Arsenal player ratings v Aston Villa – the highest rating today is just 7

Aston Villa did the double over Arsenal this season after their 1-0 win over Mikel Arteta’s side.

The Gunners were looking to avenge their 3-0 loss at the Emirates in the reverse fixture, but it wasn’t to be. Here is our Arsenal player ratings.

Mat Ryan – 7
He had not even settled when he conceded the goal, but he went on to have a fine performance. Made great saves from Bertrand Traore and Jack Grealish.

Hector Bellerin – 5
Another poor showing from the Spaniard, who probably should be sold in the summer. Terrible passes and his crossing was abysmal.

Rob Holding – 6
Admittedly he struggled against Villa’s tricky attackers, but he should be commended for his effort to help get the Gunners back in the game.

Gabriel Maghalaes – 5
Started the match slowly and was also culpable for the goal, but grew into the game and wasn’t afraid to try scoring from setpieces.

Cedric Soares – 4
On this evidence, Arsenal will be keen to get Kieran Tierney back so he can stop playing out of position. Struggled to deal with Traore.

Thomas Partey – 5
Just like against Wolves, his passing didn’t cause many problems for the opposition, but he is a good physical addition to the team. Looks to have been injured again.

Granit Xhaka – 6
He is Arsenal’s most in-form central midfielder now, he looked more confident in dealing with Villa’s threat from the middle.

Bukayo Saka – 6
He rarely doesn’t make an impact nowadays, today was one of his off days. Played in two positions.

Emile Smith Rowe – 6
Would make a good midfield partner to Martin Odegaard as he got better when the Norwegian came on. But didn’t do as much as he would have wanted.

Nicolas Pepe – 7
Looked more threatening than most Arsenal players as he has been in most matches recently, but his poor touch let him down on some occasions.

Alexandre Lacazette – 5
Was one of those bad days for him, for some reason he didn’t offer enough problems to the Villa defence.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 4
He didn’t look better than Lacazette when he came on. He will probably spend some more time on the bench.

Martin Odegaard – 6
Was the best of Arsenal’s subs, but missed a big chance to make a big statement.

Willian – 4
Shouldn’t have been brought on ahead of Martinelli.

Player Ratings from Ime

Tags arsenal player ratings


  1. I don’t see any style in our play. When we won, I didnt see it either. Just mindless crossing in panic. I think we play like a mid table club and thats where you find us too..

    Agree with ratings.

      1. Partey is clearly an injury liability,so we need to rely on Xhaka in there, how bad is that?? ESR and Saka need a rest. Next match, Odergard, Martenelli and Auba in. STILL need another CDM, good job Ryan came over…

        1. Xhaka is not disciplined enough to be relied on,we need to see more of for me,am yet to understand the problem with this team because they appear to be better than Wenger’s champions league teams,why we are not getting results remains spiritual

          1. He’s been disciplined and the most consistent player since the red card. That’s seven games in a row.

          2. our coach is the problem. we now have decent players in all positions, but our coach simply doesnt know how to use them because he is clueless!

          3. We don’t have decent players
            This isn’t a blip
            How many of these players Would get in a to 4 side ?

      2. Yes, agreed with you, it time for arsenal hierarchy to start looking for an experience coach not a biased minded coach who prefer to use willian than Matanelli. William has lost his confidence but I still wonder why M.A still uses him.

  2. Look at the impact tuchel had at Chelsea against Tottenham. Need a real coach who understands tactics and dictates the way the team plays. Not chose a team tell them to go play and then give instructions from the touch line like it’s going to make a difference then

    1. Calm down lol, his first game was atrocious, and he beat a VERY lackluster spurs that are in terrible form.

    2. Tottenham without Hary kane is toothless. Tuchel has not convinced me yet. Good they will be playing us again. Tottenham lost to a bottom half club recently.

  3. congratulations to the players. it was not an easy game. certainly defeat hurts. But overall I find the performance of the team encouraging for the future. this season let’s forget about the standings and let arteta continue to work with the players as he does. victories will naturally come friends. be patient. Granit xhaka has really improved. it is on him that our midfield rests. partey is under recently, too much waste in his game with missed passes. a big hat also has Pépé which little by little regains its Lille form. I continue with Arteta until the end of the season. And we will take stock at the end of the season. the team is in a good direction even if for the moment the results do not follow. But I am confident. It will come.

