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This season’s team: the amazing midfield



Midfielders: Diaby, Wilshere, Fabregas, Rosicky, Nasri, Denilson, Ramsey, Song

By Tony Attwood

This article continues in the format established earlier in a review of the forward line.  Also at the end is an update on which of the reserve players are not at the summer camp, and whether that means much…

So, onto the midfield…

By way of explanation I should add that Arshavin and Eboue are included in the Arsenal midfield list (I’m putting them in as a forward and defender respectively) while Vela and Walcott have been listed by Arsenal as forwards by AFC and I included them there.

And what do we find…

I started off the similar piece on forwards saying I had not seen a set-up like it before, and I feel the same about the midfield – it is an extraordinary selection.  I read a piece the other day saying that when a team is made up of 27-28 year olds it can only improve a few percent through increasing awareness of each other.  When a team is made up of younger players it can improve by 30% in a year.  I am looking forward to it.

Of the list Diaby, Denilson, Song, and  Frimpong are players who could play in the defensive role in front of the back four.  At a push so can Ramsey and Fabregas, although naturally you would want them further up the field – and indeed giving Diaby licence to roam makes more use of his skill.

Diaby

Last Season: 35 starts, 5 as sub, 7 goals

Injury potential: He’s had his year out following a Shawcross type assault against Sunderland, and seems to get just the odd muscle pull.  35 starts last season shows his resilience.

Brilliance potential: Still don’t think we have seen the best of him – but the great thing is he can play all over the midfield – and move into attack too.  Remember that game he played in attack with Theo in Turkey (I think) and we were about 4-0 up in 13 seconds.  OK my mind plays tricks but he played as centre forward that day.

Breakthrough potential: If everyone were fit then we might just see a midfield of Cesc, Denilson and Song, but leaving that aside I would expect him to be a regular first choice.

Personality: Never seem to hear anything bad.  After that awful own goal against Man U last year he showed extraordinary nerves to be able to get on and keep playing.  Seemed to conduct himself with dignity for France in the world cup.

Crowd potential: Not quite there with the crowd but a good season will turn everyone around.

International Disruption Potential: French regular, so not too far to go for home games.

Wilshere

Last Season: 7 starts, 8 as sub, 1 goals

Injury potential: Seems to be unaffected by the injury disease that has swept the club.

Brilliance potential: Outstanding and the Barnet game showed he is several centuries beyond where he was last year.  It is all coming good and is about to get gooder (if you see what I mean).  Doubeplusgood in fact.

Breakthrough potential: Presumably not yet first choice, but with the inevitable injuries he will get a place and do his thing.  He now seems to realise he can play football and not beat the entire team every time he gets the ball.

Personality: Looked to have a lot of aggression in him which sometimes came out the wrong way – but then he is hardly out of nappies so allowances are made.

Crowd potential: Adored as the first of the Youth Project kids.  Can do no wrong for those with any sense of history who remember seeing Rocastle and Merson for the first time.

International Disruption Potential: Please don’t let the evil maniacs who run English football destroy him.  Mr Cappuccino – he is no good honest.  Absolute rubbish.  Don’t touch him.

Fabregas

Last Season: 35 starts, 1 as sub, 19 goals

Injury potential: Well, you know.  But if he can just get a bit of a break sometime it might help.

Brilliance potential: Stratospheric.  First choice obviously.  And 19 goals!

Breakthrough potential: He broke through aged 3.

Personality: I tend to view it as a young man torn by demands of his family who want to be with him in Barca, and his devotion to Wenger who made him what he is.  When an entity the size of Barca use you as the football, rather than using a football, you have to be strong, and he is getting stronger.

Crowd potential: If anyone near me boos him I’ll smash his fucking face in.  Well, no I wouldn’t what with me being of the elderly persuasion, but I will remonstrate with the fellow most severely.

