Monday, May 20, 2024

Arsenal 3-1 Cologne – player ratings

Arsenal put in a good second half performance to ensure the Europa League campaign got off to a winning start, and with the other game in the group drawn, are top of the table after day 1.

Goals from Sead Kolasinac, Alexis Sanchez and Hector Bellerin gave us a 3-1 win over Cologne, who went ahead in the first half.

Here’s how the players rated.

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I was wondering how long it would take you to make a comment about the dogs in the stadium.

Damo Dinkum

Tonight they were truly German Shepherds


That’s an insult to, you know, the actual shepherds and, by extension, Mr. Blog’s German Shepherd. Mr Blog will be pissed


Hahaha yes.


Walcott a 4, very kind in my opinion.

Per Motorcycle

A 2 at best. The guy is a waste of space.


Lived offside

Dan Hunter

How does a guy with his pace get that offside so often? The ‘British core’ players at this club have been a travesty from day one. Getting rid of Oxlade was the ruthless and RIGHT thing to do. Get rid of him too and end the experiment.


aka Hiding from the ball because my first touch is shit and i give it away every single time.


Doing his best Adebayor impersonation.


Reply on usa tv , showed that two of the off sides against theo were bad decision, including the one he put in the net second half. The pundit was brad goalkeeper friedal’ ex spud who said how much he and others in the game rate theo.. Thought Theo’s shooting not worse than giroud heading in accuracy terms last night


Well said, and he lost the ball a lot less than Alexis on the other flank. Work hard throughout also involved in two of the goals.


Hey, Riku, or should I say Theo. Nice of you to come here and comment on your game, but you were even worse than normally yesterday.


Practicing playing with 10 men for the game against chelsea. Who says wenger doesnt prepare his teams?

A different George

One reason: he was onside at least once when called off. It was very close on several others. Are we sure it was Theo’s fault, rather than the passer hesitating?

Cool Papa Bellerin

He made a good run behind and played the cross that led to the first goal, and he had a nice touch and took the shot that caused the rebound for the third goal.


He didn’t “play the cross.” He tried to play the cross and it got blocked straight up in the air.

Alexis Signitplease

…and he was only crossing because his first touch was awful, heavy and took him wide, when he should have been in on goal himself.


After a brilliant run in behind…
Walcott is a flawed player but hardly a waste of space

Dan Hunter

He would not get in any of the top 6 first teams (not including us obviously). That should tell you something. He can get you a goal occasionally but his impact is minimal more often than not. He would do well at a West Brom or a Crystal Palace.


You can say that of Henderson, Mignolet, and even Lovren. There a lot of players at Top 6 clubs who wouldn’t start at others. Difference is, opposition fans refrain from slagging off their own at every given opportunity, in public, on Youtube etc. Arsenal fans now believe it is acceptable to abuse and ridicule our own. Those that join in are brainless sheep. Walcott had a bang average game. On another day he may have scored 2 if he had any confidence. He has been demoted to just a squad player. He has always been a form player too. The… Read more »


If Merson is to be believe only Sanchez would get into chelseas’ team and Mertesacker is our best defender

A different George

Exactly right. Very intelligent (and usually well-timed) runs that open space for others (including against packed defenses, contrary to conventional wisdom), good finisher. Interchanges well with his fullback, especially Bellerin. Unselfish. Does not have the technical skill of a genuinely world-class forward.


I thought his runs were pretty influencial. always gave us an option in behind and we used it quite a bit. if his finishing was better he could have destroyed them. I was getting slaughtered on the liveblog for being the only non-anti-theo

Brazilian gooner

The mirror gave him a 7, same rating as Kolasinac And Alexis… Theo must be paying them really well


Or they don’t suffer from the same obsessive need to hammer him at every opportunity as some of our fans do. He was ok last night. Not great, bit rusty, but not a 4 out of 10. We get it, you don’t like him, but no need to be a cunt about it.

Fireman Sam

I’d say 4 is about right. He offered very little threat, got caught offside many times due to poor awareness, lost out physically, jogged along annoyingly next to opposition players when our midfield was looking for a forward target. Usual Theo. Not to say he’s not capable, but he’s been off form for a while and we need to be ruthless this season to get ourselves back on track.

A Gunner with Psychic powers

Elneny was really good.


Um, no, he wasn’t.
It was visible how he is incapable of finding a forward incisive pass, slowing the momentum countless times, also playing almost as the sole midfielder for the majority of the first half didn’t really help.


