Fabregas gets Player of the Month
Cesc Fabregas has been named Player of the Month for August on the official Arsenal website. With three goals (his fourth was scored in the match against Blackburn, which was played on September 2) and a number of fine performances I think the fans made the right decision. Interestingly, Alexander Hleb and Gael Clichy finished second and third respectively in the voting.
Fabregas and Clichy have always been respected by the Arsenal fans and it’s great to see Hleb getting some recognition as well. The goals he scored in Arsenal’s first two matches of the season against Fulham and Sparta Prague were absolutely vital to the club getting off to a positive start and it’s great to see his performances recognised by the fans. Two other players who deserve credit for Arsenal’s fine start are Mathieu Flamini, who has worked tirelessly and consistently wherever he has played and Bacary Sagna, for slotting in effortlessly into the right-back position.
The great first month by Arsenal has been, above all, a team performance. The defence has been superb, conceding just three goals (two of them errors by Jens Lehmann and the third a fluke by Portsmouth’s Nwanko Kanu) and the midfielders have been full of energy and goals, something that the likes of Fabregas, Hleb and Tomas Rosicky found hard to come by last season. I feel there is still room for improvement up front, whilst Robin van Persie started brightly with two goals he has faded of late and both Eduardo da Silva and Emmanuel Adebayor are yet to hit their best form. There are signs that Eduardo will get there soon – two superb goals for Croatia overnight will help his confidence – and we all know what Adebayor and van Persie are capable of.
I’m absolutely delighted with Arsenal’s start so far; 10 points from a possible 12 in the Premier League and comfortable qualification to the Champions League group stages is nothing to laugh at. But if the forwards can start firing and Manuel Almunia continues to play well in goals then things could get even better next month.
It’s official: Wenger signs on
I mentioned this a couple of days ago but since then the announcement that Arsene Wenger has signed a three-year extension deal with the Arsenal Footbal Club has been made official. Wenger gave an interview upon signing the new contract outlining his reasons for it and the expectations and hopes he has for the club in the coming years. You can view the transcript of that interview here. One of the questions Wenger was asked was whether he thought the current squad has the ability to achieve what the previous great sides of 1998 and 2002-2004 did and it was great to read his response.
“Yes, they have the ability. Don’t forget this squad has been in the Champions League Final without losing a game. A big part of the squad has done remarkably well performance wise in the Carling Cup, and, of course, they are maturing very quickly. The first signs this season are that the team has really matured. There’s a completely different attitude – a completely different attitude – towards the competition. They’re more responsible, more disciplined and that can bring success.”
It goes without saying that I’m very happy with Wenger staying with the club. The extension means he will be there until the end of 2010/11 season and will have more than enough time to achieve great success with the current squad of players. There isn’t another manager around that I would rather see in charge of Arsenal than Wenger. I have always been an admirer of the way he goes about his business, developing great players rather than purchasing them, and his player management skills have also been first class. Wenger has made some rather odd decisions at the start of this season, such as naming William Gallas as captain and sending Johan Djourou out on loan, but if the club has a successful season then those decisions will be fully justified. In short though, great news for the Arsenal Football Club and its supporters.
What do you think?
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