Sunday, May 28, 2023

Russia 2018, Week 1 – Arsenal player review

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably noticed there’s a World Cup taking place in Russia. Some of the players in the tournament play for Arsenal.

We figured we should see what they’ve been up to. It doesn’t make for great reading…

Mohamed Elneny
Egypt (0 – 1) Uruguay
Friday 15 June

Egypt, without Mohamed Salah who stayed on the bench, managed to keep Luis Suarez at bay but they still succumbed to Jose Jimenez’s 90th-minute winner. Our Mo, who enjoyed an 87.8% pass completion rate, looked dejected when the whistle went. Spoiler alert – it doesn’t get much better in the next game.


Alex Iwobi
Croatia (2 – 0 ) Nigeria
Saturday 16 June

An Etebo own goal and a Luka Modric penalty were enough for a clinical Croatia to deal with the Super Eagles. Iwobi, who was pretty anonymous before being subbed in the second half, didn’t even get to wear the funky new home kit.


Joel Campbell
Costa Rica (0 – 1) Serbia
Sunday 17 June

Joel ‘Get Out While You Can’ Campbell came on as a second half substitution as Costa Rica chased an equaliser following Aleksander Kolarov’s deadly free-kick. He didn’t do much to help their cause.


Mesut Ozil
Germany (0 – 1) Mexico
Sunday 17 June

Mexico, with Carlos Vela in the team, repeatedly hurt Germany on the break to record a momentous win against the reigning World Champions. Mesut desperately tracked the onrushing Hirving Lozano on 35 minutes but couldn’t stop the left winger from cutting inside and smashing what turned out to be the winner.


Stephan Lichtsteiner & Granit Xhaka
Brazil (1 – 1) Switzerland
Sunday 17 June

Granit and Stephan put in gritty, disciplined performances for the Swiss as they bounced back from Philippe Coutinho’s opener to snatch a 1-1 draw with favourites Brazil. Lichtsteiner picked up a booking on 31 minutes but kept his head to the Selecao attack, while Xhaka grew into the game after Steven Zuber’s headed equaliser.


Danny Welbeck
Tunisia 1 – 2 England
Monday 18 June

Danny didn’t play. Apparently, he accidentally sprayed bug repellant in his face during the warm-up. That wasn’t the reason he didn’t play though.


David Ospina
Colombia 1 – 2 Japan
Tuesday 19 June

Colombia suffered a nightmare start to their campaign as Carlos Sanchez conceded a penalty and received his marching orders for handling Shinji Kagawa’s shot after just 3 minutes. Ospina couldn’t do anything to stop the Dortmund man’s spot kick. Juan Quintero’s clever free-kick levelled things before the break before Yuya Osako headed a winner on 73 minutes.

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Hoping Emery can shake them out of their World Cup hangovers quicker than Arsene could.
“I won the World Cup and forgot how to play football”
“I was one of 31 of 32 teams that didn’t win the World Cup and I’ve forgotten how to play football”

I loved Arsene, but these really are two terrible reasons for poor form, hopefully Emery will be more ruthless.

Runcorn Gooner

Talk of our new keeper Leno being a bit suspect. All keepers make errors.. the best ones make fewer.

Notice Chezzers had a bit of a rush of blood to the head in the Poland match yesterday.

Yellow Ribbon

Jacky Boy has now officially left our club. Felt devastated reading his goodbye message?
I wish him nothing but the best.


If only Alexandr Golovin and James Maddison could join us. With one, I would already be happy with the two it would be madness!

We can dream it’s free because the season is going to be long if Ramsey gets hurt already, it’s like he’s resigning ..


James Maddison move to Leicester for 30M, smart transfert like Kante, Mahrez…
: (


Yeah, sad. But it.s good they were honest with him about playing time. That was fair and realistic.

Auba ma Ying

I like this new feature. Keep this as a regular weekly update on our players at the WC.


It seems to me that Lichtsteiner & Xhaka have to play well others, not sparkling to my knowledge.


Elneny was excellent in Egypt’s first match.

A Different George

I thought Elneny was Egypt’s best player.


Limit, I do not care that Elneny be good or not with Egypt. If already, he could perform well at the Emirath that’s all I ask him.

Some player transcends himself completely when he plays in selection surrounded by very good player and do not do anything the following year in club. This is already seen many times.


