In Saturday’s post the idea was raised by regular commenter ‘Old Timer’ to open up a bit of a discussion about the five players that seem to polarise opinion the most amongst the readers of this blog; Alex Song, Denilson, Johan Djourou, Abou Diaby and Emmanuel Eboue.
With very little going on the Arsenal world at the moment I thought today would be a great opportunity to give my personal opinions on ‘The Arsenal Polarisers’ and invite you to have your say in the comments. I’ll start today with Song, Denilson and Djourou and finish things off with Diaby and Eboue later in the week. Here goes nothing…
In my eyes Song was the big improver of last season and has a very bright future at Arsenal.
He was previously criticised for a lack of pace and confidence but in the final third of the previous campaign Song developed into a very capable defensive-midfielder who tackles strongly and maintains possession well. There are still question marks over his positioning skills but the main advantage that Song has over the other midfielders at the club is his defence-first mentality.
I do believe Song would develop best in an environment where he is used sparingly and has the opportunity to learn from a more experienced, established midfield role-model but in the event that no-one signs in that position then I feel he is our best option next season. Personality-wise I also have to say I’m a massive fan.
I just don’t know what to make of Denilson.
Many, many people named him as Arsenal’s best player last season and many others the most improved, but I just don’t subscribe to that point of view. On paper Denilson is an excellent prospect – reasonably tall, strong, a good passer and an intelligent thinker – but I just haven’t seen his performances reflect the faith that Arsene Wenger continues to show in him. To me what tends to stand out is his lack of pace, his inability to be decisive in the final third and a tendency to lose possession in very dangerous areas of the pitch.
Denilson appears to work best in as the passing midfielder in a 4-5-1 and he’s certainly a good player to have in our squad, but in terms of a partner for Cesc Fabregas I just don’t think his all-round game is good enough. He’s likely to improve with age and is a player that we definitely need to keep but with Song’s exciting progress last season I think it’s going to be tough for Denilson to get anywhere near the same sort of playing time he received last time around.
I am a big, big fan of Djourou.
My view last season was that after his bright start to the campaign he and William Gallas should have been the first-choice pairing for the rest of the season. He’s not yet a complete central defender but Djourou is a massive man with good pace and tends to do very well with an experienced player next to him. He’s prone to an errand pass here and there but at just 23 I think he has a really bright future at Arsenal and is a player that we desperately need to keep hold of.
With the signing of Thomas Vermaelen it’s going to be hard to see Djourou as a starter next season but the key is for him to be patient. Injuries are inevitable, Mikael Silvestre cannot be relied upon and if Kolo Toure goes to Manchester City then the door will be open for Djourou to make his mark.
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A couple of other quick news stories before I go:
- Brazil came back from two goals down to beat the USA 3-2 in a really good Confederations Cup final. Earlier in the day a Cesc Fabregas-less Spain beat South Africa 3-2 in extra-time to finish third in another exciting match. Check out all the goals here.
- Gilberto Silva has urged fellow Brazilian Felipe Melo to join Arsenal, calling him a “powerful player with quality”. I think it’s very interesting that they’re talking about this sort of thing and I think it bodes very well for a potential signing.
- Theo Walcott has admitted that he is likely to play more as a striker as he develops. He’ll be in action along with Keiran Gibbs in the U21 Euro Championships final against Germany and is expected to play up front.
And that is that. Have a great Monday and tune in tomorrow for the first edition in a brand new weekly feature on the blog – Guest Post Tuesdays.
Have your say on Song, Denilson or Djourou or anything else by leaving a comment.