Four Arsenal players named but one harshly excluded from the PFA Team of the Season

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As you’ve probably already worked out by now, the blog is back online. As I said in yesterday’s brief apology post, I’ve been battling with some technical issues that effectively forced the blog offline but I’m happy to see they have since been rectified. I have to say it feels good to be back.

Somewhat surprisingly – considering the way Arsenal’s season has hit the proverbial brick wall – there’s been a hell of a lot of talking points over the past couple of weeks, including Mathieu Flamini’s and Alexandr Hleb’s potential departures to Italy, the mystery over who will be captain of the club next season, potential transfer targets for the summer as well as the fact that thanks to Chelsea’s 2-1 win over Manchester United on Saturday, Arsenal are still a mathematical chance of winning the Premiership. I know when the word ‘mathematical’ pops up in the context of winning things it usually means it’s a long shot – and make no mistake, it is – but it’s still a little bit exciting nonetheless.

Cesc Fabregas: The PFA Young Player of the SeasonI’ll have more to say on some of the other talking points another time, but before then I want to discuss the big news of today; that of Cesc Fabregas being voted as the PFA Young Player of the Season as well as being voted into the Team of the Season alongside three other Arsenal players; Emmanuel Adebayor, Bacary Sagna and Gael Clichy.

Fabregas’ awarding of the Young Player Award is definitely a funny one considering that one of the other candidates, Cristiano Ronaldo, was deservedly voted as the overall PFA Player of the Season. I can’t really see how someone can be voted as the best player in the league and not then win a virtual sub-category of the same award if they are eligible. I know footballers tend not to be the most intelligent people on the planet so maybe that explains how this could have happened.

Regardless, it is a great tribute to the consistency and overall effort that Fabregas has shown throughout the course of the season and I am delighted to see him get the award. Fabregas was the one who really got the ball rolling for the club with a number of important goals in the early part of the season and his partnership with Flamini was a key factor in Arsenal’s title charge. After receiving the award the little Spaniard dedicated the trophy to his teammates as well as the supporters of the club.

“This is for all the team, and all the fans, because all together we have had good season even though we haven’t won anything at the end. This is thanks to them as well.”

I’ll be the first to say ‘Cheers!’ and I hope you will too. He’s always shown a great respect and understanding for what it means to play for Arsenal, Fabregas, and never seems to take things for granted which I particularly like about him. Hopefully he can use the Young Player award to springboard onto getting the Overall Player of the Year next time around. I wouldn’t put it past him.

As for the other three – Adebayor, Clichy and Sagna – their places in the Team of the Season are also pretty hard to argue against. Clichy and Sagna were two of Arsenal’s most consistent performers this season, playing with endless energy and creativity whilst still remaining rock-solid at the back. Although a third Frenchman, Patrice Evra, might see himself as a little unlucky to have been ousted for Clichy I do feel that the Arsenal man has been the more important contributor to his side. As for Sagna, the speed with which he settled into Premiership football was remarkable and given that he was just one of two ‘major’ signings for the club before the last season you have to say it was money well spent and further vindication of Arsene Wenger’s ability to turn unknowns into superstars.

The inclusion of Adebayor will, of course, polarise opinions. There is a group of supporters who think he is pretty useless and another group that see him as a pretty handy player and I must say that I very much fall into that second group. He’s been a monster for the club at times this season and the trouble he has caused defences along with his impressive goal tally more than warrants a selection in the Team of the Season.

Fabregas may have been a bit lucky to make the side over FlaminiFlamini a harsh exclusion? 

It is interesting to note that while Arsenal had four players in the Team of the Season, Manchester United had only three (Ronaldo as well as Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic) while Chelsea – who could well win the league – had none. I think that says a lot about the consistency of some of the players in the Arsenal side as well as illustrating the dependence that Wenger placed on too few this season.

I have to say as well that although I feel that Arsenal don’t deserve to have five players in the side I do find it a bit hard to believe that Mathieu Flamini was excluded from the team given the absolutely outstanding season he has had for the club. I’d even go as far to say that I think Fabregas can count himself a little lucky to be named ahead of his colleague and good friend. You can check out the entire list of award winners as well as the PFA Team of the Season here.

