So a bit like Arsenal, my blog returns after an international break and it’s back with quite a popular feature – The Arsenal Power Rankings. For those new to the Power Rankings, this is where players are ranked based on their form and not their ability. It’s a bit American but as I love American Football I’ve decided to bring them to Gunnerstown. So without any further ado, here is the panel for this latest power rankings….
and of course me @mj_afc
Without the efforts of the panel this isn’t possible, so I’d like to thank everyone for their co-operation with rankings and comments. I don’t do #ff’s but if I did I’d recommend all of the above. I owe you all a drink, or in some cases two drinks.
So do you remember the last top 15? No? Well here it is:
11. Rosicky 🙁
That was based on the 2012/13 season. Cazorla was the undisputed #1 but will injuries force him out of the reckoning for this edition? I asked the panel to assess performance so far in the 13/14 season and first of all here are the players that didn’t make the grade.
Podolski – His brace at Fulham wasn’t enough to retain his status in the top 15, so our previous #8 is out of the equation.
Fabianski – No impact = no ranking
Gnabry – The young German may not have played that much but five of our panel had him in their top 15, with @yorkshiregunner and @findingcotton ranking him as high as 11th. Clearly he’s made in roads after his cameo appearances last season. Onwards and upwards for Serge.
Ox – No surprise that 45 minutes of action so far see’s Ox fall out of the reckoning. hopefully we’ll see a return later in the season.
Monreal – He can’t get in the side and as a result he doesn’t get in our rankings. He received four votes with a highest ranking of 13th. For someone happy with his move to Arsenal he’s not really making an impact but he does offer quality cover.
Vermaelen – The Captain and the substitute. Our panel has never given Vermaelen the benefit of the doubt and a solitary vote from @findingcotton is all he has to show for his efforts this season.
Sanogo, Diaby & Viviano – Neither received a vote and neither would anyone expect them to. Nothing to see here.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way. It’s time for the real business
The Top 15
15th – Carl Jenkinson (down 1 place)
@goonerdave66 – I cannot decide on Jenko. One match I think he is the future and the next I don’t think he is an Arsenal player at all. I think we love him because he is a Gooner, bombs forward in a swashbuckling style and gives 100% but if truth be told he is not ready for a side looking to challenge for honours. If Sagna talks do fail to reach a satisfactory conclusion for both parties the acid test is whether Wenger moves for a new right back in January and my guess is he will sadly for Carl.
A fair assessment on Jenkinson from Dave. I feel he masks ability with effort and he isn’t comfortable in possession, which is never a good trait for anyone wanting to play in this side.
14th – Mikel Arteta (down 9 places)
@clockendgeezah – slotted back in seamlessly, not going to grab too many goals or headlines in his position, but adds assurance and leadership.
Indeed he does offer assurance and injury has impacted his game time but the question is, if everyone is fit does he play? The answer is probably no.
13th – Tomas Rosicky (down 2 places :-))
@mj_afc – Missed part of the season through injury but now finds himself in a position where both Ozil and Cazorla both add key contributions whereas Tomas is more of a system player. He played in a deeper role at Fulham and I think that is the place for the Czech in the months to come.
12th – Jack Wilshere (down 2 places)
@modgooner – a good 2nd half against WBA, personally I think he’s had a shit start to season and is very over rated.
Harsh but fair from Andrew, lets hope Jack regains match fitness and starts to excel but if he doesn’t how long does Arsene persevere with him in the starting XI?
11th – Santi Cazorla (down 10 places)
@craftygooner – One of our few world class players, he has settled quickly into the PL. His vision and tempo of play are key to our transitional play. Can’t wait to see him with Ozil!
Injury has cost our reigning champion his crown but as crafty has said, now he gets to play with Ozil. Orgasmic.
10th – Theo Walcott (down 6 places)
@modgooner – he’s been clinical in front of goal and also has matured defensively
Controversial stuff from Andrew there. Personally I feel he’s dropped off his usual standard but there’s much more to come from him and now he has competition and a serious threat to his England place. Big months ahead for Theo.
