Arsenal Player Ratings Season 20/21 – What’s yours?

Dan’s Arsenal Player Ratings out of 10 – Pick your season ratings below

It’s that time of the year where from now to August I get accused of being negative. Like I said 12 months ago …. of course I’m negative. How can you not be negative about two consecutive 8th places?

I believe in not just saying we have problems – but suggesting a solution.

My only issue being that I don’t believe under the current ownership that a solution is realistic.

If you count how many points, we are behind the Manchester Clubs and even Chelsea, then consider that one might buy a Kane and the other Haaland, even if the Kroenke Family had a change of heart and wanted to invest, it’s too late.

It would take 150 -200 million to improve our squad. That just isn’t going to happen I’m afraid.

It’s why I’d rather be in the UEFA Conference League than nothing, because it’s our most realistic route of qualifying for the Europa compared to this group finishing in the top 5.

When I hear gooners say being out of Europe will give Arteta more time on the training pitch, who cares if there’s nothing to play for in the League.

Rewind back to January when the only thing that kept our campaign alive or gave us hope was being in Europe. So get to the New Year, if we are 8th-10th, then we may just as well have been in the Conference League than nothing.

It’s up to you what criteria you want to follow, but let me clarify the word ‘great’ is over used.

It’s hard to be described that when you played in one of the worst Arsenal team in 25 years.

Dias, Foden is great, Fernandes is great, Mount is great, etc, so let’s just have some perspective while we are grading our players out of 10.

 

Leno (GK) – 4

It has taken some a while to notice, but the German makes too many mistakes to be at the level we want to be at.

He took a while to regain confidence after his return from injury and we missed competition from Martinez. Mistakes against Wolves, Everton, West Ham, Vienna, Leicester, while his passing often forced errors out of others.

 

Runarsson (GK) – 2

Feel bad judging him as the real guilty party is whoever recommended someone so out of his depth.

Mistakes in the League Cup against Man City were so bad it could ruin his gunners career before it even begun. What Arteta does too much is he’s quick to give up on talent.

 

Matt Ryan (GK) – 5

Standard 5 as only played a few games. Got an assist against Fulham when he went up for a corner.

 

Tierney (LB) – 8

My Gooner of the season. Only issue is he still can’t get through a whole campaign without injuries, which was an issue even at Celtic.

From December to Feb he became one of our main attacking outlets with a quality delivery. He just can’t stay fit and tactically it’s noticeable when he’s not playing.

Probably a future Arsenal captain.

 

Bellerin (RB) – 5

To me some gooners have an agenda, hence why some have to mock him for growing trees.

He actually started the season okay, to the point he got recalled by Spain. Then went through a phase where he couldn’t take a throw in.

He hasn’t been as bad as others, but I think his manager has accepted after serious injuries over the years, he’s never going to refind the pace he was famous for.

It is hard to be a modern-day fullback without pace and naturally the right flank will be compared to what happens on the left. It will likely suit both parties to get a fresh move as he’s stagnated.

 

Chambers (RB) – 6

Hasn’t played enough to rate him dramatically either way.

He had an incredible second half at West Ham where his delivery was fantastic but he didn’t repeat that.

Having bulked up, he now takes control in air.

Before serious injury Emery was playing him and now so is Arteta so managers rate him. I think with his ability on the ball he could do what David Luiz does for us.

Again though, can he stay fit for a whole season?

 

Cedric (RB) -5

Doesn’t do anything good, doesn’t do anything bad. Just a squad player to fill in when needed.

Dropped down the pecking order in the run in though, which suggests he’s not adapting to Arteta’s ethos?

 

Rob Holding (CB)- 7

In December/January Arsenal kept 5 consecutive clean sheets for the first time in over a decade with Holding instrumental in that feat. In fact of the 11 clean sheets Arsenal kept, Holding played in 10 of them.

He still has moments where he needs to be more aware of the opposition’s positioning, but is at an age where he will only get better.

You can see by how he orders others around that he’s growing into a leader.

 

Luiz (CB) -7

Our best centreback this season. The Brazilian was exceptional over the New Year particularly at home to Man United.

Tactically crucial to Arteta’s system as he’s the one defender confident to step into midfield and pick out a pass.

He won over a lot of gooners with how he spoke about the club and you can tell that he was popular in the dressing room.

One of the few leaders on the training pitch, Arsenal wanted to keep the Brazilian but transition him into a coaching role.

 

Gabriel (CB)- 6

Summed up the mindset of our fan base. After a couple of decent performances, they tried to convince themselves that we had made a world class signing and almost wouldn’t allow themselves to acknowledge when he went off the boil.

His confidence suffered in early November when we went on a losing streak, showing our lack of leaders as the youngster needed direction.

