Arsenal player ratings v Olympiacos – defence get the best ratings

Arsenal player ratings – the defence the standout performers this evening.

Going away to Olympiacos is never easy and that was proven once again this evening. The crowd always make it hostile and the Greek side is not a bad one, they are after all unbeaten domestically this season.

It was not the best Arsenal performance but in context, it was not a bad result at all and the players can feel satisfied with a job well done.

Arsenal player ratings

Leno – 8
Made a couple of crucial saves and without him, the result may well have been different. Mikel Arteta fully vindicated in going with the German over Martinez.

Saka – 8
Made the goal with a beautiful pass to Lacazette and he continues to grow in stature.

Sokratis – 7
Considering this was his first game in a while he did ok, worked hard and was solid for the most part.

Mustafi – 8
Made one bad pass but apart from that had a very good game and his wicked ball to Aubameyang started off the move that led to Lacazette’s goal. He is really becoming consistent.

Luiz – 8
Did well at the back and like Mustafi is starting to show some consistency.

Guendouzi – 6
Felt a bit sorry for him, he was clearly targeted and did well not to react but he offered very little going forward.

Xhaka – 5
Not a great game but he was not that poor either, basically an average game.

Willock – 5
Worked hard but lacked quality, same as Xhaka, just average.

Aubameyang – 5
He was part of the move for the goal but struggle to see anything else that he did that was notable.

Martinelli – 5
Worked hard but in the same boat as Aubameyang. An average game really.

Lacazette – 5
Let’s be honest, up to the goal he was rank poor and missed some very good opportunities. He has to be credited for being in the right place at the right time for the goal and that salvaged his rating.


Ceballos – 6
He was a little better than the midfielders that started the game and therefore his rating is slightly better

Pepe – 5
Did ok but nothing out of the ordinary and an average rating is fair

Maitland-Niles – 5
Not sure why he did not start, to be honest, he gets the standard rating as was not on long enough to rate properly.


Arteta – 8
I thought his team selection was suspect but at the end of the night, he guided the team to a win, Can’t ask for more than that.


  1. Let’s not sugarcoat this willock is not close to the level of a premier league footballer.laca is getting worse than Giroud.

    1. That is precisely why some arsenal fans are so toxic. Young player had an average team and suddenly not Premier class! Absolutely ridiculous. No thanks for validating the perception that Arsenal supporters are toxic.

      1. It’s not about being toxic, the lad just does not have it in him. Only Academy players that are talented n will take Arsenal to next level are Saka n Smith row. Rest are bang avg. It’s nothing to be surprised about not all who pass out of Academy are suppose to be stars. Our Academy is worse when it comes to producing talent any ways. Last time I checked in ages only talent we produce was Jack Wilsher. Now we have two Saka n Smith Row coming through so that suggests we need revamp n redesign at Academy level as well.

    2. Exactly what I was thinking about lacazette… Dude has lost any kind of hold-up play he ever had. Now all his touches are heavy and laborious… I feel he would be better off as a super sub rather than a starter for now…

    3. Ollie Giroud.

      Olivier Giroud won the FA Cup with Arsenal in 2014, 2015 and 2017, and totalled 105 goals in 253 games for the club.


      93 caps

      39 goals

      Third on the national teams leading scorers list behind Platini (by 2 goals) , and a certain THIERRY HENRY ( 51 goals) *.

      * Giroud has the higher strike rate !

      Excellent ( oft’ underrated / undervalued) player , much loved by the majority of Arsenal fans – I simply cannot understand the disrespect.?

      Look forward to him moving abroad so we don’t have to watch him wasting his time in the wrong area of London.

      Oh and by the way, a thoroughly genuine and nice guy to boot.

      Nah, nah, nah etc.

      39 goals

      1. Completely agree AJ. People need to understand he is a different kind of player not like Suarez or Cavani. …all the managers love him not only for his commitment but because of his excellent link up play n good goal scoring return as well. Literally all the good football we and French played he was part of 98% of the moves. Guy did not have pace but he was strong in the air n not bad with finishing with both feet either.

    4. Disagree, when we play with more than one DM, team lean towards defense, no transition nor combining in middle to play forward.

