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Mid Season Player Ratings

09 Jan

We are almost halfway through in the season. With 20 games played in the Premier League, and 18 to go; and trophy hopes still alive on two fronts, in the Champions League and FA Cup, Gunners’ fans have a lot to look forward to in 2012. Here is how the mid-term report of the 2011-2012 season of Arsenal.

GOALKEEPERS :

1) Wojciech Szczęsny – The young Pole has had a mixed season so far. The season started disastrously, as Arsenal were thumped 8-2 by Manchester United. Szczesny was instrumental in progress to the group stages of the Champions League, as he kept out Udinese at bay, including saving a penalty. In the Premier League, he has made some vital saves, against Norwich, Sunderland and QPR, all of which were narrow wins for the Gunners. He also put in a brilliant show against Manchester City, a game which the Gunners lost 1-0. In the Champions League, he has put in some solid performances, notably against Marseille in both legs.

Appearances – 27

Rating – 7.5

2) Lukasz Fabianski – Having been kept out by his compatriot, Fabianski has had to content with only a place on the bench. He has had only 4 appearances, including the Champions League loss to Olympiacos, where he was injured. He made a barrage of saves against Bolton in the Carling Cup.

Appearances – 4

Rating – 6.5

3) Vito Mannone – Made only one disastrous outing this season, replacing Fabianski in Olymiacos. His howler gifted the Greek side their second goal. Has been loaned out to Hull, for the remainder of the season.

Appearances – 1

Rating – No Rating

DEFENDERS:

4) Bacary Sagna – The Frenchman, has been unlucky this season with injuries, and played in the tumultuous start to the campaign. His injury has left a huge gap at right-back.

Appearances – 10

Rating – 6.5

5) Carl Jenkinson – Signed from Charlton over the summer, Jenkinson has had a mixed start. Called into action for vital games against Udinese, Liverpool and as a sub against Chelsea, he has started 3 Champions League games as well. Has displayed a good work rate. Needs to work on his pace though.

Appearances – 11

Rating – 7

6) Nico Yennaris – Made a solid solitary appearance against Bolton in the Carling Cup.

Appearances – 1

Rating – No rating

7) Andre Santos – A deadline day signing for £6.9 million, the attack-happy Brazilian also has his season cut short by injury. Making his debut in the 4-3 loss at Blackburn, Santos has gone from strength to strength. Despite being accused of shunning his defensive responsibilities, to go on marauding runs down the left, the Brazilian put in some improved defensive shows, before his season was cut short. He even scored two vital goals, against Olympiacos and Chelsea.

Appearances – 14

Rating – 7.5

8) Kieran Gibbs – From a famed production line of left-backs, boasting the likes of Ashley Cole, Gael Clichy and Armand Traore, Gibbs, too, like Santos has had his season cut short due to injury. Has made some promising performances this season.

Appearances – 9

Rating – 7

9) Per Mertesacker – Arsenal’s deadline day £7.2 million purchase from Werder Bremen, has been a major figure at the centre of the defense this season. Despite being called on to action immediately after his move, the German has put in some commanding performances. In a fast-paced league, the German does lack a bit of pace, but has made up for it with his experience and his astute reading of games.

Appearances – 21

Rating – 7.5

10) Thomas Vermaelen – The Belgian has missed a month of the season, due to injury. But, when he has played, he has added that extra bit of steel to the defence. Despite being played out of position, at times, Vermaelen has displayed a resolve, which the Gunners lacked for a long time. Has also found the back of the net thrice.

Appearances – 19

Rating – 7.5

11) Laurent Koscielny – A standout performer this season at the heart of the defense. He also earned his first international cap for France. The Frenchman has put in solid performances and has been the Gunners’ most improved player. In a physically demanding league, Koscielny has credited praise with his blocks, tackles and heading.

Appearances – 23

Rating – 8

12) Sebastien Squillaci – An unreliable defensive option on the bench, should sum up Squillaci’s time in North London.

Appearances – 4

Rating – 5

13) Johan Djourou – The Swiss centre-back has been called into action to play at right-back, and has put up some sturdy performances. But, still has been prone to the occasional error. Received a red card at Fulham, a match which Arsenal went on to lose.

Appearances – 19

Rating – 6.5

14) Ignasi Miquel – The young Spanish defender made a surprise debut against Liverpool, when he replaced an injured Koscielny. He has strung together some decent performances, and has also played at left-back.

Appearances – 7

Rating – 7

MIDFIELDERS:

15) Tomas Rosicky – Rosicky has mostly been an impact player this season, coming off the bench on numerous occasions. Despite his injury-marred career, the Czech Republic captain is determined to have a positive impact this season. His bursts of pace and energy has had its own impact, this season.

Appearances – 17

Rating – 7

16) Mikel Arteta – Another of Arsene Wenger’s last-minute purchases, the Spanish midfielder has been the most most important player in midfield this season. He has linked well, the defensive midfield Song and the striker Robin van Persie, while also manning a young midfield of Ramsey, Walcott and Gervinho.

