Arsenal made it two wins from two with a hard fought 1-0 win over Brighton at the Amex this evening.

The first half was brutal, the second was much better, and Mikel Arteta’s ‘inspired substitution’ worked out as Alexandre Lacazette scored the only goal of the game 44 seconds after coming on.

Read the Brighton 0-1 Arsenal match report and see the goals here

Brighton 0-1 Arsenal – Player Ratings

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We end the year the way we started, with a win. 10 for all of them, and the manager.


Please let’s be patient, our kids aren’t gonna be this good every week – letting them learn on the job means supporting their bad days. A year or two maybe then they could match Liverpool or Barca’s front 3 for consistency.


How low standards have fallen, until matching the current Barca’s front three is our dream.


It will have to be some player to improve on Smith Rowe’s current form. Give him time to grow into the role please.


agreed, i thought esr was our best player in 2nd half. Unlike willock, he looks like he belongs at this level.

Willock is way better than he gets credit for. Yes, he’s not the finished article yet but he offers a lot.

The Arsenal

Willock has the same limitations as Elneny. Jack of all trades master of none.


this couldn’t be more wrong. they are the complete opposite of a player.

The Arsenal

Really? How? they are both Jack of all trades master of none. I think Willock is average at everything, I like the kid and hope he proves me wrong ..Name me something he excels in.. Running around headless?


This analysis reminds me of the manner in which we talked about a certain Welsh lad that now plays for the Zebra wannabees of Italy

The Arsenal

Ramsey was a good player.


My thoughts exactly.


Elneny’s only trade is defence, he can press and he can tackle. Saka and Martinelli are rounded, that is not a bad thing in football, it’s the most difficult trick in football to reach top standards and be accomplished all round

The Arsenal

Saka and Martenelli excel at the things they are good at. Elneny is a 6 out of 10 guy. He will always put the effort in and have the occasional Man u away performance but this today again is his level. Same with Xhaxa everyone gassed over his goal against Chelsea. As a isolated game he was excellent but that does not stop me from remembering the other 80 per cent of the time he is shit. If you think These two with Ceballos and Willock will get us anywhere close to where we want to be than your as… Read more »


Willock is 21, he’s got plenty to his game, writing off 21yr olds is premature.

I’d happily let our two young lads rotate the No8 role this season, and let them learn on the job,

Foreign imports regularly have teething problems, there’s no guarantees.

The Arsenal

Hes got that de bruyne glide and burst. Hope he can reach those heights.

Xhaka's House Keys

Willock should look to become a dominant b2b midfielder – a Diaby type. He has the physicality and technical ability to do so.

Julio Baptista's humble alter ego

Kid’s gonna be a star. Hope he’s got the right support, mentors and the right attitude, sky is the limit for him

Arsenal’s Slow Bildup

I thought Smith-Rowe was class today. The Martinelli-ESR-Saka axis was breathtaking going forward. The team looks completely different. We looked like a competent team for once.


Saka is fantastic. Martinelli too.

Auba not up to much, hope he picks up.

Xhaja and Elneny not great.

But a win at least.


As much as I like him I thought Martinelli was not at his best tonight.


To be fair I dint think he was really given the opportunity to show what he can do. Not sure who’s idea it was but his constant switching of positions with Auba seemed to mean he couldn’t build that link up with Tierney that was so effective against Chelsea


Yeah, was happy he took him off. I taught he looked a bit tired. Understandably so after playing 3 games in week.


I agree, but with him, saka, and it looks like ESR, they don’t need to be world beaters to influence games. If they’re solid, do their thing well, then they can turn a game just by their natural ability and not because they are brilliant all 90 minutes. It’s exciting

The Arsenal

Kid had a serious knee injury and has just come back. Lets relax a little.

David Hilliers Arm Cast

Agree, long way to go till we are competitive at the top, but with Partey coming in we will look a lot better.

Need Laca to get that starting spot, Auba looks like he has given up the ghost.

Fireman Sam

Auba and Elneny poor, but the rest of the team pretty decent. I think Auba will get his mojo back but we at least have Laca back and firing for now.

