Arsenal moved to within a point of the top four with a 2-1 win over bottom of the league Huddersfield today. Goals from Alex Iwobi and Alexandre Lacazette put the Gunners 2-0 ahead, only for a Sead Kolasinac own goal in injury time to prevent a first away clean sheet of the season.

The three points were very welcome, the performance a bit underwhelming as the home side had more possession, more territory, more attempts on goal – and they’ve only won twice this season.

Plenty for Unai Emery to ponder over a glass of rioja but he can do it with the comfort of a first away win since November.

Read the Huddersfield 1-2 Arsenal match report and see the goals here

Here’s how the players rated tonight.

Ratings

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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Dave
Dave

👍

Dave
Dave

True

viennagunner
viennagunner

not having watched the game it’s easier to ignore the performance, but i’d like point out some obvious things: we’ve won, that’s 3 out of 3 points we could have got. this was a game we had to win, and we did that. we know we’ve got different kinds of problems, but we’re not gonna solve them before may. all we can do until the end of the season is try to get as many points as possible and hope the others drop some. and today, we did our part.

of course a convincing win would have been more assuring and i don’t think it likely we finish 4th. however, today we had some key players missing, and keep in mind: we’ve had that 22 games unbeaten streak where we had some dismal games we ended uo winning, too. i sure hope we improve as fast as possible but the most important thing is we keep collecting points. and we did just that. cheers!

Goonerooni 48
Goonerooni 48

A welcome three points but, on this showing, a great deal of improvement is required.

My Arse-nal
My Arse-nal

Quite a recurring theme this season.

David C
David C

We lacked a bit of class that a Ramsey or Ozil could provide.

Why Mustafi every game? If he was a golfer, you’d say he has the yips.

leroy
leroy

that could be a fortune cookie reading

Viva la Prof
Viva la Prof

Deep against Huddersfield? I liked it better when we went balls out all out attack. This is shit to watch

Bob's Mexican Cousin
Bob's Mexican Cousin

New standards mate. The last defender of our values left at the end of last season.

Crash Fistfight
Crash Fistfight

I think you both might be forgetting how ‘well’ we played going forward away from home the previous season and a half.

Shark
Shark

I agree. It’s sad to watch Arsenal play so defensively like this. Especially against a team who has not scored a goal for almost 10 hours apparently.

Legrande
Legrande

Funny thing is we always seem to be the respite team. Everyone seems to break their jinx when the play Arsenal.

Legrande
Legrande

They* … Apologies

Peter Storey Teller
Peter Storey Teller

Funny how soon George Graham and “Fortress Highbury” are forgotten!
One – nil to the Arsenal!
Unfortunately football matches have to be won and win is what we did today. All successful teams are successful because even when they play poorly they come away with 3 points.
Let’s face it Huddersfield still haven’t scored in 10 hours we scored their goal for them!

Dobby
Dobby

Yeah we should go gung ho and win one away game all season like last year. What fun that was.

hesgotyellowbootson
hesgotyellowbootson

It’s ridiculous how forgetful some people are.

Dobby
Dobby

Did you even watch us last season?

Jack
Jack

Would really love for Emery to put out a positive attacking line up on Thursday after this dross display today.

Bring back David Hillier

In sky super 6 I had this as 0-1 to Arsenal, so 1-2 is not unexpected. Take the win, but a bit worrying how average we were at times.

DBMÖ10
DBMÖ10

Don’t really want to go hard on a young player but boy was AMN serving some dross shit Tonight. Might be the worst passer of the senior squad.
His attitude is worrisome too, leave the ‘ too cool for you ‘ to when you’ve become Cafu.
There’s a big player there , hope he sorts it out.

OnAnyBlock
OnAnyBlock

First game back from injury, played out of position (because he is deemed better than both the fit *actual* RBs at the club), got an assist, made 6/8 tackles and 12 ball recoveries against a very physical side. These are all facts.

“His attitude is worrisome too…hope he sorts it out” – is your opinion, not fact and quite frankly it is trash. Just because he is composed, and doesn’t flap his arms around and shout at refs like some of the ‘Pashun’ merchants we have (hi Shkodran 😒) does not mean there is an issue with him. It probably says more about you and how you perceive things.

