Arsenal were 2-0 down and down to 10 men and it looked like the Europa League dream was over. Then Bukayo Saka won a penalty, Pepe tucked it away and Villarreal’s red card kinda evened things up.

It’s fair to say we got out of jail a bit this evening, but we also put ourselves in jail with a bad initial team selection and set-up from Mikel Arteta who tried to be far too ‘clever’ for a game of this importance.

Here’s how the players rated.

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

Villarreal 2-1 Arsenal – Player Ratings

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

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karl

Arteta have a very expensively assembled array of talent and he rarely gets a tune out of them. If they blow all the summer money of Odegaard and Mikel stays, it is hard to see what will improve next season.

Fabulous

Most likely what will happen

Shadshod

The squad is pretty bad in fairness. Not making excuses of Arteta, he needs to go unless we win Europa, but don’t expect that much to change even under a new manager.

Awesomesauce25

I always find it a bit funny when we complain the players are not good enough, yet then also blame the manager. Ultimately, if the players are not good enough, you cannot expect the manager to win titles. Now, if we think Arteta is not good enough, then you cannot expect the players to achieve what they are capable of. It is, of course possible that they are all not good enough, but if we agree that Arteta’s starting point was a team of individuals who were not good enough to begin with, then it is difficult to judge him… Read more »

edzo

Manager is inexperienced. And majority of players are average.

Naked Cygan

Emery was sh*t and his stats are still better than Arteta.

Fezec

Emery was shit. Arteta is shit. Everything is shit. Three successive managers have had issues with this squad. The club has been poorly run for years. Yet still, here we are again, believing everything will be ok when… Everything will be ok if Arteta would just play my favourite player in the position I think he should be playing. Everything would be ok if we replace Arteta with such and such manager. Everything would be ok if we had different owners. Everything will be ok when… We seem to view everything through this prism of Arsenal 2004. That somehow we… Read more »

Vaibhav Pandey

Totally echo your words, there is shitloads of negativity and I am hearing protests outside Emirates on 6th May when potentially we will have biggest game of the season! It affects everyone mentally and fans believe they will oust the KSE with this, no way, never gonna happen. Why not cheer up team on 6th May just like Villareal fans did outside their stadium, but alas Arsenal fans are most entitled bunch I have ever come across who are still living the invincibles. Accept the reality people, this is going to be a very long road to glory even if… Read more »

hustle6

very well said

hazmat

Good man – we have provided easy laughs for other teams supporters for way too long with our rancorous self loathing,
if you call yourself a supporter, support, and embrace the experience, both good and not so good, failing that, perhaps some of the more belligerently entitled fans should try taking tranquilizer’s.

Vaibhav Pandey

Lets bring back Emery then or maybe Ozil becaus his number are class apart!

Websitewebsolyt

Yeah and ozil with that salary, should’ve ran around a little bit more.

Gio

Glad to see a manager rating for this one. This is all on Artet

Tombo

You get 5 subs, getting overrun, ceballos a risk, no striker, system not working and he does nothing.

Daveo

-5/10 your coming back out after halftime with no changes, that was inexcusable. We sucked and continued to suck after Halftime. Pure unjustified arrogance to think that pitiful first half would eventually come good when it was arguably the worst half of Europa football we’ve played all year. False 9… more like false coach.

Stanley Collins Essuman-Mensah

Your question is logical and far from baseless.Nevertheless most of the die- hard supporters raise hell if the players on the pitch are not selected or if other subs like Elneny or Willian are coming so Arteta tacitly gave in and stuck to them.
How many can deny that they have stated that they turn off their TV when aelneny or Willian are coming on?

David C

I couldn’t believe no subs at half. We should have changed to a back 4 and put a striker on right away. Terrible formation, everyone was lost.

