• DB

Blog | Arsenal Power Rankings | 19th November 2017


Celebrating the opening goal against Spurs - image from arsenal.com
 

First up, a quick note: these scores are based on end product, not ‘performance’. If a player has a 100% pass completion rate from over a hundred passes in a game, but none of those passes lead to a goal and their team still loses, then who cares about their pass completion rate?


As for the current set of ratings, this is a list of the top 11 players who have appeared in at least half of the team’s games this season. The minimum number of games played will slowly be increased over the course of the season, but with so much rotation due to the Europa League and Carabao Cup, there are very few players who have played in more than 50% of the matches played.


After the North London derby yesterday, quite a few players got their average rating boosted, but there are still only four players on this list with an average rating of 7.0 or higher, which just goes to show what kind of a season Arsenal are having.


First up, I’ll list the team’s best three performances of the season and the three worst showings. I’ll only update these when the list changes – hopefully it’s because of more great results rather than because of yet another horror-show:


The Best

Danny Welbeck scoring against Bournemouth - image from arsenal.com

1. Bournemouth / home / 3-0 / performance rating: 8.3

2. Tottenham / home / 2-0 / 7.8

3. West Brom / home / 2-0 / 7.8

The Tottenham game jumps straight into second place, with it being the first real result against a direct rival so far this season. It still remains a little worrying that the other two spots are filled with relegation fodder that we should be beating. The fact that they’re all home games is also a bit of a double-edged sword: great that the Emirates has become a bit of a fortress (11 straight league wins now), but also a concerning lack of convincing performances away from home.


The Worst

Struggling to compete at Anfield - image from arsenal.com

1. Liverpool / away / 0-4 / 4.2

2. Manchester City / away / 1-3 / 5.1

3. Watford / away / 1-2 / 5.2

As if to prove the point, each of the worst performances so far this season have come away from home, with two heavy defeats against rivals, and a disastrous capitulation at Vicarage Road. I’ll just note here that the fourth and fifth worst performances also came away from home. Wenger simply cannot set up the team to deal with playing away from the Emirates this season.


Player Rankings

Now, onto the players who I’ll list in reverse order counting down to the best player so far this season – it might not be a surprise who’s top of the pile.


11. Olivier Giroud – 16 games – average rating: 6.3

On this list primarily because of how often he’s appeared as a replacement for Lacazette. He started off the season quite well, but has faded and had less impact with time. Currently injured.

10. Hector Bellerin – 13 games – average rating: 6.4

Someone who has had surprisingly little impact so far this season despite being what appears to be a perfect fit for his role in the current system. Maybe his thoughts have started to drift away from North London…

9. Petr Cech – 13 games – average rating: 6.6

Has struggled at times this season, especially with a porous defence in front of him. However, he doesn’t really do himself any favours by being so inept at penalty-saving.

8. Granit Xhaka – 12 games – average rating: 6.6

Criticised by many for often conceding possession, although this only happens because he is usually forced into long, risky passes thanks to the lack of options the rest of the team give him.

7. Mohamed Elneny – 11 games – average rating: 6.6

A surprisingly high appearance for the Egyptian? Maybe, but his versatility certainly helps him out – he might not be best suited for playing centre-half, but Wenger keeps picking him there for those cup games which have helped his numbers.

6. Mesut Ozil – 10 games – average rating: 6.6

It just goes to show how poor the rest of the team have been that someone who has been accused of shirking responsibility and not putting in the effort is still able to place this high based on what he actually contributes.

5. Nacho Monreal – 13 games – average rating: 6.7

A late career shift to centre-back has certainly helped, with the manager clearly regarding the Spaniard as one of the first picks for the team whenever he’s fit.

4. Sead Kolasinac – 12 games – average rating: 7.0

For a defender in his first season in English league football, Kolasinac has adapted surprisingly well to the physical nature and high tempo in the Premier League – contributing at both ends of the pitch.

3. Alexis Sanchez – 11 games – average rating: 7.2

Like Ozil, the Chilean has been accused of not caring about the team, but his all-consuming hunger for success has propelled him to the upper levels of this list where he deservedly belongs.

2. Aaron Ramsey – 11 games – average rating: 7.3

This will probably prove to be a controversial placing, but the fact is that Ramsey has a lot of end product, either scoring or creating goals for others. He’s certainly not perfect, but he’s still damn good.

1. Alexandre Lacazette – 12 games – average rating: 7.3

Alexandre Lacazette celebrating yet another goal - image from arsenal.com

Is this one really any surprise? Like Kolasinac, he’s adapted pretty quickly to the English game and is currently the club’s top scorer this season. Why he keeps getting subbed off early and not being allowed to threaten tired defenders remains a mystery…


In closing

As stated earlier, it’s a little concerning that only four players rate 7.0 or higher, but there are a few others who have similar scores that simply haven’t played enough games to count yet.


The best example of this is Shkodran Mustafi, who currently has a huge average rating of 7.8 for the season so far (helped by a goal and clean sheet against Spurs), but has only played in seven games. Can he keep it up? I certainly hope so – it would be nice to have a very highly-rated centre-back at the club!

 
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