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Arsenal Season Review and Player Ratings

Final position – 2nd

Arsenal brought the curtain down on a disappointing season by beating Aston Villa 4-0 at home, a hollow final victory against an already relegated Villa side that cemented a surprising second place finish in the premier league. And in doing so finishing above Spurs for the 21st year running. A particularly sweet achievement and the one highlight of the season, celebrating St Totteringsday is always pleasing. I say disappointing, finishing second is no mean feat, but this season promised so much, and if you were to say Arsenal were to finish above Chelsea, Man City, Liverpool, Man United, and Tottenham, you’d be forgiven for thinking we walked the league. But Leicester, as we all know, had other ideas.

2015/16 – A season which promised so much, but for me, ended on Sunday 29th November. In case you’re wondering why this date is so pivotal, it is the day Arsenal visited Norwich City, and by securing a win had the chance to go joint top with Leicester and Man City. Mesut Ozil was flying (he had 11 assists by this point); Sanchez was carrying on his fine form from the previous season and with Cech in-goal, we finally had that calmness at the back. It was Ozil who gave Arsenal the lead that day when he converted Sanchez’s cross in the 30th minute, by then we had already lost Koscielny to a hip injury. Norwich took advantage of the disarray at the back to equalize, whilst Sanchez then hobbled off in the 60th minute with a hamstring injury and to make matters worse, after the game it was confirmed Cazorla had got a serious knee injury to rule him out for 6 months. Three devastating injuries that really disrupted the harmony of the side. Although Arsenal managed to be there or thereabouts at Christmas, we never really recovered from losing 3 key players to injury, which added to Wilshere and Welbeck as long-term injury absentees.

So unbeknownst at the time, that game would have a devastating effect on the rest of the season. A scrappy Christmas period lead to a poor January and when teams around us were marching on, Arsenal began a dreadful run of one win in eight from late February through to mid-March. Throw in Watford knocking us out of the FA Cup, a predictable last 16 exit in the Champions League to Barcelona and then also suffering successive league defeats to Manchester United and Swansea, defeats which effectively ended our title dream.

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Player of the season – Mesut Ozil, this was surprisingly tough as it was a close call between Cech and Ozil, but ultimately 18 assists 6 goals swung it in his favor. Class player and often doesn’t get the praise he deserves. Vital to our play and hopefully he stays for many more years.

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Unsung hero of the season – Nacho Monreal quite simply had a brilliant season. Brilliant attacking down the wing and some top-notch defending. An honorable mention has to go Danny Welbeck, who came back from injury like a boss but lack of fitness showed towards the end of the season, understandably so.

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Flop of the season – Alexis Sanchez, ”WHAT” I hear you scream, he’s not been so much a flop… just a disappointment. Wasn’t the same player on return from injury but he did score a vital equalizer against Spurs. He is flirting with a move away this summer but should stay and hopefully get back to the old Sanchez.

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Goal of the season – Going with my head I would say Mathieu Flamini’s 25 yard volley against spurs… but I have to give it to Mohamad Elneny and his 30 yard top corner strike against Barcelona.

Player ratings

Cech – 8

Monreal – 8

Koscielny – 7

Metresacker – 5

Bellerin – 8

Coquelin – 6

Elneny – 6

Ramsey – 6

Sanchez – 7

Ozil – 9

Walcott – 4 (Campbell – 6) (Cazorla – 5)

Giroud – 6

Welbeck – 7

Summer Transfer window

Arsenal have already secured the services of Granit Xhaka, a midfielder of the Petit mould that we have severely missed.

Also in the pipeline are reported deals for left back Ricardo Rodriguez and a top class striker (rumoured to be Alvaro Morata)

If we can get both these deals over the line, it would be our best transfer window in years. A real statement of intent.

Thanks for reading, until next week.

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