As the season is coming to a close for most teams, Arsenal still have one more game to go but it seems like a good time to look at a season full of ups and downs. Even more importantly, it is time to recognise those individuals who have delivered, surprised and frustrated us over the premier league season.
Player of the year – Alexis Sanchez – Player of the season can only go to one player and that is Alexis. When Sanchez was signed there were doubts all over the world about if Sanchez would deliver.
However, he has shown that he is Barcelona’s loss and Arsenal’s gain. Sanchez has delivered so many wonderful moments in an Arsenal shirt but two which come to mind are his strikes against Liverpool and Manchester City at home.
However, it is not only his goals and assists which has amazed Arsenal fans it is his work rate and infectious energy to close defenders down. This attitude has rubbed off on his team mates who now follow and press alongside the Chilean.
Young player of the year – Hector Bellerin – Hector Bellerin has surprised many with his rapid progress and has been awarded young player of the year in this set of awards. When Debuchy got injured many Arsenal fans feared the worst but the step up by this young Spaniard has amazed many. Bellerin is known for his lightening pace but has also impressed by scoring goals and giving Arsenal an outlet down the right hand side. The young lad has impressed that much he may have made the right back spot his for years to come.
Surprise of the season – Francis Coquelin – This was definitely a surprise as many thought Coquelin’s Arsenal career was over. When Coquelin was recalled from Charlton because of injuries many fans laughed but ever since that day Coquelin has become an integral component in Arsenal’s midfield. After a run of fantastic performances Coquelin was rewarded with a contract extension and now it is almost impossible to leave him out of the starting line-up.
Most improved player – Nacho Monreal – At the start of the season most Arsenal fans would agree that Kieran Gibbs was the number one at left back, ask them now they will say Monreal. This shows the improvement Monreal has made. Monreal can now be trusted at left back against all opposition and has allowed a better balance in the Arsenal team. With the inexperience of Bellerin on the right it has been down to the intelligence of Monreal which has allowed the team to defend properly.
Goal of the season – Aaron Ramsey – In a season there are so many great goals and there are so many to choose from. Sanchez has had some wonderful strikes and the Wilshere volley was close but goal of the season goes to Aaron Ramsey against Galatasaray. This goal was sublime hit from 35 years and will be remembered for years to come.
Game of the season – Arsenal 4 – 1 Liverpool – This was a difficult choice as the FA cup game at Manchester United and Manchester City in the league were special in their own way. These two games allowed Arsenal to overcome demons and show a new tactical side to this team but Liverpool at home just edged it due to the nature of the win. This was a great game and showed a new side of Arsenal. The team pressed from the first minute and forced Liverpool into numerous errors. It also had some great goals and was a joy to watch.
Disappointment of the season – Arsenal 1 – 3 Monaco – There was one major disappointment and that was in the Champion’s league. When the draw was made Arsenal fans thought this was the year Arsenal would progress to the quarter finals however, Monaco had other ideas. Arsenal just didn’t turn up and even when they pulled one back there was a lack of game management which ultimately cost Arsenal as they went out on away goals.
Overall, the season has been productive and progress has been shown. As each game is played this Arsenal side looks like it is maturing and is developing the skills to manage games better. The emergence of Coquelin and Bellerin has furthered strengthened the side. Add to this the improvement of players like Monreal and you can see a side which may be capable of winning the league with a couple of additions.
They key is to keep most of the squad fit which would allow this team to have a smooth season.
There have been many highs and lows and with one game to there may be one more high to come in this season.