A 2-1 victory over Newcastle, our third on the trot, really was a game of two halves. We were drab, slow and predictable before the break and didn’t even manage a shot on target.

The introduction of Lucas Torreira changed all that and after Granit Xhaka’s brilliant free-kick we turned the screw, grabbing what was to be the winning goal thanks to Ozil’s cool finish.

It was a shame we couldn’t keep a clean sheet…but it wouldn’t be Arsenal to do things the easy way.

Read the report and watch the goals here.

Note: If you’re having issues with the ratings not displaying properly on mobile, we are aware of it and trying to sort asap, however, if you view the post in landscape mode everything should fit in nicely until we get that fixed.

Here’s how the players rated…

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PFo
PFo

How many times did Ramsey give away the ball today?

I love it when you call me big PAPASTATHOUPOLOS!
I love it when you call me big PAPASTATHOUPOLOS!

I just don’t understand a rating over 4 for him today by Blogs. He was terrible.Gave the ball away needlessly, got ahead of the play far too often, and looked off the pace too. On the back of his last few games I would say any new contract would be overpaying him. Hoping he comes good soon though, as he can be an important player.

Vonnie
Vonnie

He always does.

Berlingoon
Berlingoon

about as much as often as Mesut.

PFo
PFo

except, not.

according to whoscored Ramsey had double the misplaced passes as Mesut (8 to 4) and was dispossessed 3 times to Mesut’s 0.

Berlingoon
Berlingoon

he made more passes and had way more touches than Mesut so it’s normal that he misplaced more passes. If you work with statistics you can’t just pick out the ones that are working for you, mate.

afan
afan

except yes, ozil hardly touches the ball, that’s why other players make more mistakes than him

afan
afan

ozil has more, by a country mile

A Different George
A Different George

Still a troll.

Voldermort
Voldermort

200k plus a week should sort that out though

Bob
Bob

I really think it’s an issue when we’re a side that is looking to keep possesion

kas
kas

Don’t worry bout Ramsey, he’ll be off in January if he doesn’t sign a new contract. See ‘Nelson’ scored in
Germany today, would rather he’d stayed and fought for that wide position. I’m sure he only brought ‘Miki’ on to keep him sweet

Mpls
Mpls

I would have rather seen Mkhi come on for Ramsey, honestly. Auba was off today, sure, but he was still threatening their back line and works well with Mkhi.

Ramsey looks a bit off the pace and maybe not as fit as previous seasons. Not that I’m fit to judge, it’s just an observation, and it shows a bit.

afan
afan

ramsey has a bad day and gets criticized, ozil alwas has a bad day and nothing is said

Ross Leach
Ross Leach

Probably still not as many times as Alexis does week in week out. Seriously though, let’s support the boys, another 3points! COYG

Jorin
Jorin

I don’t want to be too critical, but have we abandoned the “high press”???

Pedant
Pedant

Sokratis socked it to them. And Xhaka had one of his best matches.

Martin
Martin

If Torreira starts than he and Xhaka can form a great partnership

gooner1981
gooner1981

By far Sokratis’ best game in an Arsenal. Looked a bit quicker, and stronger.

utk
utk

Mustafi tried his hardest to offset that though. Pity as he had a decent game before the international break too, hopefully Kos comes back soon and we see a Papa – Kos partnership maybe

Chicken Caesar Salah
Chicken Caesar Salah

That charge and scissor slide tackle by Sokratis was nothing short of majestic!

Gunn It
Gunn It

I thought Sokratis actually had a very solid game today, was fairly well positioned, and made at least 3 notably great tackles. His performance was what made up for Mustafi’s shocker time and time again.

Nzgooner
Nzgooner

Agreed. Mustafi’s reading of crosses is terrible. Mustafi has his positives, but in a league where most teams cross the ball from the wings multiple times, he puts us in a lot of trouble

Nacho Man
Nacho Man

Props where it is due – Xhaka single-handedly won us that game. Also, what happened to Iwobi? He played so well and then he was dropped the next game (before the international break). Aubameyang has no chemistry with Nacho and he kind of looks lost.

Bergkamp's toe
Bergkamp's toe

he was sick for that game.

Granit kaka
Granit kaka

Bellerins’ legs are gone

Abhay
Abhay

Is it because he has adopted a vegan diet?

Winterburn Wanderers
Winterburn Wanderers

Only got a few minutes but some nice purpose and drive from Welé. Keep going like that and he will have a few goals and help us get matches over the line.

