A day or two back JBH wrote a really interesting piece on Denilson in the comments section of this website. I strongly recommend it as a piece of interesting reading – especially the summary of the stats.
Take a look at this – and remember we are talking about a young player doing his first full season as an EPL regular…
Premiership: All Midfielders:
Denilson 3rd in Total Passes, 2nd in Pass accuracy (86%), Successful Tackles 45 (7th) with a tackle success rate of 75%, Attempts Created 21 (21st), Shots on Target 10 (13th), Assists 4 (4th), Goals 2 (12th), Fouls won 25 (9th).
Tackling is particularly noteworthy, no other midfielder in the top 4 comes close (none in the top 20).
All the others in the top 10 tacklers are from the low end of the table. In all these categories he is performing better than Obi Mikel, Alonso, Mascherano and Gareth Barry.
In the Champions League his form is even more impressive:
Midfielders: Total Passes (4th), Pass accuracy (3rd), Successful tackles 17 (3rd) with success rate of 85%, Fouls won 13 (10th).
It was with this in mind that I watched Denilson even more intently than normal during the Wigan game. Without seeing the stats I’ve been feeling more and more we have got a gem and a half here. But watching one player intently – trying to see where he is going rather than watching the ball etc – it becomes even clearer that this is an incredible player.
And of course he is still being trained and developed. This is the game that he has now – another year and his game will be further advanced.
Of course many don’t agree. The guy on my left (who arrived late, wandered out for half time three minutes before the whistle, came back ten minutes into the second half and left early at the end – just my kind of supporter) spent much of the game berating Denilson for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
I didn’t see it that way at all – what I saw was a player who knew exactly where he should be and how he should play – even though he was playing out of his more favourite position alongside Cesc.
Cesc meanwhile remains the most successful permanent Arsenal club captain of all time, having a 100% record in the matches he has captained. Let’s hope it continues. (Actually did you know our most successful manager of all time as also in the ground – Pat Rice who as manager between the end of the Rioch fiasco and the start of the reign of the Lord Wenger, was utterly undefeated.
(c) Tony Attwood 2008 with most grateful acknowledgment to “JBH”
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