Arsenal player ratings v Frankfurt – Two players get a huge nine

It was an impressive result for Arsenal this evening against a Bundesliga outfit on their own ground, there may have been some issues that the result will mask but the bottom line is that a 3-0 away from home against a tough opponent is a positive.

There was a couple of excellent performances, some above average and some plain average displays, however, there were not any calamitous mistakes and no one single player had a woeful game and again, that is a positive.

Here are the player ratings

Martinez 9

Had an almost perfect game, he was simply brilliant, he pulled off at least three top-quality saves and the result would have been different if it was not for the Argentine. Bernd Leno will have to watch his back.

Chambers 5

Struggled out of position, especially in the first half, he cannot be blamed really for his below-par performance and in all fairness, stuck to his job diligently.

Mustafi 7

I thought he did rather well, made a couple of important tackles, looked assured and considering how his confidence must be and the immense criticism he has faced his performance was all the more remarkable. Has put himself back in the picture.

Luiz 7

Had a decent game when you consider how he has been playing, stood tall and showed leadership when Frankfurt was pressuring, did himself a lot of good this evening.

Kolasinac 6

An average performance and never looked comfortable, as usual, decent with his runs but his defending leaves a lot to be desired.

Torreira 6

Missed a sitter and gave the ball away more than once but overall did ok, but he looks below the level he was at the start of last season, hopefully, this is not as good as it gets with him.

Xhaka 7

Actually had a decent game, was more effective going forward than helping out in defence and maybe that is what he is actually more suited to.

Smith Rowe 6

Had a bit of a mixed game, showed lots of energy, did some decent little runs but also lost the ball and tired quickly but still a good experience for the young lad.

Willock 8

Had a great game, grabbed himself a goal and did some searing runs, could have had an assist if Aubameyang had taken his chance following a brilliant 60-yard run. Was quite impressive and has strong claims for a start on Sunday.

Saka 9

Fantastic performance grabbed two assists and a goal and was lively throughout, he was full of energy, he did miss a couple of opportunities and lost the ball when he could have passed it but overall, a great game for the teenager.

Aubameyang 7

Not at his electric best tonight but did get on the scoresheet, we cannot expect him to be the man of the match every game.


Pepe 6

Got an assist but he was fairly average when he came on and the wait goes on for him to put in a performance worthy of £70 plus million.

Ceballos 5

Average display when he came on, never really made an impact but he was not really on long enough.

Maitland-Niles 5

Hardly anytime to make a difference and therefore gets an average mark.


  1. I sometimes doubt Xhaka myself but there is a GOOD player in there somewhere. After tonight’s game, I am of the opinion his skillset is being horribly mismanaged and he should be further up the pitch with a very strong DM behind him (Think Dacoure/Fernandinho/Kante), to shield the back line and mop up his mistakes.

    1. I think his not having pace going forward makes managers wants to adapt him to role of DM. He attacks for greater part of his games for is immediate previous club and country.

  2. Sharpe on the attack but the style of football in the world of football generally is one of attack is the thing. Our 80s and 90s football has evolved on faster then Italian football for example. So, arsenal as an attacking club style, we are going to look open. Only a few clubs are closed off completely. Barca Juve City. The rest need to sharpen up in this area.

    So its natural to see flaws still and for future games to come from arsenal. But we are finding some answers. Willock again started and won. His quality is not why we love him. He puts his foot in and wants to win the ball. Hes naturally a wide winger but the fact he can play in the middle is a sign we have options. Baka is another option but I would let him develop in the cup like he is then let him worry about the league.
    Smith Rowe getting his first proper start after his injury was good to see.
    Overall the youngsters did well. We have quality but for now, we need fo focus on suring up the things that keeps us from our goals.

    1. The willock who is a winger is Chris. Joe’s older brother. He was sold to benefica or Lisbon a few seasons ago and he is now on loan at West Ham. There are 3 brothers and Joe is the youngest, Chris is the oldest, the other was at man Utd last I checked

  3. Ratings show a bit of bias since it ignores the fact that the reason Chambers was second best for the first half was because ESR offered absolutely nothing but more pressure for CC by giving the ball away so much. CC had a decent game when called to defend and should swap ratings with Mustafi who, despite keeping a clean sheet, still had a couple glaring lapses in concentration(had to replay 20 seconds of it just to be sure I actually saw this oaf miss controlling the ball, thankfully under no pressure).

