Newcastle v Arsenal Player Ratings – Torreira and Xhaka the catalyst for our improvement

There were very few Arsenal players that would have got more than a 5 if the ratings were based on the first half but we were much improved in the second. There were fine performances from Sokratis, Xhaka and Ozil, but Torreira would have been Man Of The Match if he had played the full 90 minutes….

These are my ratings:

Cech 6
Cech will be annoyed he missed out on a clean sheet yet again, and he had very little else to do to be honest. He doesn’t seem to have found defenders he can click with when passing out from the back.

Bellerin 6
Spent most of his time in attack mode but was not in the best of form in either role

Sokratis 7
He looked ungainly when he first arrived but now looks the perfect replacement for Koscielny. Hopefully our other defenders can catch up

Mustafi 5
Still looks as unconfident and error-prone as last season. One usual comedy moment.

Monreal 6
Much busier and more effective than Bellerin in defence and attack, but that’s not unusual

Xhaka 7
It looks like Emery has unlocked Xhaka’s skill-set at last. And what a free kick!

Guendouzi 6
The youngster only had one misplaced pass in the whole of the first half, but they didn’t amount to anything. We were much better with Torreira’s creativity

Aubameyang 6
He had a couple of chances and made a few crosses but not sure he looks comfortable on the wing yet

Ramsey 6
Not as effective as usual but wasn’t useless, but it seems the poor lad was feeling tired..

Ozil 7
He was as bad as everyone else in the first half, but much improved in the second and a well-taken goal in the end

Lacazette 6
Was trying but nothing quite went right for him. His partnership with Aubameyang wasn’t on song today


Torreira 7
Changed the game. An excellent addition and a future star when he settles in

Mkhitaryan 5
Should have left Aubameyang on the pitch rather than bring Mkhi on! Nuff said..

Welbeck N/A


  1. Uzi ozil says:

    Xhaka Torreira partnership looks good.

  2. gotanidea says:

    Xhaka is good with his free-kicks and set-piece deliveries, therefore I hope he keeps taking those spots instead of wasting his shots

    If Torreira is given the chance to start more often, I think he would create a lot of accurate and forward passes as well. Because the DM position is where most players pass to and it has less pressure that the front positions

    Ramsey did not have the skills and the luck in that no 10 position in Newcastle, but he pressurized Newcastle’s DM very well. Had he started in that position at Stamford Bridge, he might have harassed Jorginho better than Ozil

    1. kev says:

      People are setting themselves up for disappointment if they think Xhaka is suddenly going to become a different player.He doesn’t have world class potential and at best he can be an ok player.Cant stand him in the lineup.Also the same applies with Mustafi.He just doesn’t have the class.
      Sokratis who I don’t rate that much is proving me wrong and seems to be the better defender and was even signed at £16m.Still think our defence is average and some players are usually given a free pass time after time even after shocking performances.

      1. ozziegunner says:

        Kev, Xhaka like Socrates will prove you wrong when allowed to play in a similar role as he does with Switzerla d by being teamed with Torreira. Xhaka is not a DM, Torreira is and allows Xhaka to play further forward. Xhaka’s forward passing completion statistics don’t lie and his great free kick may hopefully give him confidence to shoot from outside the box, something Arsenal does not do enough of.

      2. Goonerboi says:

        Xhaka looks like he is definitely picking up form. He turned into Pirlo second half, he was spraying passes everywhere. Ramsey has been piss poor for 5 games straight though. I usually would back you in your claims about xhaka but he’s definitely proving me wrong

    2. TH14atl says:

      So you want our number 10 to be good at playing defense, rather than being a skillful technician and capable of dictating proactive attacking possession-based football? This the excuses that are made for Ramsey these days?

  3. Robin Vanpayslip says:

    Still WIP and still a long way to go but progress is starting to show.

  4. Grandad says:

    Your comments on Mustafi are spot on.When will Emery take the inevitable decision to replace him on a permanent basis?

