Football

Who is Arsenal's real player of the season?

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Arsenal fans have been treated to some wonderful individual performances this season and there is a case to be made for several stars as to who should be named the player of the season.

However, we have managed to narrow it down to just three options.

Here we will outline a case for Alexis Sanchez, Santi Cazorla and Francis Coquelin, but we want you to decide who deserves to title.

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Alexis Sanchez

Without doubt this player is the real deal and was certainly one of the stand-out players in his debut Premier League season.

His fleet-of-foot driving runs and outstanding goals has got fans hoping they can launch a genuine title challenge next season.

He almost single-handedly won Arsenal their record 12th FA Cup title with a superb long range strike against Aston Villa in the final as well as the winning brace in a 2-1 win over Reading in the semi-final.

You can just imagine Arsene Wenger in the close season, slippers on, comfy chair, knocking back a tipple of his choice with a wry smile on his face - a cat that got the cream.

But there is far more to Sanchez's game than sublime skill and important goals at important times.

The single most admired attribute any player could possess was in this man's make-up - naturally. He is a grafter. An all action, defend from the frontline kind of guy.

And with that never-say-die display, immediately won the Arsenal faithful and his team-mates over. He injected a willingness into the lost cause. An energy that surged throughout the team and lifted it. He made the PFA Team of the Year and it's easy to see why. Alexis is a superb individual talent that puts his heart and soul into the team ethic.

Santi Cazorla

At the beginning of last season Cazorla was playing well in a team that was prone to inconsistency and finding it hard to hit the level we all know to be free-flowing Wenger-style football.

True, a large part of that was down to injuries to key players at ill-opportune times, and a knock-on effect from that saw a lack of cohesion.

A key tactical switch to Cazorla's position in the team saw Wenger move him into what is commonly known as the link-man role.

Sitting alongside the defensive midfielder, it was Cazorla's job to pick the ball up deep and take it up-field knitting together the defence and attack with his darting runs, superb dribbling ability and fantastic long and short passing range.

Cazorla revelled in the role, which freed-up the full range of his abilities. There is no doubt that the Spaniard has had one of his finest seasons yet in an Arsenal shirt and, in his new-found position, I am sure there will be many more to come for this little midfield genius.

Francis Coquelin

Arsenal have required the combative midfielder that sit next's to a diminutive playmaker likes Cazorla since the days of Patrick Vieira. With all their talent Arsenal just couldn't get the balance right at the start of the season.

Chelsea had Nemanja Matic, Manchester City had Yaya Toure but Arsenal had to settle for Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini; hardly specialists in that position.

Time and time again the fans witnessed their team dominate possession only to get caught on a counter attack and concede a goal against the run of play.

Then halfway through the season, a player returned to Arsenal from a loan deal at Charlton FC and Wenger saw something in his game that made him take the decision to play him in the holding midfield role.

The rest, as they say, is history. Arsenal went on a run that saw them climb to second in the Premier League table, including an eight-game winning streak.

And in Coquelin, Arsenal had found their Matic. The shield that gives Arsenal the foundations to build from.

It is not to be underestimated how invaluable this player's contribution to Arsenal's fine run of form has been. His tackles are expertly timed while his interceptions and positional sense are even better.

Add to this the legs and lungs to cover the ground and you have got yourself a natural in this most specialised of positions.

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Santi Cazorla
Arsenal
Alexis Sanchez
Francis Coquelin

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