Arsenal Player Ratings v Aston Villa – A surprise MOTM…..

Another win! This Sunday’s game should be a belter and give us a good indication of where we are really at.

Here’s my ratings for last night’s game against Aston Villa.

Gooners must be feeling a touch of vertigo from out lofty position after last night’s game against a poor Villa team. Here are the ratings for the game.

 Ramsdale (7) Was commanding throughout and bossed the box well. His distribution was solid again. Difficult to fault him for the freak goal as the legality of the block was questionable from certain angles. But ultimately, he shouldn’t have been exposed as a defender should have been assigned to protect him.

 White (6) Solid again at right back, but when he was replaced by Tomiyasu the difference in dynamism going forward was evident. Still reliable in a position that is not his natural position, but might be better served used as a defensive midfielder going forward.

Saliba (7) Had very little to do but did it well. His relationship with Gabriel is very natural and they complement each other.

Gabriel (8) Read the game excellently throughout and was responsible for some early interventions that undermined the Villa attack and ensured it didn’t develop. His turn and shot was worthy of any striker and has increased dramatically as an attacking threat this season.

Tierney (7) Becoming increasingly influential as he eases his way back into the fold. Offers very effective overlaps that stretches defences, and once him and Martinelli regain their understanding he will provide more assists. Solid in reading intended attacks and swept up a few times.

 Lokonga (7) A very impressive and assured outing. Showed consistently for the ball and made some very clean interceptions and his distribution was on the money. Will do his confidence the world of good.

Xhaka (7) His renaissance continues unabated. The senior member of the team is now acting like the senior member of the team. Timely interceptions, strong presence and forceful and positive distribution. Add in his forward forays and he is a player who has found his mojo.

Odegaard (6) His most subdued outing of the season thus far. Still offers energy and leads by example with his constant pressure. However, his radar was slightly off and passes that he instinctively makes weren’t quite hitting their mark. The injury is more than a little worrying as he has been our talisman.

Saka (7) A better showing as he hasn’t quite recovered his form from last year. Needs increased protection from refs as he is obviously being targeted by defences, who double up on him and foul him. Should have scored but is forgiven because of his decision making when providing the assist for Martinelli.

Martinelli (8) Swiftly becoming a world class player. He is a constant menace and terrifies defenders, causing teams to lose shape when he runs at them. His ball retention is phenomenal and gets a pass off regardless of the level of pressure. The technique in his finish and the screamer that Martinez saved was sublime. With improved decision making he will become a superstar.

Jesus (8) Energy, drive, skill and instinct that we have already started to take for granted. Scored one and could have caused many more. His appetite for the battle is inspirational to the rest of the team.

 MOTMThe Twelfth Man. The Emirates eas once again a spine-tingling noisy cauldron, especially during the periods of adversity. Vital we keep it up and drive this team to success, because there will be suffering along the way…

Overall, a dominant and reassuring display against an abject, and I would imagine, soon to be manager less Villa. Five from five couldn’t be any better.

Six from six at Old Trafford would be dream come true. COYG!

Peter Doherty

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47 Comments

  1. Agree except White and Ødegaard both 7 for me and after watching the game again in the cold light of day, 8 for Xhaka who is my man of the match.

  2. MOTM for me is G. Martinelli, that kid is growing so fast to become something huge for Arsenal, I pray he stays injury free this season.

  3. Pretty bang on ratings apart from saka who I thought was pretty poor again and white who I thought had a good game again .
    Martinelli MOTM for me , involved all night and another important goal.
    Looks like Luiz for our last transfer in this window .

    1. I agree Saka was poor and missed a sitter.also Liverpool are going to sign Arthur Melo on loan,he is travelling to Merseyside,I guess he can’t be that bad, I’m sure they looked at the data.

      1. Saka was poor? The two od you are either spoiled or you need to see eye specialist. He was electric from the start, dribling threw 3 players, should have been awarded a penalty when their defender threw him on the ground. Yes he missed a sitter but reedemed himself with a great assist for the winning goal. Was he at the top of his game? No. Was he poor? Definitely no!!!!!

          1. @Dan,you don’t need to go to Specsavers, haven’t you seen their latest ads,no?they now do home visits!😂

    2. His assist was that of a genius. It took the whole defence including the goalkeeper by surprise and made all the difference. Is that a poor player?

      1. Did I say he was a poor player ?
        No I said hes played poor which IMO he has for most games so far this season ,a player on form wouldn’t miss that sitter .
        I’m a massive saka fan BTW .

  4. I’m so happy for Lokonga, he’s definitely a baller, and we are recruiting very well. Sometimes it takes time for a player to adapt, but we should be supportive and patient with our young players. COYG

    1. Spot on Didrik,
      I also appreciated Lokonga who was fantastic in passes and dispossession opposition. It’s nice to see that he will soon take over that position as Partey and Elneny become sick notes. His football is clever moves and quick passes. Keep on keeping on.