I thought Elneny was very poor. His continual sideways passing just slowed our build-up play leading to lack of incision throughout the first half. He’s not good enough in a two-man midfield.


Couldn’t agree more.


Was his job to build play, try and dictate tempo. Recovered balls well.
Not his fault wenger chose an unbalanced team and formation for the first half.

Mesut Ozzle

Thought he partnered well with Maitland-Niles in the second half as well. That run and chance from AMN was quality.

Drogheda gunner

I thought maitland niles looked really good in the middle he lifted the tempo.i think hes worth a run in the team beside xhaka.


if you actually take a look at the stats, you’ll find that Elneny passes the ball forward at a similar rate to Xhaka and more than Ramsey and Coquelin. Also, are you just ignoring his lovely chip in the build-up to Kolasinac’s goal not to mention that he already has an assist in the league this season? I think this is the usual case of a pre-conceived narrative blurring your view of player performances.


Who did he have to pass to in the first half? If no one is making runs off the ball, passing into man marking isn’t a great idea. He tracked back all game, took fouls, and kept possession. Seems exactly what a holding MF should be doing. As exciting as Xhaka can be, he also is a bit of a turn over machine, leading directly to goals against (which he himself admits). Elneny certainly isn’t flashy. But when the other options are a) someone who has almost no positional discipline or defensive awareness (Ramsey), b) a posession and sometimes defensive… Read more »


If you watch the match, you’ll also notice that NO ONE was making themselves available to receive a pass going forward. Whats he supposed to do, pass to one of their lads like Ospina?


Have a look at the first goal, really great sideways pass


His sideways passing was perhaps more due to the fact that the people in front of him were not moving. He chose to pass sideways and keep possession. Holding had the same problem. Who do I pass to? He chose the other option – to run with it, and try to create something. Both players get beaten down.
Things sometimes happen for a reason.

Tony W

Continual sideways passing? What about his pass to Walcott leading up to Kolasinac’s beauty


Elneny was Arsenal’s best player in the first half are you sure you where watching the same game!!

Billy Dyer

Lol. That’s what I thought throughout the game.
Elneny reminds me of Denilson. Good at everything but… not great at anything.
He only passed sideways and back


I thought Elneny was possibly our best player, certainly the only player first half. Ok he is not flashy but he generally positions well in an area we too often leave space, and he keeps things moving. There were some decent forward passes from him, though that is not the mainstay of his game. If we play a back 4 then I would like to see him with Xhaka & Ramsey in a midfield 3, as it might give us more control in the midfield, while still having other players who can do the exquisite ball (Xhaka), make romping runs… Read more »


Are you kidding. Iwobi who was suppose to be his partner thought he was Ramsey tonight. Everytime I looked when ME looked for a pass Iwobi walking around going forward instead of coming back for the ball.

He was the only one hustling getting back and helping the back 3.

Drogheda gunner

Iwobi is terrible at the moment and he is not a center midfielder.hes a winger but he should not be getting game time over nelson.


Yes Nelson is destroying the youth but who says iwobi wouldn’t be aswell why does Nelson have. Dibs over Iwobi


If you want a center mid that was terrible tonight it was Iwobi. Absolutely no help to Elneny controlling the midfield whatsoever. Pushed up standing next to his marker just like Giroud and Alexis giving Elneny no options but a long ball to an offsides Walcott, or Bellerin and the other defenders, one of which was AMN who was out of natural position and gets half a free pass from me tonight for making do as well as he was able. The last player I’m going to blame for the first half is Elneny – he had the weight of… Read more »

Fireman Sam

Yeah I like the solidity Elneny gives. Reminds me of Arteta. All the same, like with Arteta, there’s some truth to the sideways and backwards criticism, even given the lack of movement ahead of him. Sometimes when a break is on you have to take a chance and keep the momentum going with a quick pass forward but so often he’d play it safe. Seems like he likes to see a 70-30 chance before he will play it forward but sometimes I’d like to see him take a bit more of risk and play the occasional 50-50 chance pass just… Read more »


Not sure who voted you down, one of the better players tonight.


Kolasinac looking like the signing of the season.

How bad was our passing? Be interesting to see the stats. It felt absolutely awful. I thought I was watching a Tony Pulis side or something for a while there.

Oh well, we won, that’s what’s important.

