Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Arsenal 4-0 Standard Liege – player ratings

Arsenal continued their European campaign with another clean sheet and an enjoyable 4-0 win over Standard Liege at the Emirates this evening.

Young Brazilian Gabriel Martinelli scored twice, Joe Willock got his third of the season, and Dani Ceballos got off the mark as an Arsenal player.

There was a lot to like about the collective performance, and some eye-catching individuals, and it’s a nice tonic after Old Trafford.

Read the Arsenal 4-0 Standard Liege report and see the goals here

Here’s how the players rated this evening.


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 Emi Martinez. Also, give the ratings a few seconds to load.

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This team is better to watch than our supposed first 11

David Hilliers Arm Cast

Would have loved to see this lot out against United on Monday.


With Freddie in charge!


Can’t stand this. When we’re bad it’s emery but when we play well it’s because Freddie is in charge? Pathetic


Freddie coaches most of this team, they’re his youngsters.

David C

This lot can probably beat our starting 11. I don’t get Emery….


You don’t get that Tierney, Bellerin and Holding are returning from injury? That the fans vilified Mustafi? That Guendozi is a sure starter? That he plays or record signing winger and leading goalscorer?



I honestly don’t see why Guendouzi is a sure starter. He’s played some really good games but he’s still raw and makes some big mistakes. I would much rather see Willock, Torreira and Ceballos start. They have far more composure and move the ball a lot quicker.


It’s good to have options though – both are valid. Interesting that whatever way you spin it there is no room for Xhaka or Ozil though… If we want to see fast attacking youthful football, then surely Xhaka gets nowhere near the starting 11.


Why play Auba??? Let the guy rest and save him! If we over use him, it’s going to cost us either this season or next season.


I’m tempered by the fact that Standard Liege weren’t to the EPL Standard, but was impressed by the young guns. Honestly think that midfield we started with is almost our best midfield. Trade Willock for Guendouzi, although Willock is better than Xhaka on present form, and you have our best midfield. Torreira, Guendouzi and Ceballos would dominate most teams in the EPL with their energy. Xhaka just slows us down.
I think Martinelli starting over Pepe on the weekend would be a nice idea, but doubt Emery will do it.


A pretty easy win against poor opposition but you could say the same for Bayern on Tuesday.


Any three of Willock, Guendouzi, Torreira and Ceballos would be a big improvement on what we have at the moment.


so basically a xhakaless midfield would be any improvement


Agree that STL aren’t up to EPL standard but those two Martinelli goals would have gone in against any opposition.

David Count

Here’s the thing tho; I don’t think Standard Liege are necessarily worse than Watford and Aston Villa. They were 3rd in the Belgian league last season and are second right now and seeing what Club Brugge almost did to Real Madrid makes me wonder. I think this young team can take on mid table/lower table opposition in the Premier League and do just as well

The Kolkata Gooner

They are standard. Standard Liege.


Or in this case, substandard Liege. 😉

Harish P

I’m as giddy and impressed as most fans after these two Europa games, but don’t be mistaken about quality. Something really benefitting these boys which won’t be a given ordinarily against the PL teams is space. I think it’s important for some of these players to continue their development here as the experience and confidence boost will be much needed, but the reason Saka can transition well enough compared to most while Willock and Nelson can struggle at times is his ability to get out of those tight spaces and use his strength, which Willock and Nelson just about manage,… Read more »

A Different George

The level of the clubs in leagues like Belgium is much lower than bottom-half Prem clubs. Look at the players that those clubs buy, and from whom. (That doesn’t mean Burnley always beats Anderlecht; it means over 38 games, Burnley would at least challenge for the title. Admittedly, an awful thought.)


does anyone know the reasoning behind why Xhaka is not dropped but everyone else is? genuine question. Also, does Emery not see the difference in midfield performance between what happens in EL and EPL? The midfield trio you mention would be ideal and way ahead of what we currently field during the weekend.

I haven’t looked forward to an Arsenal Premier League game in a while. They’re just so dull.


I think they were up to Man United’s current standard though.


Totally agree. Only emery manage to have better B team than A team.


I have a real problem with blogs laissez faire use of full stops in the player rating comments. More indecision than a Standard Liege centre back.


Wtf ?


Haha, I thought it was kinda funny.

Wenger's Fat Wallet

Givem Hell HelderHughes

Runcorn Gooner

Mustafi 3 games 3 clean sheets plus assist with first goal. resurrection?

