Arsenal v Crystal Palace Player Ratings – Not much to celebrate

Well Arsenal failed to extend their winning run, and it looks like Mikel Arteta will have to go back to the drawing board. Maybe Roy Hodgson just had his Crystal Palace team set up to stop our attacks admirably, or our players simply weren’t up for it on a dreary day.

Anyway, here are my ratings for Arsenal v Crystal Palace..

Bernd Leno – 8
My man of the match simply for that excellent save from Benteke, otherwise he didn’t have too much to do!

Hector Bellerin – 6
Not one of his best games, and squandered one big chance.

Rob Holding – 7
Another solid showing from Holding but again he didn’t have much action.

David Luiz – 6
Mostly anonymous

Ainsley Maitland-Niles – 5
AMN didn’t show much considering he should be trying to impress Arteta.

Granit Xhaka – 7
Played well without being helped much by his midfield partners.

Dani Ceballos – 4
Will he ever impress me? I am running out of patience.

Bukayo Saka – 6
Tried hard but didn’t have his normal massive impact.

Emile Smith Rowe – 6
Ditto. Had trouble getting into the game.

Alexandre Lacazette – 4
The worst game I have seen from Laca this season. Disappointing.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 5
Looked lively at the start, but his bad form continues.

Nicolas Pepe (65 min) – 5
No comment

Thomas Partey (69 min) – 5.5
Nice to see him back at last, but needs to get match fit.

Eddie Nketiah (90 min) – N/A


  1. Xhaka is the MOTM, why can’t you just admit for once that xhaka had a good game, even if you don’t like him but at least when he plays well admit it.

    1. lenohappy, aren’t you supposed to be Leno fan as suggested by your name? Lol.
      On a serious note both players did their job and it was difficult to pick the better performance, so it’s now rest on personal opinion to pick 1 over another. Personally I pick Xhaka and I feel he deserve same rating as Leno, either the author favor him for Motm or not, that shouldn’t affect his ratings.
      Xhaka has been doing great since his return from suspension

      1. Adajim bro I love and support Leno as our goalkeeper but how can someone pick a goalkeeper that only made one outstanding save over a player that performed excellently throughout the match. The fact that the author doesn’t really like Xhaka should not determine his ratings, there’s no way that Leno should be rate higher in that match than Xhaka.

    2. Xhaka was obviously the MOTM with 6 tackles/ 4 won, 15 duels/ 9 won, 13 ball recoveries and 87% pass completed from 111 passes

      Unfortunately he was the only left-footed player on our left flank. Had we had Tierney and Mari or Magalhaes, we would’ve passed the ball to the left side quicker and dribbled along the left touchline more often

    3. How sad when your best players are a goalkeeper and a defensive midfielder. That tells you all you need to know about the coach and his game plan.

      You can sugar coat it all you want ladies and gents, we have a long way to go and a tough road to get there.


  2. just like the heading, not much, we were pushed back but I feel, we should have adopted shot from outside the box, Xhaka and cebalos should have given that role, maybe a deflection or a little luck could have given us something

  3. Maitland-Niles’ stronger foot is his right one, so it’s understandable if he played awkwardly in the LB position. If Kolasinac would be shipped out permanently, then getting a new LB should’ve been a priority now

    Ceballos was one of the best deep-lying playmakers in the game, with 2 interceptions, 7 ball recoveries, 3 dribbles and 93% passes completed out of 73 passes including some through balls

    Whereas Bellerin, Smith-Rowe and Saka didn’t have much space on the right flank, because we didn’t have Tierney and Mari or Magalhaes to overload the left flank. Tierney alone wouldn’t be able to lure the opponents to the left side, so Mari or Magalhaes must be fit for the Magpies

    1. I suppose you are not trying to justify AMN lackluster performance, mind you we have seen him perform better at same position. He is low in confidence all season that’s the fact, even when he cover for bellerin at RB he didn’t fair better.
      I think cebalos deserve more than 4 too
      We miss KT not Manghalese. There is nothing Manghalese would have done better than holding and Luiz, since AMN has decided to be unconcerned

      1. Maitland-Niles performed better when playing as attacking LWB in 3-4-3, but dribbling from our deep midfield area seems to be a problem for him

        Mari or Magalhaes could pass the ball closer to the left touchline, through the tight space on our left flank. Luiz and Holding can’t do that frequently, because they’re both right-footed CBs

      2. The fact is that anywhere on the right M-N is nothing more than a fill in. Just does not have a good enough left foot.