      1. Arsenal is now a play ground, even Ole was able to qualify for champions last season. Emery was almost there in his first season, and also got to Europa league final. So Arteta can not continue playing around.

    1. What direction is that 12th 14th 15th? … there is no direction we have wobbled around mid table since start of season … and we are playing worse football than in the dying days of wenger and the hapless days of emery … wake up and smell the coffee

  4. Why are we giving minutes to a loan player from Real Madrid ahead of a fantastic talent in Martinelli?he should have been the first player to come on .
    Ryan looks a better back up keeper than Martinez already after one game ,good business MOTM everyone else was crap .

    1. Odegaard wasn’t the problem as he was the last sub.
      The main problem are Aubameyang and Willian. Those idiots aren’t impact sub players.
      Martinelli should have come on before Auba and definitely ahead of Willian.
      This is where I blame Arteta. Dude has no idea what works for him

    2. Arteta has a problem with Martinelli I can assure u. When he played I could only hear Arteta shouting his name

  5. Arteta just confuses everyone, including the players with his subs.
    His subs, when he needs to impact a game, are always rubbish.
    Almost as if he doesn’t watch the same game we do.
    Maybe he should just sit his arse down and watch on a pad like Solksjaer does.

    I don’t understand the need to always cross the ball when they damn well know we don’t have a target man like Giroud. Its as if these players don’t play against themselves in training and don’t know each other’s strengths.

    1. I dont think the players know what or how to play. They look confused and just blasts the ball inside the box. It looks hopeless. There are few good moments when Xhaka opens up a winger/fullback or when Saka/ESR click together.

      Other than that, there is no creativity or clear path what we try to do when attacking.

      1. The arsenal team lacked confidence from kick off. Aston villa did their home work. They were very physical and dey defended well. We played better in second half but it wasnt enough to break their defence.

        Still some positives from the match.

        AUBA still needs to get him self in shape. Willian nothing to write home about.

  6. The more I look at the overall situation I’m starting to realise that MA has a HUGE ego and it’s hurting us. Think about….

    -Won’t have a senior assistant manager anywhere near him

    -Genuinely can’t understand how we can lose any game, every press conference he looks perplexed at how a loss was possible under his management

    -Anybody, in anyway, that questions him or his methods immediately get frozen out of the team. Trying to get respect through force never works

    I believe he lacks any kind of assertiveness that’s needed to manage at a ‘big’ club. Good, assertive leaders demand respect without having to be forceful…

    1. Dont forget the favoritism of playing certain players. If I remember correct, it took Arteta awfully long to drop Willian?

      1. Exactly, all part of the ego….if you can’t find fault with your choices you cant possibly need to change anything like your player preferences.

    2. Hi PJ, I think most managers have big egos – it’s kind of necessary to do the job. Plus as they are always the ones with a job on the line, most of them think they might as well go down due to thrir own beliefs. Most managers improve by learning from their own, not other peoples, mistakes. My concern is that he seems to be learning slowly or not at all. Plus I don’t know a top manager out there that would not punish players publicly criticising them.
      Having said that he doesn’t easily or quickly forgive, and he seems to fall out with way too many players. At the very least that’s unfortunate when a club has so few talented players.

      1. Yeah his ego is stopping him from learning from his own mistakes, thats my big concern.

        Imagine having a boss that never takes on board what you say, always favours your colleagues that do very little and you have to cover for with extra work….i wouldn’t want to put my heart and soul into my work for someone like that would you?

        Willian is like that employee that takes credit for your work and if you speak up or question anything you get a warning…basically how i see MA management

  7. I am concerned that MARTINELLI will soon ask for a transfer, as he is repeatedly ignored for lesser players, Willian esp. There does seem to be a strange (UNEXPLAINED BY EVIDENCE) compulsion to play Willian above better players, not ONLY Martinelli either.

