A Midfield Conundrum
Our failings this season have been not due to the lack of quality players in midfield, but due their lack of consistency. In the absence of Fabregas, Wenger has four players to choose from, Denilson, Diaby, Ramsey and Song.
On their day, each of them can be match winners, but all too often they fail to play anywhere near their potential. This could be that as a youngster, you cannot reach certain heights all the time or it could be that sometimes they are “not up for it.”
Denilson has all the attributes to take over from Flamini, he is industrious, tenacious a passer of the ball and has a cracking shot. Unfortunately, it appears that the young Brazilian is finding playing regularly in the Premier League onerous. He has the potential to become a classy midfielder.
Diaby is often compared to Vieira because he is tall. What Diaby has is great strength, a good “engine,” an eye for goal and will shield the ball well in midfield. People demand he plays regularly, yet when he played against Plymouth and Bolton, he was terrible. Then come Sunday, Wenger brings him and he looks like a world-beater.
Ramsey looked good against Plymouth, but against Cardiff, he froze. Wenger was too kind to him and did not substitute him at half time.
Song is an enigma, he has never overcome the Merson jibe, and “he looks like a fish up a tree.” Wenger who played him as a centre back last season has not helped matters. He also commented that he doubted Song could be a central midfielder. Yet this season that is exactly where he has played. Song can command a midfield like he did against Cardiff or he could be a lost cause.
This is Wenger’s problem, four players all of high quality and ability, but not always playing to their ability. They occupy a key area in the field, where we need to dominate. We have the resources, but not the consistency.