It’s no longer news that for the first time in 2 decades, we have failed to finish in the Top 4 of the Premier League. And for the first time under Arsene Wenger, we will not be participating in the Champions League.
For some, this is a prayer come true as they feel not qualifying will force the board to turn on the manager. For others, this setback is necessary as it will force those at the helm of affairs to restrategize and take the club back to her rightful position among Europe’s elites.
Regardless of your school of thought, this article is neither about which group is right or wrong, nor about why our season went sideways (again!) after what looked like a promising start. This write-up is about reviewing the performances of the players’ who wore the cannon badge this season.
I will be giving my views on each player and my verdict on whether the player in question should stayor be shown the exit door.
I’ll start with the goalkeepers today.
Petr Cech is still one of the best goalkeeper in the Premier League and I’ll put him in the Top 10 in the world. This season, I believe will rank as one of the worst in his career. Brilliant for us at the start of the season, the Czech Republic man became shaky in the second half of the season and that cost us. The defence line not being composed also played a part.
He however regained his form toward the end of the season, conceding only 4 goals in the last 6 games. The switch to a back three also helped, no doubt, and you can’t help but wonder what would have happened if the change had been made earlier in the season.
Did you know: Petr Cech conceded 36 times in 34 games – an average of 1.06/game despite having the best saves average per game of all the goalkeepers in the Top 6.
The Colombian was a worthy deputy to Petr Cech. He didn’t get much chance in the Premier League as he featured just twice. He was however the preferred choice in the cup competitions and in the Champions League – a choice which stunned fans.
He however justified his boss’ faith with some eye-catching performances most especially in the Champions League. I for one would have loved to see him get more opportunities, but you can’t just displace Petr Cech.
There are reports he would leave Arsenal this summer, and I wouldn’t blame him for that. It is certain he would never get his chance at Arsenal, and with Wojciech Szczęsny coming back, why would he want to stay?
Did you know: David Ospina only played for 143 minutes this season and in that period, he managed to concede only 4 goals.
Just like Ospina, Emiliano Martinez featured just twice for the Gunners in the PL this season. In that time, he kept a clean sheet in one and conceded 3 in the other. There was nothing he could do about the 3 goals he conceded though as the team generally went on a picnic on the day.
The youngster has a bright future ahead of him if he keeps his head straight.
If you agree/disagree with my views, do get in touch with me via the comment box or tweet at me on Twitter – @FOlumuyiwa_1. I look forward to hearing from you.