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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Vermaelen and that’s your lot

By 1970’s Gooner

We are all very excited to see that Arsene Wenger has taken the steps to strengthen the team's central defence (at last) and delighted that negotiations have began to bring Thomas Vermaelen to the Emirates.

Apparently the player is on holiday at Mauritius at the moment which has been delaying the negotiations for personal terms. A fee of £11.5 has already been agreed between Ajax and Arsenal.

So if we are to trust Arsene Wenger’s judgment we should be sleeping easy that Arsenal’s central defence roster has been “adequately” improved. However if you look at previous centre backs, Arsene’s choices have not been that successful.

Tony Adams, Martin Keown and Steve Bould were of course inherited. From then on his only two, of what I would call, major successes were Sol Campell and Kolo Toure.

So let’s hope that Vermaelen is as good.

However the question that needs to be answered is whether Wenger will now enter the transfer market to strengthen the defensive midfielder position.

I feel that it is this position that will make or break Arsenal’s next season. Not the central defensive one necessarily.

This is because the Arsenal style of play under Wenger is a very attacking one with all outfield players, bar the defensive midfielder and the central defenders, joining in on the attack. This is a hell of a risky tactic whose success depends crucially on three elements.

The first is to score the first goal which would force the opponent to become more adventurous and open up.

The second one is possession of the ball. If you keep the ball the opponent cannot hurt you especially on the counter attack where you are most vulnerable with all those players committed to the attack.

This is a tactic that Villa and other teams use a lot against Arsenal and this is why all Wenger’s teams keep passing the ball all the time, keeping possession trying to work an opening.

And the third one is to have a hell of a central defensive midfielder who will sit further back and mop up if possession becomes negotiable again.

This player will have to have the attributes of almost a complete footballer: Stamina, acceleration, effective tackling, heading ability, accurate short and long passing and even goal scoring ability. In other words when Arsenal attack he will have to be able to do the job of two men, not one.

This role was played to perfection by Vieira, Petit, Gilberto and Flamini. They all, bar Flamini, played in trophy winning teams and Flamini would have lifted a trophy if he had stayed.

Now does it look like Wenger will bring in such a midfielder?

It looks like he may not and there may be a combination of reasons for this.

He is after all stingy and restricted by a limited budget.

Also the right players possessing those characteristics described above are not that available these days are they? And you have to break the bank to get them if they do become available.

But more importantly Wenger may also feel that Song, Denilson and Diaby have improved so much that next season they will be able to provide that role.

Song, whom I rate highly, has shown tremendous improvement this season and now that a central defender has been recruited it looks that his main position will be in midfield.

Wenger will loath to sign an additional midfielder, who will, unless he is one of those supermen I have described above, unnecessarily put a halt to the development of the existing midfielders at Arsenal.

And Vermaelen’s pending arrival is an indication that this will be our lot this transfer window….



52 comments:

Spike said...

Are you STILL posting???

OMG! You have no shame! After the nonsense you have put out recently, you must have the bare faced cheek of an elephant wearing a Rhinocerus overcoat!

Where's gallas on that list?

As for the defensive midfielder, you are letting the mists of time interfere with your jusgment, if you think all the DMs we had in the past had all the attributes you referred to....

Look, there isnt a vacancy yet for a doddery bitter old clueless cunt.... Myles palmer aint dead yet...

Ta

Westchester_Gooner said...

I sincerely hope that you are wrong, but I fear you may be right. I can hear it now... "Rosicky is not hurt any longer, so that's like a new signing, same for Eduardo".
IMO we need at least two more signings, another Central Defender and the DM you mentioned. I would love to see a striker at the expense of Adebayor, but it doesn't look too likely.

Anonymous said...

We need to sign a central midfielder because diaby can't play defensively it would now seem and we're going to be missing song for 6ish weeks in january/february and i personally feel that the midfield is too lightweight with denilson and cesc in the central areas.

_the_gr8_one_ said...

he best sign a defensive midfielder coz all u lot rave about song but he wudn't get into any top side in the world!!

Anonymous said...

haha Spike!

Anonymous said...

Denilson will be our DM next year - end of.

Anonymous said...

Spike - stop chatting shit u cunt

Anonymous said...

He'll buy a new DM. He's heard Fabregas's call for a tough DM and he has to listen to what Fabregas is sayin otherwise the boy is gone.

Fabregas is telling Wenger, SONG, DENILSON and DIABY are not good enough to do Flamini or Gilberto's job.

We dont want to be going backwards, so we need to add a ;
*new DM,
*a natural left winger (Traore if he decides to save money).
*another Cb even after Vermaelen arrives, as Senderos looks like he's leaving, so he would need to be replaced!

£6m Senderos
£5m Eboue

Anonymous said...

Why not move our Kolo Toure to defensive mid.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:37, Denilson and Song have both individually replaced Flamini. We need to get Rosicky and the old Cesc back more than a "tough-guy" central midfielder.

Gavin said...

