The Light-Hearted Arsenal Season Review

The Light-Hearted Arsenal Season Review

Arsenal Season Review

The best and worst of Arsenal’s 2006/2007 Season

It has been a little while coming and I decided to take slightly different slant on things than originally planned, but here is my review of Arsenal’s 2006/2007 season. The review will focus on some of the most memorable moments of Arsenal’s season with the intention of being a bit more entertaining than analytical. For a review more along those lines it is hard to go past the one provided by Arseblog and you can read that here. But in the meantime, enjoy some of the best (and worst) moments of the past season in this trip down memory lane.

Gilberto Silva had his best season for yearsBest Player: Gilberto Silva. The Brazilian has enjoyed one of his best seasons since joining the club. Took up the responsibility as captain as well as penalty taker in Thierry Henry’s absence and did not disappoint, scoring 10 goals altogether. Improved his passing and an increased presence in the middle gave Cesc Fabregas licence to roam.

Runner-Up: Cesc Fabregas.

Most Disappointing Player: Julio Baptista. Hard to go past the big Brazilian after such an up-and-down ride. Scored a hat-trick against Spurs and put four past Liverpool in consecutive FA Cup games but consistently missed chances in the Premiership. Add to this the fact that his touch and link-up play was almost non-existent in comparison to previous years at Sevilla and Real Madrid and he goes down as a big let-down.

Runner-Up: Emmanuel Eboue.

Arsenal were superb in their 4-0 win away to ReadingBest Team Performance: Reading 0-4 Arsenal. Evidence that when the side get it right, the results can be phenomenal. Henry scored a stunner in the first minute and from then on it was a virtuoso Arsenal performance with Robin van Persie and Alexander Hleb both scoring fine goals before Henry wrapped it up from the penalty spot. Three of the goals were due to fine team passing movements and the defence stood firm at the other end to keep a clean sheet.

Runner-Up: Arsenal 6-2 Blackburn.

Worst Team Performance: Sheffield United 1-0 Arsenal. The Gunners were outplayed by Sheffield in the first half and deservedly conceded in the 41st minute through a Christian Nade strike. Arsenal couldn’t even score against regular outfield player Phil Jagielka who was put into goals for the final 15 minutes after an injury to Paddy Kenny. An embarrassing performance that should never have occurred.

Runner-Up: Newcastle 0-0 Arsenal.

Adebayor capped his fine performance against Manchester United with a late winnerBest Individual Performance: Emmanuel Adebayor v Manchester United (1-0). This was the game and the performance that has convinced me that Adebayor has a big future at Arsenal. Arsenal went into the game without Henry or van Persie and Adebayor had a big job to play as a lone striker against the eventual champions. His movement and endeavour was absolutely superb and he was involved in most of Arsenal’s best chances, winning the penalty that Gilberto had saved before scoring a last minute winner to cap a brilliant game.

Runner-Up: Robin van Persie v Blackburn.

Best Team Goal: Robin van Persie v Wigan.

Runner-Up: Mathieu Flamini v Chelsea.

Van Persie’s stunning volley against Charlton was the best individual goal of the seasonBest Individual Goal: Robin van Persie v Charlton.

Runner-Up: Tomas Rosicky v Hamburg.

Best Free-Kick: Robin van Persie v Fulham.

Runner-Up: Thierry Henry v Newcastle.

Best Moment: Thierry Henry’s late winner against Manchester United. After an even first half Arsenal fell behind to a Wayne Rooney goal before Robin van Persie levelled in the 83rd minute. The scene was set for a remarkable finish and Henry didn’t disappoint, spectacularly heading home a perfect Emmanuel Eboue cross three minutes into injury time to lift the roof off the Emirates and do the double over their bitter rivals.

Runner-Up: Theo Walcott’s opener against Chelsea in the Carling Cup Final. The young Arsenal side was absolutely superb against Chelsea and took the lead after 12 minutes through Walcott’s first goal for the club. It signals the start of a great career and the promise of much to come from not only Walcott, but the likes of Denilson and Abou Diaby as well.

Worst Penalty Kick: Gilberto Silva v Bolton.

Runner-Up: Julio Baptista v Bolton.

Alex’s late header put PSV - not Arsenal - into the Champions League quarter-finalsWorst Moment: PSV defender Alex’s late header to knock Arsenal out of the Champions League. Arsenal had peformed relatively well throughout the tie against PSV but were made to rue their missed opportunities when Alex’s header flew into the net late on at the Emirates past a slipping Jens Lehmann. It was a heartbreaking finish to a tense game.

Runner-Up: Michael Essien’s wonder-strike at Stamford Bridge to deny Arsenal their first win over Jose Mourinho. Although Arsenal were fortunate to be in front through Mathieu Flamini’s well worked opener, Chelsea were struggling to find the net until Essien’s improbable strike late on. It broke Arsenal’s resolve and strengthened Chelsea, and the Blues nearly went on to win the match.

The ball would not go in for Arsenal at home to West HamMost Frustrating Game: Arsenal 0-1 West Ham. The club’s first loss at Emirates Stadium bordered on ridiculous after Arsenal had 30 shots on goal (15 on target) to West Ham’s six. Needless to say, West Ham scored with their only decent effort and supporters were left frustrated beyond explanation.