Olivije Žirod
Olivije Žirod

Not so good first half but a much better second one. Maybe it is not a coincidence that we are always worse in the first half since the start of the season. Maybe we are trying to play more at the back to make them press more and tire them out. We are certainly not so fluid going forward.

I must say that Sokratis suprised me in the first few games and today it was his best game. In my opinion he was our best player. Xhaka, Ozil and Cech were also very good. I don’t think Torreira put an especially good performance (I think he was better in his last two games) but he still made us much better. That tells a lot how much we need him on the pitch. Overall the most important thing is we got the 3 points and the 2nd away win in a row which is massive for our confidence.

Cyprus The Immortal Gooner
Cyprus The Immortal Gooner

Hector had a good game but it is inexcusable to be 2-0 up and be so much out of position on the 90th minute and concede a goal. Sone things are hardwired in some
of our players and may need some time to fix them…

Steohen
Steohen

Agreed. He was chasing back to the box when the ball was crossing the line. Priority #1 is to protect the flank. Priority #2 is to take advantage of possession and move forward. It’s like he’s got it backwards.

A Different George
A Different George

Many managers today simply don’t agree that “protecting the flank” is a fullback’s first priority. If it were, Trippier and Benjamin Mendy would never get a start–let alone Marcello and Dani Alves.

Damon sefton
Damon sefton

Totally agree, 2-0 up as a full back on the opposite side to the cross he has to be covering his center half. Dreadful defending.

Kinghenrythe14th
Kinghenrythe14th

Loving the new rating system interface. No more fat finger mistakes… Lol.
Excellent win today. Pity we didn’t get the clean sheet.
Haha spudlings! Back to back losses either side of the interlul for the “title contenders” 😂

GraeB
GraeB

Make that 3 – Spudz lost to Spain at Wembley too! (Although could have been saved by Welbz if ref hadn’t taken pity on Manure keeper. I’m finding it hard to support my country when it’s half full of Spudz).

Be nice to get back ahead of them and mock disappearance of “Mind the Gap” tee shirts in my pub (although my own Mind the Watford Gap comments went down well last week!). The return of St Totteringham’s Day plus a bit of Cup silverware would amount to a great season.

PFo
PFo

Ok, I’m not really a huge fan of his, but I think the rating for Mustafi is harsh. Yes, he made a high profile error in the first half (the “slip” that went unpunished), and was beaten for the header at the end of the game (though for my money Hector is more to blame there, as the CB’s were outnumbered), but otherwise thought he was pretty commanding, winning a lot on the ground and especially the air.
Unlikely to ever become truly top class, but recently he’s done more good than bad, and he’s not getting credit for his upturn in form simply because most Arsenal fans have decided at this point that they don’t like/rate him.

Lesster
Lesster

Yes, for sure
But that sleep though, it’s hard to be confident about him

Guns Up
Guns Up

Disagree. May have been outnumbered, but not by Clark. Bellerin’s responsibility there is whichever Newcastle player was running to back post behind Clark (who, as you rightly point out, was running free). Mustafi drifted back to no man’s land between two attackers – Clark and whoever Sokratis was tracking – effectively defending neither. His lack of positional awareness and inability to track a run effectively was exposed for the 1000th time. Had the ball gone past Clark and been finished by the late runner, it’s on Bellerin. This one was on Mustafi.

PFo
PFo

Sure, he could have just stuck to one attacker and let the other guy go completely free, but it’s understandable getting thrown off when you’re forced into having to worry about multiple runners into the box at the same time, all by yourself; if Bellerin’s in position, then Mustafi just sticks to one guy and isn’t in no man’s land. Not saying he’s blameless; saying the origin of the breakdown is with Hector.

Guns Up
Guns Up

I’d agree with you if he had been between Bellerin’s man and Clark, but he wasn’t. He was between Clark and whoever it was that Sokratis was marking. If you have two runners, you pick whoever is the most immediate goal threat – in this case, Clark. In any case, to be fair, failure to track runners is a problem throughout the team. Here’s hoping the famous Emery video sessions will fix it.

PFo
PFo

yeah, fair enough.

Reality check
Reality check

When crosses are whipped in your box, you go after the ball to clear it and not defend spaces or closely mark opponents.. your argument might be fair but not the reasoning.. i think Mustafi misjudged the cross just as he misjudged that high ball in the first half.
.