Reality check

Big fan of the Tank already, future hall of famer if we can keep him for a while. Love his no nonsense atitude, beautifully cut from the same bullet proof cloth as Paddy V etc.. his footballing ability is a bit overshadowed because of his legendary physical qualities but what is very obvious is his impact on the games he’s played for us


It is of no surprise to me with Alexis always looking to hold the ball or find the most difficult pass, messing up the rhythm of our attack. His goal was exceptional, but it is clear he is playing for himself. Someone needs to have a word.

Fireman Sam

It’s just how Alexis as always been.
Mostly runs into dead ends but then pulls out a blinder out of nowhere to win you a game.


Kola is my new favourite player. AMN is a good CM and Nelson is going places


Haven’t seen it, cause my wife just gave birth to my newborn son. I’m not even mad.


Congratulations, call him Sead

A different George

Or Tank.


Congrats, best day ever, regardless of football.


What about Theo?


Congratulations! Nice you found time to share the news.

Amazing there are downvotes on that. Are people worried about overpopulation, disappointed you didn’t watch the match from the delivery room, or just generally angry?

David C

congrats! got 3 of my own but my wife was nice enough to have all of them during the off-season.

Thierry and Dennis are wonderful names by the way 😉

nacho man

another Sead surely…congrats

Ex-Priest Tobin

Fuck this shit mickey mouse tournament. An embarassment to be playing in this.


I know right? Because we really proved our Champions League credentials year after year?

This, currently, is our level. Deal with it.

nacho man

just piss off somewhere else boy

Cool Papa Bellerin

Your user name is from a great novel. There, I said something nice.


Koln is actually a more glamourous opponent than FC Karabakh, if you really want to know.

Mourinho was right this week, the CL really has 5 or so serious teams and a bunch of Europa League teams to fill in the space in the groups. He doesn’t want to admit that ManU are not one of those serious teams.

We aren’t either, and until we are I’m fine with not monkeying around with the CL. Enough of the same old shit. We’re in our element at the moment.

Frank Bascombe

Named yourself after a character from a book. How novel.

my name is bob

This is the type of form we’re used to with him!

Up the Arsenal

Ox fucking off has restored his confidence.


Certainly helps to play him at RB. Watching him at LB was so painful.

Guns n Bosses

Elneny was decent

I\'m Professor Ignorance, on this subject

10/10 for Kolasinac trying to show something written on his undershirt and failing because his muscles made his jersey too tight to pull up far enough.


Also shoving a grown as s Cologne man to the turf like he was a small boy.


that was totally hilarious. it was like the guy literally bounced off Kola

Fireman Sam

I loved that moment! Cologne player got “beasted” 🙂


Wilshere looked good to me. Still rusty obviously, but there were definitely signs of the player that’s still lurking in there somewhere.


as poor as walcott was he was heavily involved in our first and third goals, his cross blocked out to Kolasinace to volley home our first and his shot parried out by the keeper for Bellerin to score the third.


That’s the kind of player he is sometimes, looks poor but then is involved when we score. The opposite of flattering to deceive. Hopefully with more game time he’ll improve though he’s never really gotten to grips with the new formation

nacho man

cross he tried was impossible and suda scored

Jean Ralphio

Thought El Neny played really well. We looked better in the second half with formation change. Midfield looked better balanced too. Remember we spanked the chavs 3 nil with the same formation. Anyway, good win.

Olivije Zirud

Solid away win for us today. I feel embarrassed today as a supporter. Why show up in such a small number just because it is EL & not CL? Why always leave early?

Overall our performance was solid. It got better in 2nd half when we had some midfield and balance.

For Sunday I wouldn’t start Sanchez. Although he did good today I still thought he played for himself and not for the team. Hope Wenger also sticks with Elneny and not play Ramsey or I am afraid we will get overrun in midfield again.

Alan Levermore

Having been there I’m sure we were at home

Olivije Zirud

That was meant to be a critic on our fans who didn’t show up or sold tickets to Koln’s supporter. I know we played at home.


“Although he did good today I still thought he played for himself and not for the team” What are you on about?

He scored a goal DB10 would have been proud of to put us 2-1 up. Absolutely pathetic the way some people just repeat meaningless football cliches like “he only plays for himself”. It’s a team game and he did his job. Get a grip of yourself before you start criticising other Arsenal fans.

Danaery\'s pet dragon

To be fair aside from the outstanding goal his touch was off and he lost the ball many times….still he was the only or capable of dropping his shoulder and turning his man…wish a few more would try it…btw….Nelson was very positive in anything he tried…


Yeah that’s valid criticism. Part of Alexis’ job (when he plays wide in the 3) is to create overloads on his side by attracting multiple defenders, then switching play so Bellerin and co can take advantage of the extra space. He’ll get tackled a few times but we can live with that.

Reiss Nelson was sharper than a razorblade out there. He needs to be protected at all costs.

Matt P

I’m pretty worried about the weekend.
I see very little signs that we have a midfield that won’t get slaughtered by the big boys.


What the fuck are we going to do in midfield against Chelsea? Should we do something proactive? Or fuck it just play Xhaka and Ramsey again with the back five? Perhaps a back four with Elneny or Monreal or Maitland Niles or Jack between Xhaka and Ramsey is the answer. Or should we drop Xhaka altogether. Jack? I really don’t know the answer with our current personnel. But I think we better sort it out soon or we’re fucked.

Matt P

Well, we lack high quality midfielders so therein lies a problem.
I like your ideas.
I’d go 4 at the back, then Elneny and Xhaka, Ozil just behind Lacazette, and Sanchez on the right and Sead on the left wing (yep you heard me right. He is quick enough plus has that strength and physicality. We then have an attack that could be a good mix of skill (Ozil and Sanchez), power (Sead) and clinical finishing (Lacazette)


@bigarse….drop ramsey, Elneny instead.

Billy Dyer

I’m curious to see how Xhaka and Jack will fair in midfield.
Xhaka for the long passes and Jack with the close-control of the ball (Jack is the closest we’ve got to Carzola)

The arsenaut

Elneny deserves to be the highest rated player for me. Did well as one man midfield and should come in on Sunday alongside Xhaka to give some balance and stability in the middle, to offset the dynamo that is Kante.

David C

I would start one of Ramsey/Ozil in the 10 spot and play Elneny and Xhaka in mid against Chelski.

Mesut Ozzle

Or perhaps midfield 3? Tim stillman wrote a good article suggesting it on here, I believe


I’d leave Mesut on the bench for Sunday, but he’ll start because we don’t have anyone else who didn’t play 90 minutes tonight.

Danaery\'s pet dragon

I thought he did well overall but many times in the first half he seemed to be way ahead of the ball running into already crowded spaces…didnt make Holding look good as the passing lanes were too crowded…

Indian gooner

I am going to use Sead’s wallpaper; uninstall my antivirus and firewall. This way, my computer is better protected.




I wasn’t going to get a new shirt.
*enter The Panzer*
I’m getting a new shirt.


When Kolasinac came on it was very much a no nonsense ‘I’ve had enough of this shit’ approach when he smashed that ball into the net

Billy Dyer

He did change our game for better


Walcott should be sold come january. Same goes for Per.


Per is captain and retiring in the summer to take a job at the club – he will not be sold


Per is mega his performence in the FA cup final v Cheeski was immense…..

John O\'Connor

Hard to sell the guy who’s taking over your youth set up in June.

nacho man



Is your name Robbie?
This might be the most ignorant comment I’ve ever seen on this page. I mean, its not even wrong its so ridiculous.


Bonus 10 for Wilshere


Alexis’s goal just wow! LOL bonus rating 😀


Total fucking shit.


So many dislikes. But at what point last night did walcott do anything right?


Bit of credit for Wenger for changing things around earlier than usual. 9 changes and a result and fresh legs for Sunday. Come on give him a shout out.

Godfrey Twatsloch

Aye! Kolasinac coming on made all the difference.


What the fuck are we going to do in midfield against Chelsea? Should we do something proactive? Or fuck it just play Xhaka and Ramsey again with the back five? Perhaps a back four with Elneny or Monreal or Maitland Niles or Jack between Xhaka and Ramsey is the answer. Or should we drop Xhaka altogether. Jack? I really don’t know the answer with our current personnel. But I think we better sort it out soon or we’re fucked.


It’s unsurprising that our play was disjointed, considering the amount of changes made to the team. Well done by Wenger and the players for turning it it around at half time, managing a win. That’s good, but nothing less than a win would’ve been a disaster. It was nice to see Jack on the pitch too. If we are switched on for Sunday, we can win at Chelsea but the serious worry is that we tend to look disjointed even with the first eleven on the pitch. Sunday really calls for what Amy Lawrence called a “fuck off” performance. Personally,… Read more »


I have never seen a professional footballer with a lower touches per minute ratio than Walcott. He has his moments where he will flash, but too often spends most of the match drifting around not doing anything and certainly not showing for the ball. The 3-4-2-1 formation certainly does not suit him and is more fit for a 4-2-3-1, doubt he will play a big role this season. Was nice to see Wilshere in an Arsenal kit again, hope he can contribute this year. Sanchez had a great goal and was very active, great to see, but to me the… Read more »


I have no idea why AW kept TW knowing if he was going to stick with the 343 formation. He should have been sold for whatever amount we can get for him. Unless he play 4231 most of the season he isn’t going to help in this formation. He isn’t that great in our normal formation but this one he is like a ghost.


