Jamie Carragher and Thierry Henry – with some help from the fans – have named four Arsenal stars in the team of the season so far, with the Sky pundits heaping praise on a number of Gunners on Monday Night Football.
Our big win over Manchester City this past Monday night has shown everyone that we’re serious title contenders this season, and the players are understandably getting some real recognition. We’ve been in excellent form recently, and are deservedly challenging for the Premier League title at the midway point of the campaign.
Carragher and Henry disagreed on a number of inclusions in the team of the season, meaning Sky were forced to turn to the fans for a decision. There were several players you just couldn’t leave out however, with the retired stars in agreement about seven stars.
Mesut Özil, Alexis Sanchez, Hector Bellerin, and Nacho Monreal were the Arsenal stars named, all incredibly deserving of the honour.
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Stoke’s Jack Butland got the nod in goal, with David de Gea and Petr Cech missing out. This one was understandably close, but the young Englishman has certainly been at the top of his game.
Hector Bellerin and Nacho Monreal were picked at right and left full-back respectively, and there’s really no argument here. Monreal has been one of the most reliable players in the Premier League this season, while Bellerin’s rise to prominence has been absolutely exceptional.
Toby Alderweireld and Chris Smalling get the centre-back spots, although Henry wanted Laurent Koscielny in there. It’s hard to argue that the Frenchman is currently the best centre-back in the league by quite some margin, but the Tottenham and Manchester United men have both been arguably more key to their sides’ success this season.
N’Golo Kante and Ross Barkley were named as the midfield pairing, although Henry once again wanted an Arsenal man instead – Santi Cazorla his choice to partner Kante. We would arguably suggest Francis Coquelin deserves a place in the team, but Barkley has certainly provided plenty of goals and assists this season.
The front four is where things start to get a little easier. Mesut Özil has unquestionably been one of the standout performers in the Premier League this season, and there is nobody who could possibly hope to replace him in the No.10 role. Alexis Sanchez arguably hasn’t been at his best this season, especially compared to his debut campaign at Arsenal. He is still one of the best players in the league though, and is only behind Olivier Giroud in the Arsenal scoring charts.
The final two spaces are reserved for the only two players who can really challenge Özil for the title of best player so far this season, with Leicester City pair Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy obviously the pair in question. The Foxes duo have been scoring and assisting with regularity this season, and are the main reason Leicester are currently atop the Premier League. It’s hard to see Claudio Ranieri’s side staying there much longer, but being top at Christmas is still a great achievement.
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There are a number of other Arsenal stars – Olivier Giroud, Laurent Koscielny, Petr Cech, Santi Cazorla, and Francis Coquelin – are unlucky not to feature, but four out of 11 is certainly not bad representation.