        1. The real fact of the matter is AMN is simply average at best.

          I don’t buy all the smoke and mirrors surrounding this player – never have.

          Always an excuse, so don’t give me the out of position bleating.

          Do you actually WATCH his performances ?

          AMN will not get anywhere near a Mikel Arteta assembled squad.

          He’ll be one of a number out of the door.

          1. In which case I can’t understand why MA persuaded him to stay. I would love him to stay because he’s an arsenal man, but I think he’s being treated atrociously and should leave for a better club.

          2. Hi Gworm.

            “In which case I can’t understand why MA persuaded him to stay.”

            With all due respect – naïve at best .

            We kept him out of necessity at this current time.

            So if a player does not figure in the managers plans, or he simply doesn’t rate him, it’s “treating him atrociously” not to play him ?

            Take out all the SENTIMENT (AMN), and hysteria surrounding Papa & Mustafi.

            Each definitely not the answer, but always put in a shift (a lot of the time Mustafi reactions were simply jumping on the bandwagon).

            AMN is gaining OZIL like “protected species” status at our place, via performances that nowhere near warrant it.

            Won’t survive the summer cull.

            He’ll be gone – and if it’s to a “better club” I’ll be amazed.

  4. Xhaka easily man of the match. I also thought Luiz had a good game with Holding. Agree with other ratings except Leno should be lower in my humble opinion.

  5. Partey completed 4 tackles, 3 long balls and 1 key pass in 20 minutes. This is what we want from him. But Xhaka was MOTM yesterday.

    Its quite glaring what went wrong: I’m looking at the stats and we made only 7 key passes in the whole game

    2 by Holding
    2 by Saka
    1 each by Ceballos, Partey and Bellerin

    1. Partey attempted 4 tackles, but only 1 tackle was successful. He needs to start with Xhaka more often, to gel with his teammates

      1. Yes, but if you don’t tackle, you won’t win the ball. Our players tackle very little compared to some other teams. In fact, we tackle the least of all Premier League teams..

    2. If Bellerin had not wrongly intercepted that beautiful pass by esr, probably we will be talking about an assist by now, he need to be cautioned

  6. I thought Ceballos and Bellerin was the 2 best players on the pitch ,maybe I drank to much before the game .

    1. @dan kit…LOL u probably did.

      Bellerin just had an off day, passing backwards… Though I for one thought we would have probably won that game at the closing stages if not for the pepe, laca changes… already blunt attack totally collapsed.

      I remember one good chance for laca to the side net with AMN latter ruled that tempo with more chances, we prolly would have scored sooner…infact AMN had a shit on goal b4 being substituted…

      Arteta needs to improve on his decisions… Successful coaches don’t change winning teams even during tough games…..klopp,guardiola,mourinho anyone??

    2. cant remember ceballos really contributing at all. Thought Bellerin had a mini-nightmare last night. He’s certainly not been matching the performances of Tierney, and ruined the only real big chance of the game by taking Laca’s shot away.

  7. Anyone who watched that game gave ceballos a 4 and xhaka a 7 has basically about as much credibility as me rating ballet dancers in swan lake … utterly clueless

  8. Xhaka was said by some to be our best player. To me he slows the game down, gets caught in possession and drops our pace to the pace of his body/mind……sloooowwww. We were so slow and uninspired and uninventive. What have we become? It’s like watching Monty Python without the humour.

    1. spot on … hes not only slow in foot and mind he has absolutely no sens of space or rather quite clearly moves in to spaces which make it impossible for teammates to pass to him ass he is nervous about receiving ball given his limited ability to control a football …. basically xhaka is the football equivalent of the norwegian blue in the dead parrot sketch

    2. Agreed, the amount of times Xhaka gave the ball away or was caught in possession was unforgiveable.
      We lack pace and ability to pick out a pass in midfield and as a result without Tierney bombing forward we are totally toothless in attack.

  9. I keep saying it as many of us; Arteta is just not yet ready to coach such a team beside hard headed.

    Why would he play Ceballos Xhaka Rowe in middle?

    Shouldnt it be a more defensive midfield player?

    Play worst CB Luiz as well?

    No way to display our football if not secured in back, in that central area specifically…

    Why use Niles as a hole fill up, a waist of talent. Hope Madrid gets him on loan at least Eyed to replace Partey

    Why play Ceballos instead of Nikes ir Elneny who are more defensive?

    Sums this up and you have a team with no balance and way to take game in hands, attack & score.

    Chambers, Mari, mustafi all should start ahead of Luiz and any of them can do a good job as LB in term of defending.

    Bellerin Mari Holding Chambers or mustafi.

