Arsenal (Reserves!) v Blackpool Player Ratings – Smith-Rowe impresses again

Arsenal beat Blackpool last night with a team full of reserves, so although it was an unconvincing win we must take into account that most of these players are not used to playing together, so we’ll just take the win and count our blessings…

Here are my ratings:

Cech 5
Coming back from a long layoff and was not really back into his rhythm. Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt, but it looks like Leno will be back to face Liverpool.

Jenkinson 6
Carl’s first appearance in two years, and considering that, he didn’t perform too badly. Still needs to be sold…

Mustafi 6
The German still hasn’t regained his confidence and I wonder if he ever will. Surely will be dropped on Saturay?

Pleguezuelo 6
It is about time the Spaniard got a chance in the first team, but we will need to see him play more often before he could become a contender.

Lichtsteiner 7
Unlikely goalscorer but a great run and better finish. He is definitely a trier.

Guendouzi 7
The second yellow seemed very harsh to me, but he’ll be unhappy he can’t play against Liverpool. Definitely a future star in the making.

Maitland-Niles 6
Great run out although he is obviously still in need of match fitness.

Mkhitaryan 7
Looked lively against the League One side, but seems to blow hot and cold too often for me.

Ramsey 6
Should have been more commanding at this level. I think the contract situation is still affecting him. Don’t think he’ll start against Liverpool.

Smith Rowe 8
This youngster excites me when I see his name on the teamsheet. The way he is progressing I can see him becoming a regular sooner rather than later. Always keen to get in the box.

Welbeck 5
Another one that should have stamped his mark more against a lower League side.

Torreira 6
Always a calming influence

Iwobi 6
Not much help.

Aubameyang 6
Tried hard but must learn to avoid the offsides better.


  1. gotanidea says:

    Apart from his bad decisions, Mustafi is currently one of the fittest senior CBs, along with Sokratis. Holding handled Diego Costa once, but I think he would have difficulties in handling faster players like Salah and Mane

    I bet either Monreal or Kolasinac would play against Liverpool, therefore Xhaka could play as a deep lying playmaker again and Guendouzi would be benched for Torreira

    Maybe Welbeck is not the most talented forward at Arsenal, but he worked well with Lacazette, Iwobi and Mkhitaryan

    1. Sue says:

      Guendouzi will be suspended

    2. Angus says:

      He’s our best full stop no argument anyone else gets involved they are excluded because its so not close that nuance doesn’t come into it. It’s literally dumb or not in regards to Mustafi standing.

  2. jon fox says:

    Generally far too generous marks, IMO. Mkhi a seven is plain daft and Smith -Rowe did ok but eight? No way! iT IS USUAL FOR FANS OF ANY CLUB TO OVERMARK THEIR OWN PLAYERS AS SO MANY SIMPLY ARE NOT REALISTS.

    1. ken1945 says:

      Jon, please can you refer to the previous article and two questions I asked you?
      Thanks in anticipation.

      1. jon fox says:

        Have done so Ken! In some detail , as I know you and others have come to expect. Or resent and dislike in some cases( some others , not you, I mean). Always happy to answer questions and just to get comments from you.

        1. ken1945 says:

          Thanks Jon, comprehensive reply, pleasantly surprised, good discussion as usual and good to see recognition of our ex CEO and current owners depth of involvement in undermining our club.

          1. Angus says:

            Good luck getting him to admit Wenger played our best players or that the likes of Bellerin are integral to our development (particularly if Ramsey goes free.) Funny thing is only player I know Wenger had big issues with was Lichtsteiner lol every other sigining would of happened. Outside that Auba a question but who wouldn’t give auba for Giroud plus a Winger/Centre back in exchange for lower wages but JON KNOWS BEST! No matter how wrong, how often…….always wrong jon

          2. ken1945 says:

            Angus, from little acorns grow big oak trees is, I think, how the saying goes.
            For me the interesting part will come in the January transfer window, along with the development of those players Emery inherited.
            Especially the so called “younger players such as AMN, Holding etc etc.
            If they continue to develope, we might just see Emery being able to use any transfer kitty on just one top player.
            By the way, I think Welbeck was another player that our ex manager only wanted on a loan deal, but Gazidis went for permanent move.

          3. jon fox says:

            Angus, You and I are clearly in different camps over Wenger, so I ask you this : Would you have WENGER BACK AS MANAGER TODAY IF YOU COULD AND LOSE EMERY? My strong suspicion is that you would if you could. BTW, no one forces you to read my posts if they upset you. I SUGGEST YOU DON’T , RATHER THAN SUFFER OR RESENT ME, since I have no beef at all with you. I have no need to as Wenger is , at long last, GONE!

