Everton 2-5 Arsenal: player rater

9.2 – Ozil: record 8 key passes, 6 in the first half, well up for this match – Man of the Match

8.9 – Alexis: 6/6 dribbles, looked like the Alexis of old

8.1 – Monreal: 2 goals this season, got the Gunners back in the game

7.4 – Ramsey (CDM): 7 shots, didn’t play any defense, but did score and assist (dubious assist of all assists)

7.4 – Koscielny: didn’t have much to do, solid passing though at 90%, 9/9 long balls, and led arsenal with 8 clearances – oddly had 0 tackles and 0 interceptions.

7.3 – Lacazette: 2 big chances, movement off the ball created space for teammates

7.2 – Pickford: led Everton in passing with 35, made 9 saves, including 8 saves and 3 saves off big chances in the first half

7.1 – Wilshere: 1 key pass, 1 assist, not much else he could have done!

6.9 – Bellerin: didn’t have much to do and passed the ball poorly (84%)

6.9 – Mertesacker: quiet, didn’t make any mistakes

6.9 – Kolasinac: another awful passing performance at 75% which would be fine for a forward but he also created 0 chances

6.9 – Rooney: didn’t do anything save that goal

6.8 – Niasse: scored a goal, though it looked like he miscontrolled it into the back of the net

6.5 – Baines, Pickle Nik, Kenney, Calvin, Jags, Keane, Coquelin

6.1 – Williams: sacrificed wrongly at half time

6.0 – Davies: I like this kid but he had a nightmare covering the midfield all by himself after his manager took the wrong player off

5.9 – Gylfi Sigurdsson: pundit-driven purchase for Everton – offers nothing aside from set play delivery and is a total liability to a modern football team. If Everton ever want to get serious about spending money, I will gladly help them identify good players (in exchange for money).

5.8 – Xhaka: 83/99 passes, 22 in the final third, 0 key passes, 12/15 long passes, 0 through balls, 0/1 crosses, 2/3 tackles, 2 interceptions, 1 error that led to a goal

4 – Cech: 1/3 saves, 1 error, has lost more than just a step in the last two years

3.8 – Gueye: made a tackle to win a goal but lost his team the game with his second yellow



  1. That front three of ours, man. Don’t sanction any mid-season sales, please. We should have got the business done in the summer. Let who wants to leave at season’s end, leave. Make it clear now. Let those guys work together as our first-choice front three till the end of the season.

    Admittedly with that front 3 and that midfield, we are light on defence, and I can understand, at least conceptually, why Welbeck appeals. But he lacks the instinctive football brain of AOL, so what do we do?

    Call me mad, but I’d try out Mustafi in central midfield. He can pass a bit, is a better tackler than either incumbent, and is a threat on set pieces. He could be the elegant beast that we failed to buy. Arsene likes to experiment anyway. Try that, Mr Wenger.

    p.s. What about Spurs and Harry Kane? Pains me to say it, but both are the real deal.

        1. In response to you from the last comments section:
          1. Since I haven’t argued Ramsey is to blame for the goal (or that Xhaka isn’t), I don’t see how what happened for the goal could “run counter to my argument.” However, for the record, I’ve always maintained that the main problem with Ramsey bombing forward so much is AT LEAST as much about him not being available to contribute to the buildup in deep areas as it is about him being out of position on defense. So my argument (the more general argument I AM making) about Ramsey (or Wenger’s directions to Ramsey, if that’s what’s going on) unbalancing us isn’t only about Xhaka being caught covering acres of space by himself; it’s equally applicable in situations like Everton’s goal, where Xhaka receives the ball under pressure with Ramsey nowhere to be seen and therefore not available for the pass. Again, I’m not blaming Ramsey for the goal, since (a) I believe it was a foul, (b) Per probably shouldn’t have passed it, and (c) Xhaka dwelt on the ball when he could have played a quick back pass. And it’s obviously silly to speculate what would have happened if Ramsey had been in the picture: whether he could have freed himself for the pass and whether, if he had, Xhaka would have passed it to him in time. But the bigger point is we’ll keep giving up poor chances/goals like that provided teams press us with Xhaka essentially all on his own. We need to play two proper CM’s–not one CM and one CM-CF hybrid–even if one of those has *some* freedom to be a box-to-box player, and even if that guy’s name is “Aaron Ramsey”. I think it’s no exaggeration to say that Ramsey could cut his forward runs literally in half and he’d be a more effective player (and we’d be a much better balanced team) for it.

          2. It’s funny you mention the thing about Cazorla not coughing the ball up the way Xhaka did today, because I had a very similar reaction to the mistake, except my thought was, “any other CM on our books *not* named Santi, isolated like that and under pressure, very well could have made that exact same mistake.” Of course, any player *could* make any mistake, but the point is that that kind of mistake is the sort I’ve seen our other players make plenty in the past, and I would almost expect it of them in similar situations in the future. I can see Ramsey making that exact same mistake in the situation. And definitely Coquelin. And certainly Elneny (far too weak in holding off opponents). And even Jack. What does that tell us? Basically, if your midfield tactics REQUIRE a genius of Cazorla proportions in order to work, maybe there’s something wrong with your tactics more than with the personnel. That’s my main point, more than complaining about Ramsey.

          1. The ball bounced 10 feet off of him. It therefore became a loose ball.

            End of.

            I don’t know why an 8 inch post is even necessary.

            In the course of a game, players get the ball in bad places, and they give it back to the passer to get a better option. Elneny does that. A LOT. But at least, he shows better control in receiving the ball.

