Thursday, September 28, 2023

Southampton 3-2 Arsenal – player ratings

A bad day at the office as two goals from Danny Ings and a late winner from Charlie Austin condemned the Gunners to a first defeat since August despite two goals from Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

There’s also bad news on the injury front as both Hector Bellerin and Stephan Lichtsteiner picked up knocks with the Spaniard set to miss the whole of the festive period with a calf strain.

Read the Southampton 3-2 Arsenal match report and see the goals here


The ratings are now hidden by default until you vote, but if you just want to view the ratings and the comments, flick the switch at the top above Bernd Leno. Also, give the ratings a few seconds to load.

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Even though suspension made it difficult for us, I still think we got it wrong with the formation though, playing three at the back was a bad move.. Our game is usually stifled when we play without Xhaka in the middle… We will pick up from here and have another run of decent unbeaten games.. Another learning curve.


i think the original plan was to play monreal as the LCB but sead’s late injury forced emery to move xhaka to the back 3

DB’s first touch

Would rather we had kept Monreal at LCB and brought AMN in for Sead. I think it was clear we missed Xhaka in the middle and Iwobi and Mkhitaryan had too little of the ball in the first half because of that. It could have been fixed too when bellerin went off and we switched to a back 4 by having AMN come in and sliding Monreal to CB

Upstate Gooner

Spot on

Faisal Narrage

I don’t think Emery wanted 2/3 of our back 3 to be 2 small fullbacks.
In hindsight, that proved to be the case as Saints had a lot of luck targeting us through crosses (all 3 goals came from there).

Xhaka was added there because he wanted physical presence and height to combat that, and logically that made sense as that’s exactly what Saints targeted. Every argument they would’ve been more success with Monreal as a LCB next to Kos and Litch.

Kartik Iyer

Even though xhaka has height I don’t think he’s good enough to mark strikers and win headers. He lets people get past way too easy. But that’s okay, it’s not his job. Would have been better to play Nacho and koscielny in a back 4 or we could have kept xhaka as lwb in a back 3. Even better why not use one of the youth players like maybe medley or pleguezuelo who are actually CBs? When will they get a chance if not when ur having a defensive crisis. Why play players outta position or let injuries force your… Read more »

Faisal Narrage

I don’t completely disagree, I just don’t understand the complaints of Xhaka at CB when he was our best of the 3 CBs today and was not at fault for any of the goals, mean whilst Monreal was partially at fault for one for not closing down and Kos (not match fit) was at fault for 2 of the goals Just seems odd for people to zero in on Xhaka at CB as if he was bad. I’m just saying I understand why Emery did it. I personally will always prefer playing talented but inexperienced youth at the right position… Read more »

Upstate Gooner

Playing 3 in the back against Soton with Xhaka out of position was a bit… umm… cautious and dumb. Kosc and Monreal would have done the job better, IMHO. And starting Iwobi is like losing a sub right away. It’s been proven time and time again that we’re better with Lacazette out there. We definitely rode our luck during this 22 game unbeaten streak but it finally ran out. Leno got exposed… and Kosc… well, I’m sorry to say but his career was over the second his ACL was raptured.


We failed to jump on three occasions and get punished three times by a bottom club, which haven’t won a home game in 8 month. And with the other top 4 contenders winninh, this is difficult to swallow….


disappointing. team looked fatigued which is worrying for the festive period but COYG!

First loss since August is progress so lets stick with the lads. Lots more games to play


Nearly all this team had the week off. Fatigue is just not a realistic excuse. Tottenham played nearly all of their first team away this week and still managed to screw a win. Its not about fatigue. Its about mentality. Too many of these players are Wengers mentally weak players. It will take a good 2 or 3 transfer periods before we weed them out.


a player of Auba’s quality and reputation should be scoring the chances he missed today.


He does miss a lot of good chances, but he’s always been this way and probably won’t change.

He just creates so many chances for himself with his movement and pace that he ends up with a lot of goals, despite wasting a lot of chances.

Upstate Gooner

Sorry, Gio, but that is the difference between winning and losing.


A good striker should take his chances

Billy Enfield

@ Jack. Agreed mate. He should have had a hat trick today, as he should have had every game for the last 3 months. He’s missing way too many clear cut chances

Bimal Bhattarai

Bonus ratings?




Thorough analysis on Mkhitaryan performance bloggs.

