Note: Ratings are out of 10 and are compiled from the seasons player ratings.
Wojciech Szczęsny- 7.16 (46 appearances)
Premier League: 37 appearances – 7.15
Champions League: 9 appearances (including qualifiers) – 7.22
I have always been an admirer of Wojciech Szczesny. Our master of selfies has improved a lot in terms of displays in comparison to the 2012-13 season. It would have been a brilliant season for him had he kept his form during February and March. His performances suffered with the overall decline of Arsenal’s form – whenever our midfield couldn’t deal with our opponents (Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool), the central defenders and Szczesny were left exposed which had a devastating effect in four away matches against the other Top 5 clubs. Szczesny – who was the joint winner of the Golden Glove with Chelsea’s Petr Čech thanks to 16 clean sheets – conceded 21 goals in those four matches and more than he conceded in the remaining 34 matches.
It should be said that Szczesny’s form while Arsenal were leading the league had been brilliant. He saved us a lot of points (saves against Fulham, Crystal Palace and Cardiff City spring to mind) and was the last – mostly unbreakable – obstacle for opponents. He still has room for improvement – he gets over-confident sometimes when he distributes the ball and it is a huge mix of surprise and luck that he hasn’t been punished with a conceded goal yet.
Szczesny was also Wenger’s first choice for the Champions’ League and did well there too (five clean sheets) until the first leg against Bayern when he conceded a penalty and a red card.
Hopefully the spectres of the 2011 Carling Cup Final are destroyed for good thanks to his first trophy even if he didn’t play a single minute in our FA Cup campaign!
Next season, he’ll need another rival for his place given Fabianski is leaving and consistent performances from start to finish next season.
Premier League: 1 appearance – 7.75
Champions League: 2 appearances – 7.75
FA Cup: 6 appearances – 7.25
Capital One Cup: 2 appearances – 7.25
After being our lucky omen in 2012-13 (5 victories in 5 Fabianski appearances for the Gunners), Lukasz Fabianski decided to go another level up and become our trophy-winning hero. The way he kept our net on the route to the cup final was nothing of a fairy-tale ending to his Arsenal career. Although his heroics on penalties against Wigan deserved the highest mark (9.0) during this season, it was his performance against Liverpool that should be mentioned before any other.
He denied the two best league scorers Suarez and Sturridge a goal on more than one occasion and at some point Sturridge was tying Fabrianski’s shoe-laces so he could return the ball to play. We were the second best team on the pitch that day but it was Fabianski who put in a Man-of-the-Match performance to keep us alive in the competition that we would eventually win. He didn’t disappoint in other competitions either – whenever he was called upon, he provided safe hands. Unfortunately, we will have to find a replacement for him as he is leaving on a free transfer this summer.
Good luck, Lukasz Fabrilliantski!