The JustArsenal End Of Season Awards – Which are your choices?

JustArsenal End Of Season Awards by Dan Smith

So, a lot of clubs are starting to announce their end of season awards for various categories. I thought it be nice if we put our votes for the JustArsenal End Of Season Awards in the comment section and tally them up in a couple of days.

Here are my choices….

Player Of The Season – Aubameyang
Aubameyang could have a quiet game but then take the one chance he gets in a match. That’s not a bad quality to have but that was all that he was doing under Unai Emery. He became a better player under Arteta who unlike his previous manager had a clear ethos in how he wanted his team to play.

Arteta admitted he had doubts if his striker could do what he wanted from his forward. From his new boss’s first game he was defending from the front, the new regime realising everyone had to be fitter to press, which was part of his principles.

That our captain brought into these fresh ideas perhaps highlighted how unhappy he had become under Emery, who wouldn’t have had the man management to teach Auba a new way to play.

The 31-year old’s body language was poor in the dark days of November and December, often not hiding his frustration if there was a misplaced pass, not the leader he needed to be to a young squad who lacked confidence.

Under a new coach he has found his smile on and off the field, supporting the likes of Saka.
There was a theory he didn’t score in the big games. He proved that a myth with a brace in both the FA Cup semi-final and Final.

Best trophy lift of all time?

Performance Of The Season – FA Cup Semi Final v Man City

Many gooners will pick the FA Cup Final which is understandable but for me our other performance at Wembley just nudges it out. It was strange to see Arsenal approach a big game with tactics specifically set up to stop the opposition.

Having grown up with Arsene Wenger I was used to the Gunners playing one way. Such was the Frenchman’s belief in how the game should be played, he would rarely sacrifice those principles no matter the opposition.

Arteta was smart enough to know his side’s limitations so allowed City to have the ball and hit them on the break. That our manager out-thought his mentor has given many of us hope for the future.

Young Player Of The Season– Saka
Out of our academy graduates Reiss Nelson was getting most buzz, the irony being he’s probably the most disappointing of our youngsters. All of them have to be talented to make it this far, but what you want to see next is who has the right mentality?

Who has the personality to want the ball and not be scared to take risks?

That’s what has separated Saka from his peers, he’s taken the initiative at grounds like Old Trafford to assist goals.

In the first part of the campaign he mostly impressed in the League Cup and Europa League, but under Arteta injuries saw him get a run at full back. With us then switching to a back 3, this put big pressure on young shoulders as full backs became a huge part of our attack.
He has shown versatility by also playing anywhere across the front three.

The next step will be to add goals to his game and maybe put on a bit more muscle but that will come the older he gets.

The biggest challenge will be dealing with the hype and expectations and not getting carried away.

We seen other teenagers not cope once they became rich and told how great they are. It’s crucial that he has the correct support network around him.

Goal Of The Season – Aubameyang – v Man City in the FA Cup Semi Final
This is subjective in terms of how do you like your goals?

If you like long range efforts, you would probably choose Willock’s strike at Anfield in the Carobao Cup, but to me anyone can hit a worldie once in a while.

I appreciate team goals and counter attacking football. That’s what we did for our opening against Man City in the FA Cup. We soaked up the pressure then hit them on the break in a move where you could count the passes. To round off the move, it wasn’t an easy finish for Auba either.

Given the quality of football we had played earlier in the season it was a comfort to see us with an identity again.

Most Improved Of The Season – Mustafi
Okay hear me out …….

First of all, we finished in our worst League position in 25 years so logically not many players have dramatically improved.

The form of Martinez shocked many but what am I comparing his displays too?

I just feel Mustafi deserves acknowledgement for turning around his season.

After too many errors last season, the fanbase turned on him, some even verbally abusing him in pre-season and trolling him online.

Unai Emery was hardly supportive, letting the public know that if he had his way Mustafi would have been sold. Under Emery, Mustafi only played in the League Cup and Europa League, not a second in the Prem.

One of the first things Arteta did (and briefly Freddie) was to bring back the defender, not understanding how the German wasn’t being picked considering the competition.

Until his injury he was the first defender on the team sheet. He wasn’t perfect and still made mistakes, but not as many as the likes of David Luiz. Essentially, he was our best centre back out of a bad bunch. We might not have won the FA Cup without his performance in the semi Final.

Signing Of The Season – Martinelli
If not for niggling injuries I would have gone for Tierney yet I kind of always felt he was going to be class based on what he had done at Celtic.