Tim Miller

I have to admit, I do not enjoy watching Iwobi play football at the moment. Sad for Kos, he should have been eased back into it, but the circumstances forced him to start. Ultimately, we need more control in midfield. I struggle to see the benefits of a fit Xhaha played out of position.

Woolwich Shepherd

Feel bad for Kos. Love the guy. I hope he can get back to full fitness, but I worry his Achilles has permanently altered his ability to jump. Mkhitaryn seems to be growing into the team. Excellent work rate. Ozil brought nothing to the team.


Sorry but this is the same Kos we’ve seen before, poor positioning for crosses and outmuscled in the box by strong forwards. Let’s blame Mustafi for stupid dive last week and Socratis for stupid challenges.

Billy Enfield

Thank you GraeB. I rated Koscielny 0.5! Although Leno had a hand on second (bad position) it looked exactly the same goal as the first. Didn’t Koscielny learn from the first where he was positioned about 2 yards too far in front of Ings? Third? Where was our “Rock-Solid Captain”???? Having a kip!!! I know it’s classified as Leno’s Mistake (rightly so), but Koscielny is not chicken spring and should be head and shoulders Leader. With people that are going to thumb me down because he just came back from injury, his extremely poor positioning the entire game has nothing… Read more »

Upstate Gooner

Love Ozil but I have to agree here. However, I think it’s as much Ozil’s fault as it is Emery’s. Him and Mikhi play pretty much the same position and just occupy each other’s space. Ramsey would have been a much better choice.


Watch Ozil for the third goal during the turnover. I’m sorry, but that is unacceptable. He could have easily won the ball back.


Yes but he was great against Leicester so it doesn’t matter

Upstate Gooner

Right… and Leno had absolutely nothing to do with it


I’m very worried about Iwobi. I think the “revival/rebirth” talk was premature, as he’s as frustrating to watch as Gervinho was, and he’s at Adama Traore levels of [lack of] end product – we actually got more output, on average, from Gervinho.


Why do you specifically compare with black players


Not a racial thing. First, my concern for Iwobi is two-fold, as I’m Nigerian and he also plays for my national team. Then, as for the comparison, as I watched the game I noticed I felt the same with him today as I did when watching Gervinho years ago. I thought “he’s just another Gervinho” but then again, Arsenal is a blip in Gervinho’s career, actually – he’s been good everywhere else, including currently at Parma. That’s why I made the point of highlighting Gervinho’s output was better even for us.


(my initial response to this appears to have been moderated into oblivion and I don’t know why). To summarize – I’m Nigerian, like Iwobi; Gervinho WAS frustrating too but actually had numbers on his side, unlike Iwobi. Additionally, Traore is notoriously wasteful for such a good dribbler.

Desert Gooner

Bore off Mrnkrm! I think that’s a fair observation. Both are attacking players and Iwobi is in danger of becoming a player of unfulfilled potential … like Gervinho!

Tommy Gunner

Pipe down mate and don’t try to create an issue where there isn’t one


Dear Arseblog, can you please let my responses out of moderation jail? People are upvoting a suggestion that I’m potentially r@cist against because I used some fairly obvious comparisons to make a point about a specific player. I think my explanation clears that up.


Iwobi plays for my national team hence I care double; Gervinho was just as frustrating but actually produced more; Adama is notorious for having no end product.

Reality check

I know what you are implying but I don’t think there is any thing malicious in that comment. I think the word “frustrating” was the key. Gervinho, Adama and Iwobi have a lot more in common other than just frustrating the heck out of people because of not being consistant. Pace, strength, dribbling and a sense of untapped-wasted potential are other similar qualities they share.

Woolwich Shepherd

Yeah, what’s up with Iwobi? All of a sudden looks out of his depth. Seems to be unclear of his role. I suppose if he landed that curler in the upper corner we’d be saying something different, but it just wasn’t enough. I guess the run had to end at some point but losing from a Charlie Austin header is like a kick in the nuts.


Blogs, please publish my responses to my accuser below, please? They’re harmless and explanatory.


[draws breath] Take 3…

1. I’m Nigerian. My concern for Iwobi is two-fold. He plays for my national team.

2. His performances lately bring up the same feelings I had when Gervinho played for us – not good. But on reflection today, Gervinho actually produced for us far more than Iwobi ever has. I felt I should highlight that.

