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March Player of the Month

A bit of a thin selection this month, I am sure you will agree. It reminds me of a time when I was on holiday a few years ago, we decided to spend thirty euros on a bottom glass boat ride that promised, "swimming with dolphins and a BBQ lunch." Well there were no dolphins and we were given toasted cheese sandwiches that had long gone cold and stale, putrefyingly swimming in their own grease. In a month where Arsenal have won only one Premiership game and played well, well below their capabilities, it is enormously difficult to pick out a prince amongst the frogs. (Stop sniggering xenophobic Spurs fans!) Even the usual suspects appear to have lost their identities, they`ve forgotten that they`re supposed to be Keyser Soze and instead have morphed into plain old Kevin Spacey. The uber dependable Gallas has suffered indifferent form by his own astronomical standards, Gael Clichy looks like a man with too many miles on the clock, Emmanuel Adebayor`s hair has gone and so have the goals, Alex Hleb looks jaded and van Persie is still fine tuning.

Save for the thirty minute miracle at the Reebok and the demolition of A.C. Milan in their abode, pickings have been pretty slim. Bacary Sagna scored his first goal for the club in March and continues to be the epitome of consistency. But I`m going to opt for Cesc Fabregas. Many Gooners contend that Cesc has dropped a level since the dizzying highs of early season. But I would contest that; Fabregas set gargantuan standards as summer gave way to Autumn for sure, but I think because his unsustainable goal count has dried up, people interpret this as an horrific dip in form. But a glance at his ball retention stats and his 18 Premiership assists so far this season paint a picture of consistency. Fabregas is still the heartbeat of this team, when he gets the ball in his majestic possession, players instantly move in expectation, whether curling a ball over a high backline for Adebayor, or sliding a crafty through ball, Fabregas provides his colleagues with plentiful ammunition.

Of course the quite stunning masterclass from Cesc in the San Siro is the highlight and the main reason he gets the nod for March player of the month. What I really like about Cesc is his mentality; he really steps up for these games. Past virtuoso performances against United at Old Trafford last year, the Bernebeu and Juventus seem to confirm this. Faced with the task of manning Pirlo, Gattuso and Kaka, Fabregas steps up to the plate. As if to make a statement that, not only does he belong in this illustrious company, he can rule it. He pulled all the strings in Northern Italy that night, not disheartened by his early firecracker which smacked the crossbar, his coup de grace arrived five minutes from time. With the match still deadlocked, he took the ball, manoeuvred beyond Pirlo and Gattuso and arrowed the ball into the bottom corner. It was a comic book superhero moment, "damsel in distress? Leave it to me guv." His performance that night, together with fellow F-Trooper Flamini had the local press drooling in the same way the Milanese had conceded Henry`s brilliance four years earlier.

He has been at the heart of our better moments this month. His set piece delivery has led directly to goals from Toure, Sagna and Gallas. At the Reebok Stadium, with his limbs infused with lactic acid exacerbated by heavy rain, he sauntered forward in injury time to set up our crucial winner. Cesc put Adebayor through on goal in the opening seconds at Wigan with a gorgeous defence splitting pass and was again in the box in injury time to nearly deliver us a winner, were it not for the frame of Kirkland. His boundless energy saw him denied by Schwarzer with a similar opportunity in the dying minutes against Middlesbrough. When the chips are down or something special is required, Fabregas seldom fails to step up. His virtually constant brilliance causes us to ignore this at times, but when the team is a fraction below their usual level, his constancy is illuminated. Forza Cesc, our shining Spanish prince.LD.




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The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday April 1 2008

