Arsenal, Chelsea stars join only four Blades in Prem weekend’s worst XI

Ian Watson
Arsenal midfielder Jorginho and Chelsea defender Malo Gusto.
Arsenal midfielder Jorginho and Chelsea defender Malo Gusto endured a difficult weekend.

We expected this weekend’s worst XI to be riddled with Sheffield United’s strugglers but there is still room for Arsenal’s sloppy sub and Chelsea’s dismissed defender.

Here, according to WhoScored ratings, is the worst XI from Saturday and Sunday’s action…


GK: Bart Verbruggen – 5.56
It was a toss-up between the Brighton keeper and Bournemouth’s Neto at the other end of the AmEx, with both earning the same rating – damning when Wes Foderingham, who picked the ball out of his net eight times, scored 5.82. Verbruggen gets the gloves on account of just how poor his error was. The Seagulls stopper succeeded in prompting a Bournemouth press, but dallied on the ball to fall victim to it, allowing Dominic Solanke a simple opening goal.


RB: Malo Gusto – 5.71
Gusto certainly wasn’t Chelsea’s biggest problem in their latest defeat, and Mauricio Pochettino felt no need to blame the right-back as their crisis continued at home to Villa. But a red card early in the second half certainly didn’t help the Blues, even if there was little malice in his forceful challenge on John McGinn.


CB: Anel Ahmedhodzic – 5.05
Despite a number of central defenders earning sub-six scores, including Cristian Romero, Nayef Aguerd, Nathan Collins and Serge Aurier, Sheffield United’s three centre-backs were the worst of the lot. Since this mob are playing four at the back, Jack Robinson (5.14) escapes. Ahmedhodzic does not, with the Sheffield Star awarding him 2/10, the lowest score of any Blade.


CB: John Egan – 4.87
It stands to reason that the Sheffield United captain should be included since he was the skipper of the ship that sunk without a trace. Returning from injury is no excuse for a performance that saw him lose possession 18 times and finish with a zero percent success rate from 10 attempted long passes.


LB: Nuno Tavares – 5.59
The on-loan Arsenal defender endured a miserable first start for Forest as left wing-back, being overrun by Phil Foden and Kyle Walker before being subbed on 39 minutes. Not before he’d picked up a booking, which was the closest Tavares came to making a tackle.


CM: Jorginho – 5.50
We’d normally excuse subs but Jorginho played for longer than Tavares, having come on at half-time in the derby, and we can’t ignore his mistake in the build-up to Spurs’ second equaliser, when Heung-min Son finished after James Maddison had robbed the Italian, highlighting how reliant Arsenal are already on Declan Rice.

Arsenal midfielder Jorginho challenges James Maddison

CM: Joao Gomes – 5.57
The Wolves midfielder will have been marked down for the concession of a second-half penalty that gave Luton their leveller at Kenilworth Road but even Mike Dean couldn’t fathom why Gomes had been penalised. That aside, though, the Brazilian was sloppy on the ball, losing possession 15 times, succeeding with none of his attempted dribbles or long passes.


RW: Morgan Gibbs-White – 5.80
Getting Rodri sent off was Gibbs-White’s biggest contribution to the Forest cause at the Etihad where he gave the ball back to the champions 18 times.


AM: Jean-Ricner Bellegard –  5.33
As Tavares was going off, Bellegard was too, but the Wolves attacking midfielder was given his marching orders for kicking out at Luton’s Tom Lockyer. When Gary O’Neil can’t find reason to complain, you know you’ve f*cked up.


LW: Gustavo Hamer – 5.59
It is a surprise to see that the Sheffield United attacker managed as many as 34 touches before being replaced midway through the second half with Newcastle’s tally at five. He might have had more had he not lost all but one of his seven duels.


CF: Cameron Archer – 5.54
Archer wasn’t spared even a minute of the Blades’ battering, with the centre-forward made to watch from the front while his team-mates caved in behind him. When they did manage to find him, Archer looked after the ball quite well, completing all but one of his 18 passes. But never was he picked out close enough to concern Nick Pope.

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