Arsenal’s ’11-’12 season reviewed.
Best player: Robin van Persie.
Yes, I know what you’re thinking. “One-man team” , “Who else?” What people don’t seem to remember is that he was scoring goals when we were losing; at the back end of last season and during our miserable opening months to this campaign. I personally feel his goals, however valuable they may have been, are not what improved us significantly.
But, let’s not take anything away from this man. What a season he’s had. When we were down in the dumps, there was always a glimmer of hope that Robin would snatch a goal out of nothing. That’s what you get when you have a player of his quality.
The Dutchman not only has started gaining a lot more confidence with his weaker right foot, but also worked on his technique with his left. Those breathtaking volleys against Everton and Liverpool are outcomes of sheer determination and hard work.
Go on, Robin. Sign a new contract!
Worst player: John Djourou.
Jamie Sanderson has summed up JD in one simple tweet; “Johan Djourou considering future after being forced to play full-back. Contrast from Coquelin: ‘I’ll play anywhere for Arsenal’. Attitude.”
People may say that he’s been played out of position quite a few times this season, but as a footballer, you have got to deal with it without complaints. Yes, it is unfair to stick a 6 foot+, slow defender at RB, but even when he has played at CB, he’s looked shaky. We had to stick our best defender, Koscielny at RB for a few months, and he never complained.
I remember being on the edge of my seat every time Almunia had the ball. That now happens to me with Djourou. He has had a few good games, but not enough.
At the age of 25, he’s no longer a “prospect”. He should be proven defender, but sadly, that isn’t the case.
Most improved player: Laurent Koscielny.
When you talk to other fans about this guy, they immediately speak of THAT Carling Cup final incident. It’s honestly pretty crazy how much Kos has improved since then. He’s been absolutely immense, and apart from Kompany, he’s undoubtedly had a better season than any other Centre Back in the league. (I know Collocini featured in this season’s XI, but that’s because Newcastle had such a good season.)
After having a calamitous opening campaign, Wenger still showed faith in him and we all know how that paid off.
He’s deceivingly quick, strong and has a good jump; a forward’s nightmare. He’s had the better of Aguero, Torres, Suarez and Lewandowski to name a few and has definitely deserved the “Bosscielny” nickname.
(It was very tough to leave out Rosicky, who also has been reborn this season.)
Most disappointing player: Marouane Chamakh.
After having a superb start to the ’10-’11 season, he slowly faded away with the arrival of Robin from injury. We all thought it was just burnout that he was suffering from after playing 3 games a week for about 4 months; something he wasn’t used to in Ligue 1, but he just hasn’t been the same.
The sheesha-smoking Moroccan adds the aerial threat, but that’s all he’s got at the moment. He seems to have lost his way and doesn’t look cut out for English football.
He did look a bit sharp when he came on against Norwich, but it’s too little too late. We’re lucky we got him for free.
One(s) to look forward to: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Francis Coquelin.
I couldn’t really choose between them as they’re both special players.
Chambo wasn’t used as much as we thought he would be this season. I think Wenger is being very cautious with him, and I fully support that. Look at Theo; he came into the limelight at the vulnerable age of 16 and has lost his way a bit. He never really matured into the player we thought he would become, and keeping that in mind, Arsene has chosen to “expose” Chamberlain in short stints.
Chambo is surprisingly big-built for his age and what separates him from Theo is his variation. The latter’s only real weapon is to drop his shoulder and run down the line, whereas Alex isn’t afraid to take a defender on.
He’s immensely mature for an 18 year-old and really knows what to do when; something you don’t see in most our teenage footballers (apart from Jack Wilshere, of course.)
This boy is very much capable of being a star. He just needs time.
Forget the bigmouth Frimpong, Le Coq is a special talent and is light years ahead of him. He has played at RB, LB, DM, CM this season and has looked comfortable in every single one of those positions; our jack of all trades.
An aggressive, yet skilful young man, capable of producing cross-field passes with surgeon-like precision.
I hope he’s a bit more patient with his lack of game time. Lassana Diarra, who just spent 6 months with us after getting increasingly frustrated, left and turned out to be a hell of a DM.
Coquelin’s definitely one for the future.