Rating the polarizers: Part 1 + Gilberto tells Melo to join Arsenal

Rating the polarizers: Part 1 + Gilberto tells Melo to join Arsenal

Song's improvement last season was immenseGood morning to you all from a fairly chilly Brisbane. No alcoholic beverages to be found near me today, just a piping hot green tea and some Vegemite and butter on toast to keep me company.

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…

Alex Song

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.

Denilson

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.

Johan Djourou

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.

* * *

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. 

Cheers.

Have your say on Song, Denilson or Djourou or anything else by leaving a comment.

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62 Responses to “Rating the polarizers: Part 1 + Gilberto tells Melo to join Arsenal”

  1. arsenal
    June 29, 2009 at 5:45 pm #

    crackhead wt do u knw bout arsenal

  2. Unibengunenahoro
    June 29, 2009 at 6:02 pm #

    Pls wenger buy melo nigerians re beggin.

  3. butterfingers
    June 29, 2009 at 6:33 pm #

    Hey sf another good post as I’m over who we will get or lose. I think Djourou was unlucky to lose his place when toure got over his malaria scare and he should of been given the nod over tweety as he is well over the hill as he wouldn’t even fit into boltons first 11 let alone a team like ours.
    Can’t see vermahalen being thrown into the 1st team as everyone gets the cup run to start with apart from sagna and nasri who seemed to blend right in.
    I still think we need another couple of players unless our squad can stay uninjured and I don’t think that’s going to happen but do you think man citeh are going to finish 2nd behind us or end up like spurs?

  4. Gally
    June 29, 2009 at 6:35 pm #

    i accptd evrytin u said but dat denilson stuff go & get d whole season tape u wld never say dat again song he’s gud but he does’nt stay in front of d bck 4 luk @ d match agnst chelsea in emirate where was he whn anelka took dat shot he was in chelsea’s half 2nd leg chmp leag. he was goin 2 score whn d 1st nd 3rd goal came in. dont u watch alonso mikel evn dis melo d way they play always in front of d bck 4 & behind d attacker he wants 2 play lik flamini or essien but he has no pace he cant run fabregas never had a pre-season wit denilson it affectd fabregas both of them never understood thmslfs me i flt diaby & denilson got it right & them well without lossin a match & it evn affectd d team bcos d attacks starts 4rm fabregas shld tak part in d pre-season dis time or else. denilson is a gud player no doubth & he’s d most improved arsenal player dis season maybe song shld play 40 matches so i wil be able 2 rate him higher than denilson.

  5. Gally
    June 29, 2009 at 6:51 pm #

    We must get melo 26yrs old he’s going 2 be denilson’s mentor they luk alike & evn play alike but melo is powerful & has jump power which i think we’re lacking please mr. wenger go get melo

  6. White Ox
    June 29, 2009 at 6:53 pm #

    Denilson and Song. I’m happy to let them improve and believe they have a future but I will be happy to see less of them next season. Be it Melo or another player Cesc’s midfield partner should not be someone already at the club but rather a quality established player.

    Djourou I’m a bit more optimistic about. At times he looks ponderous in posession but the signs are he can be a useful defender for this club. Vermaelen and Gallas as first choice with Djourou as a reserve would be no bad thing at all.

  7. wAlIkOkO
    June 29, 2009 at 6:53 pm #

    I think Song was d most improved player in our squad.

  8. Spanish Fry
    June 29, 2009 at 6:59 pm #

    @ arsenal – Some good constructive feedback there. Seriously dude, why bother commenting with dribble like that.

  9. paresh
    June 29, 2009 at 7:02 pm #

    On the transfer front i hear a lot of people shouting out about Ribery are a bit silly – as we are not going to sign him Real are.
    Benzema on the other hand i think is true!!!! In actual fact AW has been interested in Karim Benzema for a while now but the player has been out of reach.

    It has come to my knowledge that AW was not pleased with loosing out on Yaya Toure and let the Chief Exec know his feelings. After which the board were informed and A meeting was held and a decision was made at the meeting to become more accomodating of Usmanov as he is the only one about with real cash.