Vaibhav Pandey

There are tradeoff which hopefully you will see: Cedric has costed us some points and Arteta would not be trusting him anymore with LB role. Saka is too good of an attacker to play as LB so to strengthen the attack he cannot be play as LB. So the most logical option is to place Xhaka there and which opens up one slot in midfield, play Ceballos or Elneny, Elneny gives no forward momentum and hence Ceballos got the nod. So here I tried to explain the thinking but I agree with two issues: Not taking of Ceballos sooner Putting… Read more »

Cultured Determination

I’d put esr in cm

Mentally Drained Gooner

We’re a team without a left back and a right back with our best mid fielder playing left back. And Mari’s positional sense is fuckall. The way he moved aside for their player to put in a easy through ball to their striker for which Leno had to make that save before we scored had my blood boiling. Rob holding should be sold. He’s just bang average. And I won’t waste my words on Ceballos. and for the manager. He’s got another 90 minutes to prove his worth or else it would be the beginning of the end. it’s just… Read more »

YOLO Toure

Juan Foyth skinning Ceballos over and over again tonight was just…I couldn’t believe what I was seeing! JUAN FUCKING FOYTH!!

Noni

Couldn’t agree more. It’s embarrassing. He’s a CB loan reject from Tottenham who has been a bit part player for Villarreal, playing in midfield mostly due to injuries. And somehow, we made him look like Vieira charging through the middle time and time again. Ceballos was absolutely roasted. Never thought I’d say it, but I’m desperate for Xhaka to be brought back into the middle.

YOLO Toure

Right! I know the last year or so has been weird, but surely not this weird!

PeteyB

If Xhaka at left back needs to be a thing, I’d rather see Elneny at the moment partnering Partey. Mostly I want KT back.

Vaibhav Pandey

No Elneny for sure, he kills all forward momentum. Next game KT will be back and Xhaka will slot in alongside Partey, maybe this is why KT didn’t make the bench tonight and I see him being left out completely against Newcastle as well to be fully prepared.

Dave

Partey best game was at Old Trafford with El Neny wasn’t it?

Unfortunately Partey has looked very average since coming back from injury.

Bort

Your name fits your comment perfectly. We’re al drained

Disarmed Gunner

Al drained is similar to Al dente? Drained but with a slight bite?

Bort

Yeah, soft but with a small crunchy bit in the middle

Jules

Slightly off topic, but blogs, could you do a Ratings-type article where readers can vote on every single current first team player for whether to keep them or sell them? And we can then see the ratios of who the arseblog readers see is indispensable/got to go. And perhaps for our loanees we can have a sign/not sign option. Would also love an end of season rating for every player. Have a nice day! #coyg

karl

Great idea

Public Elneny

Ooooh that could get toxic

I love it.

Jules

Mainly I’m interested to see who fans want/think we should sell because clearly we will have to make some compromises this summer, selling players who we may want to keep to raise funds, keeping players we may need upgrades on because of lack of funds/no other option. Do we sell someone like xhaka, who we probably need an upgrade on but who has also made himself indispensable to us this season? (Think how much we missed him in midfield today) We definitely need a new right back, so who will be the one to go? Bellerin would fetch the biggest… Read more »

Daveo

Sell the fucking club, everyone working in it and all the players >25. Start over with new ownership, new management,
New players, new coach, at this point I don’t even care if it means we spend a year in the championship to reset properly. This relic of arsenal is embarrassing on and off the pitch.

Vaibhav Pandey

Yeah right and get relegated next season, you are a piece of joke 😀

Jack4343

That you Edu?

askblorg

For my money selling Xhaka or any other names that are consistent regular starters is is a pretty clear NO. We need these guys and then build on top of them. I could swallow Laca or Bellerin leaving for a fee as we have decent back up in those positions and obviously age/contract for Laca (plus spunking large long term on Auba and Willian) means we probably have to cut him loose, and profit off of his recent good form. I’m hopeful Saliba can be brought into the fold, and we clearly need a backup left back. Apart from that,… Read more »

Fabregooner

I think you’re ignoring the Hale End next generation there. In particular Aziz but I think we have a very young promising left back? And what happened to Odegard? I’d imagine he will be our number one target this summer, and if we fail to land him then we need a creative attacking midfielder since we can’t rely only on ESR. Or we move Saka to a number 10ish role (where he would be superb, obviously) and find a tricky pacy goalscoring wide player to replace him.

Mpls

Saka seems to be able to play just about anywhere, but i’d hate to lose the threat he poses from wide, and he gets into the box as it is, so hopefully the 10 / central attacking role can be Odegaard or another astute acquisition.

