Ratings of the season – 2013-14 Mega Post

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Arsenal squad 2014

It’s a bit later than last year because of all the FA Cup and Arseblog book action, but at long last here are the ratings of the season.

The scientific way to do this would be to collate all the ratings we’ve given the players in our player rating app, cross check them with the reader ratings, and work out the average, but that would mean a lot of work (unless, of course, the ratings app developer could do it via some background database wizardry …*cough* Alex *cough*).

As it is, here are our basking in the FA Cup winning glow ratings of the season. Feel free to discuss or add your own ratings in the comments.

Keepers

Wojciech Szczesny – 8.5/10

Officially, alongside Petr Cech, the Premier League’s best goalkeeper having kept 16 clean sheets in 37 consecutive league. Szczesny grew in stature this year, honing his game to become a commanding presence.

Highlight of the season: His brilliant diving save to stop Frazier Campbell equalising for Cardiff when the striker’s header looked destined for the back of the net. Oh…and trolling the Spurs fans with that ‘selfie’ at White Hart Lane.

Lowlight of the season: Getting stung with an early straight red against Bayern Munich after bringing down Dutch diving cunny Arjen Robben.

Season trivia: A competitor in a Mensa-organised Scrabble competition recently broke a 13-year points record by scoring 830 just by spelling Wojciech’s surname on his first go. 

Next season: Fend off the competition from whoever replaces Lukasz Fabianski and try not to let in 20 goals against title rivals.

Lukasz Fabianski – 8/10

He may have only made 11 appearances but as Arsenal’s designated ‘cup’ goalkeeper he earned his spurs (and a place in the hearts of many a Gooner) by helping the club to a first piece of silverware in nine years.

Highlight of the season: His double penalty save in the FA Cup semi-final against Wigan. Obviously.

Lowlight of the season: That moment he gave every Arsenal fan a heart attack by racing from his goal in the dying moments of the FA Cup final. You nearly blew it there Lukasz, blimey.

Season trivia: Lukasz’s admiration for the poems of Dylan Thomas was a fundamental reason for his move to Swansea. He even read with great gusto “Do not go gentle into that good night” as a parting gift to the Arsenal squad. 

Next season: Persuading Swansea manager Gary Monk that conceding 20 goals against Arsenal shouldn’t be frowned upon.

Emiliano Viviano – 2/10

“It’s a dream for me,” said Viviano on his first day at Arsenal…presumably excited about the opportunity to potter around London doing the sights on full pay. Basically the same dream Arseblog News has.

Highlight of the season: Wearing a top hat to the post-FA Cup parade.

Lowlight of the season: Earning the nickname Emiliano ‘Almuniano’ Viviano inside about 5 minutes of putting pen-to-paper on his deal.

Season trivia: Hailing from Florence, Viviano insisted on posing nude like Michaelangelo’s David for his first club portrait. Arsenal photoshopped a kit on him afterwards.

Next season: Possibly a bit of inter-railing and a bit of bar work to keep him in pocket money.

Defence

Kieran Gibbs – 7/10

Started the season neck and neck with Nacho Monreal in the pecking order, by the season end was undoubtedly the first choice.

Highlight of the season: The header off the line to stop Hull going 3-0 up in the cup final.

Lowlight of the season: Having the chance to win the cup in normal time, but blasted it over the bar from 8 yards out.

Season trivia: So confused was Andre Marriner by the Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain red card mix-up at Stamford Bridge that he sent an apology to Theo Walcott.

Next season: Needs to stay injury free and he’ll kick on again.

Nacho Monreal – 6/10

Highlight of the season: Had a decent game against Liverpool in the FA Cup.

Lowlight of the season:  Became more Crouchlike as time went on. It’s disturbing. Also missed out on a World Cup call-up for Spain.

Season trivia: Broke the world record for most phonebooks thrown at a pigeon

Next season: Back-up to Gibbs, having lost his place in the Spanish squad, it’ll be interesting to see how he responds.

Bacary Sagna – 8/10

Signed off on seven great years with an FA Cup winners medal, and boy did he deserve it.

Highlight of the season: Winning a trophy after so long, you could see how much it meant to him. 

Lowlight of the season: Leaving

Season trivia: His wife, Ludivine, is so hot that Bacary is contractually obliged not to touch her 48 hours before a game for fear of sustaining life-threatening burns.

Next season: Nothing to do with us.

Carl Jenkinson – 6/10

Last year Corporal Jenks Jenky Jenkinson made 21 starts. This year that was down to 13 of which only seven were in the league. Time is on his side but this wasn’t necessarily the season of progress he might have hoped for.

Highlight of the season: Scoring his first goal for the club against Norwich and celebrating it like Marco Tardelli.

Lowlight of the season: Bit of a mare against Chelsea in the Capital One Cup when his header back to Fabianski was seized on by Azpilicueta who promptly scored. Still, given he’s got this in his repertoire, he’s making progress.

