Arsenal player ratings v Tottenham – one player gets a fortunate 3

It was an entertaining game that was for sure but the first North London derby this season was a great disappointment for Arsenal fans who were so optimistic before kick-off.

As usual, it was an error-ridden performance from Arsenal, for some reason they just cannot get the basics of the game right and while it was a good comeback, it was also a game that Unai Emery’s men should have won.

The Tottenham defence was a shambles and they were there for the taking but the much-vaunted Arsenal front line never really clicked, the midfield, for the most part, was disorganised and the defence was panicky.

Anyway, here are my ratings.

Leno 4

Should have done better with the save from Lamela that led to Eriksen’s goal and he looked nervy throughout.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles 6

Did ok but was basically ineffective down the flanks against a woeful Danny Rose, he needs to improve and I am not sure he can.

Sokratis 6

Was all over the place at points in the game and his defending looked shaky throughout, cannot be a long term solution in the centre of defence.

Luiz 5

At least he never made any gross errors but I maintain that he is not much of an upgrade on Mustafi and remains a liability. Showed no leadership at the back at all.

Kolasinac 5

Provided no threat down the wing despite being up against an out of position right-back in Sanchez, should have done much better.

Torreira 6

Did ok but did not excel and I expected far more from him but then again he did have to make up for the huge liability playing alongside him.

Xhaka 3

Awful tackle on Son to give a penalty, I mean, who does that in the penalty area? And how many fouls does he need to give away?

Guendouzi 8

Arsenal man of the match, had a fine game, brilliant pass to Aubameyang, nearly scored himself and overall had a decent game.

Pepe 6

Patience is clearly going to be needed, it is not his fault that so much was expected from him so early on and to be honest, he was poor against a rotten defence today.

Lacazette 7

Scored a great goal with a beautiful first touch and it was such a shame that he had to go off. If there was a match-winner on the pitch today it was him.

Aubameyang 6

Apart from his goal, I cannot remember anything dangerous he did, he should have had a field day against that Tottenham defence and yet he was anonymous, clearly does not like playing on the wing.


Ceballos 6

Burst on to the game for about 5 mins then joined the rest of the team in having no idea how to win the game but he did look lively and should have started.

Mkhitaryan 5

Offered nothing but did no worse than almost everyone else.


  1. Let’s not crucify Pepe at this early stage.Thierry henry went for eight games without scoring but we all know what followed after take off.Pepe will come good from the early signs.

    1. Thank you! Hearing too many of our fans tearing him. He’s gonna be a player. Had an assist and Rose block kept him from opening his Arsenal goal tally that will definitely be growing soon.

      1. Some posters on here have less football knowledge than Stuart Pearce, but their comments on Pepe remind me of his comment regarding Dennis Bergkamp; that he would be a failure in England. We all know how that turned out.

    2. I do not know how the Head coach is setting up the balance of his team, but from YouTube’s clip seen, Pepe had free movement all over the pitch. I think switching positing with the other wide player mighty enable him to play his natural football and best output.

  2. Sokratis and Luiz always have a bone-headed mistake in them. Add error prone Xhaka and it’s recipe for disaster.

    Shocking Emery hasn’t dropped one of them yet, we desperately need to.

    I’d almost try a Holding and Chambers pairing with Bellerin and Tierney; they can’t be worse.

    Guendouzi is a stud, and can easily replace Xhaka who needs to be sold.

    Lastly Sokratis poor decision with Leno spilling the ball letting Erikson score was painful and totally avoidable.

    Can’t help feeling we lost 2 points today with Emery fielding 3 DM’s; what was he thinking?

    1. Leno 5
      AMN – 6
      Sokratis – 5
      Luiz – 5
      Kolasinac – 6
      Xhaka – 3
      Torreira – 6
      Guendozi – 8
      Pepe – 6
      Lacazette – 7
      Aubamayeng – 7
      Ceballos – 7
      Mkhi – 4

    2. Even with 3 DMs, we still look highly vulnerable to their counterattacks and made some silly errors at the back

    3. Well said Durand. Emery has to realise that we are not Sevilla. We must win games like these! Last year we missed to destroy them at their place and look how many points we missed for top 4?