Who’s going to buy Theo that can afford his inflated wages?

Tony W

I agree about Elneny being MOTM. Reminded me of Arteta with a bit more energy. Kept things ticking over throughout the match


I didn’t catch much of the first half..and thank god. The second half was enjoyable. I’m no Elneny fan but I thought he put in a good shift. Admitedly it is against opposition he should dominate but some astute defensive work today and a great ball over the top. I didn’t think Walcott was that poor. I thought he protected the ball well second half and seems to be making a knack of those short burst runs from the right. On a better day 9when we are more well oiled as a unit), I think he may snatched a goal… Read more »

Fireman Sam

We weren’t actually that bad in the first half. There was the Ospina mistake and then not much else.

We were clearly a cut above the opposition (as we bloody well should be) and it was just a question of time. I predicted 4-1 so wasn’t that far off


I thought Niles was really good in the second half…Actually protected the Cb’s,won the ball back and passed forward through the lines..
Iwobi needs to be careful, Niles is improving and Nelson is on his heels..
Good to see Jack back…Still Arsenal and Englands only ‘different’ midfielder.


Theo should move to the mls


Ospina… goodness what a mess today. When is he going to dye his hair blonde and grow a beard? He looked like a short Almunia out there with his poor clearances, charging around lost like a headless chicken, and general lack of awareness. He was nearly at fault for playing one of their guys in, and if not for a correct decision by a linesman, could have been sent off as well. I think he made two saves the whole match, and both of those could have been made by Inanimate Carbon Rod, or Todd Chavez laying on the sofa.


What is the point of Walcott? Who wouldn’t rather have nelson take his place in the squad?


Jack is back! I hope he’s allowed to reach his full potential. Arsenal is in his DNA. Potentially, he can become legendary.

Big sheezy

If seeing Jack back on the pitch wearing an arsenal jersey doesn’t make you smile, you’re not a true arsenal fan.

Clock-End Mike

Wilshere – he came on, he played football, he didn’t get injured – 10/10

Matt P

I’m not his biggest fan, but he’s a good player when he’s fit and in form, and I think he could be a valuable squad player this season.

Burn Baby Burn

plus or minus points for Kolasinac’s lack of double giant wanking goal celebration?


It’s time for a 4-4-2 diamond.
Monreal, Mustafi, Kos, Bellerin
Kolasinac Elneny
Lacazette Welbeck


Sheesh. Moderated out of back to back comment attempts. I know they don’t violate policy! Algorithms are strange.


So Wilshere got the same rating as Elneny?


Not getting rid of the deadwood and buying better quality will cost us this season.Lets hope we can sell Lolcott and bring in Mahrez in jan

Tony W

Very harsh on Walcott. Got 2 assists through intelligent runs and good positioning. We know about his defects but deserved at least 6.5

Frankie Coffeecakes

Can’t imagine why Wenger would be interested in any contract discussion with Walcott? But he is…


Just for a bit of balance I don’t think Ospina’s error for goal was as sensationally bad as is being made out. It was a clearance under pressure which had he not made would have been much more likely to result in a goal than what ensued. Sure his clearance was not the best but it looked at a tricky height and ended up somewhat fortuitously at the scorer’s feet after kind of bouncing off someone else and you wouldn’t say Ospina’s team mates were the quickest to react.


Firstly, I do not understand why Wenger didn’t start the match in a 4-2-3-1 formation. What was the need to stick with 3 at the back for this side. We could not build any kind of game, also because most of the players on the pitch were used to a 4-2-3-1 profile. I do not understand the criticism of Walcott. He looked a threat throughout the game, and there were quite a few offside calls against him, but a couple of them were incorrect as well. He was involved in two of the three goals. He’s obviously rusty, but not… Read more »

Islam Ismael

Nelson ?


I didnt think Holding was that bad in defense, its when he bombed forward and lost the ball we got into trouble.

I like how he has asynical foul in him as well.

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