Arsenal's Most Improved Player in 2009-10
Although 2009/2010 may not have terminated, sadly Arsenal has prematurely, due to the North London side being unable to attract any silverware. It is the fifth successive campaign in which Arsene Wenger and his men have gone without any trophies.
Despite the season shaping to be considered a failure by Arsenal fans and critics alike, there is still promising points that can be taken away from '09/'10. This season the football world has witnessed the maturity of certain players in the youthful Arsenal squad. Many have shown what they are capable of providing to the Gunners and it brings the question.
Who was Arsenal's most improved player?
1. Alexandre Song
In recent seasons Song has been criticized for his lack of consistency and occasional laziness. But this season the defensive midfielder has become a whole new player. The growth in maturity was evident from the start of the season. Song was immediately aggressive and strong in the midfield.
The Cameroonian playmaker was cutting down host of opposition attacks with his sharp-footed defending and also aiding his defenders with constant tracking back. Not only was the 22-year-old performing week in week out, but his occupancy of the defensive duties enabled captain and maestro Cesc Fabregas to really play his own attacking game.
With 38 appearances so far and one goal, Song has easily had his best season to date.
Although no silverware has been acquired for the Gunners, the improvement of Alexandre Song has provided a shinning light.
2. Nicklas Bendtner
One thing Bendtner knows how to do well is talk himself up and ensure he has self confidence. Fans had heard enough of the lanky Dane admitting he will one day be one of the world's best. However, everyone was speculating whether the 22-year-old can actually even perform.
Thankfully, this season the striker showed he is easily capable of handling it with the top players in Europe. When star striker Robin van Persie fell to an almost season-ending injury in November, it ensured Bendtner was the dominant lone striker.
Although the former Birmingham loaner was forced to wait a month to get his opportunity due to untimely injuries, when the chance arrived Bendtner never ceased to look back, showing he was a strong striker.
The 6'4" forward provided great strength and aerial support as the lone front man, and managed to consistently find the score sheet. A memorable hat trick against Porto in the Champions League quarterfinals would easily be Nicklas's highlight of the season.
3. Tomas Rosicky
When Arsenal were performing at their peak during the 2007/2008 campaign, so was Tomas Rosicky. But then as Arsenal season began to crumble so did Rosicky's legs. A serious leg injury in 2008 saw the Czech miss the whole of 2008/2009. There were rumors that Rosicky may not even play again.
But this season the 29-year-old has regained full fitness and slowly made his way back into the Arsenal side. The return of "Little Mozart" has been a joy to watch for all fans of football.
Rosicky has been a solid contributor this season with 33 appearances and 3 goals. It has been sensational to witness the Czech refine his skill, pace and passing and it is hoped he remains in the Arsenal lineup for years to come.
4. Abou Diaby
Diaby's body kept hampering his development. The Frenchman would begin to really find his form before his body kicked in and he suffered a season-ending injury or so. However, 2009/2010 has been a revelation for the former Auxerre man.
The 23-year-old has gone from a fringe player to arguably one of the world's best midfielders. Stepping in beside Song and Fabregas has ensured the Gunners boast a healthy and quality midfield trio.
Diaby raw ability to glide and weave through and past players has seen a number of attacking moves blossom and also ensured numerous goals. With 38 appearances and 7 stunning goals, Abou Diaby has certainly improved.
5. Theo Walcott
With his blistering pace down the flanks, Theo Walcott is a real handful for defenders. However, form and injuries were causing the Englishman to struggle for both Arsenal and England.
But in the latter months of this season Walcott has really stepped up and become an even bigger asset for Wenger. The 21-year-old has found incredible form and has all but hopefully booked a place in England's World Cup Squad.
Injuries kept Walcott from being a persistent contributor this season but the former Southampton winger has still managed 28 appearances with 4 handy goals to his name.
6. Gael Clichy
After an impressive 2007/2008 then a lacklustre, injury stricken 2008/2009, left back Gael Clichy was eager to re-stamp his defensive abilities on the footballing world. Clichy, who is now one of the more experienced leaders on the youthful Arsenal roster, has shown why is considered one of the top left backs in Europe.
With his speed, agility, and defensive prowess the 24-year-old has been a constant performer in 09/10.
7. Aaron Ramsey
The highly touted youngster who Arsene Wenger manager to seduce from Cardiff last season was having a terrific season for the Gunners before a horror injury cruelly ended a impressive campaign prematurely.
However before the injury Ramsey had shown he was one of the best young midfielders in Europe with his strength, intelligence and easy on the eye passing. After a learning curve début season the Welshman stepped up and began to make a serious impact, forcing his way into the Arsenal side.
With 29 appearances and 4 goals this season, every one is hoping the Welsh teenager returns soon.
So who has been Arsenal most improved player in 2009/2010?
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