Martinelli on the other hand was an unknown quantity, we had even been warned not to expect too much too soon from the teenager, with suggestions he was a capture for the long term and not necessarily instantly brought in for the first team.

This was an 18-year-old who had been playing in the third division in Brazil asked to move around the world to learn a new language and culture.

Maybe because his more experienced peers were doing so badly and he played so well in the cups, managers simply couldn’t ignore him.

Most impressive is that he’s fearless, not afraid to want the ball and try things.

When our campaign was at its lowest, he was one of the few players who showed the personality to try and make things better.

If he can shake off this injury, he could be the one to watch next season.

Worst Signing Of The Season – David Luiz
Yes, I know he was awesome in the Cup Final, but I have to consider the whole season. Last summer fans wanted us to improve the centre back position. We essentially swapped our captain for David Luiz.

Maybe it was our anger with Koscielny or the excitement of getting Pepe, but the club escaped much criticism for making our defence weaker.

Because no one should have been shocked by Luiz having lapses in concentration. To be fair to the Brazilian he’s been doing that his whole career. It’s not like we didn’t know what we were buying.
He set a record for penalties and red cards in a season and I’m sorry, I can’t let him off based on two great games at Wembley.

I can see why he would be popular in our dressing room and it makes sense that he would be helpful to the likes of Martinelli settling in, but I don’t understand how he got a new contract.

Worst Player – Kolasinac
I thought for a while he had stayed under the radar.

If managers have to change their formation because they don’t trust you defensively to play in a back 4 then maybe you shouldn’t be a left back at the highest level? It’s not like we sacrifice his limitations for the sake of world class delivery either.

Bizarrely Monreal was trusted to start ahead of him then sold. We would have got a bigger fee for the younger Kolasinac while keeping Monreal, the better of the two.

Arteta came up with an interesting proposal seeing if he would be comfortable in a back 3.

Yet unlike when left back Tierney played in the middle and had the tactical awareness to know when to stay, when to bomb down the wing, Kolasinac just gets his feet muddled up.

Something tells me there will be a few contenders for this category.

Worst Performance Arsenal 1-2 Brighton
It’s sad that when I said a 2-1 defeat to Brighton, I have to clarify which one, I’m referring to the one at the Emirates when Freddie was in charge.

Confidence was so low on the pitch, in the stands, that I see this as our rock bottom. I remember even Aubameyang getting criticized for his body language towards Willock.

2-1 flattered Brighton.

We have seen poor results over the years, but the one thing you associate Arsenal is they will always make chances.

Apart from a brief flurry at the start of the second half we did nothing and when the visitors took the lead, we all just waited for us to throw the kitchen sink at the Seagulls, but it never happened. It was odd to get into the final 10 minutes of a home match against strugglers and see them more likely to get the next goal…

Put your choices for the JustArsenal End Of Season Awards below ….

Dan Smith

34 Comments

  1. Lenohappy says:

    MESUT OZIL has declared he will stay at Arsenal next season, insisting: “I’ll decide when I go, not others!”
    The German added: “Everyone was fine with a deferral while there was so much uncertainty – I would have been OK to take a bigger share – and then a cut if required, once the football and financial outlook was clearer.
    “But we were rushed into it without proper consultation.
    “For anyone in this situation, you have a right to know everything, to understand why it is happening and where the money is going.
    “But we didn’t get enough details, we just had to give a quick decision.
    “It was far too quick for something so important and there was a lot of pressure.”
    Ozil told The Athletic: “My position is clear. I’m here through to the last day of our agreement and I’ll give everything I have for this club.

    “Situations like these will never break me, they only make me stronger.

    “I showed in the past that I can come back into the team and I will show it again.”

    1. Loose Cannon says:

      Does’t change anything majority of the gunners know or expected. Like Arsene, he too will “honor” the contract (one direction only take from the club) because where in this universe will someone play you 350K/week for doing nothing IMPORTANT? If he can wake up from his slumber thinking that he is too damn good for this squad, he needs a reality check. If he can humble himself, start training and provide 19 assists and some 8 goals like he did before the contract extension, its welcome and good for all. If he cannot, then let him blame himself rather than having others blame every other person or thing on this planet for his failure.
      Award of the season for best role on and behind the scenes?

  2. Highbury Hero says:

    Goal of the season

    Bellerin vs Chelsea

    Most improved of the season

    Maitland Niles. There was a time I thought he was gonna make that RB his own.