A5000m555

Yes, good idea.
Also, it would be good to add a Manager rating to the player ratings. It would be good to know people’s views on the Manager – squad, tactics, substitutions etc, compared to player performance for each game.

Arsenalista

It’s not going to happen, I’ve been saying it since Wenger.

Mpls

But every other article is absolutely fucking filled with Manager comments. The last thing I want to see is yet another method for beating a dead horse.

But I might be up for a trade- manager rating in exchange for people keeping their fucking traps shut about the manager on all articles not expressly about the manager.

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha—
-sigh-
that was a nice dream.

Artetist

That’s a great suggestion, that dislike though?? could it be from Blogs?

Ealing

Leno, Gabriel, AMN, Willock, Tierney, Nelson, Martinelli, Saliba, Guendouzi, Saka, Pepe, Nkieta and ESR

Not the formation, but the 13 players that should have been in and about our team when fit. Put some experienced players around them and carry on. Sort out the players we need from then, get rid of the deadwood like we did, sell the others in January 2021.

viegunner

well, the big question being whether we even want to play united in the final (not entirely serious, but not taking the piss entirely either)

Mike Adams

My thoughts exactly. Could’ve been Baku part 2.

Vaibhav Pandey

So with your fear we stop competing that it could be Baku again, amazing!

Vaibhav Pandey

We certainly do, I think we have never lost to United under Arteta (Correct me if I am wrong here)

Deano

When we have played manure both times this season, we have been the better team.

My only worry about that lot is the incredible amount of penalties they get.

Cechmate

Actually, I do fancy them – provided MA gets his tactics right and doesn’t screw around like today, where he should ahve known that we’re not City yet and do not have the kind of team to play with a F9 and nor is ESR a KDB yet. This MU team would come very high in confidence, cocky even and would want to attack more. We should revert to a back 5 like last year if KT is not back and have Saka play as LWB. That way, Xhaka can play midfield along with Partey and have Auba up front.… Read more »

Public Elneny

Can we as a fanbase start giving a bit more love to Pepe?

He’s been one of our better players for a while, and has always been one of the most likely to come up with clutch goals. Almost always tries to be positive, rarely goes into his shell. Despite not really having the trust of Emery or Arteta, or indeed the fans

Forget the £72m and just pretend we signed him for 30 or so

Harbo

Agreed. He works hard, gets a lot of attention from the defence and takes a decent penalty. He should shave the whiskers though. Lockdown doesnt excuse everything.

viegunner

pretend we swapped him for AOC and iwobi and he’s fine business. not even half a year ago plenty of us, me included, were all for selling him. he’ll probably never be what we expected (for the price) but if he improves further, i think he’s good enough for us to challenge for 3rd-4th. now for the rest of the team..

Jules

Absolutely agree. Somehow he’s gone really under the radar this second half of the season but he’s been really positive pretty much every time he’s been on the field since that Leeds cock-up. Gets the ball, drives us forward, creates chances, gets shots. People were derisively calling him an expensive gervinho, I disagree so vehemently, he is far more involved than gervinho ever was. Maybe I’m being naive and hopeful, but given a chance (a proper extended chance) and with the right reinforcements in our team, I can very easily see pepe having a phenomenal season next year.

BillyKrystal

Oh Gervinho was involved… but it’s that involvement that was the problem.

goonshow

I’ve never wavered on my stance of giving Pepe time – I used the example of how long it took Thierry to settle. Plus he’s had the added burden of a new, inexperienced manager experimenting with formation and tactics. And on that note… The instant gratification merchants on this forum – most of whom were crucifying Pepe in the cruellest terms – could perhaps take a leaf from their own books in screaming #ArtetaOut, simply because he doesn’t seem to learn from his errors. Nor it would seem, do they… in calling for his head after a season that, in… Read more »

Charles

My strategy of backing all signings from Ligue 1 continues to pay dividends.

Mentalista

Yep Pepe was a decent. Not his fault the left side is bonkers with Xhaka at LB and Ceballos looking like he’s playing a game of his own.