    1. The only reason I,can think of Willian playing is to prove that Arteta was not wrong bringing him in. Only reason. Willian is so lost.

    2. Arrogance to prove he’s right regarding Willian, even though it hurts the team. Add to that no assistant to step in and say “wait a minute Mikel, Willian has been terrible, Martinelli offers more offensively, and works hard defensively too”.

      Arteta desperately needs a 2nd with experience and who speaks up, not a gum chewing steve Bould type who is a yes man.

      Year’s end needs an evaluation and clear goals set forth. Philosophy, style of play, objectives for performance.

      Seems players have objectives to reach, yet Arteta has free pass for the year.

      Money won’t solve the problems; we need an experienced coach that can develop younsters and milk every bit of talent from veteran players. Arteta offers none of that.

      Saka was polished by Freddie, remember Saka praising him for their talks & 1-1 sessions? Tierney was already top talent; Arteta stumbled on ESR due to injuries, same like the Saka combo.

      Remember for weeks and weeks he played Tierney as a LCB? Horrendous to let inexperienced manager make those development and positional decisions.

      1. Remember why Emery was fired?
        1. Dropping points & uncompetitive
        2. Terrible selections & subs
        3. Played too defensive
        4. Playing people out of position
        5. Lacking style and philosophy

        Keep in mind Emery had trophies as evidence

        Arteta in comparison
        1. Soon to be 13th, lower than Emery
        2. Arteta’s favorites and pairings
        3. Arteta’s defensive & toothless
        4. Saka LWB, Tierney LCB, Willian as a ST against city, Laca as a 10, Xhaka as a LB, on and on and on
        5. Arteta no style or philosophy

        Arteta keeps his job for being far worse than Emery. For everyone wanting Emery gone, how can you back Arteta without being a hypocrite?

    3. I think Marinelli will stay put. He needs to convince us his not an injury player. That he can play 3 games straight without getting injured. Then his gonna have his time.

      Same with Thomas.

      We had talented playes in the pasr with injury problems….Rosiscky, Diaby and so on

    4. Hi Jon. Rumour is that he can’t shake off some residual pain from his big injury. They want to slowly ease him back in but because he only plays at 100% they are wary of risking him in tough games.
      It’s similar with Tierney – he is such an intense player, even in training, that theyre finding it tough to re-habilitate him as he doent get the concept of easing back into fitness.Basically he is not good at managing his own injuries. This was a problem with celtic too – each time he started gentle training he broke down again.

  8. Stop playing with 2 DM.Too defensive.Play with only 1 DM and 2 creative just like midfielders(odegaard and ERS,or Odeegard and Ceballos.).We need speed and mobility,not sideway passing between 2 DM.We need “ ball-carrier”players,going and looking forward,not back.Play attacking football from the very beginning,not in the 70th minute or after conceding a goal.Rule the pitch,don’t play safe and boring(just like Arteta did when he played).About the clown Arteta,he is just David Moyes 2.0.And must share the same fate like Moyes at MU.Get rid of him and already start negociating with Nagelsman from Lepzig-this is what we need-entertaining and attacking fotball.Nagelsman can fight Bayern s going toandDotmund with a team made of kids.Arteta cannot do it with a team full of millionaire stars.For people thinking about the “ escape-plan” in Europa League,watch Benfica trashing us in both legs.Remember Olimpiacos?It’s going to happen again.It never gets old under “ Arteta reign”.

  9. Cannot wait to see Arteta’s back at the end of the season and I won’t complain if it was sooner than that.

  10. If only arsenal can be ruthless enough&sell gabriel before he does more costly damage to our club.very clueless player’

      1. big time on Cedric, he put that pass to Villa on a platter. Almost did it a second time. He makes a lot of mistakes (and the occasional good play to be fair) and with Tierney’s health we will be seeing him a lot.

        We will be lucky to get 20 games out of Tierney a season regularly. He is a great talent but made of glass.

        I know that AMN feels he is a midfielder but we are going to miss him over the course of the season at the back. We are going to get stuck using Chambers or Granit as a FB before long. Just hope Bellerin stays healthy because we can’t cover two FBs….