I really do try and respond with as much respect as I can muster; however, reading these ‘hot takes’ and the ridiculous amount of support they seem to generate really does make me realise how wayward so many people are

DBMÖ10
DBMÖ10

Wow ! 😂
After the first para I was about to detail how I like AMN and point out the positives and negatives of his general play but don’t worry man , go personal and vent it out.
‘ Hot takes ‘ 😂😂

David C
David C

But what is his best position? I think he’s too light/soft for midfield. Alternative winger maybe?

OnAnyBlock
OnAnyBlock

I’m genuinely not sure, but I look forward to seeing how he develops.

I don’t worry too much about his size because he is young and will fill out. Also, if he can develop his reading of the game like prime Arteta/Torreira, he is quick enough to win interceptions and tackle by putting himself between opponent and ball. He could easily turn into the DM Arsene envisaged.
Alternatively, he could be a great wing option on the right and alternate well with an attacking RB like Bellerin. His goal at Anfield, and even his assist yesterday highlight good movement and potentially a great final ball.

However, playing as a forward is incredibly difficult for young players to do consistently well because the burden of creativity is huge, goals & assists will always be referred to, and some supporters can be unforgiving (the way Iwobi is treated by some springs to mind).

The important thing is he is incredibly comfortable on the ball, and offers good things both offensively and defensively. Ideally he’d be a number 8, but I just hope he develops to his full potential.

John C
John C

Like a prime Torreira? You mean a prime Torreira who’s only a year older than Maitland-Niles?

Like Iwobi, he’s at best lower Premier league quality.

OnAnyBlock
OnAnyBlock

The prime was before Arteta as that is who I was referring to. The additional usage of a slash made that clear. Reading comprehension John.

As for your opinion on two academy products who have made it to the first team of a ‘top 6’ team in spite of the odds…thanks for sharing(!)

Crash Fistfight
Crash Fistfight

The inclusion of a slash doesn’t definitively clarify that you meant only ‘prime’ Arteta to be fair.

It kind of doesn’t detract from the point either way, either. If Torreira isn’t in his prime, you’re still referencing his ability now as a yardstick. He has been playing the same way for a few years now, so it’s not like he suddenly jumped up in ability in the last year, as if Maitland-Niles is likely to do likewise.

I really don’t see the fuss with him, but maybe it’s just me. If it were down to me, I’d get a stupid sale fee from the fact he’s young and British (look at Solanke) before anyone realises he’s not that good.

OnAnyBlock
OnAnyBlock

Sir, that is *exactly* what it does.

Definition: The Slash. or Virgule. A slash or slant or solidus or virgule [ / ] (take your pick of names) is used to indicate a choice between the words it separates.

grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/marks/slash.htm

If I meant ‘prime Torreira’, I would have typed the word twice or included the word ‘and’.

Fair play if you don’t personally see the fuss, that is your prerogative. I just have to keep reiterating to so called ‘supporters’ here that he shouldn’t be given dogs abuse (and they probably don’t know as much as they think they do) and it’s pretty tiresome.

Mother
Mother

I completely agree with you regarding AMN. The truth is, we’re not talking about an up-and-coming teenager here, we’re talking about a professional footballer who’s going to be 22 years old this year and yet no one even knows what his position is!

One thing that is for certain is that he is NOT a RB in any way, shape or form and it isn’t helpful to his development that he keeps being shoehorned in there.

goonshow
goonshow

Both he and Iwobi are frustrating – born and bred Gooner boys, clearly with no small amount of ability, but prone to disappoint: AMN with his persistent profligacy on passing (man, he gave it away a lot v Huds!) or at best, continued back passing; Alex with his recurrent laziness in doing anything remotely resembling defending! Yes, he seems to now be jogging back in defence more than he used to… but he STILL just does not ever put in a solid tackle!

Alphie
Alphie

Iwobi needs end product and decision making. That pass where the fullback overlaps can’t be his only asset.

Kos was a beast.

Laca has just become something else. He’s fading in energy due to doing too much. A burn out will affect his sharpness. Love the man.

This team is a shambles. We played the 532 and got overun time and again with poor transitions and Emery did nothing to change that tactical error. I hope it’s that he has a lot of deadwood more than anything else.