David Hilliers Arm Cast

He’s got bags of talent, pace and works hard. I worry that he runs out of ideas if a defender has him sussed early.

goonshow

No way – he’s incredibly brave in the way he will try to take the ball through 2 or even 3 defenders in a cramped space. Yes, he loses possession doing it but on the increasingly frequent times he gets through, it invariably puts him, or another player he assists, in a goal-scoring position.
A large part of our scoring issues this season have been that we don’t take on opponents enough… that we just aren’t brave or aggressive enough.
Pepe does not have that problem, let’s not wish it on him!

mrugunner

i was so excited to see him start as striker as he was in lille.. only to see that it was ESR as false 9. 🙁
arteta out he is no tactician

Swifty

We lost to a team managed by Ray Reardon.

El Mintero

Nah, he’s the Spanish Rigsby…”oooooh miss jones….” youtube it if you’re under 45…:)

Thomas webb

Time is up for arteta, he is such a poor manager and this poor decisions and management of games has happened time and time again this season. This will all end in tears with arteta mark my words, I have said this for a long time now that this only ends with him getting the sack

Mike Adams

Hes learning his trade. Just learning it at the wrong club.

Vaibhav Pandey

Yeah you will see him using all Arsenal experience in Barcelona, that day is not far.

Arsenalista

It’s such a pity, I really like Arteta and was hoping he would be the next Pep, alas not to be.

Deano

A few million pounds behind Pep to be fair, but yeah it’s excruciating seeing how slowly we pass the ball about.

goonshow

Just like Pepe was over-rated, over-priced and an utter failure, according to you and many others here… give the fella time!!
This is football-during-pandemic, not Subbuteo, ffs!

matt keeler

This is all a bit irrelevant isn’t it.

I can see both sides getting dicked on by Manure in the final

Homer

Have a rec for splendid use of “getting dicked on…”

LOL. Well done.

El Mintero

Bollocks. On our day we’ll take utd. On our day mind…

goonshow

And one Mr Arteta has a rather healthy record vs Manure…

David Hilliers Arm Cast

They aren’t invincible, but it would take a monumental effort from this team, with zero mistakes. And let’s be honest, this team is full of those.

Deano

The manure I have seen this season have been pretty average, but to be fair to them they have won the majority of games that they were expected to win. That’s probably the difference between both teams this season.

Joseph Odinga

3/10 for Ceballos is far too high. I gave him 0.5 only because he was an extra body in midfield.

Maybe, just maybe, Ceballos is a lower EPL/top Championship player? He takes far too many touches and can’t seem to think quickly enough against top opposition.

Mike Adams

Hes pants. Never liked him

bored

Yeah, we were actually playing 10 vs 11 with or without Ceballos on the field.

And just when we were getting good at it, Capoue sacrificed himself to foil the plan. Dedication.

Mpls

We improved when we were down a man.

I rarely think this way, but I believe Ceballos was 75% of our problem today. He and Partey cannot be paired anymore, and I sure as hell wouldn’t pull Partey, despite his passing lapses and row z shooting.

Ceballos’ complete lack of speed and poor play disrupted so much of our play today.

goonshow

Honestly would rather have seen Mo’Nenny next to Partey. I know there are many haters on here, however…
the few times they’ve been paired, we’ve done better than expected. Mo’s conservative style would allow Thomas to get a little further forward as that pivot we so badly need in front-foot midfield.
I also think he may benefit from a run of games – still don’t feel he’s as bad as many suggest.

goonshow

Oh yes – and I defs rather Mo takes the long shots than Partey!!

Mpls

I think the reason it’s worked better with Mo is he’s more of a team player. Dani is that guy we’ve all had on our team at one point that won’t listen to anybody and does whatever the fuck he wants.

The amount of time Arteta spends shouting at Ceballos on the pitch tells me he hasn’t gotten it, and probably won’t.

john

PEPE was immense! Very underappreciated right now!

Mpls

I agree, he really has started earning his place. Just a little more decisiveness and precision with his final move / final ball and he’s a very real threat. He’s still a little prone to dallying on the ball and slowing up play. I know it’s part and parcel of that style of player, but a touch sharper decision making and he’s golden.

Tommmy

Bonus rating 10/10 – Willian getting his appearance bonus

Tommmy

Ironically I wrote this before reading the ratings. Glad we are all on the same page about this

Leeaachy

I think Bloggs’ ratings are a bit harsh. We weren’t amazing but the team did pretty well to play without a striker on the pitch for that long, we aren’t anywhere near good enough to emulate City.

