I've given my opinion on all things Fulham related yesterday, but today we need to concentrate on who will join Cesc in midfield. I've been watching highlights of the recent seasons, and glimpses of Diaby make me believe he will definitely be a player who can make things happen this season... if he stay fit of course, but the back up behind Diaby, is frankly too short. Song (who is now a defender), Eboue (who is a right mid / right back), Bischoff (who isn't fit) and... Denilson (who plays central midfield but not defensive midfield) are no reliable. Neither is the man himself, Diaby. He's not been one month without injury as long as I can remember.
So, where does that leave us? Gilberto, Flamini and Diarra have all gone and we simply haven't replaced them. We've had all summer to do so, and we've yet to sign someone. If / when we do, the question will be why we didn't sign this player a month before so we could start the season settled.
Many people have been calling for the signing of Xabi Alonso, but he's not the player we need. Cesc and Denilson should battle it out for the attacking midfield position, with Rosicky and Nasri quite able to play there. The defensive midfield position doesn't need an Xabi Alonso, he's too similar to Cesc. He's a good passer, but he's not a workaholic nor does he have pace. You've seen in the last season with Liverpool that he went from first choice to third choice behind the likes of Gerrard and Mascherano. Of course, Gerrard is a given, and if you want Cesc to excel, you have to do the same - put a "Mascherano" behind him. Put a real defensive midfielder there - like a Flamini, Gilberto, Diarra, Vieira. Some one who doesn't stop running, someone who can tackle and break up play.
Sorry, but Alonso is not that player.
Apparently this quote means that Fabregas wants Xabi at Arsenal:
“Xabi is my friend of course, but apart from that he is a great player. He has won the Champions League and won a European Championship – and he is only 26.”
Realistically, it’s a no-go. Can you see Cesc and Alonso in the middle. It’s too attacking. Liverpool are willing to sell because they’ve got Mascherano and Gerrard. Yes he is 26, but a midfield of Nasri, Cesc, Alonso and Rosicky (when fit) is way too attacking. Milan have Gattuso behind Kaka and Pirlo for a reason. Yes, Pirlo plays deep like Alonso, but the terrier is Gattuso.
I really can’t see Arsene buying Alonso, I think he will buy a terrier – who? I don’t know. Options are running out, many people have been bought now. I hope Arsene has something up his sleeve, I really do…
In other news, young Le Mans starlet Gervinho has reiterated his desire to move to Arsenal. Read more here, but he won’t be signed – not this season at least.
I don’t mean to be negative, far from it, and a good signing this week followed by a good win against Twente will cheer me up.
I’ll leave you with another Cesc quote which did cheer me up…
“For me, Arsenal is Arsenal and this club has something special that no others have. We have to take care of it, that’s why you have to be intelligent in your decisions. I have friends in Spain and Italy and they speak to me about other clubs and I know I’m privileged to be where I am and I don’t want to lose it. You see very few teams that play the way we do. I enjoy the way we play. I came here when I was 16 and I feel it’s my home.”