Runner-Up: Arsenal 0-0 CSKA Moscow 

Best Goalkeeping Save: Jens Lehmann v Manchester United. On first viewing it looks a routine stop but the replays showed that Lehmann’s fingertip save from Ole Gunner Solskjaer is one of the best you’ll ever see. It kept the score at 1-0 and secured the win at Old Trafford.

Tomas Rosicky had a decent first year with Arsenal despite constant injuriesBest New Player: Tomas Rosicky. Although his first season at the club was spoiled somewhat by injury, Rosicky has shown enough touches of class to suggest that he is now irreplaceable at Arsenal when fit. Scored six goals in all competitions and is one of the only players at the club consistently willing to shoot from distance.

Runner-Up: Denilson. Was a surprise signing in August and has not started many games, but looks an exciting talent. Denilson’s determination and flair was on show during Arsenal’s excellent Carling Cup campaign and the signs are good that he will be part of the club’s midfield for years to come.

Best Cross: Emmanuel Eboue for Thierry Henry v Manchester United.

Runner-Up: Emmanuel Eboue for Thierry Henry v FC Porto. 

Henry and Adebayor do their ridiculous danceWorst Goal Celebration: Thierry Henry and Emmanuel Adebayor’s awful sideline dance. Let’s just hope they’re bored of it by next season.

Worst Miss: Tomas Rosicky v CSKA Moscow

Runner-Up: Abou Diaby & Julio Baptista v Bolton

So there you have it. If you don’t agree with what I’ve said feel free to leave your comments and if you think I’ve missed something out that just has to be included then contact me here and I’ll probably add it in.

Read previous columns by Spanish Fry here

28 Responses to “The Light-Hearted Arsenal Season Review”

  1. Snaps
    May 30, 2007 at 7:32 am #

    Adebayor also managed it in the last minutes against Everton in the Carling cup at Goodison.
    Finally we have someone good in the air (despite Thierry discovering he has something on his shoulders this season)

  2. klon
    May 30, 2007 at 9:30 am #

    I seem to remember Cesc rounding the keeper and missing an empty net in a game against CSKA, does that not deserve to be worst miss of the season or even Ade doing the same at Bolton.

  3. klon
    May 30, 2007 at 9:32 am #

    Follow up on Denilson what type of mid is he exactly DMF or AMF in your opinion ? I mean he does not look like he has enough speed or dribbling ability to be a classic AMF who plays behind the striker but he can tackle and distribute well though.

  4. Spanish Fry
    May 30, 2007 at 11:57 am #

    Snaps – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, “I rate Adebayor”. I sincerely hope that Wenger gives him a generous amount of time on the field next season – regardless of whether Henry and van Persie are fit.
    Klon – Cesc’s and Adebayor’s were awful! But Rosicky’s was truly astonishing and the way that Diaby and Baptista bungled against Bolton really summed up Arsenal’s finishing this season for me. So I went for those two. As for Denilson, he seems to be a truly CM type. Not overly attacking or defensive, a real all-rounder similar to Cesc.

  5. Keysy
    May 30, 2007 at 12:01 pm #

    Good choices. If Robert van persie wasn’t out of it most of the season he would take the cake with that foot of his. Just look at how many awards he got up there too!
    Similar problem with rosicky. Arsenal needs more aggressive players like these 2.

  6. gazzap
    May 30, 2007 at 1:10 pm #

    I think denilson is a bit more aggresive than cesc and I also think he has a shot on him.I might liken him to petit but I think petit was a better pure defender eg heading away from set pieces. cesc’s ball control and passing are the best in world football right now. diaby is the sort of player who does not let the other team have easy possession. he is a busting harrying type of midfielder and forces errors and makes great tackles. a real midfield general but his creativity and shooting are not great. he is similar to Vieira.

  7. Spanish Fry
    May 30, 2007 at 1:17 pm #

    Keysy – There is no doubt that Arsenal lacked aggression and bite this season. I think that Diaby and perhaps Denilson can provide this in the centre of midfield. Arsenal are also being linked to Nigel Reo-Coker but who knows if this is true or not.
    gazzap – You’re spot on in my opinion. Denilson’s role is a little difficult to judge thus far but there is no denying Diaby’s likeness to Vieira. Even physically they are very similar.

  8. klon
    May 30, 2007 at 1:32 pm #

    Reason I was asking was I think we lack a midfield dynamo think a younger Rosicky. A technically gifted player who can score, create chances and is fast as well. I would like us to recruit the following sorts of players though:

    CAMF/SMF
    WF/SMF

  9. Louisa
    May 30, 2007 at 4:20 pm #

    Great review. Just my 2 cents:
    1. My worst team performance runner-up would be the away game at Anfield. The 4:1 scoreline says it all. Bad defence. And up front, nobody scored until William Gallas pushed the ball in with his thigh/penis/whatever it was.
    2. Worst miss runner-up to me was Cesc’s miss right in front of goal against Reading, before scoring an own goal unfortunately. But just for the record, he still had a good game otherwise. How scary is that?!