Limit, I do not care that Elneny be good or not with Egypt. If already, he could perform well at the Emirath that’s all I ask him.

Some player transcends himself completely when he plays in selection surrounded by very good player and do not do anything the following year in club. This is already seen many times.


Elneny has had some good games for us this season.

Herb Kazzaz

Yeah, this feature could even last beyond the world cup I think. Updates of what the player are up to at the WC. Whether Hector is constipated, perhaps whether Ozil has the runs, and if Danny manages to miss the bowl altogether and shit on the floor. Could certainly fill interlull weeks.


Ah, you should have waited for Poland to play before you wrote this. Szcz was on fire.

Pat Rice and Beans

By the final line of Elneny’s report, he wrote after the last game of the day.


That cat left the bag sometime back.

Niall Shannon

Lucas Torreira not on that list? 😉

Milton Brown

Sampblog do their own Sampdoria player review.


Mesut is Muslim, so he’s fasting the past 4weeks, no drinks and food thoughtout the day


Ramadan finished on the 14th of June

Jimbo Jones

Actually professional sports people are excluded from fasting, same as pregnant women, children etc.

I promise you Mesut didn’t fast before the world cup nor did the Egypt, Iran squads etc


Iran did, and certain Egyptians did too as far as I know.
To be exempt from the fasting I think they need a pardon from their parish leader(Muslim equivalent) correct me if I am wrong Muslim gunners


No, they don’t need permission from other people, it’s completely a personal decision.


While there are guidelines who may take exemption to not fast during ramadhan and who may not, in the end it is a personal decision.

The end of Ramadhan was day 2 of the WC, btw.


I’m willing to bet that he didn’t fast.


Mesut never does the ramadan. He clearly said it.


Ozil was great for Germany.

Mesut O'Neill

Please take them ? off.

He was just as good as he has been for Arsenal for the last 3 years, shite!!

The guy has had 6 good months in 4 seasons.


He wasn’t “great” tbh but he was much better than some of the other German players… Can’t for my life understand the stick he’s getting here in Germany.


He’s always got stick in Germany, always… What Matthaus said yesterday against him puts shame on the whole country, for me and i know Germany very well.

Bob's Mexican Cousin

All the Germans were great for Mexico. Mesut was at least putting in a shift; the fact he was closest to Lozano for the goal says it all.


Great run! Sums up what he does best.

Sànde Class

Maaan. I know we don’t have (many) phenomenal World Cup winning players anymore but to see this in written form is just…..


Inconvenient truth for many Arsenal fans. We have ZERO world beaters at the world cup. The club’s allure has truly gone down the toilet. For me – Elneny was MEDIOCRE at best. Anyone convince he’s otherwise needs to pull their heads out of their arse (no offense). Iwobi is constantly played in the wrong role. Set up to be the creative influence he isn’t higher up, he needs to be played from deeper. Campbell made an impact coming on with good movement but atrocious passing. Ozil played decent but the German team was lacklustre and baffled they left Sane out.… Read more »


This seems to miss the point of Emery’s new Arsenal: they will be a team, a collective that play as a unit rather than waiting for the moment of individual brilliance. I’m not quite sure what “world beaters” means here, but Ramsey, Ozil and Aubameyang are really special players, and on their day you could add Mkhi, Bellerin, Lacazette, Koscielny, and Monreal to that list. Moreover, we’ve got some delicious young talent in the squad, and though the signings by the management team have not been “alluring” to most fans, they are practical and intelligent insofar as they fill gaps… Read more »


It’s a poor mentality that you adopt there ! Why Arsenal, could not claim to buy a Mahrez 80 / 85M and do not tell me that our finances are too low for such a signature. Knowing that player purchases can be staggered over 4/5 years. Real price of Aubam (65M + 15M loyalty bonus according to the media) So, I invite you to better watch the new contract sponsorsings sign that will explode our income this year and next year and the payroll liberated is 3 last year. Even if now those balance sheet can be plummeted by contract… Read more »


Not sure what is poor about my mentality – I’m saying that the club is signing players to fill some gaps to enable Emery to compete for a top four spot and give him time to evaluate what this squad can do for him. Arsenal will go after more significant signings the following year. Are most of our players overpaid based on performance? Yes, but hopefully they’ll rectify that this year.