      1. Offside Spurs goal, gifted penalty and Aubameyang missed penalty cost Arsenal the win and fourth place

    4. Durand, Great comments but forget the “almost try”. I would CERTAINLY play both Holding and Chambers at CB and Luiz next as third choice, but only when needed. Sokratis might as well be thrown away in the rubbish bin along with Mustafi, so useless is he. I feel we have the shape of a really effective attack and midfield now but the appalling decade long clown ridden defence STILL holds us back! This last decade must be the longest period a shambolic so called defence has ever played for us. If anything, our “defence” is even worse this season than under Wenger- something I would have said was impossible to “achieve”! It is as if the club actually don’t want to get a proper defence. This farce must stop NOW!

      1. Jon Fox i agree with your statements regarding our defense. I would start Holding Chambers Tierney and Bellerin. All new back line.

        Is Mkhi worse than Walcott? Your previous statement calling Sokratis a wrestler is spot on.

    5. What was Emery thinking?

      He was clearly imitating Liverpool who play 4 -3 -3 but with three quite defensive midfielders – Henderson, Fabinho, Wijnaldum (or another b2b – Keita)

      The problem?

      1. They are better than any midfield that includes Xhaka
      2. ‘pool’s fullbacks are more dangerous going forward than ours
      3. Mane is a much better left winger than Aubameyang (or Mkhi or Nelson or whoever we have)

      So I understand Emery, but I would rotate Auba/Laca much of the time, give Martinelli a try on the left, and replace Xhaka with either Ceballos or Ozil and make Torreira play more defensively, which is his strong suit.

  3. Sokratis is clearly to blame for that first goal we conceded.
    I love some of Luiz’s forward pass though.
    Take a bow Guendouzi, I’ve always rated him, did what his captain Xhaka should be doing.
    Pepe had a nice game, he’ll surely get his goal, his final ball is questionable but he’ll improve

    1. Completely agree with all of these comments. Pepe going to be quite a player for us. Hopefully we can add Ceballos permanently if Real will sell next year.
      Can’t wait to see us when we have full team healthy.

    2. No way that was Luiz who got turned YET AGAIN just like Salah seemlessly took him out of the game last week. Sokratis shoulders some blame but Luiz should not have been beaten so easily. If it were Mustafi would you have deflected the blame onto Sokratis? 3 games and 3 mistakes from Luiz now.. it will be a miracle if we make top 4 with Xhaka, Sokratis and Luiz starting for us.

      1. Sokra had no business abandoning the space behind him and have two players going for a long ball. He then gave Eriksen too much space when he should be closing him down

    3. Yeah I’m shocked Sokratis scored a 6. Main culprit of the goal, and when we are under pressure he is not the guy you want to turn to. Him and Luiz are just unconvincing at the back and were again today.

  4. We just need to establish a midfield that can bond together and Move on.I felt our tactic on the mid was to defend.

    1. We’re lucky to have got 1 point here. Emery can not take Arsenal forward. I was one of the people asking us to give him time but he seems clueless. Who plays 3 dm behind 3 front men? If he continues like this, the best we can get is top 4, and if we make that, we should greatly rejoice.

        1. I just wrote a comment on that.
          A lot of people didn’t notice our tactics were a poor imitation of Liverpool’s, but as you say – YES, Liverpool play with a DM, a deep-lying playmaker and a defensively minded box-to-box player – EXACTLY the midfield we had yesterday. But I won’t repeat what I wrote why it cannot work for us too well.

