Watford 2-1 Arsenal – player ratings

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Arsenal dropped three points with a horrendous second half performance at Vicarage Road. Tom Cleverly’s injury time winner was the result of a timid team and manager being unable to react to their equaliser, and the 2-1 defeat is a real blow.

Paralysed by fear, their second goal felt inevitable. Here’s how the players rated today.

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44479
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109.109.242.162

6
arseblog
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45

Could do little about either goal

44479
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6
arseblog
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5

Didn't really look at his sharpest, went off injured

44479
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109.109.242.162

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arseblog
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3

His thumping header put us ahead, defended stoutly but let down in the end by laziness from those around him.

44479
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109.109.242.162

6.5
arseblog
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14

Solid and consistent

44479
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109.109.242.162

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arseblog
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37

Had a good first half, but is failing to get close enough to the wide players to stop crosses. It's a problem now.

44479
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109.109.242.162

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arseblog
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53

Got an assist but he stood watching as Cleverly waited in acres of space for the ball to come to him for the winner. Disgraceful 'defending'.

44479
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109.109.242.162

5
arseblog
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57

Clearly not even close to being fit

44479
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109.109.242.162

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arseblog
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39

Looked rusty due to coming back from injury but had some nice moments. Now injured again.

44479
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109.109.242.162

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arseblog
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46

Very bright in the first half, but probably should have scored when set up by Ozil in the second.

44479
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109.109.242.162

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arseblog
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51

Ran around

44479
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109.109.242.162

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arseblog
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58

Not great really, but maybe keeping your record signing striker on might help you score goals.

44479
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109.109.242.162

5
arseblog
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28

Made a super chance for Iwobi but fluffed his own lines in front of goal. Instead of it being 2-0 Arsenal it was 1-1 seconds after his miss.

44479
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109.109.242.162

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arseblog
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29

Such was the paucity of our organisation and performance, ended up almost at right back in the final couple of minutes. Barely involved.

44479
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109.109.242.162

N/R
arseblog
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Readers
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Not on long enough to rate

Vote is now closed.

0/10 - Watching the same thing happen again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And again.

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216 Comments on "Watford 2-1 Arsenal – player ratings"

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Jimbo Jones

It’s sad but these sort of results dont even feel like a shock anymore. It feels like about our level and those who believe otherwise are living in the past (which they probably weren’t even around to witness!)

What’s annoying is that there are fans on this site who will now be after Wenger’s head but a few days ago were talking about us going for four trophies this season. Delusional.

We all know the problems are, nothing will change until the fans really support the club and demand what’s best for Arsenal FC not the sycophantic worship of a manager and players who are not good enough.

jeleel gbajumo

You are not any better than the team. Why copy and paste comments around?? You already made your point in d match report.

Hereford gooner

Are you just going to post this everywhere? Lame

Jimbo Jones

Take your point but i feel the same level of pissed off as I did 30 mins ago. At least my view is consistent which is the club needs a change of a manger and a 1-0 against Red Star in the week wont have me singing the praises of Wenger and how we are going to win four trophies this year!

Also I don’t see any originality in your post, just a criticism of mine.

Hereford gooner

Everyone is pissed off and moody after that shambles, so I wouldn’t take minor criticism personally. And no one has criticised your opinion. And if originality is your benchmark on how to appraise comments, then you might want to avoid cut and paste.

santori

How you win titles…consistency.

We lack(have been lacking it) for a LOOOONG time.

Gaffer makes too many excuses for the team, tends to protect certain players and not bring in enough from market to force competition instead.

Unsurprising.

Disillusioned_gooner

At this point I’m so done. Will probably get down-voted for this but I don’t care. People say support your team through thick & thin but I just go by how things are impacting me instead of that. And the time I spend watching Arsenal and even football anymore just doesnt make me happy anymore. It’s not about winning or losing, you can lose and still be entertained but its just mind numbingly boring now. And if something is negatively affecting your life, regardless of what it is, should we put up with it just because its something we’ve always done or been involved in?

The Limp Bar

“I just go by how things are impacting me” That’s modern football – just think about yourself and your own feelings.

Look – I know I’ll get down voted for this, because I’m perhaps a bit older and have what are becoming more outdated views on football, but I don’t really care – if you genuinely want change because you are not happy, then fight for that change.

What change do you want to see? Do you believe if we had a new manager your happiness would come back? Or do you think there are other issues to address (i.e. ownership etc.)? If so there are things you can try to do about both of those. Or is the issue that the matches themselves are not entertaining, win or lose as you say?

Disillusioned_gooner

No it’s more to do with dealing with what is in your control. Arsenal’s issues stem from the top and you say do something about it but ultimately nothing I can say or do will control another persons actions…I have zero impact on Stan Kroenke’s decision making on his portfolio. You can’t change or control anyone else’s actions in this life.

What I can control is my own mind and my own life and start to spend my time doing things that actually make me happy and improve my life because ultimately what else is there?

I appreciate your reply but I think we just have different philosophies on this. Have a great night.

Isaiah Rankin

I didn’t bother watching earlier. I’ve played every season for 20 years – since I was six – and this season I haven’t bothered.

Recently I’ve thought about it and sort of come to terms with falling out of love with football.

The time it all takes…time that you could have spent learning or studying or making music or going out or whatever and it all just turns into personality-free players on absurd wages playing for the oligarchy on Sky TV on Christmas Eve and and season after season after season of ambitionless, directionless Arsenal.

The off-seasons used to feel long. Now they’re too short.

