Arsenal’s midfield – just how good is it?

When it comes to writing my daily news round-up and comment, my usual method is to check the official Arsenal website to get any news or quotes from the manager and players before exploring a few reliable news sites like Soccernet, Sky Sports and The Guardian to get the rest of the information I need. I will then focus on the most interesting and topical subjects and to provide more in-depth thought or opinion and give the readers something worth, well, reading.

What a shock it was to log onto Arsenal.com and read the enormous amount of interviews and player comments that have landed on the site since yesterday. I’ve summarised below so you can have a look for yourself:

  • Wenger – Almunia has my full support
  • Wenger – Why I didn’t buy a midfielder
  • Clichy – We’re better equipped to reign in Europe
  • Clichy – Brilliant Cesc will get even better
  • Ramsey – I won’t hold back when I return
  • Diaby and Vermaelen set for West Brom return
  • Djourou desperate to show what he can do
  • Fabregas urges caution despite flying start
  • Denilson – The manager’s faith is paying off
  • Sagna – Fabregas is back to his best now
  • Chamakh revels in ‘great start’ for Arsenal

And so on it goes – and that’s before I have even checked any other sites for their news.

Seriously, how the heck can I come up with a relatively concise, interesting and topical post when there is that many different pieces of news to cover? It is utterly ridiculous and near-on impossible.

However I have a job to do here and do it I must: so today I will make some comments on the quality of our midfield.

For those that don’t know I happened to miss the 6-0 thumping of Braga, but it didn’t take much more than a quick look at the highlights to show what a superb impact our midfielders had on the game. Cesc Fabregas was immense for the second game running scoring two and assisting two, Jack Wilshere reportedly had the best game in his short Arsenal career and provided Chamakh with the sort of backheel that would bring cries of “the best in the world” if Wayne Rooney had done it.

Go back to Bolton on Saturday and we saw Alex Song have an imperious second half, bossing the game from his favoured defensive-midfield position and bursting forward to score a superb third goal. Denilson completed an unbelievable 46 complete passes in a 19-minute substitute performance and came on again here against Braga, while Abou Diaby was the Man of the Match at Blackburn to cap off a very good start to the season before Paul Robinson took him out of the Bolton game.

Tomas Rosicky has shown strong signs that he is back to the player he was when he first joined from Borussia Dortmund, Samir Nasri was our best pre-season performer before tweaking his knee while Aaron Ramsey, arguably part of last season’s first-choice midfield set-up, will be back to full fitness later this season.

When you look around the rest of the Premier League and indeed the rest of world football, it is hard to find a midfield with more quality, more depth and perhaps most importantly, more potential than ours. We’ve had to be patient as football fans, allowing the likes of Diaby and Song to develop at their own, sometimes languid pace, but the opening few games of this season have indicated that the wait will be worth it.

Fabregas obviously stands a cut above the rest with his ability to dictate and decide a game and he has shown that in the last two games. If this is to be his last season then it is clear he wants to go out with a bang, hopefully with a Championship medal and Best Player award to go with it. Given his desire to leave for Barcelona in the summer his attitude and application should be commended by everyone associated with the club.

I don’t really know where I’m going with all this but I suppose my point is that we have a midfield with the depth and quality to have a big say in the league this season and in many to come. AFCB writer Daniel Brookes wrote a piece about the joy of watching players develop and after seeing the way our young midfield has dismantled Blackburn, Bolton and Braga in recent weeks has certainly given me and many others much joy.

Anyway, that’s all I’ll say for now.

For other great Friday reading be sure to check out Fatema Farhat’s AFCB debut “Arsenal for the Ladies” column, Arseblog’s “Arsecast” and make sure to send in your videos for the delightful “I am Eboue” project happening on Facebook.

Until tomorrow.

Thoughts?

Have your say on Arsenal’s midfield by leaving a comment.

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14 Responses to “Arsenal’s midfield – just how good is it?”

  1. saheed dawoodu
    September 17, 2010 at 11:43 am #

    good write up as usuaaly, but can the midfielders we have sustain the tempo till the end of the season? while i praise their efforts so far, i think we should wait till we play some formidable teams like our rivals eg chelsea,manu, mancity,totenham. before this assessment.

  2. ace
    September 17, 2010 at 12:06 pm #

    Last year Arsenal defeated porto in Champions league by a big score…but den lost d next match to Barca badly…we lost to Chelsea n ManU at home!…I wud be really happy wen Arsenal do beat BIG TEAMS!…

  3. james
    September 17, 2010 at 12:18 pm #

    @ace actually we drew the next match with barca 2-2 and then lost the match after with a second string team. stop being so negative and be optemistic

  4. Andrew Weber
    September 17, 2010 at 12:21 pm #

    @ saheed – I cheated a bit here and didn’t really answer my own question. It was a bit more rhetorical than perhaps I had intended. The point is that I am extremely excited about the possibilities of this midfield as a group and watching them play gives me a lot of joy. I think everybody is feeling the same about things at the moment, which is great.

  5. iloveverminator
    September 17, 2010 at 12:29 pm #

    The commentator, after the third goal, summarized the whole show appropriately : Mesmeric performance.

    Whatevery you think, whatever you say, you just can’t hate this team. 🙂 🙂

    I love ARSENAL. Go gunners go !!

  6. arsenaltruths
    September 17, 2010 at 12:36 pm #

    good article, it was vela not denilson that scored the goals. And although welshere has had a great start to the campaign i really hope he dosen’t start him ahead of rosicky when the games against the big four come up. Again if u watch the build up to chamakhs goal welshere seemed to slip for he pass to go thru to chamakh…again im just stating if all our players can do something they didnt mean to do to lead to a oal then so be it. What does everyone think about the left back position i really believe gibbs should be ahead of cliche he really doesnt seem the player he was 2yrs ago.

  7. Patrick Weber
    September 17, 2010 at 12:37 pm #

    @ iloveverminator – I completely agree with you, the players in this team are so hard to hate. There is not a bad character among them.

  8. Andrew Weber
    September 17, 2010 at 12:44 pm #

    @ arsenaltruths – When did I say Denilson scored?

  9. Andrew Weber
    September 17, 2010 at 12:44 pm #

    @ Patrick – You know how I feel about that stuff. I love supporting a team with no tossers in it. It’s ridiculously satisfying.

  10. Dave Highbury
    September 17, 2010 at 1:54 pm #

    You only watched the highlights? Damn! you need Arsenal tv this season… seriously. There has been som amazing football already and I have been loving it. This is the best squad yet and this is just the start of at least three waves of it. Check out E. Thomas (I call him E T). Those five years are looking like a really good investment now eh? ENJOY!!! Don’t care who we face any more – not now SONG and DIABY (my favorite player) are coming good.

  11. Andrew Weber
    September 17, 2010 at 2:17 pm #

    @ Dave – I only watched the highlights because I had another engagement when the game was on. I usually watch the games live.

  12. Ianinja
    September 17, 2010 at 2:42 pm #

    Arsenal tv streams live? Anyone can confirm this? how much is subscription…?

  13. Lil Weezy
    September 17, 2010 at 3:56 pm #

    This is a better midfield than the “Invincibles” really.. Pretty enormous statement to make I know…
    But this crop of players are outstanding, they just havent won trophies to back them up, but the football they play is much sweeter than the “invincibles” era.

    This Current team vs the Invincibles.. Who wins?

  14. GunnerBoss
    September 17, 2010 at 9:25 pm #

    Said this same stuff time and time again.
    Even the feared Barca midfield cannot be compared.

    Good post.

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