    1. You do not expect a player to be flawless in an entire game ,Mustafi has been quite unfortunate that his mistakes had led to goals than often because those we rate higher than him(e.g)sokratis had been grossly irresponsible positioning themselves to mop up some errors he makes trying to cover their wrong decisions,Holding understood positional responsibilites and that was why he was able to partner with MUstafi for the 12 winning runs last season. had Holding not got injured we will not be trying to murder Mustafi who has refused to die anyways.

  4. A bit exaggerated…
    Don’t get me wrong, the lads were pretty good but they only look lively & brilliant ONLY AFTER Frankfurt was down to 10 men… Before the sending-off, they (Frankfurt) were the ones dominating the game & attacking by waves.. The scoreline doesn’t reflex the real game & they could have scored an equaliser had they still have 11 men.
    So don’t get too carried away but enjoy the deservedly win!

    1. The Gunners didn’t get dominated in the first half, thanks to Willock’s lucky goal and the midfielders’ high work rate

      And I think our fullbacks deserve more than 6, although they didn’t get too many threats

      Similar to the Rennes game, Arsenal ooze higher class than Frankfurt

  5. What was up with Mustafi, Xhaka and Luiz? They really played well

    I agree with Saka and Martinez as MOTM

    I think we should consider starting Saka on Sunday too

    Now we need to play as well as last night on Sunday.
    Hopefully last night we started a winning streak

  6. Our goal-keeping situation is pretty good. We have two solid keepers.
    I was greatly impressed with Martinz’s performance yesterday

  7. Saka should replace Reiss Nelson with immediate effect! The latter has been a walking disaster ever since the league started then here comes along Saka who can charge at defenders, maintain possession, pass, shoot and run! I definitely think he should be in the calculations from now on!

    1. Agreed. Saka is far more stable and intelligent on and off the ball than Nelson. I think Junberg and Emery both recognized this and they now have the perfect excuse to jump him up the pecking order.

    2. Writing off a youngster this early?? You must be joking! Thank goodness you aren’t charge and I believe the Arsenal management won’t be so naive on selling him like they’ve done with Krystian Bielik and Reine-Adelaide who are all players that will come back to bite us.
      Nelson is more talented than Saka whether you like it or not based on their showing at youth level. I believe he needs more time to develop but don’t do a disservice to him by writing him off when the talent is clearly there

      1. So what are you saying @Kev? We should ignore Saka’s yesterday’s breathtaking performance in favour of Nelson who week in week out has been giving us his best impression of a donkey? Saka is the one who has shown us the goods… this season! He gets the nod over Nelson for me.

        1. Where did I say we should ignore Saka’s performance or even imply it?? You’re the one trying to put another youngster down just because of another’s performance.
          Just because he’s playing better doesn’t mean he’s more talented. That is the point I want to get across. Shpuld Nelson become the player we know he can be a those who were writing himf and calling him a donkey will pretend they always supported him

      2. @kev
        Don’t you think that these players coming to bite us were actually helped by reality of being rejected at Arsenal, because that is beginning of the end before even starting. So they have all got to die to their inefficiencies, and become something of their career. Look at Eddie Nk, rejected at Chelsea, now he is doing everything to be prominent.

  8. I like the ruthless of our coach,this was one game Nelson was to start,but was drop for Hos poor show last Sunday,tje same should apply to the others poor performers on a regular basis.Kudos to Saka,that was pure masterclass from Him

  9. Still not convinced with Unai, winning with against 10 men, OK, nothing to get carried away.We are supposed to win with the line up of players that took to the field.We are supposed to cross the group stage, we used to do it in the UCL with a much weaker squad. Unai is not a tactical genius Aston Villa will be the game to watch, another disappointing draw and I feel Unai should be sacked on 23rd September.Unleash the kids if the senior players are “scared” of relegation threatened teams. Sako,Willock, Chambers will do no worse than Socrates/Luiz, Xhaka. This game can only be used as a morale booster for Martinez, Willock, Chambers and Sako. Well done lads, hope to see you soon in the EPL once Unai and his nepotism are out of our club. Hope it is sooner rater than later. #AdeusUnai

    1. Don’t be. He didn’t cost £72M for nothing. People expect him to just come in and start banging in goals like he owns the place. He needs time to form relationships with his teammates and develop that chemistry. He has skill and flair, when he opens his account there will be no stopping him. Plus remember, if he weren’t here it would be Iwobi or Mkhitaryan on the pitch! I would still take a Pepe with dead right leg over those 2 jokers..and this Pepe has no dead legs!

