Arsenal FC: Power Ranking the Gunners' Top 3 Performers so Far
Just a few games into the season, Arsenal know that this year won't be as happy as last year.
Finishing fourth in the 2010-2011 season, the Gunners' goals weren't completely achieved, since they had several opportunities that were not seized in order to finish higher. Right now in the Premier League, they are sitting at No. 10, just inside the top half of the table.
At this moment, everyone is looking to the future: "What's going to happen next?" "Who's gonna do well and who's not?"
Well, this article aims to look back at the past:
In the following slides, I will rank the top three Arsenal players so far.
NOTE: Thomas Vermaelen has been one of the most solid players for Arsenal, but the fact that he has been absent for some time makes him ineligible for this list.
Honorable Mention: Gervinho
The new acquisition Gervinho has shown that he can create plays extremely well; the way he weaves in and out of the defense and uses quick feet can be spectacular to watch.
Gervinho, who was bought by Arsene Wenger for only £10.4 million, is playing as if to raise the question of whether he was very underpriced.
His first goal for Arsenal was at Ewood Park, on the day that the Gunners lost 4-3 to Blackburn Rovers, in a match that was heartbreaking for many fans.
One problem has arisen with the Ivorian international, however, and that concerns his unwillingness to give up the ball. In recent times, he has proved to be quite a "ball-hog," and even in the Blackburn match, he failed to make an easy pass that would have set Robin van Persie up for a simple goal.
Also, though he is often brilliant, he can sometimes seem to be absent, and he doesn't touch the ball for long stretches of time.
To do better, he must start passing more and should try to improve his consistency.
Nonetheless, great performances so far for this man.
3. Alex Song
Normally, the Gunners play with two holding midfielders, Alex Song and Jack Wilshere. Wilshere, however, got injured for a long time, so Arsene Wenger had to turn to the Cameroonian international to step up to the plate.
Song did exactly that.
He has been fantastic so far, making great challenges when the Gunners really needed to. With the backbone of the squad, Thomas Vermaelen, gone, Song filled in for him at centre-back and did a fine job for someone who normally plays in the midfield.
Many people say that he has been picking up too many cards and that is a very bad thing, but I can't completely agree.
Getting yellow cards is something that is inevitable; part of the job of being holding midfielder for a struggling team. It's not a big deal, and it's something Gooners shouldn't be worrying about too much. Of course, if Song could cut down on the bookings it would be even better!
He even scored a goal, which is something that doesn't happen too often.
Hopefully for Arsenal fans, he can maintain this excellent play for a while.
2. Robin Van Persie
With the departure of Cesc Fabregas, Dutchman Robin van Persie had to fill the captain's armband. This was no surprise, given that even when he wasn't the official captain of the squad, van Persie was a very vocal leader.
Also, with much of the offensive spark gone with the respective transfers of Fabregas and Nasri, someone had to lead.
Who else but the captain?
The striker has scored five goals in eight English Premier League starts, including two crucial goals that saw the Gunners through a tough 2-1 win over Sunderland last weekend.
For a long time, van Persie hadn't scored on a free kick, something that he was known for, and that had Gooners worried. However, he hit a beautiful free kick last week which must have boosted his confidence immensely.
He's done extremely well so far, and Arsenal will really need all the goals they can get from their skipper in the near future.
1. Wojciech Szczesny
It has to be Wojciech Szczesny.
Normally, it's not the goalkeeper who is the best player on a team, but with Wojciech Szczesny performing like this, it just can't be anybody else.
Due to the vulnerability of Arsenal's defense, it has been up to the goalkeeper to make saves when the Gunners really need them.
Which is precisely what Szczesny has been doing.
Time and time again, the Polish goalkeeper has made saves on one-on-ones and on shots that many people didn't think could be saved (one save against Sunderland was one of the best saves he has made, as he stopped a tap-in header).
In addition to that, he saved a penalty against Udinese.
The one big mistake that he has made was against Tottenham, as Kyle Walker ended up scoring from a distance (I can't tell whether it was totally his fault or half his fault, given that the ball dipped like crazy at the last moment.).
Wojciech Szczesny has stopped so many shots and no doubt, the struggling Gunners will need some more saves from him.