Appearances – 22

Rating – 8.5

17) Aaron Ramsey – The Wales captain has struck himself down as a starter in Arsenal’s midfield, this season. Despite the occasional error, where he is guilty of conceding possession, Ramsey has been influential in  the team’s resurgence.

Appearances – 25

Rating – 7.5

18) Andriy Arshavin – The Russia captain has received a lot of flak this campaign for his half-hearted performances. However, he did make up for it a little, with a strong showing against QPR and also, earlier in the season, a lucky winner against Swansea.

Appearances – 23

Rating – 5.5

19) Yossi Benayoun – He may not have the stamina to last 90 minutes, but has been a vital addition to the Gunners’ midfield. The Israel captain scored the important winner against Aston Villa, and also been able to fill well in the absence of Arteta.

Appearances – 15

Rating – 7

20) Oguzhan Ozyakup – Made two substitute appearances in the Carling Cup.

Appearances – 2

Rating – No Rating

21) Abou Diaby – Injury-marred season so far.

Appearances – 2

Rating – No Rating

22) Alex Song – The Cameroon international has been one of the best players this season. Despite his tendency to get booked, he remains an important part of the squad. His ability to break up opposition play has made him first-choice defensive midfielder. Has some important assists to his name, specifically Norwich City, Borussia Dortmund and Everton.

Appearances – 23

Rating – 7.5

23) Emmanuel Frimpong – The all-action midfielder has been very much noticed this season. Despite getting sent off for one made moment against Liverpool, he was influential in the game previous to the incident, and also in the Carling Cup loss to Manchester City. Has done a decent job in the absence of Song. Loaned to Wolves for the remainder of the season.

Appearances – 14

Rating – 7

24) Francis Coquelin – Has put in a terrific shift, whenever called upon. Did play some games at his preferred position, central defensive midfield, but recent injuries have resulted in him filling in at left-back or right-back.

Appearances – 11

Rating – 7

FORWARDS:

25) Park Chu-Young – Signed for £3 million, on deadline-day, the South Korean striker hasn’t yet been able to make his mark in England. He scored on his second appearance for the club, a delightful finish against Bolton, but has failed to impress in his remaining 3 outings.

Appearances – 4

Rating – 6

26) Robin van Persie – Arsenal’s player of the season so far. No shadow of a doubt about it. The Dutchman has been prolific this season, finding the back of the net 21 times, including 17 times in the league, leading the scoring charts. Scored vital winners against Sunderland, Stoke, Norwich, Dortmund, Everton, QPR, while scoring a brilliant hat-trick against rivals Chelsea. He has taken the mantle of captaincy, after the departure of Cesc Fabregas, and despite the stuttering start, has managed to bring about stability to the club.

Appearances – 26

Rating – 9

27) Theo Walcott – Despite the abundance of talent and pace that Walcott possesses, he can be equally wasteful and erratic as well. Scored important goals in both legs against Udinese, to ensure passage to the group stages of the Champions League. And scored a brilliant goal against Chelsea. He has also assisted van Persie on numerous ocassions. However, proved to be wasteful on few ocassions as well.

Appearances – 25

Rating – 7.5

28) Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – ‘The Ox’, a 18 year old winger from Southampton, drew lot of attention, when he moved from the South Coast to Arsenal for £12 million over the summer. But, whenever called upon he has showed his quality, scoring against Shrewsbury and Olympiacos. His burst of pace and skill over the ball make him the most coveted teenager in the league.

Appearances – 6

Rating – 7.5

29) Gervinho – The Ivorian winger, who was pursued by clubs all over Europe, after scoring 15 goals for Lille last season, eventually signed with the Gunners. Playing as a support striker, Gervinho has been impressive with his runs down the left, while also switching flanks well with Walcott. Equally wasteful in front of goal as Walcott, he has the talent to be a vital player in the squad in the coming year.

Appearances – 24

Rating – 7

30) Marrouane Chamakh – The Moroccan forward hasn’t been able to rekindle the form that saw him score 10 goals in the opening stage of last season’s campaign. Chamakh has been largely disappointing this time around, scoring only once, in the loss to Blackburn Rovers. Needs a confidence boost, and Arsene Wenger will be hoping the African Cup of Nations will give him exactly that.

Appearances – 14

Rating – 5.5

31) Riyo Miyachi – The promising Japan forward has made two substitute appearances in the Carling Cup.

Appearances – 2

Rating – No Rating

AVERAGE TEAM RATING (OF THE SEASON, SO FAR) : 7.63

SUMMARY – After some banter about Arsenal facing a relegation battle, owing to their disaster of a start to the campaign, Arsene Wenger has slowly but steadily rebuilt confidence among his players, as well as the fans, who now believe the club can finish in the top 4 and progress further in the FA Cup as well as the elusive Champions League. Major challenges still lie ahead, as Arsenal face AC Milan in the Champions League Round of 16, and a race to the finish beckons for a top 4 finish.

Jai Arsenal 🙂

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Posted by on January 9, 2012 in Player Reviews

 

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