Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Are these the top four players for Arsenal in January?

By 1970’s Gooner

January was a better month for Arsenal FC when compared to December where the first defeat of the season was inflicted by Middlesbrough and points were also dropped against Newcastle at St James Park.

In January we saw a rejuvenated Arsenal helped by the return to fitness and the first 11 of Fabregas and Flamini. The low point however was the 5-1 defeat by Tottenham in the semi final of the Carling Cup.

In the League the only points dropped were at home against Birmingham but there were wonderful performances against West Ham, Fulham and the two games against Newcastle.

During these games we have seen certain players that have been outstanding and stood out from the rest. These are my top four for January.

4. Eduardo da Silva

The real deal; the real fox in the box that we have been missing. What a goal he scored against West Ham. Control with the chest a little swivel of the feet and bang one nil up!

Eduardo is really coming on at a much faster pace than one could have anticipated. They say it takes 6 months to a year for a non British player to acclimatize to the football in the premiership. He is doing it at double the pace.

He obviously got a lot better the more games he played which have allowed him to get acquainted with his fellow players and the ferocity of the Premier League.

These are his highlights during the month:

-has scored against Burnley in the FA Cup (in that relaxed style he adopts in front of the goalkeeper),

- laid on a beautifully weighted assist for Walcott to score the equalizer against Spurs in the semi final of the carling Cup at The Emirates,

- created the third goal against Fulham for Rosicky,

- won the penalty from which Adebayor scored against Birmingham

- it was the rebound from his shot against the post that Adebayor picked up to score his first against Newcastle in the Cup

- and finally it was from his screen on the Newcastle defender that allowed Adebayor to race through and score his second against Newcastle in the same game

Not a lot is it?

Eduardo stats (for all league games so far)

Total passes 259

Accurate passes 198
Passes successful 76 %

Assists 2

Attempts at goal 18
Attempts on target 6
Goals 3

Tacles 11
Tackles won 7
Tackle success 64 %

3. Gael Clichy

He has got a very deserved call up in the France squad at last. Domenech has finally realized what us gooners have been witnessing week in week out.

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….

Highlight of the month for Gael is his wonderful cross for Adebayor to score his first header against Fulham

Clichy stats (for all games so far)

Fouls 26

Tacles 99
Tackles won 83
Tackle success 84 %

Assists 4

Total passes 1125
Accurate passes 933
Passes successful 83 %

Attempts at goal 7
Attempts on target 2

2. Emmanuel Adebayor

Adebayor showed glimpses of what was to come in January during the pevious months with the wonderful goals he scored notably at Aston Villa and Newcastle away and against Spurs at home.

But he exploded in January. Not only has he continued his scoring streak he has improved his all round play enormously with his control and lay offs to fellow players improving enormously.

These are his highlights during the month:

- a goal against west Ham from an acute an angle as you can imagine

- his two beautifully headed goals against Fulham away

- the three goals he scored against Newcastle at home (for the league and the Cup)

This guy is hot. He keeps scoring and once you get into the habit it gets easier and easier as the confidence level soars.

Adebayor stats (for all league games so far)

Total passes 800

Accurate passes 629
Passes successful 78 %

Assists 1

Attempts at goal 73
Attempts on target 27
Goals 16

Tacles 15
Tackles won 11
Tackle success 73

1. Mathieu Flamini

He's not just been amazingly awesome; he's been our most consistent player and hasn't had a single bad game all year.

When he doesn't play the midfield always seems to look weak. We give away more cheap goals, seem to lack pace and there's no bite.

Not only has he been defensively brilliant this year, he seems to be much sharper and quicker on the ball and a technically more skillful player.

He runs a thousand miles more than his colleagues, sweeps up in defence at dangerous moments and also goes forward when required.

His assist of a precise cross onto Adebayor’s head for him to score Arsenal’s first and decisive goal against Newcastle in the recent League game was outstanding.

But the goal he scored in the same game was beautifully struck from 25 yards and the moment the shot left his boot you knew it was going to fly in the top right hand corner.

Flamini stats (for all league games so far)

Total passes 1157
Accurate passes 997
Passes successful 86 %

Assists 2

Attempts at goal 28
Attempts on target 8
Goals 3

Tacles 55
Tackles won 34
Tackle success 62 %

Choosing between these four has been very difficult. Clichy has been quite impressive and Eduardo has really come on. But for me the real difficulty was choosing between Adebayor’s goal scoring and Flamini’s all powerful box to box 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.


Anonymous said...

clichy has made 83 tackle's but has won 99 of them, go figure

Anonymous said...

Thanks. Its the other way round! corrected it now

Anonymous said...

A very good article once again. My choice is also Flamini because without him we would have been losing games.