      1. Not true. We were definitely the most dominant team. I know we gooners like to turn on ourselves and I agree with the comments on the woeful defending yet again. However, of the 2 teams we were the better for most of the match. The Spuds were firefighting for much of the match. The problem is that as has been the case for the last 8 years our defence don’t do what they are meant to be there for. Luckily, THFC were not much better. There are glimmers of hope

  5. Sokra with his poor decision making and recovery leading to our first goal rated higher than Luiz?

    Torreira contributed very little today. 5 or 4 for me

    Ceballos had some nice touches and sweet turns. It’s nice to watch, but generally no end product after taking many touches

  6. I must admit I was wrong about Guendouzi. I have never liked the lad but he was immense today. Such a work horse reminds me of Chelsea’s Ramirez or Real’s Marcelo. Always full of energy. Did excellently for his assist and saving us from humiliation.

    Xhaka marshalled the center and distributed the ball well but his silly fouls and penalties came back to haunt us. He could have made up for his penalty if his ferocious long-ranger went in. Torreira was an absolute disgrace. Too small to be a DM and we must accept this reality.

    Pepe looks like he’s turning into a Gervinho. A lot of flair but no end product. Very worrying indeed.

    1. Welcome to Arsenal Pépé.

      Only 2 full starts, with the pundits hailing him whilst keeping opinion in context (they understand he will bed in as the quality is evident) we seem to already have an element that have decided he is the “new Gervinho” !!

      Can’t quite believe what I’m reading – but football is all about opinion as we all know.

      And as for Xhaka, no amount of “near miss screamers” or “spraying the ball around” (very well late 2nd half as it happens) atone for the consistent and costly errors of judgement. Really tried with this player, but for me …. a liability. In these terms, much different from Mustafi ??

  7. Xhaka is about to became for Emery what Ramsey was for Wenger! When we finally get rid of Ramsey now we still have a captain who is not intelligent enough to play in PL.
    We never got any real offer for Ramsey (except when he was free to go), so the same I dnt think that any club in PL would want Xhaka!

    Sokratis is really out off the leash in some moments and I hope Emery can deal with that, but playing without crative mid against 5pur2 is really really bad decission. I know that he done it to cover for our non wing backs but still… crazy!

    At PSG Emery played with 3 attackers (Mbape, Neymar and Cavani), last year he was down to Iwobi, Ramsey and Auba (he forced his vision still thru) and this year he has again three great attackers but we are not Sevilla! We must want more then 2:2 against 5pur2!

    1. Defensive errors cost us again. The story of Arsenal.

      We were the better team and should have won it. 2 points lost

      1. I agree about our errors but bigger picture is one worries me more. 5pur2 had more in the game in the 1st half… and right now they are team in trouble.
        Emery has to risk more and make a team which has right players in right positions or not play them at all…
        if we had to sell Monreal and Kolasinac is only option for the left back then we need to play 3 at the back ant thats it… but no! 🙁

        1. In the first half, it’s a shame we were so shockingly vulnerable to their counterattacks. Our defending still worries me a lot.

          Don’t think Emery would play a back 3, unless Kola or AMN has some horrendous displays. He’s always favored 4-3-3. The 3-5-2 last season was due to unreliable wingers and accommodating both Laca and Auba

      1. I dnt think Ramsey will have a good carrier with Sarri but will see.
        …and where is Wenger now?
        let’s lough together about that! :):):)

    2. Ramsey actually won us stuff though and became a great player. Xhaka has never for any prolonged period at Arsenal shown that he will be a great player.

      1. OK, let’s see how well will that great player of yours do at Juventus. I think he is injured right now and since went to Italy he played 20 min in friendly.

  8. Still remains to be seen if PAL can play well together. Putting your best goal scorer in an unfamiliar position does not look like a long term solution.

    ___________Laca Auba
    Mkhitaryan Guendouzi Torreira Pepe

  9. I think some of the criticism is a bit harsh, apart from the defensive mistakes. Guendouzi was awesome. If Pepe was a bit more settled I reckon two of those shots could easily have gone in. Ceballos looks really good, but has only played a few games. He will produce some magic this season, and Arsenal were by far the better team in the second half. The defence still has Tierney to join them and Holding and Bellerin to come back. No need to panic just yet Gooners!