    Not Kroenke not Fiszman, not nobody. So there you have it. The board are willing to take Usmanovs money in order to reduce the clubs debt but ot for transfers. Another clear indication of how greddy these lot are.

    If the clubs debts are reduced they have more money in their pockets. If 100 mill is injected into transfers, which is what Usmanov wanted to do, it will not directly impact on the board so they ruled that part out. But these are the facts, Usmanov will pump 100 million into the club to help with the debts and will also pledge another 100 mill to be used for transfer targets. Hence the new stories about Ribery and Benzema. However it is the latter AW is wanting to sign in place of Ade. Gallas I understand could be part of the deal to bring Benzema to the Emirates. Seems AW has had enough of the boards unwillingness to spend.

    They always use the tactic of waiting until the last moment to sign a player and when they don’t they blame it on other clubs and lack of time. Hence why Le Boss wants all targets wrapped up by the start of pre-season. Expect big things at Arsenal next season.

  10. Filipino Dan
    June 29, 2009 at 7:34 pm #

    Shouldn’t Bentner be one of the Players that Polarise?

    I’m a big fan of Song. Think he was excellent in the second half of the season (right after my wife kissed him at Newcastle but that’s another story). Think he can defend well and also pick out a pass. If Melo (or alternative) doesn’t come, I would be happy for him to play DM for us and just sit in front of the defence.

    Denilson, for me, has quality but was a big disappointment last season. I thought he may step up and live up to the potential after Gilberto left, but instead he didn’t seem to know whether to play defensively or in the Fabregas-type role. Gone off him bigtime.

    Djourou is a good player and I know how highly you rate him, SF. However, I just don’t think he is quite ready to be a starter yet. I’d have Toure/Gallas/Vermealen in front of him as things stand. But if he has another good season then I could well change my mind.

  11. ALGunner
    June 29, 2009 at 7:38 pm #

    Is Melo the player we need right now. If any body has seen the Confed Cup must have seen he to is more like Deni. I though our old boy Gilberto was had more fire than melo.Melo was giving away ball to cheaply and i don’t think he is an good header of the ball and also not tall enough for me. I can’t see he being an success in arsenal it is better at that price tag of 18 Mil for melo to go for somebody else.

  12. Adam
    June 29, 2009 at 7:40 pm #

    What’s up with the morons texting on a blog, can’t you twats write properly?

  13. TDP
    June 29, 2009 at 7:42 pm #

    Great post Spanish; couldn’t agree more. We do need to keep hold of Djorou – I would not be worried seeing him start in any game now after the way he equipped himself last season. He has all the physical attributes, he just needs the right partner. I think Arsene eventually wants his first choice partnership to be Vermaelen and Djorou. Both aged 23, this could be a long-lasting partnership and all indications are that they compliment each other in a way that Toure and Gallas don’t.

    It is really difficult to judge Denilson isn’t it? His fans will point to his pass completion stats and the amount of running he does, but many of those passes are two yards sideways and while he buzzes around a lot he does so usually without accomplishing much. I feel the key point is that he just isn’t a defensive midfielder. Arsene has been trying to mould him into that role but he has looked uncomfortable with it at times this season. I think he could grow into a wonderful player and is an excellent squad option, but at his age the added pressure of being forced to develop in the first team every week is probably not good for him.

  14. Tom14
    June 29, 2009 at 7:44 pm #

    Anyone who thinks Denilson was a dissapointment last season clearly doesnt understand football, or did not watch Arsenal matches.

    The guy single handedly kept the midfield together for large parts of the season.

    And the idea that he is the “passing” midfielder is quite ridiculous. I don’t know where the comparisons with Fabregas come from, he has shown this season that he is the most likely to defend, win tackles, pass it short and intercept in the whole squad.

    As for Song, good player, but he only played well when he had Denilson sitting in behind him, allowing him to go forward and track back without concern, as soon as Denilson was dropped because of Song’s good performances, we started to leak goals, and as soon as he came back, he stopped conceding.

  15. SOBIN,INDIA
    June 29, 2009 at 7:54 pm #

    In my opinion SONG is the most improved player last season.
    I think we need MELO I saw him playing against U.S.A he is a fantastic player.