Nj gooner

Totally feel the same way about the off-seasons. I half dread the new season starting because i fear the disappointment and frustration the Arsenal team will bring me and the rest of us. You can see it on the Arsenal fanTV as well which i can not watch anymore. I can not help watching Arsenal play and i will always support the club but if the summer off season could be longer than i would welcome it now. Before i hated how long it was. What i think that says is that there is little feeling of hope and excitement about what the new season will bring and thats maybe the general feeling of most fans, not sure though.

Gooner97

Which one has a bigger impact during the season: changing the owner, or changing the manager? Getting rid of Kroenke only helps during windows and off-season. But it’s not Kroenke managing the team week in, week out. That’s on Wenger. He doesn’t rectify the mistakes.

Emmanuel

There was something about this game. I switched it off the moment the second went in. I didn’t even have any faint optimism that we might equalise. Considering I’ve sat through some hiding (8:2; 6:1; 6:3 etc – am sure you remember them all), I realised I’ve also hit rock bottom with my beloved Arsenal

db10s

You’re not the only one. Something didnt click in this game. Turned off after the Pen was awarded.

Jimbo Jones

Can anyone tell me what is the point of Granit Xhaka? It’s an honest question.

Matt P

He sprays around a few nice passes but he’s not a particularly good player

Kwame Ampadu Down

He’s not a particularly good player…..you could use the same words about Elneny too. Arsene just seems incapable of putting together a midfield that works. Apart from Flamini/Cesc in 07-08 & Coq/Santi in 2015 we haven’t had a midfield that looks like it could win a title since Paddy left.

caligunner

One game they are paired up and they are fantastic together. They should have a run of games together. As soon as we lose they are horrible together. Shitty Combo. We must find a better combo.

Don’t get me wrong ME shouldn’t be starting for Arsenal. He just isn’t good enough. Xhaka as much as I think his passing is great most of the time. He just looks so slow out there. I don’t know if he can learn to become a better defensive player by being smarter since he doesn’t look like he has the athleticism.

Kwame Ampadu Down

Caligunner, I have consistently said since the transfer window ended none of our midfield options are good enough, It’s not a reaction to today.

Huresohn

Our midfield wasn’t great yesterday but they dominated the game, first half in particular, until Giroud & Ozil came on and then we couldn’t win or keep the ball.

Xhaka wasn’t the reason for that, it was because we lost our threat in behind, Watford could then squeeze up and compress our midfield.

Our worst player by a mile was Bellerin, he gave the ball away time after time, in bad positions and couldn’t handle the winger at all. All their threat came down his side and while it wasn’t a penalty, it wasn’t a clean tackle either. We should have a back-up RB to keep him on his toes or we can expect more performances like that from him from time to time..

Homer

Good post. Bellerin has been poor this season.
Allegedly he put in a transfer request this summer. He’s playing like he is more interested in his freaking hair and tattoos than actually playing football.

No competition for his spot. No kick up the backside by the manager (as if …) and no captain with any character.
Good catch; Bellerin has been bang average. (That was no pen, btw, but we all knew that).

LuisBoaMuerte

1 game good / 1 game bad isn’t even good enough to get into Europe, not even close. I don’t care what they can do on a good day.

Arsensarmy

Xhaka is slow on the ball. He doesn’t pick out players fast enough. He is then forced to play side to side or look downfield. Defensively he is dreadful. Proving to be a real liability in that department. Pair him with ME and you have two central midfielders that aren’t going to break anyone down.

Dennis

What were the Arsenal scouts seeing in Xhaka when they were recommending him to the club. The next Xabi Alonso? Maybe similar traits but he needs a system where he has 2 all action CMs alongside him

Dennis

And flamini was only playing because of injuries. He was never really Wenger’s 1st choice…even though it was obvious he dovetailed well with Cesc

LuisBoaMuerte

He’s basically Tom Huddlestone, but less fat.

Avneet

He is a player who is a regular starter in a mid table team. His qualities include spraying ball wide, sending some nice balls outside of his feet and that’s about the good points. He can’t defend, can’t tackle, cant sprint and needs 2 seconds on the ball. He is half the midfielder we wanted but to be honest, with the team like ours, we are not going to attract lot better players anyways!

Spartan

Got worse under Wenger. He started like a boss netted a few belters Wenger snuffed it outta him.

lee dicks on

Spot on! He has got noticeably worse.

dr Strange

No

ShanthDK

Sad truth is that his price tag keeps him in the starting eleven

Kwame Ampadu Down

The man of a million words santori has been very quiet tiday. Must be worried someone might call him out on his assertion that Arsene is practically flawless in the transfer market & that both Xhaka & Mustafi were excellent value at 35m….

Greg

Likewise Dawn and how Sanchez is the devil reborn whereas ozil is jc

Santori

Not quiet. Have to work today and thank goodness.;)

Its about the sum of parts. He buys well but he does himself disservice sometimes the way he sets up the team and neglects extra cover.

I think I have been rather consistent and my word count is consistent too.:)

ronaldo

as do most of them

GunneRon

Regardless of Xhaka’s limitations as a player, it was absolutely unforgivable of him to just have stood there, so far away from goal, watching like he didn’t care, as they scored the winner. I know he got tired at the end but you’d still expect your holding midfielder to be positioned better while defending under pressure. Felt sorry for the defence who up until that point did quite ok to deal with Watford’s physical threat. Better positioning and some die hard defending from him and/or El Neny could have won us a point today. Frustrating midfield performance. Give Me Coqzorla over elneny-xhaka any time, any day .