He played like he was hurting but became rash and lacked composure, culminating in two yellow cards against Southampton. Then it took our manager too long to take the 23-year-old out of the firing line.

 

Mari (CB)- 6

When he has played he has looked decent.

The key word is ‘when’ as he has always picked up niggling injuries since being in North London.

The closest thing we have to David Luiz in terms of being comfortable on the ball and attempting a long-range pass. He was let down by management as he would play well and then dropped for the next game, when in reality he and Holding were our best defensive partnership with Luiz injured.

 

Maitland Niles (full back) – 5 (based on with us)

Started season at left back which got him his first England Cap.

Didn’t do anything wrong in the position, it’s as simple as the player wanting to play further forward. When Arteta gave him that opportunity in the Europa League group stage, he simply didn’t stand out.

Chose to play in midfield and get relegated with West Brom instead of playing first team football for Arsenal at full back. Even Big Sam has warned he needs to add goals and assists if he wants to be the midfielder he views himself as.

 

Willock (CM) -5 (based with us)

Didn’t start many in the Prem (2) with Arteta clearly feeling he’s not ready.

Many Gooners campaigned for him to get more of a chance when he scored three goals in the Europa group stage When he got that chance failed to take it, subbed after an hour at Leeds and ineffective in our home loss to Wolves.

Scored 8 on loan at Newcastle, but does that mean he can handle the pressure of playing for us?

 

Reiss Nelson (RM) – 2

Like other youngsters there was a campaign for him to start in the Prem based on what he did in the group stage of the Europa League, even though the level of teams were Dundalk.

When rewarded with his only start in the Prem, he was taken off at half time and hasn’t started since, only playing 25 mins.

He should have been loaned out in January.

 

Xhaka (CM)- 7

Ironically without fans in the stadium I sense that Xhaka has won over a section of our Fan base (although good job they were not in attendance when he got sent off against Burnley).

He never shies away even when he makes mistakes. My biggest compliment is when he’s not there, you notice tactically what he offers to our midfield.

 

Elneny (CM) – 5

Work rate can never be questioned. Was outstanding in the Community Shield and at Old Trafford.

A decent squad player but not as good as Guendouzi or Torreira.

 

Ceballos (CM)- 3

After a Man of The Match display in last year’s Cup Final many gooners were delighted that Real Madrid agreed to a second-year loan. Now we are simply relieved that we didn’t pay a transfer fee. Hopefully we will remember that when thinking about Odegaard’s future.

Ceballos is simply too lightweight for English Football and takes too long on the ball.

He did his very best to cost us the Europa League with mistakes against Benfica, Olympiakos and then a red card at Villarreal. It’s hard to think of one great game he’s had this season.

 

Thomas Partey (CM)- 4

This year’s version of Pepe, the big signing who gooners made numerous excuses for. Imagine if it were Ozil who tried to walk off the pitch while Spurs were hitting us on the counter attack?

Like Pepe the hope is that he will be better in his second season.

The benefit of the doubt is he never had a proper run in the team due to injuries. Even when playing he didn’t appear to be 100 percent fit as he would tire easily.

He will hopefully benefit from a proper pre season.

 

Smith Rowe (AM) – 7

Due to injury, he did not get a proper run in the team till Dec/January.

His emergence was the only justification for Ozil not being registered for the squad as he (before we loaned Ceballos) is the only creative talent we have who can travel with the ball and play around in tight spaces.

He can equally pick out a pass when teams are parking the bus. That responsibility can’t be put solely on him though.

Credit to the club for teaching their ethos to all under age groups, meaning they produce youngsters with great technique. In his first proper season with the first team shows great empowerment.

His next challenge will be staying level headed and not getting carried away with being over hyped. That will entail having a decent support team off the pitch to keep him grounded.

 

Saka (Wing) – 8

Played more minutes than any other Gunner. At 19 has shown great temperament and has never shied away.

The older he gets will improve in the final third as well as putting on more muscle. My only fear is that Gooners are so keen for ‘one of their own’ to succeed they are over-exaggerating how good he is. For example, I know some who have put him in their team of the year.

He’s not that good yet, but could be if he keeps his feet on the ground. That comes down to having the right people around him.

Due to his versatility he should go to the Euros.

 

Pepe (wing) -7

Sums up the team in the fact that he played his best when the pressure was off.

Breaking down his 16 goals, 6 came in the Europa League, 8 Prem goals came after December. 2 League goals came in the first half of the season.

We didn’t pay 72 million for him to only deliver when the pressures off – but when the stakes are high.

The danger is that Gooners will put too much emphasis on how he ended the season, convincing the club not to buy a Zaha, at which point the Ivorian will again disappoint us in the next campaign in the big games.