    Niles or & Elneny or Xhaka

    Auba Laca Saka.

    This is safer in the back & midfield, allows Rowe and attacking 3 to focus
    doing so’

    We control that middle, Niles can rush forward, xhaka maje his passing and holding midfield

    Again Arteta demonstrates lack of experience but mainly common sense.

    How can he brings Luis in this team ever and his Ceballos?

    Show us he was right to sign them?

    This is ridiculous once again.

    We won games because he was forced to play right players, then played same again 2 days later for a 1-0. close call instead to rotate some players.

    He doesnt know what is doing at all!

    Bring urgently Tuchel before he gets snatched!!!

    1. @ Moguna, thank God you are not the coach, playing mustafi or chambers at left back?
      If you really hate the coach because he drew yesterday please go and support Chelsea or other club and whether you like it or not arteta is going to stay and remain as our coach.
      Although sometimes I don’t support his decision interns of selection and substitution but we should allow this guy to do his job, if we win with the formation, I know most of you here will praise him as the young and vibrant coach but we drew now, you people are already castigating him….

  10. Apart from Leno and Holding nobody else impressed me other than Xhaka who was a mixture of very good and very bad.Unfortunately due to his lack of pace he needs to resort to giving away free kicks and it’s only a matter of time before this costs us three points.

    1. Xhaka defensively was pretty good but apart from that made some horrendous mistakes and started at least three of palaces best attacks.

  11. If you noticed the games Marì played, he urges the midfield, Luiz relaxes so much on the ball that it affects Xhaka and co,

    Arteta needs to field the winning team, drop Luiz, field Maitland-Niles in midfield as a sub, he needs game time, sell Nketiah and probably Aubameyang by summer, we need more daring forwards.

    Imagine having Partey, niles in the midfield, any creative player would improve automatically.

  12. It’s time to admit that Pepe is not a player for us. In my opinion, he is not a player for the Premier League either. I think Nelson deserves chance at that position.

  13. Ceballos was having a very good game before he was extracted, struggled even more when he went, that rating is not anywhere near a true reflection.

  14. The biggest problem is that although Xhaka was MOTM yesterday, he is very likely to bang average next game. The all too familiar ratings we see today for most is a constant every week. Lots of fours, fives and the odd six or seven. We never see many of the squad getting eights or nines! Why? Because the squad is average. With the few exceptions. Personally, I could care less about ratings most of the time because what I see most games is exactly the same as what I’ve been watching for years..

  15. I thought we started off alright in both halves – pity it didn’t last!
    Seemed really lethargic at times… too many sloppy passes. And the backwards passing was to the maximum!!
    Ainsley and Hector didn’t have a great night.. and as much as Xhaka had some good moments, he had some bad ones too!!
    Most of our chances came from Holding, so well done to him. Another clean sheet for Leno – super save from him!
    It certainly was one to forget and I hope to God we don’t have another on Monday, as can you imagine failing to beat the Geordies? 😬

  16. We need to sign a creative midfielder this month. One of Erikson, Isco or Nabil Fekir. Saka deserves a rest. He could get injured with the amount of games he has played. Arteta should demand more from Pepe. Maybe go to a 4312 formation

    Bellerin Holding Mari Tierney

    AMN Partey Xhaka


    Pepe Lacazette

    Aubameyang as a sub. Saka to rotate with ESR. Martinelli needs to gradually integrated. The injuries are a concern. Same as Saka. He has played too many games.

  17. I’m more convinced than ever that David Luiz was the main reason why everything was so slow against Crystal Palace. He gets the ball,looks up stops,looks ahead, meanwhile opposition defenders have gotten into position, picked their man and are ready. Then with no one to pass to, the ball is too often delivered sideways or backwards, if not to an opposition defender. Arteta has to work out a better strategy than to overrely on his centre half as the main link between defence and attack.. With three master strategists on the sidelines, there should also be an option B and C.

  18. Regarding Xhaka, yes he was our best performing player,but as someone on another sight commented,it was a case of the good, bad and the ugly. Still nobody’s perfect.

  19. When it is your favorite it is call confidence, but when it is Xhaka he is slowing down play. The biases in some people is just irritating. How anyone who watched the game on Thursday would choose to insult Xhaka is beyond my understanding.

    1. Granit was “man of the match” by more than a million miles. Anyone saying he didn’t do well is quite a hater imo.

  20. Xhaka was man of match for me.
    Ansley and Emile had games to forget,maybe Alex upfront too. We missed Teirney real bad, can’t wait to have a fit Thomas.

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