We are also reeling from xhaka’s ability to control the tempo which is strange.

Mpls
Mpls

I WISH we would play the 3-5-2 when we play 3 at the back. But this was 3-4-3. And I think that’s part of the problem. It left us with just Guendouzi and Torreira to control the midfield, and in this league that isn’t enough against just about anyone.

We had a giant Attacking Midfielder size hole in the squad today. And gaps whenever one of the center mids pushed up at all.

The truther
The truther

Leno deserves more he and koscienly- were our best players.mikhitaryan and laca were the difference makers
Some are a little too high.
From todays performance some of the players showed that they are not even Huddersfield standard as Huddersfield were better in many areas of the game.
Elneny kola Maitland Niles iwobi mustafi deserve no more than 5s

GraeB
GraeB

Leno does not command his area the way I’d expect of a class keeper.
Mustafi getting worse by the game – confidence shot or doesn’t care?
AMN – this is the real world, not just pre-season knockabout
Laca now coming so deep to create that he’s not able to be on the end of it but his work rate and skill is praiseworthy
Micky – good return after long layoff
Iwobi – end result not improving
Kos – our only defender at present
Torreira not now in his best position
Guen – hope he can continue to improve
Kola – not a defender
Monreal – still reliable if not world beater

Today’s good news – no Lichtsteiner!

scott rice
scott rice

Well done truther for mentioning mhki. Doesn’t get enough credit in my book. Admittedly I only saw the highlights but first thing I noticed was his importance in BOTH goals (not just the second goal Mr Arseblog!) The first goal showed his willingness to hit a first time pass to Kola that gave Kola time to hit the cross for Iwobi to score. I like Ramsey but he often takes two or three touches (nearly all with his right foot) thus slowing the attack. I know this might be controversial but dare I say it so does Ozil. Sometimes Ozil hits a first time pass but not if there is a danger he might have to use his weaker foot. They all have strengths and weaknesses obviously but I do think Mhki goes under the radar because he often hits the pass that leads to the assist by keeping the game flowing. Ramsey is better in front of goal but at least Mhki attempts to shoot with his weaker foot. Apart from Lava and Auba most of our players avoid their weaker foot like the plague.

Paul Smith
Paul Smith

The worst parts for me is when we sit back and slowly allow teams like Huddersfield back into games, just as we did at Brighton. Once we get in front we should be looking to kill the game off with a few more goals. We are strong in attack so should be using that asset. No point in sitting back when you can’t defend.

Chris Siple

If we could kill the game off just by trying to, we would. We did get forward, dangerously, several times in the second half, but the quality final ball wasn’t there. So I did not mind at all that we got behind the ball more often than not after the 2-0 lead. We were scored on when we relaxed and went after a third and got caught.

A Different George
A Different George

Why do you suppose the quality ball wasn’t there? Team selection? Formation? Tactics?

Mpls
Mpls

Yes.

Dobby
Dobby

Again, did you watch us last season?

Red-Sky
Red-Sky

Maybe give Kos a 7. But no other player in this lineup deserves more than 5. Absolute dross.
There’s absolutely no reason for me to believe this squad is good enough for top 4. I am an Emery supporter, I thought he was starting to get somethings wrong and cost us a game or 2, but recently I decided to withhold on any judgment on the coach.
The individual quality is so staggeringly poor, it effectively creates a smokescreen to whatever kind of coaching is being done.
I still believe he’s a good coach but his circumstances are extremely difficult. Had we had a complete squad, I don’t doubt we could’ve been in a better position than now.

Bob
Bob

“The individual quality is so staggeringly poor, it effectively creates a smokescreen to whatever kind of coaching is being done.”

Which is entirely bullshit. Individually, our players are not worse than Huddersfield’s players. So why were ours playing like a bunch of cunts? Coaching. They are out there without a solid game-plan or team setup. At the very least, our manager should be able to motivate and focus his players to do the basics right. Based on todays showing, doesn’t look like he can.