      We could have conceid several times, a draw was most deserved result.

      Gendouzi is fine as MD covering defense, xhaka often ends up in same area, makes middle too crowded and confused.

      Last 4-0 win, we played one DM and had to readjust Cenballos who was defending too much as opposed to play forward.

      Once that detail was fixed in second half, everyone looked like a 8 or 9. But a 5 or 6 in first half.

      It was same defending gamble, we can win or lose, mostly draw.

      Gendouzi as DM,
      Willock and Ceballos above Matteo allows play forward, combine.

      Gendouzi doesnt need xhaka to defend middle, he should be played LB and Saka in middle on left behind Martinelli.

      Xhaka pisses when asked to play LB, Arteta should be firm as he is with youngsters and not sacrifice them when they better option. Xhaka is more of a defensive player than Saka, if anything he should play LB, not Saka.

      Same for attack, we have players who are better than others in certain position.

      Pepe should be right winger before any player because he is more efficient. Saka is our best left winger by far but Auba will be picked over both in any wing or Martinelli before Saka.

      That’s an issue with Arteta, and of course that 2DM non sense, cost us games, we fortunate to win this one even if we are the better team by far…

    1. Are you serious?

      Who would have thought Mustafi would put in a shift that’ll make him a MoTM contender?

      I’m blown away.

  2. Willock…OMG!Catastrophic!Arteta ended the game with the team supposed to start the game…took him 85 minutes to figure it out…

    1. What is going around that Saka is being paid? 3k per week? Very unfair. Among our best now. If he’s a kid and it’s felt not much money should enter his pocket, just give him 50k. We can’t afford to lose him in the next 12 years.

      1. Even arteta said the defence was poor particularly in first half yet apparently the best part of the team which is probably true!!! Saka the only noticeabley decent player so MOM with a 7 and mainly for his forward play though defensively he is not what we need followed by Leno who did what was required so a 6 … Mustafis passing is woeful though slightly better than Luiz or xhaka … How he merits an 8 is a mystery but did deserve a 5 along with guindhozi and Auba who both worked hard to little effect … All the rest were less than that with a 3 for Willock … Have to laugh at those people who go on about him replacing ozil

        1. Rkw, CAN’T AGREE WITH YOUR MARKS AT ALL. Leno clearly deserves a top mark, as does Mustafi (glory be!) and I say that even though Mustafi is my personal bette noire. THE DEFENCE COLLECTIVELY PLAYED WELL AND THOUGH I HAVE LITTLE CONFIDENCE IN THEM LONG TERM , SHEER HONESTY COMPELS ME TO CHALLENGE YOUR OWN MARKS.
          Also Arteta did NOT say the “defence was poor in the first half”, not at all. He spoke of only the first few minutes. Your marks are plain wrong, sorry to say, as I often like your posts but not this time. I thought our worst problem was lacking midfield creativity UNTIL Ceballos came on.

  3. Laca is becoming an average footballer, how many chances does he need before he can score,I feel sorry for auba it must be hard for him playing in the wings. I just hope arteta does not regret playing laca as a number 9 ahead of auba in the latter stages of the competition.

    1. Auba’s problem is that he struggles to keep the ball when marked by central defenders who are much stronger than him so he does exceptionally well only when we can counter. Was the same at Dortmund.

      If we get good money, we should sell and make Martinelli the main striker, Laca and Eddie as backups. If Martinelli plays regularly as CF his value will skyrocket to above 100 M.

      1. You must really hate Arsenal for you to suggest that Arsenal should sell auba and leave Lacazette. The truth is Lacazette is not too different from Giroud. If we had started auba centrally yesterday, we would have scored at least 2 goals, or do yo really think auba will lose all those easy chances that Lacazette lost yesterday.

        1. Yes @ Lenohappy

          Auba could also have lost those chances, he lost 2 one on one in a recent game this month, but still a quality forward, getting into a scoring position is one of the quality of a good striker, So, Lacazette should continue as the CF unless upgrade is available or he is injured.

