Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Friday, May 29, 2009

Song instrumental to Barry signing for Arsenal

By 1970’s Gooner

Arsenal’s most improved player this season has been Alexandre Song.

His performances in the centre of midfield have been just short of excellent. He has grown in that role in leaps and bounds this season, showing tenacity, strong tackling and learning to distribute accurately.

But his performances last season and in the last few games of this, in the heart of the defence have also been very impressive.

He has been able to hold his own against strong and tricky forwards, deal with the high balls, be positionally aware and, importantly for Arsenal’s style of play, bring the ball out of defence and distribute with precision.

All vital characteristics of an effective central defender.

That Song deserves to be a first team player next season goes without saying. But where? You might say that a versatile player can be deployed in various positions so why answer the above question now?

Arsene Wenger now has a dilemma to solve because he needs to make hard decisions on the new player (s) to bring in so that this team can really challenge for the title for next season. And he has to make them now.

Does he go for a new central defender to bolster his choices in this vital area where he himself has identified as a weakness?

Remember Wenger comparing Arsenal’s goals for and against with Manchester United’s in one of his press conferences recently?

It was the goals against that Arsenal clearly fell short (37 against United’s 24) whereas we actually scored as many goals as United (68).

Or does he buy a new central midfielder with defensive capabilities and with experience?

Song’s emergence and promise can force Wenger’s hand and actually encourage him to target a new player in only one of the two positions.

There are two reasons for this.

The first is that by buying both a new defender and a new midfielder, Song’s (and come to that Denilson’s) potential will be stalled just at the time when it has really began to blossom.

The second is financial.

He can concentrate and deploy the apparently limited budget he has available this season to the one position he chooses to strengthen in. This becomes even more important if he has to buy a new centre forward as well.

And this is where Gareth Barry comes in.

He is an experienced and talented central midfielder who can provide strength in an area where Arsenal have been lacking in this season.

He will certainly be ideal to play along side Fabregas and at the same time provide the experience and nous that this young and exciting team so obviously need.

If the Barry transfer has a realistic chance of happening then Song's strong canditure for a first team spot next season should actually forces Wenger to really make this transfer happen and include Song among his dependable options for central defenders next season.

In this way he will bolster both midfield and central defence and also create viable alternatives in both positions.


Trevor B said...

I'd rather us NOT sign Barry. He is over-rated, and would only slightly improve us.

Lorik Cana is who we need.

Anonymous said...

I am a big fan of Song (not at center back), but come on man, this blog has turned into an all-out Alex Song bum-fest.

He has not even been better than Denilson, yet you say he already merits a first team place in either roles (which you say we have been lacking in - therefore making your point about him being good enough there invalid).

Trevor B, come on. So you have seen Cana how many times? Oh yes, that video of fouls. He looks great, I will admit that, but if you think Barry is only a slight improvement on Denilson and Song, you are kidding yourself (or have not seen him play)

Clear Sleeve said...

He is NOT over-rated, he'd improve us a lot. He's a CM with attacking and defensive capabilities, he used to be captain of Aston Villa so he has leadership qualities, he's versatile, he's an experienced PL player and he's left-footed bringing balance to the midfield.

He's the best available in his position and anyone who can't see how much good it would do us to sign him is blind in my humble opinion.

Unknown said...

He's English, he's a leader, he's a fighter. He has everything that arsenal needs the most!

Song has played well considering how no one knew he had it in him, but he's STILL NOT top four regular standard, Barry is!

Anonymous said...

i'd offer diaby in exchange for barry, and let him and song battle it out for dm. denilson will still figure in the carling and fa cup (especially if diaby goes)

good idea?

Anonymous said...

i agree withe trevor B.
I think we should get Cana and Hangeland

Gillaniho said...

I think Arsenal still need that steel and height within the back four we've been missing someone who can dominate in the air, as much as Senderos got stick one of his greatest attritubes was that he could dominate with his aerial challenges. I'm not saying Big Phil is the answer but someone with his physical presence and a bit more up top would be my choice.
I fully agree Song has been a revelation in terms of his progress this season but I feel he still needs an older head to give him advice on his positioning and anticipation of vital interceptions as he is prone to switch off every now & then but he is exactly what we need, a versatile player who wears his heart on his sleeve and gets stuck in for the team.

Anonymous said...

I think song has to go CB long-term. Regardless what I thnk that's wat wenger is going to do anyway, he says it often enough

I think hel make a great CB as well.
For next season we do need a DM, barry would be good if he comes at ~10m, but I doubt this would happen and I think we could get players equally as good or better for less money

Anonymous said...

