Arsenal FC: Top 5 Gunners This Season
5. Thomas Vermaelen
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Thomas Vermaelen's defending has been diabolical this season.
Forget about finding a replacement for Marouane Chamakh, just throw Vermaelen up forward because he has scored more league goals than Gervinho, Yossi Benayoun and Aaron Ramsey.
Does anyone remember who won the header which led to Robin van Persie scoring an 86th minute goal to kill off the game against Borussia Dortmund?
Here's an interesting stat: Vermaelen averages 6.3 shots per goal whereas it takes Ramsey 31 shots per goal.
4. Alex Song
For me, Alex Song has been world-class this season.
He can tackle, intercept the ball whilst also providing incisive passes from a deep position.
The criticisms of his positional discipline is quite similar to what Arturo Vidal has heard throughout his career.
The Chilean was so box-to-box that he was given the green-light to do whatever he wanted in his last season at Bayer Leverkusen.
Vidal must drive Antonio Conte crazy sometimes but the Juventus manager will take the 178 tackles, 71 interceptions, 51 created shots and seven league goals—with the occasional lapse in concentration.
Aaron Ramsey started 22 games as an attacking midfielder, so why not experiment with Song in that position?
3. Laurent Koscielny
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I've never rated Laurent Koscielny but he has redeemed himself with a solid season.
I remember watching David Bellion taking Koscielny, who at the time was playing for Lorient, to the cleaners.
That impression has lasted with me and it was reinforced by his lackluster first season plus a terrible mistake in the Carling Cup final.
I've been surprised at how good he has been throughout the season.
He has won back possession 171 times, yet has only given away 33 free kicks.
The question is can he keep it up?
2. Mikel Arteta
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The unsung hero at Arsenal is Mikel Arteta because people are beginning to notice his contributions to the team when he isn't playing.
He was the go-to-guy at Everton but now he is just a role player at Arsenal—which I admire even more because he is all about the team.
Statistically he is as impressive as it gets: 72 tackles, 55 interceptions and 60 created shots.
His movement off the ball, his covering and his pressuring are things that don't show up in stats.
Arsenal are yet to win in six Premier League games without Arteta.
The sad irony of my praise is I wouldn't start Arteta next season.
Jack Wilshere will be back and I want Arsenal to give Francis Coquelin an extended run in midfield like they did for Denílson. Mind you, Coquelin is a way better player than the Brazilian.
1. Robin Van Persie
Arsenal had leverage over Robin van Persie when he suffered a fractured metatarsal, a knee ligament tear, a recurring thigh problem, ruptured ankle ligaments and a severe ankle sprain.
These are just the notable injuries, what about the nagging ones?
Instead of twisting from what seemed like a logical business decision in selling the Dutchman, they stuck by him.
Now at the present, Van Persie is the best player in the Premier League and he can sink Arsenal's future plans by announcing his intentions to leave.
We all know who the scapegoat will be—Arsène Wenger.
Statistics courtesy of WhoScored.com.