Southampton v Arsenal Player Ratings as Saints halt the Gunners winning run

Player Ratings by Peter Doherty
After a sparkling introduction and the prospect of anything other than a handsome Arsenal victory in the first twenty minutes, the mileage in the players legs seemed to take its toll. Southampton looked a beaten docket but Arsenal’s failure to score further goals left the door open for a Saints revival, and unfortunately that is exactly what occurred.
The accuracy of the passing and the forward thrust disappeared in the second half and it was evident that, try as they might, the players couldn’t find the energy to up the tempo. However, keeping perspective, the fact that we are disappointed not to have put away Southampton at their home ground is a reflection of how far this team have travelled.
Here are my ratings. …
Ramsdale (7) It’s difficult to rate him as he had practically nothing to do all game in terms of shot stopping. Was very impressive when dealing with the corners that Southampton kept sending down his throat and his distribution in the sweeper role was on point.
White (7)  Lovely assist for the goal and a reflection of his growth in the attacking aspect of his full back role. Allowed very little to develop down his flank and was always available for an out ball.
Saliba (5) Another performance where his hitherto unflappable demeanour was shaken. He looked uncertain at times in possession and at one point  offered Armstrong a gilt edged opportunity. His decision making was ponderous and missed some opportunities to start an attack with a more decisive ball.
Gabriel (8) Got his head on just about everything that came into the box. Was very commanding particularly in set pieces and made some early interventions, tackles that can break the spirit of the opposing team. Kept his focus even when his team mates were flagging.
Tomiyasu (8) Similar to Gabriel his ariel dominance was first rate. Has a fantastic knack of judging the flight of the ball and shaping his body accordingly.  Won almost all his duels and there are very few full backs who will effortlessly switch wings like this fella.
Partey (5) Completely ran the show for the first twenty minutes and was passing and tackling his way to  rating of 10. His effectiveness waned in the latter part of the first half and by the end of the second half was a liability.
Xhaka (8) The beautifully struck goal was a highlight but his small contributions, like a well placed and softening header that turns an awkward ball into a potential attack as he lays it off, highlights the confidence he’s playing with. Continued to offer protection when all around him were becoming error prone.Where does he find the energy, and how is he never injured?
Odegaard (6) Like most of his team mates was effervescent in the first half but couldn’t return to those levels in the second half. Was still game and did his usual impressive amount of closing down, but was considerably less incisive. What was particularly alarming was how poor his replacement Vieira played.
Saka (6) Not as influential as the last few weeks but is an ever present threat. Got harshly booked for what looked like a potential penalty and was offered no protection by an appalling ref. This is a worryingly recurrent theme.
Jesus (6) Earlier in the season would have bagged himself a hat trick but the amount of game time he has played it s starting to tell on him.  Like Saka was constantly man handled and the ref ignored the offences. However didn’t read the refs intentions and continued to go to ground looking for soft  fouls when carrying on would have been a wiser option. Looks exhausted and in need of a week off.
Martinelli (6) Although it was one of his quieter games he still manages to have regular cameos that lift you off your seat. Was surprisingly subbed as he looked to have more in the tank than either Jesus and Saka, and he’s such a reliable outlet because he rarely loses the ball.
…………………………….
Overall a brilliant first quarter, a receding second quarter and a troubled second half leaves us two points clear at the top of the table. Show me a single Gooner who wouldn’t have taken that at the start of the year.
Peter Doherty

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16 Comments

  1. I think couple of the last matches we’ve had has shown us how narrow our roster truly is. We can’t really have Xhaka/Partey have any rest. Jesus, Saka, Martinelli, Gabriel either. Without them or when they’re not 100% we start looking very ordinary.

    We have Cedric who’s played 0 minutes so far, tells us how stacked we are at certain unnecessary positions.

    Surely need couple of players this upcoming January.

    1. And while MA said world class players can play every 3 days, other players in those teams do get rotated. PSG rotates their midfielders and defenders even if Messi and Mbappe are starting every time.

      1. Easier for a team like PSG, though.
        After all they play in a league, where nearly all team are at least one level below them.

        In our league only City seems to have a lot of depth, but they have shown, they are also vulnerable.
        As for Liverpool, Spurs and Chelsea, I really don’t see them having benches with a lot of extra to offer. And Man U? They have a lot of players, but are they really that good?
        Season is long and dips in form are to be expected for all teams, and we have a young team, where the players also have to learn to pace themselves.

