It looked grim for a while, make no mistake, but more than a performance tonight we needed a result and that’s what we got.

Three second half goals in nine minutes from Gabriel Martinelli, Nicolas Pepe and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang turned a 1-0 deficit into a 3-1 lead, and our first Premier League win since October 3rd.

Hurrah! And also phew!

Read the West Ham 1-3 Arsenal report and see the goals here.

Here’s how the players rated today.

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 Emi Martinez.

Also, give the ratings a few seconds to load.

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mjc1892
mjc1892

Would’ve had the 10/10 for Freddie and Pepe’s little embrace and joke on the touchline. Not seen a smile like that by any of the players for some time!

Anthony
Anthony

Also nice to see a player smiling when they come off, not looking like all they want to do is bury their head in the turf!

Hiiiii guys
Hiiiii guys

Pretty poor until his goal said blogs. Pepe was getting passed players left right and centre and on one occasion he sent 3 players packing ?. Pepe and the Brazilian sensation performed the best throughout the game. Players should be judged on merit not personal like or dislike blogs.

Hiiiii guys
Hiiiii guys

And another thing blogs you have been very harsh on Ozil. Ozil and Pepe are arguably our most “Talented” footballer and I seem to sense some dislike from you to them based on the way you rate them. Ozil took e players out of the game with his assist for the third amongst many other good stuff.

Akbar
Akbar

Kewl!! Now that we have joined the party, how many points off the top 4? Ok let’s get it

Chamakhyungpark
Chamakhyungpark

Man. we needed that

Venga Bus

Did mike dean not book that chap for the savage assault on Pepe?

Heavy Gunner
Heavy Gunner

Bit of a daft question,that ;0)) It IS Mike Dean, y’know..

Mpls
Mpls

By the time he tried to cripple him the 2nd time he should have been off. He had a few in between as well.

Impressed that despite the fact those Gould have hurt, Pepe weathered them.

Freddie's left nut
Freddie's left nut

Nope, he’s a bellend.

arsepedant
arsepedant

Second one was a booking, but both should have been reds. Dean is a crime against refereeing.

GraeB
GraeB

Reckon we would have struggled against 10 men anyway so perhaps as well he didn’t.

A Different George
A Different George

Dean gave them a throw, not even a foul, I suspect because he got the ball before he scissored Pepe down. But no referee in England, including Mike Dean, has viewed the “I got the ball” excuse as valid for nearly twenty years now. I’ve watched Dean in matches where I genuinely did not care about the outcome. Dean is okay most of the time–and then often makes some incredible, baffling, decision that surprises both sides. He seems to have calmed his need to send someone off in every match, but he was overcompensating on that tackle.

Liam D
Liam D

Delighted for Freddie, you could see that he really enjoyed that one. He may not be in charge for a long time but I really hope he does well. He was absolutely beaming in his post-match interview.

Highbury
Highbury

Harsh on Özil. Thought he was good today. Always looked positive, and starved of any movement whatsoever in the first half.

goonerrah
goonerrah

Why are people so enamored by Ozil?

He does basic Attacking Midfield stuff and gets immense credit for it when he fails to do litterally all the other things a midfielder should do.

Give me a 12 goal 15 assist season for his wages and I will agree with all the Ozil supporters.

Mpls
Mpls

So what type of attacking midfielder stuff exactly are you saying he didn’t do?

Berlingoon
Berlingoon

Create a goal? Score a goal? Just a thought.

Kran stoenke
Kran stoenke

He literally dropped to midfield and carried the ball ahead and found the correct pass on both occasions that lead to the first and second goals. Everyone else who started instead of ozil(say torreira, willock guendo) in similar positions fail to keep calm in the attacking 3rd which squander every opportunity arsenal gets Moving forward. Not to mention he also ran his socks off and put in a proper shift. Channel your hatred elsewhere, because its only in arsenal you see ‘fans’ making an effort to go out their way to berate their own players!

Berlingoon
Berlingoon

I‘m sorry to disagree but he was completely anonymous in the first half and the first goal was down to a great pass from Torreira to Kolasinac and a good cross from him. Before that Özil played a 5 meter pass to Torreira. For the second goal he ran 10 meters with the ball and then played a 15 meter pass in Aubameyang’s back.
I don’t know why but as soon as he manages to play a few simple passes, go for a header and tries to win one or two tackles his fan group acts as if he had an outstanding game.
His contribution to the first goal was minimal and that goal changed the game. After that everyone played better, including Özil. But before that he was hardly a driving force in our midfield as some people suggest.
He was exceptional in the cup game against Pool but since then hasn’t done anything apart from a couple of good corners. If you think that justifies a 350.000 a week salary, fair play. I don’t and I’m looking forward to the day we get rid of him and can restructure our midfield.

jon

Forget the salary. It’s water under the bridge. The question is: Will you play him, or do we have better options?

House of Goons
House of Goons

I don’t know about this:

“because its only in arsenal you see ‘fans’ making an effort to go out their way to berate their own players!”.