International Disruption Potential: Plays for Barca when they pretend to be Spain, and has idiots pulling the wool over his face.  Fortunately is mostly used as a reserve since he doesn’t play for Barca the club.

Rosicky

Last Season: 20 starts, 13 as sub, 3 goals

Injury potential: Hard to say.  Last year was his comeback year and I’d say it went better than it might have done.  If the little injuries are all over, maybe he’ll fire up again.

Brilliance potential: When he came he was sensational, and then the injury started and his career was intercepted.  He is better in the middle than on the wing, but when he gets going on the wing he is on fire.

Breakthrough potential: This season he has to make it all the way through without serious injury, helping relieve the pressure on other players as the games come up in mid-week.   I’d love to see him remind us of his pure football by cutting inside from the wing.

Scoring potential: Could get many more, but needs to be there regularly and able to cut inside to shoot from just outside the area.

Personality: Seems a nice, balanced young gent

International Disruption Potential: Czech Rep, and didn’t qualify for the bent world cup.  Captain of the side last time I looked.  Hopefully won’t qualify for Euros either.

Nasri

Last Season: 29 starts, 5 as sub, 5 goals

Injury potential: Apart from the odd broken leg in the training camp seems to be immune.

Brilliance potential: Won the goal of the year through sheer determination to go through and score.   More of the same please.

Breakthrough potential: He is there, there is nowhere to break into.  When fit he should play – except that if Song, Cesc and Denilson are fit, I wonder if he does.  Too many players that’s the problem.

Personality: We saw him get angry a few times.  Not a bad thing (they don’t like it up em) if he can then turn around and smile in a charming manner to the ref.  Keep the aggro but calm down faster, that’s the way to do it.

Scoring potential: Could get more – just look at that video of the winning goal again.

International Disruption Potential: Not picked by France although clearly he should have been, but long may that situation continue.

Denilson

Last Season: 25 starts, 3 as sub, 5 goals

Injury potential: It seems high – that back injury kept returning, but hopefully all is now sorted.  Although he missed Barnet with an injury so it seems.

Brilliance potential: I rate him like Gilberto – the master of the interception, knowing exactly where the ball will be and picking the spot to walk off with it.  I know half the universe disagrees with me and the other half doesn’t support Arsenal, but when I did a report on a game for a paper the season before last and just watched him, it was extraordinary the way he just seems to know.  But some total prat one day called him “lightweight” and every paper picked up on it.  Just go back and watch the opening game of last season, and ponder why he is so rated in Brazil.

Breakthrough potential: High – he has broken through but he now needs to do it again to convince the doubters.  But if he is moved into the Brazil first team now, he will be like Vela – endlessly jet lagged.

Personality: Another Mr Nice Guy.

Scoring potential: Could be more – mostly from 30 yards out.

International Disruption Potential: If with the change of ownership in Brazil he is moved into the first team now, he will be like Vela – endlessly jet lagged and with more injuries.

Ramsey

Last Season: 12starts, 17 as sub, 4 goals.

Injury potential: Everyone knows.  When will he come back?  Say December and hope for earlier. Maybe this year he has finally got over the horrors.

Brilliance potential: Staggering.  I was raving over him every time he came on the pitch last season until the evil maniac Shawcross did him, and the evil maniac who manages England then picked Shawcross that evening to play for the country.   I suspect Cesc will go in a year or two, and then like Vieira, Henry, Anelka and others, he will regret it absolutely, but Ramsey will just step up into his shoes and we won’t notice the change.

Breakthrough potential: Total.

Personality: Yet another seemingly nice young man.

Scoring potential: Anything Cesc can do….

International Disruption Potential: Played for Wales since the age of two and will probably be their captain before he even gets fit again.  But they don’t qualify for things so that’s a relief.  Should do a Giggs and never turn up for friendlies.

Song

Last Season: 37 start, 1 as sub, 1 goals.

Injury potential: Moderate.

Brilliance potential: Potentially staggering.