Time: 1:27PM

Your Comments

I dont think Flamini will be getting much more of these awards. Looks like hes off to the old lady http://www.channel4.com/sport/football_italia/apr1g.html. Any Arsenal insiders know anything more of the contract situation, I think hes gone tbh.
hazzagooner
Flam's contract situation looks a contestable one. I no longer think he will sign, AW has become less measured in his comments saying, "I want it sorted one way or the other...." However, in that Channel 4 story, it's worth considering that they get the name of Juve's Stadium wrong, so you have to question how clued up they are.
Little Dutch
on sky sports. "I am talking with the club and we'll see what happens. But I hope to stay at Arsenal," the Frenchman told the Daily Mirror. Sounds promising to me
paul_ownz
Yeah, but the original story was in L'Equipe, and they got the Henry exclusive right this summer, despite his agent threatening to sue the paper. In any case, I will wait for the final news, and the implications (IF he doesnt sign) can sink in over the summer. For now, Flamini is still committed on the pitch and thats what matters. Good call for Cesc, btw.
prits
Stadio olimpico is correct Tim, they play in Stadio olimpico in Turin now. Meh how long before he starts getting booed you recon lol ? Its disappointing that he is so interested in the money, it would be a crazy move to leave this team for that decrepit league but what ever floats his boat..All I know is wenger best have some contingency after the departure of lassie and maybe Flamini. Gilberto will not be winning his place back, no way. OH and I agree with Fabregas, nice article as per.
hazzagooner
The mirror story was from today and is posted on Sky Sports News today. Why shouldnt we take his word for it? Players have always signed contracts at the end of the season, so why dont we just wait and see. No one would of been bothered if he left last year, but he has been amazing for us and now people want to see loyalty and him rush to sign a contract like he owes us... Let him take his time and decide. His commitment has never lacked on the pitch, and that is the main thing
paul_ownz
How come they changed the name from Stadio delle Alpi? I thought Lazio and Roma shared a stadium of the same name in Rome, surely that leads to confusion. I'm with prits on this one, personally, I don't think he will sign now. But the important fact is he's doing it on the pitch right now. I'll worry about the rest of it in June.
Little Dutch
alpi is being refurbished, news on arsenal.com about flamini now. Not much 'news' though.
hazzagooner
It's gotta be Drogba no? And silly Billy should get tantrum of the month!
Bumps
When during the month of March did Gallas throw a tantrum?
Little Dutch
Sorry, you're right LD. It should be the "pointless fake team building on-pitch rallying public speech of the month" award.
Bumps
Gallas does a teamtalk before every single match this season in the warm up. If you took your head out of the Daily Star long enough to look at what is actually going on, you'd know that. Whoops, I think the sun newspaper is ringing a bell, off you go for a nap little pup.
Little Dutch
just cheak out the wallpaper of our match against bolton (http://www.arsenal.com/images/wallpapers/wp_bolton29032008_1600.jpg ) talk about raw emotion
HENRY`14
check*
HENRY`14
Gallas team talk,........ no headbutting each other, try and stand throughout the game, especially if no one touches you, (unless the ref's unsighted - we know Arsen will be) don't let Nani do keepy uppy through our defence AGAIN, keep in your position during a penalty for the opposition (unless your captain - then you can go off and sulk or attack the hoarding), wear bigger shin pads, don't let you REAL MATES skin you and score (unless his names drogba) and what ever happens don't cry after the game on the pitch, wait till we get in the changing rooms then we can all cry together in the big tub. (and there's no point tossing a coin for captaincy, since Adey stole my double sided coin).
AggressiveSpurs
And the award for pointless post of the month goes to ............
prits
Ledley's teamtalk, "right boys…………bugger, think I've broken by jaw and bitten half my tongue off."
Little Dutch
i would give it to sagna...i keep seeing fab, hit the keeper on two seperate occasions when he was one on one...
fran merida
I'd disagree lads. The Arsenal player of the month in my eyes, has to be Gail Clichy. He's been solid non-stop. And he prevented Joe Cole attacking down the right against Chelsea - not an easy task. Fabregas has blown hot and cold. Clichy has been consistently solid.
The_Legend_Of_Zola
Fran, is it Sagna that will win you lot the PL this season? I mean you were so INCREDIBLY feckin sure you lot were going to win it....so what now?? Wheels came off? Crumbled like always? Still utter ***** ? Well, always next season eh? Feckin muppet.
Blue is the colour
BITC, get your head out of your arse (and pls come up with something new, other than the boring 'wheels', and the 'crumbling'. Its a big ******** yawn to read your posts). None of us were incredibly sure we were going to win it at any point of time. The 'feckin muppet' is more apt for you !
prits
I knew AS missed something from the Gallas team talk, It was don't clear the ball off the opposition line, when it's going in. Keystone ****in Cops, what a joke. Ha ha ha come on the scousers now finish em off like we did second leg.
YidEdy
 

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