Aussie Gooner

10/10 for no yellow cards for ANY Arsenal players.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

We don’t have anyone on 4 yellow’s anyway. Tierney is on 3, which will be reset after our PL matchday 19.

Johnny 4 Hats

10 / 10 for Mikel. Perfect timing on the substitution. And whatever he said at halftime was very effective too. If we beat the 40 point walrus on Friday then he’s played a perfect festive period under real pressure.



North Bank

I wish he said before the game whatever he said al halftime

David Hilliers Arm Cast

Second half performance was light years ahead of the first. He’s looking like the boss from the end of the last season, very happy!


Saka was fantastic another MOTM for me. Martinelli I believe is rated too low he’s at least a 7 for me for his workmate alone and putting defenders under pressure and causing turnovers in their half. Things Willian and Pepe don’t do. This should be appreciated as much as his contributions with goals and assists will come. He and Saka should be the first names on the sheet even before Auba and Laca. credit to lack took his goal well. and we keep moving.

El Mintero

Some praise for Lacazette is way overdue. We all know blogs has never liked him but he’s played better than many have said this season and should have started this game after his excellent performance against Chelsea. Right now he’s a better option than Auba who looks like a shell of his former self, which is quite worrying to see.

Adrian Drum

Saka was great as always but today ESR, Mari and Holding were also good.
Many had doubt about Mari but he has been good (minus penalty).
Hope we continue this winning run in New Year.

Happy New Year my fellow gooners

Matt P

Mari is really solid.

SB Still

Saka, Martinelli, ESR are not just the further but the present as well. Along with players like Tierney, Gabriel will be the core of the team for a long time.


Agreed – I think we have the making of a decent team.. all we need is upgrades on Xhaka and Elneny. Mind you.. Ive advocated for both players in the past, but Xhaka.. there’s just something about his mentality – he plays well to ‘prove to others’ instead of playing well because he wants to be the best… and he’s slow and negative in his progression 9 out of 10 times. He can’t take a player on, he’s a liability on the counter, he’s not mobile or quick to make decisions. He’ll be a great player in a lesser league.


Agreed. Look at the post Leeds incident with Alioski and Tierney, and to me that shows something about his mentality is way off. Comes off to me as someone who cares too much of what people think of him and always put up this impressionable front. That or some of our fanbase has been a total tit about things and he’s really put off by it. Xhaka’s been here since 2016 as well and as much as I value the one thing he’s good at (I.e. a thumping left foot), we see more of his bad side than his good.… Read more »


I think giving Lacazette zero is rather harsh!

The Far Post

Not on long enough to rate, but long enough to score the winning goal. That’s how it works 🙂


We will not achieve anything with our current midfield players, yes Xhaka was decent against chelsea but Xhaka, elneny and ceballos is just not good enough, lacking pace and their passing accuracy is awful. Need to do the same transition in midfield as in the offensive roles. Start give playing time too azeez and so on!

Anyway great win, keep it coming and hopefully Auba will get back in form as well!


The Arsenal

They all seem to have the same weaknesses in their game to go with a lack of talent.


For the short term at least, I want to see Xhaka and a fit Partey with ESR in front of them. If we’re getting a new player in January it should be a creative attacking mid to share ESR’s load.

Review the CM options in the summer.. when the wage funds are freed.

Billy bob

Why has Laca got a 0 rating from arseblog? He scored the winning goal!!

New Lucky Shirt

These two wins have nothing to do with any of the players rated here nor Mikel. It’s all down to the surprise home shirt my wife got me for Xmas!! Wish she’d got it for my birthday in September!

Baichung Bhutia

Saka deserves more than 8 I think, what a player. Also thought Tierney got forward very well, but Brighton got behind him few times – maybe he is tiring. Its a shame we have no cover for him – if we were in a better position, we could have given him a rest and tried AMN.