    My additional category of Best Humorous Moments from Cesc:
    1. Winner: while was C Ronaldo was enjoying to show off his dribbles and twists and turns trying to shake off our defence, he lost his own ball, Cesc calmly and promptly stole it and put in a perfectly-timed pass to Adebayor who finished it nicely at Old Trafford.
    2. First runner-up: Cesc turned stupid Savage inside out and pushed the ball through under his legs while he’s still looking around wondering where the ball was.
    3. Second runner-up: his bust-up with Mark Hughes over the mystery of how he left no trace of Barcelona football in his Blackburn team.

  10. Samuel
    May 30, 2007 at 9:21 pm #

    I know it’s rubbish but for some reason Ade and Titi’s dance always makes my smile (well, it only happens when they score) even bigger.

  11. darragh
    May 30, 2007 at 11:07 pm #

    Another frustrating loss – v Tottenham a few weeks ago, letting Jermaine Jenas score in the last 2 seconds of play. Jesus christ, ruined my night.

  12. Spanish Fry
    May 30, 2007 at 11:45 pm #

    Klon – I think you’re right but at the same token, Rosicky really isn’t too old. Throughout his career he’s never really been injured and in his first season with Arsenal, bam, he’s constantly injured. Rosicky is a dynamo and whilst having a slight frame is an aggressive player – like Keysy said. I would agree we need a winger and my preference would be Florent Malouda (Lyon) or Franck Ribery (Marseille).

    Louisa – I considered having the Anfield game as runner-up but the woeful, unproductive game against Newcastle got the nod. Cesc has been in it a lot this year, a lot of bad misses by him and the one at Reading was pretty awful. As Klon said, there was also the one against CSKA! You must really love Cesc to remember all of that!

    Samuel – Haha, each to their own 🙂

    darragh – Jenas late equaliser was very, very annoying. Too many moments of annoyance this season.

    Thanks for your comments everyone, it’s great to hear what everyone has to say about the season just passed. Keep them coming!

  13. Andrew
    May 31, 2007 at 2:46 pm #

    Another really good team performance was Manchester United away. Everyone was excellent in that game. Djourou kept Rooney quiet, Clichy and Eboue kept Ronaldo under wraps, Jens had the best save of the season Adebayor was amazing, and hell, even Baptista looked good.

  14. Spanish Fry
    May 31, 2007 at 10:29 pm #

    Andrew – Totally agree. I thought Adebayor was amazing and that’s why he snapped up the “Best Individual Performance” Award for that game. And yes, even Baptista was OK, which is saying something…

  15. Elisa
    June 1, 2007 at 10:47 pm #

    I do rate Adie and I think Gilberto was a class act this year.

    Another of my favorite Cesc moments when he got stuck in with Fat Frank during the Carling Cup. Show him who the man is Cesc!

  16. Spanish Fry
    June 2, 2007 at 3:28 am #

    Elisa – Good to see someone who has the same opinion of Adebayor as I do!

  17. Jonnie Taylor
    June 4, 2007 at 12:00 pm #

    great review dude. couldn’t agree more.

  18. Spanish Fry
    June 4, 2007 at 10:19 pm #

    Jonnie Taylor – Thanks for the kind words.

  19. shravan
    June 5, 2007 at 6:19 am #

    Maybe you add a column called: Areas for imporvement.

    Well i think its pretty obvious, firstly arsene needs to let his players know that shooting from outside the box is indeed allowed in football.

    Secondly, i think we need to get more crosses in from the wing. Eboue and Clichy are both superb full-back and they need to get forward more, they both have the pace to get back and defend counter-attack too.

    on the whole, very nice article about our season. Lets hope we win something next season, our trophy cabinet is startin to get filled with cob-webs

  20. Spanish Fry
    June 5, 2007 at 7:39 am #

    shravan – I think you’re dead right about Eboue and Clichy getting forward more and more. Crossing has never been a great part of Wenger’s games and in Eboue we have an expert crosser of the ball so maybe Wenger needs to utilise this aspect of his game a little bit more.

  21. floxis
    June 17, 2007 at 2:45 pm #

    I think that the most desappointing player this season should be Julio Baptista, although he scored some important goals (for me). But the runner-up shouldn’t be Eboue because he had a lot of injury problems with his ankle but should be Hleb because of his inconstancy with the team compared to last season ans specialy in the champions league.

  22. Spanish Fry
    June 17, 2007 at 11:02 pm #

    floxis – That’s a fair call. I think a lot of people have been disappointed with Hleb’s contribution since joining Arsenal and I am also among them. But for me, Eboue is one of the only players who has really taken a step backwards. He was amazing in his breakthrough season for the club and it was very disappointing to see him unable to carry on from there. Hopefully next season will be different for the likes of Eboue and Hleb.

  23. George reuben
    July 12, 2007 at 12:01 pm #

    I like the idea, Rosicky is very intellegent,stong as well as very talented.

    What think A.Wanger should bid for him at any cost to replace Henry.

    Also in the future the club needs to make difficult dicessions by downsizing old players and replacing them with younger players.

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