Arsenal do, of course, have a game to play tonight against Derby County and the way the Rams have gone this season anything less than a win for Wenger’s side would be nothing short of an embarrassment. There’s not much more to say other than it’s an away game and Lukasz Fabianski will be making his debut in the Premiership. I’ll be watching it and for whatever reason I’m actually looking forward to it. After all, a win and the boys are only four points off the top! The league is still on I tell you! Heh heh.

As I said before, it feels good to be back and I assure you there will be more tomorrow. Cheers.

What do you think?

Have your say on the PFA Team of the Season by leaving a comment.


30 thoughts on “Four Arsenal players named but one harshly excluded from the PFA Team of the Season

  1. yeah hi deserved to be pfa young player of the year.this season he scored 14 goals.and also scored wonderfulgoal against milan.and the other ones for me clichy is one of the best left back in egl premier league.sagna this was his first season in arsenal he deserved it.also adebayor deserved it.

  2. I don’t think Flam did quite enough statistically for non supporters to consider him. Much of his contributions are subjective.

    That said I am quite pleased that Sagna was included. And I will say Evra definately does have a fair argument over Clichy but it’s close. Adebayor deserves to be in without question. You can’t discount his rise this season. Perhaps Santa Cruz has a fair argument but I do think he comes up a shake short when put next to Ade.

    C’mon Gunners though lets finish strong.

  3. Dependence Wenger had on a few? What a curious bit of opinion.
    4 of our players were the best in the league and that’s all you can say about it? 40% of our starting 11 were excellent and we depended on a few?

    People won’t be swayed by anything. It’s incredible, and it makes me sick.

    Why are Gooners so invested in not recognising what a fine squad we have? Why do you want to believe the numpties who ridiculed us before the season started, after it started and we were brilliant, and helped entrench our problems after they started?

    We keep hearing about how we have a small squad (NOT FACTUALLY TRUE), and no strength in depth (A SELF-FULFILLING DECLARATION ONCE IT’S MADE).

    Think guys!

    We almost certainly will finish the season within 4 points of United and Chelsea. It shows you how strong this team has been. And it undelines the difference those poor poor decisions and injuries made on our season.

  4. Good to have you back SF.
    Congrats to Cesc on winning PFA young player of he year. If nothing else, you stopped C. Ronaldo from getting it!

  5. Hey Ole Gunner, you make a fair point. What I’m trying to say is that it’s interesting that our side has four players while Man United has three and Chelsea one, yet we’re behind them on the table. When I say ‘dependence on too few’ I simply meant that our side did not rotate as much/enough as the others and for that reason a lot of our players stood out in the consistency stakes.

    I don’t think we have a ‘small’ squad and I don’t think our squad lacks too much depth, just that I feel Wenger rotated a little too infrequently. I certainly agree with you about how close we have come and the fact that the decisions and injuries have been very influential in preventing Arsenal from winning the title.


  6. Ole Gunner, I think when author says we’re dependant on a few he means 4/5 out of 20 which is a lot less than 40%. The PFA team of year alludes to something we gunners already know; we have best players, but not best squad.

    I personally am happy with the season and love watching us play. Our beautiful style is why non-arsenal fans will watch us at Derby tonight whereas who would watch a meaningless chelsea-derby game?

    Alos, we’re still mathematically in for title and even if thats far fetched, 2nd place would give automatic UCL…. I’ll keep dreaming til its mathematically over! Wenger should too!

  7. 1 more point, I do wish wenger would rotate more. I feel that he could win certain games without fabregas and co. but he starts them every week regardless. He also didnt really sub them off when we were cruising in games early in year. It then means when they need a rest,no reserves have been playing frequently enuf to step in. Its such a shame Diarra didnt get more of a look in and stick around although once he started whinging to media he had to go.

    If we bring more players in, they’ll want more games. I think Diaby/theo/denilson could/should feature more next season….still not sold on bendtner though (talent wise). Doesnt impose imself like other tall bloes do so doesnt lead line very well….skillful bugger at times though.

  8. Welcome back Spanish Fry – good to see you’ve got the technical issues sorted!

    I can only imagine that Ronaldo didn’t win both awards (as he did last season) because some thought 23 was too old for the junior award, and voted elsewhere. A bit harsh perhaps – if nominated he is young enough, but I guess some voters disagreed.