  11. Huge mistake not appointing Ancelotti when Unai got sacked.
    He wanted the job.
    Still has a house in London.
    This squad is too good to be where we are.

  12. I said it before that Arteta haven’t made one player better at arsenal so why should he continue to be allowed to coach this lot.
    Think about it if you worked with a top class supervisor before then someone comes in that’s not equally good or better then how long before this new supervisor and workers start clashing.
    Aubameyang scored for every manager he’s represented except for the great Arteta.

  13. Soares has very time and space to control the ball and pick his pass perfectly. I don’t what he was thinking rushing it. He deserves very for that criticism but who I blame for the goal is hHolding. Where was he running to? The moment he saw Traore with the ball he was running into our net given Watkins the opportunity to connect with the ball and shoot. I have seen to many of that in his game just like I have seen Bellerin just running to defend the empty space instead of towards the players with the ball. A lot has been said about Arteta his tactics, substitution and his decision to play underperforming players but how long can Arsenal put up to this. Any team doesn’t have to exert themselves to beat us. We just need to self-distruct or not show up.

  14. I saw the first half but because of work commitments i couldn’t watch the second but im not impressed at all. Our discipline in awful, our concentration is awful and the pace we play is awful. We were getting up a bit of a run and from the last game we have regressed again. We should have come out like lions in that game and we wimpered about looking like the prey again. Ive said it from the beginning of Artetas reign, i dont like the way we play, there doesn’t seem to be a plan and like wenger in his struggling years, he does the same things game after game and wonders why the same results happen. Im afraid we are a mid table team, with a mid table manager, a mid table attitude and mid table prospects. We are in huge trouble because we are financially reliable on us getting in the CL and three seasons out of it means we are digging a massive hole that we have fallen into. No EL is disastrous as well, if only for the fact, we should be in the top 6 no excuses and are not really top 10 material. I was willing to give Arteta a chance but he cant get this team playing anywhere near the potential that they should be. With the players we have we should not be firing so many blanks and looking so out of ideas. RIP our Arsenal.

      1. whats bad about that? thats good for him and hope he continue eveloping well, he wasnt doing good here

          1. But Dan, we are seeing it a lot, where people leaving Arsenal are playing better. Granted the recently departed have an N of 1…

      2. Willock has fantastic fitness and is very good on the break, hence why he looks average for us because we keep possession and do nothing with it.

  15. we played against a very organized villa side, we cant deny villa is an inform team and more settled this season, that was a cagey game and the early goal was our downfall. we need a plan B for this kind of games our CF are so one dimensional they are ineffective against a team that deny them space, aubz had a chance in the air, a free header and couldnt hit target. we need someone who is good in the air to lead our attack.
    am surprise MA favours Willian over Martinelli, am not sure of this reason, i defend Arteta a lot but on this am not in support, the boy would have done better than Willian

    1. Balogun is pretty decent in the air for the u23 games ive seen him play

      MAs ego is too big for him to change his favourites unfortunately….in his mind he can’t be picking the wrong subs

      1. Balogun case is not about ego. the boy has yet to commit his future to us, until he does, i totally support his exclusion, he cant use us to get a better deal from another club and leave when we start to get performance from him

        1. Do you ever read comments properly?

          How could I be talking about Balogun with reference to the subs today and in general when he’s not even on the bench???

    2. Until today, they had 7 points from their last 7 games, not exactly scintillating form. Villa a a good side but why are we well below them at the moment ?

  16. Only Ryan earnt his wages today the rest should give theres to charity and if I was giving Arteta a mark it would begin with a minus………….. then tell hi.m to get the hell out of our club that he is destroying because he is absolutely clueless!!

  17. Sad loss for Arsenal once again (though I didn’t see the game)
    But it’s really funny that after Wolves game on Tuesday, lots of Peeps here claimed ‘We re soo good for 45 minutes and would beat Aston Villa on Saturday’..😏😏
    Truth is Defence under Arteta is a good one..Gabriel, Mari and Holding re far better than Mertesacker, Paulista, Kolsielny..
    Problem of this team is midfield n attack.. Xhaka, Laca, Aubameyang, Willian and even Pepe should b sold in the summer!!
    They are all tired n slow!! Fast and fluid teams win matches and titles.. Look@leicester, Liverpool, Man City, Man utd, AC Milan, Ajax etc..
    We have Lazy laggards in our team n we expect miracles!!
    Never possible..
    MA should make do with them till May/June, then Offload dem ASAP!!
    My team for next season would be..