      1. Ironically those two have scored for their new clubs and have helped them earn valuable points.It is not all those players fault but coaching crew.Has Arsenal squad ever played to their players strength ? if they do they will certainly know where to strengthen effortlessly.How do you develop when you do not even know which position you will be played match by match.e.g Nile definately might be thrown back mielfied or the wings when Bellerin is fully fit and then called again to defend when Emery feels Bellrin needs to be rested.Imagine vandike forgive my spelling called upon to play wing back for liverpool or Milner playing right back in matches.

        1. Stop this crap of Niles that guy is arrogant and not good enough, what position are you talking about 70% of players successful today are not playing the position that they started with bellerin we are talking of today was played rb by wenger, this guy just can do the simple stuffs do you need to play your natural position in other to know how to pass the ball to a team mate or not to loose the ball like a moron.

          My only regret is that as big a club we are we don’t have a backup rb. Chambers played rb, cb and at full fulham dm.

          1. I agree with you Nonny. Football involves change of formation and tactics all the time. For me only 3 true positions exist; Attacker, Midfielder, Defender. If you are an attacker, you should be able to play throughout the front 3(Auba). If you are a midfielder you should be able to play left, right, CM, CAM (Ceballos). If you are a defender you should be able to play at least DM or fullback too. You can’t just have 1 capability/position and that’s it. Look at how Ozil has suffered, he only can play or wants to play as a CAM. He should have evolved like Fabregas and been able to play as a CM when formation changes to 4-3-3 from 4-5-1. As it stands any change in formation that does not involve a CAM throws him out of the team.

          2. Nonny if anyone is talking crap then it’s you. Your judgement on this issue is so poor. It is only in Arsenal where a young developing CM is moved to RB and all is expected to go well. It is the ability and qualities of a player which chooses how many positions he can play. That is why every player or most have their primary positions and alternative positions. If you expected Niles to deliver top displays from RB Then I worry for you. Hardly have I ever seen a young CM shifted to RB or to the defense for such an extended period of time. This was expected in hindsight. In the last match he played at CM he dominated Utd’s midfield and even Pogba earning the MOTM and Pogba’s respect till today. For a club that likes to develop young players this is an absolute waste of talent and ability and yet fans are turning their back on him.

          3. When I saw your name in immediately know it will end up with his one game at United. It’s not only at arsenal that young players play different positions I see it almost at every club.Now you are making same excuse for accomplist Nelson these two players should count themselves lucky that they even see a spot to play at all how many games have Niles played at right back that I should judge him with an odd game against united

          4. Of course I will always refer you to the Utd game where he showed why he was rated in the first place. You seem not to have understood my message or might have ignored what I said so you’re still bringing up this issue of being able to play at different positions.
            As for Nelson regardless of what anyone says I know he’s still early the most talented youngster currently at the club and I believe Arsenal so t be naive to sell like what was done to Bielik and Reine-Adelaide. Aatter of time before he proves people wrong. Even Nketiah was being written off at a point

        2. Why would you bring up van dyke when we are talking about Niles van dyke is an established player and one of the best in his position he is no more a young star young stars are easily told to play few position at a younger age which Niles fall into the category he is not the only young players who play experiences that. Even at that if Liverpool have a player that can do the work van dyke does at cb the coach can tell him to help out at other positions especially when the coach sees he has the skill to play such position hey I saw pique playing no 9 against valencia and scored a beauty

          1. Different take.

            Why is a “Young Developing” player having to be played out of position at club of our size in the first place ?

            ANM is now 22 years of age so “developing” is debatable, particularly in an era when the finished article is expected yesterday.

            In recent interviews ANM has admitted he cannot defend.

            Now whether he should be hung out to dry playing at full back is highly questionable – but at a club of our stature…… no way.