9th – Laurent Koscielny (down 6 places)
@mj_afc – For me Kos has been a bit disappointing at times and this just shows how two ill advised tackles can change peoples perceptions. Yes the penalty against Villa was soft but he went to ground. The most worrying thing is he didn’t learn from this misjudgement and he did it again with Adam Johnson shifting the ball onto his right foot. The team can’t afford errors like this and Kos needs to curb his desire to get in front of the man. Still a huge favourite of mine though.
8th – Bacary Sagna (up 5 places)
@yorkshiregunner – Form improved so much from last year when he should have been dropped. Came back strong this season, looks assured at Centre Back when asked to perform there too. Offers more defensively than Jenko and at the end of the day that’s what defenders are there for.
Sagna has without doubt been one of the positive stories of recent months because he certainly lost his form and it led us to question his commitment to the cause. Lets hope he signs a new deal.
7th – Wojciech Szczesny (up 5 places)
@findingcotton – For a man who has been slagged off left, right and centre by Gooners and rival fans alike, Wojciech Szczesny has gone some way to sticking two fingers up at his doubters. The Pole has improved dramatically this term following a disappointing previous campaign, has been a vital part of Arsenal’s rise to the Premier League summit. Starting with a thrilling performance at Fenerbahce, Szczesny has put in some superb displays and pulled off some match-defining stops along the way in all competitions. He deserves a huge amount of credit for the way he has responded despite being just 23-years-old. Szczesny has his mojo back, and looks to have nailed down the number one spot once more.
Couldn’t agree anymore with those words. He really has responded well to losing his place. Maybe Jack will be next to learn that lesson.
6th – Kieran Gibbs (up 1 place)
@yorkshiregunner (Gibbs’ #1 fan) – I`m a massive fan of Gibbs, he very rarely has a poor game. Patrols the entire left flank like no other Left back in our league. HUGE energy levels, cross your fingers his fitness continues as he could be a hell of player for us.
Fitness is the key for Gibbs but should the worst happen, we do have Monreal in reserve
The Top Five – Any Surprises?
5th – Per Mertesacker (down 3 places)
@madruskigunner – Despite his rather non-football physique that makes him look rather clumsy at times when he runs Per Mertesacker has shown impressive defending ability. Arial duels, tackles, he’s got it all. He’s like that rock that not only gives you comfort but also gives you confidence. He’s vocal, he’s a true team player, organiser. His work rate as well as his passion are an essential part of who we are. And his partnership with Koscielny is currently one of the best CB tandems in EPL.
Can anyone disagree with that? They certainly are a good partnership. So much so, the captain never gets a look in.
4th – Mathieu Flamini (NEW ENTRY)
@addy_88 – Probably nobody liked him at the beginning (including myself) and now you can’t even think
about a starting line-up without him. Our boss in the midfield in the absence of Mikel Arteta. He is the one
who makes the dirty work for Ramsey and Özil so they can shine. For me he is the signing of the season (if
you think about the price tag).
Flamini really is an absolute steal. I must admit I hated him returning after the way he previously departed. However, anyone who threatens a Stoke player works his way back into my good books.
3rd – Mesut Ozil (NEW ENTRY)
@addy_88 – Here is a guy I don’t need to write anything about. The one who gave us back our belief in Arsene
Wenger and our title ambitions. The one who shut Piers Morgan the hell up. The one who leads us to new heights.
Mesut fucking Özil.
I still can’t get over the fact we paid over 40m for a player and Ozil has been an instant fan favourite. The scary thing is – there’s much more to come. Ozil was tied for 2nd place but in true ice skating fashion I deducted the best and worst score to split the pair and the German lost.
