Arsenal player ratings v Southampton – ratings reflect weak defence of FA Cup

Arsenal has just been knocked out of the FA Cup by Southampton and they will now have to focus on the Premier League and the Europa League.

It was an afternoon to forget for several of Arsenal’s fringe players like Eddie Nketiah and Willian.

Here is our Arsenal player ratings.

Bernd Leno – 6
One of Arsenal’s best players this afternoon. Made a fine save to deny Che Adams in the first half, but could do nothing about the goal.

Hector Bellerin – 5
Arsenal needed someone to score or create a goal, but he didn’t help going forward but was solid defensively.

Rob Holding – 5
Should have scored for Arsenal, this was far from his best performance for the club.

Gabriel – 4
Very much out of sorts on his return from testing positive for covid-19. Scored an own goal, and maybe he is still feeling after-effects of Covid.

Cedric Soares – 5
Struggled to play out of position and his lack of versatility will not help his first-team chances.

Mohamed Elneny – 4
Pressed into making mistakes for much of the game. He will struggle to play now that Partey is back.

Granit Xhaka – 5
Did better than Elneny while in possession, and did most of the good work that Arsenal did in midfield.

Willian – 3
He is now a proper joke of a signing. Seems too disconnected from what his teammates were trying to achieve.

Nicolas Pepe – 5
Had a terrible first half. Tried to change it in the second half, but couldn’t do anything meaningful. Should be a long time before he starts again.

Gabriel Martinelli – 6
The only Arsenal player that looked like he would do something for the team. Gave the Saints all kinds of problems and unlucky to be taken off.

Eddie Nketiah – 4
Showed why Folarin Balogun might truly be better than him as he struggled and was bullied by the Southampton defence for much of the game.

Thomas Partey – 6
Swung the momentum in Arsenal’s favour when he got on, but couldn’t help them get a goal.

Bukayo Saka – 5
Resting him was probably Mikel Arteta’s biggest mistake, and he couldn’t do much when he came on the left-wing.

Alexandre Lacazette – 5
Could do nothing with the few balls that Saka delivered into the box for him.

Mikel Arteta – 3
Terrible team selection, late with subs, this is on him.

Tags arsenal player ratings FA Cup southampton v arsenal


  1. If arteta does not atleast get an Europa league final he is much worse than Emery and should not be kept longer than necessary..
    emery had it much more difficult than arteta (he was overruled for every transfer and had almost no say in it) and still produced better results all that while he brought up some youngsters whereas arteta has not really helped any youngster in the team (playing ESR was not deliberate)

  2. Cant argue too much with ratings. Arteta was to blame as much as the players, playing Cedric at left back, sluggish xhaka and Elnenny with willock and Amn on bench. Nketiah is not upto this standard and the teliance on Willian is baffling, the guy is a disgrace. Pepe was disappointing but for me he is just increasing the imbalance that Arteta causes with his team picks.

    1. At last someone else who recognises that Nketiah isn’t good enough. Feel sorry for Pepe,, he’s surrounded by idiots most of the time. He looked good when he was in a front line with Auba and Lacazette. If you watch Pepe carefully he makes excellent runs but none of the midfield have the ability to see him.

      1. Clive, pepe on the right is easily snubbed because he is so left footed everyone sends him inside and ambushes him. Arteta seems to put a lot of players into positions that they are not comfortable with, the odd one for a reason is ok but not two or three, it upsets everything. Pepe to me looks like he has had the devilment took out of his game because he cant do what he wants to. Yes for 72 mil he should be better but he should also be put in a position he can exploit.

        1. And Nketiah is above his station but again Arteta is trying to get him to do things he isn’t capable of doing. He isn’t a target man or a focal point, he is a poacher and that is it.

  3. As per the team sheet a loss was anticipated and we lost by a goal only. With Eddie, Xhaka, Elneny, Soares, Willian even a 9th tier team would beat us. Not much Arteta could do as the younger players are not machines to play every match.We should focus on the EL as that is something we never won.

  4. my problem with arteta he thinks cedric can play LB even RB arrons from norwich would b lot better,

  5. Dear kreonke your multi-million investment is being bunkruptred by a clueless director of football and and an incompetent young Manager full of himself, please put your house in order fans are suffering same old.My advice top experienced coaches are available Allegri and anceloti can come tomorrow if you need them.Reality is we will win nothing this season and won’t make it for Europe,we are no longer a big club supposedly because we need to rebuild and clear the Wenger mess.

