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[Ratings] Sheff Utd 1-0 Arsenal: Pepe stepped-up but pressure mounts on woeful Emery

By on October 22, 2019

nicolas pepe arsenal

Arsenal slumped to a hugely disappointing 1-0 defeat to Sheffield United on Monday night with Lys Mousset scoring the only goal of the game midway through the first half.

It was another bad night for VAR as Arsenal should have had an early penalty for a shirt pull on Sokratis in the area while Bukayo Saka was booked by referee Mike Dean for an alleged dive despite replays showing clear contact in the box.

However, Arsenal pretty-much got what we deserved from the game as we were woeful for the majority of the match and more poor defending from a routine corner lead to the home side opening the scoring.

Arsenal were toothless in attack as we struggled to create any clear cut chances with the exception of a poor miss from Nicolas Pepe in the first half. The midfield was unbalanced, we lacked creativity and the players looked lost of any ideas or instruction.

Here are my ratings:

Leno  5/10 | Not particularly at fault for the goal but failed to offer any authority from the back and his handling was a suspect a few times. Distribution was also poor.

Chambers  6/10 | By no means our worst performer but a limited right-back. The sooner Hector Bellerin starts, the better.

Sokratis  5/10 | Should have had a penalty and did reasonably well defending the numerous high balls launched into our box. However, struggled when the ball was played down the channels.

Luiz  5/10 | Partially at fault for their goal as he failed to win the crucial aerial challenge. Showed no leadership at the back.

Kolasinac  5/10 | Set-up Pepe for our best chance but was otherwise poor going forward. No idea why Tierney didn’t start ahead of him. One of many errors from Emery on the night.

Xhaka  5/10 | Another ‘nothing’ performance from Xhaka. Far too many easy, sideways passes and his lack of athleticism makes Arsenal too easy to cut through. Emery has to decide between Xhaka and Guendouzi because it’s increasingly obvious we don’t need both in the team. Emery subbed him off last night, so hopefully he’s finally getting the message.

bukayo saka arsenal

Guendouzi  5/10 | Not up to his recent high standards. There was very little drive from Guendouzi and he seemed to be occupying the same spaces as Xhaka. Play him with Torreira instead and watch him shine!

Willock  4/10 | Deployed in the No.10 role but had no influence on the game before being subbed. He’s much better playing slightly deeper where he can utilise his bursting runs into the box. Another error from the manager.

Pepe  6.5/10 | This was probably Pepe’s best all-round performance for Arsenal. He was a real threat and he showcased some wonderful dribbling skills on more than one occasion. Sadly he fluffed a huge chance to open the scoring which soured an encouraging display.

Saka  6/10 | Harsh booking for an apparent ‘dive’ – which was actually a penalty. Saka was a threat when he got on the ball but he couldn’t get into dangerous positions often enough.

Aubameyang  5/10 | Absolutely no service for the Gabon hitman. He had zero support up against three centre-backs so it’s no surprise he didn’t have a sniff.

Subs:

Ceballos  5/10 | Had more of an influence after replacing Willock but still couldn’t unlock the United defence.

Lacazette  5/10 | Understandably a little rusty after seven weeks out.

Martinelli  5/10 | No real impact during his late cameo.

Manager:

Emery 2/10 | This was one of Arsenal’s worst performances under Emery – and that takes some doing considering the dross we’ve had to put up with. The players clearly aren’t responding to whatever instructions they’re being given as this team is completely devoid of any ideas when we have the ball. Combined with the fact we can’t keep clean sheets, it’s a recipe for disaster.

Emery has sucked all the fun out of this very talented squad and he’s got us playing like a bunch of mid-table hackers. His team selection was shocking as 3/4 of the subs should have started, not to mention Hector Bellerin and Mesut Ozil weren’t even in the squad. Anyone who still thinks he’s the right man for the job needs their head checked. Based on this performance, it’s going to be a loooooong season.

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