Mr. G

Arsene wanted a player that isn’t actually terrible at taking corner kicks, and presumably decided to splash the cash without looking at any more of his ‘attributes’.

Wild bill

I’ve been asking the same question. The thing is, I believe today was one of his good days.

Araj

Have been saying this since last year, Xhaka was completely the wrong signing for this team. Regardless of his qualities, he is an ill fit for the squad because the team does not have any other options that are compatible with him and major changes need to take place in terms of personnel and style for him to work (if he can work at all). Just another example of Wenger buying a player because he was buyable rather than because he fit a plan or the team’s current needs.
What is worse is that the squad does not have any other players who can be a like for like replacement for him so unless Wenger fundamentally changes how he wants his midfield to function, Xhaka will keep playing every match.

CechMate

I’m not sure if we need a like for like replacement for Xhaka, I need better. Prob is, you can’t have anyone else playing with him to make him better like Coq and Santi together, as unlike Ramsey who you know likes to attack than defend, Xhaka is not particularly good at either. He is more or less another version of Ozil – needs space & time on ball and isn’t interested in defending. He is a bigger defensive worry than Ozil due to the position he plays in. Unfortunately for him, he is slow too so unless someone’s running at him or unless the build up is gradual he can’t really defend. He is a liability to our back line in counter attacks and lacks Santi’s skills & intelligence to wriggle his team out of tight spaces.

Reidar

An Arteta-style player is basically what we needed. Xhaka is fairly close to that, but for some reason he’s massively underperforming. I think there’s something else going on.

Dan Hunter

Yes because Arteta really set the world alight didn’t he

Cagooner

Wenger has no plan.

ronaldo

whats the point of any of them

Wengerballz

Such a boring game

Kyle

Stop playing iwobi, stop subbing laca

ShanthDK

Iwobi is one of the few players in our team who has actually upped their game this season.

Bendtnerschristmastree
Bendtnerschristmastree

I like Iwobi, I really do. But feel he’s becoming one of these ‘favourites’ wenger always have a couple of, Walcott is the best example. A few players that regardless of how inconsistent they are, he’ll play them until they’re in form. While others like coquelin has one bad game and gets dropped for half a year.

I really don’t get it. Why was he so unpatient with a guy like Gnabry? Who was way more of an offensive threat than iwobi is.

Romford Pelé

This kid is the real deal, most positive controlled player I’ve seen his age for a while. Oh and strong very strong

John C

He’s rubbish, there’s not one thing he’s outstanding at but several he’s terrible. If he played for another team you’d wonder why he’s anywhere near the squad.

Jay Salhi

Gnabry got hurt. Missed 18 months. Then got healthy with only 1 year left on his contract and refused to sign a new deal.

I was always a big Gnabry fan but I don’t see what more they could have done to keep him.

Vonnie

Given him a chance maybe instead of getting rid of him to Pulis who made his life hell. But we needed to look after that other favourite, oxlade-chamberlain, and look how that one ended up.

Araj

Ever since Iwobi broke through the criticism has always been that he has great individual ability and does a lot of good things but the end product is missing. Has that fundamentally changed this year?

Canador

I guess so. You can’t compare him to ozil right now. The team is weaker with ozil than Iwobi

Gary

Iwobi didn’t play poorly , ozil came on and we conceded 2 goals , there lies our problem

Canador

should just stay quit instead of saying what you don’t know. Iwobi is one ofour best players this season. He brings better performance going forward and defensively than Ozil. I guess Ozil is only playing these days because of his price tag.

Ricardo

FYI Xhaka did the same earlier in the week against Portugal.

Cdm995

That’s because he’s not very good.

caligunner

Why do people take a small moment of a match and take it out of context? Players obviously will make mistakes. Most goals are scored because of mistakes that are made by the defending team. Its rare that a goal is scored on pure offensive genius. Mistakes usually happen that allow an opportunity to happen. To blame Xhaka for a that goal is joke.

Vonnie

Xhaka headed out three balls in succession just before that goal. When you set your whole team up in your own six yard box for the last ten minutes of a game you will concede. Spartan has made the point that Xhaka has got worse under Wenger, not only do I agree with that but I think all our players are getting worse under Wenger. Their confidence is shot and they don’t look as though they know what they’re supposed to be doing. Xhaka and Elneny had just come back from two very intense international games and were not fresh, while Wilshere was fit with a point to prove and raring to go, so who gets picked? The team selections, game management and substitutions have always been poor, but this season they’ve been a disgrace.

Ricardo

So clearing 3 balls means you’ve done enough work and you can just relax?

Ricardo

…and to answer your question, that small moment cost us the game. I watched the Portugal/Switzerland game just to see how Xhaka performs. He did the same shit in that game as well. Actually let me correct myself, he did one thing different here. He was picking his nose.

Lack of concentration at all times which leads to costing us goals has been a problem for a long long time.

Jack

In the last 10 mins I was thinking ‘oh man this is really bad we’re drawing 1-1’ and then Watford scored and we lost. Which is worse. The most typical Arsenal thing ever.

Eduardo

Disappointed about the lack of fight shown after the eqaulizer. Looks like another fight for 4.place this year. BTW Great dive by Richarlison, deserves a reaction from the FA.

ShanthDK

The way we’ve been playing, if we get 4th this year we should be really happy.

Stuck on repeat...