I have a couple spuds buddies and one chelskie (let the thumbs down rain down – i can take it) and they’re unrelentingly vicious when they’re losing. I think it’s just the times. Everybody kind of sucks.

Except Santi – that guys just flat out adorable 100% of the time.

Dave M
Dave M

And actually participate in something physical like a tackle or a header. He was pretty poor here. Xhaka abysmal.
torrid first 70 minutes and then 20 mins where we looked like the arsenal for the first time in months thanks martinelli… Maybe he has turned out season from relegation battle to Europa contenders again. Still a long long way to go, but at least there was something positive.

TCGNR
TCGNR

For me, I am enamored with him because I have seen what he is capable of and believe he’s one of the best in the world. If Martin Scorsese makes a couple of dud films over a few years, fans of Martin Scorsese aren’t gonna turn on him and call him shit, because they still know he is a world class filmmaker. Ozil fans have seen what he can do and still believe he has it in him for now.

Also, if you watch opposition players when a mediocre CM has the ball, say, Xhaka – they don’t gravitate toward him as much, they are comfortable giving him more time and space because he’s not very dangerous. But opposition body language and behavior when Ozil has the ball is often much more proactive because it can be dangerous to give him time and space; so they are drawn to him which opens up space all over the place. It’s sort of an intangible thing he offers that isn’t beautiful or easy to quantify, but it matters and it affects the game when he’s out there.

This is just my opinion, and I can understand to some degree the problems some fans have with Ozil.

Adam Guillette
Adam Guillette

Ozil isn’t Martin Scorsese, he’s Francis Ford Coppola. Yes, he made The Godfather but everything he’s done for quite some time is a bit crap.

TCGNR
TCGNR

Adam, we’ll have to respectfully disagree ( :

Adam Guillette
Adam Guillette

How dare you sir! This is the Internet, there’s no room here for respectfully disagreeing!

In all honesty, it’s not fair to suggest that Ozil’s performances have gone as bad as Coppola’s films, but it has been some time since he’s had some hits. Would you accept Bryan Singer as a more accurate comparison?

Rufusstan
Rufusstan

The key thing about Ozil’s decline under Emory was that he wasn’t allowed to play with any regularity.

TCGNR
TCGNR

I can live with Bryan Singer, sure!

ClockEndRider
ClockEndRider

Apocalypse now was nearly 49 years ago. Much like the last time Ozil ran a football match.

ClockEndRider
ClockEndRider

40. Sorry for mistype

Bob's Mexican Cousin
Bob's Mexican Cousin

Mesut “Gravitational Pull” Ozil!

Mesut O’Neill
Mesut O’Neill

You obviously haven’t seen the Irishman ?

Danger Mouse
Danger Mouse

It was a bit crap wasn’t it.

Mintoes
Mintoes

@TCGNR – when did u see this wonderful version of Ozil you speak of? 2006/7? He’s a fucking disaster and has single handedly held us back for 5 years straight. You think he’s one of the best midfielders in the world?! What the fuck are you drinking?! He’s nowhere near top tier in world football. We have tried many times to dump him but no one else will touch him and his 350k/wk wages.

Willock over Ozil for me any day of the week.

Despite having to play with 10 men, well done Freddie.

A P
A P

Ahh, Mintoes. The fellow who defended Emery and his decisions.

PFo
PFo

A great example of a comment that perfectly reveals what the commenter doesn’t see on a football pitch.

Not saying Ozil had a great game (he didn’t though he got better as the second half went along), or that he’s worth the money we’re paying him (he isn’t, but he’s still one of the best players we have), but anyone who thinks Willock at this stage in his development should be on the pitch ahead of Ozil, go back and look at the 2nd and 3rd goals tonight, and ask yourself: would Willock have made Ozil’s two passes in the buildups to those two goals? No way: much more likely he carries the ball too long and runs into two defenders, or takes an ill-advised long shot, or plays a pass that gets easily intercepted.

Those are easily overlooked or undervalued contributions, but if Mesut doesn’t make those passes tonight those goals don’t get scored. Even an aging and low-on-confidence Ozil regularly gives you that kind of vision, precision, and final-third composure on the ball in the key moments, which almost none of his teammates consistently possess (if they did, we’d be a much better team!). Until we find someone else younger or better who can play that role (and despite what the mindless media haters say, such players don’t grow on trees), we need him on the pitch.

Frank Bascombe
Frank Bascombe

You’re pissing in the wind I’m afraid.

Frank Bascombe
Frank Bascombe

Didn’t I see you wandering around the Tate Modern the other day? No, didn’t think so.

Website
Website

“single handedly held us back for 5 years straight” do you even read what you wrote? *smh*
I know stupidity has no bounds, but this is unbelievable.

Futsboller
Futsboller

Gonorrhea – We are Arsenal fans, which is probably why we are enamored with one of our best players. No one has been all that good this year (save Leno), but Ozil is going to be integral to this team getting back to winning ways. He managed the pre-assist assist on 2 goals, and also pulled Rice out of position just a touch to allow Torreira to initiate the move for Martinelli’s (what a kid!). Anyone passing at 91% efficiency and moving the ball forward like he does is very, very welcome in this team, and you can bet that Auba, Pepe, Martinelli, and Freddie all felt that Mesut earned his wages tonight.

