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Liverpool Pies

Poll: Who would you crown as Arsenal player of the season?

The season is over and although it ended a little disappointingly, Arsenal enjoyed a much better campaign than any of the pundits predicted we would back in August.

We finished just four points behind Premier League winners Manchester United, compared to being 21 points off the pace last season, while our goal difference increased from 28 a year ago to 43.

We'll never know for sure, but had it not been for one fateful afternoon against Birmingham, when we lost Eduardo to a horrific leg injury and then had a highly dubious penalty given against us in the final seconds, the season could have ended so differently.

At that point Arsenal were at the top of the table, Eduardo was beginning to score for fun (he scored a dozen goals in 22 starts) and I've no doubt at all that he would have notched 20-plus if he had remained injury free.

However, there's no point crying over spilt milk, so I've whittled down our first team squad to a selection of nine of our star performers this year....

Feel free to shout at me if there's anyone you think I've missed off the list, but I reckon I've included everyone who merits your votes.

I've included Manuel Almunia, because although I still don't think he's talented enough to be our number one goalkeeper, he had a very good season and his form was good enough to keep Jens Lehmann on the bench for most of the campaign.

Our full backs Bacary Sagna and Gael Clichy are both in there for obvious reasons. Clichy, for me, was our player of the season, as he has been consistently the best player we've had and has played more than any of his team mates - 49 appearances in all. But I couldn't ignore Sagna's contribution, as I've had to remind myself that this was only his first year at the club and he has truly made the right back role his own.

In midfield there are a slew of options. Cesc Fabregas and Mathieu Flamini stand out, especially for their roles in the victory in Milan. However, Alex Helb also stepped up a gear this season, while Theo Walcott has developed incredibly from being a player who made me groan every time he wasted a corner or gave away possession, to being someone who can take on the mantle of match winner.

And up front I'm including Eduardo, not just for sentimental reasons, but because we can all see that he's not just a world class goal scorer, but he is also a great provider. It was noticeable that Emmanuel Adebayor's dip in scoring form began when Dudu's season was so cruelly ended.

And lastly, Adebayor himself has to be among the candidates. 30 goals in all competitions was a fantastic result and I agree with Arsene Wenger that Ade-cool still has a bit more to give before he is the finished product, so hopefully we'll see even more goals from him next season.

So it's over to you lot. I'll leave the poll open for a week to give you time to ponder, but make sure you make your vote count and click on you think deserves the accolade of Arsenal Player of the Season.

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Posted by Gordon Masson on May 13, 2008 9:21 AM in Debate of the Day| Players| Poll
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