Season Review – Just Arsenal Player Ratings for 2021/22 season

Season Review – Here are Dan Smith’s Player Ratings for Arsenal’s 2021/22 season

Ramsdale Gk -8
My Gunner of the season.
So many Gooners were concerned Arsenal were investing so much on a player with consecutive relegations, not wanting to accept that Leno was making too many errors to be our number One.

The keeper proved all doubters’ wrongs not just by his saves but his passing ability, leadership, presence and interaction with fans.
Produced arguably the save of the season at Leicester.

Should be England’s first choice at the World Cup.

Leno GK – 4
Began the campaign with a mistake at Brentford and the Etihad, conceding 9 goals in three fixtures. Then had the audacity to say on international break he didn’t understand why he had been dropped. That said a lot about his mentality.

I gave him an extra point for his save at Villa Park.

White CB – 7
Didn’t quite have the confidence to be the ball playing defender he was at Brighton and Leeds, failing to replace David Luiz as the centre back who would step into midfield and pick out a pass.

Yet Arsenal this season have been able to grind out wins that they wouldn’t have been able to do over the years. You can now trust them to be able to see out a 1-0 win.

We have a partnership to build on for years to come.

Gabriel CB- 7
While there are Gunners often made as scapegoats among our fanbase, there are equally those who can do no wrong. It’s almost like supporters want to believe what they have is better than reality. We used to make that mistake with Leno.

Gabriel is a fighter who will not be bullied yet is not flawless. He got needlessly sent off against Man City, was all over the place at Selhurst Park, and played Saints onside for their goal.

We conceded 48 League goals so can’t give our defenders any higher than 7.

Holding – CB 5
Didn’t start enough games to get a higher score.

With Arteta trusting his players to see out and grind out narrow wins, Holding would be trusted to come off the bench and head the ball away, block shots, etc.

What will be fresh in many minds is what he did in the NLD, seconds after we conceded a penalty. Knowing he was on a yellow card he sensibly body checked Son. It summed up the weak mentality in the squad.

Tomiyasu – RB -7

If he stayed fit I would have rated him higher.

In an era where full backs have to be an attacking outlet, our right back is old school in you can trust him to defend and fight.
Tactically he is crucial, has the footballing brain to know when to step into the middle and cover for others. Versatility means can also play on the left.

Needs to have more self-belief in the final third.

Cedric – RB – 6
Proper squad player, someone you can trust to come in and do a solid job. Apart from conceding a spot kick in the NLD he hasn’t let us down.

A very good crosser of the ball, something we didn’t take advantage of enough.

Tierney – LB – 6
Started the season poorly and at one point Tavares was being picked ahead of him. Was just discovering his form when he suffered a serious injury.

Link up with Saka and Martinelli on the left during the Xmas period was stunning. Not fit enough to grade him higher and fitness record is concerning

Tavares – LB -4
A classic example of Mikel Arteta’s failure in man management.
It’s hard to believe now but Nuno started his Arsenal career well, fearless to take on his man with his end product unpredictable.
Was keeping Tierney out of the side.

His manager subbed him off before half time in the FA Cup when in truth anyone could have been made an example of. Equally was hooked off after 45 minutes at Palace when again anyone could have been blamed. Maybe his crime was playing on the wing where the Spaniard could bark instructions at him and try to micromanage.

A week later Xhaka was chosen to be a makeshift left back at the expense of the 22-year-old. When that didn’t work was asked to come back a week later, but confidence had been shot since.

Partey – CM – 6
Too injury prone to grade any higher. Sad thing is was finally looking like the player we signed when he was ruled out for the season.
At times Arteta would trust him as his sole DM, with attacking midfielders in front of him.

Displays against Man City and Liverpool were his best in an Arsenal shirt.

Gunners cite him being unavailable as the reason we missed out on the top 4 but let’s not pretend this is Vieira. That’s the problem.

Zero excuses next campaign.

Xhaka – CM – 6
Let himself down with red cards at Etihad and Anfield which undermine what’s been a solid season.

More consistent on the ball, not giving it away as much and missed when not in the team.

Lokonga – CM – 5
Like Tavares he started the season well. Showed lots of energy, not afraid to take on his man but decision making was raw.

Then seemed to lose confidence over the winter, and in the end was being behind Elneny in the pecking order.

Zero great moments but not terrible either. Problem is, he’s a year younger then Guendouzi so comparisons are natural.