John Hendry

Agreed. I daresay the level of opponents play a huge part in it but we seem more assured and controlled. That said Watford are shite and no better than what we faced last night and the first team made them look like Barcelona.


I have given my first 10 of the 19/20 season – Martinelli!


Martinelli is absolutely rapid, how have we picked this lad up for £6 million?

Emery has changed the dynamics of our forward line, it’s young, but as this team evolves, I don’t see too much more flapping and needless passing around the box, we’ve now got very quick and direct natural dribblers in our ranks.

Second time I’ve seen Tierney, what a player….




I always give Auba 10/10 hihi


Seemed like Willock had a wound on his upper foot.


You know, it baffles me that some “fans” have been laying into Torreira for being a shit at number 10.

That is not his position, I have been saying over and over again. And tonight he showed us why he should be playing DM.

But trust Emery, he is never going to drop Xhaka to play Torreira as a DM in the “important” games.


If it’s Torrerira that he won’t drop him for, then I’m glad. And he has my blessing in playing the one and only deep lying play maker available in the squad, as limited, immobile & error-prone as he can be, Xhaka is much more suited for it.
This problem is solved in the transfer window.

Never Happen

Agreed, but I don’t think we can
transfer you.


‘…as limited, immobile & error-prone…’ yet he’s much more suited?
Do you read your comments before posting them!


Xhaka would have looked good out their against Standard Liege, they were pretty terrible. That said he deserves the chance for me too now, we know what Xhaka can and can’t do at this stage…

Dave M

I won’t argue with that, which is why Xhaka should be playing these games – Europa league and the cups – where he is more suited, rather than strangling our EPL “first XI”.




I agree. I think the rating is a bit on the low side.

I thought he was exceptional, quietly ran the game.


Torreira isn’t playing at 10, he’s playing at 8 just like Sarri did with Kante. For all Emery’s idiosyncrasies and faults, I understand the logic in playing him there. Personally I disagree with it, but I get the logic. I reckon in Emery’s mind, he sees Torreira’s engine as having better use shuttling up and down the pitch, instigating a high press and forcing turnovers in the opposition half, occasionally man-marking opposition CMs like Pogba on Monday night. Torreira also slyly has an eye for a goal or two and can use his athleticism to get him into the box… Read more »


Yes. Willock, Ceballos, even Guendouzi are better at 8. Torreira though, is the best defensive midfielder we have, and should be used that way. Xhaka is too immobile to play for us, and he’s too incompetent in defense to protect the back four alone.


Would agree with that

Dave M

The logic of playing Torreira there is that Xhaka can ONLY operate as a deep player meaning we can’t actually play a traditional DM. Thus he is trying to work out functionality with Xhaka in the team and everything we try is falling down. Holding Guendouzi deep isolates our attack, playing Xhaka as an out and out DM (and also a deep play-maker) is a disaster because he completely exposes us to the break due to his slowness and the fact he get’s drawn so far forward in that role as he is also controlling so much of our possession.… Read more »

John C

For me Xhaka’s biggest problem isn’t that he’s immobile but that he dwells on the ball when facing our goal in deep positions and just doesn’t move the ball on quick enough.

To the contrary i think the only position he could play in this team is in the more advanced left sided midfield spot of our current midfield 3 where he’s more likely to be facing the opposition goal rather than ours and he can’t utilise his passing.


Yes! Emery’s man love for Xhaka is hurting the club and is making Emery seem like a worse manager than he is. It’s evident by looking at how free flowing and direct our reserve team is, where our midfield is way more dynamic.


It’s a weird dig to make, he’s obviously giving Torreira a chance to prove himself there and trying out different midfield combinations. He might well revert to Xhaka against Bournemouth but it’s not like Torreira isn’t getting chances in his preferred role or being kept out the squad

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Maybe Emery is using Torreira as an offensive midfielder because he wants the players to regain possession early in attack which is something Arsenal needs.


Maybe, but I think that others in the squad are better suited to play that role.

don’t forget

Feel elated but confused. The “kids” play better than the A team. But what a game for Gabriel. COYG


Hope y’all enjoyed.
Dross football coming back next Sunday 🙂

SB Still

I love Thursday night football.

I wish we similarly enjoy PL as well similarly soon, the squad is good enough.


Torreira in his preferred position! Who knew!?