 

Willian (Winger)- 2

He gets one mark for his debut at Fulham and another for his free kick against West Brom. His free transfer just hasn’t worked out.

It would be unfair to question his professionalism as there was nothing at Chelsea to suggest that. It could simply be a loss of confidence or walking into an Arsenal dressing room with such strong Chelsea colours.

Maybe he’s been let down by working with a group of winners at the Bridge to now playing with a squad who have zero ambition.

 

Odegaard – 6

For the third consecutive January we were told the club could only afford loans as the priority was to slash the wage bill.

Fans were excited to watch Odegaard because for the first half of our campaign we lacked any kind of creativity. The Norwegian’s performance in the North London Derby and at West Ham had some gooners prematurely asking for Arsenal to find the 30 million that Madrid want to make the deal permanent.

An injury though meant his momentum stalled and, in the end, Ozil’s replacement ending up with statistics that fans would have bemoaned if it were the German, namely  1 Prem goal and 1 assist.

Only way he should stay if he we can get a second loan deal done. That might depend on if Zidane is still at Madrid.

 

Aubameyang (Striker)- 4

Context is key.

Has had a tough year off the pitch with his mum being seriously ill, and then diagnosed with Malaria (which can be in your system a while before it’s apparent.)

Even the likes of Tuchel have defended our striker stressing what a winning personality he has. How he responds next season will be crucial with fans likely to be less forgiving if his current form continues.

In 2021 a striker needs to more than just being impactful in the penalty area. He doesn’t hold up the ball and link up with others, and his work rate is not what it was when Arteta first took over.

Equally the manager needs to find a system which sees more service given to his attackers.

 

Lacazette (Striker) -6

Was in danger of becoming a scapegoat to some gooners when he missed huge chances in important games.

The difference between him and Aubameyang though is even if Laca is not scoring he offers something. In an era where the high press is constant Laca’s work rate is crucial.

But he is another attacking player who’s been let down by Arteta’s failure to get the best out of all his offensive talent. It’s strange because in Arteta’s first season he had his two main strikers linking up well but now struggles to get the best out of both.

I think he deserves a new contract.

 

Eddie Nketiah (Striker)- 3

On a few occasions he has shown he is a decent finisher in the penalty area. The problem is Arsenal are no longer a team who make lots of chances.

Back when we used to be looking for a ‘fox in the box’ Eddie would have been perfect, but in 2021 a striker needs to do more than just wait for the ball to fall for him in the six-yard box.

When we have been chasing a goal, bringing on Eddie is like being down to 10 men due to his teammates inability to get the ball into the mix.

 

Martinelli (Striker)- 5

Can’t rate him higher because he was only asked to start 6 League games.

Due to a long-term injury, Arteta didn’t want to overplay the youngster when he returned over the Xmas period.

Another injury in January saw the Brazilian not start till April.At which point he offered something our others strikers didn’t, not afraid to take on his man.

Wherever it’s not trusting him to start 2 games a week or just not rating him, Arteta would not give Martinelli a run in the team.

If he wants to keep his job, Arteta needs to find a way in the next campaign to include the 19-year-old.

 

Put your player ratings in the comments

Remember it’s just people’s opinions so be respectful

 

Dan

Tags Player Ratings

40 Comments

  1. Grandad says:

    Excellent synopsis and entirely realistic ratings.One of my main concerns for next season is Gabriel who yet again messed up on at least two occasions against Brighton and was fortunately bailed out by teammates.I hope I am wrong but I don’t think he, or for that matter, Mari are a solution at CB.Hopefully Saliba will replace Luis who along with Holding had a very decent season.

  2. Highbury Hero says:

    I still think we have a great squad and we don’t need 150m to improve. Willock performance at Newcastle has strengthened my belief even further.

    He was like a lost kitten at Arsenal and suddenly he is a roaring tiger at Newcastle breaking and setting records. Some are crediting Arteta for sending him on loan after failing to get the best out of him. After this I am waiting for the day they credit Arteta for building the Emirates Stadium.

    I don’t know about Aubameyang malaria timeline but he has been awful the whole season. And I respectfully disagree with you and OG about the effect of malaria after recovering. If you base that on reading then it is contrary to real life experience. Malaria is a deadly disease and when you get the serious version of it you are going to start writing a will. But recovering usually takes about one to two weeks and even though it remains in the blood it does not interfere with body function whatsoever until you get sick again which will take about 6 months to a year. And that is if you stay in a place with lots of mosquitos risking another infection.

    1. Sid says:

      Dont know about deadlier version, but having suffered from Malaria in my childhood, I believe atleast about 2 weeks to 1 month for complete recovery is sufficient. I didnt have any relapse, though I dont know what Aubameyang went through.

