Posts Tagged leighton baines
… at this point, the other part of the picture comes to display. Arsenal’s whole play is centred on Fàbregas and should he so happen to leave the Emirates, it would require Arsène Wenger either overhauling his (increasingly annoying yet sometimes laudable tip-tap) match-day game plan or placing 20 year old Jack Wilshere in Fàbregas’s position as the nucleus of this tactic of his.
Wilshere has blossomed immensely in the past year and the bonus of it is he is English but that’s an aside. His progress last season is just the start of a process that could see him become the Xavi of the Arsenal squad. However, placing the load of the Arsenal game on him can potentially stunt his potential as if he is to become the Xavi, none of Andrei Arshavin thanks to his lackadaisical approach to the game most times, Samir Nasri who actually remains unproven and Tomas Rosicky that has seen what should have been his best years thwarted by injuries can be trusted to be Wilshere’s Iniesta.
The above picture hopefully captures just how much of a massive disappointment Denilson has been, and why Abou Diaby and Alex Song either need to gain more consistency and composure in their respective games or become redundant.
Yes a club is not about one player and in reality, Arsenal have four now in my opinion – Fàbregas, Robin van Persie, Wilshere and Thomas Vermaelen – and in losing Cesc, only Wilshere seems guaranteed from being prone to long term injuries unlike van Persie while Vermaelen has also shown he isn’t immune to being a Persie on the injury front.
Fàbregas’s exit, with all the aforementioned, would inevitably lead to a seventh season without a trophy, a trepidation that would leave the already disgruntled atmosphere at the Emirates further sunk in disillusion. Also, Wenger’s philosophy is unfortunately not the kind just some random calibre of new signings can fluidly adapt to.
There are players of top quality that could adapt on time to the Arsenal game we can buy? Will Wenger go out of his way to get any of Joao Moutinho, Miguel Veloso, Gonzalo Higuain, Giuseppe Rossi, René Adler, Juan Mata, Luka Modric, Diego, Eden Hazard or Leighton Baines among others? No! He has a transfer policy and a wage system to abide by.
Hence, I feel now is not the time to let go of Fàbregas. Wenger will just need to keep building another invincibles and I’ll admit, he is probably just two or three appropriate players away from achieving it.
P.S: Aaron Ramsey looked to be on the ascendency when he got that horror injury at Stoke City season before last and now that he is back, I’ll be watching him in the hope he impacts on the team as Wilshere did last season.
Snapped up from Chivas Guadalajara just before a commendable World Cup campaign in South Africa for Mexico, ‘Chicharito’ arrived Old Trafford, scored 13 goals in 21 league appearances and made such an impact at the Theatre of Dreams that Dimitar Berbatov’s long overdue return on goals for the money spent on him could not save him from losing his first team place to the diminutive Mexican.
Peter Osaze Odemwingie
Mostly condemned for moving to a club of Westbromwich-Albion’s stature by fans back in Nigeria and abused racially for leaving Lokomotiv Moscow by fans of the Russian club, Osaze went about his business and his sterling performances for the Baggies through the season; bagging 15 goals along the way, was more than enough to silence his critics and announce his talents to the English game. Being named PFA Player of the Month twice added good icing to his cake.
Robin van Persie
This Dutchman’s form for Arsenal, laden as always with time on the sidelines due to injury, deserved a trophy but just like his goal in the Carling Cup final against Birmingham City, it simply didn’t prove enough. Van Persie however should be proud of his individual performances this season having finished with 18 league goals this season; the first of those scored on New Year’s Day, equalling the record held by Cristiano Ronaldo and former teammate Thierry Henry for most goals scored between January and season’s end. He also shot his way to breaking Didier Drogba’s record of scoring in six consecutive away league matches by scoring in nine consecutive away league matches.
Where Rafael van Der Vaart was the sleek outer design of the Tottenham Hotspur team, Croatian playmaker Modric was the engine under the hood that truly ran the show with space-opening passes, playing self and team out of trouble and providing the occasional assist. Modric indeed is the unsung star of Tottenham this season and you just feel a far less calamitous goalkeeper and more consistent forwards will see the top echelon of the Premier League be even more competitive.
After leaving Sunderland in January the dearth in goal became obvious at the Stadium of Light, much to the benefit of Aston Villa where between the New Year and March he became top scorer of the Villans with 10 goals in 16 league appearances; including two in a memorable win at Arsenal at on the penultimate weekend of the season
All he needs is a moment to show why every opposition defender is ever unsettled when Rooney appears on the starting sheet of Manchester United on any given weekend and weekday. Every season his game improves steady and his scoring touch has remained at a good level for a forward, his team play has improved tremendously and it’s when the team performs that managers are happy; individual performances come as added bonus really.
Everton would be better off in the league had the club attained same level of consistency as Baines. His occasional goals and high return on assists only bettered by Cesc Fabregas and Didier Drogba (according to Opta Sports) along with assured performances week after week for all 38 league matches amazingly, deservedly earned him the club’s Player of the Season, Players’ Player of the Season as well as Goal of the Season.
Bolton Wanderers had a request to have the teenage English midfielder back on loan at the Reebok Stadium rejected few days to the start of the season and it proved to an invaluable decision by Arsène Wenger as evident by a consistent return of stellar individual performances for Arsenal all through the 49 matches he played in all competitions; one that deserved a trophy as reward… one that eluded the team.
Most unfortunately for the Three Lions of England, Bale is Welsh. A fact that made his explosive form for Tottenham Hotspur one worthy of much praise and enough for him to win the PFA Player of the Year although… winning that accolade was perhaps a bit of a hasty decision from the Queens’ men.
Edwin van Der Sar
This here is a Dutchman that has tasted the highs (Ajax) and endured the lows (Juventus and at Fulham; no offence to the Cottagers) of football hence retiring on a high at Manchester United after a top quality season of performances in all competitions is just what van Der Sar derseves. Van Der Save earned that nickname with string of saves that belied his 41 years and hopefully the Red Devils won’t go through the conundrum of finding a replacement like it did after Peter Scheimichel retired.
Rafael Van Der Vaart
Following in the individual steps of countrymen Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder… out of Real Madrid, van der Vaart added a bit more flair to the game of Tottenham Hotspur, culminated in his 13 goals in 28 league appearances for the Lilywhites and a commendable campaign for the club; one that saw Spurs reach the Champions League quarterfinals in its maiden appearance in the competition.
Ageless Welshman has now won one less league trophies than Arsenal has in its history. If that does not hit you enough in the face, think of it this way; only three clubs in all of England has won more league titles than he has… and the picture should be settling in now. Even at the ripe age of 37 when it is goalkeepers that attain their peak, Giggs proved very instrumental in Manchester United’s title winning campaign with his experience coming in handy and the evidence of speed in him still that belies his age. This here is a Welshman that has got better with age.
And others worthy of making this list fall below: