Thursday 6 April 2017

Bilic: "Now we are fighting for our lives"

After a predictable and irritatingly routine thumping was played out at the Emirates last night, we are now truly in a dog fight. Slaven Bilic accepted as much in the post match conference with his comments that "now we are fighting for our lives". Saturday's visit of Swansea is now a massive game for us where, at the very least, we MUST halt the slide of five consecutive defeats. We are currently 5 points ahead of the Swans and a win would put decent daylight between us. In contrast, a defeat would heap pressure onto the side and put us in major danger of relegation.

With big selection issues facing SuperSlav, we ask how did the team perform last night?

Darren Randolph: Didn't do well for Ozil's opener but otherwise looked composed. May face the chop with Adrian waiting in the wings but, in all honesty, goalkeeping is not where the big problems lie in the team 5/10

Sam Byram: Did well in coping with a lively Arsenal attack and starting to demonstrate what a proper right back brings in terms of positional sense. 7/10

Jose Fonte: Struggled after we conceded and was at fault with a botched clearance before the first goal. We are really missing Winston Reid. 5/10

James Collins: Gave his usual 110% performance with endless blocks and interceptions. We need warriors right now and Ginge is certainly one of those! 7/10

Arthur Masuaku: Did well apart from a probable penalty for a clumsy challenge on Walcott early on that wasn't given. Nip and tuck between him and Cresswell for the starting berth. 6/10 

Mark Noble: Committed and looked on the pace for the first half but the Gunners pace and energy proved too much as we conceded midfield almost entirely in a wearying second half capitulation. We need his leadership against Swansea! 5/10

Cheik Kouyate: Put himself about as always but we were hopelessly outpassed and overrun in the second half. 6/10

Michail Antonio: Buzzed about the pitch but taken off as a precaution as Saturday is a bigger game for us 6/10

Manuel Lanzini: Nice work on the ball but defensively weak. The one player who looked capable of p[ulling a rabbit out of the hat for us. 7/10

Andre Ayew: Almost anonymous throughout. At no point has the £20 million transfer fee made sense. Not clear whether he should start against his former club at the weekend 3/10

Andy Carroll: Did his best up top with very little support. He can't work miracles! 6/10


Diafra Sakho: Looked lively and the one positive was that he gained some valuable game time 6/10

Robert Snodgras: Struggled to make any impact - a pattern of late but we need to keep faith with him as he has undoubted ability 4/10

Edmilisen Fernandes: A real prospect and good to see him getting game time. Not clear if a relegation battle is the best place for a  youngster to find his feet? 5/10

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