    2. Jimmy Bauer says:

      Exactly…I’m a Doctor and I can tell you Auba’s Malaria was simple Malaria..With or without drugs in most cases Simple malaria resolves within 5-7 days at most..And given the level of care he had during his episode, I’m almost certain he didn’t have any of the short term complications that might affect his play.

      If it were the complicated type them I might accept the excuse Dan gave…

      1. Jimmy Bauer says:

        I’ll like to add that given he’s Gabonese and has Probably spent some time there… He’d have some immunity to the malaria protozoa and so his episode will not be as severe as one who hasn’t spent time in malaria endemic zone..

  3. Dan kit says:

    No debate for me .
    Saka miles ahead of any one else -8
    Luiz and Pepe would get my 2nd and 3rd -7
    Followed probably by Laca and Martinelli and Leno -6
    The rest meh 4s and 5s
    Manager -2

    Will pull you up on 2 of your ratings Dan ,Leno who conceded the 3rd least goals in the league gets a 4 but Ryan who played like 4 games gets a 5
    TIerney you gave you’re player of the season and a 8 rating but more goals came from
    The left side than the right this season but you gave all the other full backs 5sand 6s

    1. Dan kit says:

      Sorry missed ESR as a 6

    2. Grandad says:

      The fact that we conceded more goals on the left side of our defence ,according to you, could of course be attributed to the failings of Gabriel and Mari , and others who filled in for Tierney during his absence.I an also cite Leno who was beaten at least three times at the base of left post.Your bias towards Tierney is difficult to fathom but thankfully you belong to a minute group ,in the midst of a sea of right minded fans who appreciate the talents of our young left back.

      1. Dan kit says:

        My bias towards TIerney ! Simply pointing out facts as other posters below me have done to .Your another one who only reads what he wants to maybe engage your brain and read what I wrote before haring on .
        And the Only fans that would say TIerney was our player of the season would either be Scottish or blind (no offence Dan )

        1. Grandad says:

          What about the part played by the other players I mentioned.?What facts are you talking about to confirm you assertion? Do they actually exist?By your logic a goalkeeper would be judged by the number of goals conceded but not the defence in front of him.You have gone on record on this site to suggest Arsenal should get rid of Tierney.Do you deny this?

          1. Dan kit says:

            Regarding your last little hissy fit question.
            There was a post about getting a back up for LB I said I would go as far to say we should get a replacement because of his injuries ,now where does it say I said we should get rid of TIerney ,like i said you only read what you want to .
            My post was in reply to Dan anyway in a nice civil way and again you jump on it acting all high and Mighty ,if you look down the tread there are a few more who actually have an opinion close to mine ,why don’t you go bother them and ask them if they have ever kicked a ball in there life or actually have any football knowledge (that was what you said to me wasn’t it ?)
            Just. Because you have some weird fascination with TIerney doesn’t mean we all have to agree with you .
            Like I said he’s a great player ,great going forward but very injury prone and suspect against pacey wingers (which is what I said before ) so I’m not sure that means I have bias against him does it .

        2. Dan Smith says:

          ouch lol

  4. David Rusa says:

    I totally disagree on Leno. He deserves at least 6 because there are many games where he saved us. It is true he messed on a few occasions but on balance his positives far outweighed his minuses.

  5. Logic says:

    Pepe 7? 😲. Surely this must be based on the last month instead of whole season. I would give him 5 because he has been really poor for major part of season. The dude struggled to provide us with anything at all. He has been good recently but when we needed him for majority of season he was poor as hell. People call him Gervinihio 2.0 for a reason lol!. Hope his good form continues next season. Only other one is Elneney I think he deserves a 6, he has been pretty steady when called upon.

    1. Logic says:

      Forgot Tierney does not deserve 8 either because he is not that defensively sound as some might think he is. He has a heart and is hard working while also possess the talent but he is not there yet. No way he can have same dating as Saka. For me it’s 6 for Tierney. He has struggled against quality wingers and a lot of attacks against us came from his side. Defensively 5 and offensively 7 makes a pretty altogether.

  6. gotanidea says:

    Arteta is obviously trying to make Chambers sign a new contract, hence Chambers started more often in the end of the season. Soares will get his chance next season, if Bellerin leaves and if we don’t recruit a new RB

    1. Declan says:

      Chambers has been a revelation for me and I believe he is now nailed on to start next season as first choice. He is quicker than a lot of people give him credit for, good in the air, good crosser and most importantly can defend.