    Worst performance

    Vs Manchester City home and away. Showing up to lose from the very 1st minute. No fighting no tactics no organisation. And I would say the whole season is a worst performance.

    Signing of the season

    Martinelli

    Worst signing of the season

    Pepe

    Worst player

    All of them bar Pierre, Kieran, Brand and Martinelli.

    Young gun of the season

    Saka

    1. Highbury Hero says:

      And manager of the season Freddie.

  3. Lenohappy says:

    He told the Athletic: “As players, we all wanted to contribute. But we needed more information and many questions were unanswered.

    “Everyone was fine with a deferral while there was so much uncertainty – I would have been OK to take a bigger share – and then a cut if required, once the football and financial outlook was clearer. But we were rushed into it without proper consultation.

    “For anyone in this situation, you have a right to know everything, to understand why it is happening and where the money is going. But we didn’t get enough details, we just had to give a decision. It was far too quick for something so important and there was a lot of pressure.

    “This was not fair, especially for the young guys, and I refused. I had a baby at home and have commitments to my family here, in Turkey and in Germany – to my charities, too, and also a new project we started to support people in London that was from the heart and not for publicity.

    “People who know me know exactly how generous I am and, as far as I’m aware, I was not the only player who rejected the cut in the end, but only my name came out.

    “I guess that’s because it is me and people have been trying for two years to destroy me, to make me unhappy, to push an agenda they hope will turn the supporters against me and paint a picture that is not true.

    “Possibly the decision affected my chances on the pitch, I don’t know. But I’m not afraid to stand up for what I feel is right – and when you see what has happened now with the jobs, maybe I was.” If this was what really happened, then I think he was right.

    1. Maxis says:

      Just curious. Anyone knows the names of the other players who also rejected the pay cut?

      1. Lenohappy says:

        Maxis nobody knows

      2. Skills1000 says:

        I think Ozil was made a scapegoat for not accepting the paycut. He was right afterall. The Arsenal board is a joke. They must have forced Arteta to drop Ozil from the first team after refusing the paycut. 55 redundancies afterwards.

        1. Highbury Hero says:

          It has been confirmed. Arteta is being pressured to drop Mesut. He is a yes man after all. There is a lot Mesut has spoken today. It hasn’t shown here yet but it doesn’t put the management in good light.

          1. RSH says:

            where is it confirmed? Nowhere. Interesting that Ozil has been dropped by three different coaches, two of them site similar reasons for not starting him, and that reason is very obvious to even the blind. Ozil is LAZY. Not a single soul on this website would have a problem with the money Ozil was making if he pulled his weight!!! even if he wasn’t living up to his 350k per week wages, we’d take a player who is committed and shows effort. We have rarely ever seen that from then man who at most has one good game a season!!!!

          2. Val says:

            Well it may be so or we don’t know the ins and outs of whats going on which is true, we dont know.
            We also don’t know the structure of Ozil’s contract.
            It could well be that he ”could’ earn up to 350K per week, with some of wages being made up of bonuses such as asists, appearance, goals and MoM.
            I’m just speculating here as i know for a fact that these clauses / bonuses go into contracts.
            So if these are indeed implemented into his contract then that could well be the reason as to why we didn’t see him post lockdown as the board just wanted to save money for the sake of team performance

  4. Lenohappy says:

    Goal of the season:
    Aubamayang vs olympiacos
    Most improved: Mustafi
    Worst performance
    Watford vs arsenal in the second half
    Signing of the season
    Martinelli
    Worst signing
    David Luiz.
    Young gun of the season
    Saka

  5. Skills1000 says:

    My goal of the season was Martinelli goal versus Chelsea. Worst player of the season: Guendouzi. A mediocre who thinks he is some Messi or Dybala.
    Anyone who thinks Pepe is the worst signing of the season, needs a rethink. Pepe was instrumental in our win against Chelsea in the FA cup final. He scored 2 freekicks in a match.
    Compare Pepe stats with Hazard at Madrid and you will understand what I’m saying. Pepe performed well in bus first season.

  6. SueP says:

    No doubt this will become a topic in its own right

    Hard to disagree with most of Dan’s choices although I’d go for the Cup final. The City game was the start of the revolution but the coolness under pressure from Aubameyang and the penalty smashing into the back of the net AND the team’s desire was immense for me.