  2. We still need to add a midfielder and a winger in January. The Boys did their best but they are no machines. Some are gradually becoming tired or experiencing burn out. This is evident in Matinnelli’s last two games. The way Arsenal plays put more loads on Pathey in DM role because Xhaka always join the attack. I also think Gabriel Jesus is getting tired.

  3. I have started talking about the “lone ranger” approach and the handling of the Media all praise and ratings of Gabriel J. He seems to have developed an attitude from the “Invaluable and favorite” player, that can do no wrong, apart from playing time. Is it too early yet to look still for a finisher or to get him under control and make him more of a player creating assists for the teammates? He should not come under the pressure and influence to be the only goal-getter and leading scorer. Manager Arteta needs to find a way to steer him in the right direction. As I observe, otherwise he is charting a path toward diminishing returns.

    1. I was expecting when Ødegard was being substituted Nketia would have been introduced to partner Jesus upfront. Arteta should just fashion a way of playing the two together especially when we are finding it difficult to score.

  4. I think martinelli was subbed rather than Saka purely because he’s had problems with injuries in the past, and we know he’ll run himself into the ground.
    I really think we need to start playing Eddie more. People are criticising him already, but he’s barely had a chance to play, and I really feel we need to take some of the burden off of jesus. GJ is doing everything right, but he’s just lacking a bit of conviction in his shooting, which does look like fatigue.

  5. Tomiyasu was good at defending from the LB position, but he couldn’t make through passes as often as Zinchenko and Tierney did. Saka looked tired and didn’t chase the ball back as often as he did before

    Vieira has got to train harder because his performance was worse than Odegaard’s. Arteta had better rest his main attackers and midfielders in Netherlands, because we can still finish first in the EL group if we win against Zurich

    1. Arteta should rest rest his important players in EL I perfectly agree Gai,
      EPL is too intense and demanding also.

  6. At Man City,GJ never had a prolonged spell as a central striker.By and large he was used as an impact substitute, usually on the left wing where he was, never the less effective in a team with pace and power in midfield.There were very few occasions when a team matched or dominated Man City in terms of possession during his time there.Compare that scenario with his role as the main striker in a side which has failed to control possession during the second half of the matches at Leeds and Southampton, and it is little wonder that the form and energy of GJ has shaded off.He needs a rest and !one him or not,Nketiah should be given a chance to take the weight off of Jesus without further ado.Saliba is also showing signs of mental fatigue whereas Gabriel did well against the Saints polIcy as I admire Tomi, he is never going to be a left back who can drive forward naturally and create.A great defender but not an attacking full back..I hope Arteta recognises his limitations and plays him at RB or CB asap.

    1. Agree with your points. Tomi, I think, is an excellent backup LB,because he’s just a good general defender, but he shouldn’t be starting there regularly when Tierney is available.
      His use against Liverpool made sense as it countered a specific threat, but we want to pin teams like Southampton back, so a more attacking player would have been more appropriate imo.
      That said, I can’t help but think Tomi let the Southampton winger get inside a bit too easily for their goal. I thought he got a bit caught out for once. Happens to the best of them I guess

  7. Martinelli head and shoulders above anyone else ,Xhaka and grabriel next .
    The goal came from white ball watching and not knowing who to pick up .
    Odegaard Jesus and saka were terrible in the second half ,Vieria probably even worse when he came same for Eddie .

    1. Curious how the front 3 and Odegaard all got a 6 rating, but how threatening were they during the game?

      Saka was invisible the last 20 minutes forgot he was on the pitch.

      Felt the subs were made too late, and Nketiah and Vieira actually did worse then Odegaard and Martinelli.

      Thought Saka should have been subbed rather than Martinelli, but I’m not the gaffer.

      Players were clearly gassed and squad needs rotating. Can’t continue fielding the same players in 2 competitions every week.

      We’re clearly seeing fatigue now, injuries come next. If the depth has no quality, perhaps it’s partially due to lack of minutes.

      Gaffer has to find a way to mix in the backups with his core group of starters.

  8. We need to rest a lot of players at PSV. We have three games left and just need one point to progress straight into the next round. Risking our ‘best’ players at PSV risks them getting injured. I think our fans should think twice about going too because I predict a nasty tear up. Did you see them throwing ripped out seats at our fans at the Emirates?

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