            Why was Jenkinson retained so long if he was clearly considered not fit for purpose ?

            What did we see in Ainsley at R/B to let Jenkinson go for a fee that was negligible.

            A small part of me feels for Ainsley having previously been hugely critical of him.

            However, we love love a trier. Let’s just say Ainsley needs advice on the attitude he seemingly projects on the park which really doesn’ t help.

            The net result of ANM being played totally out of position is a totally negative effect on his confidence, and us getting exposed at R/B week in week out – however that could apply across the whole back 4.

            The next season or 2 will tell whether ANM remains part of the clubs plans going forward.

    2. Sue what most disappoints me is his apparent lack of workrate. I could not stand another Walcott, Ozil or Mkhi. I detest all lazy frauds who cheat the club, us fans, their teammates and who waste their own talent. I will not yet accuse Pepe of laziness; suffice to say that I see worrying signs only, just now. We all know it takes time to settle into a new team and new country BUT it does not take time to start working flat out. Does it!

      1. No, it doesn’t Jon… and i didn’t think we’d still be waiting for him to score his first goal! He has pace & is very skillful, yet the thing you want him to do – score – he’s struggled with and I’ve even seen him being called an expensive Iwobi on twitter….?

  10. I’d start Martinez & Saka w/out thinking 2wice against Villa. They deserve to be carry on playing in the next match. Same process with the other players too. They play well…the play the next match. Eventually, you’ll find all the players on their toes…

  11. I’m sorry but I think it’s time to give Leno a breather. Did anyone noticed how commanding Martinez was in his box? He distributed quiet brilliantly and he spotted when there was danger of playing out from the back and played it long. That is a good goalkeeper there if you ask me. It’s not even an argument about chamber,the only downside about his defending is his lack of speed but is he a better rb than AMN absolutely yes.and the earlier we get rid of Niles the better. I thought mustafi was good considering he hasn’t kicked a ball this season, yes he makes mistakes here and there but which of our defender this season hasn’t. I’m happy that holding is back and also tierny, mavropanos and bellerin are not far now. I hope we will see a much improved defence.hats off to saka now that’s how a kid should play. Fearless and that is what Nelson lacks, he lacks the guts and zeal to push himself,he is stuck in a comfort zone and saka’s performance will push him hopefully because willock, Smith rowe,saka and even martinelli are leaving him behind he should buckle up otherwise he will fall away.i thought Pepe was below average. Is it me or he is too lightweight? He needs to buckle up otherwise premier league will eat him up. All in all it takes a lot of guts to field so many youths in an away game in an European competition especially in an hostile stadium like that and yes give credit where it is due. I didn’t know we are the youngest side in the premier league wow. Atleast one good thing about Emery is he isn’t afraid to play the kids I give him that and it’s left for them to repay his faith in them…have a nice day to all the Gunners around the world…coyg

  12. Don’t be disappointed in Pepe relax you will enjoy him, am sure of that Pepe is one of the best around he just needs time to adjust, AUBA should have given him the ball to Score yesterday that was what I expected him to do, but hey relax Pepe is preparing we all will enjoy the dude

    1. I thought so too. But auba was also loosing it, he needed that goal badly. U think pepe should put in so more effort, hopefully if things turns out well hell get his goal soon. The rest of the team should as well help him get it soon. It will help reduce the pressure pilling on him.

    2. Pepe is more comfortable when he has played with freedom, moving across field as he wants. Think when he cement regular contributions, his full potency will errupt like overrun volcano.

  13. Well done lads. Liked quite shaky defensively and kept giving the ball away cheaply inviting more pressure and we were fortunate to go in 1 up at half time. Them going to 10 men helped us a lot and made our win look convincing but if it wasn’t for some wayward finishing we could have been buried.

    Kids (especially saka) were great but felt Smith Rowe gave the ball away too much trying a little too hard in tight spaces.

    Top of the group though and can only be good for confidence.

    Martinez was assured and made some good stops.

  14. Overall a good win and a clean sheet,pleased Martinez stayed he can push Leno for his place and is good enough to take it off him,SAKA was brilliant but sadly I don’t see Emery using him for prem games,I really do not rate Xhaka but have to admit he finally had a half decent game for once,Auba is a class act he can score in a game at any moment even if he hasn’t been in the game much,the back four defended resolutely without much midfield protection,Frankfurt seemed to find space all too easily and at times it was starting to look like Watford all over again.