Harsh reality is there is absolutely no point in aiming for top 4 anymore. We never do anything in the CL anyways, & stand absolutely NO chance of ever winning it based on current performance. Sure the cash is nice, but we don’t do anything with that either. Hate what I’m saying, I truely do…but just don’t see it any other way anymore.

ronaldo

mid table more the mark

Penguin

I can’t say 100% if, say, sacking Wenger and bringing in Carlo Ancelotti would help lift us back to where we belong – but it might. And right now we really need ‘might’.

All these comparisons to United like “Look what happened when Fergie left, do you remember Moyes!” ignore that we’re basically Moyes’ United right now. Outside the top 4 and not looking better than the teams ahead of us. Turgid football. Players wanting to leave, and hardly an attractive club to join.

Under Wenger we can guarantee that we’re not going to win the league again, whereas under the right new manager it COULD happen within a few seasons. Why are we settling for guaranteed mediocrity when a new dawn might be achievable?

Tony P

Spot on.
Worse thing is after these losses the ‘deflating feeling’ doesn’t even seem as harsh anymore.

Almost like it’s half expected. How could it come to this? Not just the results, but the general all round malaise

jeleel gbajumo

You couldn’t have said it any better. Worse still, Mr Wenger isn’t even trying to hide this fact.

Zelig

Sanchez wants to play in a fast, exciting, attacking team under Guardiola. How about instead of him going to city why don’t we show some real ambition & bring Guardiola to Arsenal. Sanchez can stay & we can watch some fast, exciting, attacking football instead of the one paced, boring, garbage we’re currently watching.

caligunner

yes and kroenke will give Pep 200m to spend every summer until he wins

I\'m Professor Ignorance, on this subject
I\'m Professor Ignorance, on this subject

Let’s also sign Ronaldo or Messi, no, wait, Ronaldo AND Messi. Pep will want good players once he leaves Funded By A Nation-State FC for “titles aren’t worth the cost” Kroenke.

Jimbo Jones

I cant think of a response to this that isn’t sarcastic or mean.

phimagen

Arsenal don’t “belong” in any other place then where they are right now. Look at the current team and tell me honestly which of those players would start in a top-3 team such as City, United, Tottenham? Sanchez from last season, sure. Not sure there many others. Today’s Özil definitely not, for example. The table doesn’t lie. In fact, if anything, over the last few years, it’s been a miracle Arsenal have finished 4th, considering the team. Look at players that leave, do they end up as world beaters? Hardly, bar very few exceptions (Fabregas comes to mind).

– Arsenal juste aren’t that good, not are they entertaining
– The club seems to be a complete and utter mess
– AW is most likely past it
– The truly big clubs are so well funded and/or organised that it pushes AFC even further back
– AFC has been punching above its weight for a while, now, and fans have believ for too long in the spin
– En more generally, football is fast becoming boring and not worth it anymore

nimble foot

We punched above our weight thanks to Enter, nobody these days just points to that because it doesn’t paint Wenger as a clueless-lost-the-plot-has been …
Football is about money these days and just so you know, Watford spent more than us
#KreonkeOut

Tape Delay Gooner

Exactly. Even if we did worse for a while under someone like Ancelotti at least it’d be different. The predictable frailty is the most frustrating part.

Alex

Because: money

Alexstratz

Statistically teams do better for awhile after they sack the previous manager but then it all comes back level. Still, I think Ancelotti is what we need to extinguish the fire, until we find a better long-term solution. Unfortunately we all know Wenger will continue so I believe we will finish outside 4th again and it will really hurt us finishing outside of CL 2 seasons in a roll. We are not United. We are a Korenke team.

Shitty Pk

Well said. Same old story. Wait till the 70th min to sub players, remove Laca for Olie and repeat. The technical ability of the coach must be questioned. With Laca and iwobi keeping their defense line at least busy and with welbie out of the game why can’t Laca and Olie play together? This team really need a creative midfielder in the mold of Cartola, Courtinho, Isco or Silver, but Wenger failed to realize this during the summer. We can blame the players all we want but the pile rests with the manager who is so fixated in his thinking. But all that aside, what a shitty ref for awarding such a shitty Pk.

Georgeycharles

Trouble is, we’re not looking better than the teams behind us either.

santori

Too true.

bidOnLard

On a side note – I know you change things in the back, but some players don’t have pictures, none have names. Doesn’t matter than much – they are all grey and average these days.

Arsenalista

Im so sick and tired of this, its such hard work being a fan of this club right now. There’s so many changes needed that its not even funny. We ars so mentally weak. What is happening to our club?

Gunner Aikay

Referee Swarbrick should go burn in hell. Bloody corrupt Fool.

Avneet

Can’t fault referee for our mediocrity.

nimble foot

That was not a penalty though… Worse scenario at the Liverpool game and referee waved play on and I thought he was right. It would have been soft

db10s

No disrespect to Watford but we should have won even if the Ref wore their shirt.

Team put out zero fight.

Remember the days 2000-2005 ? If we were losing a game, you’d see the players dish out maximum intensity to win. Regardless whether they end up winning or not, I’d atleast be satisfied with the effort.

Fast forward to today. Watford equalises and we panic. We neither defend or attack.

Matt P

I am not going to blame Ozil but I wonder what his player rating average for the last 30 or 40 games would be. Doubt it would be much more than 5. Just not good enough over a long period.
To be fair he’s surrounded by mediocrity, though.

Stringer Bell

Well he came on created a wonderful chance for iwobi then got in great position and should have scored but he ain’t played for a month and so let’s give him a fucking break hey. Giroud gets the same rating , I’m not sure he did anything other lose possession and foul

Matt P

Read what I said. I’m not blaming him in this game. My point was he has been average for a long time and that’s just not good enough.

caligunner

He’s considered average because all the chances he creates his teammates fail repeatedly to finish. He isn’t a goal scorer. Will never be but he creates chances and helps with buildup. You know the part where we were sorely lacking throughout the game especially in that poor first half.

