All Arsenal’s World Cup players rated on their performances in Qatar

From a fan perspective, I didn’t mind the idea of a Winter World Cup and would be open to FIFA hosting another edition at this time of the year.

It’s a nice halfway break in the domestic campaign and I like the idea of after an international tournament having Xmas and lots of football to look forward too.

That’s better than watching England get eliminated in the summer and having weeks left till preseason even starts.

Best of all the big names didn’t show up complaining of being tired after a gruelling season, or rusty because they hadn’t played since their season ended.

Players took their form for their clubs and translated it over to their nation the next week.

Is it a coincidence that Messi and Mbappe were so good considering how they started the campaign with PSG?

Only time will tell how the Prem being put on pause for a month will impact certain teams?

Will it upset momentum or was it a good time for a rest?

Will players come back confident or having lost their mojo?

I looked at each Gunner who went to Qatar and scored them out of 10 to see what shape physically and mentally they might be on their return

England – Ramsdale might be quietly disappointed Southgate is staying as manager because I maintain there are other coaches out there who would rate our keeper better then Pickford?

Played his part though in maintaining a decent spirit in the squad with his presence on social media.

Ben White left after the Group stage due to personal reasons.

Unless we switched to a back 5 our defender wouldn’t have started any matches anyway.

Saka- 8

For decades we have been used to English players scared to wear the shirt, almost like the fear of failure cripples them.

Too many tournaments we observe English talent fail to produce their club form on the international stage.

Saka though was fearless, always direct, always running at his man.

You could argue he was more clinical in Qatar then at any point this season?

Scored twice against Iran and against Senegal.

Scared the French, winning a pen In the process, the one player not afraid to take on his man.

Kept the likes of Foden, Rashford, Sterling and Grealish on the bench at various times.

His momentum could carry over to the domestic campaign.

Matt Turner – USA – 7

The only goal the Americans conceded in the Group stages was a penalty.

Not conceding from open play and 2 clean sheets is a job well done for our keeper.

That’s multiple clean sheets for the US at a World Cup for the first time since 1930.

I can’t score him higher, simply because he didn’t actually have a lot to do in the USA’s first three fixture.

Shamefully that’s a sad reflection on Wales and England who managed both only 3 shots on targets against USA, while Iran just the one.

Still, that’s a test of a goalie’s concentration when they have so little to do for long periods.

More than a capable deputy if anything happened to Ramsdale.

Saliba – France – 5

I’ll give our defender a standard 5 as he came on after an hour against Tunisia, that game being his only minutes of the World Cup, so harsh to really judge either way.

At that point France were chasing an equaliser so didn’t need to do a lot of defending.

The 21-year-old might be disappointed to be so low in the pecking order with his national side.

Even having already qualified, Deschamps didn’t trust the centreback like he did other youngsters.

Trained with world class players for the last month and will be better for the experience.

No reason he can’t play on Boxing Day though.

Xhaka – Switzerland – 6

Loses a mark for the manner of how his nation exited the competition.

Used all his experience in the group stage often assisting the assis,t if that makes sense?

Would pick the ball up and spot the creative player who would then find the striker.

Range of passing superb, although still in his old role, not the one that has worked so well for the Gunners this season.

For over 80 minutes, organised his team to frustrate Brazil.

The Swiss have so much know how, their game management is superb.

That’s what made their last 16 thrashing so unexpected, such an organised unit conceding 6.

There is pressure for him to have his captaincy removed after provoking the Serbian bench by grabbing his groin, and post-match wearing the name Jashari on the back of his shirt.

Adem Jashari is the founder of a Kosovo Albania separatist group which fought for independence from the then Yugoslavia.

The 30-year-old of Albanian heritage linked to Kosovo denied this was a political statement.

He had been warned about his actions in the last World Cup when he faced Serbia and made an Eagle gesture towards Serbian fans in reference to the Albania flag.