AGREE: Stick Song CB with Gallas and rotate him with Toure.
And when the African cup starts put Djourou and Gallas CB. If one is injured stick Barry CB.

Fully fit squad:
Sagna Song/Toure Gallas Clichy

Rosicky Barry Fabregas Arshavin

Ade RVP/Eduardo

Rotation: Nasri,Denilson,Diaby,Djourou,Gibbs,Traore,Walcott,Fabianski,Eboue,Vela,Bendtner,Ramsey,Wilshere,Merida,Emanuel Thomas,Coquain

gazzap said...

I am not saying Song wont ever make a CB for us but it would be a massive gamble to go from this point into next season just trusting Song to improve our central defence. he may develop but we need to buy a top top centre back. for me that is more important than a DM. But both are needed.
Barry would be an excellent purchase. Cana would take 6 months to adapt. Barry would be ready from day 1. he knows what it takes in the PL. he knows all the little tricks attackers play. he has a great tackle and can pass in tight areas. he can also defend, particularly at set pieces. He is English and rarely gets injured. £10m for a player in his prime is a good deal. we dont need any more young players - the long term future is sorted already. we need a player like Barry.

Anonymous said...

I dont see why converting song to CB is a gamble
We have 2 experienced CBs and Djourou, who is clearly going to be excellent if it does all go wrong for song, but I've never been anything but impressed with him at CB.
He needs to improve a bit positionally but hes aggressive on the floor and in the air and brings the ball out Extremely well.
Hes better now at CB than Djourou was when he first started playing there for the first team (He was also a midfielder u kno)

gazzap said...

the gamble is because if you end up going back to rely on Toure and Gallas they are not good enough. this season proved that. they could not provide a solid base for the team to challenge for the title.
I dont think you can base your views on song as a CB on a few end of season low pressure games against teams who had nothing to play for.
lets make sure the defence is sound by buying a top centre back. Song did well in midfield. he has nothing to prove in midfield. Let him and another take that DM position.

Anonymous said...

toure and gallas were good enough last season, we should have won it.
One of the reasons we didnt because we did not have adequate cover, but I think djourou and song can solve that problem

it was the loss of flamini that destroyed us defensively for most of this year

song has proven hes good enough for midfield, but wenger has stated he has doubts about his ability to do it continuously over a season.
why not bring in a defensive midfielder who Can do it every game and let denilson be that man's understudy? with song providing further cover

Anonymous said...

Song is not Arsenal quality. His passing is not up to scratch, he slows moves down he does not have the necessary range of passes for a top DM. When he is not in possesion he is liable to go to sleep and ball watch on occassion. He has done well this season but will never be more than a squad player. We need somebody that can dominate the central area, which he will never do.

Anonymous said...

Song is not Arsenal quality. His passing is not up to scratch, he slows moves down he does not have the necessary range of passes for a top DM. When he is not in possesion he is liable to go to sleep and ball watch on occassion. He has done well this season but will never be more than a squad player. We need somebody that can dominate the central area, which he will never do.

ClockEndofTimes said...

Barry might be a very astute signing to hold onto 3rd/4th place. However, it's hard to see exactly how he would help to close the gap on the three teams ahead of us in the league and the rest of the best in europe.

He is a solid, hard-working player with a good passing range. As left footed central midfielder, he also brings a different dimension. However, it's unclear exactly how he would improve us defensively or partner with Cesc.

Barry when at his best is given the freedom to get about the pitch. At Villa, he has played in front of a defensive midfielder. In the past, usually the skunk Gavin McCann and this season Petrov, who was converted to the role.

He seems a good character who keeps out of trouble, but take away the goals from penalties and assume that RvP/Cesc/Arshavin take most free kicks ahead of him and he's not exactly the player we need.

Instead, we should look to bring Flamini back in the Adebayor deal. Or to give Song and Denilson more team to find their feet, pay over the odds to get Marcos Senna, who at 32 is something of a gamble in the rough and tumble of the premier league, but he still looks to have a lot to offer. Importantly, Cesc has been at his best for Spain when partnered with Senna.

Finally, instead of Barry, how about Felipe Melo, who is being called the new Gilberto Silva in Brazil!

This team can only go forward by getting Cesc a partner, selling either Gallas or Toure and finding the best available CB (Bruno Alves, Branislav Ivanovic, Lescott, Chyhrynskyi).