    1. Can we try chambers at DM when holding comes back with Guendouzi and Ceballos

      We need and imposive figure in front of Luiz who will protect them

  10. Arsenal dominated but a rare Spurs attack ended
    in a tap in after Leno’s error.
    Spurs were so lucky in defence 5 times.
    Then Xhaka made the terrible tackle.
    0-2 was totally not a fair reflection.
    Then a brilliant Arsenal attack with a brilliant Laca finish.
    1-2 and the come back was on.
    The Guendouzie threads the impossible ball to the perfect recipient in the perfect position to finish perfectly.
    Despite pummeling Spurs late on we have to settle for a point.
    So after 900 touches the game is actually decided on
    a poor clearance a moment of madness and two
    out of this world goals.
    That is what fans really want from a derby.
    Should teams park Jose’s bus and grind out 0-0 bore fests?
    I will take today’s rumbustious end to end mayhem any time.
    A wonderful afternoons entertainment.
    2-2 a fair result.
    Can’t wait for round two 🙂

    1. Oooo I like that:
      Guendouzi threads the impossible ball to the perfect recipient in the perfect position to finish perfectly.
      Guendouzi – our future captain!

  11. You all can blame the players but the faults lie with the manager. What do you expect from the players with clueless manager. Whichever formations he employs if he doesn’t give all his players responsibilities they willl continue to make silly mistakes. Ditch the zonal marking nonsense Last week it was Luis, this week it was Sokratis. What are they really doing in the training. No way it is acceptable for us to be two goals down at Emirate against any opposition at half time if this coach have any clue

    1. This I can agree, but not those fans who claim that a change in formation or selection of one other player would miraculously solve our defensive problems

      1. Zonal marking has been “a pox on Arsenal” for years before the arrival of Emery. There is no individual responsibility as in man on man marking. The sooner it is gone the better.
        To Mobella, is Emery as coach responsible for professional international players making individual schoolboy errors in defense? He should of course drop them, but who should he call up to replace them?

  12. Defence a real problem. Xhaka must be dropped. I would replace him with Chambers who is quicker and better in the air than Xhaka. He also played very well for Fulham in the DM roll. When our full backs return and Holding is fit we will be much stronger.
    MUST defend better from midfield backwards.
    Also Leno needs to learn to distribute the ball quicker, or though I must say he was better today.

  13. I really don’t understand this Pepe haters sentiments. Only two starts and you up with complains?! This is really unfair. He is a winger. He is not Messi or Cr7 who scores in his first match. If you can give Emery four seasons to build a competitive team then for heaven’s sake let’s be patient with pepe. He did nothing wrong.Even hazard himself is yet to score for real Madrid. Cautinho is yet to score for Munich. And many more players. Let’s give this guy atleast 5 starts. After all he assisted.
    About Emery, I don’t know what to say. He is very lucky that we came down from two goals to a draw hence we all are not sure what to say for now but he got it wrong with Xhaka though am happy he got it right with Willock. As far as am concerned, Kola did well for a guy who just played his second match of the season and the first start. We know his potential and that’s what he offered. You can’t expect him to give what he doesn’t have. He is average and he have it

    1. As our record signing, Pepe will come under the spotlight for every game he plays. It comes with the price tag.

      The stick he got was for his final ball and shooting. No one expects him to score, but if he shoots when there’s a good crossing opportunity, he should at least have a decent shot.