  7. Dan kit says:

    Well apparently you can be nearly 25 and still get nominated for young player of the year ,jack grealish being a prime example this season .
    So my young player of the season goes to Leno ,still only 28 years young

    1. Highbury Hero says:

      If Saka and Martinelli were playing for the favourable teams they would’ve shared the award. Their snub is nothing more than the universal known and acknowledged hate for The Arsenal. From EPL chiefs to referees, pundits and other teams players.

    2. Val says:

      Well Dan the rules are 23 at the start of a season to qualify for the award, just like with under 21 football, if you’re 21 at the start of qualifying you are eligible to play in the championship.
      plus the season should have finished in May

  8. Dan kit says:

    Looks like this tread is going To turn onto another Topic which is a shame because we would have seen the regular readers picks and we could have seen where most votes would have gone .
    Would have been interesting.

    1. Highbury Hero says:

      Isn’t it possible to just delete the comments and encourage readers to comment on the relevant article which I believe will come up soon?

    2. SueP says:

      I wrote this above too!
      It’s interesting to know what we all thought of the season

  9. Jeff says:

    If this is truly a meritocracy, then Martinez has to continue. Leno will have to fight to win his place back.

  10. Grandad says:

    Worst player? Toss up between Socratis and Kolasinac .In terms of errors leading to goals, Luis.Biggest disappointment,the acquisition of the likes of Soares and Mari and the shocking number of injuries culminating in the loss of Martinelli.Do we have a fundamental problem in this area of are we just unlucky.My biggest frustration, apart from our absentee owner, has to be Pepe.For 72m I expected a lot more.Has plenty of raw talent but very predictable and needs to improve in many areas,such as regaining possession, running off the ball, tracking back and decision making.Needs to be more interchangeable with Auba and Laca and not confined to the right wing.Best signing of the season, apart from Tierney and Martinelli, Michael Arteta.

    1. RSH says:

      Yea, I agree about worst player. David Luiz and Mustafi are both around the same on the awful scale. Both eventually redeemed themselves to some degree. Also, im glad someone agrees about Pepe. Poor season for him, poor acquisition as it stands. This is our record signing and he dribbles in circles half the time. He can put in a nice cross though which is what saves him from being a completely bad signing.

  11. Sue says:

    2 results I wanted to cry at – Our defeat at Anfield in the carabao cup and the NLD defeat

    Pure elation – the cup final win!!

    Favourite goal and celebration – Martinelli at Stamford Bridge

    Best looking.-.Kolasinac (when his hair was longer, don’t like it short)
    Best thighs – 😂😂😂😂😂 best I stop now!!

    1. jon fox says:

      PASS THE SICK BUCKET SUE! Having to read about his thighs has put me right off my lunch!

      1. Sue says:

        Ha, I didn’t reveal who has the best thighs 😂

        1. jon fox says:

          Sue, Doesn’t matter WHO it is as I know, since it is YOUR choice, that it will be a male and NOT a female. Now “hang” me for being sexist and I plead guilty!

  12. Henry says:

    Player of the Season: Leno
    Performance Of The Season; Man City
    Young Player:Martinelli
    Goal of the season:The 2nd goal in the cup final
    Most improved: Sadly none
    Signing: Tierney
    Worst signing:Luiz
    Worst player: Ozil
    Worst performance: Watford away 31 shots against a record

  13. Val says:

    Goal of the season

    Martinelli vs Chelsea

    Most improved of the season

    Mustafi without doubt

    Worst performance

    Vs Manchester City home and away.

    Signing of the season

    Martinelli

    Worst signing of the season

    Pepe / Luiz

    Worst player

    Kola

    Young gun of the season

    Martinelli

  14. Dan says:

    So peeps complain when I write about ozil
    Then in comments talk about ….ozil lol

    1. Sue says:

      😂😂🤷‍♀️

    2. jon fox says:

      Villains usually attract more human discussions than saints. Just the way we humans react. So not surprising Ozil is so much discussed, eh?

  15. Sid says:

    Sorry for being late!
    Goal of the Season
    Men- Laca against Spurs
    Women- Kim Little’s team goal
    Most improved player
    Mustafi
    Best performance
    City in the semis and against Aston villa when we were down to 10 men
    Worst performance
    Villa and Brighton at home
    Signing of the season
    Martinelli
    Player of the season
    Leno( for me)
    Young player of the season
    Saka

  16. Olufemi Isaac says:

    Goal of the season auba winning against Aston villa

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