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Arsenal FC: Gooner Daily Awards for the Month of August

Toni OkikeSenior Analyst IISeptember 4, 2011

Arsenal FC: Gooner Daily Awards for the Month of August

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    The month of August labeled the start of a new campaign, and the Gooners were looking at it with newly-found optimism and hope following the club’s demise in the tail end of last season.

    At the start of the month, Wenger wasn’t really active in the transfer market, but the club has already lost Gael Clichy while the futures of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri still remained in doubt. The playoff draws took place, and Arsenal geared themselves up for a two-legged encounter with Udinese, the fourth-placed Italian Serie A team last season.

    Arsenal raised its curtains in St. James Park, a ground that hosted a Premier League epic in February. Both teams had a cautious first half, but the game was marred by the theatrics of Joey "Hitler" Barton after he got himself involved with a jersey tug with Gervinho when he instigated it.

    Gervinho saw red on his debut and that was it from an Arsenal point of view. The game ended in a goalless stalemate.

    Three days after the bore draw at Tyne side, Arsenal hosted Udinese in the first leg of the Champions League playoffs, and made away with a 1-0 win after Walcott latched on to a Ramsey-drilled pass.

    The Gunners then hosted Liverpool in the lunchtime fixture for the weekend, but Ignasi Miquel was left with a red face after his proposed clearance hit Aaron Ramsey’s body to go into the net, leaving Szczesny helpless. Luis Suarez put the game beyond doubt to give Liverpool its first win in Arsenal’s home ground in 11 years.

    Arsenal was faced with a do-or-die match in the Champions League playoff second leg against Udinese, but Antonio di Natale’s heroics were not enough as Arsenal ran out as 2-1 winners in the fiercely contested encounter.

    Arsenal’s last match in August was definitely one to forget because the club received it’s biggest defeat in the 21st century at the hands of the old enemy, Manchester United. A game that brought up comments like,

    “I 8-2 be an Arsenal fan right now”

    At the start of every new month, I’ll create an article like this reviewing all the matches played in the previous month.

    The best part of such an article is that it was created from the votes of my esteemed readers in the polls I created at the end of the month. These votes will go a long way because it would influence the end of the season review like the 2010/11 Season Review that I created last season.

    Here’s a full list of Gooner Daily’s awards for the month of August created thanks to the votes of the blog’s readers.

SAVE of the MONTH

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    Wojciech Szczesny kept in all five games played in the month, so the save of the month had to come from him. The nominated saves were his top-notch save from Andy Carroll’s header when Liverpool visited the Emirates, his magnificent penalty stop from Antonio di Natale’s penalty when Arsenal visited the Frulli and his top-drawer save from di Natale’s shot when Udinese visited the Emirates.

    The results were:

    Szczesny save from di Natale penalty (24.08.11): 90.65 percent

    Szczesny save against di Natale free kick (16.08.11): 5.4 percent

    Szczesny save against Carroll header (20.08.11): 3.96 percent

    “….Minutes after Arsenal had gone ahead on aggregate, Lord di Voldemort had another chance to bring Udinese closer to Champions League qualification with Italy, the Udinese fans, Francesco Guidolin and his fellow death eaters…..teammates watching with hope.

    Di Natale wiped away the sweat from his face before gearing himself up for the spot kick. He rattled Szczesny’s bar from 35 yards a week ago so 12 yards was more than close enough to bury the ball at the back of the goalie’s net but Arsenal’s keeper had other plans.

    With Szczesny’s eyes firmly fixed on the ball, di Natale smashed an unstoppable shot but as the saying goes:

    “When an unstoppable shot meets an immovable object, something has to give.” 

    Szczesny turned out to be that object and the save was the W in world class. With Fabianski crying out loud that he wants to fight to the end to win his place back from Szczesny, that save would have done enough to tell Flyin' Fabbi that the bench is not a bad place after all.”

    Culled from Udinese 1 Arsenal 2: Wojciech Szczesny makes his mark


ASSIST of the MONTH

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    Arsenal played five matches in the month of August and scored only five goals. That’s definitely a low average from a team of Arsenal’s calibre, but I was able to select three assists for nomination.

    The nominated assists were Rosicky’s assist for Walcott in the loss to Manchester United, Ramsey’s assist to Walcott in the 1-0 victory over Udinese and Gervinho’s lovely individual assist for van Persie when Arsenal defeated Udinese in Frulli.

    The results were:

    Gervinho assist for van Persie (Udinese) (24.08.11): 78.35 percent

    Ramsey assist for Walcott (Udinese) (13.08.11): 17.32 percent

    Rosicky assist for Walcott (Man Utd) (28.08.11): 4.33 percent

    “….Arsenal’s black dreadlocked Harry Potter with the big forehead started again after receiving the ball from a deflected Rosicky shot with his Expecto Patronums and the Udinese players watched again as he waltzed past them. His final ball found Robin van Persie and Arsenal’s captain and Flying Dutchman did the rest with a neat left-footed finish.”

    Culled from Udinese 1 Arsenal 2: Wojciech Szczesny makes his mark

     

     


GOAL of the MONTH

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    Arsenal managed a meager five goals in the five games they played, with Theo Walcott getting three while Robin van Persie had the other two. The nominated goals were Walcott’s superb individual effort in the 2-1 win against Udinese, Walcott’s clinical finish that went through de Gea’s legs in the loss to Manchester United and Walcott’s quick-footed finish in the 1-0 victory against Udinese.