Importantly to raise funds, we should get rid of Diaby and Adebayor. We have enough goals in the side with RvP, Eduardo, Bendtner, Vela, Theo and Arshavin. As for Diaby, he's only comfortable as an attacking midfielder and occasionally as a box to box player, but he occasionally flatters, but cannot be relied up - he's been given enough chances and his minutes should go to the likes of Vela (LM), Ramsay (CM) and Wilshere (AM) next term.

gazzap said...

definitely agree with shedding Diaby. we dont need him and his good games are sporadic. he cant really defend or track back. he is a luxury player. the fans have lost faith in Ade. they dont like him as a person, so Ade and Diaby should go. Senderos too.

If wenger buys a quality experienced player like Cana, Barry or whoever else, then we cannot grumble. we must trust his judgement that he has gone for the right one. Its just important that he buys one!

Anonymous said...

Wenger only buys players if they improve the squad and to buy Barry means he is better than Denilson (the incumbent). He is not. For DM you need someone with energy (Den wins), tackling (Den wins), pass interceptions (Den wins by a mile), composure on the ball (Den wins), passing ability (Den wins) and chip in with a few goals (Barry wins - but he takes the penalties for AV). I would be shocked if AW buys Barry, its not going to happen. Just Barry's agent trying to get a move (any move) to a top 4 club.

Anonymous said...

i thibk you identified Wengers problem. Also he'll only buy one and he'' probably sell Gallas so the one has to be in defence. Of course Barry would def improve the flow. Song reads the game too slow.He has looked good in 5 man midfield where positional sense is not key. He doesn't have recovery pace either. Barry would improve the team now.

Pritpal said...

honestly he needs both a dm like barry/veloso/cana and a cb like hangeland/chiellini

Anonymous said...

we have never had excellent defence since campbell left. but we still managed to do quite well in 07/08. the only difference between 08/09 and 07/08 is that we currently do not have a good enough dm to protect our back four. if we can have tough, dominant midfielder like barry in dm position or someone dynamic like flamini, our defence will look amazing all of a sudden. dm is one of the positions that requires huge experience and that is the one position that destroys our season. i am not saying song and denilson are not good enough. they are good and constantly improving which is fantastic but they do not have enough experience to make the right decision at times. one bad decision and our defence is exposed. i agreed with wenger, we are not that far off man utd. one top class dm signing, we will be challenging next season. barry certainly falls into the top class and experienced category. add another top class defender to the team, we will be dominating europe. with rosicky started training again, i believe we have even more firepower than the likes of barcelona and man utd. arshavin, rosicky, nasri, walcott, eboue we have more and better wingers than anyone. and we can have plenty of options in terms of tactics and formation too. we can choose to use walcott's pace, or we can use eboue when we want to be a little more defensive, we can shift nasri or rosicky to the middle to give fabregas a little competition. arshavin can slot into the forward position if van persie is injured. bendtner will give adebayor much needed competition. i really do not see why we can't challenge next season. we do not need to add to our attack thats for sure granted noone leaves. if we can strengthen our defence, we will be winning 4-0 every game next season. can't wait to spank man utd and call evra a baby in his face.

Clear Sleeve said...

Honestly, anyone who thinks Denilson is better than Barry is deluded beyond salvation.

Unknown said...

Song nothing short of excellent????sorry i must be misxing him up with a totally different player. The Song i have seen this year is a player with limited pace, not great in the air and struggles to pass the ball more than 10 foot to someone in the same shirt!!
come on man, get a grip. Song is average. Would he get into the United, Chelsea or Liverpool team????

Anonymous said...

energy (Den wins), tackling (Den wins), pass interceptions (Den wins by a mile), composure on the ball (Den wins), passing ability (Den wins)

den wins on interceptions... possibly

apart from that Id have to disagree on every count - i think denilson might exceed barry in the future tho

Anonymous said...

its weird how fans are so divided on individual players

Anonymous said...

So if someone comes in and Song stall,so what. iif every manager thinks like that he may as well not buy anybody. Then promote someone from the youth team. This is what happened with playing kids.
AW cannot be sentimental.
All the other top managers do not think like that. The team comes first. If Arsenal want to compete for trophies this sentiment must be cast aside.

Anonymous said...

deirdre - i would argue that song would get into the man utd, chelsea or liverpool sides
maybe not as a permanent fixture, but hes Far better than ppl like mikel and lucas, and just as good as fletcher and players like that
I think we do need someone with a bit of experience in the centre to improve the side, but song is worth his place in this squad

Anonymous said...

get barry and loan Song to Villa for a season in return + 10mill. This way Song gets first team regular play, we get Barry and Villa get a replacemnet for 1 season.

Danish Gooner said...

Song is to slow to play for a proper PL side challenging for Honours.

My First Tax Consultant said...

Barry is an 16mil pound english that wenger will not buy. expect someone not english with the same qualities at a fraction of the price =)

Anonymous said...