I’ve not been one to pile on Xhaka with everyone else this season, but he needs to sit for a while until he gets his bearings back as a midfielder.

Goonshow
Goonshow

Xhaka really needs to leave now. Yet another clumsy AND cowardly display. Sitting down on the first tackle (finally VAR smiles on us, phew!) and then his trademark ‘I’m trying to block the shot, really I am but just don’t want to mess my hair up’ half-hearted, last minute pull-out on the block of Og’s header.
The man is a coward – it has repeatedly cost us.
Begone Xhaka Khan’t

Holyviper
Holyviper

Because if I wanted to see young men running around kicking a ball, I’d go the turf nearby. Some players have that special talent that become the reason a sport keeps pulling a viewer back. The magic, even if occasional. Even if they aren’t good at other things like a conventional sportsperson should have. Ronaldo R9, Ronaldinho Zidane, Henry, Neymar, Hazard all had flaws, but they’re impossible to be kept out of a starting 11.

Ozil and Alexis were/are that magic for Arsenal fans, even if results say otherwise. Until someone replace them propah.

Even fan needs a talisman. Graceful football > brute force Winning anyday.

Lula
Lula

goonerrah

i don’t get it either. he was average

Tayzon
Tayzon

He rarely lost the ball or made a wrong pass(even the passes that cut through their defence).
That was quite rare yesterday, especially before our first goal.

ClockEndRider
ClockEndRider

And most of his passes were backwards.

Mpls
Mpls

It’s called possession.
Football would be absolutely ridiculous if the ball were never passed back.

bob
bob

Agreed, thought he had a decent game. He seems to have dropped back a bit during build-up play. Got a nice pass through to Auba in the box, who then assisted Pepe. I think he is adding good offensive value in his passes, even if he isn’t directly assisting right now. Thought he had good positioning to initiate the transition, in the second half, certainly important in relieving pressure and moving the opposition back to make space. I hope he can build on these improved performances as a fully firing and involved Ozil is going to really be necessary if we can mount a revival in the league!

TRoberts
TRoberts

Ozil has to drop because Arsenal do not play with an 8 ( since Ramsey left).

Ozenal
Ozenal

Ozil is only effective when others can move into space ahead of him. As he will not move forward dynamically himself the opposition will have plenty of time to organise.

Without Ramsey or even Wilshere, he is limited to overloading the wings, which has been standard practice since he gave a magnificent demo a couple of world cups ago.

Year in year improvement wise, he is the equivalent of Walcott. Just he has a footballing brain and a magical left foot.

But apart from that he never improved his goal tally consistently as Wenger asked him to do a few years back.

truj
truj

Özil was involved in two goals, and I think Kola and Maitland were better too. Sad but we can’t build on Bellerin because of the injuries. Tierney was fouled with intent by Antonio who used some aikido technique to dislocate his arm.

Alex
Alex

It’s Arseblog here. Che Live: for each game never one good word about Özil. That’s it.

Grumbleduke
Grumbleduke

I think the change up in pace for the 2nd half may have been Freddie introducing that old Swedish method of rubbing stem ginger on their arseholes!

truth101
truth101

this team has to be built around pepe.. hes ability to get us up further on the pitch is critical, hes raw pace and ability will also make the opposing team question when and if to bomb forward which in turn buys our other players time on the ball.. i disagree with blogs about him being poor before the goal, he was our main threat and if anything was going to happen it was going to come from him

lets get at city .. truth be told this is a game no one expects much from but they are not in best of forms so lets play our best team see what happens.

SB Still
SB Still

Looks like the players are worried about getting Marcelino haha.

Rather than Marcelino I hope Freddie keeps the job till end of season & then we decide on anyone, including Freddie but excluding Marcelino.

ricky rick
ricky rick

Pretty bipolar display, two different teams before and after the first goal. Amazing what a little confidence can do to footballers (and West Ham we re really bad)!

Zwai777
Zwai777

I just could not understand why Ozil is not daring when he has the ball with him.
Its sideways or backwards and slowing the game down, I gave up on him long time ago and Emery benched him on Merit.
He is just frustrating me, He wont dribble to go forward or create space for a deadly pass, he dribbles then makes sideways or backward price.

Against City i hope he gets subbed off on the 60th minute

GraeB
GraeB

Ozil is not a dribbler, he’s a passer but he can glide past defenders, hold them off and play intelligent balls to open defences – who else do we have that can do that?

Danger Mouse
Danger Mouse

So you didn’t see two of the goals last night then ?