      1. ozziegunner says:

        👍 Declan, people forget that Calum Chambers was a young up and coming RB when Arsenal bought him from Southampton. Unfortunately injury has hampered his progress.
        Chambers is also versatile in being competent at RB, CB and DM (shown in winning player of the season at Fulham on loan. .

      2. gotanidea says:

        He’s not quick, but I agree with the other abilities you mentioned. In addition to those, Chambers’ ball control is exceptional for someone as tall as him and I predict his teamwork with Holding will be indispensable for us next season

  7. Kay says:

    As far as I’m concerned, the ratings are good with the exception of Auba and I don’t agree with the malaria excuses.
    Like I’ve mentioned before, what happened this just concluded season may repeat itself next season on the platform of motivation. I will not be consistently motivated if I play week in week out on 45k/week while players on 200+k,300+k/week play repeatedly without passion and commitment.

    My point is, something needs to be done on the wage bill to regulate it such that the disparity will not be much.

    1. Grandad says:

      Very good point Kay.

    2. ozziegunner says:

      Kay, I have pointed out on here for some time for people to check out how many players Arsenal has, who are on wages of £100,000 or more. When you compare Arsenal to the clubs above it on the table, it is quite surprising. High wages, don’t correlate with high performances.

    3. Alex says:

      About pepe not turning up earlier is actually down to Arteta misusing him and benching him when he was on form. So you wrong about turning up in less pressured game. After all he performed admirably in the run to our FA cup win. with goal involvements in each of Arsenal’s FA Cup matches from the quarter-final onwards, and were it not for an Ainsley Maitland-Niles offside in the build-up, the final victory over Chelsea may well have been remembered for the pepe 25-yard bullet instead of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s excellent display. We don’t need zaha because we have more pressing need. With the right system pepe will continue to do well.

  8. Sid says:

    Leno- 5. Because even if he made mistakes, he did make some great saves in some matches. Also showed improvement in ball handling.

    Runnarson- 3. Same as yours. Just hope he does not get scarred by this experience.

    Ryan- 5. Good when called upon. Just hasnt played much to rate him higher.

    Tierney- 7. Wont give him an 8 as based on the whole season he is atmost a 7 for me. Part of that is down to the amount of time he spent on the treatment table and part of that is when he was asked to play LCB he was not that good. Also he got skinned by Traore and Salah. Good attacking play, just hope he does not always cross into the first opponent about 5-6 times out of 10.

    Bellerin- 6. While his throw ins have been atrocious, he has similar stats in attacking as our dynamic LB. Some pace has been lost but has been a little more intelligent when attacking, so as to vary our options by cutting inside and compensating for his less than exceptional delivery. Defensive mistakes were dire in some games.

    Chambers- 6. Really good showings in RB, showed good delivery from the wide areas. Also provided good height for defending setpieces and long balls and calmness in ball handling. The problem of lack of pace remains though but I feel can be countered by better positioning.

    Cedric- 6. While he hasnt played that much compared to others, he has shown good ability on ball when called upon. Covered LB well and in RB provided different options than Hector.

    Holding- 7. Good defensive performance. Nothing to add as you summed up really well. Just wish he was a little more lucky/ clinical with his headers. Could be someone dangerous from the setpieces. Also atleast someone who shows leadership qualities.

    Luiz- 7.5. Best CB this season. Enough said.

    Gabriel- 6.5. Really started the season well with the first 3 months being the player of the month. I guess lack of competitive football caught up and was hot and cold ever since. Hope he can have a consistent season in 21-22.

    Mari- 6. Also someone who had limited gametime this season due to injury. Jad great as well as lacklustre performances. His calmness on the ball is reassuring, as much as his lack of pace concerning.

    I also hear other CBs on loan are performing well, so might have a better season with more pacy options in defence like Saliba. Also hoping to see Osei tutu and Mavro.

    AMN- 5.5, with us, 6. Overall.
    As you said, he had good performances in the shield and some EPL games. Had a relatively decent stint as an LB. Was somewhat decent as a B2B in EL. Has had an average season with WBA.

    Willock- 6, with us, 7.5. Overall.
    Willock was good in the EL, but was not able to show his qualities in the prem. Part of hia underwhelming performances were due to tactics and part due to confidence in my opinion. Showed what he could do in a familiar role at Newcastle, and is now the talk of the town.

    Nelson- 3. Had a few good European nights but to be honest this year has been a waste for him. I think MA missed a trick by atleast not playing him in nothing games for the shop window. Good player but needs a loan like Willock.

    Elneny- 6. Here is a case where I disagree with you. I feel Mo is better than/ equivalent to Torreira and Guendouzi. My reasoning being that he has good shooting technique, and a great engine. Was superb in the shield and at Old Trafford as you said. Couldnt quite recapture that sort of ability in any other matches this season. A good shot, possibly the only one other than Xhaka who can shoot, scored 3 goals about from CDM. Also showed good vision with some good passes in some games. On the flip side, was destroyed by Villa, and also was not able to protect the defense alone. Which makes me think he is a player who is most effective in a tactical setup based on defensive countering.