Elneny – CM – 5
Didn’t play enough to get graded higher.

I felt praise for him in the run was a little bit patronising. Truth Is Egyptian has always been dependable and effort has never been questioned.

Smith Rowe – AM – 7
11 goals from midfield Shown great courage to get on the ball, take it for a walk and release at last moment.
We used to have so many players who played like this but now he’s the exception.

He maybe tired as the season progressed but that’s management fault for putting so much pressure on him to be one of the few creative outlets.

Arteta needs to find a way to get all his flair players into the same team.

More to come.

Odegaard – AM – 6
Won’t be a popular score as I know he’s very popular within the fan base.

He and Smith Rowe are the only midfielders who do what they do, and I’m not sure he has the confidence to be the sole creative force. That doesn’t mean he won’t develop into that.

Sometimes not assertive enough in the final third, passes when he should shoot, when he does shoot, shot is too soft. A poor version of Ozil at the moment.

Saka – AM – 8
Showed great courage to be one of our few attacking outlets. One of the few who will take on his man. Because of that, opposing teams double up on him and he could have benefited from having a Pepe on the other side, so we had two wingers with pace.

Some praise has been over the top. Needs to deliver In the big games to be compared to others.

Martinelli – AM – 7
If any of our youngsters will develop into a world class talent, it’s the Brazilian. His direct nature means even when the team is not playing well, he’s often the one player you can trust to provide energy.

My fear is does he have the right manager. Arteta didn’t trust him in the first half of the campaign and spoke about wanting the 20-year-old to time and expand his energy better.

Sometimes I like our boss to trust his talents to express themselves more instead of being micromanaged.

Goals in December meant that most Gooners didn’t mind Aubameyang being dropped and many assumed Martinelli would get a chance as a striker.

Lack of goals is why I can’t grade him higher, but goals will come.

Pepe -4 – AM
Feels harsh as he has been mismanaged. Pepe is the latest name Arteta just gave up on instead on teaching to be better. It’s a shame because with his pace, the Ivorian could have been an effective plan B.

Even off the bench he was only trusted to play a few minutes.

Even after the last 8 of the Carabao Cup and Wolves at the Emirates, didn’t start the next game. Reminds me of a player who needs an arm round the shoulder and wouldn’t shock me if he very good elsewhere.

Lacazette -4 Striker
Maybe a harsh score because his hold up and link up play is very good and you can never question his work rate.

Yet when Arsenal essentially gave Auba to Barca, Laca had such an opportunity. Whether to earn a new contract or get a move elsewhere, the striker had the chance to fire us into the top 4. He managed one penalty!

Whether he has agreed to go elsewhere or simply knew he wouldn’t be in North London next year, the decision to trust him over Aubameyang cost us top 4.

Nketiah – 5 Striker
Scored 5 goals since January but they came over three games so like Laca didn’t justify us giving away Auba. His goals were that of a poacher but in 2022 a striker has to do so much more.

Hold up play is poor and often just runs into players to win a free kick.

If he gets 100,000 pound a week and Arsenal dare say they can’t afford transfer targets, it’s a stackable offence, No?

Dan Smith

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Tags arsenal player ratings Ramsdale Saka


  1. Leno def has the save of the season and also FYI Leno conceded less goals last season than Ramsdale this season(while playing 1 more game)….and Ramsdale and a much better defence in front of him.

    I like Ramsdale and glad that he’s our number 1 but lets not act like Leno is a terrible keeper shall we.

      1. Shouldn’t have included him to be fair, guy barely played. Can’t judge a keep off of 4 games in an entire season.

    1. Ramsdale has much more command. Has better and more accurate distribution. He is also more vocal than Leno. Ramsdale genuinely provides more confidence in the defense although, there were some shakey moments I must admit.

      1. Goalkeepers are not judged based on any of the things you’ve mentioned. They’re judged based on saves and goals conceded

  2. Ramsdale head and shoulders above rest for me .
    Next down saka ,Martinelli and ESR but the first 2 seemed to have not kicked on from last season which is a concern ,ESR was pushed out wide to accommodate Odegaard and he went off the boil in the latter stages of the season .
    We seem to have a lot of safe players so unless we add some flair I see the same old story next season .