El Mintero

It was a fucking stupid line-up out of nowhere with two strikers on the bench one of them the captain who is paid for these games ffs. Emery was licking his chops at Xhaka left back…they are an average side made to look good by that bullshit line up. Sorry Mikel, I’m a big supporter of yours but tonight was on you for that defeat. We should have pumped them 3-0 with the players we have…

Jack4343

I think he was too lenient. I grade pretty much on an enjoyment scale….and we aren’t enjoyable to watch at all. I’m actually starting to get pretty meh about each match day and that really saddens me. We used to be so beautiful to watch. This shit is like slowly peeling off my own face.

cranky colin

The negativity towards Leno here on this site is tiresome. Yep, I know, he fucked up last week.
His overall contribution despite our CB issues since he arrived has been excellent.
And Blogs, did he not make two reflex saves at 2 nil?
Give the guy a break lads and Rate him an 9.0 tonight.

Goonish

With 6 being Blogs’ usual average, Leno’s 7.5 is quite a good score. He did well today, with one really good save in particular.

Mike Adams

Steady on chap. No one deserved a 9.

Daveo

Ah 2nd goal? That’s a corner inside the 6 yard box, he started and then retreated and then they scored. Another poor decision that cost us a goal. They saves were great, he’s an excellent shot stopper, but that’s literally the only thing he’s excellent at.

goonshow

And his distribution to ‘launch’ counters is utter crap – I cannot remember the last time he reached one of our pacier players with a goal-kick, a quick punt or bullet-throw…

Dave

A world class keeper would’ve claimed that corner. Leno out.

Cosmos Forever

We were terrible all around but we should give credit to Villareal. Pressed us up and down the field, worked hard and didn’t really give us any space. Defended in numbers well.

Torterrier

I sometimes wonder if the Kroenke’s are making the team selections and substitutions. Arteta surely can’t be this bad

John g

He is. This was shambolic.

Jack4343

Actually I think they’d do better. Not because they know a good 11 but I think they would just call Arsene and ask him.

Daveo

They’d at least play a striker as that’s probably one of the few elements of football they might understand.

Hank Scorpio

Tries hard to be clever but the only person he outsmarts is himself,

steve

I think the real turning point in this game was the two subs Arteta made in the 95th minute, tactically inspired from a truely great manager

loose_cannon

As poor as Ceballos has been at times this season, that wasn’t a yellow in a million years. Not that he should have been playing. We’re going into games with a CM at LB, a CB at RB and now an AM at CF. Not sure when this madness will end. Ona more positive note, Saka was exciting as usual but Leno deserves huge credit. Villareal would have been out of sight if not for his saves.

Pooner

“at times”

David Hilliers Arm Cast

Ref gave Auba a yellow for his first challenge. He was a proper nonce.

Daveo

He should have been off already, the previous foul was a yellow and he dodged a bullet, clearly the ref had him on thin ice after that and his second yellow was not a good foul either, he landed on their players’ foot.

We were lucky with the ref. Not the other way around. Xhaka made a hand ball, and saka’s looked like a dive where he threw his leg into the defender. We did not deserve 2-1.

Ealing

And the first yellow was cynical

Dave

Was very naive of Arteta to leave him on.

DaDude

I wouldn’t call it a dive, but he ran into the guy and then fell. I am not even sure if the Villarreal player made a foot or body movement into the direction of Saka, he was just standing around there. Haven’t seen that given often. In the EPL by an English ref and for Arsenal, this would have never been given. For Utd. maybe on occasion.
Basically if that is given against us, I would be absolutely furious.

goonshow

He definitely goes to trip Saka, but then throws his arms up and pulls his foot back too late. Saka feels the slight contact and goes down – smart forward play and most certainly NOT a dive. There was contact… and that was enough.

Snc

I’m really beginning to question this process. We are far too inconsistent this season. Serious overhaul needed, tt may include from the owner, higher management, recruitments, coaches and players.

John g

If this was Emery he would have been destroyed by the fans. I’m glad he is getting some pressure finally. He set the team up to fail today, both from the start and with subs. Let’s hope next week we get some Auba up top.

Jack4343

Emery had to deal with angry fans at the Emirates. Arteta hasn’t…..yet.

