Player Rating for Arsenal v Watford – Superstar Saka MOTM

Arsenal may not have been at their very best at Watford, but they showed some resilience to gain their fourth away win in a row and finally make it back into the Champions League positions.

There were some brilliant performances and some off days, so here are my player ratings for Watford v Arsenal

Ramsdale – 6
Aaron was not his usual assured self and even his clearances went awry at times. Hopefully just a blip…

Cedric – 7
Played a usual solid game but with the occasional brain fart

White – 7
Ben was mostly okay but, like Ramsdale, seems a little more nervous than usual. He even joined the attack a couple of times.

Gabriel – 6
Not as solid as usual but was not awful and didn’t cost us any goals

Tierney – 6
Has had a lot of stick lately and still not back to his very best.

Partey – 7
Controlled midfield well, and it looks like his team-mates were lining him up for long shots but still can’t hit the target…

Xhaka – 6
Seemed to be mostly anonymous in a packed midfield, but didn’t make any massive errors

Saka – 9
I love the way he has learnt to shrug off opponents to take the ball. An all-round masterclass from our star youngster.

Odegaard – 8
The Norwegian seems to be improving every week. He is our engine room now and his understanding with Saka is telepathic…

Martinelli – 6
Didn’t get as much freedom and couldn’t impose himself, but got the goal which will bost his confidence

Lacazette – 8
Laca runs his socks off and has become much more of an unselfish provider rather than a Number 9. He shouldn’t be judged on his goal tally.


Pepe – 5
Every minute on the pitch counts but not enough today to make a difference

Nketiah – 5
His attempt on goal was a bit hopeful, but at least he hit the post

Holding – N/A.

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  1. Saka is so good. He’s not flashy winger, like someone of Saint-Maximin type, but just as effective if not more.

    He doesn’t really ‘dribble’ that much, he just kind of keeps it simple and creates space and chances with his explosive movement. And I really like that. Someone who excessively dribbles is bound to lose possession often but Saka is very smart with the ball.

    Joy to watch really.

    1. And regarding our current form:

      We are on a 4-game winning run, which is great but all those games have come with 1 goal difference.

      Now, not saying that’s bad as it’s clearly enough for 3 points but we haven’t really been impressive throughout the whole game. We finally scored more than 2 goals yesterday but this time our defense let us down.

      Hopefully we will change that so we don’t have to always go to the extra time with squeaky bum!

      1. Got to remember how young and inexperienced everyone is though. I think we have the youngest squad, and maybe, youngest starting XI in the entire league.

        Hard to be consistent at that age, yet despite that, I think Arteta is probably getting the max out of them at the moment.

  2. I think Odegraad deserved 9 too as Saka if not MOTM. He was absolutely amazing in his role.

    Meanwhile partey also deserved better rate, i would say 8.

    Our forward and midfield did great yesterday, the only concern is back 5 which looks shaky a bit

  3. The most encouraging thing I can see with this current squad is that even when they are not playing well, they are still trying and fighting for the cause and that as fans is the least, we expect from them.
    Right now, they all seem to be on in the same groove and putting the points on the board. Winning games ugly or pleasant on the eye will only breed confidence and confidence will only enhance their performance and ratings.
    we are at the business end of the season and points count more than performance even though we want the best of both worlds.
    only the elite such as city and pool seem to be able to consistently turn out performance and results but unfortunately, we are still a long away from these two teams with regards to consistency, performance and results.
    for me we have 13 to go and i do expect us to lose a few between now and the end of the season but 2 loses 8 wins and 3 draws gets us the 4 or even 3rd spot.
    once we secure that 4th spot, we are now talking a different calibre of player we might be able to attract.
    Another baby step towards our end goal this weekend
    Onwards and upwards

  4. Based on Partey’s stats against Watford, he should’ve got at least 8. He won more duels (8), completed more take-ons (3) and won more aerial duels (3) than any other Arsenal player against Watford, while also completing the most passes on the pitch (69)

    Whereas Saka is one of the best Arsenal attackers in the Premier League this season:

    • Most shots
    • Most crosses
    • Most fouls won
    • Most duels won
    • Most shots on target
    • Most chances created
    • Most take-ons completed
    • Most touches in opp. box
    • Most final-third passes

    1. What do you think about Tierney staying back more and Xhaka having a more advanced role over the last few games gai? I appreciate your tactical thoughts.
      Makes great sense to me to have KT back and available to chase down breaking opposition attacks Vs Xhaka sitting while KT bombs on.