  3. I don’t agree with the ratings for

    Leno: Concended 9 goals in three games, yes. But have you considered the defense be had in front of him? Would Ramsdale have done any better with that defence? Hasn’t Ramsdale conceded more than him comparing this season to last when Leno was our number one? Not saying Ramsdale shouldn’t be number one, just saying you should be fairer to Leno

    Pepe: Should have a better rating in my opinion, maybe a 5 or 6, but certainly not a 4. No player in his position will do any better. His confidence is extremely shot. Nketiah has a good end to the season and gets £100k p/w. Pepe has had better endings to the season twice and still gets very much benched

    Party: Should have a 7

    Others are quite okay though

    1. That doesn’t mean it’s okay to charge out to collect a throw in against Brentford and grasp fresh air lol
      And that defence was Tiereney , Mari , white and chambers
      Hardly the kids

  4. Oof – I’m 100% the other way on laca. He didn’t score many but the only reason we got close to top 4 was the runs of games we had after Christmas where he assisted and fought for goal after goal in games we were grinding out. Imo he was definitely one of the big reasons we even got close and I think we’d be closer to 10th than 4th without him this season. Like with Holding, I think his poor couple of games where he lost his place to Eddie was fresher in the mind here
    Pretty much agreed with the rest.

  5. We ended up only using 14 players regularly because.
    1. We had a terrible start and Arteta lost faith in a whole host of players from the off.
    2. We had no European football.
    3. Because we over achieved and under top 4 fan presure Arteta limited himself to his trusted 14 until injury forced his hand.
    So the 14.
    Ramsdale 8
    Tomiyasu 8
    Soares 6
    White 8
    Gabriel 8
    Tierney 8
    Xhaka 7
    Partey 7
    Odegaard 8
    Saka 9
    ESR 9
    Martinelli 7
    Lacazette 6
    Aubameyang 4.

      1. Generally better balanced although some of the ratings are on the high side and I wouldn’t give anyone a 9.

    1. If you rate them 8, then how come we won nothing this season, not even reached a finals? With the investment done and chaos at Man Utd., we still finished 5th.Emotions and sentiments aside, I’d rate everyone a 5 and the fringe players a 4 and the coaches a 3. 0. I’m done.

      1. Agree, I’d rate most a 6, because they delivered about what many expected; 5th place finish and Europa league.

        8 and 9 ratings suggest dominant in their position and in the league, and our finish and their individual states don’t show those ratings.

        Saka would be a 7 for me, as would Ramsdale, and I’d even say Tomi as well; he was our best defender when fit.

        The rest were average at best (6), Laca with his woeful goal tally would be a 4, Martinelli and ESR 6, Xhaka a 6, Partey a 5 (he suggested as much himself) Pepe a 4.

        Ratings far too high IMHO for what we say on the pitch and the finish in the table.

    2. Fair fan top 4 fan pressure? I think you mean Arteta limited himself to 14 players when we didn’t bother strengthening in January. Poor shortsighted naive management

  6. Soon as I saw the Leno blame and reason being conceded 9 goals in 3 games, I said nonsense.
    You’re gonna blame Leno like he was responsible for 9 goals the whole team and shitty defense did nothing about?
    Then goes on to give Martinelli an higher rating than Ødegaard.
    Not saying Martinelli doesn’t deserve that, but Ødegaard deserving less than that is quite funny, seeing how all our plays from midfield and link up between the attack and defense was through him and Xhaka.
    You don’t rate Ødegaard for that, but rate Martinelli higher because he has energy.

    1. The ratings in some cases reflect certain previously held biases. Odegaard’s for example. Referring to him as a poor version of Ozil is an unnecessary insult. A major issue is that Odegaard does not have the kind of players around him who are efficient enough to put many of the chances away. The author of the piece tries to deflect by referring to Odegaard’s popularity which is disingenuous. He is popular because he has been the best chance creator at the club and he works hard; certainly far more than a certain German did.
      Leno has also been assessed unfairly given that he has spent so much time on the bench. In the matches he has played he has not done so badly as to merit such a low rating.
      I also do not feel it is fair to mark players down for being injured.
      Fairfan above has been far more fair and balanced in his ratings.

      1. He hasn’t done bad ?
        Brentford 2-0 – 2 mistakes
        A mistake in a 5-0 defeat
        Played in a 2-0!defeat at home to Chelsea

        1. I would like you to mention his mistakes in the 2-0 loss to Brentford, his mistakes against City and also his mistakes against Chelsea because right now I can’t recall any.

