Finishing the series of blog posts looking at the Arsenal squad, I’m going to rate, and in some cases slate, the Arsenal players for their performances over the last ten months. To say it’s been an eventful season for Arsenal would be a massive understatement, so I’m sure there will be plenty of disagreement with my ratings, so feel free to comment at the end of the blog. In my first blog post of the day following yesterday’s events surrounding our captain, it’s time to rate the strikers.
9. Ju-Young Park
One on those rushed through the checkout during Arsene Wenger’s trolley dash at the end of the summer transfer window, Ju-Young Park hasn’t really made his mark on Arsenal Football Club. The Korean captain was cheap, and did score an excellent goal against Bolton in the Carling Cup, but he just wasn’t given the chance to prove himself for the first team. That was partly down to the form and fitness of Robin van Persie, but also because I don’t think Wenger trusted him to lead the line. Undoubtedly a strange signing.
Season Rating: 2/10
10. Robin van Persie
On the pitch, no-one can doubt how good Robin van Persie was last season. Arsenal fans always maintained that if we could get a full season out of the Dutchman, he’d score a lot of goals. He did that, and led the team well as the club captain. There were matches where he dragged us out of a hole and it seemed like we’d found a captain that was able to unite the dressing room. The contract issue was always looming over his head, and his superb season now feels soured by Robin’s statement yesterday on his official website. There will be another blog later today about our captain’s remarkable burning of the bridge to the fans; a bridge that had looked so strong during the season.
Season Rating: 9/10
12. Thierry Henry
Forgive me, but considering he only played for the club for six weeks of the season, Thierry Henry is going to get an inappropriately high rating. That is because he’s Thierry Henry.
The night he returned against Leeds was one of the most beautiful moments seen at the Emirates. It brought grown men to tears and made younger fans who couldn’t really remember the great man realise why he is revered by everyone who loves the club. Despite the best efforts of the dubious goals panel, I still count the deflected goal against Blackburn as his, and then he won the match for us at Sunderland.
He arrived back at the club when we were going through a difficult time in the season, and put the feel good factor back into the fans. I personally felt like everything would be ok again because Thierry Henry was back. On the pitch, he didn’t too much apart from score those crucial goals. Off the pitch, I think he made a real difference to the team as they were able to feed off the bit of momentum that came from Thierry’s return, and were able to use it as a catalyst to catch Tottenham. There was always a small chance his legacy at the club would have been slightly tarnished, however he only enhanced his legendary status. Given we might have another striker problem; see you at the same time next season Thierry?
Season Rating: 7/10
29. Marouane Chamakh
We’re fortunate that Robin van Persie’s injury curse didn’t striker last season, because Marouane Chamakh didn’t strike fear into opponents when he played. The fact we re-signed an ageing Thierry Henry said a lot about Arsene Wenger’s confidence in our number two striker. Chamakh was clearly low on confidence during the season, but he never looked like gaining any when he did get a game. I won’t be surprised to see him leave the club this summer because he hasn’t fired in the last 18 months after the good start to his Arsenal career.
Season Rating: 2/10