    Xhaka- 7. Agreed with everything you said about him. Good player around whom our tactics revolve.

    Ceballos- 5. Not a good season. Could play in a CAM and showed decent passing and technical ability but playing deeper was not effective. Too many careless mistakes and I feel it is better for all that he is leaving.

    Partey- 5. Was gonna give a 4 but TP had 2 great performances against ManU and Brighton to change my mind. As you said excuses have been made for him. Horrific shooting aside, his performances in the middle were lacking most of the times this season. Hopefully being fit and having a full preseason can be better next season.

    Guendouzi on loan has been decent. Not sure about Torreira. I feel both are about to be sold.

    Smith Rowe- 6.5. Will just change the rating. Rest what you said, I agree completely. Just that need a full season to assess him. That said he definitely offers something different to a standard CAM.

    Saka- 7. His finishing stopped me from giving him an 8. Apart from that, one of our leaders this season and maybe a contender for young player of the year. He is only going to get better with age as you said. Also I was one of the guilty party who placed him in my team of the season at RWB. Dont know why I did that lol, as he didnt play Rwb at any point this season.

    Pepe- 7.5. Great finisher. Sometimes showed lack of ball control skills, surprising considering he is the best dribbler in our team. But was never really consistent in the lineup to build his game up this season. Continuity might have paid more dividends with him. Our highest goal/assist contributor this season.

    Willian- 3. Would give him a three. He did have the highest assists in the league. But in all thought, did not look a good buy throughout the season except in some games and also blamed for stunting the development of Martinelli and Nelson.May play a more diminished role in the team next season.

    Martinelli- 5.5. Injury ravaged year. Still showed flashes of what made Klopp declare him the talent of the century last season. Intially struggled but adapted and offered much needed movement in that LW role. Being molded as an out and out striker by MA. A familiar situation as what happened all those years ago with a certain someone?

    Aubameyang- 6. Even in a year where he fell off from his lofty standards, he still managed 19 goal contributions in 38 appearances all season(or starts maybe. Not sure as I copied this stat from Sue.). Injuries, malaria, personal problems have taken a toll on him. A remarkable change this season was his lack of confidence finishing chances. I believe he will be better next season.

    Lacazette- 7. Clicked well with our young attacking talents. Had one of his most prolific campaigns for us. So a 7 from me. And on everything else I agree with you.

    Nketiah- 4. Scored some goals, particularly in the EL. But aside from the fact that he is a good presser, didnt show anything else in his locker. Lack of finsihing skills and physical attributes means he is not someone who we should stick with at the moment.

    Balogun- 4.5. Not enough game time. But based on how he has played, looked marginally better than Eddie. Hold up play looked decent against Dundalk, lets hope he can make it in the PL.
    Dont know much about the forward loanees so won’t make a comment.

    1. Sid says:

      Leno a 6.5 and Aubameyang a 5.5.

    2. kats says:

      If you rate these players that high, I would give Özil 9 or 10 if he still was playing us

  9. Dan says:

    Not sure peeps about opinions about Leno
    If your keeper is responsible for conceding goals that’s not groovy

  10. Dammy says:

    Great analysis, although I disagree on one or 2 points/stats.

    First, we conceded the 3rd fewest goals in the league, so our defence is better than average. We conceded the fewest penalties in the league. That said, individual errors were rife this season, hence only Brighton picking up more red cards than our 5 and only West Ham scoring more own goals than our 4.

    Leno is better than average and should be 6 or higher- 4 goalkeepers kept more clean sheets. He had a number of individual errors including the red card and most notably distribution, but should still be at least a 5.

    Runnarsson is a 1 – he did alright in the group stages of the UEL against weaker opposition. His first real test was against City in the League Cup. One could argue that Arteta should have used Leno, but the fact is as backup GK, he should be able to step in and do a job as Ryan has. He didn’t. Sell/Loan £40k a week and waste of non-home-grown squad place.

    Cedric probably merits a 6. He did alright as backup RB, and fell out of favour as backup LB. Would have had more chances to impress if Chambers hadn’t been bloody decent, giving the boss a different option. You want your backup to do a decent job when called upon but if a backup player offers something different and gives you tactical flexibility, its a big plus. Chambers has a year left – extend asap!

    Nothing to add to Holding other than he played the most minutes – 3 more than Saka 🙂

    Gabriel/Mari – agree. Gabriel has the price tag which is probably why he gets more game time. He’s better in the air, while Mari is better at reading the game and with the ball at his feet. Good to have 2 left footed CB to choose from.