Parisian Weetabix
Parisian Weetabix

Hey I don’t know if you noticed but, we won, and Huddersfield didn’t, so we were worse than them because…? Because we won? Should we not have won? Are you complains that the coaching made us win? That the players played like a bunch of cunts to make us win? Should the coach stop coming up with tactics that win us games? Would that help him win this goddamn thankless battle some fans keep laying down for him? Are we really cross that we won? Do you remember when we couldn’t win an away game at all? Did you like that? Was that better than winning? Was watching those games, that we lost, better than watching this game, that we won? We won this game, Bob. Bob, we didn’t lose this game, we won it. We won it, Bob. We won it. Bob, we won. We won.

GraeB
GraeB

Huddersfield only exist to enable us to break our away not-winning streaks, as last season. Not sure what we do next season when they’re gone.

Bob
Bob

Yeah I noticed. And it’s great we can win ugly. If you read again though, I have no complaints about winning, just the performance. If we can get both together over the next couple years that will be fantastic, because we can challenge for honours! 🙂

Bob
Bob

Phew that was a lot of questions you wrote there Parisian Weetabix, I’m not sure I got them all. But let me clarify a bit.

I’m not in favour of #EmeryOut or anything stupid like that. And I do think he needs more time to work with the squad. It’s hard to coach properly during the season because of constant games and recovery. So I’m really looking forward to him having a good preseason (and hopefully a new defence!) to imprint his philosophy onto the team.

However, I don’t think it’s unfair to suggest he show his philosophy during this season too. If he’s going to be given time to work with the club for a few years he has to keep the fans happy overall by at least showing us consistently what he is trying to work towards. If he did that, I’m sure it would be easier for us to get onboard with his vision.

I’m all for keeping faith, but not blind faith.

MrSymes
MrSymes

It feels like every time Emery plays three at the back he’s trying to recreate that performance against Spurs (which I think was the first time he played that formation) and every time since then it’s been pretty awful. Not the defence specifically, although that’s not been great, but because it leaves us so short in midfield. Against City Guendouzi and Torreira were individually better than any of the opposition midfielders but were simply outnumbered. Same again today. The starkest demonstration was in the West Ham game where we were were awful until the switch to four at the back during the second half then immediately dominated, though not enough to score.

The evidence against it seems overwhelming by now but Emery persists, maybe because with all the injuries he doesn’t trust the current defenders to get by with only four of them (since in practice three at the back means five at the back). But I’d rather have a proper midfield screen of three players in front of them, rather than two players plus an attacker occasionally dropping back. That third player is essential as a passing option; it calms everything down and allows us to control the midfield. That was we played in the 22-game run.

A compromise might be keeping the 3/5 at the back, then having three midfielders and two up top, though, like Wenger, Emery seems loath to lose the width of wingers even though we don’t have any proper wingers in the squad and haven’t basically since Gervinho (excluding Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain, who were born wingers but just didn’t want to be). Though we’d still have the wingbacks.

That’s just how it’s seemed to me, anyway. Injuries have taken their tole since the beginning of December, but over that same period we’ve been playing a formation that isn’t working. I still like Emery but that’s on him.

MrSymes
MrSymes

Looking back I think the only time we’ve started with four at the back in the league since early December was against Chelsea – one of our best performances this season.

Dobby
Dobby

Honestly, I think three at the back is just to cover for injuries. He’s never been a 3 at the back guy in his career and I doubt he’s come to the premier league and decided to start being one now. Ainsley and Kolasinac are both poor defenders and I think he trusts Mustafi about as much as we do. I’m sure that has more to do with the formation than it being indicative of what he really wants from us.

MrSymes
MrSymes

Emery did first use it before the defensive injuries hit, but after that it could have endured because of injuries as I say. The question is whether it makes sense even with these players. Everyone is rightly asking why we’re “sitting back” and inviting teams onto us when it kills our attack and our defence can’t handle it anyway. But this isn’t a player mentality thing, it’s a result of how we’re set up. Emery must believe it’s capable of more than it has been, and the only model of success was that first game.

Rayk 47

Strangely defensive line-up, belaboured performance… But we got the 3 points away!

Let’s not forget Emery is managing a squad that produced an absolutely abysmal record on the road last season. We shouldn’t expect it to be easy.

Afrodeity
Afrodeity

Unlike you Blogs Thought Guendouzi was solid, ditto for Iwobi although a bit profligate near the goal. Mustafi is shorn of any confidence rn, could use a respite imo. Nice to have our Skipper back Boss thangs’

Chris Siple

Guendouzi did seem to lose the ball more often than usual. Some of that is that this lineup hasn’t played together much and they’re not used to each other’s movement. Lots of misplaced passes. Huddersfield made it a chippy, laborious game, but we should have been able to pass them more easily. Well, three points.

