Central Midfield… The Options This Season…

“No deal has been done yet but 50 per cent of me is coming to Arsenal.  Clubs like AS Roma, Juventus and Marseille all want me. But I don’t want to go to Italy again. I prefer Arsenal — they are my No 1 choice.” So, it’s West Ham for Appiah… Okay, now to the main part of today’s blog… a look at our central midfield this season…

As you can see from the graphic above, we’ve got a little pyramid showing our central midfield. Can you guess who everyone is…? Of course you can… And before I start, yes, I know Rosicky and Nasri can play in the middle, but we’re better off keeping them on the wings for now.

Cesc Fabregas

At the top we have Cesc Fabregas of course – our “creative hub”, our “lynch pin”, our quite young, but very important player no doubt. Cesc had his best season for us last season and it’s been a pleasure to see him develop under Arsene. With the departures of other players in recent times, he’s now the heartbeat of our expansive play.


Denilson is currently experiencing his longest run in the team for a while. Primarily due to lack of fitness of Diaby and also Cesc himself was out earlier this season. He’s played well overall. He’s had his best game against Newcastle no doubt, but also had quite a bad game against Fulham. The main issue with “kids” is their consistency. Denilson has a high work rate and appetite for the game and if he can stay fit and stay consistent, then he’s definitely an option in the middle. I expect to see him deployed alongside Cesc for the next few home games.

Abou Diaby

A friend of mine thought he’d taken over Man City, let’s not go into detail lol, but Abou Diaby is definitely our player. He’s been with us for quite some time now, but has pretty much been on the sidelines through injury since he’s arrived. I was watching Arsenal TV the other day and watching the Fulham game of 2006, I think we won 4-0. He was deployed in midfield that day and controlled large parts of the game. Albeit, Henry and Freddie seemed in decent form too. Originally Arsene had earmarked Cesc and Diaby as our midfield future and if he can get fit and stay fit, Arsene will have a chance to see them both in action. The main issue is can he get and stay fit?

Alex Song

Alex Song joined us from Bastia three seasons ago. Initially his performances weren’t that great and a lot of Arsenal fans had questioned this purchase. But after a very impressive loan spell with Charlton the season before last, and an impressive African Nations, a cameo at the end of last season and another impressive round of games at the Olympics, he’s back with us. Although Arsene Wenger has said he wants to have Alex Song deployed in defence, our recent lack of midfield strengthening has seen Alex deployed in a defensive midfield position, and in all honesty, he looks very comfortable there – could be a crucial season for the Cameroonian.

Aaron Ramsey

17-year old Aaron Ramsey was signed this summer from Cardiff. After some impressive performances for the Welsch club last season, he’s also had a impressive pre-season. He played his first game of the season against FC Twente, away at their ground and we can all see that there is talent. The only issue is that Aaron is very young and very raw. Although composed on the ball, can he make an impact in the over physical Premier League? Only time will tell…

Amaury Bischoff

Another gamble by Arsene, but a player that he knows well from Alsace as well as the French under 19’s. Arsene has been watching Bischoff for a while and couldn’t resist snapping up the midfielder on a free this summer. Known to be an attacking midfielder, he’s got a high work rate and when fit could be a good addition to the squad. But it is a gamble for a player who’s not been fit for over a year. Another “only time will tell” on this one, but he is highly rated amongst those in the know…

Emmanuel Eboue

Recently deployed as a defensive central midfield alongside Denilson and it’s obviously not his choice, but Eboue has had a decent season and could be a decent back up when all of the above are injured (which has happened this early season). I’d prefer him to stay wide right, but when in need he could slot in. Despite a decent start to the season, after last season’s awful displays, the jury’s still out…

Jack Wilshere

Last, but not least, the irrepressible talent that is Jack Wilshere. He’s only 16, so younger than Ramsey, but his cameo’s against some top teams in the Emirates cup have made a lot of people sit up and notice this lad. He was deployed on the left wing and that’s where we could see him in the Carling Cup this season. However, is his long term role in central midfield? He’s played in the Cesc position in the u18s and reserves… Only time will tell… Theo has spoken about Jack recently:
“He’s a really nice lad. For a little lad he’s very strong, he’s got a good left foot and his link-up play and reading of the game is fantastic. He makes it look so easy when he plays and every time he gets the ball and does something he brings a smile to your face. I’m sure he’ll get a chance or two this season, he’s still young so he’ll want to play, but he will need rest as well. It’s nice to have another English face in the changing room though, especially after Justin [Hoyte] left. I was sad to see Justin go, but with Jack and Aaron Ramsey here too, there are a few Brits in the squad.”
So, that’s our central midfield, and if all goes wrong, we’ve got Rosicky, Nasri and Djourou who could all slot in… who said we need more midfielders?!?!! Exciting times ahead…]]>

  • blull siht

    < ![CDATA[This is real crap! Arsenal's midfield has become a gamble! helb was crap for most of his time at arsenal except for last season, thank god he has left for the bitches at barca... flamini for me was the real loss and losing him as a free transfer was worst! arsenal have proved that they are not willing to spend that extra penny it takes no a days to win the title, come on!, they could'nt even get cup tied xavi alonso, sad, i will support arsenal nonetheless, but imagine, what it could have been........ with man city joining chelski and man u being able to buy 30 mil players, they only way arsenal can win the league is if everyone get fit and no one gets injured for the whole season]]>

  • http://www.therockpub-bangkok.com diceman1984

    Nice one, but my bet is on Diaby. He looked the most mature of the bunch although Denilson is going to be the real ‘pass master’.

  • Micky C

    < ![CDATA[What about the ones you have forgotten? Merida, left footed, great on the ball, has filled out well and one of the best free kick takers at the club. Randall, just signed a new contract and ear marked for big things with our club.]]>

  • devday

    Hey Micky, I think Merida and Randall won’t feature at all this season. You’ll see some of them in the Carling Cup, but I really doubt they’ll have any first team action…!

  • JAT

    < ![CDATA[Great Post Dev I'm inclined to agree with (some of) blull siht's comment - we need to make it to at least January without losing our first choice midfielders to injury, or else we're scr*wed. I have never questionned AW's judgement, and am going to keep the faith, despite some supporters who feel doomsday is upon us. It defy's logic to see us winning the title - but then it defied logic that we would thrive last season without TH and nearly win two big competitions! Let's see what happens eh?]]>

  • John Dudley

    < ![CDATA[Whacks like no bullshit have no business purporting to support Arsenal when all they do is whine pour vitriol and or dampen team spirit. I doubt if he even owns a Gunner tee. Let him leave if he feels dissatisfied the much he sounds. We gotta trust Wenger and his choices at least as long as he remains the MAnager of Arsenal FC]]>

  • john

    I agree with Micky C to a point. Merida and Randall will play a part this season. It may just be Carling Cup, but it would be nice to win it.

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  • LEON

    i feel that you count out wiltshire will played once every 6-7 games and in the carling cup and ramsy will be played so often maybe oce every 5-6 games and in the carling cup,i think diaby when healthy will be great for arsenal,songand delinson will give him strong compition, song looks extremly solis every time i see him and delinson is extremly hardworking has very good passing range,i do feel that we should have diaby in parnership with song or delinson some times give fab rest sometimes,because last season he played far to often, i also feel that evon dijouro can play in this area too, nasri can also play in central midfield and his hard working and all action type play will help. all round i dont thin k its all bad we could with one more player but i dont think it all bad we have alot players than cover in that area.

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