Breakthrough potential: I have started reading comments on blogs saying that he really needs to get his game together.  OK I admit it, I am from another planet.  This guy is re-defining defensive midfield all on his own.  Maybe the doubters are aware of what they said about him after he had that bad game at Fulham.

Personality: Gets booked a lot.  (That’s not really personality, I know)

Scoring potential: Who cares, he protects the back four.

International Disruption Potential: Is African and therefore will miss the mid season, not this year but next.  And I think the one after (I read somewhere that they are doing a thing where they will play two African cups one year after the other).

——————————–

Backup – Pick anyone from…

Frimpong, Lansbury, Emmanuel Thomas, Barazite, Henderson. In fact pick all of them since they are all brilliant beyond belief.  Frimpong – see the Barnet game, Lansbury – see the last game of last season, JET – see the youth cup games…

So we need three players on the pitch and I have 8 listed in the squad (excluding Vela and Theo) and I have five listed for breakthrough.  This seems to me like the ultimate protection against injuries.

Lastest reserve news

The reserve team last night was

Shea
Hoyte – Boateng – Miquel – Evina
Özyakup – Randall – Barazite
Murphy – Simpson – Watt

This suggests, well, I am not sure.  They won’t go on the school trip to Austria, but so what?   If we take the general view that Simpson is back up to the back ups then we might also say Barazite is the same, and that this confirms Randall is just playing out time until he can find a club.

Murphy, Watt, Ozakup and Miquel are rising stars, so either they have a loan deal already fixed (or about to be fixed following the friendlies in England) or they are staying in the reserves ready to lend a hand in the Diddley Cup.

Which also asks the question (for another article) what sort of team do we play in the the Diddley this year.

Overall then the team selection for the reserves last night tells me nothing.  No surprise there.

————————————-


This season’s team: the front line

Full index of posts: The players: first team, reserves, youth

If it is untold then you will find it here (make sense?)

If it is untold but very old then you will find it somewhere else

If it is entertaining, fun, brilliant, exquisite and whatnot, then, well, you know.

31 comments to This season’s team: the amazing midfield

  • vijay

    One thing about Diaby that I’ve noticed is that his head seems to be the first to go down in adversity. Which can all-too-often lead to him getting visibly frustrated.

    And it’s not just us, it’s with France too.

    One day I’d really like to see him step things up, stop being fatalistic, and beleive a bit more.

    We all know he can do good things, but if I’m ever going to want him as a first choice midfielder then he’s going to have to earn it by being consistent. Which currently he’s not. (I suppose the same thing can be said of an unfit Denilson).

    In terms of beleiving that the course of a match can be changed he seems almost the opposite of Eboue.

    It’s bizarre since I’m certain Diaby is the more talented, but he just doesn’t seem to be mentally suited to being behind in a match.

    The only other player worth commenting on is Rosicky. For him this season could either get him playing Mozart again or see him continually sidelined through niggles. I’m so hoping for the former. Even if he’s a little slower than a few years ago, it wouldn’t matter. Now that Dudu has been rumoured away to the fields of the Ukraine, Rosicky is the player that I wish the most amount of luck.

    As for Wilshere, Fabregas, Nasri, Ramsey, and Song – they could well make the coming season one of the most memorable in years.

  • nicolas

    I think that ideally we have a lot of good players, but we don’t have the required hierarchy in our team. Who are our first choices in our starting eleven? This is why I’m not that happy of our overall set up at the moment.

    In RvP we have a world-class striker and Cesc obviesly the world class midfielder, and Vermaelen in our defence is my favourite. These guys with the likes of Song (exceptional!) and Arshavin(when it is his day we win) make our teams core and keep fans happy. But what about the roles of the rest of the group? Like Vela, Diaby, Nasri, Rosiscky, Denilson etc. Where do they fit?