Jean Ralphio
Jean Ralphio

But harsh on Kola. He also provided an assist. Needs to improve defensively but his attacking contribution was important in a game where we lacked creativity.

Chris Siple

Well, his passing was off–way off. With his physicality, this is a game he could have shown in, but he didn’t.

Dobby
Dobby

His passing got us in trouble a lot of times. He and Ainsley gave the ball away far too much and left us vulnerable

John Lavery

To the point, I thought Mustafi gave the ball away so many times I thought for a moment that he was playing for Huddersfield. He is really bad and I would encourage Emery to try the young Greek defender a chance, for at least a half a game.

Matty Cakes
Matty Cakes

Brilliant win.
Top 4 here we come.
Stunning goals from Laca and Iwobi
Great assist from AMN.
Emery is gonna lead us to PL & CL glory next season.

Stephen
Stephen

Are you new to this whole Arsenal thing?

Do you smell what the rock is cooking
Do you smell what the rock is cooking

That’s the spirit. People forget that being a fan should be fun. Life is too short to get an ulcer over a game.

Rich
Rich

Kolasinac has huge qualities and huge flaws in equal measures.

Iwobi was very good and a real threat, he’s ticking along nicely, he just need to take another step forward in his final action, but he’s winning me over.

Maitland Niles was a little erratic, a lot of good stuff, but some terrible misplaced passes in dangerous areas, that against better opposition would have been punished, but I still think he’s our best option, and we should try and play him into some form at right back.

Lacazette is a different player this season, he was timid last season, but now he’s an absolute beast and has developed a bit of a nasty streak.

Emery is doing well, we just struggled in the middle of the park today, which can happen when you’ve got a 19+22yr old in there, Guendouzi+Torreira are the future, but when fit I think Xhaka+Rambo should be brought back in, if we’ve got any chance of getting into the top 4, which I still think after watching United a fair bit recently is extremely unlikely.

Santori
Santori

We lacked midfield.

Absolutely no control.

Not sure why it is again…Mustafi’s fault.

Santori
Santori

Base on what nonsense are you giving Mustafi a 5 and Elneny a 6?

Ridiculous.

Mustafi made some very important tackles and clearances. Elneny took up oxygen.

You really need to be more balanced.

Rayk 47

Mistakefi also induced heart palpitations every 5 mins…

Gudang Pelor
Gudang Pelor

Yea, lve always been wondering about this, especially with ratings for players with preconception, like ramsey, ozil, mustafi. How can you tell msutafi is THAT bad? Cause l thought he was decent, not good, I’d give him 6.

Same thing to say for Santori’s valuation of Elneny though.

John Lavery

Santori, watch the game again, then you would have to concede that overall Elneny was safer than Mustafi.

YoungFabregas
YoungFabregas

Not a bad result from the lineup we put out actually

Darjan Lukic
Darjan Lukic

I am tirred of this blog talking bad about kolasinac. Never point out the good stuf, only bad! There are players that play way worse than him.

Fireman Sam
Fireman Sam

Kolasinac is like our other defenders (apart from Kos). Doesn’t much like defending.

Gunnerer
Gunnerer

Haven’t been as underwhelmed watching Arsenal in a very long time. Yes we were inconsistent under Arsene in the last couple of seasons, but our football was rarely this lackluster
The ethos of the club is changing, and it’s not the kind of football that I love watching. That being said Emery must be given this summer window to get in some players and organise around a team and playing style that he’s comfortable with. Verdicts will be surely made by this time next year

Dobby
Dobby

Inconsistent? We won one away game last season and that was against Huddersfield with nothing to play for. I swear to god people have forgotten how bad we actually have been and think the attacking football died this season when last season was equally painful to watch. The difference is now when we play like shit we have the ability to grind out a result.

Fireman Sam
Fireman Sam

Mmm not convinced we are any better than last season. Still getting beaten by our main rivals. Still, more than willing to give Emery time and fingers crossed we bring in some defensive talent in the summer.