  4. This game is showing is what we need-2 powerful midfieders!Defense became good,attack has options,midfield is sucks!Willock-Guendouzi-Xhaka-what a mediocre bunch!Guendouzi starts to embarras himself-what is all that theatrical dives?Guy can’t stay on his feet?Rolling on the ground like being shot?Everytime?Has no shame on him?

    1. what the he’ll are you on about? Did you even watch the game. or have even played the game? the Olympiacos thugs were putting their studs in. Mattel was good trying to drive forward but his error was he had Xhaka beside him.and Xhaka just brings down the standard of players around him.because they have to do more work

      1. What a load of utter nonsense. Xhaka had an excellent game and his improvement since Arteta took over is there for all to see apart from those who are so biased against him.

        1. Xhaka was far from excellent. It was extremely frustrating performance from him. I lost count of the times our forwards made a run into space where he could have played them in. Instead he’d turn inside and play a simple ball.

          He did not make any mistakes however he was far from excellent. If he has been more progressive with his passing we would have created a lot more than we did.

      2. I don’t see the reason behind hating xhaka. But you to ask yourself why all coaches From AW to MA have started xhaka in every single match. Maybe you’re better than AW or UE or MA.

      3. I don’t think he watched the game,if you can’t see he was targeted well I don’t know what to say! embarrassing comment.

  5. So far i dont see any change from emery tactic
    Willoc is not ready for 1st team, sent him to loan nex season.
    Saka is wasted in lb, dont want chambelain and niles scenario happened again to saka.
    Auba, from world class striker to average winger, i dont know what arteta thinking, hes 29 soon to 30, just use the best year auba have before its run out.

        1. He’s also got the talent to be a world class wing back and so far he was excelled in that position.

          1. Which y prefer..
            A world class winger or a world class wb/fb
            Y cannot get both world class in 1 person, bar messi & ronaldo
            Saka minded is still a winger, he often run dribble into penalty box opponent, leave the defence area. He got high rating for his attacing stats, not his defence stats.

        2. Exactly what have been saying, how will a normal coach use auba as a winger just to accommodate Lacazette a player that can’t score an easy goal, auba is a born goal machine for goodness sake, if this was an Emery team all hell would have been lose, just imagine what saka would be doing if he was played in his natural position, sooner or later if the guy keeps playing as a Lb he will want out. This boy has the potential to be a real world class player as a winger not as a Lb. Don’t let the win gets to your head, soon we will meet some teams in the Europa league that we will only have one or two chances and I pray that day, Lacazette doesn’t lose them. In case you forgot,aubamayang scored 12 goals in Europa last season, I pray that all this favorites that arteta is doing won’t come back to bite him, he kept Pepe on the bench he starts wilock ahead of Ceballos in a game we needed to win.

    1. Garbage. If you can’t see the improvement since Arteta took over, you haven’t the faintest idea of what football is about

      1. Read again mate
        I said “emery tactic”
        Arteta still use same formation that emery was used
        Same players and same position
        I though he will bring along gardiola filosofy, but no, i still see emery in line up formation now day

        1. It’s the middle of the season. I’m not sure if you understand that he can’t simply turnover a whole new roster out of thin air. This team has been playing so much better under Arteta.

          1. slightly better, yes
            Much better, hell no
            Its still frustating watching arsenal game
            I still see emery shadow in arteta line up
            But i support arteta till this season over
            Hope he sell xhaka and oziel next season

    2. Marcelo, who is arguably one of the greatest LBs of all time, started out as a winger….. the guy is still only 18, his playing style can be moulded, and he can develop himself into a Marcelo type player. Do you think Marcelo wouldn’t still play well if he was called upon to play on the wings?….. Saka is definitely having a good season playing from LB, why do you guys keep saying he’s being wasted

      1. No, idont want him became marcelo etc
        I (we) want him became next pires, robben, sane, sterling or even ronaldo.
        We have tierny and kola, but we dont have better winger, gabriele also still 18

  6. Midifield has got big issues. Guend & Willock dont offer enough. Auba should not be on the wings! He’s a top striker and needs to be in that position! Lacazette is just all over the place this season. He scored the winner but his overall performances are just so frustrating to watch. Job done though in terms of result. Got that away goal and we go back to Emirates.