Baichung Bhutia

I actually didnt mind the false 9 idea as I thought Pepe will play up front with Odegaard behind him. Playing ESR as false 9 is baffling.
Hope Arteta learns from his mistakes – no Xhaka at LB, no false 9 nonsense and some pro-active subs.

Clay

You expect the guy that still puts Willian on to learn from his mistakes?

Stanley Collins Essuman-Mensah

You lost with ALL the players you’ve been clamouring for to be playing, exception Martinelli who came in late; played woefully and lost and you still mendacious to cast insinuations at Willian.
Check his stats at Arsenal and tell me whether he gives balls away like other players do .
Again tell me how many forwards and wingers retreatcto help our defenders like him?

DaDude

My god, let it go with Willian. It was 20 seconds before the end and the Corner was clearly the last action of the game. He wanted to take off the seconds with the double change and Willian actually took a decent Corner which allowed an Arsenal player to still get a header in. If he brought Willian instead of Martinelli and expected him to change the game with alot of impact in the last 15 to 20 minutes, I would have agreed with you. There is no evidence based on performances so far that Willian could produce such impact,… Read more »

Hank Scorpio

Good luck with that. Call it arrogance, stupidity or stubbornness. Either way he just doesn’t seem to learn. If he just did what was obvious most of the time he’d save us all a lot of heartache. I also hope a lightbulb goes off in that brain of his but I just don’t see it happening.

CLEGOONER

Well that was shit. Arteta not getting better quickly enough.

djouroureallylikeit

He’s getting a lot worse. The 3-5-1 formation he played in the last cup run at least was undertsandable. I know we have some injuries but my god are we poor.

The Arsenal

The Super League Bs has intensified every negative aspect of the club.

Pooner

Rancid tactics, rancid team selection, rancid performance. I’m really struggling to see anything to like about Arsenal at the moment. After about 10-20 minutes of every game I ask myself why I’m even watching. The football this season has been absolutely horrible, The worst I can ever remember.

Beyond the few exciting and likeable youngsters we have there’s nothing. Cynical owners who only care about growing the value of the club by creating a super league, a struggling manager who is out of his depth, Edu, a disjointed, awful squad full of weak players, and truly terrible football.

Mentalista

Fully share the sentiment.

The one reason I watch is the attacking talent, which sadly is wasted when they get on the pitch without any semblance of tactics or game plan.

Tommmy

I prefer watching this team than the Emery team before it. However I hate the inconsistency, the lack of tempo, the continued lack of midfield and never playing through the middle.

I also dislike the constant changing of the back four, the odd attacking selections, the bad sub decisions, Willian and the owners.

Christ, do I actually support this club anymore? Sadly yes

Stanley Collins Essuman-Mensah

Why you suggesting Willian not a good sub? Who else.Willian is the disciplined player who hardly gives away balls and does a lot of defensive work aside his winger or midfield role.lf you do not understand soccer,tactics or roles, you would naturally be churning out such jaundiced analysis

Soreeyes

Wtf was that 1st half, arteta over thinking that one, lucky to still have a chance, that one man midfield is ridiculous, stretching partey to the limit, that was a horrible and stressful watch.

Gunner08

This is such a hard opponent. They work against us in every way and I don’t know what we can do about them. They have bothered us all season and are the reason we sit in mid table. No I’m not talking about unai and Villarreal. I’m talking about Arsenal itself

Tom

Genuine question – can anyone explain to me why I regularly hear Arteta described as intelligent..?
I get that he is good with languages having played in various countries…… that’s great.
But in terms of actually setting up and managing a team he comes across seriously thick.
Selecting Willian relentlessly for the first half of the season, some (most) of his line-ups, the embarrassing, clumsy set-pieces we take, his allergy to Martinelli, his faith in Ceballos, and of course his use of substitutions. Honestly feel like he is plain stupid.

Tommmy

He’s just empowering the players to overcome adversity…

CLEGOONER

He speaks well. He certainly seemed intelligent when he played.

But I know what you’re getting at. Im not sire being intelligent is the key to tactical genius, and theres a learning curve.

My concerns are more about his substitutions.

Either way, a club sliding quickly into irrelevance is a tough spot to learn on the job.