            I mention Santi, but the pass was not so bad as to suggest only a Santi could have controlled it. Far from it.

          2. Haha, ok mate, if we’re going to be uncharitable to what the other is saying, I’ll say I don’t think the ball literally bounced 10 feet off of him.

            But I’m actually in a good mood from this performance, so don’t want to ruin it by carrying on an argument with you that’s not really going anywhere.

            In summary: unlike you I think Xhaka’s a good, potentially top class, player–out of form so far this season, but overall actually had a good game today–who is not “the problem” with our midfield, though his clear weaknesses do contribute to the problem, as do the weaknesses of every other CM on our books. The problem is AW’s (lack of proper) recruitment, and his tactics with the players we do have (I think you agree with that).

    1. On Mustafi as a central midfield, there’s a lot of problem with that one.
      1. “He can pass a bit.” I know he is injured, but surely you know his occasional missed pass from the back right? He is not that assured in his passing as you might think he is.
      2. “A better tackler than either incumbent”. I agree, but it says much about our current midfielders than him as a viable option. Again, even if he is missing for a couple of games now, you should still remember that he is a liable tackler in defense. Just look at the penalty that he conceded, and how he usually does that at least one time in every match.
      3. “Is a threat on set pieces.” It’s a bonus point, but I don’t think he is as much of threat from set pieces as you think he is.
      4. We’re currently playing 3 at the back. You don’t put him at the central midfield and further diminishing our short option at the back.
      5. “He could be the elegant beast that we failed to buy”. I read it as him as potential long term solution in our central midfield. No, he is not and no he will never be. Even if somehow it work, you just put pressure on Arsene to not buy an actual central midfielder. Either way, it will be a bad decision whether it will somehow work or fails.
      6. Furthering on point 5, a long term option in central midfield, should actually be a central midfield and a proper good one at that. Naby Keita has gone (or are we actually can also match Liverpool bid? Anyone has any idea?), I hope we’re looking at Serie A, there’s a few good one there or Fabinho still an interesting option.
      7. Mustafi just, in the past transfer window, want to go from Arsenal. We shouldn’t trust him to be some kind of solution to our long term problems.
      8. In the last few years of Arsene tenure, his experiment in positioning footballers in not their best position usually end in said players playing badly. We don’t want to encourage experimentation from Arsene and actually put players in their correct position. So no, don’t encourage Arsene to do more experimenting.

    2. If I was going to put a defender in midfield it would be Monreal. Better control, better passing, fewer brain farts

  2. Jordan Pickford is great, and with a manager who is exceptional in passing build up play, he will be a great assets. Contrary to hipster choice, if Arteta want to manage a football team, Everton i feels would be one of his preferred option than Arsenal. I feels that Arteta is a sensible guy, proved by a few of his notable career choice (playing with Arsenal with a wage cut, than stay at Everton, choosing Pep and Man City instead of stay with Arsene and Arsenal). Not only Everton still a good based (squad and potential financial power) team without a pressure to win the PL, Everton also the clubs that he started with in PL and still beloved by their fans. If I was Arteta, and a job to manage Everton is available, I would be tempted more towards it than Arsenal as his first destination in management.

  3. Tim, are the ratings coming from an algorithm?

    It feels harsh on Xhaka who I didn’t think did a lot wrong in this game. He didn’t stuff the stat sheet with tackles and interceptions but I thought his positioning was really good, especially compared to prior games this year. I know he made the big mistake but other than that this seemed to be his best game all season. Your thoughts?

  4. I’d rather chambers in that role than mustafi. . Just like conte is doing with the cute brazilian.

  5. A young Cazorla (creative & elusive) or even better a young Cazorla who is also fast and strong in the tackle would be worth almost any amount of money to Arsenal.

    I’m especially annoyed because you saw the potential of this team tonight. If we had someone like that to partner with Xhaka, shoring up the defense and dribbling through the press we’d be truly dangerous this year. Imagine if this player X were setting up Sanchez instead of Sanchez dropping deep.

    Instead, I’m going to enjoy our games with low expectations., while thinking about our post-Ozil, post-Sanchez future.

    On a lighter note. here is empirical evidence that the fans who come to the Ems and whine, groan and boo are to blame for us not getting the calls we deserve thus not winning the Prem for the past 14 years.

  6. The big paradox of this team’s style of playing is that we claim that we want to build up the game from deep with ball playing defenders but when they have the ball they don’t have any one near them to collect it
    This has happened in all our defensive errors when we can simply get pressed to get singled out and make mistakes
    Aaron Ramsey was for many years my top Arsenal player, mainly due to his fairytale from having broken leg to cup final goal scorer, but he is now an absolute torture to watch.

  7. Dr DUH
    “Enjoying our games with low expectations ” is my middle name these days, and a performance like this one was clearly a bonus.

  8. “Xhaka: 83/99 passes (83%), 22 in the final third, 0 key passes, 12/15 long passes (80%), 0 through balls, 0/1 crosses, 2/3 tackles, 2 interceptions, 1 error that led to a goal”. But 2 shot on target, the first led to a goal (Monreal) and another one on the crossbar. All these only 5,8???
    Dont get me wrong!

  9. We win 5-2 and all the players are shite,the managers shite, the tea ladys shite ,and some respondants to this blog are shite,Some want to analise why they “support” Arsenal at all…………

    1. This “you’re not a real supporter unless you just run around saying positive things all the time” is the dumbest argument in the history of sport.

      I think you’re not a real supporter unless you DO criticize the team and players. Blindly supporting a failed regime isn’t support, it’s enabling.

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