Arsenal drew Rangers 2-2 to wrap up the club’s preseason camp in Scotland. Obviously a draw is better than the loss the Gunners posted against Hibernian earlier this week, but the result really isn’t that important. Much more important is the players getting into match shape / sharpness and the team being ready to open the Premier League season on August 13th at Brentford.
Overall, the Gunners looked better today than they did a few days ago, but three goals conceded from set pieces in two matches is a bit of a concern. Arsenal are next in action on July 25th in Orlando, Florida against Inter Milan. They then face the winner of Everton vs. Millonarios FC on July 28th.
Arthur Okonkwo - 6
Not much he could do on the goal he conceded, but was caught a bit in no-man’s land / flat-footed. Showed much more poise with the ball at his feet.
Karl Hein - 6
Also not much he could do with the goal from the corner. Made the one save he had to on a pretty poorly taken good chance from Rangers.
Cedric Soares - 4
Has looked quite rusty this preseason. Got beat far too easily on an attack that led to the corner and first goal. Did swing in a very nice, long cross that Aubameyang fluffed.
Hector Bellerin - 5
Flashed a bit of pace that I was concerned he’d lost. Got forward well, involved in combination passing around the edge of the box and put in a few crosses. Lost his man for the second goal, though.
Rob Holding - 6
His newly clean-shaven head was the most notable thing about him today. No mistakes, no fantastic plays.
Calum Chambers - 5
I guess he played. I cannot remember a single thing he did.
Pablo Mari - 5
Another solid performance from him (as he pretty much always puts in). As I said last time, you know what you’re getting from him, a solid 5-to-7 performance every game. Played well after picking up an early yellow for a challenge one probably shouldn’t put in during a friendly, fortunately the guy he caught was fine.
Sead Kolasinac - 5
Attempted a cheeky scorpion on an attacking corner. Went through the motions. Doesn’t really matter because he’s not going to be at Arsenal this season.
Nuno Tavares - 8
One of Arsenal’s best players on the day. Showed great range covering the left flank. Plenty of progressive dribbling, which is very good. Had one impressive recovery run where he showed considerable pace. Scored a very nice individual goal with a well-placed, strong right-footed shot.
Kieran Tierney - 6
Typical Tierney stuff. Got forward, got some crosses in, didn’t make any defensive mistakes. Clearly not playing at full-tilt, which is a bit odd for him, but it’s preseason.
Mohamed Elneny - 5
He definitely was on the field. Might have been his man who scored the first goal.
Thomas Partey - 7
Looked much more the player he was in his good performances last season after looking a bit lost against Hibernian. He’s so smooth on the ball after he wins it back. Bonus: he got a long range shot on target today.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles - 8
The best Arsenal player in the second half. Looked quick in his decisions, pressures, dribbling, and passing. Maybe he does have a place in the center of the park at Arsenal. If he plays like he did today, he should.
Emile Smith Rowe - 9
Looked brilliant today, always involved in the attack and cropping up all over the pitch — wide right, through the middle, diagonal runs in from the center-left. Looks a man on a mission. He’s going to have a massive season.
Joe Willock - 5
Another guy that definitely played. Coming off a bit of a knock, so I wasn’t expecting much, but I would have liked to see more from him. Can’t remember him doing anything.
Nicolas Pepe - 7
Not quite as impactful today as he was against Hibernian, but still a solid performance. He’s in the minority of Arsenal players who look like they could start the season tomorrow.
Reiss Nelson - 6
Had one or two nice dribbles, but I’d like to see more from him. Think his biggest problem is that he doesn’t demand the ball and make himself get involved in the play.
Willian - 6
“Better” is a relative term, but he looked better today. Had a couple nice sequences in and around the box dribbling / passing. Lashed a shot wildly over the bar, but also, was in position to get a shot away so, that’s progress.
Folarin Balogun - 5
Was mostly invisible on the day. Had one decent run but failed to pick out an open Aubameyang to his left. He didn’t see PEA (I’m guessing) because he was looking for his own shot, a quality of his I really like, so I’m not terribly upset about it. He’ll learn when to pass and when to shoot.
Alexandre Lacazette - 6
Another player not as bright today as they were against Hibernian. He was involved in the attacking play around the box, though, which is something.
Eddie Nketiah - 8
Really liked what I saw from him today after he let a handful of chances go wanting against Hibernian. Was energetic and made himself available for combination play on the edge of the box. Did really well to win the ball back for himself and tuck his shot away at the near post, too.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang - 6
The good: got himself three quality chances in the box. The bad: didn’t score any of them. But as long as he is getting chances, I’m happy. He’s a “volume attacker” in that when he’s playing well, he gets a bunch of chances and converts them at an average rate. He winds up with high goal totals because of the number of chances he gets — like if you convert 50% of 30 chances, you’re going to score more goals than someone who converts 75% of 15 chances.