The consensus is as the man with the armband, this moment shouldn’t be recurring.

Martinelli – Brazil – 5

Got 3 minutes against Serbia, 18 against Korea and played the entire 90 against Cameroon.

Brazil were already qualified by the time Martinelli made his only start meaning they played their fringe players.

There wasn’t much cohesion with the South American’s relying on moments of magic from individuals.

The 21-year-old looked the most likely and in general has excited his nation with his explosiveness and direct running.

When it counts though, he was not trusted.

Neymar, V Junior, Richarlison. Anthony, Jesus, Pedro, Rodrigo, Raphinha, are all ahead of him as attacking options.

Jesus – Brazil – 4

Like Martinelli the Cameroon game was the perfect match for Jesus to prove himself to Tite.

Instead, he would suffer an injury that would send him home early.

In those 60 minutes though, as well as two sub appearances, there wasn’t the same intensity and energy we see from him at the Emirates.

That’s led to speculation that he was being asked to play despite a known issue with his knee.

His now ex-international boss has called this ‘fake news’.

To clarify two thirds of the Gunners attack can’t get into Brazil’s first 11 but Gooners think Mbappe can’t get into our team?

That’s the same Mbappe who’s got more goals this World Cup then Jesus has for the entire season?

Partey – Ghana – 4

Given that he’s been in his best form for the Gunners, Partey’s performances at this World Cup were not what was expected, his passing stats poor.

He’s been heavily criticised back in Ghana, not helped by his decision to swap with Suarez.

Went missing…

Tomiyasu – Japan – 5

Described his own performance against Croatia a ‘disaster’.

Slightly harsh on himself but clearly wanted to make up for lost time with muscular issues, meaning he didn’t start in the Group stages.

As a sub he helped defend leads against Spain and Germany which lead to famous wins but by his demeanour, you sense never felt fit?

Comments suggest he feels that he missed out on a historic tournament for his nation where he couldn’t quite contribute?

Glad he reconsidered taking a break and joined up with the Gunners in Dubai.

A ‘rest’ after playing once would not have gone down well.

Feel free to leave your scores in the comments


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  1. I feel like i lose brain cells reading your content if we can call it that…comments around jesus and mbappe are mind boggling. I suggest just making the blog for yourself.

      1. That’s because that’s what it was, and that was plain facts. The name of his teammate is Ardon Jashari, I don’t understand why you people keep throwing Adem’s name into it. Even though his coach says he heard or saw nothing wrong from Xhaka.
        You could argue the motive behind might’ve been using Ardon’s Jersey to mask his thoughts and support for his birth country but the fact and proof clearly stays with him because Ardon Jashari actually exists on the team and that was his Jersey Xhaka was wearing

  2. Your rating of Saka is absolutely spot on, I stand to be corrected on this, is there any asrenal player ever that’s had such a stellar performance in a world cup tournament the way Saka just did?

  3. Dan you are clinging to the mbappe nketiah issue too much. Whoever said it could have been sacarstic don’t you think!? You rarely move on from past issues and comments, you keep on repeating and repeating and repeating I usually know what you gonna say next before even scrolling up. Broken record should I say! Sorry to point this out Dan , don’t you think you sometimes take a minority stand/ opinion too seriously? When you should go for a majority opinion!?. And why don’t you repeat on a majority view just as much?

    1. @Kenya001

      Let me correct you. No one ever said that Nketiah was better than Mbappe. What was said was that Mbappe’s ego will ruin our team dynamics and squad harmony which will ultimately be detrimental to our results, things which cannot be said of Nketiah even though he’s just a fraction of the player Mbappe is; and I agree with that theory. A player who demands that his teammate be sold and a striker brought in so that he can play his preferred position, stops running during a counter attack because the ball was not passed to him and gets openly upset with the manager when he’s substituted will certainly do damage to our team, even if he has the talents of Messi and Ronaldo combined

      1. @dgr8xt agreed

        Imo some on here are making things up to sing their narrative.