Anonymous said...

Adebayor wins by a mile. His goals are what are winning us the games mate.

Anonymous said...

Whilst you are correct with your analysis I think 2 other players need a mention they are: 1) Almunia who I think now can not be replaced by Lehmann and a new No.1 would have to be a big name,big money player,not Arsene's way.So he is now rightly N0.1.He's good for the team to. 2) Senderos definitely N0.3 centre back.I could mention them all!! GO ON THE GOONERS

Anonymous said...

I agree with your analysis.

However I think Adebayor just edges is past Flamini, with Clichy just behind these two.

Eduardo has also shown very impressive glimpses but isn't near the three mentioned, for overall contribution, and importance to the team for this month.

I think that Senderos's improved form is vital for us too, and could be a very important player for us for Febuary. If he learns to eradicate his goal/game costing errors for good, he could realise his potential.

Anonymous said...

I possibly would have had Almunia at numbre 4 but apart from that, bang on.

Anonymous said...

Clichy is my no 1. just quality. overall its hard to disagree with the article but i feel sendy is worth a mention. He has been roundly slated on the blogs but once again he has proved that with a run in the side he can be solid.BIG UP SENDEROS!!

Anonymous said...

For me its Clichy...
There isn't anyone else who can play at left back and have his effect...One of the first if not the first name down on the teamsheet for me. He's been consistent doesn't score so doesn't really get the headlines.
If he banged in 2 or 3 goals he would get more praise.

I would also add Sagna to the list.
This guy has just come into the team and said "Right Back is mine"
Looks as though he's been playing there for years

Anonymous said...

Excellent article mate. The four highlighted players have been so impressive this month. Watching Clichy live is a brilliant experience, like Flamini he seems to in perpetual motion! Eduardo has impressed more and more, we already knew he was a lethal finisher, but we are seeing signs that he has the all-round game- technique, touch, vision and control. But man of the month has to be ADEEEEE!

Anonymous said...

learn how to read first. and go figure it out

Anonymous said...

I think that if Clichy scored one goal, much more would follow. He has never scored for Arsenal and he doesn't seem to know what to do when he gets in a scoring situation. I haven't really watched Man Utd this season, but I can't believe that Evra has been better than him.

There is no doubt that Evra and Clichy are the two best left backs in the league, the only question is who is better. Ashley Cole is far worse and Liverpool have a bunch of mediocre players there like in other positions (they have 3 players I would like: Gerrard, Mascherano (not better than Flamster) and Torres (I hate how good he is).

sikatinavra said...

Clichy all the way

Anonymous said...

evra is good at going forward and like to do it very often but clichy is super fine in defending/trackback/steal-the-ball-back/outrun-pacy-striker. after all clichy is a right-back and defending has to be his no 1 priority.
-just compare evra with attack-minded defender like sevilla-alves I wouldn't mind

Anonymous said...

ops, a lil mistake there, clichy is a left-back and a one of the best in the business .
merci gael !

Anonymous said...

Arsenal Analysis big up to you guys that was a wonderful article. Although I thought Adebayor should have edged past fanatastic flams. Almunia and Sagna are also worth recognizing. But in all the team has been fantastic.

Well done guys!

Anonymous said...

I think Gallas deserves a mention there. He has made telling tackles and clearances the past few games.

Anonymous said...

As a season ticket holder its been truly wonderful seeing Clichy grow and grow into the player he is today... the scary thing is that he is still getting better and with Diaby playing in front he deals admirably with little or no cover. In hindsight sawpping A.Cole for Gallas (+ £5mill) was yet another masterstroke by Wenger as I hoenstly feel that CLichy is just as good (if not better) than Cole ever was - its also great to see how a young lad handles himself off the field in a far more professional way than Cole ever will be able too!

However player of the month has to be Adebayor. The guy has been awesome in pretty much single handedly leading the forward line (usually against both centre backs). The guy never stops running, closing down, tackling back and even defends conceded corners! Without a doubt it has been his form that has contributed more to getting our recent wins than any of the other players - and to top it all he always scores against Sp*rs!

Anonymous said...

Yet again good analysis. I very much agree with all of the comments. I feel eduardo is quite unlucky with some of his shots in January. He deserves to have a better goal tally. If he continues to perform, should Wenger let Eduardo to keep his place instead of Van Persie?

Adebayor is immense. If he keeps improving, we can rightfullyc claim we have the best forward in the league. But sometimes, he just need to make sure easy chances are to be put away. I also realise he did not have as much assist as I thought he had. Surely he has more assist last season?

Anonymous said...


Any great reading, I think my choice would have to be Flamini. He has really turned things around I'm ashamed to admit I was one of the people wanted him to be sold at the begging of the season!!!!!!

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