Wenger doesn't seem to like the idea of Toure as DM (i think its his passing).Song has improved so much ..ya but lolluping/ambering back in many matches. His positioning will never be top class he hasn't the brains.
Denilson way better but can only do the job of 'one man'.

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 8.41

I agree we need the Cesc Fabregas of old, but he's not the same player he was the season before, simply because he has to defend more. He has to do two jobs and watch his back, rather than putting faith in his central defensive partner, because they are not as realiable as Flamini, Gilberto or Viera was.

This is why Fabregas keeps dropping names into Wenger's shopping cart. he's already declared his passion for players like Alonso and recently Yaya Toure. We all have to read in between the lines, that he's not confident with playing alongide Denilson or Song. Would you?

KingKolo said...

@ Gavin.

Denilson is Not Better than Song!! Song has proved that he is ahead of Denilson in his education.

We all have to remember that Song did not start the season with us as he was at the Olympics when Denilson was playing in the first team.

When Song came back from the Olympics, he had a tough time settling into the team, as they have already started the season without him, but as time went on, he surpassed Denilson and was first choice DM.

I don't care what stats say, but Song is alot better than Denilson. He has learn't to defend better, pas the ball better, hold onto better and alot calmer in situations than Denilson!!

Anonymous said...

Firstly, KingKolo, you could build a bridge between Denilson and Song in terms of how much better Denilson is, and I rate Song.

@ Anon 8:46, Fabregas has statistically defended LESS this season compared to last (only 0.1% mind) which shows that his idea that there is nobody backing him up as total garbage.

As for his apparent "nameddropping" - nor once did he mention Yaya, and at no point have I ever seen a genuine link between the player and club since the early days of his career - it is fabricated nonsense created by agents and The Sun.

As for Alonso, if Fabregas thinks Alonso would come in and "protect" him better than Denilson or Song then he is a very silly boy. Denilson has the best defensive stats in the league by some distance. Alonso is currently being "protected" by Mascherano - a player who would fill that role.

Anonymous said...

Arsenal's play is very obvious to all epl teams. It's pass all day and all out attack. Once the attack breaks down it's curtains.
The Hull game at home is a prime example as are other games.
IF AW doesnt have the midfield enforcer when an attack breaks down you will know who to blame.
Hopefully there are pleasant surprises in store. If the the same thing is repeated next season, be prepared for an exodus of the more established players. They play to win and not entertain or be mugged by the likes of Hull.

Anonymous said...

To add to the guy above "Anon 8:57" - KingKolo, you say that Song "surpassed Denilson and was first choice DM" but wasn't that the same time that we lost 1-0 to Man Utd, then a further 3-1 and then 4-1 against Chelsea?

Anonymous said...

Exactly what is a DM supposed to do? Pass economically, win the ball back and intercept? Well Denilson leads EVERY player when it comes to passing (even if it is sideways, what do you think Flamini did?) and interceptions, and is pretty much the best at tackling.

We can cry for a Cana because he looks rough, but is he any better?

Anonymous said...

@ anon 9.04

We lost those games because the other team were better and more equipped than us on the days. It had nothing to do with Song or Denilson not playing.

Can you remember that we did not have our first choice defenders. No Gallas, Clichy, Almunia, Sagna at a point. This is one of the reasons, we lost those games vs Man U and Chelsea. SOmeone has to win and some1 has to lose. Man U and Chelsea are better experienced when it comes to the big games, than our Kids are.

I can remember fans saying why did Song not start the Fa cup game vs Chelsea. All th fans where confused as to why Wenger did not include Song in the startin line up to certain games.

Anonymous said...

I don't think anyone was particularly bothered about Song not playing, it was Diaby and Walcott starting AHEAD of Song and Arshavin.

Song is a good player, but Denilson is a lot better, and after a pre-season in the gym (21/22 is the age where Wenger starts proper gym training (remember Clichy's bulk up before the start of the 07/08 season?

Anonymous said...

he will be stronger..... (lol)

Anonymous said...

kingkolo said, you have no idea what the fuck you are talking about because fabregas has been playing higher up the pitch throughout the whole season trying to repeat his form of last season. Even when he came back from injury he played behind a striker and he couldn't do squirt, the plain truth is that denilson out performed fabregas last season.Is high time arsenal fans stop underminding their players. liverpool are not going to sell alonso nor will we get yaya.And lastly if arsenal team is so bad why didn't they finish around 15th?

Anonymous said...

Dude...Denlison is fucking shit. How you can rate him as a top class midfielder is beyond me. Full support to Song who came into the first team towards the end of the seasons and proved he's worthy of the Arsenal shirt. Passsing the ball sideways and not making challenges isn't what is required of a defensive mid (Denilson). Song is by far the better player.

Armourist said...

This is still by a country mile the worst Arsenal blog.

Gallas, Toure and Campbell have been exceptional defenders for us in their prime.

Wenger brings in a defender and before the defender plays you've initimated that he isnt good enough. How does that work, you need joy in your life cos you are very negative person.

Pritpal said...

£11.5!!!! wow that is cheap! lool wenger sure can find a bargain!

