Toothless. Lacklustre. Uninspiring.
The Gunners are fast undoing their good work at the start of the season and have now slumped to two consecutive defeats. According to UEFA statistics, the Gunners could only manage one effort on goal last night. This was their first defeat in Europe competition at home since 2003. It was a less than average performance against a team not considered to be one of Germany’s big guns.
- Vito Mannone – 6
The young Italian keeper has been in good form for the Gunners and could not be blamed for either goal last night. Some woeful defending allowed for the Italian to be beaten twice. However, a rash decision in the first half when he appeared to bring down Afellay, showed his inexperience.
- Carl Jenkinson – 6.5
The young right-back continually impresses as he deputises for Bacary Sagna and had a decent enough performance last night. It was a solid performance and he provided much-needed support for Ramsey.
- Per Mertesacker – 6
The giant defender was solid enough and made some crucial interceptions and tackles during the game, stamping his authority.
- Thomas Vermaelen – 6
The captain was not at his usual best last night but no blame can be attached to him. The partnership with Mertesacker is developing well and he’ll have the task of now picking up the players and boosting morale.
Andre Santos – 4
As expected, Santos had a shocking performance at left-back. The Brazilian no doubt has the capability of bringing the ball forward and supporting the attack, but defensively he simply cannot cut it. With no replacement for Gibbs, Wenger should look to strengthen in January. His positional sense was atrocious, not knowing where he was at times. Also, a weak tackler, Santos simply did not put the required effort in.
- Mikel Arteta – 6
Another hard-working performance from the Spaniard, showing his importance to the club. Though not at his best, Arteta was tidy as ever with the ball. Until those in front of him rediscover their early form, Arteta may continue to struggle a little.
- Frances Coquelin – 6
The young midfielder needs to keep playing games to build his confidence. He had a decent game, working hard with and without the ball.
- Santi Cazorla – 6
The magician did not have his most effective game last night, and perhaps this is due to the immense pressure put upon his shoulders. When there is a lack of creativity, all eyes turn to the Spaniard, in the hope that he can produce something out of the blue. The Gunners cannot expect him to get them out of trouble every game and if not careful run the risk of burning him out. David Silva suffered the same fate last season, and after an explosive start. faded during the second half of the season.
- Lukas Podolski – 5
The German international wasn’t at the races last night. He lacked the drive and creativity we expect from him. And with the others around him struggling, Podolski found it difficult to make his mark on the game. His willingness to track back is commendable, but more is needed in the last third. Instead of reverting to the classic pass-it-in-the goal style, he should start perhaps adopt a shoot-on-sight approach.
- Gervinho – 5
The ever-frustrating Ivorian was it again last night. He may possess skill and trickery but what use is it if there is no final product. He used his skill to ease past Jermaine Jones in the second half but opted to hit the deck once free of his opponent in order to con the referee in to giving a penalty. He was rightly booked for this disgraceful act. I would have preferred Giroud to have played through the middle. Thought not as quick, he could have held up the ball and brought in the likes of Podolski. Gervinho is simply not the solution to Arsenal’s lack of goals.
- Aaron Ramsey – 5
You have to feel sympathetic towards the young Welshman. He was played out of position and looked uncomfortable all night. He passing was off the mark and there was no creativity coming from the right side. The 21-year-old will be looking forward to being restored to a more central position.