  5. I feel it’s really unfair to award xhaka a 7, he covered for Lokonga’s defense lapses,
    Lokonga was a passenger in defense, was good atimes going forward but in defense, he was bad, against Man United he would cost us a lot,

    Lokonga should be a 5, imo .

  6. White’s rating should’ve been higher, because he did a good job as an inverted RB who had to defend, control the passing flow from the deep-midfield area and dictate the tempo. Had he moved forward frequently, we could’ve been caught by Aston Villa’s counter-attacks

    Lokonga’s touches were highly consistent and Xhaka was very effective at stealing the ball from the front, by sneaking behind the opponents’ backs. Xhaka’s crosses from the left wing have been incisive as well

    Martinelli seems to be one of the best dribblers in EPL currently, because he can easily get past a couple of players without touching them. Saka had to use his strength/ hold-up play to do that and missed a clear-cut chance, but his overall contribution was also great

  7. Xhaka 7 ? Lmao

    Xhaka who was also in contention for MOTM on the team’s website is a 7?
    Was our best midfielder yesterday, protected Sambi well. Something I didn’t expect from him.
    There’s no way anyone would be telling me Tielemans is better than this version of Xhaka we’ve gotten for the past 18 months.

    Other than that, okay ratings for everyone

    1. I agree Xhaka deserves a higher rating,the same way Saka does a lower one.i can feel a preferential treatment .

  8. Pleased to see the recognition of the important role player by Lokonga last night.He is not a naturally defensive player but did well against a fairly physical side.You mixed up the ratings for Ramsdale and White imo, although to be fair to the keeper Tomi was also culpable for the Villa goal as he vacated his near post position.The goals we have conceded so far this season have all been so avoidable and this is an area which the coaches need to address.

    1. Yes aviodable indeed Grandad .

      BUT, what I take from that fact is that not a single goal against us has come from opponents superior all round play and THAT tells ME a great deal about how much we are improved, compared to ayear ago. Mistakes can and probably will be rectified but what cannot be rectified and what has not yet occurred, is a superior oppnents play creating goals they deserve.

      Not happened yet at all and IMO, WILL NOT HAPPEN MUCH AT ALL, UNLESS WE GET AN INJURY CRISIS.

      SO, I READ THAT SITUATION AS A POSITIVE, RATHER THAN A NEGATIVE ONE.

    2. @Grandad
      Spot on Gooner. Tomi got caught ball watching. He saw the defender was blocking out Aaron and watched as the ball sailed in. He could have stopped it…

  9. Am not the biggest fan of Xhaka but its strange how his contribution always goes unnoticed.

    Martinelli is really the next Luis Suarez, if he continues this season uninterrupted, we are looking at the best left Winger in the premier league.

    Odegaard deserves a higher rating than six

    1. It only goes unnoticed by those who have an agenda Gunsmoke (not you I add).

      After the game, both Odegaard and Xhaka went round applauding the fans and got a terrific reception.

      Only the willfully blind are still not accepting what an important part of MA ‘s plans he is.

      1. I think you’re right Ken. He has found his niche late in his Arsenal career, but finally he is influencing the whole game like he does for Switzerland, and has been playing that well for the past year. I’m baffled though why none of Wenger, Emery and initially Arteta never tried playing him further forward before – another victim of a willingness to play anywhere?

      2. @Ken – nice saying.
        I have never understood the idea about attacking our players. A better atmosphere makes it attractive to play in our shirt. COYG

  10. I thought sambi did will. It’s the hardest position to fill DM. Elite DM’s in the modern game, must be mobile, big engines, great awareness, and good passing game and when a club has one, they tend to hold onto them. Good ones will tend not to want to play second fiddle also. Which is why partey is important and a back up of the same quality is hard to find.

  11. Excellent ratings and comments except I would increase White to 7 – watch again and see the huge amount of work he did and the offensive contributions. Lokonga still has a way to go but considering he’s not a DM he did well in a problem position.

    1. White is better defensively than Tomi. I know a lot of ppl wont like to hear that but it’s true. Tomi was a sub that made sense for that moment in the match but we were def more exposed down that side when he came on.

  12. I am a big fan of Saliba from the day we signed him I have always said he is the best CB we have at club since we signed him but he did not have a good game yesterday. He lost his duels, made poor decision on when to go in and when to stay back and his positioning was bad. Being aggressive suits his style but he was a bit passive. Looked like to me he has been told to hold back as last defender and Gabi is given the role of aggressor. So many times the ball bounced in front of Saliba last night but he paddled back in front of attacking the ball as usual.

  13. Our likely new signing Douglas Luiz’s full name is: Douglas Luiz GABRIEL Soares de Paulo.

    Yes, we have got our fourth Gabriel, folks (and our new corner kick taker)!