    I agree that Wenger probably didn’t rotate enough, a curious choice after the Carling Cup successes of the past couple of years – you see people purring about our strength in depth after those games, but because Wenger didn’t appear to have the faith to throw them into more regular league games, he made our squad seem thin again. Strange one.

    One thing I don’t think we need is a striker, which many people seem to think we do. Adebayor could hit 30 this season (he’s on 27 with Derby still to play), Van Persie is a 20-25 goal man if he stays fit, and no-one else has a strike partnership like that. We just need more goals from midfield, and perhaps for that reason Hleb going may not be the loss it could be – as long as he is replaced.

  9. amazing how close we still are to winning the premier league.

    If the ref hadnt given that pen for the Brummies and if we’d stuck in a winner against Wigan, for example, not to mention to offisde at Chelsea and the pen at OT – we’d be top.

  10. Justin,

    Why does he have to do that? He rotated a lot earlier in the season. He played our second string in the FA Cup, Champions League and Carling Cup and a bit less in the league. He could do that less later in the season when injuries forced his hand. People talk about not rotating Fabregas. Did someone mention that we often had midfiled players- Denilson (long injury) Rosicky, Diaby, Song, and even Gilberto missing.

    How do you know Arsene rotated? Count the number of games our top players have played…They have played fewer than United’s most capped players despite having played more games than them over the course of the season till date.

    Injuries not a lack of rotation made the squad look thin. The press reported it the other way because
    a) they are a bunch of stupid people who won’t look at facts
    b) they wanted to say Arsenal lacked depth, they wanted to be proved right

    But think about it. Of our entire squad, each player has missed at least 2 goals to injury this season. How did Arsene turn out teams, and keep Arsenal as the team in Europe that has played the most games if he didn’t rotate?

    Guys don’t swallow all this hook line and sinker.

  11. With Flamini i dont think Cesc would have been able to get forward so much this season.

    The four players in the PFA team are players we could not do without.Man Utd can leave out the likes of Giggs,Hargreaves,Ronaldo and Rooney.We just could not afford to leave our fatastic four out because the back up is not strong enough.Both Cesc and Ade needed a break mid-season but who could we bring in? Gilberto(finished) and Bentdner(not good enough)

  12. Well said, Ole Gunner. We need a bit of sense to leaven the silliness from some posters.
    Lovely to see you back, Spanish. This is a really good blog.

  13. Gooner Don,
    The three Man U players in the selection are players they can’t leave out as well. Where would they be without Ronaldo, Vidic and Ferdinand this season? They’ve played all games they were fit for, with the exception of Ronaldo who’s been given the breather in 3 or 4 games.

    Ferguson can leave out the likes of Hargrieves and Giggs because they’re not their most important players as this best 11 selection shows. Their best players have played more games than the likes of Giggs and Hargrieves who’ve had a minimal impact on their season.

  14. A good performance in the 2nd half, not a good one in the 1st. Another hat-trick by Ade which puts him back into 2nd top scorer. Nice to see Walcott get a goal, he a real handful, also nice to see RVP score but once again he is injured. Title is not impossible!!!!!

  15. Worrying thought is that we have 2 out of our back four in this team. To me it highlights our problem ,we have good full backs but are in need of something in the middle.We don’t dominate our own area when defending and are too easily beaten in the air. Gallas and toure are too similar in build . We need a big player at the back with pace.

  16. This game summed up our season fantastic going forward very wasteful most of the time and going to sleep at the back once we go one up. the fact that we conceded 2 goals against Derby it show we are still frail at the back I hope Wenger sort this out. We have to have a mean defence if we want to win anything next season. Scoring never been a problem for us.
    According to many the Greedy Flamini is on his way to Milan. Lot of fans are concerned about it but I’m not concerned at all if he wants to go let him go. He is a hard worker that for sure at the same time Fabregas makes him look good doing all the creative work if Flamini Plays along side a player who is not as creative as Fabregas Flamini’s hard work will come to nothing and therefore he will be seen as an ordinary player. As for Hleb the same thing he can bugger off as well lot of dribbling fantastic going passed players but no end products and no goals we have never replaced Pires and Lunberg in my opinion they gave 30 goals between them every season. I will only be worried if Fabregas goes and he is not going so I’m happy.