2nd – Olivier Giroud (up 7 places)
@mj_afc – I’m leaving this one to myself. Why? Because I didn’t doubt Giroud. I knew what he was capable of – leading a line, holding up the ball and most effectively, bringing others into play. Fans questioned him because he missed chances, big chances but Wenger believed in him and he’s now leading the line for France ahead of Benzema. We always forget that players need time and Giroud is another in the long list of player that has gone on to show his true value. His work rate has also been impressive, particularly in the North London Derby. Superb start to the season.
And that just leaves our number one. When Cazorla was ranked as number one it wasn’t unanimous, however this time it was. You all know who it is, you knew well before you got to this part of the blog and I’ll get each of the panel to sum it all up.
1st – Aaron Ramsey (up 5 places)
@yorkshiregunner – cant be anyone else – Different animal this season. Looks like he will score each game he plays. Worryingly played on right recently though to allow Arsene to pick Arteta hopefully he stays central why fix something if it ain`t broke?
@addy_88 – what do I have to say about the one? What can I say about Ramsey that didn’t got mentioned by people who earn
money for writing about the beautiful game? Well 8 goals and 3 assists in 10 Games. Working his ass off in every game. This is our man. Our Aaron James Ramsey.
@madruskigunner – the kid is in the form of his career. Goal galore, amazing workload, he’s finally enjoying fruits of all the hard work he’s put into it year after year
@gregfranksimmo – I’d say he’s the most dynamic player in the PL right now, let alone AFC.
@clockendgeezah – built on his existing attributes and added more purposeful ness and drive to his game – plus the goals!!
@craftygooner – my opinion his contribution has been undeniable. He has optimised everything the team has grown into. The work rate is now coupled with end product and most importantly belief and confidence has coincided with the goals. Last year when many were frustrated with his passing errors I think two things were happening. The first was he was trying too hard and the second was despite the impression we are a pass and move side, Arsenal had become very static. He would pass into space & not feet but team mates were not on the move with him. That has all changed now and I cannot wait to see a high pressure midfield of Santi, Aaron, Mesut and Mozart. We had a glimpse of this slick passing & tempo against Napoli. With Aaron driving the team trophies are closer than we think.
@attwood10 – He’s in the form of his life, so it’s a no brainer at the moment. He’s full of confidence and the lad has it all. He’s still developing, but he’s arguably one of the most “complete” players in the league. He can shoot, tackle, dribble and pass; the ultimate midfielder. He’s so versatile that he can play pretty much anywhere in midfield, offensively or defensively. His technique has improved no end and he’s also got tricks and flicks in his locker. He’s fit as a fiddle and never stops working. He’s an absolute inspiration. A certain Mr Wilshere should take note.
@balancedgooner – The biggest decision whether to make Ramsey or Ozil number 1 – I gave the nod to Ramsey as while Ozil is clearly the better player I feel Ramsey has shown the best form. His goals have come this season and added to his all round game. He has been effective is possession and has been excellent at winning the ball back when the team loses it. He has also had to prove doubters wrong – when Arsenal fans watch Ozil they are waiting for him to do something good and are quick to praise – the same couldn’t be said of Ramsey. He has had to force the fans to love him with his form on the pitch.
@modgooner – outstanding start to season, everything now goes through him such is his confidence he always wants the ball.
@findingcotton – It’s easier to question what this boy hasn’t done. He’s popped up with vital goals, added goal scoring to his game, run tirelessly all over the shop throughout entire matches and donned a ‘never say die’ attitude. How 2013 has been the year of the Rambo and completely changed the view of his critics; including that ignorant snob Piers Morgan. He’s got the perfect mix of beauty, brains and brawn when it comes to his recent performances and has proved that if you play for the crest in the front of the shirt, that people will remember the name of the back.
If you are interested here is the scoring matrix for the squad:
So there you have it – What do you think? What’s your top 15? Which rankings do you disagree with? Who is the biggest surprise?
Once again, I thoroughly enjoyed put this together and thanks to all who took part. I hope you enjoyed reading and if you want to be involved next time just drop me a tweet – @mj_afc