    AMN – had one punt as LB in the league against Palace I think where I think Arteta had enough. A 4 for me. Should have gone to Wolves last summer for £20m. He needs to rethink where he thinks his best position is – it’s not central midfield. It’s winger or wing-back while he still has his pace.
    Sell – should fetch £12m

    You ought to do a piece on LB’s. The story behind Kolasinac’s departure without replacement has no satisfactory explanation other than he was in the ‘Ozil-camp’ with Mustafi press leaking and disrupting the first team

    Willock – agree but think we should sell. Like AMN, we might rue in a year. No Europe this season so will be limited to Cup games and odd League appearance. A season-long loan to Newcastle for a decent fee and option to sell might be an alternative. A box to box CM in the making with delusions of #10 like many before him (Pogba?). £20m if we sell now would boost transfer kitty

    Nelson – 2? A bit generous 70 mins in the league – unmemorable but a goal and assist in UEL. OK.
    Sell. Should fetch £8m with sell-on clause

    Ceballos – 2. Good thing we didn’t buy and a lesson for Odegaard. If Madrid agrees to loan – great. Priority should still be Buendia for #10

    We need another CM as backup or alternative to Xhaka alongside Partey. His vision and distribution is good, as well as game management and he has cut out more errors. However, his lack of pace continually forces his midfield partner up the pitch to break up play, exposing him to last man tackles.

    El Neny has a great engine but needs direction. half-decent back up to Partey and a useful combo against better teams. A year left on his contract – up to Edu and Arteta.

    Partey will be better next season. He came injured and was rushed in before being fully fit more than once due to price tag and weekly wage. A 5 for me, because of work rate and covering ground for Xhaka as well.

    Willian is a 1. The West Brom free-kick didn’t bring points. The additional goal difference didn’t matter. Free transfer costing £10m a year. He can’t go to Miami soon enough. Arteta/Edu’s worst signing. Prevented Pepe from hitting form sooner and forced so much tinkering from Arteta to justify his signing. Nelson didn’t get a look in either because of him! I was against it from the off. He should have gone into the #10 role linking with Pepe and Saka to supply Auba. Disappointed when given the opportunity. We owe him £20m more so might have to pay him off to go…

    Odegaard is a 5. Done alright, no more. ESR would benefit more from learning/playing/backing up Buendia.

    Aubameyang – yes but played out of position. Scored most of his goals for Arsenal as a wide forward but forced centrally this season. I’d like to see how many Salah would score in Firminos position for Liverpool. On the bench away at Villareal in that false 9 experiment. Will struggle next season if played centrally without supply

    Lacazette is a 4. A real headache for Arteta. Contributes more with Auba playing wide. Has scored 7 fewer goals (50) in his first 4 seasons than Giroud who he was meant to be an upgrade on. Best shot conversion rate in the team because he takes very few shots. He’s a bloody striker!!! Yes, he’s a better CF than Auba, because Auba’s not a CF. Tierney is a better LB than Xhaka is the same argument imo. We need an upgrade. Has a year left on his contract, same as Nketiah – might be the last chance to salvage something, especially if Arteta plans to continue with Auba as CF. Both worth £48m – we should be able to get around £30m to reinvest in the squad

    Gabriel – 5 – probably. He returned from injury in December and notched 2 goals in 7 starts.

    There’s £50m-£70m in sales there if we don’t pay Willian £20m off to add to the transfer pot, which knowing how Kroenke runs Arsenal will be about £50m. A piece prioritising which positions we need to recruit for considering this budget would be brilliant!

  11. siamois says:

    I think a lot of it comes from MA inexperience stubbornness tinkering baffling decisions like disrespecting the FA cup as holders especially with the time/credits it bought him! Now players take Laca who started the season injured he scored 3 or 4 games in a row the next game he is subbed Willian played the first 12/14 games apart from Fulham nothing in the meantime Pépé comes on as a sub influenced the game scores and Willian is still picked what does this do to the players confidence it was no coincidence that he took for him to be sick against Chelsea for things to massively improved and for him to become a sub after that as for KT he got injured because he was overplayed mismanaged Saka also went through a bad patch because of burn out MA stuck with Leno when he made mistakes when he had Ryan a more than capable back up his insistence of playing an underperforming Auba due to personal reasons and still recovering from Malaria messing with the fowards selection resulting in both Saka Pépé playing on the wrong wing side having to omit Laca GM what about playing Xhaka as LB it worked for one game but to continue against UE the manager who first played there stank of arrogance inexperience why not play Cedric instead?then playing TP as a sole pivot with no cover Villarreal debacle (false 9)not taking Ceballos on a yellow and playing with fire waiting till the 80th to make changes his poor handling of certain young players and his reluctance to trust them ..i could go on but what the last 5 games showed that by going back to basics not trying to be too clever not forcing systems on the team like the “shoehorn” playing with the same team bar 2/3 changes of personal per game some continuity this team can perform better that they have and is better than 8th for sure and may be MA has learnt from his mistakes!🤞

  12. Patrick Mulundu says:

    All the mistakes made by Leno cost us those five matches and in total we lost fifteen points. If we had won the five,games we would have amassed seventy six points enabling us to play in the champions league.

