All is still pretty quiet in the World of Arsenal apart from much to do about nothing regarding RVP. The club and RVP have both agreed not to comment on the situation thus letting the former concentrate on the Euro’s. How kind our club is by letting a player concentrate on his international tournament rather than putting the minds of the paying public at rest, especially with season tickets being renewed. For those that believe in an old adage, ‘no news is good news’, I’m starting to think this might not be the case with RVP. Time will tell.
With speculation and random rumours giving me a daily headache, time to move on to the WOA end of season poll:
1) Player of the Season (Without RVP):
1st – Mikel Arteta – 53%
2nd – Laurent Koscielny – 29%
3rd – Alex Song – 19%
The three players above were the only players nominated, showing that the majority of us were on a similar wavelength, but given the season we’ve had, hero’s were not plentiful.
Personally, I believe Arteta deserved the majority vote. Billed by the press as a panic buy; criticised early on by our own fans for not being a suitable ‘Cesc replacement’, those that had watched carefully just patiently waited for the others to catch up. Arteta was never bought to replace Cesc or even play that role; he was bought to play the role occupied by Wilshere the previous season.
Arteta’s role was simple but so effective for a team that relied on quick ball movement and high possession. Arteta’s positional presence allowed him to ‘collect’ the ball from the defence thus acting a pivot for the team’s attack. He’s not the quickest in the world but he instinctively knew what he was going to do before he received the ball.
The telling stat to why Arteta may have won this category: Arsenal only won one league game without Mikel, this was the 3-2 vs West Brom on the last day of the season. (That was also largely to Marton Fulop!)
During the run in and without Arteta, I noticed that Koscielny would always look to play a long ball, Vermaelen tried to occupy a space ahead of his natural position, Song was caught easily on the ball due to lack of options and Arsenal simply struggling to retain possession. I strongly believe Arteta’s absence played a factor in all the performance factors listed.
2) Most improved player of the season:
1st – Laurent Koscielny – 38%
2nd – Tomas Rosicky – 23%
3rd – Alex Song – 10%
Back in February last season, Koscielny and Szcz collided in the last minute of the Carling Cup final to concede a goal that lost Arsenal the trophy moment we have craved for 7 years now.
From that moment it would have been very easy for Koscielny to become a scapegoat and take on a similar mantle as Senderos, the likeable yet clumsy fool. No chance, Koscielny dusted the dirt off his shoulder and has become the lynch pin of our defence. More interceptions than any player in the premiership, he reads the game fantastically and uses his pace & athleticism to kick start attacks. I’m a big Koscielny fan and I’m quite happy for him not to get the plaudits that Kompany and Vermaelen receive while he continues to develop. A fitting end for Kossy was scoring the final goal of the season to secure us third place.
I’ve got to say I was quite surprised so many of you voted for Rosicky. While he has a strong second half of the season he still is short of the form he graced us with when he first joined. His desire and effort for the 2nd half of the season should be praised never the less, vital in many games including that game against the Spuds in Feb.
Oh, no votes for RVP in most improved player of the season then???!!! Shocker!
3) Most disappointing player of the season:
1st – Aaron Ramsey – 43%
2nd & 3rd – Andre Arshavin & Johan Djourou– 15% each
I guess the vote doesn’t lie but the result of this category disappointed me. While Rambo didn’t have the best season, he never hid or put in a lack of effort for the cause. It’s easy to forget that this was Rambo’s first full season after his leg break. What didn’t help Rambo were the departures of Cesc and Nasri along with the season long absence of Wilshere. Rambo came into the first team with the huge weight of expectation on his young shoulders. He was now the main creative outlet for the first team. Rambo struggled to live up to this expectation. He was often found trying too hard; how many of us screamed at a flick or backheel at the wrong time? And quite often he would look tired and leggy. While I did expect more from Rambo, I portion a large part of the blame on Wenger for letting this situation develop.
A player who did however go hiding in games, showing a real lack of application or effort, was Andre Arshavin. I will always have time for someone who puts the effort in and comes out second best than someone who seems to hold the team back.
That concludes part one of the poll…
See you next week for the moments of the season.
Have a great day and thank you for all of your replies on the poll.