Tony Hall

Tierney and Martinelli, the buys of the summer 🙂


For sure mate! Martinelli is an absolute gem of a signing at 5 mil


Those illustrations! Dont quit your day job blogs


Not 100% but pretty sure it’s another Twitter ledge, Poorly Drawn Arsenal, that drew these. It’s positive, it’s Arsenal, get around it.


Great performance but let’s not forget that the opposition was well below Premier League standard.

That being said you can only beat what’s in front of you.


Willock must start in the Prem.

Torreira very poor first half but grew into the game – wouldn’t get away with that early passing against a better team.

Ceballos looked great today. Nice to see him coming deep and pulling the strings.

We’ve got a real player on our hands in Martinelli.

The current first team might not quite be there, but the future is looking VERY being for Arsenal.


Bright* ffs


Torreira did indeed grow into the game but saying his first half was ‘very poor’ is pretty harsh mate. That is all.

Dave M

He would get away with misplacing a few passes (shouldn’t try it too often though 😉 , because unlike when Xhaka does it, he is able to get back and break up attacks because (1) He’s not a snail posing as a human, (2) he can actually tackle, (3) he doesn’t rush in to close down after a mistake further exposing us to counter attacks.

David Hilliers Arm Cast

Watford were bottom of the league when we played them and got spanked a week later.


Yeah but Norwich beat Man City on the same weekend, and then lost to Burnley the following weekend, but we’d beaten Burnley 4 weeks earlier…

So by your definition, we’re beater than City?




Villa and Watford being that much better than Forest and Leige is debatable. What isn’t debatable is how a midfield with both Torreira and Willock has much more mobility and tenacity.


what’s with this talk about the ‘opposition was well below Premier League Standard’? it’s a competition, both teams came out to win, we won! let’s stop trying to take the ‘shine’ off our win with all the talk about level of opposition…


Interesting that Torreira playing DM allowed Ceballos to carry from deep in a way we haven’t seen since Santi or Cesc.

Given how poor Manure were today, you have to wonder what could have been on Monday if UE had gone for it.


That tactic can work when you have a lot of the ball, I’m not convinced it’d work away from home in the PL.

Ceballos is also settling in to the pace of the league, I think we’ll see more of him as the season progresses, and it wouldn’t surprise me if we struck an early deal for the summer at some point, particularly if we can get Ozil out in Jan

Martinellis belly

Torreira playing DM solves so many problems. One totally defensive midfielder who inspires confidence from his teammates that he will protect the back 4 makes such a difference.
It allows our attackers to bomb forward and attempt dribbles or risky passes because having a reliable mobile shield behind you lessens the potential consequences if you lose the ball.
Playing with a more defensive deep midfielder makes the team better at attacking.
Xhaka just needs to go. I don’t care what a great leader he is. Make him the head cheerleader

Dave M

And Xhaka on the bench gives Unai someone to celebrate with too!!


If we have Chambers at RB maybe that will allow Emery to take Xhaka out as without him we have 2 players who can head free kicks and corners away (neither of which are particularly convincing either).

Aleksander Włodarz

They bring joy!




9 for Tierney??? I think for a full back we might expect a goal + goalline clearance as well as the assist to get that


Two for one: the only comfortable way to look at Pepe at the moment is to remember that Martinelli was a fraction of the price.


Oh Pepe, hope he really does find form again soon…
Tierny is beyond impressive, and blogs sums up martineli perfectly in that it was just ridiculous


Europa nights at the Emiraaaaates *jubilant guitar riff* cheers everybody


Makes no sense at all to bring on Aubameyang with a big lead late. Just let him stay on the bench and rest. I hope Tierney and Bellerin can get in the lineup soon, probably too soon for Sunday coming off of long absences with just two days of rest, but definitely for the next league match. Willock should be starting, don’t care who Emery has to send to the bench, but Willock deserves to start. What in the world is going on with Emery and Ozil? Can’t even make the bench for a game that would have been a… Read more »


Yes, that was bonkers to bring him on late. Up 4-0 with 15 minutes to go and UE brings on the one player that can not be allowed to get injured? Why take the risk? I was yelling at the telly when the number 14 has displayed on the board.

Monkey knees

Mustafi showing he IS a decent defender when the “big league game” pressure is off… If the domestic/european cup games give him confidence, we could(!?) Finally have a decent squad player for league games…

Martinelli looks an absolute gem. His hunger, attacking drive, wanting the ball, finishing… We have a diamond on our hands here!

