West Brom v Arsenal Player Ratings – Excellent performance in the snow

An excellent win for Arsenal, especially in those conditions. West Brom were destroyed by our youngsters but not every performance was as good as we would have liked.

Here are my ratings…

Leno – 7
Didn’t have too much to do, but didn’t lose concentration. He still made some great saves at the end.

Bellerin – 7
Played well first half, up front and back. Must have got a knock and replaced not long after half time.

Holding – 7
Once warmed up he had his usual solid performance.

Mari – 7
Mari and Holding make a great team and must surely be first choice now going forward.

Tierney – 9
The hardy Scotsman comes into his own in freezing weather, and he terrorized the West Brom defence. Set the tone early with the perfect individual goal to give us the lead. Definite future captain material.

Ceballos – 7
One of the Spaniard’s better performances, but could that be just because the opposition was poor?

Xhaka – 7
Again, nothing to write home about, but kept the ball moving calmly and cleverly.

Saka – 8.5
I want to give him a 9 but he can’t be MOTM every week. He was brilliant again, but Tierney ran the show in my mind.

Smith Rowe – 8.
Three starts, three wins, three excellent performances. The future is looking bright..

Aubameyang – 6.
It simply isn’t working for Auba at the moment but it is good that we have other players filling the void. Let’s hope his confidence returns soon.

Lacazettte – 8.
Laca is showing as much energy as the youngsters at the moment and should be picked in front of Auba when Martinelli starts in my opinion


Maitland-Niles – 6
Did okay but was overshadowed by the brilliance of others.

Willian – 6
I wonder if he is just trying too hard, but at least he was trying.

Willock – 6
Not very influential but Smith-Rowe is a hard act to follow right now.

Tags Player Ratings West Brom


  1. Excellent performance from the boys. Future seems great.
    People can say opposition was poor. Who made them poor? Okay. We met poorer oppositions a few weeks ago and what happened?
    Tell me, from what we’ve seen which team would Saka and Tierney not walk into their line up? Tie them up for the next ten years.

    1. Same “poor opposition” that Liverpool and Man City could not win. Credit where it’s due. Arsenal were simply outstanding on the night.

  2. Nice ratings, although Saka deserves more, and Willian deserves less.

    Saka was a constant threat, and had their defence on the backfoot constantly. Willian, on the other hand, gave the ball away two times after just coming on, and didn’t want to take players on again.

    I would go Saka – 9, Willian – 4.

      1. I saw improvement in Willian’s game as he was a bit more direct so 6 seems about right. Since we are probably stuck with him, would be nice to see him carve a roll as an impact player off the bench.

    1. Agree – I don’t even think of him as a winger, but his wing play was incredibly efficient. Beat the defender or just bought enough space for the cross or pass or shot with ease and delivered quality almost every time. Don’t remember seeing that from an Arsenal player before frankly.

  3. Saka and smith Rowe my 2 picks for MOTM
    ESM played like a veteran of the game ,stunning performance capped off by that wonderful team goal .
    Closely followed by Tierney and Holding .
    The whole defence looked solid once again plus another clean sheet .

    1. Hopefully Partey will be back by then. I think he’s on track for at least 45 minutes next weekend in FA Cup. If so, expect him to partner with Xhaka vs CP.

      1. I assume he means Ceballos but who knows for sure. Both words begin with C , but other than that have little resemblance!
        I never mind poor punctuation, lack of spelling, typos, but DO think all real fans should get our players names right. That seems fair enough to my mind!

  4. Not gonna disagree with the ratings, just the reviews.

    Laca is showing as much energy as the youngsters at the moment

    He’s been playing with such energy since project restart begun. All that was missing were the goals and it’s great that they’re here now. When those of us that used to praise his hold up and link up were being admonished, that’s what we were referring to.

    That comment would be more suitable for Auba though. Since the beginning of the season, he’s been slacking off. Last two games, he’s been working all game and just like Laca, I’ll say, keep working and it should work out eventually. I don’t have a problem with him missing chances. I had a problem with him not scoring while not missing. It meant he wasn’t trying.

  5. Agree with the ratings..
    Tesco definitely MOTM – what a goal! Closely (very closely) followed by Saka.. what a game he had also – lovely goal!
    Big shout out to ESR, Laca and our CB pairing 👌
    Another clean sheet… the confidence is returning.. happy days!

    1. Saka’s right foot is better than Pepe’s, so I hope he’d be assigned to the right wing permanently. Tierney’s dribbling ability is amazing too

      1. Personally, I don’t buy into the idea of permanent positions. I can think of scenarios where I’d want Willian,Pepe and Saka on the same pitch fluidly interchanging behind a striker like Laca. I’d rather Saka just do what he’s doing wherever he’s asked to do it from.
        It’s not like Pepe’s left foot is anything to be scoffed at when he’s on song anyway.