Mutisya

My exact sentiments. Mustafi has become a battering ram. if you didn’t watch the match and scroll through twitter, you’d believe he had a 1/10 game. we really need to back our players. he was far from dreadful. he had a solid 6/10 match

Hantal
Hantal

Not sure why mki was brought on today- elnenys hustle might have helped tighten up the midfield

Chamahkyoungpark
Chamahkyoungpark

Because Auba was having a stinker

Hantal
Hantal

I didn’t say he should have stayed on. I said he was replaced by the wrong player

Ourchildrensworld

What’s everyone’s thoughts on Torreira still not getting a start?

He’s clearly the midfielder we need. Love Guendouzi and can see why Emery wants to get the best out of Xhaka but surely the choice has to be between them 2?

He’s match fit, hasn’t really put a foot wrong and makes an impact every time he plays. Am i missing something?
(Not hypothetical)

Guns Up
Guns Up

With 100%. Astonished every time I see the lineup without him in it. Seems to get an extra couple minutes each time out. Maybe by Xmas he’ll get a start. Who am I to question Emery, but I don’t get it.

TeeCee
TeeCee

I dunno, maybe we’re just being sensible and not risking giving a full 90 to a player who was subbed off with a tight muscle in his last game.

utk
utk

Also bringing Lucas Torreira on when the other team is slightly more tired is good for him as he would may get that extra split second on the ball which possibly might aid him in adapting from the Italian league to the PL idk but would definitely like to see him start with Xhaka we look at lot more secure

SantiSandler
SantiSandler

Can we stop starting Guendouzi and continue with Torreira? Please and thank you

jon

The “hard work” Emery talks about seems to pay off. The whole team looked quick and fit, but they are still to sleepish without the ball during the play-out-from-behind phase. If this is to suceed, the player with possesion needs more passing options.

meneam
meneam

At the 90 th minutes , i was thinking that this was best defensive display by bellerin for god knows how long :D,,, he actually blocked 2 or 3 crosses and defended 2 corners but of course he had to go to sleep for their goal. however, i think xhaka, bellerin and Sokratis were very good today and improved upon the poor performances in the first couple of matches.. not sure what’s ramsey’s role in our team all he seems to do is running and turn over possession

PFo
PFo

Ramsey’s supposed to be playing as a number 10, but he’s completely unsuited for the role, given that (a) he’s not particularly creative, (b) he’s not very good at playing on the half-turn (this being one of the most underrated skills in the sport: watch Mesut, or even Iwobi, do this, and thereby get our transition game through the middle third going), and (c) he’s not nearly tidy enough in possession.

Ramsey’s skill set means he should be a top class (world class may be a stretch) number 8–think a more talented version of the way Milner’s been playing for ‘Pool lately, or even someone like Vidal or Rakitic. But I’ve become increasingly convinced that the years of Wenger’s lack of direction/instruction/discipline (plus frequent injuries) have ruined him for that. Basically, he had one brilliant season getting on the end of things in the box and scoring lots of goals, and after that Arsene (and Coleman for Wales) let him get away with completely concentrating on that “glory” side of his game, to the detriment of developing his midfield spatial awareness, tidiness of touch, passing reliability, etc.

So now 2018 Ramsey is almost entirely a final third player (except for some good but somewhat sporadic defensive tracking/tackling). He’s still quite useful in that capacity, mind, it’s just that, if we’re trying to accommodate both Laca and Auba, I’m not sure we need him in there too. Basically, today’s front 4 contained three players (Rambo, Auba, Laca) who all mostly want to be getting on the end of things, and only one skillful, ball-playing type (Ozil) who mostly wants the ball to his feet so he can then create. I think the balance is off, especially since none of them particularly want to play wide. 2 finishers and 2 ball-players is a better balance. Starting Micki or Iwobi for one of the finishers, along with Torreira coming in in midfield, will improve the team’s balance. On present evidence, I think Ramsey’s the one who should make way.

(If Emery wants to switch to a proper 4-3-3 rather than 4-2-3-1/4-2-2-2, and Ramsey wants to actually play as a proper midfielder again, then that might change my mind; but up to now, neither has shown themselves all that interested in that alternative.)

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

I think that’s more or less a fair assessment of Ramsey apart from saying he’s not creative; he actually got the same number of assists as Ozil last season in the league and from a deeper position (plus almost double the goals, again important for a 10 and oft overlooked on here). Also think he’d be better at 8 in a midfield 3 but that causes issues for other players. For example, I’m still not convinced by Ozil on the right and not sure how well he’d transition to 8 either. Perhaps a moot point as Emery doesn’t look like he’ll be changing formation any time soon.