OdalGooner
OdalGooner

Just maybe, it would seem like the lads were instructed to play very very safe (still looked really scary to me, though, with lots of iffy passes and getting ourselves under pressure deep in our own half!) – I think if Mesut had 6 red shirts charging forwards at full tilt, he’d pick out lots of sweet passes. But when everyone is ordered (understandibly, as we needed stability, and were very low on confidence) to pass it safely, and just keep it away from the other lot, then maybe it’s not fair to blame Mesut for not passing to the 2-3 stationary cones ahead of him.. Just like it’s not always fair to judge a keeper on how many goals he concedes or a striker for not scoring 2 every match, if he gets no passes. “But he’s a brilliant striker” – yeah, but somehow it’s a team game.

Nzini
Nzini

Why dont you hope he doesnt get picked

YoungFabregas
YoungFabregas

Amazing what we can do when we play actually play the ball forward – we looked awesome from 55-75min.

+ve: Pele 2.0, Pepe, Chambers
-ve: Xhaka

GraeB
GraeB

And when we subsequently returned to the back pass mode, we looked awful again. Just attack!

AMN really annoyed me with his stop, turn, pass back routine and, without Luiz to compare to, Xhaka looked our most lethargic player.

Mark
Mark

Loved the effort and energy Martinelli and Torreira played with, were all over the field throughout and running full speed all the way to the end. Definitely needs to stay in the lineup. Was good to see Ozil in the middle again.

Thought we were in for another long night after the double ducking of Xhaka and AMN on their goal and not having a shot on goal ourselves until the 60 minute mark, but 3 shots on goal and 3 goals can solve a lot of issues up to that point.

Steven Morrow’s Arm Cast
Steven Morrow’s Arm Cast

While I agree, I have been bitterly disappointed by how easy Torriera goes down. It’s annoying to see and especially in the last game it leaves us exposed as he sits on the floor complaining.

YoungFabregas
YoungFabregas

My personal opinion – this is what disappoints me the most about the current arsenal squad. When our CDM enforcer (who is already tiny) is weak in the challenge and goes down and complains. I have not seen Ngolo do this once, not even le coq or denilson!! However…Torreria is definitely better than the last two at a technical level.

Martinellis belly
Martinellis belly

I think he could make a good partner for a big dominant athletic CM with a playmaker ahead of them.
That would offer us enough bite and strength without totally killing our creativity. I think Torreiras distribution is underrated because Xhaka and/ or Guendouzi are in the team with him they tend to take this on but remove them and he could step up. Passing also tends to improve with form which comed from having a run of games which he has been denied up until now.
I do like Guendouzi too. He could be a rotation option like Liverpool do plus hes only 20 so we don’t want to overplay him.

Mpls
Mpls

Yeah, he should totally get stuck in against players 3x his size. Er, no.

He gets fouled. The first one he took was a hand to the face. He doesn’t have the size to just carry on as if nothing happened, so he doesn’t. Yes, I’ve seen a couple soft ones from him, but most of the time he’s just making sure the ref knows he was actually fouled. He’s got to take care of himself or his career will be over by February.

It’s not like when Antonio was going down in the box soft when he’s got 50 pounds of muscle on our biggest player.

YoungFabregas
YoungFabregas

No worries when there is a foul. But he goes down on soft impact and complains when no foul is called at least once a game. Ok for a forward, not ok for a CDM. He would not intimidate any other EPL player in the comp thats for sure.

Martinellis belly
Martinellis belly

He wouldn’t intimidate them but he would definitely annoy them. Either by slyly nicking it off them or twisting and turning on the ball.

Mpls
Mpls

It may not be OK for a BIG CDM, but he’s a small one.
Look, I hate diving at least as much as the next person, but I don’t see flagrant diving to con the ref, I see a small guy making it known he’s getting knocked around by ogres.

GraeB
GraeB

Pepe too I’m afraid.

Mpls
Mpls

You did see what Creswell did to him more than twice, right? went after his knee first, then his ankle later. He’s built of sticks and twigs (very skilled sticks and twigs) and it would be absolutely foolish for him to just carry on accepting taking clatterings like that.

I’d like these guys to stay healthy and play for us.

We don’t need more Eduardos, Ramseys, Wilsheres and Diabys. It was a horrid shame to lose those talents to the cudgels of the English game.

Le_jungberKamp
Le_jungberKamp

Does this still count as new Manager bounce? …you know, delayed for dramatic purposes?
I never seen such a contrast of performance inside one game!!! so much urgency and ambition in the second half, passing forward from the back to front. It’s amazing what a game changer it can be to play players in their right position!!!

Kolasinac
Kolasinac

Upgrade on Xhaka should be a big priority among other things.

myrtle
myrtle

Guendouzi already is an upgrade. We need an alternative, a Vieira mk.2. How long have we said that..

Kolasinac
Kolasinac

I love Guendouzi going forward but he still lacks in defensive awareness which will be costly in PL. I would like someone good offensively and defensively as an alternative to Guendouzi with Xhaka gone and so we can ease Matteo in while he learns.

Mpls
Mpls

Agree- he hasn’t shown the ability to play the positionally responsible, defensive role as well as Xhaka yet – which is a concern when we see Xhaka have matches like this.

