Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Arsene, give the team its wings back

By 1970’s Gooner

Arsenal’s main weakness is not the midfield enforcer nor a new goalkeeper or a tall and strong centre half. It’s not even poor Eboue.

Denilson as a midfield enforcer has in my opinion been a major weakness which has now been corrected; but for the wrong reason.

Arsene Wenger’s insistence on carrying on with Denilson in the central midfield position until a few games ago has indeed resulted in a soft middle without the obvious ball winner that the team is crying out for.

I have written about this before, sighting the other three top teams ball winners in midfield as prime examples of the type of player that Arsenal need and I believe have now found in Alex Song.

Chelsea has Jon Obi Mikel, Liverpool Mascherano and Manchester United can use Anderson or even Carrick. Denilson is not a midfield enforcer and I am glad that Song is now being used in that position.

In fact if he had been employed there since the start of the season, as Denilson has been, then I am sure that Song would have improved no end and certainly by a far faster rate than Denilson has.

Song’s performance at Chelsea is testimony to that.

Ever since Walcott and sometimes Nasri have been out of action Wenger has been using Song in the middle and pushing Denilson on the wide midfield areas.

So in a way Wenger’s insistence on always picking Denilson in the team has meant that Arsenal’s main weakness has shifted from the central midfield area to the wing.

When Nasri and Denilson play on the wings the team lacks real width. This was very evident in the game against Wigan at the Emirates and became even more apparent when Nasri had to go off in the first half.

Both players are natural playmakers not wingers. They can’t get past their player with any ease and they invariably come infield thus congesting the middle of the park even more.

This plays into the hands of the opponents who put 10 men behind the ball and congest the middle (unlike the big three who let you play).

Arsene Wenger has two options to give the team its wings back.

He can promote Carlos Vela on the left wing and play Nasri on the other thus continuing with the 4 4 2 formation. Denilson should be rested with Song continuing in the central midfield position.

Vela has had a sensational season last year in Osauna’s first team contributing greatly to their survival in Spain’s top division. They are now real relegation candidates. He has shown during the Carling Cup games that with a good run in the team he can hurt opposing defences with his pace.

The other option for Wenger would be to switch to 4 3 3 and play Robin Van Persie on the left wing, Nasri on the right and Adebayor up front. The three in the middle would be Fabregas, Song and one of Denilson or Diaby.

No one can fly without wings and if this is not corrected we will come up a cropper again, pretty soon.


Anonymous said...


In a 4-3-3 van Persie has to play on the RIGHT. Watch him for Holland, he is good there.

Anonymous said...

Freddy & Bobby were not true wingers but they were more than effective!

I think Mr. Wenger is always thinking back to those glorious times - thinking he can do it again. Reyes was a real winger though, I liked him a lot, unfortunately he was as mad as a fish.

Anonymous said...

wenger should simply a winger!!!!
he could have bought ben arfa but no not wenger...
i´m so disappointet!
the whole season is a joke!
if we don´t buy in january, we will be out of the champions-league next season that´s for sure!
and song is not good enough for arsenal!
he should leave in january!
buy a CB, DM and a natural winger!
if not we will be finished!

Anonymous said...

Nasri doesnt provide any width?

You serious?

Anonymous said...

FFS! We do not need to buy an effin winger!

Fuckin knee jerk fantasy manager twats with Sun tabloid headline mentalities and goldfish like attention spans.

The centre of midfield needs re-inforcing and yep, Wenger fucked that one right up, but with Djourou - finally - been given the chance to show what he can do, I dont think we need a CB now either, just hope he dont succomb to our injury jinx.

I think that if the team, all do the dirty stuff, like tracking back, hassling opposition players, not given em yime etc, basically like what happens to them! Then that will make us harder to beat, again, as has been mentioned, the attitude at the Chav game, but we need that for EVERY effin game!

Anonymous said...

It is great to finally see some deserved praise for Alex Song as a holding midfielder. He is far more effective in that position than Denilson and performed excellently against both Chelsea and Wigan. The criticism I have read from other fans on other blogs regarding his poor performance against Wigan I feel is completely unjustified.