Denilson is a far better player than Barry.

And the earlier comment about Denilson being better than Barry in all those spheres?

It's not a debate, it's cold, hard facts - check the stats on it all.

Denilson is better by several country miles.


Anonymous said...

We need a quality center-back. Fuck Barry. He's 28 and too pricey. Give me a top quality center-back this summer.

Anonymous said...

Pointless article really. You take the much beloved Wenger stance that buying players "kills" this player or that one. This squad is paper thin.FACT. Song has made good strides but even with his 'just short of excellent displays' (according to you) he is nowhere near to being ready to anchoring our midfield to take on the Xavis and Iniestas of the world. Why throw him into the deep end. And we expect RVP, Arshavin and Fabregas to win trophies. Denilson @ best is a sqaud player especially for now.I'd take a defender AND 2 DMs thank you very much. Diaby can go. At 23 he has exhibited very little to suggest he will be even an average player at best.

FE Gooner said...

What is the penchant for English/British players about? It is a fallacy that they give you a spine. This is an individual character, not monopolised by English/British players. Mind you, who won the CL this year ? Barry at the moment may bring a marginal improvement to the team but I doubt Wenger would sign him at the touted price.

Anonymous said...

12m for Barry is too steep.
But he is good cover for Arsenal in Central midfield, left & right defense especially with so many Arsenal players injure so easily and frequently during the long campaign.

Hope they will buy Veloso & Sakho.

Best formation:-

Van Persie, Hunteleaar
Ryan Babel,Veloso,Fabregas, Walcott
Clichy, Gallas, Sakho, Sagna/Barry

Anonymous said...

i like song but he still not as tenacious as flamini. because fabregas lack physical qualities, his partner in midfield needs to be a monster like flamini. if song to partner someone like gerard, he would be a star but not with fabregas. so whoever can do a job like flamini does, then he is the best partner for fabregas. barry certainly not that type. in england, i'd say scott parker the most suitable. as for center back, gallas toure djourou and song would be enough if defensive midfield is just as good like flamini.

Anonymous said...

We need a young version of "Claude Makelele". Any options out there?

islingtoner said...

i'd much rather have alonso than barry. next season denilson will make the step up. diaby has huge potential but he is some distance behind denilson in his development. song is a good utility player, like eboue, but lacks the quality to be a regular starter in either position (CB & DM) but he can contribute hugely to the team on an ad hoc basis. teams challenging for honours need good quality utility players. we have two. let's remember that, though gallas and kolo are top quality centre-halves, they do not form a top quality central defensive pairing. selling gallas and bringing in a tall dominant centre-half to partner kolo would help in my opinion. then song can be toure's understudy and djourou can be the new man's understudy. i'd be delighted to see flamini back, but i can't see that happening. he was truly outstanding last season and his energy, fitness and never-say-die attitude have been sorely missed. remember, he was refused a new contract early in the season; was told he had to play for an extension; he duly did that, putting his body on the line knowing that serious injury would leave him out in the cold. even at the end of the season, the club procrastinated in meeting the 60k he thought he deserved. we should have done more to keep him and made him captain.

Anonymous said...

Forget Barry and sign Cana.
Sell Diaby, Gallas and Denilson.
We need someone with balls that will fill a void between midfield and defence and who also isn't scared to protect smaller team mates physically. From what I've seen of him, he aint afraid to put in a solid challenge. He's of the same temperment as Viera, aggressive and physically dominant with plenty of height on his side. Cana and Barry are about the same price but Cana is about 3yrs younger.

he can also buy Sakho while he's at it and piss Ade-halfarsed-bayor off and bring in Huntelaar.

livexp said...

song for arsenal and barry for villa.we don't need him anymore ,someone to be slow does not mean he cant be a great player.even barry is not he speed we want.look player like kanu, when he play for us he was great but he is too slow.even barbatov he got much credit statistically than ronaldo. only position we need to improve is get someone who excellent on air.the main reason for our failure is when our stars come from injuries wenger force to play them while they lack fitness,fabrigas and ade were out of form,

lesterthemolester said...

I'm a BIG fan of Song but if he is any good then i think he should be able to fight Barry for his place in the team.
when he manages that then he'll truly become a 'top 4 material' dm.
ps denilson 'my stats don't lie' neves is an over rated cunt

magic32 said...