  16. Spanish Fry
    June 29, 2009 at 7:56 pm #

    @ Tom14 – I know you’re an avid supporter of Denilson, and that’s fine, but I don’t think it’s fair to say that people who didn’t think he was great last season don’t understand football or didn’t watch matches. I like your input so I’m not going to have a go at you, but I feel I have a fairly good understanding of football and watched 99% of the games last season. You’re entitled to your opinion but I think it’s unfair to make a comment like that, even if you agree with a certain point of view.

  17. Spanish Fry
    June 29, 2009 at 7:58 pm #

    @ Butterfingers – Thanks mate. Makes for some different reading than the other stuff floating around, I hope.

    @TDP – Agreed about Djourou 🙂

  18. Spanish Fry
    June 29, 2009 at 7:59 pm #

    @ Filipino Dan – Regarding the Bendtner comment, I feel he was left out of this group because I think most people now see him as a valuable member of the squad. Some more than others, for sure, but I think he reached a point last season where virtually everyone could see his value and will look forward to his contribution next season. Fair?

    If not, I’d be happy to add him in for Part 2..

  19. MoMONEY
    June 29, 2009 at 8:09 pm #

    Melo did not impress me that much in the confed cup. But if Wenger brings him in I will support the move. He knows better then me. Maybe Inler would be a better option???

    Hoping Benzema replaces Ade somehow…

  20. Tom14
    June 29, 2009 at 8:13 pm #

    @ Spanish Fry, I can understand that you have watched most of our football this season, and maybe you do have a good understanding of football, but you must not have been watching Denilson well enough, because the guy has been truly awesome this season. No other midfielders have his stats, and stats are more important than opinions based on what they see, because a stat is fact, it happened.

    I hear fans say that he does not tackle, when he is the best tackler in terms of tackles won/lost compared to anyone near him in the League. Or that he does not sit back and break up play, when he has the best number of interceptions in the WHOLE LEAGUE or that he gives the ball away, when his passing is better than any other player, even if it is short and sideways – anyone think Flamini was anything more than a sideways passer?

  21. Spanish Fry
    June 29, 2009 at 8:21 pm #

    @ Tom14 – I take your points on board. We’ll go forever and ever if we want but I’ll resist because I don’t want to come off as someone who doesn’t like Denilson. But for me, stats aside, he doesn’t impose himself on a game the way I’d like a defensive midfielder to (which Flamini did and I feel Song does) and for that reason alone I prefer the Cameroon man over him. Obviously it’s an immeasurable quality and it’s going to be almost impossible to prove but it’s just my opinion.

  22. Tom14
    June 29, 2009 at 8:35 pm #

    I will stop the debate if you want to, but in no way did Flamini “impose” himself on anyone, he was just a maniac who was so poor in his positioning that he would have to run 20 yards to make a tackle, which Denilson does by already being in that position. I will leave you with a few articles to read.

    http://www.arsenal.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=514757

    http://www.arsenal.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=514812

  23. Tom14
    June 29, 2009 at 8:51 pm #

    Why not post my comment?

  24. Spanish Fry
    June 29, 2009 at 8:54 pm #

    Which comment? I’ll check the spam..

  25. Spanish Fry
    June 29, 2009 at 8:55 pm #

    There we go..

  26. Spanish Fry
    June 29, 2009 at 9:00 pm #

    @ Tom14 – Am reading through the articles now, thanks for the links. I think we’re just going to have to agree to disagree. No harm done though 🙂

  27. Gibbs
    June 29, 2009 at 9:13 pm #

    I agree with most of what u said SF. Denilson is a good player, if actim rates him as one of the 5 best midfielders in the EPL then he must be doing something right. He and Song just need someone to learn from, we MUST sign an experienced quality DM.

  28. Tom14
    June 29, 2009 at 9:22 pm #

    I don’t like the term “experienced” it is a pointless expression with little or no meaning in reality – like luck.

