Thursday, March 19, 2009
Is Song the answer to Arsenal's search for a defensive midfielder?
The creative talent that we have in midfield is undeniable and on our day we can out play any team in the world. But there is something that we have been badly missing this season and this is a strong imposing figure that solidifies the midfield.
Flamini played this role to a large extent last year as he swept things up in midfield and put in the crunching tackles when they had to be made. But sadly there is no one in the team at the moment that fills this role.
The likes of Denilson and Diaby have tried to play in that position but it’s not really the role they are suited for.
Denilson is far too lightweight whose tackling is simply not up to scratch while Diaby is fantastic going forward but nowhere near composed and assured enough in possession.
Someone who could potentially fill the role is Alex Song. He has really improved all aspects of his game over recent months. This includes tackling, heading and passing (forward not sideways).
His display against Hull the other night was his best in an Arsenal shirt. If he can continue with this rate of progress he could be in with a shout of holding down that position.
But is he really the solution or do we need to spend big money on a new defensive midfielder?
A player of Senna’s ability, strength and more importantly experience would be ideal as he would allow the more creative players to express themselves while he shores up the defence.
Senna has experience of playing at the top level and was one of the unsung heroes when Spain won Euro 2008. The solidity that Senna and Alonso gave in the centre of midfield was what let the more creative attacking players create and score goals.
Alonso was linked with Arsenal in the summer and would have been a fantastic player for us, as he plays the defensive midfield role very well at Liverpool just now.
Either of these players would not only be a fantastic addition to the team but would also be the perfect teacher for Song, who with a bit of work could make the defensive midfield role his own one day.
With the signing of Arshavin we really have added a new dimension to the team. He is not scared to run at players and 9 times out of 10 has the ability to beat them.
But one of the most important aspects he brings is his willingness to shoot from anywhere. Too often we try to pass through teams and Arshavin helps with this problem.
When all the players are fit and available for selection Wenger will have a real headache trying to fit everyone into midfield:
Cesc, Nasri, Diaby, Eboue, Walcott, Rosicky (hopefully), Song and Denilson all looking for a starting position in the team.
It sounds like a good headache to have until the time comes!