Saint Carthola

Ozil has never had the ability to finish. Don’t kid yourself.

Avneet

But he is the talisman?

phimagen

Özil is a beauty to watch when he is on form for his very specific, niche specialty, and that serves him immensely to make everyone believe he is a genius. Problem is, a modern footballer needs to be way more complete than he is. Which makes me no longer consider Özil a world class footballer. He is a talent for what he does best, but too poor for the rest of the game to be world class or even an automatic starter. Hopefully sold in January, should have been sold this Summer (but was there any interest and if not, why not?). What other top-level manager would take him on? Guardiola? Rumours of Maureen but I can’t see Özil fitting in a team Maureen has built on colossus.

Alexstratz

We should have gone for KdB. Less creative, but better finishing and better defensive contribution. (No jogging around to pad your stats is not defending.)

WengerBoy

KDB is not less creative. Everything else you said is spot on though.

Araj

Lets just stop this idiocy.
The whole “modern footballers need to be complete” thing is just BS.
World record signing Paul Pogba couldnt really perform for United last year or for France in the Euros because he was being played in the wrong system. Mourinho provided him Matic, Deschamps brought in Kante just to make the system work for him. Does that mean he is not a world class footballer? Real Madrid couldnt get the Kroos-Modric partnership to win them anything because neither of them had the right defensive workrate or instinct. They drafted in Casemiro to turn Kroos-Modric into the world’s best midfield pair. Does that mean Kroos or Modric are not world class? In the Spanish national team the Xavi-Xabi Alonso axis always worked with a defensive midfielder behind them for protection and it didnt work until that protection came in. Then they went onto win 2 Euros and a World Cup. Does that mean they are not world class? The legendary Andrea Pirlo did not have the dribbling ability to play as a number 10 or the defensive ability to play as a defensive midfielder. Milan and Italy shifted their systems, provided him with the protection of Gattuso and he became a legend. This list is endless really.
There are no complete players that can do everything. It is for managers to decide how they want to design a system that amplifies their strengths and hides their weaknesses. The current management is the exact opposite of this.

Loose_Cannon

But you’re forgetting that players like Rodriguez and Fabregas have either been dropped or made to change their games to be more “complete”. For me Ozil’s lack of defensive utility would be more tolerable if he scored goals. As for as I can see, I dont think anyone else in top level football gets away with just creating chances. It’s not that he’s a bad player but he’s too limited to build a team around.

Araj

As I said, it’s up to the management to decide how to design the system. If they think a player, let’s say James Rodriguez last year at Real, does not bring enough to the team offensively to cover the defensive problems he causes then they move him on.
But they do something. Which is the exact opposite of not giving the guy the right system and also not moving him on.
And it’s ok if you think he isn’t the right player to build a team around (which I don’t agree with personally). The problem is not whether he is or is not that player, the problem is actually going one way or the other and acting on the proof of what you see.

Vonnie

I wish I could upvote this 100 times, you are so right.

Vonnie

Araj, not Loose Cannon

Hereford gooner

Spot on Araj- why the fucking hell can a manager of 20 odd years PL experience not see what every fan, pundit and casual observer has been saying for 10 years? I used I assume Wenger was just being stubborn – everyone says we need a DM so Wenger won’t sign one to prove them wrong. But now I just don’t even bother trying to work out his logic, he’s not going to change so for now we just accept that this team will be mediocre whatever players are signed until he opens his fucking eyes or is replaced by a new manager (who will sign a DM within the first few days of being in the job I’d bet)

A different George

I agree with you completely, so long as it’s clear we mean “management,” not *solely* the manager. Man United, Real Madrid, and (in those days) Milan, can buy whoever their manager wants; clearly, Wenger does not have that luxury. Would he make the most of it if he did? It would be nice if Arsenal could, like Pep just did, sell (or release) all his fullbacks (all!) and buy a bunch of new ones for any amount of money their teams asked.

Buteo

Sad times!
We need a new manager….. for a start.

Joel

That line up got the result it deserved, absolutely no creativity in the side. Wenger needs to be proactive not reactive, ie bring on Wilshere when it’s 1-0 and look to kill the game off not try and bring him on with 5 mins left at 1-1.

nimble foot

Did you watch United? I bet you would argue Mou is better than Arsene, that my friend, is what I call being reactive
With a clearly better team, he went to park the bus and you accuse Wenger of being reactive? If he stated creative players and we lost the argument would have been he left us open, no CDM or no CM to provide cover for the defence bla bla bla

Araj

Dont want to get in the proactive and reactive argument. But the difference between Wenger and Mourinho is that Mourinho has a plan and Wenger doesnt. You can hate the plan but it is at least there.
The current Arsenal team is strategically a mess and in many ways at odds with itself. Wenger just throws players into positions without considering what they are good/bad at. Consider the fact that an injured Ramsey gets replaced with Elneny (who is a totally different kind of player) and is told to play the exact same role.

Rich

Remember when Lacazette was going to help us make up 20+points????
And I dared to suggest that wouldn’t be the case?
And you all told me I was being negative?
How’s that positivity working out for you?
Calling things how you see them isn’t being negative.
But I must admit I do admire your ability to see positives where there are very few.

Chippy87

It’s early days for Lacazette and to be fair he looks a decent player.