          4. Midkemma says:

            As someone who has defended Wenger a lot, I wouldn’t have him back instead of Emery now, Emery deserves credit for what he has done and I wouldn’t want to take a iota of that away.

            Me personally, can’t say for Angus but at least from one Wenger supporter, I wanted to see Gazidis gone sooner and for a CEO who would back Wenger to come in and see what difference that made before replacing Wenger.

            Would you swap Emery now for Wengers first decade? Not his second… the one where he won stuff and Dein was supporting him.

            I personally seen Wenger decline year after year due to Gazidis and the internal fight, even as someone who wanted to defend Wenger, I couldn’t be blind to the increasing issue with his personality fault, the not liking confrontation issue.

            I personally believe that if Dein had been the CEO then we would have bought players Wenger wanted over cheap version and we wouldn’t have had such an issue with the ex manager not confronting players. TH14 didn’t need it, they done it to themselves as they wanted to be the best, same for Vieira. Wenger appeared to want those type of players but when Gazidis came in we went from spending on what they believed to spreading the same volume of cash but over multiple gambles which meant we got a squad filled players who didn’t fit Wengers mental criteria.

          5. jon fox says:

            MIDKEMMA, Much truth in what you say. I agree totally on Dein and Gazidis and have often said that DEINS FORCING OUT WAS THE BLACKEST DAY IN OUR POST WAR HISTORY. Like you, I rejoice that the snake Gazidis has gone. We have far more views in common than perhaps either of us were prepared to admit, during our rather silly feuding days.

          6. jon fox says:

            Ken, I have always blamed Gazidis, KROENKE AND THE WHOLE BOARD , AS WELL AS WENGER, AND HAVE SAID SO MANY TIMES. YOU SURELY MUST HAVE SEEN THOSE POSTS. But they are not the cause of the many regular Wenger errors I mentioned in my posts and also in countless other posts too.

          7. jon fox says:

            KEN SINCE POSTING MY REPLY , I HAVE JUST NOW READ YOUR INTERPRETATION OF MY REMARKS ON THAT THREAD. I would not agree with the emphasis on your , to me, somewhat erroneous summing up of the whole of my post. Yes , I do blame others besides Wenger. But as I fully explained, I do not blame those others for the many mistakes and in fact sheer neglect WENGER GAVE THE DEFENCE FOR THAT DECADE. I WOULD , RESPECTFULLY, LIKE YOUR ASSURANCE THAT THIS MAIN POINT HAS BEEN UNDERSTOOD(BY YOU). I would not wish you to misunderstand my view, esp after you were so keen to know it, which is always fine by me. If all you wanted, was for me to say that WeNGER WAS NOT ALONE AND NOT 100% REPONSIBLE FOR ALL THE PROBLEMS, THEN I AM GLAD TO CONFIRM HE WAS NOT ALONE. Hope that helps.

  3. Innit says:

    For the most part I agree

    Cech just came back from injury so I won’t be tough on him. I know he is good quality. Also, if the defenders are bad, the Goalkeeper will look bad

    Only “defenders” I was impressed with was Lichtsteiner, Torreira and Guendouzi. The rest were either not experienced enough or not their best positions so I won’t be hard on them either. They did the best they could understand the circumstances

    Ramsey, Iwobi and Welbeck were very average. Not bad at all, but not great either

    Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan were good

    Loved Smith Rowe.
    Every time he plays, I enjoy watching him

    My favourites from the match were Smith Rowe and Guendouzi

    I think Cech, Mkhitaryan, Aubameyang or Lacazette, Guendouzi, Torreira, Smith Rowe should play against Liverpool to get something from the match.

    1. Sue says:

      I don’t think I can handle watching Cech between the sticks against Liverpool

      1. ken1945 says:

        Sue, do you mean Cech can’t handle it?
        He certainly can’t use his feet on last nights evidence!!
        i think the result hinges completely on who will be available against pool.
        If we have a recognised left back, Socratis is 100% andwe play as a team, then we need have no fear.
        If we give 100% and lose, we can’t complain. We just need to start as we know they will, with all guns blazing.

        1. Sue says:

          He makes me so nervous Ken!!! I can’t look when the ball is played back to him….
          I hope we do get something from the game, we all know how good we can be, I just don’t fancy leaving it till the second half & face an uphill battle!
          My husband is a Liverpool fan… not sure I want to watch it with him ???

  4. AndersS says:

    I really like Guendouzi, and in general he has been doing great.
    Yesterday he did well until the sending off, and although he could have gotten away with the second foul without being sent off, it was really stupid. He nearly cost us the match, and he must learn from that.