      Anyway, it doesn’t mean that fans who criticized him hates him. At this point, I can safely say that virtually 100% of those who give him stick wants him to succeed way more desperately than they criticized him

  14. Right, so we got a point.. but i am so pi**ed at gifting those 2 goals! Yes, we were good in the 2nd half, but the damage had already been done by then!!
    I’m going to have nightmares tonight about Xhaka’s lunge & Leno letting Eriksen score his easiest goal ever!!
    Well, it’s safe to say, the spud fans will be the happier.. I’m so angry & annoyed… after today & last Saturday, really going to take some getting over…..
    Just thankful Laca & Auba scored…

    1. Against any kind of 5pur2 team, I dnt care for any result except Arsenal wining!
      We are always better side!…

      o.k. we dnt have that gooood penalty taker as Kane is but this is something he will only be remebered for… hahhahahhaha

  15. Pepe will come good with time. However, I still believe that Arsenal needed an Iwobi today to help stretch Spurs back line. Mhiki, Auba ain’t proper wingers. Keeping Iwobi to at least till January would have helped Pepe bed in well n taking off xone pressure from him.

  16. NLD.
    We all know for all the excitement of changes being brought in this summer, we still cant hide away from the fact what will be our main line defence involving Bellerin Holding and Tierney is still some months off.

    Until then we can expect jekyll and hyde performances as an overall outcome because of some instability in key areas.

    I will in one instance explain why I dont think sokratis is right for AFC.
    Kanes flick for the goal.
    If you look over replays you will see Sokratis was pushing up to mark his man (rightly so) but Xhaka can be seen pushing him back. In the end, Xhaka (too concerned by Sokratis) was out of position and got under the ball – while Sokratis seeing this (after pacing backwards after Xhaka’s request) moved forwards again towards the ball but didn’t get to the ball in time.

    A Top defender would be commanding the situation, but relying on someone else to tell him what to do is not a sign of a commanding CB – which is what we need. VVD, Kompany wouldn’t of been told what to do.
    It’s as simple a story as that.

    Errors defensively is due to a lack of confidence in our centre back pairing and having a slow Xhaka and Sokratis at the heart of our Central Zone of our defensive side means we lack clarity through composure when attacked by fast forwards. (Sterling Salad Son…).

    Time and again we find ourselves defending with panic seeded deeply in our approach because of our lack of pace. It’s not because we have players with a lack of pace (these players can be great – John Terry) but because of our style we need players with pace to press and not get caught in behind or read the game better as slower players (like Adam’s, Terry…)

    It was a shame because we dominated the first 10 mins of the game, then the next 15 they got some control back from having our confidence knocked, only for them to be given another gift after we got back into the game. The last 5 minutes of the 1st half and then the rest of the 2nd half (apart from a total of 5-7minutes for spurs) we controlled the game in such a way one stat I saw gave Spurs 1% possession in our half half way through the 2nd half..

    The tenacious middle 3 for me was ok at home. Winning balls get the crowd pushing the team forward. But Gendouzi is becoming more then just tenacious. He always looked like he had a pass in him and now he is being brave enough to show it.
    Pepe’s first assist, Laca scores Auba scores. At times they just tore apart Spurs backline with their movement. Again I cant wait until they can read each others play better. It took Laca and Auba a season, it might take the 3 of them less time as 2 of them already know each other.

    Overall we were the better team, the character to come back and dominate and get the goals shows we have more of what we have wanted for ages….character, goals and assist from more players, more talented youth, more local lads… But expect jekyll and hyde until we have a fully fit squad.

  17. There was a purpose behind this team that was sadly missing towards the end of last season. We should have won after a great 2nd half but yet again defensive errors and a stupid tackle by (he who never learns) Xhaka. But Emery still picks him. A limp right hand by Leno early on did not help and he is yet to convince me.

    If we can sort out central midfield and buy a quality CB in January we could be back in the Champion’s League next season.

  18. So pepe had an assist and people cokpliain about his final product…he was our best player against liverpool..and the guy has only started 2 games (A NLD and against the best team in Europe ) but already people saying nonsense about him….

    1. I agree completely. I read somewhere else he is our most expensive transfer so he should expect the tough critique. Yet our same fans complaining would have been upset had we not spent top money to get a quality winger. He clearly has talent and needs our fans to get behind him until he is fully settled and dominating on the pitch for us. He was one Danny Rose face deflection away from fans singing his praises. He is going to be a force for Arsenal for many years to come and we should all be excited he wanted to join our team.