      It’s only been a few games but I think Martinelli will benefit long term also with a little less defensive responsibility and Xhaka being there to help press.

      Still early days, but I like the new look left. Give KT, Xhaka & Martinelli another few games with this rebalance and I think it will get better.

      1. We could try something like that in some tough games, if Xhaka can use his aerial ability and through passes in the opposition’s area. We seem to have abandoned our left-overload tactic and been focusing on the right side instead

        I actually admire Klopp’s system, because his wingbacks are his main creators and usually available in the advanced areas. Robertson and Alexander-Arnold don’t need to worry too much about defending, because their midfielders and CBs are excellent in interception

        1. I feel like we have been trying this for the last 3 games or so. I’m sure you’ve noticed Xhaka being more advanced postitionally.

          I also love Liverpools style of play, but it’s not suitable for us with our personnel.

  5. For me, Ødegaard was man of the match followed closely by Saka. Other notable performers were Cedric for both his defending and crosses, White for his last ditch tackles, apart from one and Laca for his work rate.

    1. Yes, I don’t want to bring Xhaka up, but before Watford had scored
      The second goal. I shouted at the Tv “ why pass across the entire midfield, just why”: so stupid gives back possession and a few passes later a goal!!! I mean FFS just why??

  6. Could we use a 4-3-3 formation of Ode and ESR at either side of Partey in midfield?

    With Marts, Laca and Saka upfront. Xhaka offered nothing yesterday. Partey should be on 8.

    1. I disagree that Xhaka offered nothing, but like the idea of Ode and ESR at either side of Partey in midfield.
      Xhaka is basically playing a new role in the team, he needs time to settle in.

        1. Get a Xhaka out of that midfield for now and I can bet you will sleep having nightmares. What he contributes to the team is almost invisible until his absence. Haven’t you noticed we boss the midfield more anytime he stays on for 90mins?

          1. But does not offer anything attack wise and gives the ball away every now and then,i know elneny and lokonga are not any better that’s why i want AMN’s return cos he’s better than him in tackles and a very great vision.still got no idea why he was always dropped for xhaka and lokonga.he’s the answer to partey midfield pivot crisis the board should stop their search and save their millions.

            1. AMN should be sold. He offers nothing to the team. Forget about him. He should remain in Roma please. He has been found out in Italy.

          2. When did we boss the midfield against any team in the top half of the table with this guy on the pitch ? If partey is slightly off colour we will be in serious trouble if arteta sticks with the clown option … in my mind the run in for 4th is shaping up to be a north London affair and I guess we will see whether a seasoned squad with a clinical attack and a woeful defence but a seasoned manager will overcome an inexperienced but more balanced team lacking a clinical edge and with a rookie manager whose older players do not add resolve or purpose … it’s going to be a nervy ride and I think youth can prevail but there are no guarantees

  7. The issue costing us goals is not individuals but the constant back passes which are monotonous and predictable. Last week against Wolves Gabriel gifted the opposition a goal because of a poor back pass. We should reduce on back passes if we want to avoid unnecessary pressure and unintended results.

  8. Tad generous with Cedric, white and partey. Plus a bit stingy with Martinelli, who was basically getting no service on the left, so much so that he had to come inside to get his goal.

    I cannot wait until Arteta sees that Sak like Odegaard could have so much more influence in the game if he played Xhakas role. It could save us a fortune on a midfielder, we could then groom Azeez and Patino to be understudies to xhaka and odegaard and simply look for an alternative to Partey. Up front it’s my belief that Smith Rowe can do what Lacazette does and more, whilst Biereth is another who could play that Lacazette role. Those changes would allow Pepe to come in on the right with Balogun and Hutchinson being the cover.

    That is probaby too much reliance on youth,but there would so much room for one or two world class signings.

    Also the form and reports on some of the loaners is very encouraging, articulate Norton-Cuffy, Clarke and Ballard. Mari is also getting high praise as is Bellerin, though realistically I think they are gone.

  9. Next season without any new signings


    Tomiyasi White Gabriel Tierney
    (AMN Holding Saliba Tavares)

    Odegaard Partey Saka
    (Azeez Lokonga Patino)

    Pepe ESR Martinelli
    (Hutchinson Bierith Balogun)

    For sale/release
    Bellerin Mavropanos Mari Cedric
    Guendozi Torreira Xhaka
    Nelson Lacazette Nketiah

    Runarrson, Elneny

    Although I would prefer we keep Laca to nurture those youngsters

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