        1. Saka would get confused if he has to juggle between RW, LW and LB roles. I also want to see Willian and Saka play together, but Pepe should be a backup RW until he improves his skills

          1. What would be so confusing? It’s all about altering the angle of attack. Pepe, like Auba is simply in bad form. It can’t stay for ever

        2. Interesting view. I really look forward to watching our attack move around the pitch causing overloads and confusing defenses. My ultimate hope is the 4-3-3 with Saka, ESR and Partey as the midfield.

    2. Hello Sue, congrats to all arsenal fans but we are omitting somebody that make our game to be more fluid and free flow, his name is ceballos, our best midfielder ( in yesterday match) is Ceballos and nobody else….. Even my MOTM is Tierney followed by saka and then Ceballos…. The guy really tried…..
      Concerning the rating, I think our two defenders (,holding and Mari) deserve more than 7, at least 8 with Ceballos…. I can’t give Bellerin and Xhaka the same rating with those I mentioned above my opinion though….

      1. Hi Wale.. you don’t have to spell it out to me, I’m with you – I like Ceballos.. and was pleased to see him come in for Elneny..
        I’m actually disappointed we’ve got to wait 6 days until we play again!! Who’d have thought that a week or so ago!! 👍

  6. Willian may have tried but there is such a huge gap now between him and Sak a it is hard to see him gaining many first team opportunities.I thought Auba played well ,he was linking very well with Tierney and I felt he was unlucky not to get on the score sheet.Saka ,Tierney,Smith Rowe ,Lacazette all these players along with Martinelli have transformed Arsenal.It is unusual for a number of players to hit top form at the same time and it is good just to sit back and enjoy the show and hopefully the slow ponderous football that was served up before will be confined to the past.Holding and Mari have also been impressive.

  7. Look at Ceballos’ vision with his through balls at that match. Imagine if we use him as a CAM with that kind of vision and tenacity

    Ceballos can play decently in a deep midfield position and he’s combative enough to do it, but his skills and physical attributes are more suited to no 10 role. If Smith-Rowe gets injured due to his extra efforts in retrieving the ball, Ceballos would be the perfect candidate to sub him

    1. I disagree ,send him back to Madrid every time he plays it looks like he wants to get sent off .
      He just reminds me of a poor mans Ramsey ,and he was way overhyped .
      I would rather the spot was given to an actual Arsenal player .

      1. Of course Smith-Rowe should be prioritized, because he’ll stay with us

        But if he’s injured, we still have Ceballos and Willian for the CAM role. So Arsenal had better spend the money for a player type we don’t have

    2. Ceballos isn’t really a CAM . Even in a double pivot with Xhaka, you’d find that he was lagging the forward play. He’s your typical CM . Think of a Luka Modric. Not entirely defensive, not really offensive.

      1. Ceballos is slow, but he’s the only central midfielder at Arsenal who creates incisive through balls consistently

  8. I think laca is one of the best performers yesterday.The way he linked,the 2nd goal and 3rd goal spoke volumes….

    The tierney solo goal was just out of this world💯

    ESR and Saka are just superb.Saka is becoming our own adama traore or mane.
    ESR has the footballing knowledge of how to position himself,the timely runs he make is just as superb.
    My MOTM is laca

    Now to the burning question,did we play well because the opposition were poor?Cmon man,who cares that was one hell of a performance💯

  9. The change to a straightforward system and the introduction of youthful energy has done the trick.As far as ratings are concerned, Tesco will soon be shopping at Harrods if he carries on producing the goods .What do you think Sue?

    1. Doubt it. Don’t think he’s that kind of lad. He’s done interviews with his Glasgow mates and is as down to earth as you get..

  10. Aubameyang will get his mojo back soon, he is just burnt out from previous seasons.

    Lacazette I think has got his scoring boots back, with the injection of the young lads ESR, Saka and Martinelli behind him.

    Can’t wait for Partey to be back to add more energy to the midfield.

    It has taken 4 months, corona with illness to senior favourite players for Arteta to know his best 11.

    Glad he has found his best starting 11 at the right time.

    Better test ahead. Onward and Upwards.

    Even big boy Ozil has applauded Smith-Rowe publicly as the best no 10. in the team.

    Finally, Ozil has acted in a smart and respectful way handling his issues with the club.

    1. Your last paragraph. I think Ozil has only now acted in a way you approve of. The fact that you do not approve of his other actions does not (necessarily) make them wrong.

  11. I don’t mean to be a downer at all but WBA were legitimately terrible. They had no confidence at all and gave up so much space in dangerous positions. We caught them at exactly the right time, so while it allowed us to showcase our massively improved form (a couple of weeks ago we would have still struggled to get a result and probably allowed them into the match with our weak attacking play), we must remember that this wasn’t a real test by any measure.

