Thursday, 22 December 2011

Review Of The Year

Inspired by the rubbish Sky Sports one, I thought I'd compile my review of 2011, albeit just one of Arsenal rather than football in general.

1. Player Of The Year: Robin Van Persie

Is there any doubt? The man has scored 34 league goals, and 46 goals in general, this year and has equalled Thierry Henry's club record of 34 goals in a calendar year. He is also 2 short of Alan Shearer's record of 36. We've had some improved players this year, like Koscielny and Szczesny but this award has to go to Van Persie. His record is unbelievably good and consistent, scoring so religiously and performing so well during that time. The quality of his goals has been great too, he's scored quite a few belters. Also, he has become club captain and has so far done a lot better in that role that Fabregas, proving to be a real leader.

2. Goal Of The Year: Arshavin v Barcelona (16/2/11)

There are many contenders, but this was a 'worldie' as Paul Merson would say. It was a fabulous team goal and beats off other contenders such as Van Persie's half- volley v Barcelona, his volley at home to Wigan in January, his chip at Norwich and his free- kick against Sunderland. Other players have scored really good goals too, like Walcott at Chelsea, Park Ju Young against Bolton and Chamberlain against Shrewsbury but, Arshavin's brilliant goal at home to Barcelona wins it. That was a fantastic team goal, with wonderful football and an excellent composed finish. Let's not forget the magnitude of the game too, and the occasion. They add to the brilliance of the goal.

3. Celebration Of The Year: The Team v Chelsea (28/10/11).

It was something that showed us fans that the team was a truly together one. It was also brilliant for the fans to connect with the players at the end of the game and showed true appreciation of the fans from the players. Van Persie and Szczesny were probably the main leaders of this. Theo Walcott wheeling away with his finger on his lips at Sh**e Hart Lane was also a nice celebration, as were Koscielny's v Everton and Ipswich as they were both passionate team celebrations.

4. Flop Of The Year: Marouane Chamakh

Given our late season collapse after the Carling Cup Final defeat last season, there are a few contenders for this 'award'. Johan Djourou, Andrey Arshavin (despite winning goal of the year), Abou Diaby and Samir Nasri are all contenders for going off form for at least most of 2011. But the winner is Marouane Chamakh. Not only has he blessed our eyes with his poor touches, his lack of goals and his lack of skill, invention and creativity, but he has done it with such laziness this year too. Gold for the Moroccan.

5. Most Improved Player Of The Year: Wojchiech Szczesny

Alex Song has improved. As has Wojchiech Szczesny. Infact, he is a major contender for this award considering how far he has come since his debut at Old Trafford last December, he has become one of Arsenal's most key and best players, and one of the league's best goalkeepers. It's either him or Laurent Koscielny, however his dramatic improvement has been more since mid- September rather than throughout the year so, despite Koscielny's much improved maturity, positional sense, responsibility, tackling, strength and decision making, I'm going to give this award to Szczesny. His penalty save against Udinese was, not only immense, but also the main highlight and a good example of how he has become such as great goalkeeper over the last 12 months.

6. Team Performance Of The Year: vs Barcelona (16/2/11)

Is there any other contender? The team was absolutely fanatstic that night, Wilshere and Koscielny were especially marvellous, but everybody was great and it was a wonderful night. Our performance at Chelsea in October would be one of the strong contenders for 2nd place as, despite conceding three, we were really solid that day after the first 20 minutes and were fabulous going forward. After all, how many teams whack 5 past Chelsea at Stamford Bridge?

7. Signing Of The Year: Gervinho

Per Mertesacker and Mikel Arteta have been good signings, especially the latter but I think I'd have to say Gervinho has been Arsenal's best signing. Considering he has come from the French League, he's young and was expected to take on one of the main creater roles, he has done extremely well. He's contributed a few goals, this is maybe one area he could improve as his finishing hasn't been that convincing but you've got to be there to miss them and that's something that is under- valued in football- being there in the right place at the right time. He has contributed a lot of assists and created a lot of chances and works back well to do his defensive job. The Arsenal attack has more pace now and this is down to him. Therefore he beats the impressive Arteta, the increasingly improving Mertesacker and Andre Santos.

8. Manager Of The Year: Arsene Wenger

Without a doubt, he has been Arsenal's best manager this year. No- one else has come close. He has dealt well with setbacks and has guided the much changed team and seen it through many tough times this calendar year.

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