Anonymous - I can see why you are Anonymous! When I read your first comment abbout Song not being Arsenal quality( being slow and poor passing) I thought - This guy proabably thinks Walcott is a good player! and as I read your best team you did not dissappoint.
1. Song may not be the quickest player, however no was Gilberto. Song's passing and tackling has been excellent.
2. Walcott - you talk about not an Arsenal player. Think about our football(one touch control and pass)and think about Walcott( poor control, poor decision making, poor finishing and very poor delivery) And you think this guy should be in our team ahead of - Arshavin, Nasri and Rosicky..... Well I suppose he's English!

livexp said...

song for arsenal and barry for villa.we don't need him anymore ,someone to be slow does not mean he cant be a great player.even barry is not he speed we want.look player like kanu, when he play for us he was great but he is too slow.even barbatov he got much credit statistically than ronaldo. only position we need to improve is get someone who excellent on air.the main reason for our failure is when our stars come from injuries wenger force to play them while they lack fitness,fabrigas and ade were out of form,

Anonymous said...

Let's get the benchwarmers Hleb and Flamini back on board for a very good price. Something like 10 m for both :)

Allan said...

The Song is awesome.

Unknown said...

My ideal signing would be Flamini, but I guess that ain't going to happen.

Barry would be fantastic. I would like to see Kolo Toure either leave or not being considered a starter anymore. He is just not good enough for Arsenal as he has been playing for the last 18 months. Gallas is another issue. He is our best defender but I feel that if we could find a great CB than Gallas might have to leave. At least, either Gallas or Kolo will have to leave. Silvestre can go to BLue Square North. Their wage bills are too big compared to their joint contribution.

I would like to get Barry (Flamini in my wildest dreams) and a commanding CB (no idea who, Hangeland seems too slow, not sure about Cahill or that Newcastle dude). That would leave us with Cesc and Barry together in midfield with a new CB alongside Song, Djourou or Gallas. Loan out Nordveit, Hoyte and Bartley to get more experience. That would leave us with plenty of options in both midfield (Cesc, Nasri, Barry, Song, Ramsey, Denilson, Coquelin) and four strong centre backs. I think those two signings for appr. 30 millions would improve our team as much as Arshavin did. Two signings that could possibly take us from inexperienced team that clearly isn't as strong as United, to a title contending team.

Tur gunner said...


Anonymous said...

I think its obvious to see how good it would be to arsenal for Barry to sign. Hes an England International and its clear that Capello rates him. I also think that we need a CB but i did see song in the carling cup at CB against Zaki when he was banging them in and he was kept quiet.

However im not sure that Cesc not being at his best is due to the lack of a quality DM alone.

When Rosicky was fit in 07/08 teams had to deal with the goal threats of Hleb,Rosicky and two strikers. Therefore Cesc found lots of space and the goals came. But whilst rosicky has been injured these goals have disappeared and this was noticeable after he barely scored after Rosicky got injured. Walcott doesn't give the same style of threat but does give us an outlet.

We need a CB if Wenger doesnt think that song is ready yet (but a clean sheet at old trafford ;) ) and a DM. I would also love to see adebayor get out and we bring in a world class finisher like Villa because none of our strikers ,bar eduardo, are finishers. (RVP Power and Adebayor misses too much)

Arsenalbigfan said...

we dont need hleb guys. he sucks.. barca just felt like buying him. they knew he's just gonna sit on the bench in his entire career for barcelona!

what abt bringing back um HENRY and flamini? :)
if not flamini, why has no one mentioned XABI ALONSO??

xabi alonso is kind of better than barry but im pretty sure he's easier to get than barry (liverpool doesnt want him anymore)
he has an excellent passing skill, he's good in attacking and defending from midfield (not too attacking not too defensive, perfect for a DM), he's a fighter, he has an amazing freekick skill as well i suppose. so why not alonso? well he's a bit expensive, but hey arsenal's owners have a lot of money, don't they??

and..about henry..
im just a huge fan of henry
and i still cant get over his skills and pace and finishing abilities that everyone wants to be like him but no one can. :) henry is the man.
(im just wondering, why isnt he taking Barca's freekicks? instead of xavi or dani alves..he's a good freekick taker rite?)

um if we cant get flamini or alonso or barry, maybe we should try yaya toure (he's a beast..) . or try someone cheap but EXCELLENT from a random country might be good too :)

i dont think arsenal need more attacking players. with rosicky and rvp and EDUARDO being fit, and arshavin being eligible in every competitions, i think we hav enough choices. see: nasri, arshavin, walcott, cesc, rosicky, rvp, eduardo, bendtner, VELA, ramsey, adebayor (if he stays. he's definitely allowed to go :) :) :P :D).

but if wenger decided to buy david villa, sure thing! who can say no to david villa?:P

Simmo160 said...

I think we need to get another central defender. play Gallas in front of the back 4.

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