The season is dead and buried now. It has been a good season for Arsenal given the fact that, Henry’s exit and a new bunch of players playing together for the first time were written off even before the ball was kicked. The Gunners did a creditable job finishing 4 points behind Manchester United and 2 points behind Chelsea, when you take into perspective some refereeing decisions which could have gone either ways and the 8 games without a win that they went through post the Eduardo injury.
Manchester did the double and have grown in strength and look firm favourites for next year already. Chelsea had a late surge towards the end and Arsenal lost steam after being in the front for a long time last season. Here is a list of some of the best of the season in EPL
Team of the year
Sagna Rio Ferdinand Vidic Clichy
Ronaldo Gerrard Fabregas Petrov
David James has been consistent and his presence under the bars was assurance to Harry Redknap’s team. Vidic and Rio provided the stability at the centre of defence which was responsible for the less goals in the Goals Against column on the tables. They complement each other very well. In Sagna and Clichy Arsenal had the best full backs in the league. Sagne was good in the air as well as surging back to defend while Clichy was an engine with energy left to do a run even in the 90th minute.
I am going in with a 4-5-1 combination as the defensive midfielder role has become one of the most important roles in any team. Players like Flamini, Mascherano, Carrick/Hargreaves have got that ability to cut down moves from opposition by coming down with the tackles at the right time. They break moves and win back possession. And in that role Flamini excelled beyond compare.
If a player scores 30 goals in a season and he operates in midfield, that is a performance worth many awards and hence Ronaldo makes his way into the team without any doubt. He along with Gerrard will be the attacking options in this team. Gerrard had a consistent performance and his attitude is one of the best in the league when it comes to leading the team by example. Fabregas added a few goals to the most number of assists in the league and was again the most creative midfielder in the league. On the left wing I am going with Petrov from Manchester City as he came out as a person with an awesome left foot. I wonder why he did not get mention in any other team of the years. He had some lethal crosses throughout the season and looks like a good introduction to the league.
With all the attacking options in the team I think the lone guy forward would be good enough for this team. And if that lone forward is Torres, nothing like it. That guy doesn’t miss many chances and his finishing has been impeccable. Great to see him play in EPL.
Players who scored the most crucial goals
Jamie Bullard – Like Tevez last year for West Ham United, Bullard scored the most crucial goals towards the end of the season when Fulham needed it most to keep their premiership hopes alive. His freekick goals were as best as any that you will in the league and all those goals made for points which saved them relegation.
Carlos Tevez – He was the most important goalscorer for Manchester United this year as he scored in getting some vital points in drawn matches as well as some victorious matches.
Best new Signing
Torres – He was expensive but he has justified every bit of it. He doesn’t miss many chances and his finishing was brilliant. He has got the power and doesn’t go down that easily to challenges
Sagna – He was one of the most stable players in Arsenal this season and he was good with tackles as well as on the air. He complemented Eboue well on the right side and was playing some really good football till he got injured towards the end of the season.
Roque Santa Cruz – When Mark Hughes bought him from Bayern Munich there were many doubters but fifteen goals in the season is very commendable froma player who cost much much less than someone like Torres. He is only 26 and expect more from him next season.
Best match of the season
Manchester United vs Arsenal – This match played in April was a very keenly contested match and Arsenal showed their class. They dominated the match but gave away a dubious freekick and suffered a defeat. Great display from Arsenal and if they had won that match, then it would have been a different end to the season.