CLEGOONER

Are we still pretending Partey is something special? He seems like a replacement level player to me.

Guns Up

Agreed. Gets way too much of a free pass. Has been pretty bad for some time now, in my opinion. Gave him a 4 for this one – culpable, at least in part, for both goals, trademark shot into row Z, some wretched passing, including the kind of gift to the opposition for which Xhaka, Mustafi, etc. were so often (rightly) criticized. One good ball to Auba doesn’t erase the rest of his night.

Jack4343

He seems a good player but really looks like he’s not quite figured out what his teammates are going to do or where they will be. He makes forward passes to players that aren’t making runs. It’s like playing with a blindfold on. When you know the system well you don’t need eyes. Who’s to blame? Could be Partey for making errors. Could be his teammates for not being forward thinking enough and ball watching. Could even be Arteta for not coaching well enough in training.

Vonnie

Partey seems like a slow thinker, he can do good things when he’s given time and space but absolutely useless when the pressure’s on. I never watched him before he signed for Arsenal but for the amount of hype and the money we spent and the salary he’s getting I expected a lot more. Another “experienced” player who’s turned out to be a big disappointment, he can’t defend and somebody needs to tell him to stop launching the ball into space, it’s really fucking annoying.

Jack4343

His defending on the corner for their 2nd goal was absolutely terrible. Just stopped tracking his man for no reason. Balls into space are ok if we have someone running into that space. We have lots of ball watchers in our squad.

Lego Stare

I’m not saying he’s been the best player ever (that shooting 😱😱😱). But the way he speeds up the tempo is truly class(could just be that I have a low bar after watching out midfield for the past 4 years). He fizzes that ball around (albeit sometimes wayward) but the only times we got out of the press was through him. Partey is not the problem. Our whole back line is pretty average – none of them would get any run at a top 6 EPL side (back line tonight…Tierney would). Midfield – lol. Forwards…decent but don’t fit very well… Read more »

Skinny Ricky

Disaster looming: 2-0 and a man down. But we had the resilience to somehow scrape our way back into the tie and live to fight another day. A deluded opinion maybe – given the general air of doom (rightly) enveloping our beloved Arsenal – but I have faith in Arteta.

Tommmy

Arteta made Emery look like a good manager tonight for over an hour until we fluked our way back into the tie.

At this point I’d rather see Ljunberg back in the dugout. At least Freddie can actually nurture talent. If we actually somehow win this competition it will just paper over the glaring cracks at this club. We would just be a club version of Greece at Euro 2004. A trophy in hand but a dull future awaiting us.

We have terrible coaches, terrible executives and unreliable back-up players. I have not been impressed with the Arteta/Edu leadership at all this season. Something needs changing.

Dave

Referee and VAR deserves a 10, they got us into the game.

Other than that, a really awful showing from us. Good thing we have that away goal advantage, hope they don’t mess it up at the Emirates

Lance

They always had space we never had space we were always under pressure they were rarely under pressure.When we have space to run in the middle of the field instead of running vertically at that space we slow down and pass to the sidelines. Our attacking instincts are anemic in general with a few exemptions this season. I love Arsenal they have become unbearable to watch.

Carlos

I cancelled my membership today in protest of the Kroenke Management after 10 years + support. It was quite freeing in the end.
I’d advise anyone in this thread who has similar disdain to the way the club is being managed to direct your feedback to: [email protected]

COYG1001

No onion man! Decent shout to win this.

Peter Manyum

I love Saka as much as the next man, but can we stop with the “smart play” approach. We all find it vomit-inducing when Kane’s described as “cute” for diving to win pens…

That being said, I feel like we’ve deserved a decision go our way for once

Samuel

Poor starting selection cost us the game. Start Martineli on top Saka left sided and Pepe right sided. Start Odeggard or Smith-Row not both then, Partey and Eleney central midfield to have good security and balance

goonshow

Couldn’t agree more.

Merlin’s Panini

Can’t say I didn’t see that red card coming. I think that’s it for Dani Ceballos now. He’s only been good against poor teams. He has some talent but I don’t think we can afford to gamble with it coming out. We need a good solid pro in that position. We desperately need KT back now so Xhaka can play the rest of the season in midfield. Here’s hoping our shit home form in the league doesn’t rear its head here too.