    They are indisputably good, but what they give to the first team more than cover? Bearing in mind mind that we have a lot of up coming world-class youngsters (Ramsey, Wilshere, Nordveilt) in our ranks, who I for one would like to see in action. I see that I’m explaining my self badly, but I think that selling one to four players still, and buying one world class winger/ centre back would be a good move to the club.

    Am I the only one who thinks this?

  • marcus

    All true. Unfortunately Shawcross came into the gallery and slashed up the Michaelangelo, so at the moment the Philistines are still winning.

    Did you mention Eastmond and Frimpong?

    The one thing Arsene deserves, whatever the slings and arrows of outrageous FA ineptitude throw at him, is the respect and support of the supporters.

    Everybody now say ‘aye’.

  • demondonkey

    i for one will not boo “kissthe badgecesc”(though you never know,i might change me mind) next season, but nor will i be 100% behind him,just because he our best player don’t mean nothing,if a paying fan wants to slag cesc off you can’t go round getting upset and go smashing thier face in (albeit jokingly)fans are allowed thier opion,just like you tony,cesc wants out ,and we will sell him soon, it a shame, real madrid ain’t tried to stir it up by bidding for cesc,then barca will offer us the 50million we want for him.
    i for one, hope wenger gets in a replacement soon(knowing wenger and his past history he won’t),and if cesc stays let him experience the sub bench again and watch his replacement (my choice would be goucuff or ozil) play.
    i personally think he be gone by 31 of august,arsenal have never kept players who want to leave and i doubt we will now.
    as for diarby he’s getting better but does fade to much in big games,denilson slow,and not very good staying in position, roscesky, as much as i love watching him play,he’s had enough chances and still misses most of season needs to go,
    nasri can be brilliant maybe could do cesc role,wilshire idoubt we’ll see much of him but potential is enormus,ramsey lets hope he not go like eduardo? but very promising,as for song my player of the year last season,and he’ll get better.
    have a great day all, up the gunners

  • panker

    hi, nice post
    i just want to ask you one question,
    what happened to the promising teenager Randall? A year ago i though he was the neht Cesc with more driblinig abilities from him, but he never get in to first team reserves…
    do anyone know more about that guy? thanks

  • AnonymousGun

    I think the 3rd wheel in the midfield can be custom made according to opponent.. Need another PM, play Samir, Need Cesc play deeper, play Abou, Going against a passing team, play Denilson, Need more direct, play TRos.

  • AnonymousGun

    Need peoples to trembles next year.. play Jack 😀

  • I think the midfield is awesome,and I think Eastmond and Frimpong will deserve a chance hence I do not see AW signing another defensive player except someone that can cover for both the defense and midfield.I think Diaby and Denilson are highly underrated.They might not have gotten anywhere near there best but considering their age and what they have done so far in their careers (ala the likes of Gerrard and Lampard at same age) and the stage and level at which they are doing it you must give them credit.Eastmond is another player that I admire and like the article says of Song bringing defensive midfield to a whole new level so can be said of Eastmond,gone are the days of the brute stocky players but much more technically disciplined easy going but effective wall.If this team play to their maximum and a little bit of luck they will re-enact the invincibles they are technically better than the invincibles in my assessment.

  • Fedda

    Diaby has the potential to shine. When he is having a good day, he’s nearly unstoppable. But when he is having a bad day, he can play very awful. He needs to raise the bar when he is having a bad day. Be more consistent.

    Denilson needs to get rid of the injuries. Playing 5 games and being out injured another 5 is slowing his progress. He can get even better than Gilberto.

    Sliding Rosicky is a class act. I really hope he can shine like he did in his first season.

    Song is one of my favourite Arsenal players, his awareness when he interrupts play or wins a header is fantastic. He has come a long way since the Fulham game.

    It’s going to be a fantastic season. It has to be impossible to surpass the injuries we faced in the previous season.

  • Re Randall – he came to the fore a few years ago, got a few first team runs out, but then slipped back. Watching from the sidelines I would say it was attitude. It would not surprise me if he did something stupid like refusing to go on loan or something.