EMS provides exactly what we need atm, a player who runs that exact space up and down and is always a nuisance for opposition players. I guess that is what happens when u play a COM, Mikel, get used to it. Dont care if he doesnt score or assist, his appearance in that space is crucial. That sub cost me some nerves, but it was on point. When we made the sub, their defence was unsorted, not forgetting that beautiful run from Saka away from the defender which opened up the space in the box for Laca to run into,… Read more »

Cultured Determination

rowe is starting to give me some santi vibes! oh and blogs, you seem to have incomplete some portions. Brilliant work for the goal, has become a first name on the team sheet player. Glad to see we took him off after the injury because …. we’d shit our pants if he cant play the next game cos we know who’s gonna take his place! Laca- you forgot to add a 1 in front of the 0. or maybe you meant to give him a 7, since 4+3 is 7, and he took all of 43 seconds to score the… Read more »


I think blogs did that just – well you know – because…




Not sure why there always has to be a ”will never be the greatest cb” addition to Holding’s rating. He’s 25, so his best years are ahead of him but he has already loads of experience, has lost 3 out of 16 games against the big 6 teams for example, he’s quicker than he gets credit for, always works his socks off, is an excellent header of the ball and quite a good passer, too. Maybe Wenger was right and he’ll always be seen as that 2 mio pound signing but I’d have no problem with him and Gabriel as… Read more »


Agree and have agreed for some time. He is fearless. Knows what he is and plays that way.

Guns Up

Yes, this is my favorite part of his game – tells the likes of Costa and Mane to fuck right off, and largely does well to keep them quiet. Assuming Saliba pans out, I’d be perfectly comfortable with him, Holding, Gabriel, Mari and Chambers as CB options the next several years.

David Hilliers Arm Cast

He’s been my favorite gooner since the FA Cup final against Chelsea a few years back. He bossed Costa when he was a real thorn in our side.

I feel bad for all the criticism he gets despite putting in solid performances consistently.


Absolutely reliable in big games. Was worried last year prior to the final tbh because he has played so little due to his injury but he was fantastic again.


Spot on.He is up there in Wengers best signings especially when you factor age and cost. He is also an option for Captain. Im just glad that Arteta seems to really trust him.


I remember a time people said similar things about Koscielny – that he was too much of a liability and not up to Premier League standard. Well, he matured and turned into one of the best CB’s in the league. For me, Holding is developing very nicely now that he’s finally getting a run of games together. The future is bright.


What more can be said about the youngsters? They continue to carry the attack. They’ve also helped get our excellent fullbacks more involved. They play with bravery and intent, and I thought it was hilarious watching them bypass our midfielders and build up the attack on their own. Speaking of – not to be too negative after a rare win, but your Elneny’s rating is extremely kind. He is offering us absolutely nothing at this point. He’s not exactly switched on defensively. Whatever engine he used to have is waning, and it’s infuriating to see how enthusiastically he turns away… Read more »

Alex Davis

Willock need to be given a run as a 8. I think he is miles better than neny and if given a run of games until partey return he can show his worth.


Spot on give the youngster a game…


Totally correct re the youngsters. it will be a shame if we lose Balagun & Maitland-Niles though. The youth has to be our future, the way the transfers have been handled in recent years.

A Different George

Saka and especially Bellerin were pretty good in the first half, the only ones beside the two centre backs and Leno. Brighton (like Bournmouth in the past) play the style of a top team, only without the quality, so it was good see us able to overrun them for extended periods in the second half. As for Big Sam, a quick chat with Bielsa might be useful.


Auba was dreadful. He is not taking on players, not being aggressive, or moving like a striker that is hungry to score. He was even pressing like Ozil, running to about 3 meters of the player and stopping, giving them time to find a pass.
The defense is doing their thing. Hale End doing one twos, making runs and taking on players. Auba was send down the line on the left and basically did not work the keeper after being ahead of the defender. Crossed the ball to the corner flag instead.


he looks completely disinterested. at this stage we are a better team without him in it. i would be taking whatever money i can get for him in january. as we should have done in the summer.

Greg in Seattle

To be fair we were saying similar things about Laca not long ago.

However, even in his bad stretch Laca worked his ass off. Leggy and finishing horribly, but he has never lacked the effort, just the confidence. I also think Laca’s skill set stands to age better than Auba’s. I’m terrified that we just re-upped a player who may be falling off the cliff, should his pace be waning.