  17. Nice points Ole Gunner – it is good to see someone fighting against the media’s incorrect portrayal of our side.

    I think the 6-2 reflected more on the fact that this was a virtual exhibition match where Arsenal attacked at will. As such, even despite it being Derby, they were always going to be likely to concede a goal or two.

    A great game though I thought. How about Adebayor – six goals against Derby this season!

  18. 2 hatricks 4 ade vs. derby but what makes it better is that he came on at half time imagine the score-line if he had started OMG 8, 9, 10 lol. Im really gald Walcott scored, he ma 2nd fav arsenal player. Once again Fab pulled the strings in the mid and i was impressed with Denilsons performance. Song was good also. I think we should play a 4-3-3 vs. Everton.

    Eboue – Toure – Gallas – Clichy
    Song – Fabregas – Denilson
    Walcott – Adebayor – Bendtner
    Subs: Almunia/Fabianski – Djourou – Gilberto – Senderos – Barazite.

  19. has anyone seen Jack Wilshere omg he is amazing, 16 from arsenal youth, he scored a belter vs. west ham reserves, he is the future along wiv barazite, Lansbury, Merida, Freeman, Nordveit, Simpson, Gibbs and Hoyte, we hav a good 2nd team.

  20. Is it just me or are you beginning to realise that the emphasis on youth from the hierarchy is because we essentially do not have the money to compete at the highest level ala buy the Torreses of this world.

    As a gooner I think this is the inconvenient truth. I have been doing some research into the whole 70 million war chest malarchi which one week is there and the next is not. I have read it two ways:
    1. Either Wenger actually has it available and it is being played down deliberately to avoid potential targets being overpriced by their clubs because they think we are f****** loaded or
    2.Perhaps it is true that we dont have any to spend because apparently most of that 70 million is still unpaid debts from people who owe the club.

    Either way money needs to be spent because we simply have to win something next year or all our decent players will want to f*** off to play for AC Milan etc.etc. who apparently always win things (being sarcastic).

  21. It seems about right that Cesc won the young player of the year award a) because he has been the driving force behind our season and while he may be starting to look a little jaded he has been simply brilliant. And b) he is only 20 years old. A fact which he been over looked at times as he shows maturity beyond his years. This is a bold statement I am about to make but I feel Fabregas has become as important as Vieira ever was to us. But I would like to make the point that without Flamini I don’t think Fabregas would have been given the freedom to do what he has done for the club this season which is why I’m bricking it that he will leave. I have no doubt that if Ronaldo hadn’t been so good this season, although I bet he bottles it tonight against Barcelona tonight, Fabregas would have been in with a good shout.

    As for the others boys included in the team of the year I think they warrant their places in that team. Sagna has been a revelation since arriving at the Grove and Clichy has been on a par with Evra defensively I must admit, but I think Clichy has provided more for us going forward. As for Adebayor well I am still caught in two minds when it comes to the big man, sometimes I think he is brilliant as he demonstrated with his second half hat-trick last night but others times I just wonder why Wenger bothers, like against United when he missed chance after chance and had to handle the ball to score. Now this will sound bias but I believe we could have had more players in the team of the year this season, especially Hleb, who in his role just behind the main striker was exceptional at times. Obviously he wasn’t going to make it though unless the PFA played that formation, which would have been nice!

  22. Chris arguably that is the problem, most players at his age in the clubs of equal standing as ours across Europe use players no matter how good they at that age soparingly to avoid burnout but we dont. HE IS 20 AND HE HAS PALYED OVER 200 GAMES!In any body’s book/language that at his age is bordering on irresponsible. Where are the older, more experienced palyers who should be taking that burden off his young shoulders from time to time?

  23. you are very right , Flamini was wrongly excluded maybe not to give Arsenal a five ,but I honestly think he deserves a place in the first 11…any soccer lover who will like to interact with other fans and dicuss any soccer related issues should check out it is free to join.

  24. no, matter how deep arsenal goes down am down with it. and jst to say we will never go down. the gun remains one even when there are no bullets.

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