    That of course is a guess, but something happened when he was on the edge of the first team, and making the odd appearance, and then he just went back.

  • Nicolas – I too remember the days of a hierarchy – I can remember turning up at Highbury in the Graham era and the only thing that changed match by match was who the subs were (I think we had 2 in those days)

    But now all we get are season where every single player in one section is out = what is the point of a hierarchy in such a situation.

    The other point is that the opposition have got bigger and bigger squads so they can rotate their options, and in the end the only way around this is to do the same ourselves.

  • Phil I am new to posting on your blog though have been reading for quite a while.Though this might not relate to this article but in some of your other article and the amortization thing.If a play is amortized through his cost and number of years he signs what happens to the clause where by clubs state that a team most meet so and so amount in other to sign a specific player even though the player has depreciate due to his amortized value.Bcause if i understand your amortization any better then players should have been way cheaper and in the case of Cesc we should be selling him far less than we are anticipating to do right now.I will like to get a thought from you.

  • NetBulger

    Very good stuff, Tony. Three years ago I had convinced myself that mid-field perfection would be achieved when Fabregas, Diaby and Denilson reached “maturity”. Time has caused me to change that opinion because:

    – Diaby has not reached the expected level of consistent excellence
    – Song has exceeded all expectations

    And so my first pick in a 4-3-3 is Cesc, Song, Denilson.

    I agree with all of your comments on the multitude of surrounding talent – BUT – what happens if Alex Song gets a really serious injury? We’re up the Swanney, I’d say. No one else has his defensive skills. For that reason, every night before I enter the land of nod, I offer up a little prayer to the Good Lord Gooner that Arsene will spend whatever it takes to bring Felipe Melo from disenchantment at The Old Lady to Wenger’s Wonderful World of Emirates Enchantment.

    Felipe’s arrival would eliminate immediately our (sometimes) soft centre, add a superb long ball passing capability, establish Fabregas, Melo and Song as the midfield-of-all-midfields and, oh yes, we’d sweep the boards of silverware next year to the extent that no one, including Cesc, would ever want to leave until they were older than Liam Brady is today.

    Come on you Gooners!

  • johan

    sorry it has nothing to do with(as always)great article, but have you seen the interview oh thierry henry in NY?
    absolutely ridiculous…

    http://www.myfoxny.com/dpp/good_day_ny/new-york-red-bull-thierry-henry-20100719

  • Phil

    Diba, it’s actually Tony’s blog, but he kindly lets me contribute !

    On your question, I’m not entirely sure what you’re asking: are you asking about clauses whereby the players value isn’t fixed? Ie £10million fee, with £2million extra due after a certain number of appearances?

    Cesc will have next to no value on the books as he has already been with us for a very long time and his initial value was low (only the compensation we paid). But book value has no bearing on the value of a player in the market (by book value, a player’s value only decreases via amortisation, it can never go up, which is clearly not true due to young players etc)

  • Rhys Jaggar

    MY hunch on Carling Cup team injuries/loans notwithstanding:

    Szcezny;
    Nordweit, Song, Djourou, Cruise/Gibbs/Traore;
    Lansbury, Wilshere, Eastmond/Frimpong, Gibbs/Traore;
    Watt, JET

  • Phil,I think I get it now knowing the amortization thing is only reflective on the account value rather than the market value.Can you share light on clauses in contract that allow us to gain out of sign on fee for a player we have already let go like in the case of Anelka and Bentley.Because I read somewhere that Milan offered more for Anelka but we sold to Real and recouped 13million more when he moved on from there and that amounted to about 33million when you add that to what we got initially for him and knowing the Milan was offering 30million at that time(my figures are not exactly correct)that was good biz from us and such clause I believe has to do with the players age.If this is true will such clause count if the player has resigned another contract with the club before the club sell him to another club using the case of Cashley Cole at chelsea.If we had that clause on him will it still count knowing that he has renewed his contract with chelsea before now.