Auba had already lost a yard of pace when was the last time he left a fast defender for dust…


laca definitely has some nice things in his game but he is very average for a guy who cost as much as he did. giroud was better imho and he scored as much if not more than laca. there is money on the table now for laca and auba. we should take it and re-invest in players that are on an upward trajectory. i also want to see balogun being given a run before we decide to let him go for nothing. it is literally criminal how much talent has been allowed to leave arsenal for next to nothing in… Read more »


Agreed time to drop him and give Balagun 3 games


100% agree, and I’m very sorry to say this but Auba needs to sit. We are playing with 10 when he’s on the field as all he does is jogging around the ball. He does not scare any rival. I also believe he should not be our captain.

El Mintero

Agree he definitely should not be captain. That was only done by Emery to appease the fans after xhaka’s blow up last season. Was never done for football reasons.


Arteta deserves some credit, firstly for starting the youngsters again, secondly for whatever he said at half time, and finally for an inspired substitution. Actually thought ESR struggled in the first half, was spending too much time wide left and not connecting enough with Saka. Turned that around in the second half and really showed his quality. Looks a serious talent. Glad Holding is getting some recognition as well. Saka excellent again, but with every game I get more and more concerned about our over-reliance on him. Hopefully he was only taken off as a precaution, otherwise we’ll be needing… Read more »


I’d put in cheeky offer for HFB

Greg in Seattle

Was thinking the exact same thing. Put that beautiful man in the middle of this group and look out. Even the crosses would have a new level of danger.

Or give Balogan a spin.


Personally would rather we gave Balogun a run out at CF, he could have all the right tools to make it as a top striker. But we could definitely do worse than bringing Giroud back

North Bank

Really worried by Auba’s motivation level. I don’t know if he’s upset by the team quality or the results but he looks quite uninterested on the pitch.


He is part of the team himself remember, and atm he is nowhere near quality


Its his confidence and fitness after injury that are the problem. I think he is disappointed in himself right now. Its not easy to be enthusiastic when nothing you try seems to work.

COYG 1001

Laca is crucial for us. We lack creativity. And linkage to the midfield. He adds some of both every time he’s on the pitch. The finish was excellent!

Sylvain Won'tord

Holding at a 7 level is exactly what we need. Solid enough that you don’t talk about him at all, exactly what we need given the options at CB on the bench


0 for laca is a bit harsh


Getting pretty sick of the fact that Saka seems to be getting no protection from referees.


ohh do be quiet with your moaning about nothing


It’s not “nothing”, look what happened to Jack because the refs always let opponents kick the crap out of him. We don’t want the same to happen to Saka.


Wey hey. Clean sheet! This winnung thingy feels kind of good. More of the same please


Bring back gendouzi and torreira, sell xhaka and elneny and buy another midfielder. We would be much improved in my extraordinarily humble opinion


i’d take guendouzi back. him and partey would be a major upgrade on what we have at the moment. i love torreira’s attitude but i really don’t think he has the ability to cover the ground in the PL. i thought bissouma for brighton was exceptional all day, as he seems to be most weeks. wouldn’t mind snatching him and lamptey from them.


torroeia is surely a better player than xhaka and elneny


at this stage i would take anyone over xhaka but i quite like elneny. far from elite but he does a good job of getting around the pitch and moving the ball quickly. i’ve never really seen that consistently from torreira and have seen him many times caught on the turn, having to chase back and cover ground and literally not having the legs for it. i do love his attitude though. he would work well in a slower league with smaller gaps between defence and midfield.

El Mintero

Torreira is shit and we’re lucky to be shot of him. Ditto that clown guendouzi. Complete waste of space.


Finally we are winning games like these. We have lost so many of these lately. Again the youngsters impress. Especially happy about Smith Rowe.
The limitations of Elneny/Xhaka becomes very apparent in a game like this. They are next to no help on the offense. Constantly passing either to side or backwards. We sorely need Partey back.
And well done to Lacazette – at the moment I prefer him over Auba


Great win real confidence builder. As a lot of ye have said Holding and Mari are doing superb. They too are coming out of negative and periods of self doubt after long term injuries so these victories and performances will be great for them. Hector I hold doubts about his character that he is a coaster and when going’s good he’s good but to he’s credit putting in a shift and showing he cares. KT is a top lad and when monreal left I thought that’s the end of mr 7 out of 10 in the team but KT is… Read more »

The Swede

Harsh to give Lacazette a 0.