        Well whatever floats their boat, pffft.

    2. No they were not being sarcastic and when I hear something so silly mate I will point it out just to show how crazy a section of our fanbase is
      Can’t have it both ways , slaughter me for my opinion yet when I’m proven correct say , ‘ oh Dan don’t mention it ‘
      If people can’t take me comparing Mbappe to our attack don’t say he wouldn’t get in our team
      It’s arrogant and naieve

      1. Dan you are right it’s your opinion pointing out how wrong or right people are. Repeating it over and over yet no one is admitting that they are wrong in their opinion surely you gotta respect that they aren’t changing. Go with the majority I suggest. I read your articles and for sure you write most of them, but I consider that part somehow irritating.

        1. But should people get that annoyed
          For example , I wrote about Mbappe for a couple of lines when referring to Jesus

          There’s 10 other players I mention so if people choose to pick out the Jesus bit that’s on them
          Eddie fair play has spoken about Xakha
          Rosco – Saka
          The people who are saying I don’t want to read about Mbappe are the ones trying to change my mind and I won’t …….
          It’s arrogant to say Mbappe would not make our team better and people are now worried they look silly and that I’ll point it out ….

          No different to if Eddie scores 10 in a row I’ll be reminded what I have said about him and rightfully so

    3. If he had written his name in the beginning I probably wouldn’t hav read it at all, bcos I know what I will see, but I was reading it until I saw mbape and I know its Dan again, I just jump to the comments section. Am just tired of Dan always bringing past

        1. @dan pls am begging you, pls for the love of ur beliefs, just try to put ur name in the beginning of your article so that some of us can make our choices whether to continue or not. You use to put ur name, I wonder why u stopped.

          1. Why would the writer make a difference. Surely you choose an article by its subject.
            Dan has written LOTS of articles that don’t mention Mbappe or Nketiah!

            1. @admin I hav commended Dan on his predictions post several times, bcos I recognised it takes a lot of time and effort too. But when I see a tittle an Dan as d writer. I deduct from the headlines Wether its worth reading or not, because I know where his

            1. Daniel Most sensible writers, having received a serious amount of feedback from their readers , much of it negative, would not argue with tevery reply post and fight their comments, but would listen and take on board those comments.

              I remember how you were slaughtered by many Gooners, myself included, in your best ever Arsenal BLACK players list. . I note with wry safisfaction too, that though you argued with so many comments at that time, you HAVE HAD the sense not to repeat that gaffe of a subject.

              If I were you Daniel, as a very regular JA writer,( though I contribute only occasionally) I would have the sense to take well meant comments on board, even though they be blunt, and NOT ARGUE with every post.

              We ALL notice , I can promise you.

              1. What on an opinion site only write opinions people agree with …..never lol

                If people don’t like my articles don’t comment
                You choose to see negative Jon , I also see positive comments

                Don’t you clash with people all the time ?
                We all notice , I can promise you

                1. Predicably, again it falls on your deaf ears.

                  No fool like an otherwise intelligent fool who refuses to have any humility but always attacks others.
                  If you ever read my many posts and reported then fully, instead of traducing my posts , you would see I often admit to having personal faults; faults that, being human , we all have.
                  That is natural, normal and it is only those who refuse to accept that we ALL have faults, who lack mature life wisdom Daniel. Unlike you, A MAN OF MUCH INTELLIGENCE, BUT WHO SADLY LACKS the life maturity to sensibly do likewise.

                  1. I’m not intelligent Jon
                    And I do have faults mate of course i do and am not always right
                    But not having people tell me what to write

                    1. “ I remember how you were slaughtered by many Gooners, myself included, in your best ever Arsenal BLACK players list”

                      Now let’s get this straight from what I remember,it was you and only YOU jon who moaned about those articles ,like always trying to get other posters on your side against Dan ,very childish .

