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.

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Posted on January 28, 2009, in Arsenal and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. “Our failings this season have been not due to the lack of quality players in midfield, but due their lack of consistency.”

    I stopped reading here, you can’t say an unproven players inconsistency has nothing to do with the rate of his quality, offcourse it does. the likes of Denilson, Song, Ebou and Diaby don’t show the quality required for regular first team football. Now just as any other resource, the quality of a player can be improved, sometimes this happens almost overnight(Anelka), sometimes it doesn’t(Richard Wright). The problem is that Wenger gambled on this happening over night on too many positions in his squad, unproven players said to “be as good as” the proven first team stars that we never should have lost(Flamini/Gilberto, Hleb).

    Some may call this encuragement, but I think it put form sinking pressure on these talented youngsters, it became obvious not only to us, but to them too that the team with them included wasn’t ready to meet expectations set by fans and manager.

    so don’t talk about quality being sufficient, it’s obvious even to Wenger that it has not been the case.

    • northbanklegend

      Look at the performances that they put in on some occassions and you will see that their is a cause for some optimism, whether they can show this potential more often only time will tell.

  2. MATE DENILSON,A PASSER OF THE BALL?THAT IS ONE OF THE MOST RIDICUOUS THINGS I VE EVER READ ON THIS SITE.HE ONLY MAKES SQUARE AND BACKWARD PASSES.IF I REMEMBER RIGHT,FLAMIMI IS A DENFENSIVE MIDFIELDER.DENILSON COULD NEVER AND WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO TAKE OVER FROM HIM.THE GUY CANT TACKLE,CANT PASS,CANT RUN.HE IS SHIT AND THE WEAK LINK IN OUR TEAM.GOOD PLAYERS LIKE ROSICKY,FABREGAS, AND EDUARDO GET SUCH BAD INJURIES AND HE DOESNT BECAUSE HE DOESNT GET INVOLVED.I HATE THE GUY AS A’ PLAYER’AND REALLY PISSED OFF WITH WENGER FOR PLAYING HIM.

    • northbanklegend

      Denilson is a good passer of the ball, you need to see him play all the time to see he has the potential. AS for Flamini, well in the 3-4 years at Arsenal he played one good season. As for this notion of a defensive midfielder, well a defensive midfielder is centre back with pace, they never existed until Makalele joined Chelsea

  3. I think Denilson gets too much stick for nothing really, he seems to be doing quite well for a 20-year old. Diaby looked like he will be a sensational player when he arrived but somehow he has never performed consistently since his long injury, he should really concentrate because I think when he’s on the ball he is superb, Ramsey is just 18, so I think we could excuse him when he sometimes can’t handle the occasion, I mean how many 18 year old’s play for a top team? and Song, I don’t really know what he does well, I hope he turns out to be as good as Gilberto, because I didnt know what Gilberto did until he reminded us when he was injured. Hopefully these guys will do the business, and we also have Captain Fabregas to come back, and there’s more talent coming through, so the guys currently in the team must start performing consistently otherwise just like they got their chance, someone behind them will get theirs.

  4. northbanklegend,

    Flamini thit an excellent season when e went to the CL final, and that out of position as a left back! then he didn’t get to play as much the year after, but he was a better sub anyway then denislon is as a first choice player. the year after, his last season he was absolute class, improved passing capabilities combined with his outstanding work-rate, plus the fact that he had had 3-4 seasons to settle had formed us a fantastic servant at the heart of our midf.

    Denilson is maybe as talented as Flamini S1, , but remember, flamini was’nt first choice back then, not even close.

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