Another abject display from Steve Bruce’s despondent NUFC, with us having one shot on target, 34% possession and being lucky to concede just three to an Arsenal side who didn’t have to do much to run out convincing winners in the end.
Here’s a closer look each players performance along with ours marks out of 10:
Darlow – 6 – Made a few brilliant saves to deny Lacazette in the second half, getting down low to tip a low strike wide and saving one point-blank header, however his kicking was absolutely awful throughout and he went down too early to allow Aubameyang to smash past his near post. Still one of our best players on the night but a few dodgy moments by his high standards.
Krafth – 3 – Aside from the odd decent sliding tackle or good block to stop a goal-bound shot from Saka, he had a shocker at both ends. Crossing was absolutely woeful and he was caught in no mans land far too many occasions. Got done by Aubameyang for their opening goal and was caught out of position for Saka’s goal to make it 2-0. Yes the latter goal came from an awful Shelvey corner, but it was a constant theme that he was caught too high up the pitch for no apparent reason, forcing Lascelles to come out wide and leave big gaps in our defence. Sadly, the Swede looks an extremely limited player at both ends.
Lascelles – 4 – Looked off the pace and didn’t always get tight enough, with Smith-Rowe skipping past him with ease before Saka scored their second. He was left too exposed by Krafth at times, however he looked rusty and ended up losing his cool late on with some rash and reckless challenges born out of clear frustration.
Clark – 5 – Left too exposed at times, but should’ve done better for Arsenal’s third, with him losing the ball in a bad area and being caught out of position to allow Cedric to get in behind and set up their third. Aside from that, he did OK in what was a flimsy looking back four.
Lewis – 3 – They got in down his side with ease early on, with him either sucked infield or slow to react. Seemed to time his challenges poorly too, with him lucky not to be booked for a cynical one on Saka. In attack he looked timid, indecisive and far too one footed, seeming a shadow of the man who regularly made marauding runs forward for Norwich last season.
Almiron – 6.5* – His final product and inability to actually impact the game where it really mattered means he can get no more than a 6, however his energy, constant attempts to carry the ball forward, run at Arsenal (no one else did), press and work back defensively stood out like a sore thumb compared to his laboured and lacklustre teammates. Brilliant in the first half but faded in the second.
Shelvey – 2 – Aside from one or two cross field passes or hopeful hoofs that Almiron or Carroll made something of every now and then, he didn’t offer a thing. Deliveries from set pieces were absolutely abysmal, with just about every single corner of his hitting the first man. One of those was punished badly, with Arsenal easily clearing one and going on to score seconds later through Aubameyang. A passenger throughout, sloppy in possession and lacking in any sort of fight.
Matty Longstaff – 4– Looked more comfortable on the ball than the likes of Hendrick and his brother did at Bramall Lane, however he faded badly after a steady first half display. Keeps it simple, but few forward passes and any zip he had in the opening stages soon turned to him chasing shadows – one being Saka, who he failed to track for their second.
Joelinton – 2 – Played on the left wing but didn’t offer a thing. Seemed to constantly slow attacks down and made everything look difficult or messy, whether it be his touch, his slack passing or his sluggish attempts to track back. He’s been Bruced, but abject displays like this aren’t defendable.
Wilson – 4 – Suffered from a total lack of service and really struggled to strike up any sort of link up play with Carroll as a result. All round play was sloppy (not for the first time in recent weeks), however it would be hard not to be frustrated if you’re him right now. A thankless task.
Carroll – 5 – Was limited to several awful crosses and hopeful punts up the pitch, but at least gave it his all and battled for every ball in an attempt to give us a target to hit up top. Struck one shot wide and bizarre that he was replaced with 20 minutes to go by Murphy – a player who might’ve been able to beat a man and put in a decent cross for the big man! Not the same threat he was last weekend, but we barely gave him a chance.
Murphy – 4 – Created a few big chances when he came on in our FA Cup meeting last weekend but failed to make any impact here over the final 20 minutes.
Hendrick – N/A – Replaced Matty Longstaff. Barely remember him having a kick over the final 10 minutes. Really not sure what he offers this team.
Anderson – N/A – Came on for his Premier League debut for Almiron with five minutes to play. On a grim night for NUFC, it was nice to see our 18-year-old local lad. Time to give him a start at Villa?