  • vamaan

    well well well……….iniesta or xavi ……to be included ………..in fabregas deal

  • Dark Prince

    I think this year we will have less roles for defensive midfielder. Last year our defence was little weak so i find thats d reason y we used a defensive midfielder. But this year, with the expected strengthening of the defense, we would see less of defensive midfielders like diaby, song, denilson n eastmond and more of attacking midfielders like rosicky, wilshere, lansbury and nasri. Mostly defensive midfielders will be used as substitutes to give more defensive cover when arsenal are in the lead. Also though eboue was first a defender, i think he has matured into a fine attackin winger but still his final touch/pass/shoot requires a little more precision. Same goes for walcot whom i expect to shine this season.

  • Yuri

    Great article tony, even if in my opinion you’re being to positive (nevermind me , i’m catastrophic).
    But the thing about being worried with denilson’n jet lag is rubbish, as a brazilian i can tell you , we never play on brazil ( in fact we played more on the emirates than on the legendary Maracanã) most of our friendly games are on europe, and except for the world cup qualifying (wich we wont play) 90% of our games are on europe soil.
    Keep in mind that this whole scenario could change, after the ridiculous world cup brazil made

  • panker

    thanks Tony for Randall answer

  • jason

    Vjay is mistaken! its cesc who seems to drop his head first in adversity, happened alot last season, head down and/or walking about with his head in his shirt!

    Denilson hasn’t shown anything to say he can play defensive midfield and i think Wenger needs to either play him more offensively or sell him, last season and before he has been inconsistant and hasn’t got the greatest passing ability, with him losing possession alot in dangerous areas and giving away needless free kicks. Tho still young i think he either needs to seriously improve this season or be sold.

    As for Ramsey, can only hope he’s given more time than Dudu to recover from his leg break! And to say Nasri is immune from our dreaded disease is a not true, one of the main risks in buying Samir was because of his injures, so he is actually likely to pick up knocks. As for our midfield both Song and Diaby should feature in every game possible, Song is the most under rated mid fielder in football, to me he is as good as Vieira, and will be better, a bold statement i know, but I’ve been watching his progression from his first game to now and he is top draw. Both defensively and with the ball at his feet, even the way he carries himself on the pitch is Vieiraesc. As for Diaby, he was frances best player at the world cup, granted it wasn’t difficult, but again watching him play is great entertainment, for such a big man he has great feet, and when he’s running at defenses you expect something to happen, as with Nasri. You don’t even have to mention Cesc in our mid field because of our strenght and depth, tho if he does leave we will need an extra creative midfielder.

  • gooner80

    Great article Tony

    I think our midfield is quality with only Chelsea able to compete with us.

    I rate song and denilson but the problem both of them have is; neither just sits, I remember Wenger screaming at them at one home game cant remember which one for pushing forward too much. When the Bbc looked at Gilberto and Melo both never entered the opposition box throughout the game or the final third their positioning was excellent, Song and Denilson need to learn from some of the best holding midfielders. When Clichy and Sagna get forward they must just sit there, we should never have more than 6 in attack except when we are losing.

    The collective midfield needs to go back to that high pressing game we started with, you dont need physical players but players like Nasri and Cesc need to press hard when we dont have the ball, force them into a mistake, the Spanish midfield during the world cup pressed hard. I dont know whether its laziness,fitness or unaware of the danger but I believe the midfield could have pressed a lot harder and could have saved us a good 10 goals a season. It is better to be proactive then reactive a bit of nipping the opponent in the butt earlier breaks down attacks and with our ball retention makes the other team work harder to get it back

  • Gooner Gal

    Just finished watching the match today, 3-0 is good but based on the fact the Graz seemed to stop really trying in the last 15mins I expected more goals.

