Finally this abysmal league campaign comes to an end. In this article, I’ll be providing my thoughts on each player’s overall performance in the league this season. The marking criteria is shown below
9 = Player of the season
8 = Outstanding
7 = Good
6 = Slightly above average
5 = Average
4 = Below average
3 = Poor, and can also be interpreted as a 1 or 2 rating
Players who haven’t started 5 league games will not be scored.
LENO: Before his injury, he was arguably one of our players of the season. Improved massively in terms of commanding his box from his first season. Shot stopping ability sensational and has provided sustained consistency throughout the season with great performances. Top keeper! 8
MARTINEZ: Performance level has been brilliant. Possesses the physical build that’s perfect for the Premier league. Commands his box brilliantly, solid shot stopper and his composure on the ball and distribution is what stands him out to Leno. Marking him slightly lower than Bernd because of a smaller sample size of games. 7.5
BELLERIN: Great performance at Stamford bridge and scored a beauty. But his levels since then haven’t been at the required level and the ACL looks like it has taken a yard of pace out of him. Has improved with his last few displays but need more from him particularly offensively in providing a sustainable partnership with Pepe. 5
CHAMBERS: Loans at Middlesbrough and Fulham have done him well and he has grown in maturity. On the few occasions he’s played at CB, I’ve been impressed. Unfortunate injury against Chelsea where he was dominant against Abraham means I can’t give him a higher score than a 6.
LUIZ: Shocking performances throughout Emery’s time at the helm this season. Rash, ill disciplined and has made frequent mistakes, costing us many points throughout the season. Under Mikel, he’s been a vital player and does suit the style Arteta wants in terms of progressive play. But overall average. 5
HOLDING: ACL has really had its effect on Rob. He’s looked sluggish, seems too off lost more pace despite never being the quickest. Lack of composure on the ball and his positional play hasn’t been great. Only minutes he’s got in the league is because of injuries to other CB’s. I just don’t see him in Arteta’s long term vision. 4
MUSTAFI: Has been good under Arteta. I do believe he has desirable attributes. Good aerially, decent passing range, composure on the ball and is an aggressive CB. But he lacks concentration levels, which has been his achilles heel. This is what separates the elites players to the good/decent ones. Out of Papa, Rob and Luiz, he’d be the one I would keep. One aspect you cannot fault Mustafi on is his passion, commitment and attitude. 6
SOKRATIS: Poor performances this season and clearly doesn’t suit Arteta’s philosophy. Has provided no consistency. Costly errors at the start of the season and the only game time he has had under Arteta since the new year has been at RB! Need’s to go. 3
KOLASINAC: Don’t know what he offers. Final ball is poor, an aspect that is essential in a modern day FB. Positional awareness out of possession has been shocking. That NLD performance was criminal. He has to go! Bring Malaang Sarr in on a free who can play CB and provide LB cover. Injury ridden throughout his time here. 3
TIERNEY: Warrior! A LB who provides the same intensity and quality both offensively and defensively. His delivery in the final third is of the highest order. Possesses leadership qualities and the mentality needed to succeed at a big club. Unfortunately injuries has hampered his game time meaning that I cant give him anything above a 7.5.
CEBALLOS: After a complete midfield display at Burnley, his performances after, under Emery, were far too inconsistent. Under Arteta, he’s improved. Has provided progression, line breaking ability and defensive qualities. Just needs to release the ball quicker at times, which can be really frustrating as players ahead are making the runs! For 22M, i’d do it as continuous market inflation means that we would be able to recoup the money back at the very least! 7
TORREIRA: Although he was utilised wrong under Emery and at times played as the most advanced midfielder, it’s not been great. I question whether he can cope with the physicality of the league. Positional awareness needs to improve but does provide tenacity and bite. I would be tempted if a good offer arrived for him. 5
XHAKA: Finally he’s been utilised in the right way. A deep lying playmaker, fundamental in progressing our play. Regularly breaks the lines which gives our attackers more space to create problems. Been great under Arteta and has shown a lot of character since the Palace incident. 7.5
GUENDOUZI: Certainly has potential but at the moment his positional awareness is shocking, far too slow in releasing the ball, doesn’t provide adequate protection to our back line and offers nothing in terms of a goal threat. Has been poor this season after a promising start. His attitude is a real concern and it’s an aspect that has been highlighted by previous coaches as well. Players like Ravel Morrison and Adel Taarabt, for example, had similar issues and is what stopped them from developing into better players. Bags of potential and ability but with the wrong attitude, your ceiling becomes limited. 3
AMN: Impressed with him at RB under Arteta. Good composure on the ball, providing more offensively than Hector and has improved defensively. If he doesn’t want to be here then cash in as he has value. 6
WILLOCK: Potential is there and he is a player who can carry the ball and has desire to make an impact in the box. But decision making in the final third needs a lot of work. Watford, Bournemouth and Chelsea are games he had opportunities to kill the game and be the difference. If he had that killer instinct we would have taken 9 points in these games as opposed to the actual 2 we achieved. 5
OZIL: Love him but he’s not providing the performances that we need to compete with the other teams above. Its been poor from Mesut and we must explore potential avenues that can allow us to move him on and free up his wages. 3
NELSON: I rate Reiss and can see his potential. Quick burst of pace and can accelerate from 0-100 instantly. What he does need to work on is to be more brave on the ball and decisive. Great performance against Liverpool so he gets slightly above average. But more to come from him in my opinion! 5.5
MARTINELLI: Has been a revelation. Stepped up in the three games in the league following Auba’s red. Serious talent, has that killer instinct and is a proper CF. What I like about him is his desire and willingness to get a shot off whenever he receives the ball. His future shouldn’t be on the wing. Hasn’t started many league games so cant give him an 8 but more to come! 7.5
SAKA: Knew he would be a star after making his debut last season. So versatile and the attitude a youngster should have when playing for a big club. Take note Matteo! Doesn’t moan when played out of position, realising not many get this opportunity. Exceptional talent and has been unreal. 8
PEPE: Under three different managers and surrounded for the majority of the season with systems and personnel that simply do not suit his game. Pepe needs the ball moved quickly in midfield that allows him to receive the ball in front of him rather than with his back to goal. We’ve seen glimpses under Arteta and you can see the improvements in his performances. He is going to be at a different level next season. More to come from Pepito! 6.5
LACAZETTE: I rate him but this season hasn’t been great. Hold up play has been good but he doesn’t release the ball quick enough when in between the lines, slowing down the tempo of our attacking play. Lacks ruthlessness in front of goal and does need to show better off the ball movement. 6
AUBAMEYANG: Player of the season. For the majority of the season he has played in systems that don’t suit him at all. But he is an elite goalscorer and if we play to his strengths, he will score 25+ easily. He is that good and I just hope we can keep him. Where would we be without him. I love him! 9
NKETIAH: Arteta rates him and his intensity out of possession he provides is tailored to the way Mikel wants to play. Aspects such as his hold up play needs to improve. He’s a player that, with the right service and players around him, he will score goals which is what you need from your CF. Not many games in the PL but he’s done ok and would have him as a squad player for next season. 5.5
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23 years of age, 23 years as a Gooner. Arsenal runs through my veins and it pains me to see the current position and state of the club. Reading many football articles over the years has inspired me to write blogs containing Arsenal analysis. I’ve always wanted my fellow Gooners to be aware of my thoughts and opinions of ‘The Arsenal’ and thanks to Dave and Paul, I now have a platform which makes this possible.