    1. LD How fortunate that our multi billionaire Kroenke has you to advise him. However would he manage without your calm and incisive thinking!

      1. Too bad Ancellotti has a contract at Everton, therefore not “available”, without buying out his contract.

  6. So many poor performances.. agree with the ratings. Liked the difference after TP came on, but was too late by then.
    Just wanna forget this horror show now and look forward to Tuesday – with the return of KT, CDB and fingers crossed Auba… and get revenge!!

    1. So tell me @sue what is the significance of Tuesday’s game is it a final or something.Whats your expectations this season or next season will be our season.

      1. Well, for a start a win would be very welcome after today’s performance!
        I don’t need to spell it out. Top 6 or winning EL…. can you see us doing either? I don’t know right now….
        Today has really disappointed me, I’m not going to lie. I love the cup and am unhappy that MA didn’t take it as seriously as I’d have liked.
        As for the league, having already lost 8, surprisingly though, we aren’t as far behind the top 4 as youd expect… so we just have to go for it! We have chances for europe next season, I just hope we take them! Can’t imagine not being in Europe!!

      1. Agree Perry regarding Sue – as for LD, the “mess” has nothing to do with AW, unless you think he selected the team from the squad of players available?

  7. Southampton pretty much forced to rotate on Tuesday while we can bring in rested starters likr ESR, Tierney, Saka, Laca, Auba.

    If we somehow dont manage to win Southampton B-team, then we need to look at new manager.

      1. Well if the season is in fact over as you so clearly
        state than I personally look forward to you and
        the rest of the farewell crowd refraining from
        polluting the board with your incessant emoting.

        I’m sure the other London clubs are looking for some
        armchair experts.

          1. ACE, exactly right; so much for supporting through thick and thin. The ups and downs of being a sports fan.

        1. You seem to be intimidated by people who have an opinion which you dont agree with and using fancy words to make you look more intelligent and more interesting than you actually are so it would be best if you stopped trying to be all grown up and sed nothing
          It is be better to be thought of as a berk than to open your mouth and confirm our suspicions
          Enough said

          1. Perry the correct quote by Abraham Lincoln was :
            “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.”
            Good advice.

    1. Pepe got a mental problem,he should be in hospital not on football pitch,hi mood tells it all he’s in darkness

  8. Willian pressed hard and rarely lost the ball, so his rating is unfair. Elneny was tidy on the ball and his rating should be higher for his hard work

    The ratings are totally biased. The ones who deserved the lowest ratings are:

    – Magalhaes, for his atrocious performance in the first twenty minutes which led to a fatal error
    – Soares, for his inability to click with his teammates due to playing out of position
    – Pepe, for killing our attacks frequently due to his inability to control the ball and because of his awful first touches

    1. tidy on the ball is the only praise anyone can ever give elneny because he doesnt have any other skills. He had a very brief period of being useful, but he’s back to being a player who you question what he brings to a team.

      1. Elneny was unlucky because he played with attackers who kept losing the ball like Pepe and Aubameyang (when he was a CF). We still need a good squad rotation midfielder like him, because Partey and Ceballos are still unfit

    2. ratings are always biased…

      most fans have never watch or analyse the games

      merely based on media reports for the ratings

  9. I never want to see Willian on the field again. Why this guy is receiving chances over youth (or anyone) is mind-boggling!!!

    Nketiah loan please

  10. ill like to know in your opinion what did Martinelli do to deserve same rating as Leno? Bellerin contributed to attack but Leno man of the match
    Leno -6
    Bellerin -5
    Holding -5
    Gabriel- 3
    Cedric -5
    Elneny -4
    Willian -4
    Pepe -5
    Martineli -4
    Nketia- 4
    Saka -4
    Partey -5
    Laca -4

  11. Could only watch the first half as had commitments but thought Cedric had a good half. I really love the FA Cup, the occasion, the history and our record in it and really sad that we basically threw it away today as Southampton weren’t that good. Our only realistic chance of winning anything and getting into Europe gone. We play them again Tuesday at their place and they will be buoyant while we will still be recovering from the loss to them. It doesn’t bode well.