  5. Declan says:

    No way Cech will play against Liverpool, why on earth would he? Not commanding in the air and can’t play out with his feet. I’d bet my pension on Leno starting. For me, Guendouzi was the outstanding player on the pitch last night, always driving forward and his cross field passes were excellent. Naively, he picked up two bookings of which the second was debatable, but hey at least he gets stuck in.

    1. jon fox says:

      If Leno remains fit, there is only a choice of one keeper to be made. Cech is still a good shot stopper. But keepers need much more these days and ones who cannot use their feet have a huge handicap now. The keeping position has moved on , in general, not just us , I mean.

      1. Durand says:

        Cech isn’t suited to how Emery wants to play from the back. Ramsey is moving on because he is not our future; younger brighter players like Guendouzi, AMN, and Smith Rowe are our future.

        Time to bench Cech until he moves on. I appreciate what he has done, but Leno is a better fit for the team and club’s future.

        Isn’t this the ruthlessness we all have been wanting? Ramsey moving on, Cech benched, and hopefully Holding replacing Mustafi, and soon Pleg and Mavro challenging Sokratis as he ages.

      2. Angus says:

        Cech’s feet have been pretty good if you actually have any f****** idea what your talking about but you never do your too lazy to actually research the things behind the talking points that base all your f******* opinions on. Your part of the downfall of this club media organised the hate for years (it did take awhile to catch on.) Now you see the richer and more historically successful Liverpool treated like Wenger’s Arsenal? Wonder why? And Jon was one of the sheep that helped promote Liverpool, well done Jon take a bow, you wanted him gone a decade ago when he relegated Liverpool to obscurity and now? clap clap clap he’s gone.

        1. Angus says:

          Reap what you sow.Ghost of Eboue almost. Most on here do deserve us failing. It’s not even close your horrible people who never supported the players/manager when we were over performing!

        2. jon fox says:

          ANGUS, YOUR COMMENTS ARE VERY SIMILAR TO HOW TROLLS WRITE. I doubt I am the only one to notice. As to the puzzling Liverpool comment, I have not a clue what you are talking about. Care to expand and spell out in plain English for us non mind readers?

  6. Grandad says:

    Czech is no longer our number one keeper and will be on the bench against Liverpool.AMN did very well considering his lack of match fitness and he has the athleticism and ability to do a man marking job on Salah who invariably moves inside on to his strong left foot.A right footed player like AMN could combat this move more readily than natural left footers such as Monreal or God forbid Xhaka.Like Declan i thought Guendouzi was the best player on the park until he was sent off.He is young and will learn.

    1. Gily says:

      Cech is a very good keeper only when no foot work is mandatorily required. With how good he is at his feet, he is just a known accident waiting to happen. And he takes away confidence from the players because they don’t trust kicking the ball back to him when they need to. Even his kick out most of the time goes to the opposition.
      Asking Cech to be in the goal mouth when Leno is not injured is just asking for trouble.

      1. ozziegunner says:

        I was disappointed in Cech not commanding his goal area and failure to come for a number of crosses.

  7. Break-on-through says:

    I noticed how Ramsey mostly stayed CM in that game, either disciplined himself a bit or else Emery asked it of him. He hasn’t had much games recently, minutes, so I was expecting him to go full pelt towards the goal.

    Delighted Rowe got in on the act, it’s great seeing young players scoring an important goal like that, he helped set up a massive next encounter. Glad we are at the Emirates for it, and I hope Rowe gets some taste of the action.

    Niles looked fit, hopefully he’ll kick on now, allot of people have thrown their hat behind this lad, some even pushing him ahead of an experienced player like Aaron Ramsey.

    Ozil’s tweet after the game has to be my biggest highlight, he asked Gooner’s what they thought of the Arsenal v Tottenham fixture, and gave them only one option to vote for – Ya Gunners Ya, the only option, classic!.

    Actually one more highlight.
    Wrighty telling that fan to shut up you c**t. A fan actually came on the radio, and said – that he’s not Emery in – nor – is he Emery out, and he’ll know at the end of our season. He wanted Dyche or Howe. All that s**t from previous years has gone to this tools head, seriously dude, get over yourself. What has the modern fan become at all, where’s the passion! gone?

  8. Bur says:

    When you look at Cech trying to play out from the back he looks so awkward………he looks as if his feet are on the wrong legs, infact he can’t play football nor can he beat men and I don’t know why he tries. He dosent fit into that style of play.
    As for the rest of the lads I thought they contributed to a poor game but 11 wins out of 12 is still good. We couldn’t say that for many a year.

  9. ozziegunner says:

    The performances of Mhikataryan, Ramsey and Welbeck against League 1 Blackpool were underwhelming given they are experienced internationals, who one would think are trying to make Arsenal’s first choice eleven.

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