A Wasted Season for Vela
There has been a lot of hope and anticipation around Carlos Vela. He had a good pre-season tour, so we expected to see what the Mexican can do in the Premier League. With Nasri, Fabregas, Walcott and Vela linking up I expected to see many a defence cut to shreds.
Unfortunately Vela was never given the opportunity in the league. His appearances were restricted to a few substitute appearances, often when we were chasing a game and out wide, a position that Wenger insisted was not Vela’s natural role!
The only time The Mexican was given a start as a striker was in the Carling Cup. He did well, but was not rewarded with a league start.
It was ages before Arsene started him in the league and then it was a wide player. Vela is not a winger; he does not have the trickery or turn of pace to rip a full-back to pieces. All too often Vela’s moves were predictable and easily thwarted by the opposing defenders.
Vela’s preferred position is the number two striker, running at the defenders. We have not seen him perform in this position.
It must be very frustrating for Vela to have spent two seasons in Spain playing in either the Primera or Segundo Liga and then having to sit on the bench for a whole season at Arsenal. He must question why he did not go out on loan in January to say Wigan Athletic or Hull City. A loan spell would have been beneficial for both Vela and Arsenal, it is questionable how much he has learnt or improved sitting on the bench every week.
With the return of Eduardo and the addition of Arshavin, Vela has moved further down the pecking order at Arsenal. No doubt he is a great talent, but he is into getting the opportunity to show it or develop. If Arsene keeps all his main strikers for next season – Adebayor, van Persie, Eduardo and Bendtner, then the best thing for Vela is to go out on loan to a team that will give him game most weeks.