Season trivia: Turned around, every now and then. 

Next season: With Bacary Sagna leaving and no replacement signed (yet) he’ll be hoping to nail down the right-back slot as his own.

Per Mertesacker – 9/10

The BFG has been nothing short of superb this season. He’s a true leader, deliciously funny, has passion coursing through his veins and in Laurent Koscielny has found the perfect partner. He’d block a meteor if he had to.

Highlight of the season: So many. Equalising against Wigan. Perfecting the angry fist pump. Being part of the Axis of Awesome. Leading thousands of Gooners in a rendition of “Arsenal till I die” at the parade.

Lowlight of the season: Looked like he might be the villain of the FA Cup semi-final when he gave away a penalty.

Season trivia: Per Mertesacker was actually born in Luxembourg where the average height of an adult male is 6ft 6 inches tall. He worries every night about how this will play out on the terraces.

Next season: Keep on truckin’.

Laurent Koscielny – 9/10

So far up the arse of most opposition strikers he’s more enema than defender…a defenema. The Cannon to Mert’s Ball, he’s lithe, swift and arguably the best man marker in the Premier League.

Highlight of the season: Having his mum sew an extra lining in his trousers to cope with all the striker’s in his pocket. Oh…and scoring the equaliser in the FA Cup final – his usual final day of the season goal.

Lowlight of the season: Giving away the penalty against Stoke. That was his sixth since joining the Gunners.

Season trivia: Laurent once donated £495,000 to save an accordion factory in his hometown. Didn’t even have to make this one up.

Next season: Keep on truckin’.

Thomas Vermaelen – 7/10

Cut a dependable figure when he was called upon this season…just wasn’t given much playing time as he accepted his position behind Kos and the BFG in the centre-back pecking order.

Highlight of the season: Lifting the FA Cup as the club’s captain.

Lowlight of the season: Being approached by Sam Allardyce in January about a move to West Ham.

Season trivia: Thomas Vermaelen can kill a goat just by staring at it. Jon Ronson told us that.

Next season: Hard to see him wanting to stick around next year if he’s not a first choice. He’s got the World Cup to put himself in the shop window and he won’t be short of suitors.

Midfield

Mikel Arteta – 7.5/10

Still Wenger’s most trusted midfield lieutenant, but had moments where it looked as if the years were beginning to catch up with him a bit. Only moments though, generally consistent and assured.

Highlight of the season: Scoring the same penalty twice against Everton. Nerves of steel under real pressure against his old club.

Lowlight of the season: Having his chopper knocked out by some Hull thug and not having it replaced with a gigantic fang.

Trivia of the season: Was approached to be in the Lego movie but his hair was so Lego even the Lego people thought it was too much Lego for Lego fans to cope with.

Next season: His experience and leadership will be a key part of the squad, even if he perhaps doesn’t play as often.

Mathieu Flamini – 6.5/10

Started his second Arsenal spell with a bang but his influence faded over the course of the campaign.

Highlight of the season: Coming on against Sp*rs and clattering the first Lilywhitecunt he saw.

Lowlight of the season: The red card at Southampton seemed to affect the manager’s trust in him.

Trivia of the season: Surreptitiously blinded 4 opponents, even after hacking off his own arms.

Next season: Reliable back-up, adds depth

Aaron Ramsey – 9.5/10

What a season he had. From boo-boy to the player everyone would have fellated to keep fit. Some turnaround.

Highlight of the season: Might just be that goal at Wembley. You know the one. The one that won us the cup. That was quite a highlight.

Lowlight of the season: 3 1/2 months out injured. What might have been.

Trivia of the season: Annoyed many at the training ground by constantly turning up with an abundance of loaves and fishes and was deemed a show-off for walking across the recovery pool.

Next season: More of the same please.

Jack Wilshere – 7/10

Probably his best season to date, scored more, created more. Consider it a campaign of consolidation. Late injury spoiled things somewhat.

Highlight of the season: The goal against Norwich. Phwoar!

Lowlight of the season: Being too committed in a meaningless friendly which could have cost him his World Cup place. Needs to think a bit more.

Trivia of the season: Has cut down the amount of exclamation marks when expressing sympathy about something or someone on Twitter.

Next season: A Ramsey-esque leap forward would be nice.

Mesut Ozil – 7.5/10

Being honest he did have some games where he looked less than convincing but statistically he produced over the course of the season and will be better next time when we get that WCS (World Class Striker).

Highlight of the season: The Napoli goal, perhaps. Or his first assist – a gloriously weighted ball for Giroud to slide home.

Lowlight of the season: Liverpool away. That was not his day. It wasn’t anybody’s day in fairness, but it really wasn’t his.

Trivia of the season: Bought two pugs called Per and Laurent.

Next season: Will be better, no doubt about it.

Tomas Rosicky – 7/10

What a guy to have in your squad. Experienced, enthusiastic quality and he really does add depth.

