Barcelona 2-1 Arsenal Player Ratings – Aubz MOTM but some disappointments

Barcelona 2-1 Arsenal – Player ratings By Sean M

Leno 7 – Solid. One spilled shot but was otherwise one of our best players.

Maitland-Niles 5.5 – What did Emery say to him at half time?? Had a great first half both defensively and offensively but came out at half time a different boy. Some poor passes and bad decision-making followed by that own goal. I’m a fan of the kid and genuinely think he could develop into a great full back but games like this won’t help his confidence.

Sokratis 7 – I only remember him pulling one of his Greek wrestling moves in the first half. Otherwise, marked tightly and was good in the challenge.

Chambers 6.5 – Less composed than his fellow centre back. One or two poor touches but generally dealt with the wandering Griezmann well

Monreal 6.5 – Ran his socks off and did a pretty good job of keeping Dembele at bay in the first half. Misses out on a 7 because of his hot-and-cold attacking contribution.

Xhaka 5.5 – Spent most of the first half shouting at the screen. Defends like a rugby player, has the attention span of a 5-year old kid with ADHD

Willock 7 – Had a solid game. Not much of note except a goal-line clearance but often managed to do Xhaka’s and his own job. This is definitely his season to break through.

Ozil 6 – Great assist but this isn’t Football Manager; he isn’t getting a 7 for one good pass. Was a passenger throughout and most of his contribution was to slow play all the way down, run out of options, then pass back. Was utterly ineffectual out wide in the second half. Surely can’t play a big role this season.

Nelson 6 – Looked a lot nervier today. Hesitant to take on his man and suboptimal decision-making throughout the first half. Generally has great ball retention, pace and quick feet. The boy needs confidence which will come through game time.

Aubamayang 7.5 – Hungry. Always running, always stretching the defence and what a superb finish! It bodes well that, even as his pace deteriorates with age, we have a clinical finisher in the team (most of the time).

Mkhitarayan 6 – Had a rubbish first half, spending most of the time wandering around lost and misplacing passes. Improved in the second half, drawing several fouls but I think Nelson should get the nod over him.


Guendozi 6 – Good solid game with only one or two panicky moments. Otherwise good distribution and decent under pressure.

Kolasinac 6 – Didn’t really do much. We were under the cosh in the second half so he didn’t get much of a chance to attack, but didn’t do much wrong.

Ceballos 6.5 – Didn’t have much time to make an impact but had great feet and a solid pass. Look forward to seeing more of him over the season.

Saka N/A – Looked sharp and dangerous. Most notable contributions were two passes, one cleverly bent round a CB almost reaching Auba.

Martinelli N/A – One decent chance volleyed wide and a few bursts.

Torreira N/A – Too little time to make an impact. Hope to see him in the first team in the coming weeks.

Nketiah N/A – Also looked hungry and battled well.

Young lads looking very promising, especially Willock. The usual suspects were rubbish. First XI won’t emerge until late October I imagine. Arsenal still not looking too comfortable playing out of the back. Overall, a game we could’ve won away against a great team. Bring on Newcastle!



  1. – Leno: World class GK

    – Maitland-Niles: Was very good in attacking, as usual. But he needs to improve his defending

    – Sokratis: Did the dirty jobs effectively and hopefully he manages to execute technical fouls in EPL without getting caught

    – Chambers: Too slow as an RB and a CB, but maybe he would be good as a DM. He has been tried as a CB at Arsenal and Fulham, and he failed

    – Monreal: Is still dependable despite getting slower, but I highly doubt he can play all games with high intensity

    – Xhaka: Lousy in tight spaces. We need a more technically-gifted playmaker with excellent ball control, otherwise the defense would suffer again

    – Willock: Confident. Would like to see him play alongside Torreira, instead of Xhaka

    – Ozil: Nothing special and that assist was converted into a goal due to Aubameyang’s skills. Xhaka and him are clueless in tight spaces, so we need to try Ceballos, Willock or Iwobi there

    – Nelson: More cutting inside than dribbling forward because he played on the left side, but he broke a lot of Barcelona’s attacks with his interceptions

    – Aubameyang: A world class striker and a good RW, so it’s not good to sacrifice him when Lacazette and Pepe are fit to play

    – Mkhitaryan: Nothing special like Xhaka and Ozil. Sell these dudes ASAP

    1. I am in no way a Xhaka fan (quite the reverse) but the fact remains (sloppy passing aside) he was our best midfielder last year. Indeed, he is the most positionally disciplined of all Arsenal’s midfielders.
      Would love to see him replaced but just don’t see sufficent positional discipline in Torreira, Willock or Guendouzi.
      My preferred line up would always include Xhaka until a better replacement(more mobile, less sloppy, more two footed can be found – or developed)
      Ranking him the same as Maitland-Niles and less than Guendouzi is blind prejudice

  2. Loved Auba’s goal!! Was gutted at how we lost that game though, as I genuinely believed we played well enough to win it..
    What worries me is.. who will line up in defence on Sunday? Sokratis will have to, but who will be next to him? Mustafi? Chambers? Not impressed with either! Brings me out in a cold sweat, just thinking about it

    1. I would put Steve Bould cb cant defend any worse then the ones we have gona be a complete shambles again defensively why this area has not been addressed for the last 5 years is beyond me!!