    1. I do agree with you on the midfield issues though…… I think our best midfield combo should be Torreira, Ceballos, and Özil. And if Özil is Struggling, Ceballos can be moved forward, with Xhaka replacing Özil. That way, the midfield can always provide (for our attackers), and protect (our defenders)

  7. We almost conceided two goals and should not be happy about our game because of this crazy tact tic to play with 2 defending midfield again.

    Xhaka and Ghendouzi, or Xhaka Torreira + back 4 make it 6 players focus in defending, Willock as Ozil gets a 5, useless, Xhaka a 6 as Gendouzi.

    That’s same mistake all season beside last game we played with 1 DM!

    We want to see goals and our attacking football, clearly Arteta wanted to not conceid and steak the game as we did. Italian way…

    Let’s not jump on players when they are not able to perform because of non sense tac tic ! Team balance was wrong, we got a lucky win to be fare, not deserved, our usual draw at best.

    1. Diesnt matter what tactics when you have willock and xhaka starying. means the team is playing 1.5 man short. Arteta has to stop starting Xhaka….bloody Wenger wasting 30 mill on that turd

      1. Except that Xhaka is playing better than ever now Arteta is playing him in the right position. A great deep lying midfielder with a fantastic passing range and one of Wenger’s best buys.

    2. Lol
      In reply to Mogunna
      I thought the idea for hiring Arteta was first to shore the back as we were shipping loads of goals and shots on target.
      Then you come, and say that we should score loads of goals and start playing 2 offensive minded midfielders. Do you want Arteta to be fired in a couple of months, when we revert back to the causes that saw Emery out?
      Be a little rational and logical.

    1. We did some people love to moan this was mikels first ever European game and he won .best possible result

  8. An away win with a clean sheet at one of the most hostile home turf on Europe and Olympiacos so far unbeaten in their domestic league speaks volume.

  9. Did well for a win and a clean sheet at a very difficult away fixture. The Midfield was very poor this game. Particularly Guendouzi. Targeted or not he’s never been good with physicality for a cm. Its cool to try draw the foul but can’t lose the ball cheaply in his position it leaves the back line vulnerable so he needs to toughen up. Willock was absent this game can’t remember any meaningful contributions. Xhaka did a shift nothing terrible nothing special. Passing all round was poor in Midfield. Special mention to valbuena who’s deliveries gave Arsenal all sorts of problems. Looking forward to the reverse fixture. Interested to see how MA approaches it having watched this game

  10. Xhaka does what Xhaka does- taking yellows for the team, interrupting attacks, covering for Saka when he goes upfield, and now and then he give a great pass forward. That’s what he is there for, not to be twinkle toes. This was a hard game, admiitedly we gave Olymp to many chances, but in the end we held out for a win. Not too many teams win in Piraeus. Let’s be proud of the boys.

    Ceballos would have been kicked to pieces, and Pepe too. They needed guys who can take knocks – there’s that little matter of a game against Everton coming up.

    Other conclusions are that Laca is nowhere near what he was, in spite of the goal, Auba is wasted on outside right and Willock is not nearly ready for no 10 role.

  11. An unconvincing win. No way would I give Luiz an 8 when he was going to put in an own goal if it weren’t for the lucky intervention of Leno. Lacazette wasting chances, Willock garbage, Guendouzi average as usual. A terrible performance that does not inspire confidence in any way.

  12. We beat a team that had only lost to Bayern at home this season. I don’t know why people thought Olympiacos would be a walkover. I’m happy with the win and clean sheet, performance could’ve been better but the bottom line line is we won and got an away goal, onto the emirates next

  13. I think playing Auba on the right wing negate his abilities. it’s better to play him on the left where he can cut on to his right foot and score. MA must not play three strikers- Auba, Martinelli and Laca in one team. His line up yesterday could have cost us the game.

