Rating Arsenal’s Performances in the Month of August
Arsenal began the month of August in the Emirates sunshine as the Emirates Cup beckoned with Napoli, Galatasaray and Porto battling for the right to become the champions of the 2013 edition. After the two-day fiesta that saw the Emirates crowd witnessed a record number of penalties, the Turkish giants won the tournament after an inspired performance by Didier Drogba against Arsenal.
Competitive football resumed in earnest as Aston Villa visited the Emirates for the curtain raiser of the Premier League but it was a day to forget as the Gunners fell short of the expectations set before them with a painful defeat.
All Hell broke loose and the fans voiced their frustrations but there was the business of Champions League qualification to deal with, so the Gunners visited Fenerbahce SK in their fiery Sukru Saracoglu stadium and ran out as 3-0 winners. This was quickly followed with a resounding 3-1 victory over Fulham in their Craven Cottage stadium as the Gunners raked up their first points of the season.
The Gunners ended the month with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Fenerbahce in the return leg at the Emirates with Aaron Ramsey being the star that shone the brightest on the night.
At the end of each month, Gooner Daily would rate the performances of the Gunners using a series of categories. There will be three nominations for each category and the blog’s readers will place their votes on each category. A post will be published tomorrow with the full results of the voting sequence.
SAVE OF THE MONTH
Despite the fact that Wojciech Szczesny and Lukasz Fabianski rotated in the course of the preseason, the younger Pole has started every game thus far and he has had his fair share of spectacular saves.
The nominated saves for the month of August are Szczesny’s near post save against Emmanuel Emenike in the game against Fenerbahce, Szczesny’s near post save from Adel Taarabt in the game against Fulham and Szczesny’s backtracking save against Westwood in the game against Aston Villa.
GOAL OF THE MONTH
Bar the preseason encounters, the Gunners have scored nine goals in four competitive games in August. Here’s my pick of the top three – Aaron Ramsey’s second goal against Fenerbahce at the Emirates, Lukas Podolski’s low drive against Fulham and Kieran Gibbs’ shot that blasted the roof after some intricate passing play from Ramsey and Walcott.
ASSIST OF THE MONTH
As stated earlier, Arsenal has scored nine goals this month, but these goals came from nine assists from other players. My pick of the bunch is Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s assist to Giroud against Fulham, Theo Walcott’s assist to Gibbs against Fenerbahce and Kieran Gibbs’ assist to Ramsey against Fenerbahce.
MATCH OF THE MONTH
This nomination goes to the game that filled the crowd with fond memories as the players put up stellar performances that ended with victory for Arsene Wenger’s side. The nominations are Arsenal’s away against Fenerbahce, Arsenal’s away win against Fulham and Arsenal’s home win against Fenerbahce.
WORST MATCH OF THE MONTH
In this category, there is a unanimous winner – Arsenal’s shameful home defeat against Aston Villa.
MOST IMPROVED PLAYER OF THE MONTH
This goes to the player that excelled admirably with vastly improved performances in the course of the month. The nominations are Bacary Sagna, Lukas Podolski and Aaron Ramsey.
MOST DISAPPOINTING PLAYER OF THE MONTH
In fairness to the team’s performances in August, the players have put up great outings and I can’t really point my fingers at any Gunner that has underperformed this month. However, I am disappointed with Tomas Rosicky’s misses against Aston Villa, as a player of his class and caliber should have done better.
PLAYER OF THE MONTH
This nomination goes to the players that have been standout performers in the month of August. The nominees are Aaron Ramsey, Per Mertesacker and Olivier Giroud.
Feel free to vote in the various categories as you please.
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