          Don’t come up with “we lost”

          I want you to mention his individual mistake that led to goals conceded

    2. No I blame him for trying to catch a throw In and missing
      I blame him for getting beaten at near post
      That was one game
      City – I blame him for a header straight at him which he palms into roof of net
      Manaager agrees he’s not good enough else why buy a replacement

      1. You blame him for trying to catch throwing but didn’t see that he was shoved by a Brentford player which the ref was supposed to call back as a foul.

        Did you forget our goal against Leicester was cancelled because the ref claimed Xhaka was interfering with the keeper even as replay showed that there was distance between Xhaka and the keeper?

        If you blame him for getting beaten at the near post then you should blame Ramsdale for giving us a L against Liverpool at the Emirates because he was beaten at the near post by Jota, .

        You just have a personal bias towards Leno, which is Crystal clear

  7. Odegarrd definitely deserves more than 6 in my opinion
    He stats would be of the charts had we had better forwards…

  8. FF ratings reflect a good season ,mostly 8s across the board ,nothing could be further from the truth .
    As for Odegaard Dan as his rating spot on as he for most of the players .

  9. rating too high for white, have not been overly impressed with him this season. he is good coming out with the ball, but is too rash and has poor positional play.

    1. I was going to post a similar comment.White 7?the same as Gabriel who has been much better.

  10. I would add Aubameyang to the player’s ratings. After all, he did however play more matches than Leno. Dan’s a hard but very fair man when it comes to Arsenal. It’s difficult in some aspects to give these players a true rating. There were at 13 matches that Arsenal failed to show up, or simply threw the matches away. The first 3 matches against Brentford, Manchester City and Chelsea. I won’t accept excuses of Covid. We weren’t the only club with those problems. We should have done better than to draw those matches against Crystal Palace 2-2, Brighton 0-0, Burnley 0-0 (chances were made, but went begging). The two away matches Arsenal threw away were at Everton and Manchester United. The matches Arsenal failed to show up in, in the second half of the season were the losses against Crystal Palace, Brighton, Southampton, Tottenham and Newcastle. Those 5 matches I don’t think we even made a guest appearance. The best football we played out of 38 matches was the first half against Tottenham 3-1,, and the 70/75 minutes 1-2 loss against Manchester City. We still concede school boy goals. Ramsdale has been hot and lukewarm. I wouldn’t go as far as saying he’s been cold. As for Odegaard, I like him alot. But he needs to show up in those big matches. That’s a big let down with him. Even Klopp and Pep have praised his creative abilities. I was most disappointed in Odegaard’s match this morning in the Norway verses Serbia game. It was like hide and seek, captain gone missing in action. If I were to give Mikel Arteta a rating, it would be a 6 outta 10. A 6 for being adequate. After all this time, I’m neither Arteta in or Arteta out. But if there are no major signings over summer, I really think he has got a massive problem. Arsenal need 6 to 8 decent signings. To be quite honest, we’ll probably be lucky to make 4, or even 3 signings. I really don’t have much faith in Edu. He reminds me of that shady car salesman that ripped me off a couple of years ago. I can foresee other clubs surpassing us next season. I certainly will not be building up my hopes. That top 4 finish was there for the taking. It could been Arsenal’s well before the North London Derby. There were those certain matches that were flushed down the toilet bowl. As for injuries, well that’s a huge joke in itself. All clubs have injuries. But Arsenal have the same culprits breaking down. It’s been Arsenal’s culture for 15 years. Having no midweek European football and out of domestic cup competitions, only playing Premier League matches to see Arsenal players going down with cramps and fatigue is an absolute disgrace. It’s beyond a sick joke. That’s where I’m concerned over Arteta and the entire coaching staff. A rating for fitness is a poor 5 outta 10. That will definitely have to improve out of sight come the new season

  11. Leno and Pepe were unproductive in that they spent so much time on the bench. You are unfair because you are evaluating Leno on one poor performance which every goalkeeper has during a season. Similarly, Pepe is hard done by because it is difficult to make an impact in the final minutes especially when the manager has run out of ideas. Pepe however is no Supersub. In the end however these ratings are simply a diversion. We all have our favorites whose poor performances we often overlook. As a one eyed supporter myself, I often think of the blinkered sargent major in that old relic of a comedy, ‘It Ain’t alf hot Mum!” Smith Rowe, “that’s my boy”.

  12. In summary – Every player that didn’t perform was Arteta’s fault.
    Every player that did perform probably did so despite the manager.
    Hardly a balanced assessment…….

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