    1. WBA were poor but we aren’t allowed to say that, it may upset people. Lol. The truth is we did the job. NEXT!

      1. Haha is it better if I say it was like we played against ourselves from 2 weeks ago? (Although even that’s a stretch!) 😆

        1. Arsenal have beaten Chelsea, Brighton & Hove Albion and West Bromwich Albion, but you can only beat what’s in front of you.

  12. Team effort, average if 8 is indeed fare.

    Auba looked fed up as game was going by, frustrated, pissed almost fouled chasing a player towards end.

    Why not simply play?
    Auba laca Saka

  13. He is frustrated, on wrong side of pitch and therefore wrong foot, he felt he could have scored 2 if on other side and foot, he is all backward & lost as LW. He won’t play there again, Arteta forced to switch wings with Saka who gets to play on his natural position.

    Auba was prolific on RW as he rushes towards center, can get a Tierny cross coming on his right foot… Or bench him. It is 2 options.

  14. There are no easy games in England. Liverpool and Man.City drew to Westbrom.
    So it makes our win even sweeter.

    The young players can have a good rest now.

    Against Newcastle is the best time for our senior players to show their worth.


    Willian. Willock. Pepe.

    Elneny. Partey.

    Niles. Luiz. Holding. Chambers.


    I would like to see how this selection performs against Newcastle.

    1. Would be interesting but I wouldn’t have much confidence in that lineup

      He might prove me wrong, but I can’t see Willock playing that role – he has to start from deeper for me. I’d want Willian or Pepe (as an experiment) behind the striker. Wouldn’t mind seeing AMN in one of the wing positions instead (again, as an experiment – need to nail his position down) or else Nelson if he’s fit (got high hopes for him in the new system).

  15. Sensible comments Davi.We should not get carried away with the result, but a very decent performance in conditions which can level out the skill factor.

    1. Thanks Grandad. Like I say, it showed we’ve got our groove back as we would have struggled badly with this game not long ago, just don’t think it means we’re on course for top 4 or anything like that – much bigger tests to come but we can go into them with renewed confidence

  16. Lacca for me deserves the MOM but Saka and Tierney were hot on his heels. His work rate was so high, 9.5 for all three. ESR and Ceballos were 8.5 for me both showing what they can do when they are played and played correctly. The rest of the team we ok and coped with WBA pretty well. We knew these games were pretty winnable that are coming up and confidence has to be boosted. I still worry about certain players getting back in the team when they are not worthy of their places. Will the younger players be allowed to play 5 or 6 games under par or will they be outed to be replaced by the under performing veterans. Players that play should ALL be accountable, if they are we will see better performances. The future of this team finacially and results wise are with the younger players, not the old no value ones. Trust in the youth, they have greater scope.

  17. Just on Aubameyang – the man has 75 goals from 120 odd games from mostly playing from the left. He is a quality striker and now that we’ve started creating a bit more, he will soon start banging them in again.

    He’s been immense for us since he joined the club, give some time and support while he’s going through a slump!

  18. Holding has been excellent recently. If we’d paid £20-30 million for him, we’d be raving about him right now (same for Mari).

    I remember a couple of years ago when Holding had a great performance, Wenger raised the same point with his cheeky grin and said, “I’m sorry we didn’t pay £50 million for him”.

    Gabriel has won three consecutive POTM awards for us but don’t think he will walk straight back into the team with the way Mari performing – great headache for Arteta to have.

    Leno has looked a lot more assertive in recent games as well. A few weeks back he came out and said something about the team’s attitude and Arteta publicly said he was looking for warriors, not victims. Seems Leno has taken this on board.

    Lastly, a lot of people seem to dislike Bellerin for some reason – he has also raised the level of his performance in recent weeks and much better with Saka ahead of him!

  19. The first half was the undoubtedly the best 45m of football we have played this season … but please dont forget that it was against a team that is heading out of the division and has shipped in a hatfull of goals this season … the idea that Smith Rowe`s decent but hardly exceptional performance was more important to that victory than ceballos who was the only midfield player constantly keeping the ball moving forward or no better than the endless back passing and avoiding the ball by xhaka simply beggars belief … people need to stop listening to wrighty`s rose-tinted platitudes and watch the game … if arteta thinks the last 3 games are an indication that we have solved the creativity problem then he is delusional beyond repair

  20. The reason I avoid giving personal ratings is that marks mean all sorts of different things to various fans.

    In the newspaper media is it widely and long time accepted that 4 is very poor, 5 below average, 6 average, 7 above average ,8 very good. Higher and lower marks than those are comparatively rare, not surprisingly. Half marks are also used for proper context.

    But I must tell you that newspaper marks are usually NOT awarded by the journo who writes the report and I KNOW THAT FOR A FACT. SOMETIMES THEY ARE BUT USUALLY NOT!


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