At the end of what has overall been a fairly torrid season, we thought we needed to give the fans what we think of the 2020/21 campaign. Who was our best player? Our most important player? Our most improved? Or, more fittingly, who have been the flops of the season…
PLAYER OF THE SEASON: (nominees, Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe, Alexandre Lacazette, Kieran Tierney, Granit Xhaka, Nicolas Pepe)
There haven’t been many real standout performances, but some players have done themselves proud this season. But we are going to give this award to……..BUKAYO SAKA!
KT and Smith Rowe arguably just haven’t played enough, Xhaka has been solid but nothing more, Lacazette and Pepe have both been really good in my opinion, but Saka gets the nod for us. He carried us through the first half of the season and has been crucial, whether he plays rights wing, left wing, centrally, or even at left back.
MOST IMPORTANT PLAYER: (nominees, Emile Smith Rowe, Granit Xhaka, Rob Holding, Bukayo Saka, Bernd Leno)
For me, this one is a no brainer. All these players have been important, but without EMILE SMITH ROWE being introduced at Christmas, we would still be fighting relegation. He brought an energy and creativity to the side which we previously did not have
MOST IMPROVED PLAYER: (nominees, Emile Smith Rowe, Nicolas Pepe, Kieran Tierney, Mo Elneny)
KT deserves a shout, but I think we all knew he would reach this level after his injury-riddled first season. Elneny started the season really well, but started to show signs of the old Elneny towards the end of the season. We are going to give this award to NICOLAS PEPE. He finished the season with the most goals and assists of anyone at the club, despite not always being first choice for Arteta. His stats aren’t loads better than last year, but his overall game has been so much better. He keeps the ball a lot better now and doesn’t seem to get bullied quite so much.
FLOPS OF THE SEASON:
This could be a nearly endless list to be honest, but the standouts for me are Willian and Aubameyang.
Willian came on a good wage and whilst nobody expected him to be a world beater, nobody thought he would be quite this bad. He improved towards the back end of the season, though largely has been poor and has harmed the development of players like Martinelli and Reiss Nelson.
Auba on the other hand has been a shadow of his former self. During the first half of the season, I could ecxuse it because we were playing with no creative players. But in the second half, those excuses have run out; Lacazette out performed him in so many ways. I pray Auba gets a well earned rest and is back to his best next season!
It was a season of two halves for Arsenal. Up until Christmas, we were horrendous. One of the worst sides in the league. We were defending reasonably well, but playing a 5 at the back with two DM’s and no creative midfielders, meant we went over a month without a goal from open play. Once Arteta realised what every fan was crying out for, we improved a lot. From Christmas onwards, only the two Manchester clubs won more points.
Overall, it was a season to forget. Though, hopefully it will inspire a summer of spending, and come next season we will be ready to fight higher up the table again.
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons