Over the past season due to lack of creativity coming from the Arsenal midfield. One Alexandre Song stepped up and became the ‘Maestro’ of the team. This illustrious title was once labelled upon on Francesc Fabregas who had just left the club to return to his boyhood club FC Barcelona. Song’s 15 assists from last season has led to rave reviews about the Cameroonian midfielder, and has even led to the Arsenal faithful to voting him as their second best player of the 2011/12 premier league season,(suprisingly) ahead of the likes of Laurent Koscielny and Mikel Arteta to show how his contribution has been before the 11/12 season he had 10 assists in his whole Arsenal career. This is an example of exactly what has earned Song the title of ‘Midfield Maestro’
However, there has also been quite a bit of criticism aimed at Alex Song’s way. It has been said that due to his progress as a player offensively he has stagnated as a player defensively, with even Arsenal legend Ray Parlour questioning whether Arsene would want to bring in a more ‘defensive minded’ midfielder and push Song further up. Last season Arsenal suffered their worst season defensively during Wenger’s reign at the club, conceding 49 goals in Premier League. Many of the ‘Gooners’ have said that this is not good enough if they want to put up a decent title challenge, and have said that this problem is due to the lack of a ‘true defensive midfielder. This is the type of performances some gooners want Alex to put in and for the so-called ‘hollywood passes’ to be cut out.
In this current transfer window Arsenal have bolstered their midfield ranks with the signing of the diminutive double European championship winner in Santi Cazorla and may possibly even sign the 2010/11 Bundesliga player of the year Nuri Sahin (Albeit only on loan). These signings should add some much-needed creativity to the Gunner’s midfield area, and with Abou Diaby (possibly) recovering from his frequent injury problems and Tomas Rosicky and Jack Wilshere (assuming no more setbacks happen…) due to return from their own injury problems within the coming months, this would likely mean that Alex Song’s offensive contribution maybe not needed as much as it was last season. This may raise the question of whether Song, who is attracting interest from Barcelona, is needed in the starting line up, or even at all. Many seem to want Alex Song to go back to being the player he was in the 09/10 season and hold in his attacking desire, and I say 09/10 instead of 10/11 and this upcoming video will show you why. As the video shows Alex Song played more of a ‘box-to-box role that season with the three midfielders switching between defensive and offensive roles.
For me, there are 3 options for which Song could take up when playing in the Arsenal midfield. 1) The box-to-box role that I have already discussed, this would be and easy option to use as all of our midfielders (apart from Frimpong) have both offensive and defensive attributes to their games. 2) He could go back to being a so-called ‘true defensive midfielder’ which is basically winning the ball back, control, and release to more offensive players. 3) I think that Alex could possibly play as a deep-lying playmaker, in this role he could use his excellent passing skills to dictate the tempo of matches without having to directly assist goals.
Whatever happens im sure Wenger will have a plan as the popular phrase goes, ‘Arsene Knows’.
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