Anonymous said...

I think he's going to buy more then just Thomas Vermaelen. I am happy abnout him coming but I don't think he will be the last signing. I think he might sign 3 players and one being a midfielder but I don't know if he will be a DM.

Anonymous said...

He won't bring in a DM because it would slow down Abou Diaby's 'development'. It might even 'kill' him...

Gerty Gerty cum said...

Keown
Bould
Campbell

Anonymous said...

I pray to god that you are wrong in saying vermaelen and thats it! if denilson or song is our 1st choice dm for next season, it's gonna be really hard when most of the draws and losses has come when we lost the battle in center of midfield. Cesc has been brilliant for spain with a real dm or the last few years with flamini, gilberto and even when playing next to vieira.

credit to denilson or song for having good stats(heh) and improving immensely but in a team that is fighting for titles and cups, having them 2 as your first choice dm isn't the way to go.

Anonymous said...

Some of you are over rating Denilson way too much, a good tackler???? Thank god you guys aren't managers. Denilson is average, a nothing man. Doesn't really bring much to the team, he'll be there and I forget he's on the pitch. The amount of times he fails to close down his opponent, and stays behind them, what do you expect to do from there?

khoune said...

the gunner fans just have to think about arsenal`s weekness last season were not only the defence but also about the lack of sharp goal scoring. in some matches adebayor and RVP spend so many chance to get goal but could not get it it`s because of sharpless to score that`s why arsenal lose.

Anonymous said...

HONESTLY mate, I stopped reading when you started mapping out Wenger's tactics with such ease as if you were writing a shopping list.

What a load of twaddle.

Jay said...

Denilson - shud be like Mascherano or Davids or Hargreaves but will never be ...

lacks: acceleration, power, aggression and positional awareness.

Song has more power and has improved his passing ability but he's still far from being a Gilberto or Petit.

Glenn mad as a Helder said...

i treat the inclusion of diaby here as some kind of mistaken yet widespread romantic idea that he can play dm because he's lanky and african. wenger sooner plays him up front.

And Spike's right, man, you cannot write. I mean, i'm not lying, i think you are maybe 12. if so, good on you. otherwise you should be shot for misspelling the names of 3 arsenal legends.

Now, if you want to understand why arsenal are so bad at defending, take a glimpse of van persie taking a casual stroll 9 times out of 10 when he could be helping. Or watch adebayor when he's in a sulk wander along the halfway line while the opposition is attacking. It's not 1 player we need, it's the mentality of the team, that it should be 1 person's role to win the ball in midfield is wrong. what you guys want is really not a dm, but a leader and an organiser.

just imagine david semen behind this back 4, spraying out verbal. these boys just need someone to tell them what do to.

Anonymous said...

no denilson pls

Englishmik said...

I'm going take a different approach. Everybody mentioned our lack of finishing. How many games when we could have scored 10 we only scored 1. If we had Torres up front rather than Adabayor (DFN) and (who knows what his position is supposed to be) Van Persie. We would have been 6 up in every game and then we dont need a new defensive midfielder. The Top Guns, Young Guns, Younger Guns are all stacked from Goalkeeper through to midfield. Absolutely brilliant talent. But where is the killer striker?

Anonymous said...

Vermaelen is a great player, young, big, strong and the captain of Ajax...Really happy with this signing.

I think he will add more but not sure what yet and I think it'll depend on who leaves.

BTW...Vieira never has been and never will be a defensive mid.

Anonymous said...

Not true this, Hitszlberger and Melo already linked with Arsenal as well as Matuidi. We will sell Senderos and Eboué and Silvestre will retire so we will get some cash and salary space freed. Against stronger teams and in the CL knockout stages we will be playing with two defensive midfielders and right now we only have Fabregas and Song at the top level and we need one signing here at least. I wouldn't mind sending Diaby out on loan for one year, he's not a complete player yet and really needs more experience of first-team PL play.

Anonymous said...

i think you've got a point about complete footballer for dm position. maybe that's why wenger try eboue in that position during last pre season. eboue atlethic enough, he can defend and go forward but his head not the best for that position. i think clichy could be a perfect choice for dm position. his tackling great, he got endless stamina, very atlethic too. with gibbs more than ready to replace him, i think wenger should try this option. song could be a better option but he just a bit slow to react to immediate danger. if wenger has to buy, the best option is cana but that if wenger wants to buy. our budget seems on all time low.

Anonymous said...

Some good articles I found:

http://arsenalcolumn.wordpress.com/2009/06/04/a-season-in-review-%E2%80%93-the-defence/

http://arsenalcolumn.wordpress.com/2009/05/31/denilson-has-risen-from-the-shadows-to-take-centre-stage/

They analyse better than this site.

Anonymous said...

Your blog is neither analytical or mature.

Anonymous said...

"ALL OUTFIELD PLAYERS EXCEPT THE DM AND CENTRAL DEFENDERS JOIN THE ATTACK."

Haven't you seen Gallas always attacking and leaving his defencive partner alone. Gallas is ALWAYS attacking.

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