Martinellis belly
Martinellis belly

Guendouzi’s positioning can be improved through coaching and clear instructions (lacking under Emery?)
Xhaka’s problems cannot be fixed as they come from physical inadequacy as well as a lack of concentration. You are guaranteed at least one dangerous pass to the opposition or one time being pickpocketed in his own half per match. That’s reflected in the stats about errors leading to goals. Hes not worth having in the team for this reason alone. He doesn’t inspire trust

Mpls
Mpls

Point is, Guendouzi isn’t there yet. He’s had at least as many bad passes and getting caught dallying or unsuccessfully shielding, and I’d venture even more, leading to opposition counters.

He’ll get there for sure, but we need some ‘right now’ to pull out of this rut.

Le_jungberKamp
Le_jungberKamp

The thing is if we complain about the back passing, static negative football, can we afford to take out the main outlet and ball carrier/progresor? who btw also can do the long ball disribution like Xhaka???

db10s

Yes. I’ve been saying this for a while. We lack athleticism in our midfield or someone with very good positional sense. A Petit or a Santi kind of player would be nice. I thought Ceballos would be the key but he lacks athleticism.

Willock might develop into this but he’s still lacking abit of quality positioning which will come with time hopefully.

Nzini
Nzini

I think we should go William Silva de Carvalho

TRoberts
TRoberts

Guendouzi is too slow. Arsenal need to build the player up, sell him back to slow league France, and take that bounty towards midfield speed.

Martinellis belly
Martinellis belly

I’ve realised lately he’s deceptively quick. He can burst past a few men unlike Xhaka.

db10s

He has all the tools to succeed with us. He just needs to learn or be coached into using the tools more effectively.

Kran stoenke
Kran stoenke

Guendozi, willock etc aren’t mature enough, or got the quality enough to pull the strings at arsenal. He can’t play a solid long pass consistently(like xhaka does, but is criminally one footed) and he’s also susceptible to losing possession in his own half. He has the gift of moving the ball forward with ease, but he needs to learn the art of passing(accuracy, distance and decision making) so his strongest attribute can be channeled and put to good use at arsenal.

Fireman Sam
Fireman Sam

Kolasinac, is that really you? 🙂 Well done for that pass for the first goal mate.

A Different George
A Different George

Second match in a row where he played very well. (After several viewings, I still can’t see why Blogs thinks he was at fault for their goal any more than anyone else; Chambers most at fault, but it was the whole team.)

Martin
Martin

I thought blogs was unfair to Xhaka who with Torreira controlled midfield in the second half

Reality check
Reality check

Xhaka came to collect the ball again and again. At 0-1, when chips were down, it takes guts to keep showing for the ball.
We are just very unlucky at atm. Both opening goals have been deflections in the last two games.. we just needed that little bit of things going our way..
Martinelli definitely will be in the Golden boy nominations next year.. he has everything one looks for in a born champion.

Martinellis belly
Martinellis belly

That’s literally his job and the only reason hes in the team. Guendouzi can do it as can Luiz or even Chambers as he did at Fulham.
None of them are as physically defficent or as dangerously error prone as Xhaka.

Public Elneny
Public Elneny

It’s a vitally important job and Guendouzi has shown over and over that he really can’t do it consistently enough. He makes himself available sometimes, but not consistently, and he’s not decisive enough when he’s on the ball. He’s far too free-form, nothing is automatic with him

Chambers might work at DM, but he’s our best CB so keep him there please.

Luiz is worth a shot I agree

Mpls
Mpls

We are simply visibly less composed and structured with Guendouzi in Xhakas place, and we have no game pace management. These come with coaching and maturity.

Samgunz
Samgunz

Agreed Xhaka was fine, 1 misplaced pass before the head knock, a couple after, he was good. Let him and Lucas build a partnership, something that should have been allowed to happen last bloody season.

Martinellis belly
Martinellis belly

Would much prefer Torreira and Guendouzi to build a partnership.

Ska
Ska

Yeah and it’s not like we tried it before and it looked like a horror movie

Martinellis belly
Martinellis belly

DId we try it with Torreira sitting or Torreira running all over the pitch like a madman. When hes played in the first role he’s a different player. Also they deserve time to builf an understanding. Xhaka guarantees scary errors and slow buildup .

Public Elneny
Public Elneny

Our problem is Xhaka is our only midfielder with an ounce of positional sense. Torreira seems to have had it coached out of him. He’s a mediocre all-round player sure, and he’s hardly Gilberto Silva defensively, but he has to play to give our midfield any structure whatsoever.

I don’t care that Guendouzi/Ceballos/Willock are more talented, they undermine their teammates by constantly getting lost. Hopefully they’ll learn under a decent manager.

Mpls
Mpls

I think Torreira is being asked to be box to box and push forward more. I don’t get it either, but then I’m just some guy with internet access.

Bendtnerschristmastree
Bendtnerschristmastree

Gabi really is our best defender haha

Bendtnerschristmastree
Bendtnerschristmastree

anyone know where i can find distance run from the game?