3. Adama Traore is a gifted dribbler, but he’s notoriously wasteful. It seemed a fair comparison.

Love Jackie

I think the criticism of Iwobi is really off. He gets a lot of stick around here. The boy is our most erratic player. Many laud the Mahrezs and the Helder Costas for their skill and trickery, but forget that for every two wonderful instances the attempt creates, there will be one or some that may go terribly. He brings something no other player in this team can manage. He doesn’t lose possession any more than Ozil or misplace passes any more than Xhaka does under pressure. I thought taking him off was erroneous today. Ozil and Mhiki are practically… Read more »


Let’s tread lightly.. Özil is German.


I don’t think i’ll ever forget now that eddymc2 is Nigerian, Gervinho was frustrating and Adams Trapre has no end product.


Heh 😀

My bad, but the moderation made me desperate to get some clarity out there…it’s pretty scary being labeled as one thing you’re not because you expressed a relatively balanced opinion.


Iwobi played well… Could have done better though like everyone else. Leaning back to take that curler from Aubameyang’s backheel was a goof. That said, it is ok to lose too. No one wins them all. Let’s support the lads through this moment of “reality check”…

I see progress…


If Iwobi had scored what was an easy chance for a decent player we would have been ahead and probably would have won. He is not good enough. Although Leno is a good shot stopper teams will now send in as many high crosses as possible. For the second week in a row teams have been allowed by the ref to kick us.


The refs seems to think its ok for hard playing teams to kick us around without any reactions. This has cost us several injuries, and points…..

scott rice

I agree that this referee allowed too many fouls to go unpunished. In some cases yellow card fouls didn’t even result in a free kick. Sky TV did not even mention Ing’s late challenge on Koscielny which had Kos in pain. I think I detected Kos limping for the next few minutes (including when he tried to catch Ing for the first goal. The same player should have received a second yellow for a foul on Guendouzi. I think it was one of the worst refereeing performances for a long while. Perhaps he thought the Saints were managed by Alex… Read more »

Dr Zebra

Though of course Leno was at fault for their 3rd goal, we can’t discount how much we missed our matchfit central defenders for each of their goals. Not to blame Kos, it’s just a lot to come into after being out for so long

ricky rick

Learning game, looked like everything was going against us but we hang in there – we battled. Compare this with the meek 4-0 there a few years ago. Give Kos a break, he just came back. I think he just struggled to jump/get off the ground and so he went with his foot instead of heading the ball away for the first goal. If you miss a few headers, this meant Leno couldn’t trust him in the last goal, probably felt he had to come rather than repeat the mistake of the first goal. That said, our attacking play was… Read more »


Things will change with more new players brought by Emery and the new scouting ppl. This season will go like this but top 4 looks very possible anyway

ricky rick

For sure. We’re still performing ok for a transition season, hope we can survive the Xmas period and be within touching distance. Past that, I have full faith in the history of the Tottenham.


Emery got it wrong today
Xhaka and LK6 … BAD CHEMISTRY at CB. Monreal at CB would have been better for LK6.

Woolwich Shepherd

I wondered the same thing. Montreal at CB seemed more sensible. Maitland-Niles on the left could have started. Is Mavropanos hurt or on loan? He looked promising at the end of last season.

Woolwich Shepherd



Been injured for ages.

Faisal Narrage

As stated above, it appears Emery’s logic was that he was concerned Saints would target our defence with crosses and physicality, which is exactly what they did and how they scored all 3 headers. Xhaka was added for height, so I don’t see how Monreal there would’ve prevented that. There’s every argument they would’ve been even more successful with the crosses.


1. Monreal reads the game better than Xhaka, which leads to better defensive positioning, so would probably have been a more secure partner for a rusty Koscielny.

2. Height does not equal aerial ability; there are several players who are relatively short but extremely good in the air, e.g. Cahill and Icardi. I’d say Monreal is significantly better in the air than Xhaka, not for his height, but his timing. Danny Ings is not especially tall (actually shorter than Monreal) but scored from two brilliantly taken headers, due to timing and movement, not height.


Emery got it all wrong from the start. Back 3 is not working for us at the moment, and we could have put anyone instead of Kos out there and would have had a better result. Emery NEEDS to find a way to fit Ozil, Laca, Auba, and Mhiki in the same team. Iwobi has potential, but he has been very poor recently. Mhiki is a proven player, and although Blogs doesn’t rate him :), he is a player that can provide end product and work his socks off for the team.