    Focusing on the midfield first I thought in the first half Nasri looked on fire and ready for the start of the league. Frimpong looked composed and a clean tough tackler that will add something different to the squad (Stoke/Blackburn here we come!), Arsharvin’s passing could of been a bit better, and seemed to overall play well with Wiltshire. Jack went a bit quiet in second half after Arsharvin’s departure. Though neither of them were able to really bring Chamakh into the game.

    As football is a game of two halves….Nasri would have man of the match for the 1st and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas would get it for the second! I want to see more of this player he looks like a sleeping giant of a player that is being woken. He has a lightening quick football brain. He knew when to let the ball run on to a different player, created space for himself, had pace, shook of defenders, was a constant threat, accurately passed the ball around and set up Lansbury’s goal.

    Lansbury looks comfortable on the ball and Nordveit looks like he’s coming on nicely in defence. Gibbs was best player in defence line in the 2nd half but over all I thought defence was shakey. 1st half players looked as dodgy as second & the defensive players need to develop understanding quickly.

    I don’t want to be hard on Rosicky but he was the player I thought could of done better. He put in a competent performance, but that isn’t enough for me. He didn’t pass the ball to JET and seemed to be looking for Theo too much (even though theo was being marked by 2 players) was too deep in our half at times (forcing Gibbs to make runs down the flank), often badly positioned and did not link up well with Eastmond or Lansbury. I think its time to sell him or use him in the cups.

    This was of course only 1 match but Wenger has alot to do in midfield and defense.

  • super sam super sam

    hey tony, sami will be in the french squad next term.

    i’m sure he and chamakh will be friends, laurent blanc is the new french coach, laurent blanc was chamakh’s coach.

    there’s something there for the french team

  • brian

    Again i see people responding to the notion that Cesc is being a traitor to Arsenal. just look at the midfield players that have been mentioned , Diaby,Dennilson,Eboue are useless and should not be playing premier league football, the others with the exception of FAB are only average to fair players. The current crop of youngsters have a lot of potential but whether they stay at Arsenal or look for greener pastures will only be known in time- merida a good example, lost by not playing him.
    When Arsenal actually become a force in the EPL and win trophies again is when the real class will happily want to stay and play . Cesc wants to p;lay for a team who win , nothing more than that. Dont faultb him for that! At present arsenal are a team full of selfimportance who underachieve continually – just like france and england!!!!!!!!!

  • jason

    Haha Brian are you actually an Arsenal supporter or a Spurs(or Liverpool) fan, intent on insulting the true supporters and blatantly rubbishing what has been written in the above article?? To say our midfield is average is stupid, Nasri is as good as Cesc and Ramsey was shaping up to be a stronger version of Cesc and if Ramsey hadn’t been injured then im sure Wenger would have listened to Barcas offer. And Merida to Athletico is hardly greener pastures!!

    And i don’t think England underachieve, its more too much is expected from them, and this year bad team selection cost them. And it don’t help the English squad when they’re constantly getting negitive press.

  • brian

    Jason you are looking at the picture with binkers on. Sure Nasri is a good player as is Song , but the rest ie. diaby etc are shit, pure and simply shit! To assume that im not an arsenal supporter is stupid as is avoiding the obvious , we have some serious shortcommings that the french idiot needs to rectify. As for England, reputations mean f-all on the field, results, however are what sucess is measured by, nothing else!

  • Waleed

    I am surprised at how much criticism our midfielders get when the midfield was clearly our strongest area last season.

    I think Barcelona were the only team to expose our midfield and they have two of the best midfielders of this generation in their team.

    Our midfielders are good at winning the ball, good at keeping it, as well as making penetrative passes/runs.

    A lot of the mistakes by our forwards and defenders get blamed on our midfield unfortunately.

  • The Ruler

    I think we have a very solid midfeild, the only issue could possibly be defensive midfeild cover for Song if Denilson isn’t on form and none of the youth are ready to step up yet.