Steve
Steve

There’s no doubting Ozils ability but he slows the game up. Xhaka was shocking this evening, Martinelli did himself proud but too much, back passing and trying to play out from the back when they are obviously not good enough to do so..

Fireman Sam
Fireman Sam

Ozil might slow the game up sometimes but he does find the killer passes we need to open things up

Martin
Martin

Ozil was arguably man of the match as he didn’t stop running and was instrumental in the last 2 goals. Xhaka wasn’t bad at all particularly in the second half.

Arsenalista
Arsenalista

What are you talking about xhaka was terrible, in the second half just before we scored he passed from the right wing straight into the middle for a west ham player, he didn’t even look. His attempt to head the ball in the box was atrocious, it was right in front of our goal and he turns his back, compare that to chambers headed clearance. Xhaka is an average player at best. The guy needs to go along with some others, it’s sad that we have justified having such average players in the team.

Tim
Tim

What’s sad is coming here after a win and seeing what fans such as you write

YoungFabregas
YoungFabregas

Did you not see the Ozil pass to Aubamayeng before the Pepe goal? That was a disgustingly good play. In fact, very Bergkamp -> Henry -> Pires type play.

TRoberts
TRoberts

Love Ozil. Soon to have an Ozil Alternate jersey of my own, but… He would THRIVE in France at his age and slower speed. PSG should be the marketing target for Ozil.

Mintoes
Mintoes

@TRoberts – yeah totally agree. Can we punt the lazy wastrel to France next week?

A P
A P

If only you GTFO with Emery, but oh well.

KingKolo
KingKolo

Hype-Train! We have to come to terms with who we are. He did that once in an hour and a half. Calm down.

Monkey Knees
Monkey Knees

Ozil has always been that kind of player! A quote i remember, from somewhere(!?), regarding Ozil – “He isn’t the engine that makes the team go, he’s the oil that makes it run smoothly” (sic). This whole team was obvs shot of confidence under Unai. The smiles tonight were quite… Heart warming!

Mpls
Mpls

I can’t recall a single time this match where he slowed us up when something was clearly on.

And that pass forward to Aubamayang was the kind of inch perfect placement and pace almost no one else can pull off. When he played it I instantly thought it would be cut out. But no, perfectly out of reach of their defenders, getting us enough ahead of their men dropping back to keep them out of sorts.

I’m just happy we saw some beauty back in the game after we got going.

Mintoes
Mintoes

@Mpls – are you a fan of mls? Are you in USA…that’s kind of shite they talk about there…cos they know fuck all about “soccer”…lol

Mpls
Mpls

I most certainly am from the US. I’m a proud supporter of my local club, and unfailingly of the Arsenal since the glory days of Bergkamp, Pires, Paddy, Henry, and the like when I was first able to get regular access to watching the matches.

One thing we know a fuck of a lot about here in the US is self important trolls without anything positive to contribute, that’s for sure.

Heavy Gunner
Heavy Gunner

Xhaka looks scared- always when the ball is near him- I think he invented ‘being scared’ in an Arsenal shirt!!

Reality check
Reality check

Watch the start of the 2nd half again..

Clay
Clay

The whole team was scared. We seem play better when we have nothing to lose. The 1st half all we did was play back passes.

Hope the win gives us a little bit of confidence to try and be direct.

Cultured determination
Cultured determination

Is this the MAP to our success?

Monkey Knees
Monkey Knees

Proud of Pepe… Got seven shades of doo-doo knocked out of him for ages, but kept hungry for the ball! Top class finish and got an assist. Still a way to go to fully adapt to the pace/pressure/physicality of the PL, but signs are bloomin’ good. Leno is fast becoming a REAL top, top keeper. I hope he’s ours for years to come! Come on, Arsenal! Kick on from here!

Santori
Santori

I wouldn’t get carried away bearing in mind this is West Ham. On another day with a team on higher confidence, we would have been taken to cleaners.

Still a very poor performance for me as far as off ball work is concern.

We can do way better in terms of defensive work even if in taking account current state of confidence. No excuses.

1) Leno – Decent enough. Unlucky for the deflected goal otherwise did his job and came out to proactively claim the ball in some nervy moments. Little complains.

2) AMN – Worrying that Bellerin is still having issues with fitness. AMN a surprise for me, thought Llugberfg may have shuffled Chambers wide but on balance, I thought AMN did decent considering short notice. Had some good moments with ball at feet driving forward in support of attack or cutting in field. One instance up top over complicated a promising counter and lost the ball, some almost slack defending but then recovered with his pace and helped as well by their own lack of confidence. OK.

3) Chambers – Some decent clearances including one he put his head in the line. BUT like others nervy moments and one or two poor passes . BUT on balance of things, Luiz, Mustafi are no better options if not worse so Ok for me.

4) Sokratis – One moment his head went blank and he was boxed in to a corner, thankfully kicked the ball out or it got deflected out. Some decent enough clearances but still a very brittle backline. Its something we have to live with and find accommodation protecting as much as possible with our attack until we can find more permanent resolution in summer.
But again, OK, one or two easy passes misplaced as well but not the only one.

