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.
I’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.
Flamini 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.