By 1970’s Gooner
When we began to discuss between us here at “Arsenal Analysis” which players really stood out during the season we were not surprised to discover that only five made the grade.
The reason is that it has not really been a season to shout home about. A lot of the players used by Wenger were either playing below par or were youngsters trying to find their way into the team. A few stood out however.
5. Kieran Gibbs
One such youngster that really made his mark was Kieran Gibbs.
He only came into the first team in the last quarter of the season replacing Clichy who had to sit it out due to a bad back.
Kieran played wonderfully improving with every game. What will Wenger do with Traore now?
4. Andrey Arshavin
And of course there is Arshavin who has set the place alight since the end of January when he signed on the last day of transfer deadline.
Those four goals against Liverpool were the highlight of his contribution.
Pity Arsene decided that Andrey should not participate in the semi final of the FA Cup against Chelsea.
However he has added that explosiveness and trickery that Arsenal were lacking in breaking 10 man defences down.
It’s not a surprise that Arsenal started scoring goals by the bucketful ever since he stepped onto the Emirates stadium.
3. Alexandre Song
If Alexandre Song had been fit enough or chosen early enough by Wenger to start games we feel that he would have been a prime candidate (along with Arshavin) to be Arsenal’s player of the season.
He has been fantastic both in the centre of midfield or in central defence using his strength, tenacity and intelligent positional sense to shine in almost every game he played.
He will be a regular next season but in which position remains to be seen….
2. Manuel Almunia
Manuel has been the ever present and constant in this season’s Arsenal. He has improved so much he has earned the respect of most of Arsenal’s skeptical fans.
He captained the team for the first time, in the UEFA Champions League match against Fenerbahçe in that 5–2 success and had a great game.
Almunia's penalty saving abilities came into play in the Champions League game against Roma in which Almunia saved one penalty in the shoot out and Arsenal went on to win.
His most impressive performance was against Manchester United in the UEFA Champions League, at Old Trafford where he single handedly kept Arsenal in the tie with some breath taking saves.
Even though some fans may fault him for Manchester United’s second goal at the Emirates in the Champions League one cannot deny that his performances throughout the season have been generally consistent and impressive.
1. Robin van Persie
This would have been the season that Robin could have had his biggest impact for Arsenal Football Club. However a combination of injuries and a disinterested attacking partner in Adebayor contrived to deny him the success he deserved.
He has however shown the maturity and intelligence in his games this season that has allowed him to play with significant effectiveness both from his normal position behind the front striker or indeed as a front man himself.
The result is 11 goals scored and interestingly 11 assists, the most of any player in the League this season. This tells you a lot about the potential this player has.
Arsene Wenger has another dilemma now. Does he let Adebayor go without replacing him with Van Persie in mind? He already has a plethora of players at Arsenal who can play behind the front striker. Arshavin, Nasri, Fabregas to name but a few.
Others that showed improvement but we felt did not qualify for the top five were Walcott, Nasri, Toure and Denilson.
There are a few players that did not reach the heights of last season. These are Sagna, Clichy, Toure and the captain Fabregas.
There were two players that we felt had a negative impact. One was Gallas with his stupid antics in the first half of the season which probably took away any chance we had of winning anything.
The other was Adebayor who has been pathetic for most of the season, playing in second gear and generally looking uninterested.
It is reported that he has already signed a pre contract agreement with Chelsea. Take the money and run Mr Wenger…