  29. Spanish Fry
    June 29, 2009 at 9:26 pm #

    @ Tom14 – I feel you’re being a little aggressive. ‘Experienced’ the way I mean it is someone who has played at the top level for a decent amount of time, has learnt most of what they will learn and can share it with players who are still learning. I don’t think either Denilson or Song are overly experienced and I do think that they would both develop quicker learning from someone who has been there and done that. Finding someone like that is a completely different prospect though…

  30. Tom14
    June 29, 2009 at 9:32 pm #

    But it is a pointless term in reality though isn’t it? It doesn’t mean anything because players without “experience” could be a better option. Denilson, without “experience” is a better option than most. Fabregas, as a 19 year old, is a better option than most.

    You want character, consistency and quality, not a set number of games played.

  31. ib
    June 29, 2009 at 9:39 pm #

    hi mates,what is happening?any news on ade going to milan?on the topic of the day,i rate song a bit higher than deny.song improved alot during the second part of the season after a lone spell the previous season.expect more from him next season with a good pre-season under his belt

  32. butterfingers
    June 29, 2009 at 9:52 pm #

    @ tom stats tell half of a story as clubs will then pay more for denilson than gerrard, lampard, essien, fabregas and so on. If it was all based on stats we should of got 150 mill for henry. Also with denilsons stats (if I’m reading right) he played the most, gave away the most fouls and didn’t have as many assists as others. I do think he is a ok player but if I had a chance to replace him for a couple of seasons with an older player I would but then I would love us to get a little pittbull like cahil or the like.

  33. Jess
    June 29, 2009 at 9:52 pm #

    I think the real problem for Denilson,Song or Gibbs is that they had to live up to extraordinary expectations. The fans wanted signings that we didn’t get so these players with great potential and ability were thrust into roles they probably were not ready for. Denilson did a good job probably more than we could have really expected but that doesn’t make him the answer. I agree with you Spanish about Song. Improved incredibly but should be given the time to learn properly. As much as the playing last season was great experience I don’t necessarily think it was fair to these younger players to throw them in and let them sink or swim.

  34. Xabier
    June 29, 2009 at 9:57 pm #

    Denilson did a lot of good, but for the amount of game time he got, it wasn’t good enough. He played 51 games, some good, others bad. To be honest he’s not ready yet, and he is more in the Fabregas mould than the Veira mould. If we look at the stats for our midfielders based on game time its pretty obvious (from: http://avenell.wordpress.com/2009/06/27/tell-me-lies-tell-me-sweet-little-lies/):

    Assists – Cesc

    Successful dribbles – Theo

    Goals – Arshavin

    Completed passes – Nasri

    Pass success rate – Ramsey

    Shots on target – Nasri

    Tackles success rate – Song

    And with that Song is the man for me!

  35. Gibbs
    June 29, 2009 at 10:01 pm #

    @ Tom14 – Mate youre missing the point. Cesc wouldnt have matured so quickly if Viera wasnt there, Henry had DB10, Clichy had Cole, Gibbs has Clichy. do u get the drift?

  36. Spanish Fry
    June 29, 2009 at 10:03 pm #

    @ Xabier – Cool article. There’s a great statistic just introduced into the NBA last season which focused on the difference in points (points scored minus points conceded) when a player was on the court. The idea was that certain players who were having good impact on the team went unnoticed until this statistic.

    While it wouldn’t quite work the same way in football, I’d be interested to see every player in the squad’s +/- for the season when they were on the pitch. I think it would make for very interesting reading.

  37. Filipino Dan
    June 29, 2009 at 10:10 pm #

    @ Tom14 – Do you have a more vested interest in Denilson than the rest of us? You are certainly coming across as aggressive and to accuse those who don’t share the exact same opinion as you as ‘not understanding football’ is pretty unfair.

    We are all Arsenal fans here and all support the players. Can’t you accept that if Denilson was the player you say he is then no-one would be talking about Melo, Inler, Flamini, Gilberto, etc.

    For me, he was disapointing because we all see how great a player he can be, we’ve watched him run the game from midfield in carling cups etc and last season he didn’t seem to make a tangible impact. But maybe you’ve got a point, it is always said that the best DMs are invisable; if you don’t notice them then they are doing their job. But I think most of us expected to really notice Denilson when he broke into the first team.