Santori
Santori

Clearly ratings here have previous bias and not entirely based on facts on the ground.

How the headless chicken Elneny can rate higher than Mustafi is beyond me.

I’d of course like to watch the match again but here are my own impressions, feel free to disagree of course :

1) Leno – Did OK. Came out quick to quash and earlier attempt at goal but wasn’t able to close out with the clean sheet. Parried the ball on one occasion right back to the striker. Some work to be done on that end. Catch perhaps?

2) AMN – A bit of hit and miss but you have to admire his fitness level. As mentioned, I’m not sure why some feel there is a ‘crisis’ at Rback. I said it last season that Wenger was better off switching AMN to right side as a fullback. Forget this “midfield is his natural position” nonsense. He did well at Lback covering for Monreal, there was no necessity for Mslintat to load on Lichsteiner for 90K a week particularly since we also had Chambers who played (successfully) as Rback for Soton and could cover right side of back 3.

AMN will make mistakes. He made a number of errant passes (he wasn’t the only one of course) but he recovered back quickly and he also provided better width today providing a very good assist to Laca.

3) Mustafi – Again some people need a reality check. Mustafi did OK today particularly as he is soldiering on for us with injury.

Those who prefer to criticise him blindly will not highlight some important tackles he puts in throughout the game including the one where when all others around him fumbled with their attempts to stop one of their strikers, Mustafi got it right. AND it wasn’t as if he cost us anything today. Largely he was no nonsense putting the ball out from the back (on a couple of occasions finding Laca and others)

The inconvenient truth to these critics who prefer bias is that Mustafi has not cost us the league. He was largely not present or less featured when we slipped against BHA, Soton and West Ham not to mention Liverpool. That would have constituted potentially 8 points minimum we could have banked and been 55 pts to the good right now.

When he was present in the back 3, we managed to string together 19 games unbeaten.

Clearly he is NOT the problem. but some prefer easy scape goats.

4) Koscielny – Glad to see him fit today to feature. Was the rock in the base of the back 3 and in the wars. Hit in the bollocks, took a fist to his face, he was everywhere. BUT eventually the toil on the defense bc of the lack of authority in our midfield took its toll. Still, he is having a stellar last season for us. Hope he can stay fit till Sokratis is back. We will need ALL our Cback options.

Again those people who prefer to imagine merits on unproven entities like Mavropanos need a reality check. This is the business end. We will be banking on experience not just Koscielny or Sokratis but yes ALSO Mustafi.

Back 3 will ALSO be an option. As I mentioned before to all those bleating for a back 4, we don[t have the Cbacks to sustain it nor will situations dictate just one absolute set up. Its silly.

5) Monreal – I barely noticed him first half. Cleared the ball off the line for us and covered left side well but unable to keep ball out in the end unfortunately. He will have a lot of utility for us in the back 3 till we get Sokratis back. Even so, it is doubtful we can entirely sustain a back 4 or that we will since situation will dictate use of back 3 dependent on opponents.

6) Kolasinac – Unfortunate to bumble in the goal at the end and clearly frustrated with himself. Again plenty of maruading intent on the right set up by Iwobi. They have a good relation on the pitch. Thought we played out well when going wide, fullbacks brought the ball down from some long passes on a number of occasions.

7) Torreira – Have to watch him again. Some people of course will have a wank over him regardless but as I said before, he was poor against Soton, BHA, Liverpool. He was better in recent matches but today our midfield was simply missing. Whether it was the switch to back 3 or just a case of being swamped in the middle, we did not impose ourselves enough to control the tempo in the middle. Inevitably, when the defense is put under constant duress, a mistake is bound to happen.

No surprise he was hauled off.

8) Guendouzi – OK. Usual busy self but feel we have missed the passing range and ability to pick out players from deep that Granit provided. Inconvenient truth but Torreira and GUendouzi were largely overrun for long spells today. Unai opted to throw in Dennis, Elneny and young Willock to no avail.

We are still fundamentally lacking a player who can control tempo for us in the middle with ease at feet.

Wenger bought Santi Carzola (not hit and Mslintat). He also very successfully converted him into midfield. His fault was he did not replace him instead held out hope for a recovery for FAR too long.