Mpls
Mpls

Yes, If Emery is going to let Ramsey be a free flow attacker with deep runs, we can’t afford to line him up as an 8. It leaves far too much hole in the midfield. If he’s an 8, which he has had periods of being very good at (the Arteta pairing), those runs have to be limited some and he’s got to focus more on positioning and tackling, and possession passing.

I’m having a hard time seeing his best role in the formation and style Emery is using.

PFo
PFo

I think we *might* be able to line him up as an 8, if we’re playing with 3 CM’s, but not with just 2. times have changed, even in the last 5 years, and I don’t think you can get away with one Arteta-style player covering all the midfield space by himself any more. Ramsey+Torreira+Xhaka/Guen could work, but Ramsey would have to commit to being far more involved in deeper midfield positions, both in and out of possession.

PFo
PFo

I agree Ozil doesn’t really work on the right in a 4-2-3-1 (well, at best he just ends up playing at 10), but I think he can play on the right, or the left for that matter, as part of the front 3 in a 4-3-3. have seen him play there quite effectively for Germany many times, and even for us occasionally. it’s not too dissimilar to the way he played in the 3-4-3 we were playing in 2017.

As for creativity, I guess I’ll concede for the sake of argument that getting assists speaks in favor of a player’s creativity, but it’s hardly decisive consideration: e.g. a battering ram old school CF could actually get a lot of assists (from knockdowns, etc–think Niall Quinn for Sunderland 15-20 years ago), but no one would call them “creative”. Obviously it’s a complex, and therefore subjective, description, but for me Ramsey just doesn’t have a very creative eye (no doubt some glorious counterexamples being the exceptions that prove the rule).

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

People bring up Germany a lot when talking about Ozil on the wing but Arsenal are simply not Germany circa 2014, and the premier league today is nothing like the international scene back then. The German side of that era bossed possession against 99% of the teams they came across and generally dominated international football for a moment. He had the freedom to wander from the flank into his preferred central positions without having to worry too much about scoring goals or providing width or what happens if they lost the ball. It’s simply not the same here, the games he plays for Arsenal are much more competitive, the physical demands more stringent. He could adapt, but it’s by no means a natural fit.

As far as I can see the only time he’s consistently played well for us on the flank was when we went 3-4-3 but there he had a wing back and a right-sided centre back to cover for him. That formation kind of requires the wide players to come in to support the striker centrally, and make room for the wing backs, so it suited him and Sanchez excellently. Can’t see us going back to that now though.

Finally while I appreciate your point about how it’s possible to get assists in a lot of different ways, I’d argue that the assists Ramsey got don’t quite fit the Niall Quinn category! (Glorious counterexamples from last season in the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NvD517OR0X4)

Raphael
Raphael

Might help you to look at bigger picture and not 8 assists over a season as defining creative. He is slow, holds onto ball too long too often, over/under hits passes. To even compare with Ozil is like comparing bendtner with bergkamp

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

Wait hang on, what’s wrong with looking at last season? Or are we just going to ignore facts that are inconvenient for you? There are things that Ozil does much better than Ramsey but the converse is true too; your Berkgamp/Bendtner comparison is absolute bobbins.

N10
N10

Nice analysis.

Ozil is a subtle floater, kind of like Aubamayeng but with the instinct to pass rather than shoot. Ozil doesn’t have the dribbling and leadership/planning skills of Modric (Torreira does, though!), he is the guy who stealthily connects the attack and creates something out of nothing. He’s not really a false 9 but he does fly under the radar like one.

Completely agree with: “Starting Micki or Iwobi for one of the finishers, along with Torreira coming in in midfield, will improve the team’s balance.” Both Mkhi and Iwobi can handle the ball fairly well, but they could be better, it is a skill sorely lacking on our team.

If we could get Modric, what a way to rub it in against Potatoes, but barring that remote possibility, someone like him, to create a solid link between Ozil, Torreira and our attacking dynamic duo.

Get creative, Unai!

Afobaba
Afobaba

The race is on for top 4

Afobaba
Afobaba

Woeful.first half

Monkey knees
Monkey knees

Have a feeling that Ramsey knows he’s off in January. He hasn’t looked his normal self. I ignore his detractors, as (even Phil bloooody Thompson said on SS) he is a priceless goal scoring midfielder. He isn’t putting 100% in, but he obvs has love for the club, and us fans… As we for him; but, he’s head isn’t there. It will be sad, but i cant see him staying. Torreira and Xhaka must start. Granits best 45 for a long time, when Lucas came on. I’d love to see Mavro with Sokratis (who, i must admit, is getting better and better!!!) As mustafi, though not as bad as some say, makes silly mistakes at costly times. That’s his downfall.

