Arsenal player ratings v Crystal Palace – No generosity, especially for the midfielders

Another poor visionless performance from Arsenal against Crystal Palace.

Is anyone really surprised at what unfolded at the Emirates yesterday? I m not. The team was wrong from the start and it showed.

When I discussed the team here, I said quite clearly that there are no less than six players I would change from that line-up. I feel vindicated in that opinion.

The forwards were starved of service but they never really went looking for the ball either. The defence was flaky and nervous, which was no surprise. The midfield was atrocious and continues to be the weakest point in the team.

Anyway, here are the player ratings and no doubt some will take them very personally.


Leno 6
Could not do too much with the goals to be fair, he distributed the ball better and looked more assured with the crosses. Did ok all things considered.

Tierney 6
Clearly needed the game and struggled at times but showed enough to justify his inclusion over Kolasinac.

Sokratis 7
Scored a goal and made some important tackles. Thought he had a good game overall.

Luiz 5
Like Sokratis, he scored a goal but he was not as fluent with his defending as his teammate. Should have done better with the second Palace goal.

Chambers 5
Not his best game. The penalty was his fault and he made Zaha look better than he actually performed.

Xhaka 5
Only judging him on his on-field performance and it was generally poor. Offered nothing for the forwards and too slow to help out at the back.

Guendouzi 5
Another average performance from the young Frenchman. He flatters to deceive a hell of a lot. I ask myself, what did he actually contribute yesterday. Sadly, nothing.

Ceballos 5
Palace is not Burnely and it showed, again. I have to wonder if he deserves the hype and if we will ever see another Burnely type of performance from him.

Pepe 6
I thought he had a half-decent game considering he had almost zero link up with the midfield. Did well with his crosses and set-piece play. That said, I would like to see more initiative from the winger, he has to make his own opportunities more often.

Aubameyang 5
Completely starved of service and it is unfair to rate him anything other than the average score of 5.

Lacazette 5
Same situation as his fellow forwards, no service at all from those behind him. Again, he should make more effort in these scenarios but he can only do so much on his own.


Kolasinac 5
Average when he came on and the rating reflects that

Saka 5
Same with Saka. Average when he came on.


  1. Leno 6 could have been higher, but most people won’t notice he released the ball too quickly twice resulting in 2 counter attacks one of which was a goal. Needs to be calmer
    Chambers 5 showed heart but was out maneuvered too often
    Sokratis 7 solid performance
    Luiz 5 great goal and great passing in the early parts of the game
    Xhaka 6 the only midfielder I actually remember practically trying to hit the forwards with passes everytime, sad ending though.
    Guendouzi 6 it’s hard for some to see his end product when he doesn’t assist or earn a set piece but actually gave us a lot of drive.
    Ceballos 5 he’s a good dribbler but doesn’t really gain territory. I don’t know how he should be deployed correctly but something needs to change.
    Pepe 6 very industrious, enjoyed his duels with Zaha only the end product lacked
    Laca 5 off the pace, at one point, I saw Auba try to cross the ball to him but get confused because Laca wouldn’t decide what run he wanted to make
    Auba 5.5 started well, operating with Pepe either side of Laca, faded later.

    1. Thats on point thank my dear iam with you let him go,we have no time to waste like what we did to Arsene Wenger. This time we need cup if you dont have a plan for winning some thing you better leave and we get another person or we let Freddy Finnish the remaining season and we reorganize from next season.

  2. And to those fans feeling entitled to an apology from Xhaka, why not write him one first?, You guys were booing him, and you expect him to be cool with that, just because he gets paid to play?! ….. What do you guys expect him to do while receiving those boos, applaud you guys, while crying like a wimp?!…. instead of expecting apologies, why not both parties just move on from the incident, and forget about it

    1. Just like FA fined Wilshire for giving City fans (if I remember correctly,) the middle finger, after they were allegedly abusing his son…. I mean, what the heck!…. City should have been the ones fined in that case in my opinion….. should footballers now have no emotions simply because “they get paid”?

    2. No we expect him to get the fuuuck off the pitch so we can try and score a winning goal not stroll off like were winning 3 – nil. Be pissed fair enough but he can be pissed and run at the same time no? It’s like he doesn’t give a dam a out getting three points.