RosaLegend

How do you not take off 1-2 midfielders after that 1st half. Lucky to get the result we got today tbh. Hoping for a much more confident second leg, right off the bat. Similarly as in Prague. Pepe was immense today and Saka was Saka. These two, along with the Leno save, kept us in it. COYG

Aik

Mikell arteta again cost us this game, I’m worried cos in europa we seem to.be better away than at home. Managers initial selection was a disaster their was no balance in that selection.

CaptainKhan

It’s baffling that Arteta decided to try this new untested tactic in a European semi final. Arteta again shows to be clueless. I try to be optimistic and give people a chance, but honestly, Arteta is not the man Arsenal need now. At least with Klopp and other managers, their first few seasons you could see progress and a style forming. With Arteta is just see hit the side and hope. A year and a half in and there’s no fluidity in our play and no clear effective system. Saying all that, the away goal might prove to be very… Read more »

Disarmed Gunner

Unai Emery should get a 10 for not just outclassing Arteta, but coating the pitch in his special hair oil, causing our players to fall about the place all game.

edzo

I’d stop messing about. Pep can tinker all he wants bevause he basically has world class at every position. We have world calls at no positions, although saka and ESR could be that one day soon. Chambers did ok but he’s a center back. He has no pace. And with xhaka in at left back that means disaster. Start Hector. Two of our crap center backs. Cedric on the left if Tierney isn’t back. Partey and xhaka. Esr at left wing, pepe on the right and throw saka at the number 10 and auba. auba. Or odeggard for pepe. Whatever.… Read more »

VfB Talheim

Let’s take the positives

Gunnerer

It was like watching a mid table team playing a relegated team. Pepe’s penalty was very poor in my opinion. It’s the kind of goal that will get a lot of slack had it been saved. Enough excuses for Partey needing the setup around him to fire. His passing was piss poor and so was his overall game barring one ball to auba. But the manager was the worst thing about this game

Rubic

Asked whether he got his personnel selection wrong, Arteta replied: “Obviously when you lose you always get it wrong.” But he defended the selection of Granit Xhaka at left-back, where he was exposed for Villarreal’s first goal. “When we won 4-0 away from home at Slavia Prague, who hadn’t been beaten in a home game for three years, Granit played incredibly well. But I know that when that doesn’t happen it’s always going to be pointed at.” Whilst, we defended poorly for their 2 goals, I believe it was less about what we did or did not do… and more… Read more »

Carlos_Santana

Did they put grease all over the pitch?

Exit the Lemming

Most of it ended up on Emery’s hair

goonshow

Most of it came from Emery’s hair.

askblorg

If we sold Laca and Bellerin for combined 50-60 mil this summer, we could hopefully afford one marquee signing. Where do you think we need it most? I reckon another central midfielder, probably a more attacking one to compete with ESR but who could drop in for Xhaka or Partey. Basically we need an upgrade on Ceballos. Could also upgrade Elneny but, for me, he’s solid enough as a squad player. We also need backup for Tierney as he won’t play a full season. Anybody know if we’ve got any decent youth LB coming through? —————————————–GK: Leno/ Ryan ———————–RCB: Holding/Gabi/Chambo; LCB:… Read more »

Exit the Lemming

Why not just pay > $27 million each for replacements for Holding, Chambers, Mari, Gabriel, Cedric and Xhaka and never select the new signings for the first team but instead, just send them out on loan to our rivals then sell them on at a loss?

Yasir

The deadly mistake for arsenal was and still selling emiliano martinez .since then the team is going down and no confidence on leno and his poor goal keeping. The best time for Arsenal was with Emiliano
FA cup and the super .

Exit the Lemming

Leno has been poor this season yes, but was the only reason we didn’t lose this game 4 v 1.

Bennis Dergkamp

I have been saying this as well. People don’t seem to understand that a goalkeeper is about more than just saving goals – they inspire or deflate the confidence of the entire team and also can set up attacks with good distribution, which also happens to reduce pressure on the defence.

Almunia4Pires

Saka: “Smart play to ‘win’ the penalty. He makes things happen.”
Have you no shame blogs? Blatant cheating and I don’t like to see it from a 19 year old that has years of football in front of him.

Chandra Raj

#ArtetaOut.