Goalkeeper

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Manuel Almunia [Appearance : 34 (PL-29; CL-7)]

Lukasz Fabianski [Appearance : 10 (PL-4; CL-2; FA-2; LC-2]

Vito Mannone [Appearance : 8 (PL-5; CL-3)]

Wojciech Szczescny [Appearance : 1 (LC-1)]

Perhaps the weakest of all departments in the current Arsenal squad. Almunia and Fabianski are both considered senior custodian but neither enchanced their reputation with this season’s performance. Poor decision-making as well as being prone to errors are just two of the main talking points. Those blunders proved costly in our effort to win trophies this season. While Mannone was simply exceptional at Craven Cottage, his inexperience showed in the home game against Blackburn. At the age of 33, it is hard to see how much further Almunia can improve and looks to already be on a downhill slide since taking over from Jens Lehman. Even at 25 years of age, Fabianski can still be considered young for a keeper. There are often high praise coming from Wenger as well as the rest of the coaching staff but nerves always gets the better of the Polish when thrown into any game. Potentially could still make it as a top-class keeper but Arsenal can no longer afford for him to grow at a slow pace.

Defender

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Bacary Sagna [Appearance : 44 (PL-35; CL-8; FA-1)]

Thomas Vermaelen [Appearance : 45 (PL-33; CL-11; FA-1)]

William Gallas [Appearance : 35 (PL-26; CL-8; FA-1)]

Mikael Silvestre [Appearance : 20 (PL-12; CL-3; FA-2; LC-3)]

Johan Djourou [Appearance : 1 (PL-1)]

Gael Clichy [Appearance : 33 (PL-24; CL-9)]

Phillipe Senderos [Appearance : 2 (LC-2)]

Emmanuel Eboue [Appearance : 36 (PL-25; CL-10; FA-2; LC-1)]

Kieran Gibbs [Appearance : 7 (PL-3; CL-2; LC-2)]

Armand Traore [Appearance : 12 (PL-9; FA-1; LC2)]

Sol Campbell [Appearance : 14 (PL-11; CL-2; FA-1)]

Kyle Bartley [Appearance : 1 (CL-1)]

Francis Coquelin [Appearance : 3 (FA-1; LC-2)]

Thomas Cruise [Appearance : 1 (CL-1)]

Kerrea Gilbert [Appearance : 3 (CL-1; LC-2)]

New boy Vermaelen took to the English game like a duck to water. Considered one of the best transfers of the season, the Belgian captain fitted seamlessly into the team. Together with Gallas, they formed a solid backline and provided a measure of toughness defensively, that Arsenal has been missing since the Invincibles. Both of them also contributed vital goals at the start of the campaign but that soon dried up. The promise at the first half of the season was not given any chance to flourish as Gallas procure another one of his seasonal injuries which kept him out of the rest of the season. However, the January transfer proved to be another one of Wenger’s masterstroke as old boy, Sol Campbell was re-signed for the club. Though not as mobile as he was before, his reading of the game as well as his desire was still there to be admired. The fullbacks have been slighlty disappointing considering Clichy and Sagna were both nominated in the team of the season, just 2 years ago. Starting to show some crack when defending, their attacking play are still not producing the goods. Plenty of time and effort still needs to be spent in the training ground to improve their crossing ability. The rest of the defenders fitted in when called upon but none showed enough to demand a place in the starting line-up barring Gibbs. The young English left back was only starting to gain form when injury struck. From being a possible candidate for England in the 2010 World Cup, Gibbs now has do it all over again next season.

Midfielders.

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Cesc Fabregas [Appearance : 36 (PL-27; CL-8; FA-1)]

Abou Diaby [Appearance : 40 (PL-29; CL-10; FA-1)]

Tomas Rosicky [Appearance : 33 (PL-25; CL-7; LC-1)]

Samir Nasri [Appearance : 34 (PL-26; CL-6; FA-1; LC-1)]

Denilson [Appearance : 28 (PL-20; CL-7; FA-1)]

Aaron Ramsey [Appearance : 29 (PL-18; CL-6; FA-2; LC-3)]

Alex Song [Appearance : 38 (PL-26; CL-10; FA-1; LC-1)]

Jack Wilshere [Appearance : 7 (PL-1; CL-3; FA-1; LC-2)]

Fran Merida [Appearance : 8 (PL-4; CL-1; FA-1; LC-2)]

Nacer Barazite [Appearance : 1 (LC-1)]

Craig Eastmond [Appearance : 7 (PL-4; FA-1; LC-2)]

Jay Emmanuel-Thomas [Appearance : 1 (FA-1)]

Henri Lansbury [Appearance : 1 (PL-1)]

Mark Randall [Appearance : 2 (LC-2)]

Probably the strongest department within the current Arsenal squad. Though the balance in midfield itself is not in a normal distribution. Fabregas is the most talented and cultured of them all and his presence alone makes the whole team tick. Without him, it is sad to admit that Arsenal is not the same. Though the likes of Song and Diaby have stepped up to the plate this season and has featured in the highest number of games since they joined Arsenal. The return of Rosicky to the playing fold is one bit of wonderful news but his displays were not up to his normal best. One thing that we can’t fault him is his determination. Towards the back end of the season, Nasri was given a lot of oppourtunity in the central position that he craves but it was a hit and miss. Excellent against Porto, he looked lost in many league encounters. Ramsey was unlucky to have suffered the leg break, for he looked like he was coming of age and already pushing Denilson to the sidelines. The Brazilian has spent most of the time on the sidelines with injuries and even when fit, is kept out by the ever improving Song. The one nice surprise of the season is the emergence of Eastmond. Originally slated as a right back, he has been entrusted in the defensive midfield role this season and has not look back. Possibly a good talent for the future.

Forwards

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Robin Van Persie [Appearance : 20 (PL-16; CL-4)]

Eduardo [Appearance : 32 (PL-24; CL-5; FA-1; LC-1)]

Carlos Vela [Appearance : 20 (PL-11; CL-5; FA-2; LC-2)]

Theo Walcott [Appearance : 30 (PL-23; CL-6; FA-1)]

Andrey Arshavin [Appearance : 39 (PL-30; CL-8; FA-1)]

Gilles Sunu [Appearance : 2 (CL-1; LC-1)]

Nicklas Bendtner [Appearance : 31 (PL-23, CL-7; LC-1)]

It’s not hard to even judge the season of the forwards. Each one of them have their periods in which they were vital. In the other times that they weren’t, they were injured. That is in a nutshell, the problem that Wenger had to face throughout the season. Thrust into a central target, striking role, Van Persie took his time to adjust to this new role but he still contributed in terms of assists. When he finally looked like getting the hang of the position, he was strucked down in a meaningless international friendly. From then onwards, it was a real struggle for Arsenal, as his probably substitutes Bendtner and Eduardo were both out at the same time as well. The tiny Arshavin had to hide his pride and do the central job for us, even though it meant that he probably wasn’t going to get into the game at all. Because he was hounded by big and tall central defenders who jump for joy everytime they saw the Russian’s name as the central striker. Arshavin’s attitude throughout the season is a puzzling one. Being one of the senior figures in the squad, his lackadaisical displays and lack of desire was very disappointing to witness. One person’s misfortune is another’s luck. For once, Bendtner got to play in his favoured position as the main striker and he did it with aplomb. Another double figures in terms of goal for the Danish international was just rewards for his perseverance of ploughing the lone furore up front. His late winners just shows the kind of predatory striker that he is. Walcott and Vela has not played in enough games this season to really get into stride and will probably be playing for the future next season.

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