Raphael
Raphael

Just for factual clarity. Ramsey (goal scoring midfielder) has scored 19 goals in 107 games over last four seasons. Who’s good at maths, averaging 4 goals a season. Some goal scoring midfielder that.

George
George

Mustafi is a real worry. So too Cech’s passing – at least give him more licence to mix it up with long kicks. Poor guy.

As an aside, fuck Bein sports. I’ll do everything humanly possibly to avoid their shower-of-shit coverage from now on even though they are part of my cable subscription. Those in-game goal breaks are fecking awful and have no place in a free-flowing game like football. And whoever thought of (and signed off on) the floating DVD-logo should be taken out to the woods and shot or publicly ridiculed. And then shot. I’ve never seen a more amateurish and narcissistic from of shameless self-aggrandisement. And they don’t even give it a chance to land in the corner of the screen! (I sent them a calmer email to let them know what I think – can’t hurt).

Back-to-back away wins, though. We’ll take that!

Monkey knees
Monkey knees

Hector needs to get back on the meat… Bit of natural iron/protein etc will get his legs back

George
George

lol. Because I’m sure he’s eating artificial iron/protein.

arjuna
arjuna

those pics are just LOL

Enias Tom
Enias Tom

My thought, Mik should start for Ramsey and the coach would have solved our fluidity, especially in creating chances. I don’t care who he brings in to partner with whoever among xhaka, guandozi and Torreira. Otherwise we are a better team than we were last season.

afan
afan

what is it with our defence, why do they keep playing it back to cech in difficult positions, instead of just booting it up field

santori
santori

Thought Mustafi was AGAIN better than rated. Several decisive clearances and he stepped up to intercept a couple of balls too. Just not as spectacular as Sokratis. One slip Which happens…but apart from that pretty much the same level in performance as Sokratis.

Sokratis made a hash of a clearance into the middle which fortunately amounted to nothing for the bar codes.

Granit was very good. He put in a critical tackle early on in first half when one of their players was in on goal.

Superb goal.

Lacazette also worked hard and had some great moments but no goal alas.

Aubameyang was average. Seems to be lacking confidence bc he can’t beat his man on a one on one.

The issue with Guendouzi and Torreira, well its not a zero sum game. We need all 3 of Granit, Torreira and Guendouzi to rotate through this campaign if we are to sustain effort.

Torreira’s impact a bit exaggerated. He was good pushing us forward but also made several errors which if he were certain other players he would have been roundly chastised.

One instance he was easily turned by one of their players.

Also a poor misplaced pass on another albeit of course he did get the ball back.

Overall, it was an OK performance if somewhat of a struggle.

Central to the issue I feel is the balance in midfield. I don’t think I have issue with either Guendouzi/Granit or Granit/Torreira.

The problem lies more further forward with Ozil, Ramsey or Mhkitaryan.

They are decent but they are very similar players who have to pass and play to get us through on goal.

We need a bit of variance which is what is fundamentally lacking. We have lost the sort of instigator Alexis was and lack pace in transition as we have to rely on fullbacks to come up to support which slows the process down (allows the other side to organise)

This is a fundamental issue facing Emery that will be difficult to solve given current assets on hand and the need to accommodate certain players bc of contract or salary.

A Different George
A Different George

I try to read your posts; I often agree with some of your points (certainly Mustafi and Xhaka are both much better than credited by fans; when Monreal (who I like a lot) makes the same mistakes, everyone ignores them). These points, I think, are based on watching the game, instead of deciding ahead of time what you will see.

But then you do the same thing to fit players into some analytic theory: no, Ramsey and Ozil are not “very similar players” even if (as you think) both “have to pass and play to get through on goal.” No reasonable observer could think they play in a similar way, have similar strengths, skills, or weaknesses. Yes, neither play like Alexis Sanchez; neither does Marouane Fellaini, but he’s not like Ozil or Ramsey either.

Shazyp
Shazyp

Is it just me or is there anyone else who was pissed off with what Shearer said about us on MOTD. How he’s more upset by Newcastle losing to us than with other teams, because we are not a very good side. The senile cuntbag SMH