Jimbo Jones

I though Lacazette was our best player in the first half but I take your point still stands. Unfortunately with the malaise that has set in at the club we could have Messi, Fat Ronaldo, and Van Basten as our front three and we’d still produce that steaming pile of crap.

phimagen

Lacazette is one of the bright spots in the team, I think. He is one of the few that seems to be really positive on the pitch, trying to be creative, moving towards goal etc.

caligunner

It wouldn’t matter if Laca helped make up 30pts if City doesn’t lose a game. Who cares?

Georgeycharles

Lacazette is definitely not the problem

Rich

I was making the point of ppl saying on here he was the solution.
He’s not.
Looks decent enough.
But we’ve got much bigger problems.

La Cassette

If Ozil never plays again this season I will not care one bit. What is Xhaka offering over coquelin or Elneny right now?

caligunner

How much worse we would be with that pair instead of a pair with Xhaka? Coq and ME are squad players for depth. Nothing more. Xhaka with the right partner can flourish like he did the last 10 matches last season. Fans have short memories lol

Jay Salhi

Xhaka can flourish against weaker teams that give him time and space like the teams at the beach we beat at the end of last season. He’s a liability when pressured and a liability when we lose possession. One trick pony.

Man Manny

The bubble has burst early enough this season: no need to harbour any hope of anything resembling a title challenge. Time to sit back and watch the managers with fire in their belly fight for the title while our insipid, excuse-ridden has been battles for the crumbs of fourth place again – something that might be beyond him on the evidence of tonight. The sad truth is that Arsene’s time is over – has been for quite a while. The man’s degeneration is beyond belief.

kas

‘What am I to do? I have millions in zee bank, but no other interests in life. I built this club & will stay till I die, for sure’

Ian

All too familiar but VAR can’t come quick enough. Penalty would never have been given.

Greg

True but then the wba one would have been

Its an easy excuse for aw to hang his hat on and the bt interviewer after the game is just embarrassing.

Crash Fistfight

Actually, I’m not sure it would. The play didn’t stop with that action in the WBA game, so there would be no incident to review, whereas a goal was scored by Watford. The system only works for when the ball is in the net for either: disallowing a goal ruled valid or re-instating a goal that was incorrectly ruled invalid.

Brook

All to rigid, move the balls to the side, too few one twos…. Did you see how city opened up defenses, boy I miss someone like Rosicky, Wilshere, Cazorla, even Fabregas in that midfield. I hate to say it but I’d like to see the midfield without Xhaka for a change. At 1-0 , I was hoping that we’d concede. What happened to being a perfectionist? Don’t allow the opposition a sight on goal, don’t let a single cross fly into the box. Wenger let’s them get away with way too much.

Alex

I think that Chelsea would have liked to have no Fabregas today… But well…

Shwooooowsh Caproooosshh
Shwooooowsh Caproooosshh

I screamed so much at my TV screen in vain, that I almost lost my voice. The tema setup was appalling. Starting with 2 holding midfielders in a game where we had to create chances and break the opposition down, made no goddamm sense at all. Why didn’t wilshere start? Xhaka needs to be dropped to the bench. Way too wasteful and way too many stray passes.

I honestly dunno what Iwobi brings to the setup and I don’t understand the hype around him either. He did good in a 4-2-3-1 system where we had 2 creators but in the current system, he is utterly out of depth. Too much creative onus is on him and it’s too much to ask of him, to shoulder that burden.

Lastly why don’t we change formations when we need to actually win the game? Why take Lacazette off and bring Giroud on when we could switch to a 5-3-2 formation and cause more problems? Why were the subs made this late in the game?

I dunno if I have it in me to suffer through another season of this total crap. Even at 1-0 we were never really convincing and the final result of 2-1 is totally what we deserve for playing like utter knobs. I wish someone fires Arsene Wenger. Thank you for everything but it’s time to bloody leave.

caligunner

what late subs? Ozil came on for injury in the 60? OG for Laca soon after, Holding for Kos after he got hurt.

Unless Iwobi starts scoring he is redundant in the current formation with Ozil. He isn’t good enough to be in there instead of Ozil at this point. We should probably go back to the 4-2-3-1 and crash and burn with what fits our club. lol

Jay Salhi

Iwobi was our best player yesterday.

Me So Hornsey

The lack of awareness from Wenger at how average and unpopular a manager he’s become is so utterly depressing.

The lack of awareness from Kroenke at how average and unpopular Wenger has become is also incredibly depressing.

Depressing times. With no end in sight.

Jack4343

They all get zeroes for being cunts. Except Per…I’d give him a 9. Fuck off turds.

I AM ARSENAL

All Zero for allowing Tom Cleverly to score…..Xhaxa and Elneny were a disgrace…They weren’t even pressed that intently and were still shit. Xhaxa refuses to play a forward pass to Lacazette who made about 30 great runs in the first half..Elneny is just a jack of all trades master of none.
The game is opening up so you bring off your most dangerous forward and put on the one who should have started.
Defence and Midfield succumbed to the bread and butter tactic of lumping it to Deeney and battling for the second ball

Jack4343

Did you know that if you stab yourself in the heart over and over again, you stop feeling the pain? Thank you Arsenal.

chandraraj

Yup, cause you would have been dead to feel anything.

Avneet

What’s the rationale for “resting” Alexis and Ramsey though?

