Arsenal’s midfield had to play at their best for the whole season after losing their midfield stars – Fabregas to Barcelona, Nasri to ManCity and Jack Wilshere due to injury. The midfield lacked quality and creativity a the start of the season. Losing four of their first seven matches left the Gunners 17th with 7 points from the first 7 games. It was all due to the lack of resources in midfield. Anyway, Arsenal finished third and that’s pretty good if we look from where we started.
Here are the season ratings for Midfield:
1. Alex Song 8- “He assists when he wants!” Well it would be quite difficult or wrong to say that Alex Song is a defensive midfielder providing 11 assists this season. Signed from SC Bastia back in 2006, Song has been amazing for the Gunners this season. After losing Fabregas to Barcelona and Wilshere to injury, fans thought there won’t be anyone with vision as good as both of them. But Alex Song has surprised many football Fans and Pundits this season with his brilliant assists. Whenever on the ball, he looked to tear the defence apart and majorly provide Van Persie. He has scored just 1 goal this season against Bolton, which was a strikers goal. His curling effort into the top right corner from the edge of the box.
Everyone can remember his amazing lofted pass for Van Persie on the emotional day at the Emirates (125 years celebration) which resulted in a even sensational goal to hand Arsenal a 1-0 win against Everton. His another ball to Van Persie won Arsenal the game away at Liverpool where Arsenal under performed. His another ball created a special moment when he assisted Thierry Henry for a fairy tale win over Leeds. This season, Song has been vital for Arsenal.
2. Francis Coquelin 6.5- The young French international featured mostly in the full backs positions and may have played a couple of games at the defensive midfield place. He has impressed this season and his game to remember was the ManCity game in the Carling Cup. He would certainly prove out to be really good for Arsenal in future.
3. Emmanuel Frimpong 6.5- The Ghana international played just a couple or more games for the Gunners this season. He performed really well and he is a born defensive mid. He has strength and is a complete ball winner. The Gunners would surely like to see more of him after his good loan spell at Wolves, despite getting injured.
1. Mikel Arteta 8.5- The Spaniard was just sensational this season. Was seen as a replacement for fellow compatriot, Cesc Fabregas, but the 30 year old played a totally different role. He was strong defensively and Arsenal just won 1 game in the Premier League without him this whole season. He allowed Alex Song to play to advance in attack and provided a perfect cover. He played in a rather Jack Wlshere role.
The whole midfield ran through Arteta and dominated possession. He adapted well to the Arsenal style of play. Arteta was able to net 6 times in 29 appearances for Arsenal which is not bad at all for his first season. He has the vision for a pass and he was amazing in midfield. Arsenal really missed him badly when he was injured and realised that he has been an unsung hero this season. Arteta has surely confirmed a first XI spot in Arsenal for next season despite Jack Wilshere returning.
1. Tomas Rosicky 7- It was a sort of Renaissance for him after he found his feet back at the club after impressing since the start of the year. The Czech showed his creativity and scored two goals in impressive wins over Tottenham an Milan. Rosicky had a difficult start to the year but he ‘reborn’ at the start of 2012 as he was allowed to play at his favourable position, the attacking midfielder role rather than the flanks. He was certainly good and helped in Arsenal finish third above their bitter rivals spurs.
2. Aaron Ramsey 6.5- After losing Fabregas, Nasri and Wilshere, Ramsey was responsible for the creativity role in Arsenal midfield. It was his first full season and he did quite well at the start. But after Rosicky picked up his form, he was not at his best and was really criticised.
So that’s the midfield. My next post would be the rankings of the forwards.