  12. I expected
    Ryan,Cedric,Chambers,Mari.Kierian,Xhaka,Partey,Martinelli,Smith Rowe,Auba and Balogun in

  13. Aint we playing them in EPL next?.

    Do we need them to beat us again and Man U next to get a real coach?

    He went from head coach to Manager in less then a year.

    No more cups to hope Europa league we now so happy with.
    I guess it is all about EPL to finish in EL position!

    What a disaster

    Man has no respect for Arsenal. and himself, no exprrience, rhink we so laim, he is good enough coming from city as an assistant!

  14. Does anyone know “the personal issue that Auba needs to deal with”that MA was talking about after the game?

  15. Lacazette.

    Martinelli. Smith-Rowe. Saka.

    Xhaka. Partey.

    Tierney. Luiz. Holding. Cedric.


    This team should make sure they get 3 points on Tuesday.
    Aubameyang is a doubt for Tuesday. Hope all is well with his family.

  16. Hopefully that’s the last we see of Willian and Nketiah. Chelsea probably laughing still after hosing us on that one. First a worn out Cech and now a useless Willian.
    How Nketiah continues to get chances to squander while Balogun can’t get a sniff is a shame. Guy said he wants to stay at Arsenal, he just wants chances to play.
    Can’t blame him for mentioning game time. Watching a useless Nketiah get chances to waste when he gets none must be deflating and discouraging.

    If Nketiah is still here after next Summer I’ll be disappointed. He’s a waste of a roster spot, and has shown no improvement since his introduction to 1st team quite a while ago, SMFH.

    1. Nketiah is useless. Farteta seems to think he is the second coming of Wrighty! Give Balogun a run FFS! Such an arrogant manager!

  17. Oh my God, Sue.
    Is that how low we have fallen to struggle against lowly Cheltenham?!!!!

    Lord please save our beloved club!!!

    1. Completely agree! Think Willian was ok and is being scapegoated today based on previous performances. Might have been different with Saka and Laca in the side from the beginning. Nketiah was a let down.

  18. Nketiah should be donated to 2nd or 3rd Tier team. Holding was real poor what he does to keep his position in the team is beyond me. Pepe should be sold he honestly is the worst signing Arsenal has made in the last 10 years considering his price. Willian , the least said the better. As for Arteta he honestly is a hit and miss coach, you can’t see his philosophy, his playing strategy or his ability to make substitutions that change the game, he is getting by on Arsenal board s acceptance of mediocrity.

  19. I don’t blame Arteta entirely:
    He needed to try Cedric as Tierney cover, as he claims to be dual-sided. It turns out he’s not.
    Gabriel and Martinelli both needed game-time, and it showed, although Gabriel is starting to concern me…
    Of course with our heritage I rate the FA Cup. But this season especially the league has to be our priority, and we all know who our first 11 are, because only that 11 can beat anyone, we are that thin on good players. Play them all today and lose in 3 days time? Not for me.
    We criticise Arteta over TPs injury, so shouldnt blame him that hes easing him back in.
    Sad that Nketiah played before Balogun, but I am sure Balogun is aleady elsewhere on a pre-contract, so what’s the point?
    Willian and Pepe are awful. But if resting young players who else? AMN, Willock, Nelson aren’t exactly setting the world alight.
    So give Arteta a break people, because I think you’ll agree that we ARE on an upward trajectory. Blame the players who were all below par. I marked 4 or 5 for all of them

    1. Really? What do you expect when you pair donkeys with a throughbred? Gabriel is a great defender but has to cover for the other 3 beside him and a midield that lets in more water than a sieve. He has a football brain…actually watch a game and maybe you will understand and btw he has not even finished his 1st season
      Give the manager a chance? We have but its like that saying…doing the same thing over and over again? This is the time to release the manager so he can screw up somewhere else not at Arsenal.
      And your standards are pretty low if you think we are on an upward trajectory!

