By 1970’s Gooner
What a strange season we’ve had. When Thierry Henry departed for what he thought pastures new no one gave us a cat’s chance of achieving anything.
Well we didn’t but we got mighty close, leading the Premiership for the most part of the season until our thin squad was brutally exposed as our luck run out on the injury front.
All players contributed but there were some that really stood out. The five players that I consider as the best performers of the season are listed below in descending order:
5. Emmanuel Adebayor
Judging by the vast amount of comments left on this site Adebayor has had his critics as well as his admirers.
The critics voicing their opinions about his profligacy in front of goal, his constant napping in the attacking positions which ended up with 65 off sides given against him (probably a record in the Premiership) and his ball control skills.
His admirers point out his 24 goals (and still going) which make him the second top scorer in the league behind Ronaldo.
They also point out his heading ability, which was badly missing in previous campaigns and his capacity to lead the line on his own enabling the use of a Plan B that has also been missing from Wenger’s previous Arsenal versions.
I personally feel he will improve further next season as he has shown that he is capable of taking on board lessons learned as he has done since his arrival at Arsenal.
He will also benefit a great deal from having another forward next to him like Robin van Persie or Eduardo (who is expected back in September).
Adebayor stats (for all league games so far)
Attempts at goal 103
Attempts on target 52
Goal to attempts ratio 50 %
Goal to games ratio 68 %
Total passes 1202
Accurate passes 845
Passes successful 70 %
Tackles won 11
Tackle success 73 %
4. Bacary Sagna
Since he first arrived at Arsenal, Bacary Sagna has carried with him his trademark colourful hair locks!
His performances have also been excellent from the off and his introduction into the team seemed to have been made almost effortlessly.
He looked right from the beginning as a typical Wenger player excelling in that position and rightly picked in the Premier League’s best 11.
Strong and tenacious in the tackle but more importantly with excellent positional awareness.
He will be Arsenal’s right back for years to come.
Sagna stats (for all games so far)
Tackles won 39
Tackle success 70 %
Total passes 1298
Accurate passes 1123
Passes successful 87 %
Attempts at goal 6
Attempts on target 1
3. Gael Clichy
Clichy is a young gun but he keeps putting in performances like a wise old head. A consistent performer at the top of his game putting in top quality defending coupled with offensive forays and penetration on the wing.
He plays well with either Hleb or Rosicky on the wing as they tend to come infield to join the midfield thus allowing more space for the young defender to surge forward.
What a find by Wenger. I have said it before: Ashley Cole, thanks for leaving Arsenal mate….
Clichy stats (for all games so far)
Tackles won 120
Tackle success 80 %
Total passes 1918
Accurate passes 1566
Passes successful 82 %
Attempts at goal 9
Attempts on target 3
2. Mathieu Flamini
He's not just been amazingly awesome; he's been Arsenal’s most consistent player and hasn't had a single bad game all year.
When he didn’t play the midfield always seemed to look weak. We gave away more cheap goals, seemed to lack pace and there was no bite in midfield.
Not only has he been defensively brilliant this year, he seemed to be much sharper and quicker on the ball and a technically more skillful player.
He ran a thousand miles more than his colleagues, swept up in front of the defence at dangerous moments and also went forward when required.
Pity he will be doing it for AC Milan next season….
Flamini stats (for all league games so far)
Total passes 1710
Accurate passes 1474
Passes successful 86 %
Attempts at goal 30
Attempts on target 15
Goal to attempts ratio 10 %
Tackles won 56
Tackle success 67 %
1. Cesc Fabregas
Because they occupy the most influential parts of the pitch, midfielders are more likely to influence the outcome of a match than other positions, especially if they have vision for a good pass or ability to score.
It is generally accepted that outstanding midfielders need to posses a number of attributes on top of fitness: technique, ball skills, tackling, retaining possession, distribution, shooting and scoring as well.
Fabregas has displayed all the above in abundance this season; his best ever for Arsenal…so far and that is why I vote for him as Arsenal’s player of the season.
Fabregas stats (for all league games so far)
Total passes 2318
Accurate passes 1823
Passes successful 78 %
Attempts at goal 95
Attempts on target 27
Goal to attempts ratio 7 %
Tackles won 67
Tackle success 75 %
Choosing between these five has been very difficult. Clichy and Sagna have been quite impressive in defence and Adebayor has really come on.
But for me the real difficulty was choosing between Flamini’s all powerful box to box performances and Fabregas’s majestic performances.
A very difficult choice indeed.
You can “voice” your opinion by leaving a comment and also vote on the poll we have set up on the matter.