  15. What are we talking give credit where due, frankfurt at home is going to have few chances against any team. We had better chances to Score in this game we are the one who missed the big chances in this game how many times did frankfurt run clear on goal. If you are looking for a perfect match then so long may you look

  16. Chambers doesn’t suit him to play  as a full back, running up and down the flank because he   will easily be out run.Centre   back is the right role to play.When  the space getting   tight that suits his attributes, reading the trend of play , making the right interceptions and tackles. I guest he and Holding .can do the job perfectly soon or later

    1. Well said. Chambers will never be a RB but as a CB with full support from a proper and tough DM and a top and speedy other CB alongside him he will show what he can do. He IS slow though but when properly used, as he is NOT being used at present, I have faith in him to at least be adequate. Though I do not see him being a really top CB ever; but just a distinct improvement on the present clowns, Mustafi, Sokratis and Luiz.

  17. Really great seeing the youngsters mixed with some older underperforming players yet they hit it off away from home. People can say it’s only a middlish German team but that was a competent display by the club, from keeper to the striker they gave a good solid account with some high quality moments. Delighted for Saka, and it will also be good for Pepe if Saka becomes more prominent so to give him time to gel with our lightning hot forwards.

    Emery said he’s thinking about Torriera in the Ozil role more now because it suited him last night, away games would be my guess because that’s what he done with Ramsey last season. Torriera was back to his intercepting mode last night just clipping away trying to edge a ball loose. I prefer him like that than going straight to ground as the first resort.

    Defence, people did always say that if it wasn’t for Mustafi’s hapless mistakes that he’d be one of our best options due to the high balls and tackle succession rate.

    So we lost one game, we need to get over the points dropped and start turning our draws/leads into wins. If we manage that then it won’t look too bad on paper once we’ve gotten into the season.

    I’d like to see Martinez start in-between the sticks in our next league game, he’s showed the stronger mentality in just one game by picking and choosing when to play, whereas Leno has looked like he’d play it out even if they had 9 or ten players surrounding our box. Martinez showed strong handling, strong distribution, and someone needs to be sacrificed, he won’t drop Xhaka and even if he did Guendouzi lets the support unnerve him. …I also think Xhaka knew what he was doing by letting Gundzi pick the ball up at kick outs even with Watf players well positioned while he sat way back in LCM mostly …I thought it was low by Xhaka and it was in-house game-manship and doing that to someone only learning the ins and outs was not being a leader nor was it a team-player …If I see him doing that again I will turn my back on him and in no amount of games could he get back into my good books …I also know why he done it, because the kid was heralded and most people wanted the captain dropped, so he thought he’d give the kid all the responsibility of bringing that ball out from our least advanced players to link it up with more advanced players ..knowing how hard it would be at the time with the pressure surrounding them and with how short and close AFC players were to one another. He’s the captain and he had a good view of it all as he watched the boy struggle.

    1. Jon, it is possible. anything is. I was wondering why he said after that game that no one wanted the ball. smh. like he wanted it played to him

  18. I agree that Xhaka will never make a good player and nobody dislikes him as a player more than me but I’m not sure he would stoop that low mate.

  19. Have always said arsenal fans are very slow at seeing things….

    Clear points from game:
    1. Martinez >>> Leno; as usual.

    2. No. 11 is a major problem; like it or not and I see Saka as the best “gamble” there.

    3. Our best defence with all players fit is a 3-man defence with Luiz…Mavropanos…Mustafi as usual. And be reminded that our defence is very strong… It is the midfield that makes it look weak.

    4. Our midfield is just flat a.t.m.
    If people are looking at Torreira (who is completely not comfortable with the ball) and Guendouzi (who does nothing outside the ordinary) as our best midfielders, then it paints the perfect picture for you.

    Happy day…

  20. Again as a slightly drunk Scottish man…. I love this site btw. Mostly agree with the ratings. However as well as he took his goal, didn’t think Saka was great at all first half. Also one of the best games I’ve seen Xhaka ever have {not that a high a bar though}

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