    @ SF – It’s up to you about Bentner. I guess I still sense a differing of opinion when it comes to our number 26. In fact, my brain is polarised when it comes to that guy! One thing is certain; if Ade goes, Bentner will have a star role to play next season. I hope we’re ready for that as much as I hope he is ready.

  38. Tom14
    June 29, 2009 at 10:39 pm #

    I agree that Denilson is not ready, we do need someone in there for a year or two so that he can iron out a few mistakes. And by the way, Denilson had a better tackle success rate than Song.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/leagues/premierleague/arsenal/

    I do niot have a bigger interest in Denilson than anyone, he just played very very well last season and the Song lovers only seem to like him based on six good games, whereas Denilson played well all season and gets no credit.

  39. tina
    June 29, 2009 at 11:09 pm #

    Djourou is also my favorite,he has the brightest future and ability to become one of the greatest defenders in the world,considering his height too.Song and Denilson are the in the same boat.To me they improved a lot last season and if Song upped his game more than he did last season,chances are he might be player of the month for 4 months hahaha.

  40. Dally
    June 29, 2009 at 11:35 pm #

    In my opinion, and I think this has already been voiced, is that Denilson is more of a replacement for Cesc than a partner. It is difficult to make comparrisons between Den and Song as I didn’t watch all the games but the ones I did watch which were later on in the season, Song just seemed to have so much composure, managing to keep hold of the ball before finding a good pass. On the transfer rumour mill, do we need any more attacking midfielders anyway, we already have an abundance of talent, a striker if we get rid of Ade maybe but we still again have a lot of talent at our disposal.
    @SF – You didn’t comment on Diaby but for me he is too injury proned always goes for the shot when maybe a pass would be better and in the games I saw him play in always tried to beat too many players before finaly losing the ball. Apart from that great prospect for the future!!!

  41. Kunle omololu
    June 29, 2009 at 11:42 pm #

    hi sf,i got ur masage on dis players but we stil need players like melo,yaya toure pls tel AW to get dis players.

  42. Spanish Fry
    June 29, 2009 at 11:42 pm #

    @ Dally – Part 2 is coming later in the week. Diaby and Eboue will be in that one!

  43. LRV
    June 29, 2009 at 11:43 pm #

    I think that the people who condemn Denilson do so because they compare him with an Alonso (a la ‘long and diagonal passes’). To such people, Melo is, without doubt, the better option.

    Others who like him, look at such masters of the position as Gilberto, who even the Brazilians call “the invincible wall” or Makalele who was sourly missed by Real Marid when he left them. This 2 masters of the DM position never really concern themselves too much with long and diagonal balls unless it is absolutely neccessary. Rather they try to get the basics done neatly and largely without being noticed too much. If you want to notice what they actually do, you have to pay a far greater attention to them.

    But what do they do? (1) They sit and rove just infront of the back four. (2) They rely on a keen sense of positional play; rather-more than too much out-of-position running, wasting too much energy that needs to be preserved (the one man I know who got away with that was Flamini). (3) They are avid readers of the game, with the affordance of break-up-play (which they acquire because of 2. above). (4) They tend to stick more to the basic principle of collect and pass on (mostly short inter passing skill required for this to work). The short passess may either be sideways, adjacent or diagonal & cross-field. (5) They must not dwell on the ball, but must be time-perfect. That means that they must know with a touch of perfection, when to venture forward to assist if the need arises; and when to maintain their position even if it seems obvious to everyone else that they should speculate forward, so as not to open a backdoor entrance for the opposition to oppress the defence. (6) Finally, they must be good ball players (not just blockers); with acute close control ability; good heeaders of the ball; the ability to go past people if neccessary; and the technical ability to complete at least 90% of passess.

    Of course you can add to the above the usual English beleive of Passion and Grit (the enforcer). Most European and other world footballers have proved that you need SAF = Skill, Agility and Flair – to do the job properly.