    1. kev says:

      For Wenger to not rate a defender is a very very serious thing even though he’s not known for buying many good defenders.I’m not really shocked with Mustafi playing this way.I even have my doubts as to whether it was the board or Wenger who went all out for him.He’s just a shocking CB but the excuses for some of our players are even more shocking.
      I hope people are also following Chambers who has been nothing but shocking at Fulham.

      1. Goonerboi says:

        He’s been so bad they don’t even start him anymore. Over 50m for the two of them and this is before Neymar inflated the market. Awful business

  5. Angus says:

    Mustafi was our best defender he slipped once and the goal wasn’t his fault no matter how much people try to blame him. He has been our best defender every game this season. He was actually our best defender MOST games last year too but he did have very bad games coupled with big high profiles mistakes in big games last year which is relevant if a small % but why must think hes terrible. So I understand the stick he got last year for the high profile mistake but this you have nothing to beat him with he’s just been our best defender which is impressive with Monreal in the team.

    So tired of Mustafi random hate it’s like Xhaka. Xhaka was terrible 1st half of the season last year not great in the 3/4 stint and pretty good in the 4th quarter. This year Xhaka was terrible 1st two games (Torreira especially against Chelsea was equally if not worse off the bench which again gets forgotten by stupid fan boy/girls.) Since Xhaka is probably our most consistently great player in the last 3 and Mustafi has been our best defender the hate highlight how clueless the average fan is. Drives me mad. Funny thing Ozil got a lot of undeserved hate last 2 years, this year he was v.poor in all the games prior and was great in the last one. So he actually deserved some stick for the start given his short WC involvement but it’s been relatively muted (in the past he got stick when we were out of contention and had sweet f a to do with his actual performance because he was one of the few decent performers.)

    Ramsey hasn’t had a bad game starting all season and the last was the 1st that wasn’t great just good but hes hated on because contract meh (ignore the news he was about to sign a 5 yr but our god of change Gazidas the guy that handled all transfer fees since Kronke took charge and that actually penny pinch Wenger is maybe leaving for Milan and that has stopped the deal but blame Ramsey right?) Idiot fans remember stand out moments and pay no attention the rest of the game. That is it.

    Worst part on form the Torreira/Xhaka link is the way forward but the article didn’t portray it factually at all. Guendouzi was lucky to keep his place and actually played perfectly well which is weird in context but balance issues make Torreira better. Auba was 6 or 5, Ramsey was a 7, Xhaka was a 8 (unless your deluded, he had a great case for MOM), Mustafi was 7 no doubt best defender, even Bellerin who was poor 1st half did earn a 7 but whatever he was the worst. It was actually the 1st solid defensive performance of the season not that you would know from the fans.

    Fed up with clueless people making comments every week when they have NOIDEA.

    1. gotanidea says:

      Agree on Xhaka as the MOTM, because his goal changed Newcastle’s approach and made them more opened

      He is still not as mobile and not as skillful as I expect a good DM to be, but his dead ball talent is very apparent like Beckham’s. He has been making assists from set-pieces and he should be the one that takes the free-kicks from now on

      Mustafi just made one fatal mistake so far, but he is more consistent than last season. I believe Sokratis’ experience, fitness and focus have been helping him, as opposed to partnering with Koscielny that seemed to have gone backward

      1. Angus says:

        Sokratis was the biggest plus from the game, 1st time he’s stepped up. Xhaka does a lot in the engine room that he doesn’t get credit for just like Arteta didn’t before but it is vital (losing Arteta was the main reason we dropped out top 4.) Rewatch the game and pay attention to Xhakas passing particularly the weight he puts on balls and his forward passes. I remember a moment he set Auba away and Auba messed it up the pass to Auba was fairly simple but perfectly weighted infront of Auba had we gone on to attack Auba would of got the praise for a likely assist but he didn’t get his feet right and got tackled instead of sprinting into space. Xhaka played a key role in the 2nd goal but it again gets missed. Xhaka was also poor most of last year just annoys me. People band behind new players and fan favourites and performance rarely means anything outside massive noticeable moments. I call it the Podolski effect who lovely as he was was objectively bad but damn he could hit a left shot that people remember.

