“PICK OF THE BUNCH.”
From match-day to match-day there are certain individuals in the Arsenal team whose performance leaves them standing head and shoulders above the rest. The ones whose blood, sweat and tears are shed to ensure the team wins or at least makes a good attempt doing that. This weekly feature is going to make an attempt at picking the best player from each phase of play; DEFENCE, MIDFIELD and ATTACK. A simple, uncluttered review of the top players in each phase, with a shout to notable mentions in each phase, if there are any.
NB: WINGBACKS ARE A PART OF THE MIDFIELD, ATTACKING MIDFIELDERS ARE A PART OF THE ATTACK. K
P.S: Here’s to hoping we do not have any match-days like we did against Liverpool, when there was no player worthy of praise. J
RED STAR BELGRADE v ARSENAL.
PETR CECH (A-)
Questions have been asked many times by fans and journos alike about why Arsene would not illustrate how seriously he views European competitions by starting our number one Goalkeeper in matches. Petr has been amazing in goal this season and his form continued on a long night ahead of what was a suspect, makeshift defence. A shaky Mohammed El Neny who was the weakest link in a defence containing Debuchy and Holding almost allowed Red Star in to score, but we had the valiant Czech, Cech in goal to prevent that from happening. He kept us in the game until we could find a winner, and that is why you start your best goalkeeper in every major competition, and we should rank this competition as one of those. Debuchy on what was a good return after a long hiatus showed signs that he could have a part to play in the season going forward. Holding’s retrogression has been very serious after was a wonderful start to life as a Gunner. You hope these are just teething pains and he would be better for all the mistakes he is currently making. There is no better place to learn than in the rough tumble world of the Premier league and on European nights like this in the very volatile home of Red Star Belgrade and it should be the prayer of every Gunner that Holding comes out better to at least replicate the some of the past great English defenders we have had; more Sol Campbell than Andy Linighan.
Reiss Luke Nelson (B+)
This youngster is quite impressive isn’t he? He gives us hope for life after the Frenchman, considering he does not leave before then, with these spectacular, confident performances. He has been played out of position with the claim from our manager of making him better defensively yet he has not looked out of place at all. A youngster with the confidence to demand the ball off his more experienced teammates whilst looking to pry open and create chances, Reiss seems headed for the absolute top as long as he keeps grounded. His fellow youngsters Joe and Maitland had contrasting nights. Joe Willock also increasingly looks at home in the engine room with his length and drive and I hope his growth continues unabated by bad form or injury. He mops up nicely and recycles the ball quickly to more offensive minded colleagues. Maitland Niles meanwhile looks to be out of his depth. You can make the argument that he has been played out of position but so has Reiss who almost always excels. He just does not seem up to the standard of Arsenal, a dwindling standard albeit. Fabian Delph is an example of a player Niles should look to emulate, as despite being played in unfamiliar territory, he puts in solid, uncompromising performances for the Petrol Club.
JACK WILSHERE (A-)
Wow! Wow! Wow! That’s all I could say as he shimmied his way past defenders and played passes with Theo for that wonderful finish from Oli G. He slowly is rounding back to 2011-2012 form and that can only bode well for us. You can only look back at regret at all the time he spent on treatment tables, but it is this enticing style of play which endears him to the masses and sets him apart from all the English midfielders currently. When he drops that shoulder and raises his head, whew, he’s gone! This has been a post of hope and prayer, and we need more of these with “Le Proffeseur” at the helm, and I pray Wilsh does not suffer any injuries at all this season, minor or major and can get a clean run of form throughout the season. Oli G! What a man. To be able to score a goal more aesthetically pleasing than the French god of beauty is a task bordering on the impossible yet he did so AGAIN last night, after his Puskas nominated “Scorpion Kick Goal.” He had little influence on what was a tough, hard, ‘lack of cojones repudiating’ night yet he had the sense of place, time and thought to perfectly cap the move which led to his stunning bicycle kick. Theo. Lol. I wonder why and how he this man is allowed to strip up for the club after some terrible after terrible finishes one who has held the club to ransom to play as striker should never make, but oh well!
FEEL FREE TO LEAVE COMMENTS AND OPINIONS ON WHOM YOU BELIEVE SHOULD HAVE BEEN SELECTED, IN WHICH PHASE, AND WHY. TA!
I’m a 20 year old from Ghana in West Africa. I strongly believe I fell in love with The Arsenal in 2000 after watching that heartbreaking loss in Liverpool, thanks to the now pestiferous pundit Michael Owen. Or maybe, I love The Arsenal because Gunner rhymes with the name of my country. Shrug. I am an avid supporter of Monsieur Wenger and still see him as a visionary. Also, I believe the result must not always trump the means and glory days on the European stage are just a few steps away. Thanks to all who take time out to visit and read.