Mkhi apart from goals today,he offered nothing…no through pass,no creativity,nothing….and I wonder what Lichtsteiner is doing …should have gone for a young right back from a relegation team instead of him.
I still think we should be played Ozil instead of mkhi


Wasn’t it him who created the chance that Auba wasted with a lovely pass?

Matt P

Yeah but don’t let that get in the way of bashing ‘the Armenian’

Billy Enfield

Apart from 2 goals, fantastic passes to Aubameyang and (I think was) Lacazetteand working his backside off all game, yeah! I agree with you, he was awful!
What game were you watching?
Our worse performers today were Koscielny, Iwobi, and Aubameyang… in that order


See when emery flogs Mkhi in the summer…

Fireman Sam

Mkhitaryan is pretty good and at least has a spark of energy and creativity to run at defenders and make quick clever passes

Faisal Narrage

“Emery NEEDS to find a way to fit Ozil, Laca, Auba, and Mhiki in the same team”

I don’t like like this logic.
All evidence has shown that you simply can’t fit in all 3, I don’t see the need of simply demanding Emery “somehow” make it work like he’s some kind of magician, whilst ignoring all the evidence that cramming in all of them simply doesn’t provide enough balance.

And Iwobi has zero end product, unquestionably. However he’s currently our best dribbler in a squad with none, which is why he plays.


We were shite


Three late challenges in a row just before their first goal….. poor refereeing


Very generous with the players ratings. I thought we were very poor. I’ll give credit to 3 players who at least did ok. Torreira, Xhaka and Mhkitarian. The rest were very poor, desperation throwing Koscielny back in for this game, he was so off the pace. You can’t blame him or the manager necessarily for him being played, but it really showed, our defence was all over the place and we made them look better than us in the final third, because we offered next to nothing at the other end. Emery however has to take responsibility with his team… Read more »


Hell of a paragraph!

Faisal Narrage


Fireman Sam


Big Sheezy

In all fairness to the back line, I knew we didn’t stand a chance when my wife walked in the room and plopped her fat ass down. As soon as she hit the sofa, southhampton scored their third. We never stood a chance. I’ve since packed her bags and called her a cab. Brighter days ahead from here on out.

Woolwich Shepherd

Dude. She’s your wife. Show some respect.


Saints alive, you should blame the cat, not the wife. Leno’s cat flap for the third for example.
Had to happen sooner or later, we have been riding our luck for ages, apart from the spuds game. Hopefully do them over this week to get back on track. And Manure were smashed by Liverpool so not all bad. Got to harden the fuck up over Xmas-New Year to say in top four race tho. Kind draw should see us do that if we HTFU.


Really bad timing to miss both center backs, if only one of them are available.


Southampton were more energetic all over the pitch. They pushed us backwards – we struggled to play through their press, giving up possession time after time. Can’t understand why it took so long to hook Iwobi, and why it wasn;t Ramsey who replaced him. We had a makeshift defence and lacked control in the middle which exposed them.


Is it just me or has having Kos and Nacho back in the defence really smh reverted us to that lackluster defensive “build up” we had around the end if Wenger’s tenure? Ik he coming back from a big injury, but I genuinely thought he always wasn’t great in the air at reading crosses. If Lichtsteiner won all he did the way he is playing now, then that either speaks much about Seire A or he is an absolute shadow of himself because Hector is 10x the player he is already. And why can’t Guendouzi just keep it simple and… Read more »

Olivije Žirod

We knew before the game that we will struggle at the back so we should have started with the team that can retain possession. Koscielny was literally thrown straight into the one of the most physical games in the season and it is just sad that our fanbase criticize him that much. It is also time that Cech comes back into the starting lineup. I hope that fans who were so critical of him can also now be critical of Leno. He had his chances and he made quite a few mistakes. Cech was great at the start of the… Read more »


I won’t crucify Leno for his very questionable decision, but his spot on the lineup really needs to be questioned. He got in because of Cech’s injury and this whole narrative of being an expensive signing who’s 25 years old, rather than on performance. He’s made mistakes against Liverpool – 2 of them (van dijk missed the header), against spurs and now today as well. He hasn’t really made a of “top” saves, like the one he made today. This is not a knee-jerk reaction. I’ve had the same view for weeks now. I would be happy for Leno to… Read more »


What is the target Unai has set for Iwobi..All he does is 10 step overs in all the matches and nothing else..his shooting is always bad and wrt to crosses I think monreal and kola has more accuracy.