Samuel

Wenger pick his team and his substitutions as if to keep every player happy. What were we doing with two defensive minded players against Watford? You kept two creative players on the bench. Yes two of the substitutions were forced but why take off the one player who can create and score for Giroud. Infact both Giroud and lacazzette could have been paired at the time whiles sacrificing Iwobi. When Koscienly got injured he could have gambled and still brought on Wilshere whiles and push Elneny to the right. This young coach read the game and made changes to beat Wenger and he just sat down and made very predictable changes.

Frankie

You are bang on with your comment

caligunner

Who were the 2 def minded players? you aren’t referring to Xhaka?

I agree that we should have been going for the win instead of accepting a draw. What makes you think Laca is a creative player for OG? I haven’t seen enough of him to see that. Again maybe he is not Prem fit? He seems to run out of gas towards the end.

Loved to see JW on instead of Holding not because I don’t like Holding but because I would have rather AW go for the win with an attacking player. He knows he as to somewhat try and keep track of ManC and United

Atom

The best thing we have going at this point is the other contenders for the top 4 (outside the Manchester clubs) don’t look particularly good either. But it’s all pretty deflating.

Alexstratz

Spurs are better than us. It’s between Liverpool, Chelsea and us. I think the 4th place will be Chelsea’s.

caligunner

ManC a great expensive offensive club while ManU a great expensive defensive club lol They have spent soo much money to have this club set up the way they have it. All the transfers in today’s value I’m sure its way more then ours.

Probably right we are fighting for 3rd or most likely 4th right now. The way both Manchester clubs are playing it would be hard to catch. They haven’t lost a match yet? We can go undefeated the rest of the season and still finish way below them.

Tony Hall

3rd or 4th ?
You are hopeful, more like 6th or 7th 😉

dr Strange

Xhaka is rubbish. I have defended him in the past and believed he would come good but no more. We bought 35 million worth of garbage x2 as Mustafi is as poor as Xhaka.

Two more fucking years of this rubbish and when Wenger finally is gone the manager that takes over will be stuck with this fucking lot.

This season will be ugly and end in tears just so a silent cunt can make more money, a slimy chickenshit pussy (Gazidis) can make more money and a powerhungry manager thats blinded by pride can keep his little empire of yeas sayers to feed his ego.

Happy fucking days.

Atom

I’m not sure that Xhaka is bad – he just needs a defensive midfielder with him. The issue is we don’t seem to have a real coherent plan when we buy players. We just seem to buy players and figure somehow they’ll fit in rather than buying players who fit a system or style of play.

Matt P

I don’t think Xhaka is a bad player at all. He has some very good qualities, and some clear weaknesses. The problem is, as someone else said, he’s a good player for a mid table team.
He’s not good enough to be a regular starter for a team with ‘aspirations’ of titles.

Atom

@mattp – it’s just so hard to tell b/c we don’t have a coherent system under Wenger which highlights our players flaws. it’s really hard to tell if we are a team of totally average players Sanchez excepted or if players just look at lot worse than they are b/c Wenger is tactically a poor manager

Matt P

Good points Atom! Maybe a bit of both

Alexstratz

Do these players look average for their national teams? I think we have the answer.

The premier league lion logo
The premier league lion logo

I can pinpoint the moment all this shit started. When gilberto left. Zero midfield testicles since that day.

phimagen

Xhaka is not a good enough creative midfield player and not a defensive midfield player, so why did AW buy him?? If he wanted a new Cazorla, he should have gone for a proper creative player with real skill. If he wanted a Kante, he should have gone for a proper such player.
It seems typical of Wenger: either for not being able to decide what he wants or for preferring generalists to specialists, he keeps buying rather average players for their positions.

Jay Salhi

Arsenal got the scouting wrong. Xhaka was billed as a hard-nose, physically tough player. He was supposed to be a solid CDM who could pass. He can pass but he can’t defend.

db10s

I think he was looking for an Alonzo type player. Xhaka is pretty close. Just a B grade version.

Seems like he’s going through 2nd season dips.

Skettles

Come on gents, Xhaka has been dreadful all season. The amount of misplaced passes is disgraceful; he puts huge pressure on our defence, and nullifies our attacking abilities. I really want to like him – all the talk of him being a leader, and being a tough character made him seem like the perfect player for us, but he’s been found out as being simply not good enough to play midfield for a team with any aspirations for success.

Stuck on repeat...

Agreed. Fortunately for Xhaka, outside of the fan base, I really don’t think that anyone within the club has any aspirations for success. Those players that do (Lacazette aside) make their aspirations clear by effectively saying they are leaving through no new contracts.

Jay Salhi

Xhaka is supposed to be the defensive midfielder. He’s the deepest lying midfielder but he can’t defend. Pair with with a creative player and you are vulnerable defensively. Pair him with a defensive player and you have no creativity.

TAR

poor line up poor changes poor manager. no desire from any player to win this game..mediocrity will get you 10th place but pure guts and a strong will to win games will win you the league, but our coach is of the mediocre part.

Frankie

Really wanted to see Jack get a game today was rather disappointed we never got to see him on the field as passing the ball side ways and back is getting boring now… and Wilshire has a great tendency to actually make something happen…__

Kebab

Man are we boring to watch these days. Gets worse by the game.

Paul

Why do we never look for Lacazette early? He is always on the shoulder but we never look for him and just play the same slow, predictable crap instead. The middle of our midfield is a joke…lots of options but none of them that great. I really think we need a change of formation but I can’t see anything happening anytime soon

420Goonerblayzeit

Yep. He is always desperate for someone to spot him because his movement is so intelligent. There is no one there to pull the trigger on a pass for him. He’s not a back to goal player. Xhaka will dawdle on the ball only to play a safe pass. El neny is simply happy to not lose possession, forget doing anything useful.