  13. Alex says:

    So Elneny, wilnock and Niles have better rating than Leno because of his rare errors. Leno that was sometimes our match saviour. Leno that practically saved us in Villarreal first leg, Chelsea second leg and more games. What exactly did Niles, wilnock or Elneny do for us all through the season. According to footballcritics stats, Leno error leading to goal is Nil below Allison that had 3, kepa (2), Martinez (1), Ederson (1), De Gea (2). Leno error lead to chance is 1 below Alison and Ederson have (3), De Gea, Mendy and Fabianski have (2), Martinez (1). Even Martinez possession lost per 90 mins is double that of Leno. So Leno Error is actually exaggerated. This stats can be checked @

    https://www.footballcritic.com/premier-league/season-2020-2021/player-stats/goalkeepers/errors/2/41756

    1. Dan Smith says:

      well yeah , wilcok and AMN needed to play enough to get bad or good rating
      rare errors?
      Depends how many mistakes you think a seson your gk should make
      I felt at the Ethiad and Anfield he palmed the ball into the middle and not to the side
      in Vienna he kicked ball to opposition
      Everton – let the ball slip through legs
      Wolves- charges out and just punches the ball
      Benfica charges out of goal and gets in no mans land
      Olymiakos plays defender into trouble
      Leicester out of place for header
      Burnely gets no where near header
      so , that’s quite a few

  14. Grandad says:

    To Dan Kit.Not only have you failed to provide the factual information to back up your assertions, you have also omitted to comments on the mitigating suggestions I made, then you fail to tell the truth.In the article in question you said you would only retain 3/4 players namely Saka, ESR, Martinelli and Partey.In other words you would get rid of Tierney.Do you deny this again ?

    1. Dan kit says:

      Do you deny this !
      😂 are we in court or something ?

      Why don’t you go through the older posts and read what I said ,it’s not that hard to do .

      1. Grandad says:

        Well Dan, you have shown your true colours.Spout on about losing more goals on the left, yet you cannot back it up with actual evidence.Fail to respond to the other considerations, and then you do not have the decency to admit the truth?Season ratings for you, zero.

        1. Dan kit says:

          🥴
          Please tell me that means you won’t reply to my posts again ?
          That would be great .

        2. Dan Smith says:

          cant give him 0!
          Hes the predictions champion dude lol

  15. The-Real-Vieira-Lynn-4ever says:

    if you’re trying to make a statement about the absolutely shameful nature of our franchise, based on the provided ratings, mission accomplished…minus our most youthful prospects(Saka, ESR & Tierney), who were clearly the only silver linings of this campaign, according to you, our best players were Luiz, Xhaka, Holding and Pepe…just imagine our future prospects if these 4 rather underwhelming players were looked upon as the “best performers” of our club moving forward…if this isn’t an indebtment on Arteta’s managerial and tactical ineptitude, I don’t know what is…I guess in a way it’s about expectations, which is why when you expect jacksh** from individuals like this lot and then they churn out bang average seasons you’re somehow elated since, in a sense, they actually overachieved,…remember this list includes our two most error-prone individuals, a player, in Holding, who’s only weaknesses are his inability to head a ball or pick a pass and a 72M player, who scored 4 of his 10 goals in the last 2 games of the season…how terribly sad, but when you adopt incredibly negative tactics these are the kind of players you will ultimately highlight, after all they’re on or around the ball 85% of the time

  16. Davi says:

    Chambers previously looked too slow when he’s played RB for us, but not anymore – is it just because he’s getting adequate protection in this team?
    I’m fast becoming a big fan of his. Love his attitude, he just goes for it, but also has real ability.

  17. JanV says:

    For me grading out of 10 means, 6 is the lowest passing grade. Giving Ryan a 5 seems harsh. When called upon he passed. So to me, he would have been a 6.

    Holding a 7 is too high for me, he and Luiz should have been 6.

    Partey a 4 is also too harsh. Yes he didn’t shine in his first season yet his overall body of work was passable so for me he gets a 6

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors
JustArsenal Top Ten UK Blogs