Ceballos must stay after his loan! He is something special.

Tierney is the LB we’ve been wanting since prime Nacho!

Give a lot of these players a shot at starting against Bournemouth?!

Runcorn Gooner

Mustafi had several chances to dive in but stayed on his feet. Is he learning ? Certainly more than Xhaka.

If nothing he may have increased his value after playing in 3 games conceding 0 goals.


He was hardly tested… and he still managed to play a pass straight to the opposition in our half. Let’s judge him on his performances in the PL..

Henry XIV

Why would you not judge the others as you judged him?


Not that it’s going to happen, but I’d be more-than-delirious if Ceballos, Willock, and Tierney started all our more important matches this season on this kind of form. Tierney turns out to be exactly the player we all hoped he would be AND he can play on the right and in central defence. What’s more, I’ll wager that tonight’s performance isn’t anywhere near his best for the season. A bit of a star. Same goes for Ceballos and Willock. Both of whom have the added value of ball-winning high up the pitch. A good result, but a better indication of… Read more »


The thinking behind bringing Auba, in my opinion, was to see if we can play Martinelli on the left and Auba through the middle. I think yes. Going by recent games he seems a better than Nelson and Auba.


I wondered if that was the same reason he bought Guendouzi on, to see him in the deeper role with Torreira higher up and willock. Martinelli really does look good, the youth talent we have in that position now is quite something.


I know people are loving Torreira tonight and wanting him to replace Xhaka, which I would agree with if that was the only choice on offer. But what I want to see is Guendouzi and Willock as a double pivot, one stays, one goes, with Ceballos at 10. We’ve got two young box to boxers who can literally do it all. We should use them.

Martinellis belly

Its a nice idea in theory but I don’t think Guendouzi and Willock would be disciplined enough for one to sit back when the other goes. Theyre both all action players who love to take it forward. Better to use Torreira in his natural role so he can just follow his instincts and focus on reading the game intercepting passing lanes and getting in sneaky tackles. Guendouzi and Willock double pivot would get us caught on the counter imo. I think the one essential thing is to play Torreira in a holding role furthest back. After that whether we play… Read more »


Anyone who pushes this ridiculous conspiracy that Freddie is managing the cup team gets a cup of cold sick for breakfast. Anyway, that’s my only gripe and it’s not the football. Thoroughly enjoyed that. Think Tierney and Hector are going to be a game changer for this coach given his reliance on fullbacks.


Just a theory, but I think Emery maybe brought Auba on for ten minutes so he didn’t have a week between games and maybe the player just feels like he needs that rhythm to be at his best? No idea though, if he’d pulled a hammy it would have looked a bit ridiculous haha


Bloggs, I can’t open comments on the updated android app ?

Can’t find it anywhere

Gareth Hogan

Also the ratings box is tiny on the updated Android all. Any chance you can make the widget longer?

Mesut O’Neill

Three Mustafi starts, three clean sheets.




Martinellis belly

Weak opposition, no mental pressure of course Mustafi thrives.
Turn the pressure on and freaks out and starts breakdancing or screaming for non existent offsides

Henry XIV

This is not a fair comment as it applies to others too.


Less a coincidence, and more who he next to. Holding is a really calm player, which is infectious


you can only beat what is in front of you, Mustafi to be the next van djik mark my words

Judge Smails

I hope Xhaka plays against Vitoria so we (and hopefully Unai) can fairly compare him to our other midfielders v. lesser competition.
Sadly, we haven’t the proof that it’d matter in the first XI selection. If he scores a screamer, and gets 7.5 like the others today, it’ll add to the selection confusion…what we all thrive on as Gooners. It is written.

Martinellis belly

Xhaka isn’t totally dead as a player but the way hes being used is madness in my opinion. Sticking your slowest least agile player in a position where you’re constantly reacting to unpredictable threats coming at you is asking for trouble. If hes in a double pivot with Torreira or ahead of him in a 3 its not the worst thing in the world but I still much prefer our other option In the Swiss team they use him alongside a combative scrappy type to mop up for him or they use him in a more 10ish role. Here I… Read more »


In due time Freddie will lead by next March


ahhrgg we have to wait til march?