    2. have to agree, central defending was shocking. Gave away the ball to many times in and around the box in the 2nd half, an on form team would have destroyed us. Niles wasnt any better. We will not be able to out score every team but as for sure we will concede.

    3. Chambers over Mustafi every day of the week, Sue, one has a pulse and the other flatlined when he died of shock that Wenger paid £35M for him !

        1. Celebs go Dating is on tonight, Sue !………………some of last years Love Islanders are on it !……………Jack of Jack and Danny fame is one of them !……… that clean enough ? hahaha

          Did you buy the red home shirt ?…………….short sleave so you can reveal the guns ! 😆

          1. I just saw that advertised, few Z listers on it! ?
            That’s very clean for you (even with a mention of Jack & Danny ?)
            Yes… well I had to, what with the sun having been out – sun’s out gun’s out ?
            How about you? Don’t tell me, you couldn’t find one big enough to go over all those muscles?! ?

  3. Purchases since 2018 (Overall till date)
    Auba 8/10
    Leno 8/10
    Papa 6/10
    LT11 7/10
    Lich 3/10
    Mavro 3/10
    Guen 5/10
    2019 (Overall till date)
    Dani 7/10 (Showing lots of promise)
    martinelli 8/10 (Could be the bargain of the decade if he keeps improving)
    suarez 1/10
    Saliba NA
    Pepe NA
    Since real madrid are trying to get Von de beek or pogba arsenal must get ceballos on a permanent basis if he performs like this.

    Looking at the performances it is clear that the old guys (signed prior to 2018) are the ones who are letting us down, the new signings have been good overall barring lichsteiner and denis suarez.

    1. Been saying the same about transfers.
      Would give guendouzi 6.5 since going from 1st season d2 in France to starting 11 in arsenal is a huge leap. It’s like an academy player returning from loan with no real expectation.

    2. Irrelevant comparison, the guys we bought this season have not played enough to be judged and given scores. Some might some might not but there is enough evidence that some posses real quality if they can be polished further like martinelli and Dani. Problem is Dani is exactly the kind of player we want to fill that whole left by carzola but I dont know if he is going to stay after the season. After all when it comes to playing for Arsenal or Madrid anyone will choose Madrid specially if ur Spanish. I really hope we can sign him on permanent basis, dude is young and has got all the ingredients to be world class. I will rate guendouzi 7. He is another diamond in the rough. If we can keep him, dani and Lucas t then our midfield is sorted for years…one of the best midfield in 2 years time, still above avg. I think saliba will be good signing as well, pacy n young CB. He will form good partnership with holding. The best thing for Arsenal at the moment is the age of the squad, we have a very young squad so if we can keep them together for 2 years we can be force to reckon with….hopefully we can get rid of mustafi, ozil, mekhi, elneny, sokar, jenko n iwobi.

  4. Please tell me what great assist did, that goal was all aubamayang, yes I agree ozil had an okay game but to call that assist “great” is saying too much, please correct me if am wrong but is Nelson a winger or a midfielder because all he keep doing is passing tha ball backwards or sideways, Amn is damn overhyped Saka in 15 minutes has a good game than Nelson did in 60 or so, chambers did okay but too slow and nothing really special about him, we need good defenders we can’t rely on players like chambers or Niles, you can see immediately that Martinelli is better than all our so called academy wingers maybe with the exception of Saka.

  5. Its just preseason. I will be shocked if we didnt bring in a defender. I dont think we are signing Tierney though, i really dont want a player that wouldnt play in our team straight away, we already have injuries and incompetence. We rather sign a player that can come straight into the team or no one.
    Hopefully i wouldnt be disappointed, fingers crossed

  6. Fans who are worried about our squad are rightly to do so but me I’m worried about what the coach can bring out of this team. He is good coach no doubt, he is not just the one for us in my opinion. I still don’t know is philosophy as he has experimented with the squad over a year now still has made his mind up. He takes playing from the back to a low level. I saw city plays from the back, saw Liverpool plays from the back and then I watched us play from the back then I know something is off. Like the whole of last season our marking is atrocious. I watched Barca players doubled down on ours and contact-marked our players and watched ours shadow marking and waited for Barca players to lose possessions of the ball themselves instead of ours to take it from them. This is how we played the whole of last season We are saying our players are not good but the way we play and crumbled is independent of the players skill sets but coaching tactics. The more I watched Emery’s team the more I see Wenger in him. His players make similar mistakes the whole season and still do in preseason going into a new season. What is doing to get rid of those mistakes.

