Rating Arsenal’s Performances in the Month of January 2014
Arsenal began the New Year with a nervy victory over Cardiff City and followed it up with a win over their fierce rivals, Tottenham, in the North London Derby. An away trip to Aston Villa followed and two quickfire goals were enough to hand the Gunners all three points and when Fulham came to the Emirates, it was the Santi Cazorla show.
Arsenal’s reward for defeating Tottenham was a tasty FA Cup clash against minnows, Coventry City, and Lukas Podolski starred as the Gunners ran riot past their opponents. Arsenal’s winning run in January was halted with a draw against Southampton at St. Mary’s.
At the end of each month, Gooner Daily rates 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. These votes will be used in the season review post that comes up at the end of the season.
SAVE OF THE MONTH
Wojciech Szczesny featured in all the Gunners’ Premier League outings while Lukasz Fabianski was favored for the Cup games. In January, both keepers managed two clean sheets each, which must have done wonders to their confidence.
The nominated saves of the month are Fabianski’s stunning save from Baker in the FA Cup clash with Coventry, Szczesny quick reaction save from Gallagher in the game against Southampton and Fabianski’s close range save from Christian Eriksen in the North London Derby.
GOAL OF THE MONTH
Arsenal scored 14 goals from six games played in January and it’s always difficult to take your pick from the pack. However, Gooner Daily is going to settle for Tomas Rosicky’s solo effort against Tottenham, Olivier Giroud’s improvised flick against Southampton and Theo Walcott’s sexy chip against Cardiff.
ASSIST OF THE MONTH
This award goes to the player that created the best assist in the month of January. The nominees are Jack Wilshere’s clever chipped ball to Giroud against Aston Villa, Serge Gnabry’s perfect-weighted pass to Cazorla against Tottenham and Mesut Ozil’s defense-splitting pass to Podolski against Coventry.
MATCH OF THE MONTH
With the Gunners winning five games from a possible six, three of these games would have to be selected for the Match of the Month award. The nominees are Arsenal’s resounding win over Coventry, Arsenal’s North London Derby victory over Tottenham and Arsenal’s tough away win over Fulham.
WORST MATCH OF THE MONTH
This award would unanimously go to the game against Southampton as the Gunners failed to hold unto a lead and would have suffered a worse outcome as the game progressed.
MOST IMPROVED PLAYER OF THE MONTH
This goes to the player that excelled admirably with vastly improved performances in the course of the month. Despite the fact that many players put up improved performances in the month of January, Gooner Daily agrees that Per Mertesacker, Serge Gnabry and Santi Cazorla stepped up the plate in the month of January.
MOST DISAPPOINTING PLAYER OF THE MONTH
Some Gunners somewhat under-performed in the course of the month and it hurts to mention Nacho Monreal as he failed to step up the plate in the game against Southampton. Mathieu Flamini also deserves to be on this list for letting his team down by earning himself a silly red card despite the fact that he was having a bad game already.
PLAYER OF THE MONTH
Arsenal was in a rich vein of form in January but there were still some players that produced immense glimpses of their quality in the course of the month that stood out from the rest. Without further ado, here are the top three players in month of January; Santi Cazorla, Olivier Giroud and Laurent Koscielny.
Feel free to vote in the various categories as you please.
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