Alan L

Odd how when Xhaka isn’t playing we look a man up

Clueless Head Coach

Still Emery must go. He has no clue about how to effectively utilize the abundant talent at his disposal, least of them Özil and Torreira. I can bet my cojones he’ll be back with Xhaka at DM and with no creative midfielder vs Bournemouth. #EmeryOut

Xhaka kaka

You were making sense but then you mentioned Özil, sure he’s talented but he couldn’t be arsed to play like a proper player anymore. He needs a change of scenery.


Ozil is not the solution.


i’ll have a glimmer of hope with emery when he decides to drop xhaka. like he did with ozil.

Henry XIV

I’m begining to believe that one of the condition of emery’s appointment as manager is to successfully get rid of Mesut Ozil.
What is happening to Ozil is not right and certainly not the Arsenal that I knew. This is purely constructive dismissal in legal terms.

arse boy

it is constructive dismissal, you are absolutely right.

Matt P

Although the difference between epl form and Europa form can’t all be pinned on psychology (there’s obviously a quality difference) it does seem like we are approaching the Europa games with less fear.
We need to transfer that psychology to the EPL


Regarding the Auba substitution, I was as baffled as you guys initially, but could it be that Emery wanted to see what it would be like with Martinelli on the wing and Auba on top? I guess 10 minutes of an already won game wouldn’t require too much of Auba. Just a thought 🙂


I’ve been enjoying and looking forward to the cup games sans Xhaka a hell of a lot more the the PL games. We’re moving the ball around much faster, with quick transitional play. But what was the thinking bringing on Aubameyang last night?!? If he’d got injured Emery would have got slated. Not worth the risk at all. Still, he’s keeping Ozil fresh for Sunday!

John Griffiths

I haven’t enjoyed watching Arsenal so much for ages. Really excited by the youngsters. Mustafi looks much better playing alongside the calm and assured Holding but I’d still play Chambers. Certainly no place for Xhaka in our best Xl.

Henry XIV

I will access Xhaka’s effectiveness when he plays with Bellerin and Tierney in the team.
Contrary to popular belief, I think Guendouzi is a source of the ineffectiveness in our first team regardless of his high work-rate, not just Xhaka. Guendouzi too slows the attack.

Harish P

Before i vote on your comment, I’m going to need elaboration and examples please to be convinced and appreciate your point.


Agreed, his on the ball ability has ridiculous potential but he holds onto it for too long. Also his positioning is more than questionable.

I don’t rate xhaka that highly but it’s clear to see that he’s left on his own in the middle of the park more often than not with 2 3 attackers advancing on him.

Once the midfield start pressing and advancing together as a cohesive unit our defence will look a lot more solid!

uncle gunner

Martinelli or Saka on the left wing? while still chancing Pepe to forget his price tag and play ball!!!!! Anyway, our midfield fluidity without Xhaka is just so perfect. What is more confusing is that, what does the Swiss National team Coach see? what did the Borussia Mönchengladbach coach see? What is Emery seeing? There should be something “I’m” personally missing. Maybe its just the arsenal way that does not suit him because all these people cannot be insane. on the brighter side, Mustafi looks pretty good now. Holding and Bellerin looking solid as usual. Should I even talk about… Read more »

Henry XIV

Look at Guendouzi style of play. He slows the attack too. One good run in the penalty box could not make me ignore 45 mins of headless chicken run in every games that he played.

John Hendry

I wonder if the inclusion of Guendouzi and Aubameyang was to instill some long term team momentum and cohesion across all competitions? If not then I can’t think of any other reason for Emery to bring them on.


The game I most want to see right now;

Bellerin Chambers Holding Tierney
Guendouzi Torreira
Nelson Willock Saka


Maitland-Niles Sokratis Luiz Kolasinac
Ceballos Xhaka Ozil
Pepe Lacazette Aubameyang

Guaranteed win for Arsenal 😀


Which Arsenal though? 😛


But not for their Manager…


I spent so much of time thinking about this yesterday, Blogs, who you think will win?
I vote for the young guns- also scratched my heading thinking where would mustafi fit in

Henry XIV

Ummm…no, Maitland-Niles should be in Team Martinez taking Torreira’s place in midfield. Mustafi should take Maitland-Niles’ place in Team Leno and Torreira would take Ozil’s place in Team Leno. I told you Emery’s mission is to get rid of Ozil by constructive dismissal.


I thought Reiss Nelson was really really good on the left yesterday. Thought he was better than Willock and Ceballos, and frankly everyone else, save Martinelli, and possibly Tierney, who he struck up a good partnership with. I feel he is being underrated above.

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