Mahrez is not worth 85 million, simply put.


Personally, I assume that no one is worth x M. If Salah or Kane are worth 150/200M then of course that Mahrez is well worth 85M (price displayed by the media that sent him to City even if it would have been for preference Arsenal “London”). Football does not disturb the rules of our capitalist world. the tags bet on the players are really anything and serve to wash the dirty money of the powerful as well as the various mafia world. Of course, the UFEA and FIFA have closed their eyes for x years even if the new reform… Read more »


Well said. It actually brings joy to my heart when other fans seem to be on the same page and have not bought into all the negativity that has surrounded this club for far too long. Emery’s Arsenal will be a work in progress and any fans that are expecting us to win the league or even finish top 4 may be disappointed. However, the fact that key areas in the squad are being addressed is a real positive and if he can get the players to play as a team that actually look like they know what they are… Read more »


This opinion that we’re entitled to always have a player of Henry’s calibre is infuriating. I’m relatively young, so I’ve only know Arsene’s arsenal, but surely it’s obvious that that invincibles team was almost certainly a once in a lifetime one. Enjoy the players we have, even if they aren’t the best in the world some of them are pretty bloody good. I’d argue no team in England right now has a player even close to Henry’s ability. And we can do better than Mahrez.


Only Ramsey, Lacazette, Mkhitaryan and Aubam are top class players
actually and Mahrez is one of them. To say that we can have better, I doubt it


I don’t understand the obsession with Mahrez- he had one good season but has been mediocre since.

A diminutive attacking midfielder is also exactly what we don’t need another of


Open your eyes, they wear Leicester with Vardy. They are very regular in their performance and able to win a match on an individual action when his team is not at best. A bit Sterling this year.

Near 90min each match make the job and no real sub for him


Open your eyes, they wear Leicester with Vardy.
They are very regular in their performance and able to win a match on an individual action when his team is not at best.

A bit Sterling this year for City.


Open your eyes, they wear Leicester with Vardy.
They are very regular in their performance and able to win a match on an individual action when his team is not at best.

A bit Sterling this year for City.


Elneny was Egypt’s best player and had a fine match.


So far the arsenal army have not shown any departure from their poor work attitude. It shows in their different displays for their countries.

A Different George

I thought Lichtsteiner was very good, absolutely kept Marcello in check (a genuine shit, but probably the best left back in the world), very good passing, plenty of pace (which surprised me) and tremendous determination. Way better than the more measured, though still impressive, performances for Juve in the Champion’s League (I haven’t seen any Italian league matches).


got a cramp after 80 minutes!


Lichtsteiner is a bigger shit than Marcello.

A Different George

If he is, he is our shit.


I, too, thought Lichsteiner was excellent. I was worried about his age and whether he’d be quick enough for a full-back role, but that certainly wasn’t evident against Brazil.


Bonus rating: Wojciech Szczesny continued his streak of schoolboy mistakes in high pressure situations, thus making it look like Arsenal did the right thing by signing Leno


Not to downplay him as a goalkeeper, as I still think he’s a good signing, but Leno has been known to make mistakes too…


Give him credit, it was his usual mistake. Haring out to try and cover for a piece of rabid cockwomblery by his own players and not quite getting there.

Anne Noyd

All keepers make mistakes, it comes with the job. Just look at de Gea the other day. There’s nothing to say Leno won’t do the same on his debut.


Rubbish. First of all he is now a world class keeper and had 10 clean sheets in 14 matches last season for Juventus. He was not remotely to blame for the Senegal goal as he was came out as quickly as possible following defensive error. A terrible mistake to sell him. I am pleased we have signed Leno however

Billy Bob

Sorry to say it but ozil was awful to watch, I can see why fans get irritated with him!!! The Germany manager reminded me of Wenger with the late but ultimately pointless substitution!!! He really should have taken ozil off and brought on Sane, except he didn’t include the latter in the squad!!!


Ozil was not great but certainly not the worst player and did show some creativity but as usual he is made the scapegoat. It is sickening


What about Nacho?


Last year of this contrat (end 2019) with for sub Kolašinac.

Kolašinac: I remain mitigate his defensive contribution. Too much mistake marking or surprise pass to a teammate.

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