  14. For me MOTM was Sami, I can see why Henry wanted him at Arsenal. He was calm, displayed variety of his passing range, good ball recovery, intelligent positioning, good feet, good ball control, always available and good tackles as well. If he keeps this up then we might see him as being moulded into this role permanently. I would give him 9.

  15. The whole team did well. Some systems and opponent set change player contributions and effectiveness sometimes. The main thing is showing class anyhow whichway. Saka, despite his off form and possibly other factors, masterfully assisted our winning goal. Class!

    On our midfield signing, my thinking:

    If we eventually do not bring in Tielemans, then him and Arsenal have agreed in a way to move for free next summer, possibly in view of UCL football. Douglas Luiz will just an impromptu signing if he arrives.

  16. What a brilliant performance by the team. There will always be days where a team creates chances but can’t convert them into goals. Then the opponent levels and we respond – just goes to show the belief and confidence the team has at the moment.

    I don’t think there was a bad performance at all. Sure, a couple of the boys could’ve done better but this is the PL and no game is easy. Besides this is a young team and there will be days like this but as long as there is fight and determination, then irrespective of the outcome we should be pleased.

    Lokonga had a great game and will only improve. I mentioned last year when we signed him and Tavares, that they were great talents and they will rightly be so as long as they get the opportunities and can stay humble and learn. Tavares is on top form at Marseille and is banging in the goals at left back.

    Contrary to some of the opinions on here, I thought Saka was great. Sure there wasn’t a goal but he played his heart out and took on the defenders time and again. The goals will come and that will bring confidence and better performances. But his playmaking, dribbling and set piece skills are there for all to see.

    Sunday is the big test and if we have to put out a statement that we’re serious about our chances in the PL, we simply have to put Man Utd to the sword. I don’t think there is a better time to play them. Hopefully we have better news on Zinchenko and Partey and can get a singing or two in today.

    Come on you gooners!

    1. I agree mostly with what you say Tony but utd are already playing better and have momentum hopefully they lose tonight, I think 3 weeks ago would of been the best time to play them🤔

      1. I think if they draw today, there will be a bit of complacency going into the Arsenal match. Against Liverpool, they played for their lives – we don’t want that Utd to show up on Sunday. So I don’t mind a couple of wins for them now, so they can slack when we show up, lol.

        However in all honesty, they’ve had a period of change and we should be able to capitalize although they managed two successive wins. Although they showed fight and grit against Liverpool, they were lucky to come out winners given Liverpool ruled possession and shots on target and against Southampton they were far from deserving a victory. So they are still there for the taking. Despite Leicester’s squad struggles, I expect them to show Man Utd what they’re capable of and I expect us to pile the misery come Sunday!

  17. Xhaka was MOTM for me. Won balls, got into the box, helped Lokonga down the middle. I couldn’t have asked more from him he was excellent yesterday.

  18. Satisfied with the team: Lokonga did surprise me in a possitve way. He was played a bit out of position but did well, I think. Only Tierny seems to perform under his normal level, but he is on his way back. Saka should defenitely have scored. There was even time to stop the ball and score. . MA should consider earlier to go for a more rotating system where possible. For the first time I sensed fatigue in the players. Okay you cannot put pressure on all the time, but with a bit unluck Aston Villa could had an undeserved draw. We must not let the opponent have so much initiative in the second half. What are we going to do, when we cannot hold the pressure? We must have a plan here. IMO we could instead try to keep hold of the ball in the middle of the park. We must try to tire the opponents by letting them chase the ball in our triangles. As long as we have the ball they can’t score and they will be too tired to attack us high.

  19. Saka isn’t quite at last season’s level but he wasn’t by any means poor, more the least of our best players. Sambi was the biggest surprise to me as I’ve always found him to be a bit erratic, but last night he literally didn’t put a foot wrong and could be the solution to the Partey issue. How can anyone not love Martinelli right now; ball recovery, pressing, interplay with Jesus, mazzy dribbles and goal scoring. He’ll surely be a star of the World Cup hopefully keeping that turd Neymar out.

  20. We were playing a woeful team which seems to distract from any realistic assessment in the above … can’t say there was a stand out performance .. but for me martinelli was our best player and his goal was cherry on that cake .. but he is increasingly guilty of overdrbbling which he did on numerous occasions yday … but an 8 fair .. lokonga saliba Jesus and Gabriel were all decent and did there job against poor opposition well enough so 7s all round … and tomiyasu was on long enough for a 7 too … saka was good in moments but overall not up to his standard and same goes for odegaard though that might be down to injury as his performance fell noticeably in second half so 6s for both … the rest were ok but unforgettable so 5s all round though white was poor and just shoukd not be at RB when we have better options and tiernay isn’t yet up to speed

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