Saka Does What He Likes


The moment of the night for me was in the 2nd half. Saka had the ball in our own half facing our own goal, nowhere much to go, Xhaka was instructing him to pass back to Leno, but Saka ignored him and turned and ran past his man, earning a free kick in the attacking half instead of the ball being back with Leno. It speaks volumes to me. The future can be so bright if Arsenal let the youngsters shine.


I note that the back five all received 7’s or higher. When is the last time that happened?


ESR! Diamond in the rough. Can he be our new Merse? I don’t care, keep giving him the chance to play… Him, Saka, Martinelli, Holding, Tierney, Gabriel, Willock, and maybe John-Jules in the future… they are our future. With Partey, Auba, Hate saying that we should sell players, but we need to get rid of Ceballos, Mustafi, Luiz, Kolasinac,El Neny, and possibly loan out Nelson and Pepe.

P.S. Anybody any idea what’s going on with Nelson?


for Nelson – Last time we heard anything, he was involved in a clash of heads with Kolasinac so they were observing concussion protocols.. but that was weeks ago. He looks fine in the recent training pictures.

If he doesn’t even make the squad for the FA cup game he may be going on loan.


Rumour has it that Nelson is in Arteta’s bad books because he sent Christmas cards to Guendouzi, Ozil, and Saliba. Might be no way back for him now.


Always a negative comment thrown in with any praise you give holding
You would probably rather start luiz from the praise you often give him
seems you dont have a clue about defenders

Dubai Ham

10/10 for Willian for staying on the bench or at home.
Well played mate


I know Mikel has made (in many people’s eyes) some controversial decisions. So… How soon should the armband travel from Auba’s body to Tierney’s?

El Mintero

Not Tierney but definitely Holding should be considered.


So happy with the win… but no hiding the facts… Leno is terrible at long passing not once finding one of our player in the whole game… and we might as well have 2 traffic cones in midfield as Xhaka and Elneny are so pedestrian. To scared to play forward quickly to our runners. And far to happy to pass it back and side ways… at times it felt like we were playing with 9 players.. smith row is a breath of fresh air and even as inexperienced as he is make both of them look mediocre… Saka is quality..… Read more »


Xhaka coming back has helped stem the tide with his experience and his muscle. I say this because it usually goes unnoticed and he becomes a scapegoat far too frequently. If he and Partey can work together they could out muscle and out fight any two that this league throws at them, and having a scrapper who can ball (ESR or ?) just ahead also make a huge difference


are you joking xhaka has been absolute shite for about 4 yers now

El Mintero

Looked pretty good 3 days ago against Chelsea…

Matt P

A 6 is over generous for Auba. A 5, at best.


Anybody notice how Bellerin lost nearly all aerial duels against Bernardo?


Laca + Saka + Mari = Excellency


I hope we do not burn Saka the way we did with Wilshere. The boy needs a break now, he can’t keep us afloat and wreck his career. Need to give him rest and try to find alternate runners. Arteta needs to give confidence to the players we have currently they look bereft of it.

A run of games to Nelson won’t be a bad idea as he has generally been good. Also I would try the idea of playing Pepe instead of Auba while Auba is returning to full fitness.

Exit the Lemming

Tierney had to work hard to subdue winger Solly March when he came on after 68 mins so this curtailed the Scot’s forays forward accordingly. Pablo Mari and Holding were decent but Brighton didn’t have any attackers on the field for over an hour. (Ditto Xhaka and Elneny) Bellerin was good at both ends and made one crucial intervention in the 2nd half to preserve the lead but why is he (5 foot 8 inches) tasked with marking Dan Burn (6 foot 6 inches) at set pieces?. Leno only had one save to make but we could live without the… Read more »


Good win. We need to start games with better tempo, intensity, speed and forward movement. The longer we take to score the harder it becomes. We need to add that killer instinct.
Please do not let West Brom think they have a chance. COYG


Funny 2 games won in a row, 2 games Willian is missing in a row.