Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Season Ratings: Midfielders

Alex Song

8/10. It's been amazing how much he's improved this season, attacking- wise. The unfortunate thing is that it seems to have come at a cost defensively. He isn't as sure in defence or as no- nonsense, often holding on to the ball too long and losing it in dangerous positions. His assist count is very impressive however and has been crucial to Arsenal's success this season and, in particular, Robin Van Persie's success.

Mikel Arteta

8/10. Brought in just after Fabregas and Nasri left and has had to fill the void left by Wilshere's injury. He's become one of my favourite players for the way he hardly ever makes a mistake, gives his all, is a lovely footballer to watch, plays it simple, scores a few goals, passes the ball well and his handling of responsibility and pressure has been phenomenal. He covers for Song a lot, his positioning is excellent and he has been so crucial to Arsenal's team, mainly for his keeping of the ball and his defensive abilities. He's been a vital cog that's improved as the season's gone on. He's been particulalrly good in the big games like Chelsea away, Tottenham at home, Man City at home and AC Milan at home. It's no coincidence that Arsenal have very much struggled to win when he hasn't been in the team this season.

Aaron Ramsey

6/10. He's a tricky one, because with Ramsey, you have to bare in mind that he broke his leg a couple of years ago and missed a year at a crucial time of his development (look at me, sounding all Arsene Wengery!) and is still really young. He frustrates me a lot but in the first half of the season I thought he did well. He had a great game at Chelsea in the 5-3 win, playing a lovely pass for the first goal. He scored a last minute winner in Marseille in the Champions League group stages and had a really good spell around October/ November/ December, including scoring in the North London derby at S***e Hart Lane. Unfortunately, in the second half of the season, perhaps because he's not been getting in the team as regularly due to Rosicky's rejuvination, he's struggled to impress and has been below par. He's another player, like Song and Rosicky, who has always looked better when playing with Arteta. So he'd get a 7 for the first half of the season, but a 5 for the second, hence a 6 overall.

Tomas Rosicky

8/10. What a rejuvination he has had! I've never known anything like it. A year ago we were talking about whether we should sell him or not, branding him a s'deadwood', but he's been sensational in the second half of this season. I thought he played well in the first half as well, he just didn't stand out as much. The only thing lacking from his game is goals, he's not much of a goal threat. But the way he drives the team forward, the way he creates space, the way he passes the ball, works very hard and does his defensive duties well is excellent. He's got a few assists and a couple of goals, but that's only half the story, anyone who knows football, knows Rosicky has been great since February.

Francis Coquelin

7/10. He's done well generally in the games he's played. A season of progress and looks ready to play a bit- part role. Good backup to Song and can play fullback as well. He's filled in well and played pretty well wherever he's played, even when asked to play out of position at right back and left back.

Emmanuel Frimpong

7/10. Similar to Coquelin, only he has played less. His red card against Liverpool aside (when he actually played well otherwise), he's played well when he's been called up to the side. Impressive against Man City in the Carling Cup especially and I think he'll look better when he's playing alongside Wilshere, whom he's very familiar with, as he showed at the Emirates Cup where he looked twice the player when combining with Jack the lad.

That concludes my midfielders season ratings. Next up will be the 'front 3ers' i.e. the main attackers, Van Persie, Walcott, Chamberlain, Benayoun etc. (Arshavin should be fun!)

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