The season is over, but who were the heroes and villains of Arsenal’s campaign?
We’ve decided it’d only be fair to go through the squad and have a look at who let us down or who really gave us moments to remember during a hit-and-miss campaign.
We’ve already looked at our:
Now, before moving even further upfield, what about those to play in the middle of the park?
Aaron Ramsey: C+
The Welshman started the season out wide, playing as an auxiliary third central midfielder from the right flank as Santi Cazorla and Francis Coquelin occupied the middle. He’s never truly been at home out wide but performed solidly.
Injuries to both Cazorla and then Coquelin saw Ramsey play in the middle of the pitch from the end November through to May.
An early run of form was strong with Ramsey balancing his game better than most fans seem to acknowledge. His attacking instincts were on show against Sunderland and a more tempered display was fantastic in the win against Manchester City.
As time went on, though, the partnership with Mathieu Flamini looked increasingly flawed and Arsenal started to struggle.
There were more promising displays when partnered with Mohamed Elneny late in the season but Ramsey’s old attacking edge wasn’t quite there and, on the whole, he’ll be disappointed not to nail down a midfield spot despite injuries to others.
Francis Coquelin: C-
Coquelin’s season (in fact, his last 18 months) can pretty much be split into two halves: 2015 and 2016. The former was strong, the second not so much.
Forming a partnership with Santi Cazorla, the Frenchman swept up in front of the Arsenal defence before allowing others to take care of the ‘prettier’ side of the game. Excelling without possession, he was vital in the 2-0 win against Bayern Munich.However, he struggled in games when
However, he struggled in games when Arsenal had to break teams down and by the end of the season (after recovering from injury) started to find himself on the bench for those fixtures.
Not as good as his end to 2014/15 and his Arsenal future (in the team, at least) is a little up in the air with Granit Xhaka likely to join.
Mathieu Flamini: F
Ah, yes. Injuries saw Flamini start 12 Premier League games and it wasn’t pretty.
The midfielder earned favour early in the season with two goals, including a spectacular volley, in a League Cup north London derby.
After that, though, there wasn’t much to celebrate. A sorry League Cup performance in the following round saw him fail to lead a group youngsters, who ended up losing 3-0 to Sheffield Wednesday.
Back in the team in December, his performances were acceptable for a couple of weeks before he started going missing. Flamini would either dive into challenges or back off and invite pressure, it left Arsenal vulnerable time and time again.
Coming off the bench in the Champions League, it took him a matter of seconds to foul Lionel Messi in the box and virtually end the tie.
Mathieu’s final Arsenal season wasn’t one to remember.
Santi Cazorla: C+
The man who brings control to the midfield, so many believe. The thing is, though, Arsenal weren’t all that great even when the midfielder was great.
When he got injured in November, the Gunners were fourth in the Premier League. The bigger issue is going forward: Francis Coquelin breaks play up in midfield, Cazorla moves the ball forward. Between them, they started 36 Premier League games and combined for zero goals and one open play assist.
Cazorla has proven over and over again that he’s an incredible footballer, capable of completing any pass and getting out of almost any situation. One open play assist and zero goals in 21 games, though, isn’t anyway near enough.
Hopefully there’s a regular spot for the midfielder next year but the middle of the pitch may not be the best place.
This campaign’s grade looks harsh given his excellent individual performances in the Autumn but the team wasn’t shining the way some remember and it’s hard to give him a higher rating. I docked Kieran Gibbs a grade or so due to his limited playing time and have to be consistent.
Mohamed Elneny: B-
Though his playing time was limited, that was largely down to not joining the club until January.
When he came into the side, Elneny had to make a Premier League debut in a north London derby at White Hart Lane and was one of the best players on the pitch. It was a ign of things to come.
Industrious and intelligent, the Egyptian looks like a good buy from Arsène Wenger. A first Arsenal goal against Barcelona wasn’t bad either and there’s definitely more to come.
Jack Wilshere: n/a
Let’s hope Jack can stay fit next season.