Highlight of the season: The goals against Sp*rs. Especially the FA Cup one, but especially the White Hart Lane rocket. Suck on that, Spuds.

Lowlight of the season: Can’t think of one.

Trivia of the season: There are 42 official Tomas Rosicky Instagram accounts. The real Rosicky doesn’t even know what Instagram is.

Next season: Flashing, dazzling cameos

Santi Cazorla – 7.5/10

Didn’t hit the heights of his first season, but still made a big contribution to putting silverware back on the shelves.

Highlight of the season: Oh, just the 30 yard, top corner free kick in the FA Cup final.

Lowlight of the season: Being mistaken for Peter Dinklage on a shopping trip to Brent Cross.

Trivia of the season: Even he has now forgotten which is his strongest foot.

Next season: No rest for the wicked, a summer at the World Cup won’t give him much rest, but he’s dependable and we’ll see that again.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 7/10

He did make some progress but it was obviously hampered by injury.

Highlight of the season: Two lovely goals against Crystal Palace, a cameo of why Arsene Wenger sees him as a central midfielder.

Lowlight of the season: Opening day cruciate injury, not good timing.

Trivia of the season: Finally accepted that he looks like a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.

Next season: He’s going to have to work hard to make a first team place his own but looks up for the challenge.

Kim Kallstrom – 5/10

Arrived injured at a time when we needed a striker, but still had a part to play.

Highlight of the season: Ice-cool penalty in the semi-final against Wigan.

Lowlight of the season: Having a fractured spine.

Trivia of the season: Thought about setting up a website to sell official merchandise called the Kim Kallstrom Kollective but changed his mind after seeing the acronym logo

Next season: Won’t be an Arsenal player.

Attack

Olivier Giroud – 7.5/10

Gets too much criticism but is a solid striker against everyone except the best opposition. And this is obviously where Arsenal need to upgrade. That doesn’t mean Giroud hasn’t been an important player this season.

Highlight of the season: The goal against West Ham. ‘Dat first touch’, as they say.

Lowlight of the season: Not being able to do it against the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea and City.

Trivia of the season: No longer reads The Sun.

Next season: Has to stay – if the main issue is one of depth, getting rid of your leading scorer makes no sense.

Lukas Podolski – 7/10

A likeable guy, a quality finisher but doubts about his overall contributions remain.

Highlight of the season: I liked the side-footed goal against Fulham in the opening weeks of the season.

Lowlight of the season: Snapping his hamstring like cheap twine and spending 4 months out.

Trivia of the season: Censured by the International Hashtag commission for exhausting all possible hash-combos. Fan of Morten Harket.

Next season: Keep him, depth depth depth.

Theo Walcott – 7/10

A season punctuated by injury. And by punctuated I mean a great big full stop.

Highlight of the season: The 2-0 gesture to the Sp*rs fans as he was carried off.

Lowlight of the season:  The fact that he was being carried off.

Trivia of the season: Spend his free time writing a new book. “TJ and the Dragon Lady who always gets her boobs out” is not at all influenced by the fact he spend weeks catching up on Game of Thrones.

Next season: Stay fit, stay fast, score goals.

Nicklas Bendtner – 3/10

Sadly the dream is over. TGSTEL will have left us mere mortals behind.

Highlight of the season: The goal against Cardiff which won three very important points for us.

Lowlight of the season: Sticking his chopper into a taxi on a drunken night out in Copenhagen.

Trivia of the season: His glasses aren’t real glasses! They’re clear lenses and he’s just wearing them as a fashion accessory. He has no respect for the short/far-sighted.

Next season: Who gives a fish’s tit?

Yaya Sanogo – 5/10

He seems a nice lad, and enthusiastic too, but a bit short of first team quality just now.

Highlight of the season: Made an impact in the FA Cup final by coming on and being Mr Unpredictable. Even he didn’t know what he was going to do.

Lowlight of the season: Missing the first half of the season through injury which might have allowed him to develop with some substitute appearances etc

Trivia of the season: Has the single best games to trophies ratio in the squad.

Next season: Hard not to think a loan spell elsewhere might be best for all concerned.

Serge Gnabry – 6.5/10

The young German’s star flickered brightly but briefly.

Highlight of the season: Quality goal against Swansea, and a good showing away at Palace.

Lowlight of the season: Injury meant he couldn’t add that speed and directness we might have needed mid-season after Walcott’s injury.

Trivia of the season: Along with Per, Mesut and Lukas, entered a Die Fantastischen Vier soundalike contest. They came 6th.

Next season: We suspect he might go out on loan, competition in that front three should be fierce.

Ryo Miyaichi – 2/10

Made available for transfer or loan in January but there were no takers. Made little or no impact of progress.

Highlight of the season: Erm

Lowlight of the season: The season

Trivia of the season: Something something Nintendo.

Next season: He’ll be playing somewhere else.

And that’s it from the player ratings for 2013-14. Until next season folks!

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