5) Tierney. I thought he was struggling today. NO “MASTERCLASS” as some prefer to imagine. Had a tough time with Snodgrass gave up a dangerous free kick then the very unfortunate injury. Hope he recovers quickly.

6) Granit – Very tentative today and wasn’t happy with him at all. I’m not sure if he could do better for their goal (or Chambers) but start of second half, came out groggy made several poor passes and almost got caught out once. Then played a bit more positive for the goal and got better but then got knocked out. Frankly I would have taken him out first time and put on Guendouzi. Xhaka was not the only one guilty but too many back passes as we struggled for confidence were wary of making mistakes that could lead to turn overs. In some ways though, as I have mentioned, this has bearing on those further forward to be more responsible with the ball or make better dynamic moves to help the midfield.

7) Torreira – Also a bit of a struggle till later when the goals came and then better composure. Better positioned today next to Granit with obvious decision to err on caution rather than adventure, otherwise Guendouzi would have been a better pick. ONce we got the goals, LLungberg felt more confident to bring on the Frenchman for Xhaka but felt he could have come on earlier as we looked lethargic and frankly we were lucky they are on wretched form as well otherwise we may have got punished by a better team. Again control in midfield elusive. Later on short passes worked better. As mention, whoever the two mids that play at the base of defense, they need to find each other better just do simple give and goes.

8) Ozil – I thought he was OK today, put in a decent shift defensively but really still needs to work harder. Was responsible on the ball that said and kept it well for us. This as mention something we need the forwards to do more otherwise when they lose it cheaply, its right back at us.

9) Pepe – He did good for the goal and assist and we are better balance with him left side and Ozil in the middle. BUT again over complicated with take ons, and too tentative going forward. Hopefully with a bit of confidence from today , this will help but not impressed with his off ball work. Too many times when he loses the ball from poor take ons, he falls to the ground and appeals for a decision then jogs back. Ditto AMN on one instance both simply ambling back. They really need to be running and busting a gut.

10) Martinelli – One player I felt that worked his arse off and for me by player of the match over Pepe. Did the hard work running into the box to get the goal that started us on a roll, good finish. Cometitive which is prob why Freddy decided to have a go with him protecting the left. Again we have so much pace to burn on both flanks we really needed to keep it simple like first goal and make those runs down the flanks more. I expect it is something we can build on and Freddy likely keen on it.

11) Auba – Again not terribly competitive competing for the ball and sometimes, he needs to be more crafty for us with the ball, protecting it. Once he rushed it against Rice rather than taking him on in the box. BUt decent goal as usual and at least you feel he is invested in this fight back.

12) Kolasinac – Again thought he came on and despite groin issue was competitive for us shackling snodgrass. Great run and simple movement for the first goal but the assist was very very good. Not sure why people think there is a Tierney master class, Kolasinac has been very decent for us IMO and certainly, I think he is a good outlet on the left to pass to first time for Leno bc he has the physical strength and ability to fend off knives.

13) Guendouzi – Not sure why Freddy sidelined him with preference for Willock last match. Again debatable who to start Torreira or Guendouzi next to Granit. Thought Torreira was preferred for caution since we really did not want to concede which we inevitably did. BUT Granit was poor first part of second half and I thought we should have had Guendouzi on earlier. He makes better dynamic runs forward and always plays positive. Then the question would be whether Granit or Torreira should support him. Today I’d say Torreira but on other days, maybe Granit.

14) Nelson – Good to see him on. Put on a decent shift but too little time to affect the game. Want to see more of him. Pepe needs to get consistent and also work harder off ball. Nelson we will need for some sort of competition (Of course Martinelli can also play right if we want Auba left and Laca up top. BUT certainly positive to see Reiss get some time from Freddy. Like AMN, he needs to grasp the opportunity not let it go to waste.

Freddy – I felt he should have been telling the team to play it simple and bring it forward. We lack urgency still and seem so tentative. Many times, I felt he could have told Pepe to have a run and get down that flank. In the end we had the good fortune of Creswell (himself carrying injury as is) going off. BUT we could have really worked them much harder on the wing with AMN in particular in attendance and supporting Pepe.

Still way too many touches and still a bit risky playing in our half. I think he should demand they be more positive and carry the ball more, move around to provide more give and goes, short passes particularly through midfield (which was what led to the goal with torreira and Granit exchanging simpler passes with less touches). We were often too slow on the ball and we really need to quicken the tempo, use the flanks more. Transitions still way too slow.

BUT a lucky positive for Freddy and hopefully he can build on it quickly bc next up City.

Mpls
Mpls

For me Leno, that front 4, Torreira, and Chambers are what the team sheet starts out with for the next match and going forward unless form takes a twist for someone.

Best wishes to Tierney. Shoulder dislocations suck. Let’s hope it’s not too bad.

Edzo
Edzo

If we give the ball away against city, like we did tonight, it will get ugly.

If a team is pressing just lump the ball forward because we play the ball out so slowly.