    The results were:

    Walcott’s goal against Udinese 2nd leg (24.08.11): 59.42 percent

    Walcott’s goal against Udinese 1st leg (13.08.11): 29.47 percent

    Walcott goal against Man Utd (28.08.11): 11.11 percent

     

    “….The next goal was going to be the most important but it was heartwarming to know that it was scored by Arsenal. Rosicky fed Jenkinson who switched play to the left hand flank. Vermaelen teed up Sagna before he connected well with Theo Walcott.

    With Udinese playing with the unorthodox 3-5-2 formation, there was certainly going to be a point when they’ll be exposed for the lack of standing full backs. Walcott used his pace to evade the wing back and was closing in on goal and one of the center backs was trying to close down on him. He sent Handanovic the wrong way and the joyous screams from the Arsenal fans in Frulli could be heard on the Moon.”

    Culled from Udinese 1 Arsenal 2: Wojciech Szczesny makes his mark


MATCH of the MONTH

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    Even if the month of August ended on a sad note for Arsenal, there was still a game that stood out from the rest to leave the Gooners with fond memories. The nominated matches were Arsenal’s draw against Newcastle, Arsenal’s first leg victory against Udinese and Arsenal’s second leg victory against Udinese.

    The results were:

    Udinese 1 Arsenal 2 (24.08.11): 96.21 percent

    Newcastle 0 Arsenal 0 (13.08.11): 1.9 percent

    Arsenal 1 Udinese 0 (16.08.11): 1.9 percent

     

    “Tonight, for 14 years on the trot, we play in the Champions League. We have a new stadium, a fantastic training ground, a very good financial situation and a very strong team. It was important today because we were under pressure so it was important to keep calm, composed and not do anything stupid.” Arsene Wenger

     


WORST MATCH of the MONTH

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    Oh well.

    I always say that the good goes hand in hand with the bad. There’s always a game where the Arsenal faithful will have to go home with buckets of tears. The nominated matches were Arsenal’s bore draw against Newcastle, Arsenal’s disappointing defeat against Liverpool and Arsenal’s humiliating loss to Manchester United.

    The results were:

    Man Utd 8 Arsenal 2 (28.08.11): 97.27 percent

    Arsenal 0 Liverpool 2 (20.08.11): 1.36 percent

    Newcastle 0 Arsenal 0 (13.08.11): 1.36 percent

     

    “….The last time Arsenal lost with 8 goals, Zeus, Hera and the other Greek gods were giving their blessings to Greece for the first ever Olympic Games in 1896. 53 years before Wenger was born.”

     Culled from Man Utd 8 Arsenal 2: Red Devils simply gr-eight

     


MOST IMPROVED PLAYER of the MONTH

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    There’ll always be a Gunner that will emerge from the shadows to wow the fans with his performances. Last season, Wilshere surprised every Gooner with his breathtaking performances that earned him a place in Premier League’s history as the 2011 PFA Young Player of the Year.

    The nominees for the most improved player for the most of August were Emmanuel Frimpong, Aaron Ramsey and Carl Jenkinson.

    The results were:

    Emmanuel Frimpong: 74.18 percent

    Aaron Ramsey: 17.62 percent

    Carl Jenkinson: 8.2 percent

     

    Frimpong had a 6.5 Gooner Dating rating against Udinese (2nd leg), an 8.0 rating against Liverpool, a 6.5 rating against Udinese (1st leg) and no rating against Newcastle because he arrived late into the pitch.

    Overall he had an average rating of 7.0 in the month of August.

    Not bad for the young bloke.

     


MOST DISAPPOINTING GUNNER of the MONTH

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    There are some Gunners that can be very disappointing to watch at times. One week, they are really good. The other, they’ll put up displays that will prompt the Gooners to ask for their heads on a plate.

    The nominees for the most disappointing Gunner award were Andrey Arshavin, Tomas Rosicky and Johan Djourou.

    The results were:

    Andrey Arshavin: 49.8 percent

    Johan Djourou: 45.45 percent

    Tomas Rosicky: 4.74 percent

     

    Arshavin had a Gooner Daily rating of 4.5 against Manchester United, no rating against Udinese (2nd leg) because he arrived at the death, a 5.5 rating against Liverpool, no rating against Udinese (1st leg: he didn’t play) and a 6.0 rating against Newcastle.

    Overall he had a rating of 5.3 in the three games he played in the month.

    Poor.

     


GUNNER of the MONTH

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    This is the award given to the best player in the month of August. 

    The nominees for the prestigious award were Gervinho, Thomas Vermaelen and Theo Walcott.

    The results were:

    Thomas Vermaelen: 38.52 percent

    Gervinho: 31.56 percent

    Theo Walcott: 29.92 percent

     

    Vermaelen didn’t play against Manchester United so he had no rating.

    However, he had a rating of 7.0 against Udinese (2nd leg), an astronomical 9.5 rating against Liverpool, a 6.5 rating against Udinese (1st leg) and a 7.5 rating against Newcastle.

    Overall, the Verm had an average rating of 7.6 in four matches played.

Summary

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    A total of 1,888 votes were cast over the eight polls, and I would like to express my profound gratitude to every reader that participated in the exercise. At least we know what to expect for the month of August when I write the season review and the season awards come May.

    Feel free to check out the 2010/11 Season Review and the 2010/11 Season Awards at your spare time.

    Let’s do this again next month.

    Sayonara.

     

    You can follow Gooner Daily on Twitter @goonerdaily. I’ll follow back 

    You can also visit Gooner Daily’s Facebook page and click on the like button.

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