  20. Guy, Arteta chooses the team , he talks a big game , he cannot be given discount . He s been with the club for over a year , if he doesn’t know his players strengths and weakness , we should ship him somewhere he can learn slowly. He plays the worst front 4 combination in terms of ability, form and game time together as a combo in a cup match. He is clueless

    1. SAG you expect him to go on TV and say its a crap team and we will probably lose but the game in 3 days is more important?
      He doesnt always talk a big game. He admits, (albeit not immediately) most of his errors. My point is simply that we have a paper thin squad in terms of qualty atm, and he sees the EPL as more important. That doesnt make us a fourth division team, it makes us a team in transition, and we have to live with it

  21. When , if ever, are we going to get a meaningful table on JA of what all ranking marks mean? Without a standardised table, where all of us know precisely what each mark means ie 5 poor, 6 average, 7 above average, etc, the marks mean different things to all fans and thatcreates a meaningless shambles.
    It is why I don’t get involved with marks. I’d like to but only when they mean something common to us all. Pointless otherwise, as it seems only I realise. Surely that cannot be true?

  22. If the Gloucestershire side from League two can lead the premier League title contenders then imagine what they could have done to us

    1. 👍 That was a brilliant game! Hats off to Cheltenham and Ben Tozer – what a performance 👏
      City through – I’m jealous!!!

      1. I love the fact that you are always honest sue if only we all were the same and said what we actually saw
        Take note ace just my opinion

  23. S.A. Gunner, perhaps you would be so kind to let us know your team for the match today, bearing in mind the unavailability of Auba and Tierney who is thought to be close to the “red zone” in terms of fitness.It’s very easy to call anyone “clueless, so maybe you could enlighten this old man , and other fans , the objective reasons for your disparaging comments towards our Manager.

    1. Simples….I would even have willock with elneny, thats how bad i think xhaka is and martinelli up front and nelson on the wing. Ainsley at left back. There fixed it

  24. Watching Foden’s interview at the end .. he could pass as Liam Gallagher’s love child.. I was just waiting for him to say “You gotta roll with it” 😂😂

  25. No matter what score they get individually, one thing is certain. Our bloated team is full of averages in every sense of the word..

  26. I think Emery was better. Not great but better. He made better lineups and had more experience. Also
    He wanted Zaha but Pepe was forced upon him.

    1. Emery experienced a horror injury run in his first season, yet still finished 5th and made the Europa League final before player power beat him.
      Poor English communication skills put him behind the eight ball with media and supporters. That’s why I would be concerned with Allegri.

  27. Have a look at Adam Armstrong, Blackburn or Ivan Toney, Brentford. They can at least score and are young forwards.

  28. Yes Sir! it’s on MA!!

    No Auba or Laca in FA is a big mistake .. keeping faith in Willian is the worst!

    2nd trophy is gone!

    MA must have a good plan for this season in the PL and EL now!

  29. Grandad
    How about

    Yes there’s players who ll probably have to play Tuesday but lets face it we had to defend the FA cup with pride. All the defenders of MA are too proud to admit that this guy is hit and hope . He hasnt been the strategic ,tactical and inspirational maestro he has been hyped up to be. Remember he was an assistant to Pep with no experience at this level. And it shows more often than not.

  30. Oh god, here we go again, arm chair pundits every where, first

    we all want nketia loaned out and balogun thrown in.

    I guess not many of us recognise the orderliness in team selection to understand that nketia is ahead of balogun in that regard and the need to respect these players are paramount, i mean how do we sell him without marketn him, giving him munites, who can recall the last time he kicked a ball? Its no big deal to some fans but the rustiness of Gaby, pepe and even nketia yesterday, expecially the former is a testament of effect of loss of game time.

    I am no pro coach and cant claim knowing better than someone who earns a living all his life via football as player and then coach, i guess the players we all wanted him to parade are electrical human, no fatique, cant get injured even with tons of high tempo games they’ve played since the conjested yuletide.

    Most fans live in fools paradise.

    I rather give up an fa cup we hold a record on and win on tuesday, achieving two things, rest my best and market my deadwoods.

    Again southampton won via own goal, could have ended penalties, of which you would have had a different view on our coach and his decision.

    Good morning

    1. Must be a spud troll. There were better, yes better players available but this manager is so stubborn, i think he woud rather lose than admit he is wrong. Nketiah starts? Xhaka starts?, Willan starts,? Poor tactics, players out of position so his favourites play in theirs.
      And as a coach of a junior team, i regularly tear my hair out in frustration at this manager being player millions and he cant even get he badics right

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