      1. hes been being abused for months on his social media, even his pregnant wife has. And he was jeered the second his name was announced so can we kill the stupid excuse that the real reason people were mad was because of his slow walk when we all know it’s because majority of the stadium doesn’t like him and are deflecting their anger about Emery onto Granit… I’m sorry the players dont behave like robots and aren’t happy taking constant abuse from their own fans wherever he goes. Just because he makes more money than you doesn’t mean you get to treat him poorly either. As several people have already said, he was not even the worse player on the pitch, he assisted a goal, and we were no better when he went off. So the boos and jeering from the get-go were completely unwarranted.

      2. and before somebody asks, yes i dont think he should be a starter, or captain. But really not the point when we still had a game to win and the stadium is destroying morale.

        1. I am definitely excited towards Monday match. Atleast Liverpool won’t have it easy with our second string team which is far better than our first eleven. Hopefully xhaka wasn’t substituted against palace so he can be fresh for Wednesday

  3. Ceballos should have played as no 10 or as deep-lying playmaker instead of Xhaka. But Emery strangely assigned him as an LW and reduced the number of midfielders by playing two strikers in 4-4-2

    The European winners do not use 4-2-3-1 anymore. But they looked clueless in other formations and that’s the only formation that the Gunners are most familiar with, since Wenger has been using it for more than a decade

    If Emery wants to try other formations again at home, he had better use the ones with lone striker. Because it was obvious that our midfielders were outnumbered by Palace’s yesterday

    1. You obviously watched a different game. If Ceballos played LW, where did Auba play? We started with a 4-2-3-1, ceballos at 10 and after Xhaka left, switched to a 4-4-2, ceballos at 8 (where he could have been a deep lying play maker if he wanted)

      1. @Joe,
        You are absolutely right.
        UEmery just don’t know how to use his players to good effect.
        Emery, tactical wise will not lead Arsenal anywhere.

    2. Juventus used 4-2-3-1 last year if I remember correctly. Bayern still use it.

      Nothing wrong with 4-2-3-1

      You just need a proper DM to be one of the midfield 2.
      Wingers who help out defensively.
      A creative number 10.
      Someone faster on and off the ball to be paired with the DM, not someone as slow as Xhaka.

      All of it is quite doable for us. Might need a better coach, though.

  4. Emery OUT
    Luis Enrique IN

    I don’t see this happening though but that’s gonna be good.

    Months ago we were hailing emery. Some fans were even chanting his name during games. What has gone wrong?

    We are even worst than we were last season. The problem started towards the end of last season. Now Emery has got his own players so he should be doing better.

    Fans know they can’t win all games but they want to see good performances and fight. That have been lacking.

    You see Chelsea. They lost to manu in their first game but some people saw what Lampard was doing. I saw the game and that scoreline flattered manu. Fast forward now, Chelsea are playing good football (did I just say that, yes). Their defense still leak goals but at least they score many and they are improving.

    Brendan Rogers is another manager most of us kicked against before employing emery (not saying he will do well with us) but we admire what he is doing with Leicester. Vardy looks like the player he was when they won the league. Other players are improving and playing together.

    Arsenal as a team are currently divided. Fans, players are divided. Dressing room looks divided too.. In fact even the players looks lost during the games.. It wasn’t this bad last season with emery in charge so I asked what has gone wrong?

    Emery over to you.

  5. This was an inept display. Emery and Xhaka are leading us on a wild goose chase. We are going NOWHERE. At least get rid of Xhaka.I urge for the VAR official for the game to be investigated. There is the strong possibility of corruption.

  6. Harsh judgement – I wonder what the team did to get such a low rating?

    We were playing attacking football like so many have wanted, reduced the number of shots against us considerably, defence was actually quite sturdy in comparison to some matches recently (hell heat maps show they barely spent any time in our box) and our playing out from the back looked a lot more composed (even if it was still a bit too slow) 🤷‍♂️

    Sure the whole team switched off for that second goal as they had been arguing with the refs sh*tty calls and Chambers was a complete muppet for having his leg out for Zaha to dive over (it was planted then Zaha goes into it) but other than that mistakes were minimal, we looked quite comfortable in possession and there were no heart attack moments.