    1. Mobella – as you say our marking is atrocious. I would go further and say non-existent. The day we adopt man-to-man marking and abandon zonal marking is the day our defence improves. But that would bring in the dreaded word RESPONSIBILITY! According to Neville Man Utd players are given the instruction ‘He’s yours – go and win the ball!’ Not for them giving such as Hazard free rein to run the show. Sanchez was also marked out of the game when he played for us against them.
      Wenger never wanted any confrontation with his players so obviously man-to-man wasn’t for him.
      Looks like Emery’s going down the same pathetic route but until someone has the guts to come out and say ‘That goal was YOUR FREAKIN’ FAULT – you were supposed to be marking him! our defence will always be a shambles.
      But let’s not upset the little darlings eh, we don’t want to see them blubbering on the pitch!

      1. BTW Mobella I think your expression that Barca ‘contact-marked’ our players is the exact same as man-to-man. When will we ever learn!?

  7. When sokratis went down I feared. Thank God he was ok afterwards, he was the best of the defense tonight no wonder when he came off boom we conceded.emery should sort out rb and a cb. But the problem is we have too many average cb. We need to sell at least 2 of them to be able to sign 1 my guess is mustafi and koscielny. How bellerin got no cover till now is beyond me. Or does it mean we don’t have an academy rb?

    1. Jordi Osei-Tutu was loaned out to a German team after showing a lot of promise for the U23s. Emery chose to play Stephan Lichtsteiner and Carl Jenkinson instead. That did NOT go down too well with the rest of the academy players and I quote: … that decision was one that “didn’t make sense to any of us”.
      Doesn’t look like the Academy have much faith in Emery’s decision making does it?

  8. Lucia, our academy is overrated been saying this for a while, how many players has come from our academy and turn out to be a regular player in the first team, the last I can remember is jack wishere

    1. I completely agree Leno, we need to change the way our academy is run because while other academy’s like la masia n ajax are producing talent we are contributing nothing. Even spurs r charming out better talent than us. If in years only 1 or 2 players from academy has broken into first team and no big club has been after them then it means Acdemy is has failed to deliver.

  9. Mustafi blunder cost us a goal.
    Also Sokratis and Chambers were far from impressive

    But it was against Barcelona one of the best teams in the world.

    1. Barcelona is not one of the best teams with out messi, they use to be when they had xavi, inesta n co but now with out messi n surez they look bang avg n we lost to an avg team. So no excuse there n they did not score but created a lot of chances.

  10. Useless article. As we all point; our defense is a catastrophy !

    Loan Willock, Nelson, Martinelli saka & young promising kids where they can play regular football and complete devellopment required for first team. They will be ready next year.

    To keep them for few games or appearances in cup clearly not enough and we’ll see them do well elsewhere, bennacer, adelaide most recently.

    Key to get that final step right,in order to make first team they clearly all have potential but it takes to play each week.

    Rating a game so positive excited, ready to play newcastle, is a total joke, not funny at all, an awfully bad one.

    We played la Masia with few 1rst team players in and out; not Barca!

    Wake da heck up mate! 2 days to sign koulibaly and Sidibe, CB and RB we urgently need to not be the total joke.

  11. Sorry but did you really watched the game? Miki was terrible, Monreal was our best defender and you rated Niles and Nelson way to low.
    Leno 7, Niles 7(first half absolute beast), Sokratis 7, Chambers 6.5, Monreal 7.5, Xhaka 6, Willock 6.5, Ozil 6, Miki 4.5, Nelson 7, Auba 8

  12. No CB but we selling our captain only reliable CB.

    We can see how tuff it is without him in form for months. Selling him now when fit is nuts as our team with no defense, buying attacking players instead.

    Tierny is injured before season and often does; epl is tuffest league. Mainly we need a RB as we have none without bellerin for so long; sidibe is available for 20M but we on Terney when we have 2 options there he will need to compete and first adapt to epl.

    Pepe as well and not so needed, auba can spread to RW, so does laca on LW and comes back on his right foot.

    Laca-Nkhetia- Auba is deadly, very difficult to handle. Give Saka & martinelli wing play instead to loan.

    Point, not sign Pepe but Koulibaly first, Kos wouldnt leave and right to stand up for that.

    This pre season without him showed him right to ask for reifforcing defense beyond wage aspect which should be no issue.

    It showed us that we have no defense and how tuff it is for one defender to work twice more because he has no real partner in CD since Vermalen.

    Why focus on forward for years and not defense at all. Beside mediocre or average, we didnt bring any defender beside kolasniac to help on lw. We need top defenders or cant compete.

    Window closes in two days, we on a LB injury prom and losing Kos!

    Koulibaly and sidibe are all we needed really. We have the rest without pepe which money should have gone on kouli!

    Idiotic or board will pull Koulibaly on us as done pepe!

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