Not a easy game – to play or to watch. What the hell’s the deal with Özil? One spectacular game against Leicester but otherwise he’s been utterly dreadful. At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised to seem him moved on for loss at the first opportunity.


We shouldn’t have loaned out Chambers. But here we are. Xhaka at CB seemed like begging for a PK, but give the guy credit. He’s actually pretty good in the air. Shocking game all in all. If this form starts to become a habit, bring up some of the kids.


Have you seen Fulham?


Is it fair to say that we actually missed Mustafi today? The man who has scored two goals and won the most aerial duels for Arsenal.


Shame he dived through the air last week then.


He was kicked on his foot while he was in the air, it wasn’t a dive.


and Son’s?

Faisal Narrage

For all the talk of the window, we’re not gonna go and buy a whole new squad next month. Emery has done wonders so far, but I fear this squad is gonna run out of steam. Our squad isn’t as big as we think, and I’m hoping Emery leans on some of our youth because we’re going to have to depend on them, due to fitness and fatigue leading to a lack of form. The likes of Smith-Rowe, Maitland-Niles, Eddie, maybe even Saka, and hopefully some CBs can step up like Medley if Mavros doesn’t get fit soon. We look… Read more »

Olivije Žirod

For everyone who are saying that we are so much better. Just to compare the first 17 games: Defending: 2018/19: 23 goals, 3 clean sheets (facing 12,6 shots per game) 2017/18: 19 goals, 8 clean sheets (faced 8,3 shots per game), Attacking: 2018/19: 37 goals (13,1 shots per game) 2017/18: 29 (17 shots per game) Summary: How can people say that we are better defensively than last year? This year we are constantly letting chances but luckily we are not punished like we were last year for every mistake we made. On the other hand we are way more efficient… Read more »

Billy Enfield

I’m not arguing about facts and stats, but when you call us “Lucky” it made me chuckle. We constantly are on the wrong end of the refs decision, being last season or this season. I’d be curious to know (if you’re kindly inclined) about the stats of penalties we conceded and won, last season and this season. At the first half, in the space of under a minute, we had 3 players laying on the floor hurt because of their Stoke-esque tackles and I suspect that 2 of those tackles deserved yellow, but the ref didn’t even award a fee… Read more »


Wrong formation & players
That would of won the game !!!


We thought we were the dogs bollocks when we beat the homeless and thought we’d won the champions league! Been poor since but hopefully we’ll show the same reaction as we did before. Hopefully the boss will ram home the fact that you get the same number of points no matter who you beat


Leno: 10 starts- 3 errors leading to a goal, 1 clean sheet.
All this good with feet thing allowing us to build play from the back is ok but he is making way too frequent mistakes for my liking.
Time to get Cech back in the league?

Fireman Sam



We were gonna lose at some point. Just annoying that is was Southampton away and not a more difficult game but hey, still within touching distance of 4th so not all hope is lost. Sokratis and Mustafi are back from next week so that’s a plus (I know it’s hard to say having Mustafi is a plus but in this case it is!)


Its Mustafi’s fault.

Ozil is shit bc clearly Leno could not do anything for the third goal.

Koscielny is going to play for us till he is 45.

etc etc.

Billy Enfield

LOL @ Santori.
You forgot Xhaka. It’s Xhaka’s fault for Auba not scoring because he distracted him and Global Warming


We were garbage and got what we deserved.

Still can’t fathom why Iwobi gets so much playing time.

Billy Enfield

Simple. He’s the only genuine winger we’ve got in our club


Apparently you can’t mention the Arseblog darling that is Iwobi without the post going to moderation.

It happens every single time.


Ramsey is great.


Oh look, no mention of I**bi, and no moderation. What a farce.

Billy Enfield



So if I’m understanding all these comments correctly, – Leno is questionable – Kos is past it and was never that good anyway – auba ( the premier league’s top scorer) Isn’t a top striker – Ozil is garbage and should be sold!!!(What the fucking fuck) -iwobi isn’t premier league quality Get real guys. We just played a game with 4 of the 5 recent regular defenders missing, Two 33 year olds playing their first match in months, and two more injuries to defenders during the match. We were always going to concede a few in this match.Had Auba got… Read more »

Billy Enfield

Mate. We are having a chat on Arsenal family, not in Skysports. Talking about this particular game and highlighting our weaknesses.
It’s okay to criticise all players, instead of just picking on the same ones.
Constructive criticism is good. What gets me is when we have an opinion and start slating certain players, irrelevant of their performance.

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