9) Mhkitaryan – I have said before we made a mistake not buying Mahrez last January. BUT Mhkitaryan was decent today.

I liked the way he played the ball quickly when he received the ball. It was reminescent of his involvement in that Ramsey team goal which was orchestrated from the back.

Thought we actually got worse with ball retention when he was hauled off for more numbers in midfield. Says something about the depth of quality in midfield.

10) Iwobi – another player like Mustafi with some ill informed fans constantly criticising. As I mentioned, he is one of one player who can take opponents on and pull defences apart somewhat. He makes things happen. Everything good has come out from our left in recent games.

This time ironically he scores when on the right and a good volley it was.

Also somewhat unfortunate he was called for offside or something when he put in the ball in the net later when unleashed by Lacazette (another good finish). Then towards the end some errant efforts and one which he should have tucked away but put straight at the keeper.

BUT if he can reap goals, we have a really good player we should be proud of from academy and one with huge future.

Another who retains the ball well for us.

11) Lacazette – Somewhat surprise Unai did not go for a Laca-Auba partnership with Mhki or Ramsey supporting but suppose he wanted the width which was correct.

In any case Auba as good a nose as he has for goals tends not to help us bc he is not competitive retaining the balls sent out to him (particularly he ducks out of long balls from the back)

Laca is more complete in that he competes and retains the ball, finds players better. Good finish as well today.

12) Elneny – Headless chicken. Sent on to add numbers and bring better control of midfield, instead attempts to snatch the ball off of Lacazetter’s head when the Frenchman was ready to strike at goal. Waste of oxygen running around largely ineffectual.

but hey, somehow he rates higher than Mustafi go figure.

13) Dennis – He looks a bit intimidated still. Its early days of course but we do need him to provide something quickly. We don’t want another Kim Kalstrom particularly as we have now entered the PANIC LOAN era.

And they said things would get better after Wenger.

I think Suarez needs to gain confidence quickly literally find his feet.

14) Willock – If anything illustrates the RUBBISH that is spewed about Xhaka. Nothing against young Willock but we are so bereft of authority in the midfield today. Plonking on 3 players to assert better control clearly did NOTHING.

We need a working midfield if we are to balance attack and defense properly. Clearly we are still missing something.

Special note on ref – What was the decision on that Iwobi goal ruled out? Was he offside and given a card for taking a shot literally a second or 2 after the whistle? Then why were we awarded a free kick. Ref should have played advantage but why was Iwobi carded if the decision was in our favour? Extremely perplexing.

Me thinks the Moss is growing between the ref’s ears. Not the only peculiar decision today. PL in need of some younger Refs. Mike Dean, Atkinson and Moss look genuine fossils.

PaddyVieira
PaddyVieira

I suggest watching the Liverpoo game again, Torreira made the initial mistake for the Firmino solo goal but Mustafi and Sokratis were horrendous in their attempts to tackle after that. Mustafi has been a liability for the majority of his Arsenal career and that’s why he receives so much justified criticism. What a surprise that you mentioned Mahrez again in a post!

Patrik Ljungberg
Patrik Ljungberg

Start a blog, Santori.

goonshow
goonshow

Nah – start a relationship with Alex… and we can ALL have a break on here.

Fireman Sam
Fireman Sam

lol

Almunia4Pires
Almunia4Pires

Our defenders have placed a collective bet in the summer that we won’t keep a clean sheet away all season. What odds would that have been? Need more proof than Kola’s own goal in the 94th minute and the way he tucked it away? 😎

Themightybun
Themightybun

I knew we would concede when Mustafi kept hoofing the ball upfield. Just no composure in our defending, no confidence. We’re lacking a leader at the back. Essential BFG sized hole has not been filled in. Holding was getting there — he has a proper defenders attitude. Monreal isn’t a centre back, and Mustafi isn’t really a footballer. This team is painful to watch away as no one wants to take control and calm the whole team down. And watching Iwobi stroll around for a couple of minutes before he knew he was about to be subbed was infuriating. Leave it on the pitch innit.

Still, 3 points away…

karl
karl

I realise it is too early to judge, but I find Suarez quite a disturbing signing. For now he looks quite Elneny with a predominance of sideways and backwards passing. It was a very good idea to make this loan only.