        Sorry for the noidea I get passionate but everyone on here is passionate and shouldn’t get personal with it.

        1. ozziegunner says:

          gotanidea, Xhaka is not a DM; that is why the combination with Torreira (a specialist DM) should be successful.
          I agree with the rest of your comments and those of Angus, but believe that Xhaka will perform well as the deep lying playmaker, played in a system like Switzerland, with Torreira as DM.

    2. Darthballz says:

      Great comment Angus some one watches the game properly . Not just hating on players .

  6. jon fox says:

    Are you Mustafis brother/ lover/ father or any other far fetched reason for your bizarre love affair with this dreadful player? Virtually all on here slate him regularly, yet you don’t! As they say, there is always one!

    1. ArsenalGhana says:

      Get your facts right!
      Not all on here slate him.
      There are some of us here who seem to better understand what supporting our players means and will not crucify a player just bcos we thought they underperformed in some games.

      1. jon fox says:

        No not all! That is precisely why I actually said “virtually” all. Do quote me accurately before you disagree with what you thought I said, rather than precisely what I did say. Fact remains though, there are many many comments on here regularly stating that Mustafi is not good enough, including my own. I suspect you are far too young to be able to even remember when Arsenal had real top quality CB’s, to compare Mustafi to, like Adams, Bould, Campbell, O’Leary, McLintock, even a younger Koscielny. If you seriously think the likes of Mustafi is remotely Arsenal standard then you clearly do not remember before WENGER time.

    2. JBe says:

      Say you slate him..
      Not all on here

    3. Kay says:

      Try and watch game with clear head and without sentiment. Mustafi has not been as bad as Sokratis. All arsenal players need to step up not just the young man.

  7. Midkemma says:

    I’m well pleased for Xhaka, he has had a horrible time at DM getting exposed, it was good to see him in the 2nd half next to Torreira who is happy to do the dirty DM work (in style may I add!).

    I liked seeing the DM and DLP together at the base of CM, it looked good to build attacks on and those two also offered options to pass back to try and pull the opposition out of shape, it can help with playing out from the back as we need options for passes when we are playing deep.

    I feel Bellerin shown more effort in defending for most of the game, the end he looked worn out and was at fault for the goal (IMO, he didn’t track back and left too much work for Mustafi) but prior to that he was appearing to be more aware of his def duties. He still has to improve but he wears our badge and while he does we can at least encourage him.

    1. kev says:

      Was it not the same Xhaka who had Behrami or so playing next to him in the World Cup so that he could operate in his so called DLP role?He’s a shocking player and where “shocking” equates to his class not form.Arsenal is in a very serious decline.Even worse than I thought.

      1. ozziegunner says:

        Sorry kev, you are wrong in your assessment regarding Xhaka.

  8. herb says:

    I must say generally ARSENAL and arsenal fans’ expectations are going down day by day.

    Just watch how ManUtd under the dumb Morninho are playing these days then you will see that Xhaka, Bellerin and Ramsey scoring goals once in a while does not warrant being starters at a HUGE club like arsenal let alone being in the team.

    1. TR07_hide says:

      I totally agree with you, herb. Xhaka scored and Ozil scored, but Xhaka was average at most and Ozil created almost nothing (his passing was horrible), just like Ramsey created almost nothing.

      I should be happy for the 3 points, but I am disappointed with the overall performance and Emery’s team selection. That is because we are far below the level required for Champions League. All I want to see is the improvement toward that direction and, in my humble opinion, rotation is crutial, because it brings more competition among the players, keeps the players fitter both physically and mentally and improve the squad as a whole. That’s what a coach does: to make the most of what we have.

      I just don’t understand why Emery sticks to the same starting eleven when some players are obviously not doing their job and benched players have a lot to offer to the team.

  9. ade says:

    Emry started d same team bcos d same team has won him 6points.

    Thanks Angus tell our fans to stop hate on players.

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