    If you judge Denilson against the points above, he showed in the matches he played for us last season that he so far has 87 – 90% already. Remember that he is still developing. I lick my lips with the prospect of what that boy will become in another year or so. Should Arsenal throw that prospect away? I think not. The departure of Gilberto affected Denilson; he was learning from the master. However, the arrival of Melo, if it happens, will help Denilson to add another dimension to his game.

    What Song lacks, an acute sense of positional play, Denilson has in abundance. Similarly, what Denilson lacks (which he is still acquiring), Strength (strong tackling), Song has in abundance already. There you go. Make your own mind up.

    I am sorry if I do not balance my arguments properly. It is because as a lay man, I do not know too much about football other than that I play football in previously one of the most inconsequential part of the world in the 7ties and early 8ties before it went global.

  44. Spanish Fry
    June 29, 2009 at 11:47 pm #

    @ LRV – Top post mate. You’re welcome back any time 🙂

  45. jay-jay
    June 29, 2009 at 11:55 pm #

    Ok Song – Im excited to see him next season, I do hope we sign a DM but he will be perfect back up, either to come on as a sub, to start against lesser teams or to rest the new DM or incase of injuries, also CC or FA Cup run.

    Deni – I just dont see this guy making it at arsenal, people will say look at the stats, but i say look at the pitch, he doesnt make anythign happen, not great defensively, not great pace either. I just dont think he is that good.

    Djourou – I think he is a bit overrated, he is good! I do think he is talented, but he seems scared to use his height aggressively and use his strength to push people of the ball, which is why I would choose Vermaelen and Song in CB before Djourou but he has a chance to shine in the CC and incase of injuries.

    After thinking there was no chance of getting the DM we all wanted. Gilberto Silva may have saved the day and maybe become loved more by the fans (if thats possible), Melo asked an experienced player who has played at Arsenal what to do and Gilberto said join! Its a littlew shocking, we were all shouting for Melo and AW has listened, a very positive transfer market so far, Clichy, Sagna and Cesc have all said they want to stay, Ade may leave, we have a CB and could have Felipe Melo.

    On Walcott being a ST, Henry started like theo and he is LEGEND so no bad thing.

  46. Tom14
    June 30, 2009 at 12:21 am #

    jay-jay, I don’t like telling people they are wrong, because it is all about opinions, but you are wrong.

    LVR, top post as SF says, but I would argue that Denilson is too old (21) to benefit from a player like Melo (who is only 25) coming in. You eiother choose Denilson as yourt number 1, and expect him to mature as he plays, or brinmg in Melo and ask Denilson what he wants to do.

    I suppose if Denilson is willing to stay for a year or two, let Melo play, and wait for Wenger to sell Melo on for a bit of money, he would do it. But he is hardly 18.

    Denilson truly does have it all, the idea that you are supposed to judge what you see on the pitch is rubbish because most people have a different opinion on every player, which tells me that people see what they want to see and ignore the rest.

    And anyone who thinks we shoudl sign Alonso, or compares Denilson to Alonso needs their head testing.

  47. Tom14
    June 30, 2009 at 12:22 am #

    And Theo Walcott will never be as good as Thierry Henry.

  48. Bruce in Atlanta
    June 30, 2009 at 12:59 am #

    Spanish: Good start on the polarizers. I’m basically in agreement, although not quite as positive (yet) on Djourou.

    As for Diabi: I’m somewhere between skeptical and cautiously optimistic. As for Eboue – I hate his antics, but I think he’s a valuable backup that can be used in several spots.

  49. MoMONEY
    June 30, 2009 at 1:30 am #

    Tom14 I agree with a lot of what you have said. My thinking in bringing in a new DMF is that the entire team is built on finesse and using skill. Denilson applies these kind of styles to winning the ball back. IMO somewhere in our squad we have to add some steel- a physically imposing player with a bit of attitude, that can intimidate and thus lead. A Vieira is what we are missing I think. Im not so sure Melo is the right man for the job but this is why I feel like Denilson should not be starting as of yet… I do see him as more of a Gilberto Silva type in the future though…

  50. majok
    June 30, 2009 at 1:58 am #

    Song is the man who can replace Gilverto effectively more then any other player in Arsenal, Song is to play central defense coz he is very good in defense and midfield as well. lets Djourou just be sub in case of injuries coz the great mistake made on Robin Keane was his foul.
    Delison is good to partner with Nasir and Bandtner in the midfield. Toure is going no where.

