The most competitive position in any team is debatably the central core in a midfield.
We still haven’t found a quality defensive midfielder since Gilberto or arguably since Alex Song left for Barcelona (and became their reject). So the first position will have to go its makeshift, Mikel Arteta. Despite being known in the past for playing in more advanced positions, Arteta had to improve his defensive side to the game and he did, with help from Ramsey. He was more than vulnerable against tougher opposition at times, but he commands the midfield and distributes the ball forward well. A calm assurance in front of an impressive defence for most of the year. Plus he gets bonus points for his hair staying perfect.
Flamini went well off the mark as 2014 went on and it’s no surprise why Coquelin has now taken over him in the pecking order this year.
Aaron Ramsey had the year of his career so far and 2013-14 was simply his season. If it wasn’t for his injury that kept him out for a few months he would have been well in with a chance of winning a PFA award. He did deservedly win Arsenal’s Player of Season. Wenger assured us that when he scores he won’t stop, and he didn’t. His Box-to-box play was great to watch, working hard and giving players like Ozil and Cazorla someone to create chances for, running ahead of the striker and offering support. He also made numerous tackles and scored some fantastic goals, topped off with a FA Cup Final winner to end the drought.
Last one is the coveted CAM position, so many players want to play that role in behind the striker, in the middle and bagging assists. On paper you’d say Mesut Ozil should be in this trio but he faltered out as did Arsenal’s title chances. He was forced on the wing numerous times which affected his play. It’s got to be another cup final goalscorer in the Spanish magician Santi Cazorla. He created the fourth most chances in the league last year, as well as the most forward passes. His finishing however did falter but flashes of brilliance from Santi during 2014 was lovely to watch, picking up nine assists, more than any other Arsenal player.
Did you see? Arsenal’s Best Back 5 of 2014