  14. Unconvincing away win but a win to be celebrated along with a clean sheet. Arteta’s decision to play Leno was vindicated as he made two or three excellent saves, the defence was better but our real problems are in midfield. The transitions are slow and painful and we need a strong dynamic b2b midfielder to be proactive rather than all the passing sideways and backwards. So many times last night we had forwards making runs through the lines showing where they wanted the ball placed only for our mids to ignore them and make the safe pass sideways. A decent DM and AM and the attack will start firing.

  15. While our performance was mediocre , the result in a very hostile atmosphere was good. The fact that I did not recognise one outstanding player on the pitch is a reflection of the quality of the teams.No point in picking holes in individual performances when they are being swept along in a sea of mediocrity.On the selection front, I too, am at a loss as to why AMN did not start.

  16. Whether convincing or otherwise, a win was all I needed. Emery wouldn’t be sacked if he was getting these results. MA shd know Saka is not a left back. He has the potential to be a world class winger. He might struggle defensively with fast n tricky wingers like Sala. I would bench laca and put Auba upfront with Saka on the left.

    1. Have you asked yourself that MA might be waiting on Tierney to come back to move Saks?in the meantime he is getting an education that will make him a better player/winger by improving his all around game? for crying loud he is only 18 years old, Ronaldo,bale and many others started their careers in a different positions!

  17. Laca wasn’t at the right place at the right time he made a beautiful run so hens want him on the field he’ll get his groove back. Arteta must never play abumayang on the right hand side ever again it really don’t work he looks dispondent out of shorts nothing right is 1 place where we need backup n that’s pepe as I always want to see him on pitch on that right hand side

  18. I can understand MA’s decision to rotate. He has to. But the performance was typical of a team consisting of Xhaka and Guendouzi. Too many balls going astray. Aubameyang was switched to right and failed to have an impact. But, overall we won the game with a bit of luck when we could have lost. Leno was MOTM for his performance. Other than him I thought we were very average (again) but as I say, the rotation was a hindrance although necessary! COYG!

  19. Aubameyang deserves a 7 at least. That’s what he had on whoscored.
    He was quick and sharp in his passing and his effort led to the only goal of the match

    1. We do not copy Whoscored or anyone for that matter. The ratings were based on my own observations, others have given their ratings and I have no isse with anyone disagreeing with my ratings.

  20. Come on guys, give Willock a break. This is the kind of game which will show him the level he has to reach in a hostile away environment. He is a talented lad and did some good stuff last night. He was let down by the senior players around him. Auba was a fish out of water on the right. Sokratis didn’t get forward at all. Everything bounced off Laca. Martinelli was having an off day. Just who is he supposed to pass to?
    I thought Xhaka had a terrible game. I lost count of the number of times Saka was free and in space on the left, calling for the ball but Xhaka turned away from him. This was one to put behind us and move on.

  21. In response to a couple of comments above…

    Joe Willock is 20. The great players do brilliant things at 18, some even 16 and 17. Remember Fabregas?

    Those managers who played Xhaka in every game won very little with him. I put him on a par with Gareth Barry. A very durable professional but a player who slows things down giving the opposition time to defend in numbers. Would Real Madrid buy him?

    1. not in a million years … nor would sheffield wednesday for that matter … we will regret not taking 20m from berlin for this clodhopper

  22. At the end of the day Saka is a winger but having to play wingback because he is playing well there.
    The problem is that he prefers to play as an out and out winger and if he thinks he is going to always be preferred as a wing back he will probably not sign a new contract,however much they offer him.

  23. SORRY TO STAND AGAINST MAJORITY ON HERE BUT I THOUGHT IT WAS AFINE PERFORMANCE, IF YOU CHOOSE TO PUT IT IN TRUE CONTEXT. We have right now a squad with many clear holes and we lack midfield creativity and don’t score enough goals either, generally speaking. Our “useless” defence has been made far tighter under MA and collectively played very well last night. I do not expect miracles and so can easily use full context and I am always realistic, unlike some overexcitable fans, so can judge properly and in full conrtext only. We are, as ofright now, a moderate side but with far better communication than under Emery and we work far harder,are far tighter and are inproving slowly but steadily. We played a dangerous opponent last night and got a fully deserved win. I for one wil praise the team, NOT criticise. THAT is true context; I wish more had the ability and brain to use it in their posts.

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