    I swear some of our fans are so busy being anti-Emery that they don’t even notice that improvements are being made. There was plenty of promising runs and movements that ended with our players on the floor and not a single call given yet every time we tackled one of their players the whistle went and free kick given, not to mention the 3rd goal being stolen away.
    The match wasn’t perfect but was a certainly a much improved performance imo

      1. Deluded says you, but I ask you to simply read back through the rants the last few weeks and you tell me why the song has changed if the squad hasn’t improved?
        No outrage over 30 shots against us, no outrage because the defence has been pulled all over the pitch, no outrage because we made them look like prime Barca, no one complaining how we were saved by Auba – why not if no improvements anywhere? 🤔

        1. yesterday’s performance was bad!i don’t accept mediocrity unlike some on here. THIS IS ARSENAL!!! all our performances this season in the league has been dire barring maybe just maybe the burnley game. So whats your point. u think we have improved?its like sayingwee scored 10% in the last test but we have improved because we scored 20% this time around. its still failure! wake up man

          1. So anything less than instant success is worthless? We shouldn’t be looking for signs of positive change? We should just ignore being screwed by ref and VAR too right?

            Fans were complaining just the other week because we sat too deep and let opposition dictate the pace of the match, and we weren’t creating enough going forward. Complaints about strange defensive setups from Emery.
            Now all they can complain about is we didn’t create enough going forward yesterday (11 key passes and 15 shots from us though so there was still an improvement) – yet I’m being told we haven’t improved at all, or in this case it’s worthless because we still aren’t perfect 🤷‍♂️

    1. Agree with you, MH, this was a much better performance, football wise, than previously seen this season in the EPL. There was movement off the ball, the ball did more work and more chances were created. IMHO the team selection was also much better, and even Xhaka had quite a decent game. The poorest performance came from David Luiz, who surely now must be replaced by Rob Holding.

      1. Agreed Luiz was probably one of the weaker players last night, probably out of him or Xhaka for me personally. Neither did too much wrong but both were a bit sloppy here and there and both should have done better on that second goal, but so should the team in general 🤷‍♂️

    2. MH, I didn’t see attacking football anywhere. Auba had no shots on target, Lacazette had one I believe? Pepe, none. That’s three top players getting much of nothing in terms of chances. Our midfield was devoid of creativity and have no imagination in their passing. I’ll give credit that we stopped the opposition from having 20+ shots at us, but it’s ridiculous that something like this needs to be praised.

      1. We will agree to disagree there RSH, whilst it didn’t always come off Guendouzi and Ceballos both tried playing some defence splitting passes – personally, both are young so I don’t mind it going astray occasionally as long as they are confident enough to try, others were intercepted. They also did well covering the midfield and made sure we didn’t have any major problems – once again not perfect but still improvement on what we’ve seen recently.

        Auba was having a quiet day and Laca, whilst looking better, still looked a bit rusty which didn’t help matters.

        But by far the biggest killer to our attacking play was the atrocious officiating. We got fouled so many times without any calls being given I lost count, and the more Palace got away with it the more brazen they became – hard to keep momentum going when your players are on the deck and the ball gets hoofed away again. On the flip side almost every tackle we made with the slightest bit of contact was given as a foul and still we kept them at bay.

        Im not saying it was a perfect game, far from it, but in comparison to what we have served up previously this season? How can anyone say it was anything but a major improvement 🤷‍♂️

  7. anyone still thinks we should have gotten pepe instead of zaha. the guy won a penalty all by himself and practically toyed with our defence…

    1. That comment is pointless, we also did not buy Messi or Ronaldo or Virgil v Dijk. We have to live with and make do with what we have. The “what if” game is ok for things you can influence or change, not for things you can’t. Waste of energy, time and space.

    2. Y should also ask why everton buy 30M iwobi rather than 40M zaha
      CP want 40M full in front, the number we or everton cant afford to pay, we buy pepe and everton buy iwobi with instalment payment

  8. That’s correct mate. Players should not be rated for same reason, Emery can’t pick right 11 players. Defense, midfield all wrong makes strikers useless and everyone poor, struggling, running all ovet..

    Pathetic. 0 for Emery, team can’t be rated due to that.

  9. Admin Martin, please provide us with the team you would have selected, with the 6 alternate players. Most people on here were reasonably happy with the selected team;although everyone probably had some differences, but 6 players!
    Who ever is chosen they still have to perform.

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