  19. Cant play football nor expect to win without a defense. Looks so effortless to score,Salah or Eriksen goals were same kinda, easy, like we watch them play. Nothing fast or spectacular. Leno saw it as so easy, no one to cover him was beyond ridiculous!

    Attacking players must feel so frustrated to make their goals useless!

    Not signing 2 top CD was dumbest move ever and make rest useless. All hype on Pepe means nothing without defense!

    Then knowing this and upon Last game, totally retarded from Emery to start xhaka and not Ceballos. We have no creative, all DMs, better off keep ball and create than have midfields to fil UP CB’s hole, defend…

    Kos asked to get a top CB Coulibaly like as a condition to stay and got kicked out like a dog! We paying That and lose our capitain best defender! Big sign! I cant blâme him After missing all targets because of That CD issue!

  20. Pepe was fine. He put us in several dangerous positions. His final touch is lacking but that will come. To say he wasn’t very good is an awful take.

  21. Fact is..

    Xhaka and Sokratis cost us the points today. Schoolboy errors again and again and again..

    Defensively we are still one of the weakest in the league and every one knows it. We had months to sort it out and we didn’t!!

  22. Xhaka cost us Europe with his penalty against Brighton last seaon. In my post before the Spurs game I said he would give a penalty away against them. He could not give a shite that’s why. Ge should be dropped forever…he is genuine crap and will cost us a European place again. Wake up Emery.

    1. Sean I totally agree with you.
      Not sure that he doesnt give a crap..he just isn’t good enough
      Apart from xhaka I can see emery clearing everyone he doesn’t want out of the club
      Xhaka has me stumped on why he keeps picking him

  23. Since his Premier League debut in August 2016, no player has conceded more penalties in the competition than the five by Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka.” = BBC sport.

    This man cost more than Kante. Let that sin

  24. When I see the player ratings and read the the comments of most I sometimes wonder if Wenger ever left. He like Emery
    never listened to the supporters who are not all stupid and ,whilst he must not be over influenced by their comments when selecting he needs to justify his choices when his selections are obviously biased.

  25. xhaka should go, but reality its not happening for now. Definitely should not start for us. I know this will not be popular but I think we have to support Luiz, yes he has made some mistakes but he has also done some good since joining Arsenal. We all know hes not the best defender in the world but that’s 100 million pounds now a days. The lack of coverage in midfield and the full/wing back being out of position has killed us for years and put our defenders under immense pressure for a long time now! give Luiz a chance he will do some good and make some mistakes this season but let hope the good outweighs the bad.

    1. Alp can not be any effective with disorganized mid. Emery got 3.poor tactics and not knowing the ability of his players well

  26. Emery should please drop Xhaka, the guy as nothing to offer except is non ending errors. why on earth will a player with football brain make tackle like that? if Arsenal will make top for he should start making some ruthless decisions now, drop Xhaka, Sokratis and if possible David luiz if we had a full fit squad. Auba on the flank ain’t good for him, always been isolated. but the guy always show what he’s made of. A good goal poacher. Laca is great too. Don’t have too much to say on Pepe, still observing him. Guendouzi is the future, the guy is progressing well. I read Mhkhi is off to Roma, thats a good news.
    Overall we are the better side. We should have take all the point.

  27. We can now easily itemised the error been made by Luiz in all games he have started for us, sometime majority of us are wrong with our judgment, when Chambers was peal with socratis it was errors free game but we clamour for Luiz and now we are conceding goals. Chambers is better than Luiz with what i have seen

  28. Pepe will be fine, how many times do we have to put up with that useless twat Xhaka,he is one of the worst midfielders I have ever seen,I will not rest until we have seen the back of this guy, completely overrated donkey,and even worse he always has an excuse and never admits to any of his many errors.Guendouzi put him to shame and Willock is a far better option,if Emery persists with this prat in the team we will fall short again.

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