  51. Tom14
    June 30, 2009 at 2:19 am #

    majok, Song will not be the man for the DM spot. It would be Denilson, or a new signing.

    And if we do go into next season with the center backs we have got right now, Toure will be on the bench. With a transfer request in his grasp.

  52. georgetown gooner
    June 30, 2009 at 2:42 am #

    i still think we should have kept gilberto he had a good game last night and was exactly what we needed last season however in my opinion we need an experienced dm which neither song or denilson are as they are still learning their trade. if we dont sign an experienced dm then song to partner cesc and sorry tom14 dont rate denilson, song is a better player in that position as for jd he needs to be a little more physically imposing but is still a good prospect,lastly just wanted to say the new away kit has grown on me didnt rate it when i first saw it but changed my mind since i bought it for my sons recently.

  53. Tom14
    June 30, 2009 at 3:01 am #

    Oh stop going on about “experience”. It means literally nothing if the player is not good enough. And Song will not be the DM, we saw throughout the whole season that Denilson was the mainstay of the team, then Wenger went mental and dropped him, which led to very bad defeats.

  54. GetGunMN
    June 30, 2009 at 4:08 am #

    SF made great point about Song and LRV has a great point about Denilson. Last season after a shaky start, the two formed a great partnership, given enough time to develop, hence a long unbeaten run I believe we had. This is when Fab was out injured. When Fab came back, Deni is either partnered with Fab or pushed to the left and did not do well. I belive he is a victim of circumstances. My point is that since Wenger didn’t anticipate Flamini’s departure, he never knew what his best midfield partnership was. I believe he was experimenting. This is not criticism, but fact of life. That constant rotation of positions didn’t do justice to the players. For whatever reason, I trust Wenger on this, there were quite a few players playing out of position. No question that Song and Denilson have been improving so much and I don’t believe buying another midfielder is a solution. That simply hinders their development as there will be less games for them to play. One thing I could never explain was Djourou’s exclusion from games. Every time he was called up on he has done a magnificient job defending. I rather wanted one of the two dropped (Toure or Galas)so that he can play. I don’t know how you could work with, and cover for, someone you don’t get along with. No matter how professional you are, it certainly affects your performance.

  55. jay-jay
    June 30, 2009 at 4:13 am #

    @ Tom14 – AW went mental and dropped him, he gave Song a chance and I think he shone in the DM role. I dont hate Denilson I just dont think he is going to make it at arsenal. STATS, STATS, STATS!! Is Deni better than Mascherano, Anelka better than Torres, Jagielka better than Vidic, well they must be because the STATS say so!! He doesnt make an impact on games, why did Flamini? Because you could see him, Why does Mascherano, because you can see him, why does Cambiasso because you can see him etc etc. I appreciate people can like who they like but I dont think for 1 second you can call me wrong because our opinions are different.

  56. benard
    June 30, 2009 at 4:26 am #

    pls, i need more info and latest about melo.apart from melo who else are we buying? are we selling any player this season?

  57. Anonymous
    June 30, 2009 at 5:47 am #

    we should buy mohammed diarra from real madrid and loan out denilson.diarra is solid and real are looking to get rid of him

  58. jay-jay
    June 30, 2009 at 6:17 am #

    @ Anonyous – loaning out Deni, thats a good idea.

  59. Anonymous
    June 30, 2009 at 6:44 am #

    Deni is not a DM imo. as far as the DM debate is concerned Song is a better DM we have at the moment. i do not think that Melo is a type of player we need right now.

  60. jay-jay
    June 30, 2009 at 7:23 am #

    Felipe Melo will be the player tht helps us out, u will see if we get him Anonymous.

  61. MexicanGunner
    June 30, 2009 at 9:18 am #

    Poor Walcott he was completely lost today playing as a lonely striker.

  62. MoMONEY
    June 30, 2009 at 3:21 pm #

    Weren’t we linked with Ozil from Germany? He is an absolute star in the making if you saw the game…

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