Goonerink

Both times he has played haven’t been the best times to judge him to be fair.
Getting overrun (not like Chelsea) by City.
Seeing out a physical away win.

If he plays vs bate I’d like to see what he can do.

Knyght
Knyght

It’s simply painful watching Mustafi attempt to play football. Other players can boost about their abilities with the ball, all mustafi has are disabilities.

Santori
Santori

Arsenal need to watch Man City and learn.

They have players who can beat their man creating space.

They move the ball quicker and accurately with a range of short and long passes.

They make runs supporting the player on the ball.

They cover efficiently with just Fernandihno at the base.

They take shots efficiently from outside the box alert to loose balls.

We have potential in the squad but we need to have better balance particularly in this match, we lack midfield control.

Unai has some of the pieces for a good team.

Mustafi is not the problem.

We carry useless players like Jenkinson, Lichsteiner, Elneny, average to poor or over the hill players who need to be moved on.

We do not have enough players who can take on and beat players on their own. City have Aguero, Bernado Silva, David Silva, Sterling, Mane, Mahrez.

We have Iwobi, maybe Lacazette.

Maybe Dennis will get up to speed quickly but thus far he has seemed a bit intimidated and uncomfortable.

BUT we have lack the balance of threat from right side to match the left since Alexis last season.

And we still lack a player in midfield who can control the ball and hold it or carry it up the middle.

Never mind defense (which is also an issue) or fullback, there are problems all over the place still. Injuries have not help Unai.

It will take more time and better transfer business to rectify things.

John Lavery

A very good summation that I agree with. Obviously, we have to get down to basics and ask ourselves if a certain player is going to help us win the League. If the answer no that is the time when Emery will start to run the blue pencil through their names. I know that it a brutal decision to make but we are in a results business. Furthermore, if Emery was not told that he would be getting next to nothing in the offseason to purchase new players that is one thing but if he learned that after he signed he should resign immediately. We all know, like it or not, you can only win the EPL if you have money and someone who knows how to coach, And, no, I did not forget Leicester whose achievement only gets better the more time we have to remember it. I am sure that Emery has had his list made up for players who have to go, a long list if the comments BTL are anything to go by. Regarding Dennis, I watched him closely after he came on and I thought his positioning and making space to receive a pass was very good. He just needs to be match-hardened. One last word on Iwobi, he is good in bits and bad in others. He generally does well until he gets into sight of the goal then his football sense leaves him completely. Before he scored he had a good opportunity to cross or pass to a better-positioned colleague but choose instead to try an impossible shot at the goalkeepers near post. Possibly with a .009 % chance of scoring. He was to do this through the match ignoring well-placed mates, Lacassete and Mihk, to try the impossible shot. Like Walcott before him, he has no real football intelligence and as we know, Walcott never developed any.

Der Kaiser
Der Kaiser

In today’s world of key board warriors with no patience, can we just support our young ( they are young) homegrown players. In some 40 yrs supporting Arsenal & arrendung matches regularly, some of the most satisfying moments have been watching & sporting the homegrown players (e.g. O’leary, Brady, Adams, Rocastle etc). In my view the best teams ( including Barcelona) have a core of homegrown players supplemented by world class imports. So please please SUPPORT Naitland- Miles, Alex Iwobi, Reiss Nelson, Emile Smith Rowe, Saku, Eddie Neiketah etc. Whatever you think of them in my expdrience it is always the homegrown players who give 100 per cent. Hate to say but look at when Man Ure were at their best – there was a home grown core of Beckham, Scholes, Neville brothers etc supplemented by impirts like Cantona. I think your imports need to be world class like Bergkamp and Henry etc not mediocre.

Knightly
Knightly

Yours is the most sensible comment of the entire blog. Here, there are always fans slating a 22-year old Iwobi who always gives his best, drives the team forward instead of shirking responsibility and passing sideways. In the same vein they would absolve older (import) players who play badly. These same fickle fans claim to know the team better than the manager.

goonshow
goonshow

To those who, on this forum just a few weeks ago, chose to write out Captain off after just a handful of minutes back from injury suffered serving this club…
with comments, some of whose cruelty was surpassed only by their complete lack of insight or humanity…

Oh ye of little faith – the KOS is back, you FUCKING whinging disloyal muppets!