Anonymous said...

We need a time machine. We can go back to 2003 and kidnap Thierry Henry. Go back to 2002 and kidnap Robert Pires. Go back to 2001 and get Paddy Vieira. Go back to 1998 and grab Bergkamp and Overmars. Go back to 1991 and take the entire back four and Seamen. Uhm...grab Ian Wright in 1993. Petit in 1998. While we're in 1998, we might as well take Zidane too...then go to 1994 and get Giggs and Cantona (why not eh?)

That's what Wenger should do.

Anonymous said...

I agree, lets get thierry, patrick and bobby back....they would add the experience we are lacking...

Anonymous said...

Stop the fancy soccer and play to win like in the Wigan game.I'm afraid the defence can still go awol. Kolo has gone off the boil and pls don't try to waltz your way thru the midfield with twol lines of defenders waiting.

Anonymous said...

Actually,I don't care his national performance how successful, if RVP to be a winger role he always suck in Arsenal.

I think Wenger have to drop Denilson from first 11 as soon as possible if we want improve more.maybe trade another speedy winger cover theo's injury also important now.

the latest news now Arsene is ready to make a 12M bid again for Xabi Alonso, let's wait and see.

Anonymous said...

1970,s you're very WRONG! V-E-R-Y I must say.

people can fly without wings just look at SUPERMAN he flies with a CAPE.
OR Ironman he flies with a 'boost' under his feet (& in his palms).

Chelsea are 1point of the table and they have no width(Deco's not a winger neither's Ballack)Yet theyve been flying in the P.L since the begining of the season.

liverpool have Kuyt(best defensive striker in the world) on the wings yet they've been flying away this season without wings(or half if you count RIERA as 1 Wing-er)
why, well their defense been GOOD ('Boost' from the back like ironman) midfields been SOLID and *strikers been SCORING(Boost from the front like Ironman) thats why their fans dont have to WORRY or Leave Benitez feeling SORRY, Which proves you can fly without wings(as they're doin this season) which would eventually lead to GLORY.

Arsenal on the other hand can fly this season(without wings) if the defence stop conceding and Strikers keep scoring. something they've done successfully in the last 3 games

you see 1970s you dont need wings to fly, Rocket launchers, capes, jetpacks are also available.

Tottenham on the other hand are snails they havent got any feet(defence)let alone wings so they would always be unable to walk which means they can NEVER fly which means keep crawling for the rest of the season.Theyve got so much weight on they back (pun intended)

Man united have got wings though and i must say the best wing in europe its official anyways!

Arsenal man cheers
Hope you enjoyed my metaphor..its like a breath of freshh airrr..

Anonymous said...

arsenal man, you made some points but what a silly way to go communicate it.

Anonymous said...

superman can fly without the CAPE. O.o"

leon said...

at the moment arsenal are misiing risicky until march at the earlist,no wilcat for 3 months,so i would play vela on the wing he wont be playing upfront that often as edardo will be back soon and risisky and wilcatt will be ready next season so i would not buy winger yet, nasri looks very good to me but this only his first season he should be given more time,i keep on reading wilcatt is not as good rinando,but plaese try remember that wilcatt is not evon 19 yet rinaldo 23-24.wilcatt is only going to get better,i also feel diaby can play on the wing although i would like to play in a more central role, i realy feel arsenal are looking alot more solid at the back and song is looking very good,us arsenal fans think we need to a bit patient which i nont have any but i am trying,i feel you just need to give these young players time, but arsenal could do with some wide players and dm player,

Anonymous said...

Are you lot so blinded by Wenger.
Song is a joke. He has no pace , cant tackle and will never offer anything going forward.
This is the man that Wenger said was the missing link while he was missing at the Olympics.

He a poor version of Barry and you'll never see the best of Cesc until we rid our team of Song Eboue and denilson.

While im at it Wenger is also answerable for sticking with Bendtner ,fabienski , overweight Toure .

As for the Gallas and Rosiky !!!

Anonymous said...