    Bellerin. Holding. Stones. Tierney
    Thomas Partey
    AMN/Ceballos. ESR/Cantwell
    Martinelli. Andre Silva. Zaha

    1. If you think Holding, Mari and Gabriel are better than Mertesacker and Koscielny then you must be dreaming. They don’t even come close, not even an inch. The best centre back pairing we’ve had since the Invincible, “Mertesacker and Koscielny”. Of all the defenders we’ve had post Invincible, I am yet to see just one defender who can organise and coordinate a defense like Mertesacker. Plus the BFG and Boss would give you goals from set pieces in addition to their great defensive pairing. How many chances from set pieces has Holding been squandering in the last few matches. Don’t ever disrespect the pairing of BFG and Boss ever again. Maybe in a few years time, Gabriel, Holding, Saliba, Mavrapanos, Chambers might get close to them or better, maybe in a few years time. But for now, we don’t have any centre back pairing that comes close to the BFG and Boss neither do we have defenders who are up to them individually.

  18. There you have it mates, Saliba named Nice player of the month for January. A guy who hasn’t played football for months. Arteta knows best.

  19. Arteta said his team dominated the game in all department. I believed he was talking of another match, not the one his gk was the best player. No wonder he keeps playing Willian that passes backward all the time.

  20. At vinnie20000
    Ironically all the players you name have a better resume than the coach himself. But you have so much confidence in Arteta that you would sell five senior players to include Aubameyang.
    Please explain what Arteta have done to give you such confidence.

    1. Sorry for replying on time!!
      Save Aubameyang, the rest has not had a great career..Willian, Laca, Xhaka, Pepe?? Not@all.
      Arteta at Everton was a skillful and even explosive midfielder!!
      But as Coach, got to admit he’s not up there with the best..
      He has some potentials but his main issues are Favouritism (e.g Keeping Nketiah n loaning Nelson, Willock n AMN), poor substitions and fear of big players!!..

      1. Xhaka has not had a great career? Won trophies with Arsenal under, Switzerland’s captain, was Arsenal’s captain too, captain at Borrusia Mochenglabach and was playing great before we bought him. Played Champions League, played Europa, been, around the world. How many caps does he have for club and country? SMH
        Willain too? Is it this Willian we bought from Chelsea or William we sent to Nice? I don’t even need to say much about Willian here.
        The only person from that bunch whose career is yet to be great but is actually on an upward trajectory is Pepe.
        Do you know what it means to have a great career? Do you actually know what it means to have a great career? I think you actually confused yourself using Messi and Ronaldo as the standard here.
        Simply put, Xhaka and Willian have had great careers so far regardless of your sentiments.

  21. I think it’s time to get out of denial. Mikel Arteta is not up to the job. He is a trainee, an apprentice, and it’s not right for him to try to learn on the job…..and players he has sent away are really performing at other clubs. I appreciate some of you rated him. I did at first, but talk is easy, walk is not. Arteta is talk…not walk. I struggle to see what he brings to our football in over a year. We have not moved on an iota. He just cannot motivate.

    1. Seems like we’ve forgotten the last days of Emeryball so soon.. we were so disorganized back then. Teams like watford having 32 shots against us…
      Arteta has done well in improving the team shape defensively, our team isn’t world-class but isn’t really bad either. Marcelo Bielsa would work wonders with this squad. Arteta’s problem has certainly been in the little things. He has a stubbornness to him that could eventually be his undoing.

  22. Come on man Gabriel was our best defender in the match. Cedric and Holding were at fault for the goal. Why blame on gabriel?

    1. Put your glasses on, Gabriel was poor and just as much at fault as cedirc for goal.

      Holding was by far our best defender

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