It’s funny because you can see AW instructed el neny to get forward and open space but he just looks so lost and is not suited whatsoever to that style of play

phimagen

I agree. Lacazette is one of the bright spots in this team, trying the channels, moving towards goal, being creative, moving. He’ll soon get tired of it if the rest of the team doesn’t respond to that. Does management not drill it into them or what’s happening???

sarbajt

I don’t mind getting downvoted, but have pledged to comment everywhere, that please sell xhaka/Ozil, just bloody good for nothings. As someone famously said, if you have great ball skills join the circus, football involves something more, intelligence, involvement and well actually giving a fuck, and being able to perform under pressure, now don’t bring up that Ozil has a languid style .. blah blah, no basically he has been at Arsenal for 3 years, and honestly speaking haven’t seen him do something worth remembering, he’s no fucking Bergkamp.

Diego someone

I wouldn’t rate ozil so badly. He isn’t the best with us. The problem is us and our tactics and formation. He does extremely well with Germany and was awesome with real. We seem to be happy with being mediocre and surrounding the few good players we have with shit will only make them worse. We need a manager who is not a relic and someone who players will respect and want to play for. The team is shit and that falls mainly on poor management of a mediocre team and horrid team selection. I’m just tired of this…

420Goonerblayzeit

Absolutely awful to watch. The extremely brief excitement of Pers thumping header wiped out by lack of imagination and a lack of urgency like Blogs said. Watford wanted it more at the end there plain and simple. They are not a phenomenal team but they are a hungry team and that showed. Giroud could’ve come on WITH Lacazette (which we’re still yet to see), but no, I’m sure in Wenger’s mind he wanted to “keep a little bit our shape” or some such nonsense. The facts are that the exciting managers now apply specific ideas to their tactics. Their players know their jobs and are dedicated to fulfilling their roles.

The reason AW’s “free jazz” philosophy worked years ago was because he had a few of the best players in the world all over the pitch. When we have average to slightly above average players now it simply doesn’t work. They need some goddamn instruction!

Going to be a very long season…again

Anonymarse

Nil points

Tape Delay Gooner

Ozil I feel like embodies this ultimately disappointing second half of the Wenger era: fantastic to watch when things are going well, but inevitably chokes when it matters most. When he came on today he made one great pass to Iwobi, but his miss when 1-0 ahead was criminal from a player of his supposed calibre. I hope we sell him in January and let Iwobi develop into someone we can build around in the future.

Greg

Thank you troy deeney for saying on such a public platform exactly what is wrong

A Gunner with Psychic powers
A Gunner with Psychic powers

I can’t take this any more , i feel really bad right now !!!!

#KroenkeOut

Vedant

Wtf? What’s his fault if we can’t win against Watford?

aled

seemed to me the moment Ozil came on thighs went downhill again, how long is wenger going to keep playing him when he has done next to nothing for the last 2 years

Dom

Hilarious autocorrect there like mate!

Matt P

ha ha, the problems are all in the players’ thighs!

aled

I think one of the problems are the board as just happy to make a profit each season

Saint Carthola

Empty seats cost money.

John C

A lot of people having issues with Xhaka but he’s no worse than Elneny or either Welbeck or Iwobi. All of those are just not good enough for Arsenal, they’re mid table players. In fact I’d go so far to say if we sold Iwobi to the likes of West Brom he wouldn’t even get a game for them, he’s average and that’s being charitable.

The graphic on Match of the Day has our expected goals from this match with the line up we put out at 0.91, that’s less than a goal! The result was almost exactly what the expected goals predicted, 1.69 for Watford and 0.91 for Arsenal, but that’s something I suspected when I saw the line up.

I don’t know how anybody could think a team with Xhaka, Elneny, Welbeck and Iwobi are ever going to be creatitive or prolific enough to consistently win matches.

Hal

Just numb now. Numb to this sort of standard of performance. COYG, what is this?

Shank

I remember watching Overmars…….Anelka……..Berkamp………breaking forward with speed and menace. Yes , it was a different era, but it was effective and I was in love.
A spearhead of absolute terror for the opposition………..we went on to win a few leagues at that time.
Meanwhile up in the nursing home, Arsene remembers all that, but he just cant remember what happenned more recently…….today, Stoke, Anfield etc etc etc
We are so Fucked now

norcalfan

It’s the hubris that gets me.

Too many pampered show offs.

Too many words used to make excuses.

All comes from the manager at some point.

What he tolerates / encourages / creates.

BS is BS.

Plain to see.

Hats off to Monreal today.

That is all.

Arsenalfanman

I just think it’s time for me to stop watching games and just listen to the Arsecasts, at least they don’t let me down like this shambles of a team and manager.

batx

same old arsenal! Lifts up your spirit in three games giving you hope that things have turned around only to smash one’s hope, chop it to bits & put it in a blender & hit trapizzzzzzzz! The whole club structure needs overhauling but fat chance of that happening with mustachio K as the owner!

Mark C

Really cultish isn’t it. I’ve been an Arsenal fan since I was four years old….forty years. I’ll never stop supporting them, but if I’m honest, in the pub earlier watching the game, I had to take the banter and felt like a right cunt. Gutted

Dan Davies

Where the fuck were Ramsey and Sanchez?

I don’t give a fuck that you didn’t qualify for the World Cup. Sulk in your own time, Arsenal pay you handsomely to do your job for Arsenal.

But was that Arsene and the whole problem of the ethos of the club right now? Soft aproach. Winners are ruthless.

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