Xhaka amd amn were horrible on the goal, both afraid of the ball. I’d like to see AMN play as a holder. Isn’t that his best position?

Thank goodness we won, but no wins against Watford, Sheffield United, palace, wolves, Southampton, Norwich and Brighton (and other bottom feeders) mean we are in trouble because now we have to play some good teams.

I’m still pissed about that winning chambers goal being overturned by VAR. Shit!

Xhaka is not good enough for this league. He’s just not unless we have a beast for a holder which we don’t.

Chambers at CB for the rest of the season. Please.

GoonerNJ
GoonerNJ

My default score for Leno starts at 7/10 just for going out there with that defense in front of him. He could face 0 shots and I’ll still give him a 7.

honestly...
honestly...

I hate the standard, unobservant torreira ‘worked hard’. while that’s true, he played a big part in 2 of the goals with good incisive passes. he did play some bad passes, especially that back heel on the edge of the box, but he was the driving midfield force while everyone else was passing backwards.

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

Some coaches would have immediately subbed him for that back heel. Utter madness.

Samgunz
Samgunz

Pretty dumb ratings. Pepe was motm, brightest player in 1st half, game winner and assisting the clincher. Chambers and Toreirra not far behind, AMN was solid throughout also, martinelli not far behind but did little on the ball apart from his goal, off the ball he’s Alexis 2.0.

Samgunz
Samgunz

And a mention for Mez, he kept his head up at the start of the 2nd half when some were dropping, he kept positive and assisted the assist on 2 goals with direct quick forward passing.

Samgunz
Samgunz

And Toreirra assisted the assist to the assists on both of those goals… Is there someone that keeps a tally of assisting assist assists? Surely…

Freddie's left nut
Freddie's left nut

There were a number of situations where people went down wanting a foul and continued to remonstrate with the officials, when in the mean time West Ham had buggered off up the pitch.

I wish they’d get up a bit quicker, chase back, win the ball back, or kick the crap out of the opposition. Or kick Mike Dean, that would also be acceptable.

gooner
gooner

Kolasinac still one of our best attacking/creative outlet. Pace power, penetration. maybe not the best last ball always but so are most passes inside the six yard box by all players.
His ability to get behind the defence and cut back is underrated as if all full backs do it with ease

AFL
AFL

And, no matter how average defender he might be he is still waaaaaaaaay better at defending than Tierney. I Know blogs loves Tierney (for no apparent reason) and dislikes Kolašinac but that still doesn’t make Tierney decent defender (nor does Bellerin as well).

Will
Will

10/10 for Freddie and Torreira thoroughly patting each other on the back at full time

FMT
FMT

Shocked that AMN turned his back at a headed ball. What will he do when he faces a shot? RUN AWAY I GUESS!!! lol

Nameless_Gooner
Nameless_Gooner

Ozil & Torriera were notably better in the second half… We created chances only when both these players started to turn and move the ball infield rather than passing sideways.. I’d say it came off the instructions from Freddie, coz in the first half we were pretty poor

Alan Sunderland's Mighty Perm of Justice
Alan Sunderland's Mighty Perm of Justice

I thought AMN was excellent in the second half. As was Torreira.

I’ve been crying out for a balanced line up and at last, we got one. The front 3 worked because balance. Torriera looked good because sitting in front of the back 4.

And the boy wonder, Martinelli? Call him in this morning and offer him 150k a week for 10 years. And put a twelve gazillion squids buyout clause on his contract. The boy’s special.

ThaatArsenalGuy
ThaatArsenalGuy

Freddie for president

Basher
Basher

Fantasy land now but without two dodgy VAR decisions we’d be fifth and maybe higher given the knock the players’ confidence has had. So great to see the win and the effort they put in.

KingKolo
KingKolo

I feel Arseblog needs to reassess Kolasinac. It’s fine to be down on him and Tierney has a better cross but nowhere near his penetration. His pass for Martinelli was superb at full speed and Kieran is not defending any better than Kola at the moment. He tries to play first time or at least second touch and that picks up our labourious speed quite often. Of course we hope Tierney will be first choice but right now I think Kola deserves our support. You could say something similar for AMN and Bellerin on the other side…

AFL
AFL

Just said more or less same in the reply to comment above. Tierney is actually miles away from being even acceptable defender for PL standards. He has proved he’s got a great crossing at times but all of his defensive displays were atrocious.

Wilf Copping
Wilf Copping

Xhaka is a coward. He needs to go.

N10
N10

Tough crowd. 7/7.5s for our front 3?

Drew
Drew

Not sure what game you were watching blogs but for a player brought into the team at the last minute AMN was really good, dodgy duck for their goal aside. He defended lots of one on ones, got forward well and combined well with Pepe.

gunnerz_14
gunnerz_14

What was missing in the first half or even in the second until Torreira started doing, was the ability to run with the ball to bypass the West Ham`s ball pressure. I feel that guendozi or even hillock in that role may be better suited. Hopefully that ll be the last change in a settled first 11.

Emilio
Emilio

Torreira’s best game of the season.