Arsenal 1-0 Norwich: Player Ratings

Written by Edward Pitt

September 12, 2021

Arsenal squeezed out their first win of the season at home to Norwich yesterday. However, despite dominating the game, we only managed to score one rather scruffy goal, courtesy of Aubameyang. Not that this matters in terms of getting us off bottom of the league, but moving forward we really need to find some form in terms of how clinical we are.

RAMSDALE – 7/10: Only had to make one save, but his distribution was really impressive. As much as I love Leno, I think he will have to fight his way back into this team. Ramsdale right now seems ready to start most games

TOMIYASU – 8/10: Perhaps I’m being generous because it was his debut, but I was really happy with Tomiyasu’s performance. I don’t think he got caught out defensively once, seemed really comfortable playing out from the back and was bright going forward as well. He tucked in next to White when we didn’t have the ball, and knew when to overlap when we had the ball which helped Pepe get the ball in a lot more space

WHITE – 7/10: He was shaky against Brentford, but today was much better. Confident in the air and brilliant at helping us sustain attacks. If Norwich cleared it, we knew this guy would step into midfield and play the ball back into our forwards to keep our attack alive

GABRIEL – 7/10: He made up for White’s lack of aerial presence very well. He dealt with every cross and long ball that came his way. I have really missed having him in our back line

TIERNEY – 7/10: A bit of a quiet game from Tierney compared to what we are used to, but perhaps that is a good sign in that we are now finding other ways to attack than letting Tierney run down the left and cross over and over again

LOKONGA – 8/10: What a bargain this guy is turning out to be! So comfortable on the ball and a real workhorse. I hope he keeps his place even when Xhaka is back, because he is so much more forward-thinking than Granit

MAITLAND-NILES – 7/10: This was the surprise of the game. Considering the rumours floating around at the end of the window about a fallout between him and Arteta, I did not expect him to start, let alone put in such an assured display. Very tidy on the ball and also very forward-thinking. He gave the ball away a few times, but I think that happens when you haven’t played in a while and you are trying to take risks and play forwards. Anyone that complains about Maitland-Niles for giving the ball away when trying to play forward, can’t complain at Xhaka when he has high pass completion but plays all his passes sideways and backwards

PEPE – 7/10: He was at times our most dangerous player, but he really needs to be more effective with his final action. There can be no more excuses for Pepe from here. We have seen that Tomiyasu is a competent right back and can help Pepe in the final third, now he has to deliver. He got the ball in some great positions yesterday and generally didn’t do enough with it

ODEGAARD – 8/10 (MOTM): My MOTM in this one. We had 30 shots in the match and you don’t do that unless you have a string-puller like Odegaard. When you think he is about to lose possession, he spins away and finds a cute pass. He is not the kind of direct threat that other number 10’s like Fernandes and De Bruyne are, but he is still crucial to our chance creation

SAKA – 7/10: Similar to Pepe in that he got the ball in some dangerous areas but didn’t do too much with it. My advice to Arteta for him and Smith Rowe, is put them through finishing drills over and over again until they are far more clinical in front of goal. Then they will become the complete players

AUBAMEYANG – 8/10: It wasn’t too tough of a goal but they all count. He gets an 8 because he scored the winner, but if he hadn’t he would honestly get a 5 or 6. He missed more chances than anyone and this cannot be the case when he is the highest earner and our star striker. Last season, he was starved for service, but in games like these where gets 3 or 4 big chances, he needs to take them

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

 

 

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