Friday, 27 May 2011

Season 2010/11 Awards

Not all these award are going to be honourable, but here are my '... of the season's. First up:

Player of the Season

While Jack Wilshere has had an amazing season, and isn't undeserving of the award, my player of the season would be Robin van Persie. Just. If he'd have been fully fit for the first half of the season he probably would have won it hands down. The best striker in the world in my opinion and that shone even during the extremely bad times at the end of the season. He's scored here, there and everywhere and always shows a first class attitude. God knows what he would have done this season had he been fit throughout the whole season. If he was English, the pundits wouldn't ignore him.

Break-through of the Season

Jack Wilshere just pips Szczesny. Both have done a lot better than expected but Wilshere's constance in the team wins it for him. He has shown the sort of attitude more Arsenal players should be showing, has excelled in all sorts of games from games against lesser teams in the Premier League to European giants like Barcelona, Man Utd, Blackpool (just checking you're paying attention) and Chelsea. His performance against Barcelona at the Emirates was the most impressive performance I have ever seen. To come up against a team like that and to have the confidence as well as the ability to outwit and get the better of Xavi 'The Tapper Upper' Hernandez, Iniesta and Biscuits throughout the game was unbelievable. Let's not forget also that his season didn't start so well either, giving the ball away on the edge of his own box at Liverpool who went and scored as a result. But he bounced back from this with some great performances. And he's one of a few players that actually clap the supporters when he comes out on to the pitch at the start of a game. (Not that that's a contributing factor to this award, just fancied mentioning it).

Team Performance of the Season

Has to be one of two. Whilst things have been bad lately and everyone is looking at the negatives, Arsenal have put in a lot of excellent performances this season. But the Barcelona (home) performance just, just edges it ahead of the Chelsea (home) performance. Defensively solid, efficient and stylish going forward and we beat them all over the pitch, pressing them well and showing a real superiority against them in the second half. If Man utd want to beat Barcelona tomorrow, they should watch a DVD of that game and study Arsenal's performance that incredible night. Especially Evra.

Player Performance of the Season

Hmmm. This is one I haven't thought about before writing this. Jack Wilshere vs Barcelona is the obvious candidate but Alex Song against Man utd earlier in the month is a contender. But you have to bare in mind the quality of the opposition and the workload so Wilshere gets it. Excellent from start to finish. Although Nasri has some 1st half of the season contenders such as at Everton, Man City and Aston Villa away and at home to Fulham. Oh, and Koscielny v Barcelona is a close call to Wilshere too, as well as Vermaelen at Blackburn.

Goal of the Season

A lot of thought has gone into this. Arshavin vs Barcelona just beats van Persie vs Barcelona and Nasri's second vs Fulham. A terrific team goal, from the defensive sharpness of Koscielny to Bendtner's pass in- field to Wilshere's quick release to Fabregas who played an exceptional pass to Nasri who showed good composure as I and many other Arsenal fans were thinking 'shoot!',  he knew better as he played a perfectly weighted pass to Arshavin who placed it beautifully, not just past the keeper, but past the Barcelona defenders in the way. He could have easily blasted that over the bar but just when you need a cool head to finish a move off, there's Arshavin at his best.

Disappointment of the Season

Cesc Fabregas. Last season's player of the season, argubly. He has been hampered by injuries which is the biggest disappointment but his impact when not injured wasn't as big as we have come to expect. He didn't play terribly as he has had some brilliant performances such as Chelsea at home, Man City away, Barcelona at home and Tottenham away but his injuries have held him back and he has also had more poor games than usual, e.g. Newcastle at home and away (where we needed him as a captain to calm things down), as well as Liverpool at home. Additonally he has made a couple of silly mistakes which you wouldn't expect from him, Barcelona away and S***s at home. His no- show last Sunday doesn't help him either.

Signing of the Season

Laurent Koscielny. Marouane Chamakh contributed highly during the few months of the season but Koscielny has contributed throughout the whole season. Yes, he has made some mistakes and looked panicky occasionally, but he has been impressive especially in the big games, which is probably where it's most important and harder to be so. Plus, let's not forget he's played more than expected and not really had a regular partner at the back, coping wth the dodginess of Squillaci quite a lot too. Even the people of Arsenal- mania think he's good, so blimey, there must be something there if they think he's good!

Surprise of the Season

Szczesny pips Wilshere as he has been even more of a surprise than Jacky boy. Who would have thought a year ago that he would be our current number one now? He has been very impressive with is confidence, consistency and ability as well as his fantastic bounce back after the Carling Cup disaster. He showed great mental strength, those two controversial words around Arsenal.

Johan Djourou also deserves a mention here as despite a couple of late season blunders, generally he has been outstanding when in the team this season, most notably his form during our only period of having a regular centre back partnership with Koscielny between Christmas and the cup final. And he broke the Drogba whoo-doo, keeping him quiet throughout and I've never seen an Arsenal player deal with him as well as he did that night.

Highlight of the Season

Arsenal 2-1 Barcelona. The memory of me jumping up and down around the room whilst screaming 'YESSS!!' whilst my phone propelled out of my dressing gown pocket and onto the floor is one that brings back such great feelings for me! Plus the atmosphere that night was fantastic, the sight of thousands of Arsenal's fans at the game holding up their arms and scarfs after the second goal whilst singing 'By Far The Greatest Team' is one of the nicest for me. And a great performance as I have said.

See, it's not all been bad has it?

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