Emirates squad given a half season report.
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Arsenal go into the new year at third position but they will feel confident about lifting a trophy this year considering they are in a decent position in all competitions and the FA Cup is yet to start for the Gunners. With half the season gone, let us find how the players performed in the first half of the 2010-11 season.
1. Manuel Almunia: 4.5
Almunia was given a reprieve when Arsene Wenger trusted him to do the job this season. However after two or three solid performances, notably against Blackburn, he was miserable against West Bromwich which cost three points. He has since been injured and is nearing the end of his Arsenal career.
2. Abou Diaby: 6
Diaby has played decently when he has been fit. He started the season and looked like he would make good progress this season. However injuries have meant he has missed a number of weeks and it has been frustrating for the French International.
3. Bacary Sagna: 7
Sagna is back to his best this season and has been quite solid at the back. He has always been good defensively but in this season, he has made marauding forward runs and his crossing has also improved. He has provided good support to Samir Nasri and has been one of the consisitent performers this season.
4. Cesc Fabregas: 6.5
Cesc Fabregas deserves a 9 for his performances against Chelsea and even against Manchester City, he was very good. But he has been hampered by injuries and had some poor games as well. But he is back to form after the game against Chelsea and will be a key member for Arsenal in 2011.
5. Thomas Vermaelen: 6
It is hard to rate Vermaelen because he played very less number of games this season because of the Achilles injury. Arsenal would love to have him back as soon as possible.
6. Laurent Koscielny: 6
It is evident that Laurent Koscielny is a talented defender and his strength lies in understanding the game and making crucial interceptions. He has made errors this season but will develop into a quality defender with experience and when Vermaelen returns, Koscielny will benefit from his presence.
7. Tomas Rosicky: 6.5
Tomas Rosicky has been fit for almost the whole of the season so far which is great for the Gunners. He has been extremely determined to make an impact and has contributed immensely with his effort and work rate. He is certainly not back to his best but is a great player to have in the squad.
8. Samir Nasri: 8.5 – Star Player
Arsenal have lost Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie due to injuries for a lot of weeks but Samir Nasri has stepped up and performed brilliantly. He has been quite consistent and has been sensational in a number of games. His versatility has given Wenger more options and he needs to maintain his form if Arsenal needs to win the Premiership.
10. Robin Van Persie: 6
The Dutch Striker has shown flashes of his brilliance but has yet to play a run of consecutive games in what is another injury hit season. He has been eased back to full fitness and Arsenal supporters will hope he can remain injury free for the rest of the season.
11. Carlos Vela: 6
The Mexican striker started the season strongly with three goals to his name in no time but has not been given too much playing time. He has started only in the Carling Cup
ties and is likely to be loaned out in January.
14. Theo Walcott: 7
Walcott started the season brightly as he scored a hat-trick against Blackpool and followed it up with a goal against Blackburn. He was subsequently injured and struggled to find enough playing time. However, he impressed against Chelsea and is starting to realize his immense potential. he has scored 9 goals so far which is the best ever for him at Arsenal.
15. Denilson: 5.5
Denilson has been solid in some games but has not shown much improvement this season. He has slipped behind Jack Wilshere and has been on the bench for many Premiership games. The Samba star is a talented youngster but cannot get enough playing time at the Emirates and has not done much to show why he must be selected ahead of Abou Diaby and Jack Wilshere.
17. Alex Song: 7.5
He has been one of the best performers this season and has developed into an excellent midfielder. He is yet to find the correct balance between attack and defence but has shown he will be a world class player in the near future. He has also scored very important goals and has developed the attacking side of his game.
18. Sebastien Squillaci: 5.5
Squillaci was signed as the fourth choice defender but has played in a number of games because of injuries and suspensions. His experience is good for the Gunners but is at best a squad player. The French International does not dominate and is not great in the air as well. He also lacks pace and is not capable of being a first choice defender for the team.
19. Jack Wilshere: 7.5
He has enjoyed large amount of playing time this season and he has retained his place in the team because of his excellent performances. There were questions on whether he would be loaned at the start of the season but he has gone on to establish himself as one of the best in the team. The England International will be a player to watch in the years to come.
20. Johan Djourou: 7
There were doubts as to how Djourou would perform after recovering from a year long injury. But he has shown this season that he is a quality defender who could play in the first team regularly. He has the physical presence and the intelligence required of a defender. It is a pity Wenger cannot use him twice a week because of his previous injuries.
21. Lukasz Fabianski: 7
Fabianski had a horrible time in the previous season but has shown tremendous mental resilience to silence his critics with excellent performances. He has made one or two errors but on the whole, he has been very good and should be praised for his consistency. The Polish International should be persisted with and is winning over his doubters with his performances.
22. Gael Clichy: 6
Clichy is a quality player who has shown that he has the talent to be the no. 1 left back for Arsenal. However he suffers occasional lapses in concentration and he has been unfortunate that most of his errors have resulted in goals for the opposition. He is still a quality player and will benefit with more support from the winger.
23. Andrei Arshavin: 6
The dynamic Russian winger has not been at his best this season and has looked off the pace sometimes. He has been very inconsistent but retains the ability to create opportunities. His statistics are impressive for a player out of form but he needs to work harder and help out his team mates ( Clichy, in particular ).
27. Emmanuel Eboue: 6
Arsene Wenger recently said that the Ivorian had signed a new long term contract with Arsenal. Emmanuel Eboue. He is an excellent squad player and can play in a number of positions. He has provided good cover for Bacary Sagna and Gael Clichy (in the absence of Kieran Gibbs). The defender has not committed any costly errors and has not been spectacular either.
28. Kieran Gibbs: 6.5
The England International is one of the most unfortunate players this season getting injured too many times. When he did play, he looked good and showed why he is so highly rates. Gibbs is surely one of the best youngsters at Arsenal and has a bright future ahead of him.
29. Marouane Chamakh: 7
The Moroccan striker has been an integral player for the Gunners and has made a number of appearances. He has already scored 11 goals this season and has adjusted to the Premiership in quick time. However, the striker does not shoot too often which he should improve on but on the whole, he has been great for the Gunners.
52. Nicklas Bendtner: 6
Bendtner has not had a good start to the season and is currently behind Robin van Persie and Marouane Chamakh in the pecking order and has not started as many games as he would have liked to. But Wenger has huge faith in the lad and the Danish striker could have an important role to play in the second half of the season.
53. Wojciech Szczesny: 7
The young Pole has played only three times this season but has showed that he is a quality keeper for the future. His save in the game against Newcastle was brilliant as was his point blank range block off Anderson on his premier league debut against Manchester United. The youngster is expected to be the no.1 keeper for Arsenal in the future.
Read more from Vijay at Arsenal Invicible
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