                      Maybe Pat could link those articles

                    2. DAN you plainly ARE intelligent That has not been in serious dispute , certainly not by me, nor I suspect by others either. And its good to see you admit to some faults. We all have them , because we are humans. I have plenty, as you and many others well know.

                      All I ever seek DAN IS HONESTY OF THOUGHT AND IN COMMENTS.
                      I do not expect to have others share my views, even though I love to challenge ,often bluntly . Always some will, many will not and that is how life works, as we both know.
                      I do NOT seek to feud with you on JA though and so often appreciate your wise articles and when I do, I say so too.

                      Equally, I sometimes take serious issue but being a truth seeker, I will always say so.
                      Perhaps , I am beginning to realise, we are cut from the same cloth, though I am over twice your age , I believe.
                      On another matter, unrelated to we both, what always gets my goat is the constant biased fanhype of our players and teams chances , which I notice awelcome lackj of in your own predictions in your prediction articles. It is a thin line at times, between being realistic and not stupidly, biased, over optimistic , on the one hand , and on the other being negative far too often.

                      It is uncanny how few Gooners EVER, even before this season, predict our defeat.

                      We all know fans , almost all fans at all clubs, are biased towards their own team i don’t mind that ,in moderation but some of the hype, hype, hype juvenile posts are difficult to accept , though. It is MY personal fault, I admit, that makes me cross with what are generally VERY YOUNG Gooners.
                      You see DAN, despite my many faults, I do consider myself to be an intelligent person and I do not suffer gladly, fans who refuse to use their brains. I OUGHT TO BE ABLE, AT MY AGE but probably never will be able to . Sigh!

                    3. DAN KIT. Your post is a flat and plain LIE. I remember very well that article on black Gooner list by DAN S, and I remember being one of MANY OTHERS TOO who wrote similarly to me.

                      You also remember that, I am certain.

                      So I give you fair warning, DAN KIT, that I will not tolerate your regular lies about my previous posts and your wilful and deliberate distortions of what I write.
                      DO NOT DO IT AGAIN!

                    4. Haha
                      Alright jonny Rambo ,calm down.
                      Let me guess you will get a lawyer involved like your first time on here (and probably the interweb )(yes I remember that well 😂)
                      It was actually a few articles if I remember rightly ,black defenders midfielders and forwards to have played for Arsenal .
                      Now like I said ,maybe Pat could post the link and we will see won’t we .
                      Shouldn’t be to hard to find .

                      Oh and I’ll do and say what I want jonny boy ,as long as it’s within just Arsenals rules .

                    5. You said many fans slaughtered him ,not true ,a few questioned his article ,my point was it was you that made the biggest issue as per normal .

  4. So as far as game time goes it’s only Saka that may be a bit fatigued, no-one else. Glad that that potential excuse can be thrown out the window early and not be used.

    Let’s hope the boys hit the ground running. Out of our next 3 games if we can get 2 wins and a draw at least that will break our hoodoo of struggling after a long break.


    We only have 4 games in Jan with 3 of them being EPL players should be fresh.

  5. I think Engalnd should build their team around Saka, I might be bit biased here but I think apart from Talent Saka is very matured for his age. He takes lead, he stands up when team is looking for someone, always wants the ball and his decision making is spot on. Martinelli was a bit disappointing but he is young n this was his first world cup. Jesus injury is a big blow to us but I still think as from start of season we need a 25 goal striker who can find the back of net regularly, Jesus is not that sort of striker. For me two players really were great n we have a chance to sign them one is Muhammad Kudus and other is Unahi. Also Thuram for that price is also a bargain we should really look at it seriously.

  6. Genuine question, if article writer is Dan and commenter is Daniel Smith, why not use same name for both? For a while, in previous articles, I thought you were two different people, are you? Sorry,…….it’s my age😊

        1. I went home and went how can I confuse everyone …..I’ll call myself Dan and Daniel
          No one will crack that code

          1. But that is a deliberately flippantreply and dismissive of aserious enquiry post, DAN/ Daniel.

            I too have often wondered whether or not you were two different persos. I am being perfectly serious. I’ll tll you why too, as I have also written before now. I notice that the language in you articles and the language in your reply posts seems vastly different.
            I seriously wondered that perhaps you as DAN, were copying the articles by another, not on JA site, Gooner.
            But after much thought, I have concluded that your two names ARE INDEED JUST ONE PERSON.

            It is though,not wise to be flippant about another serious enquiry, this time from SAVAGE I suggest, as others are also bound to wonder.
            I can think of no others onJA who choose, for whatever reason, to use two albeit similar, but not the very same name. It does strike some of us as odd AND ALSO CONFUSING.

            1. No at end of day I’m here to write my opinion and will debate with anything about football ( you at least do that )
              If someone is constantly attacking me and not even mentioning the article I think they have an agenda or is bullying ( not you )
              First it’s , ‘ Dan can you only write what I want ‘
              I politely say no
              Then it’s ‘ Can you put your name there so I don’t have to read it ‘
              I suggest read the title
              Then it’s ‘ your trying to trick us with name ‘
              So the whole name thing is way too deep for me
              Could give explanation but I think it’s sad that people look that deep into things
              Simple read the article and move on

              1. Daniel I truly do feel and share your pain at many of the comments you get from fans who refuse to THINK first .

                I write on many non football sites, esp theatre sites and in a theatre magazine( theatre and performing being my life love). Also on current affairs and matters described as political( not so much “party” politics, more as general life principles)!
                I am deeply into discussions about countries at war; Ukraine of course but others too, which rarely and shamefully get even a mention on our own BBC national news!
                And it is both heartening how informed many folk (around the globe ) are , and how uninformed, bigoted, with Trumpian style bombast, sheer lies, conspiracy theories and awful Neanderthal bigotry and hatred, many also are.
                I have long suspected from your many posts, that on human life principles you and I ARE FIRMLY ON THE SAME PAGE and I strongly hope that from now on we can both be friends on JA.

                I will genuinely try to be far less critical and far more supportive of you on JA from now on!

                It is though , to be realistic, the fate of almost EVERY writer in history, whether or not well known, to be criticised for their work in print. SADLY REALISTIC SIGH!
                PS: Charles Dickens had enormous criticism from many quarters and still does, even today. Yet IMO, he was a truly great writer who gave so much to literature and to human progress.

  7. I used to question Arteta but now I think he is good judge of character, he can spot the toxic players n ppl who can bring embarrassment to the team so he gets rid of them. Finally I got my answer why we got rid of Martinez. Instead of being humble in being champions he keeps coming out with this pathetic behaviour first throwing the ball away that’s just disrespectful then what he did with his trophy then now with him putting face of Mbappe on the baby. I don’t get this behaviour of Argentinian as well you have won a world cup after 36 years but instead of celebrating it they are busy singing racist chants including their players even ex like Augeuero, burning images players from other team and throwing ninja turtle toys to mock a person. I knew they are but rough but never knew they are such big racist and no ones in their country or player is condemning them. Atleast when it happens here authorities do say something or you see many ppl stand up against it. I see so many Argentina n messi supporters justifying this behaviour instead of condemning it. What is happening to this world?

    1. I see so many Argentina n messi supporters justifying this behaviour instead of condemning it.

      This shows you’re a Ronaldo fan who see everything wrong in what concerns Messi.

      I believe you’re the only one who see anything racist about what they did.

      When Mbappe was mocking all South americans, you never say a word.

      Why was it only Mbappe?
      It shows you they pick only him cos he was the only one talking about the South americans.

      I’m not from South american, but if Mbappe can’t take it, he shouldn’t have give it in the first place.

      So suck it up and deal with it.

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