepe or even Willian.
    ST – we need a back up striker in the mould of Giroud. Maybe we can get Mitrovic from Fulham or Haller from Frankfurt?

    Anyways…exciting times ahead. Imagine we finish 3rd above Spurs? Back to having bragging rights 🙂

  13. RC78 says:

    Our favorite player until December has totally gone off the radar…Torreira? What happened to him? Do you think he is just tired after all the games last season, the World Cup and then the quick start to the EPL?

    As for Guendouzi, I think it is about experience and I agree that we want to see more tackles from him. I think he needs to learn from players like De Bruyne, Kross, Modric, Rakitic as he will become more effective. It is about decision-making: when to run with the ball, when to give it and to whom. He is on the right track though. He also needs to simplify his game: one touch, one turn, one contro – then pass or start rudnning. At the moment, one control, couple of touches, looking around…then more touches, then decision…The other thing is that he needs to improve his delivery in terms of his through balls and forward passing but again, I think he is developing well. I am less worried about him than about Torreira who seemed to have just stalled.

  14. LBG says:

    Just watched the full game again ( having attended the game last night) and so totally disagree with you, feel we must be living in two different time worlds.
    One poor pass to Ramsey ( as against Ramsey’s four passes giving the ball away). One careless delay on the ball in 62minute resulting in ball turned over. Three tackles from behind on him all of which would have been justifiable bookings. ( Diame would not have been on the pitch to get Newcastle’s one and only yellow card had Taylor done anything at all about this tactic).
    Other than this Ouzi’s passing was generally “forward” often “dynamic” ( passing through the Newcastle lines, as in first goal), and as mentioned by Chas, despite Mesut’s touch map, the young man must have had,by a long way, the most touches in the game.
    Don’t like to disagree so wholeheartedly but…

  15. RA says:


    I have no problem with you disagreeing with me, and many more bloggers over too many years have already done so.

    You have your opinion — I have mine.

    If we all had to agree with everyone else on a blog that would be boring, and ipso facto, I would move on, as so many of the AAers I first blogged with on here many years ago have already done for various reasons.


  16. GunnerN5 says:

    Morning all,

    Thank you Chas, you always give a fair minded appraisal of the players performances.

    Personally I’m loving some of the flowing moves – a few yesterday were just stunning in the speed of both feet and technique, shades of Wengerball returning.

    Sokratis and Guendouzi are stand out signings by Emery and players who will be around for many seasons to come.

    Next up Everton at Goodison Park – it’s never an easy game as they have a huge level of support – basically there are five away games between us and next seasons CL, so……….

  17. GunnerN5 says:

    Hi RA,

    Differing opinions are the bed rock of blogging – without being disagreeable.

    If all we ate was vanilla pudding even desserts would be boring.

    I’m very happy that you have chosen to return to blogging on AA as your views are sage and respected.

  18. RC78 says:

    Next up Everton who is playing better than a few weeks back. They are on the front foot – they remind me of our team but not as talented. That said, they do have quality players all over the pitch so it is a trick away game. We can only afford a…WIN. I would probably play a bit more conservative against them though with one striker only…3-5-1-1

    Leno – Mustafi, Sok, Monreal – AMN, LT, Xhaka, Guendouzi, Kola – Ramsey – Laca

  19. RC78 says:

    If Kos is available, then Mustafi is out of the squad 🙂

    Everton has some strong players and some tricky ones too so we have to be careful. Their defense though is breakable so it is about our transition game. I think Emery has to be smart and let Everton have the ball, they wont like it.

  20. RC78 says:

    Everton players to be wary of:
    – Digne
    – Gueye
    – Sigurdsson, Bernard
    – Richarlison, Lewin

    If we break the transmission from Digne and the ball from getting to Bernard and Sigurdson and keep deep to block Lewin and Richarlison, I think we are gonna be OK

  21. RC78 says:

    So basically – Xhaka and Guendouzi will be key to the game.

    Ramsey will need to play higher up the pitch between Gueye and the central defense while Laca would need to play on the line of the defense, slightly to our left (Kola side)

    Sorry I just went on a roll tactically in my silly head 😦

  22. RA says:

    Hi GN5,

    Thank you, but ‘sage and respected’ – you may be in a minority of one with that!! 😛

    I never worry about ‘proving’ my opinions, as they are not always necessarily based on known facts – otherwise they would not be opinions.

    As a result, I have been known to say that none of my own opinions are worth a horses ass, as they are simply views I express from time to time, and which have a habit of changing with events, or are swayed by better reasoning from other bloggers. 😀

    Anyway, the Posts written on AA are so good, Yours, Chas’, Raddy’s, Rasper’s, GoonerB’s, LB’s, GIE’s, Peaches’, MickyDidn’tDo-it’s, and so many others, that I would be reluctant to finally go and miss them!!

  23. RA says:


    I thought your comments were excellent, until I read -“Xhaka and Guendouzi will be key to the (Everton) game” — and that went and ruined my day!! 😳

    In addition, I would still like to see a bigger sprinkling of youth on the bench, at least.

    Your knowledge and tactical know-how is really good — time you wrote a Post on the subject!!

  24. RC78 says:

    RA – I will write a post next week on tactical options given our players.

    We will need Xhaka and Guendouzi to be on their A game because they need to block transmission from Digne and to Sigurddson…Everton is under-rated but they are coming to form and also they have found a good shape so will be tough

  25. RA says:

    Well done, RC, I will look forward to your Post — your thinking always intrigues me where players/tactics are concerned, in particular.

    I was being slightly ‘tongue in cheek’ about Xhaka and Douzi – I’m sure they will be fine, altho Everton do have some pretty good players when they are in form, especially the two you mention and also Richarlison.

  26. Big Raddy says:

    Just seen that AFC U18’s beat Spurs 3-2 having scored 3 goals in the final 5 minutes 😀

  27. fred1266 says:

    Is Koscielny injured?

  28. chas says:

    Some stats from last night courtesy of Scott Willis at Arseblog.

    87 – Passes completed by Matteo Guendouzi, led all players

    4 – Interceptions by Shkodran Mustafi, led Arsenal

    8 – Clearances by Mustafi, led Arsenal

    12 – Ball Recoveries by Aaron Ramsey, led all players. special shout out to Mesut Özil who was second among all players with 10.

    Link to full article

  29. chas says:

    I knew I got it from somewhere.

  30. chas says:

    Wolves v Man U tonight for anyone desperate for some footie.

  31. chas says:

  32. LBG says:

    Chas 7.24
    God will have created a new place called the Deanery and VAR will judge how blind each entrant needs to be!

  33. chas says:

    Wolves away will be hard.

  34. LBG says:

    Watford wont be much easier, Chas!

  35. LBG says:

    Our goal difference better than the other three as well. Only Crystal Palace needed now to spoil the party.

  36. Football Cable says:


  37. chas says:


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