Vela – An unknown prospect, a young 19 year old winger / striker whose time in Spain had been good, but his impact at the Premiership level would be under question until he could prove himself.
Eduardo – A player who suffered such a horrific injury, we all wondered whether he would play again – and if he play again, whether he could regain his top level.
Alex Song – A player who Arsene has always had a lot of faith in – a player who had to take on the role of Gilberto / Flamini / Diarra.
Yes, Denilson isn’t included because we kind of all knew what he was about. Last season Denilson showed in fits and spurts how he could play and what he could offer. Johan Djourou we all knew was an able deputy. Kieran Gibbs we didn’t think would play a role especially with Silvestre joining.
And those aforementioned three players showed what they’re capable of against Burnley on Sunday. Yes, Burnley are a Championship side – but this was the FA cup and this was a fringe team (ish) and it was a must win game. I was highly impressed with Alex Song. The Cameroonian got two assists, but defensively had a massive presence.
In the comments, Jeffvip had this to say:
I saw some comment on whether we need a DM for next season. A high reputation DM is certainly great things for us but now I really like Song and what he is capable of us. I prefer Song over Denilson simply because of his physical presence. He makes player from Burnley looks so small. And we must not forget we too have Diaby which is equally great against Burnley. There is only 1 place for 3 players thus i really doubt AW will make a purchase for DM this summer.
AJ also agreed:
..but there was one or two periods where we were chasing the ball, until Song stepped in usually and I have been a strong voice saying we need to invest in a DM, but I’ve also been impressed with Song throughout the season, I think he’s been one of the few consistant players, but I’m still not sure whether Wenger should invest in a new DM or a CM who can tackle and pass because even though Song played some great balls, he had quite a few woeful passes.
I’ve watched the game again and Alex Song is definitely a player with a lot of potential. He can definitely take on the mantle left by Flamini – but he does have a little Robert about him. Sometimes he does switched off or become a bit lazy in the pass. Yesterday, however, was a different Alex Song – and if the midfielder can continue to play like that with Denilson hitting some decent form too, we may not necessarily have to invest in that area next season.
Carlos Vela is starting to get a little bit of a buzz around him. Arsene has started to use him more often. At some points of the season he’s been electric, such as Sheffield United and Wigan. Sometimes he’s been quiet – the Walcott syndrome – when you start playing in the Premier league, you go into your shell. A miss glaring misses recently and a few minds became hesitant over Vela’s ability. But against the “lesser” teams – especially out of the Premier league – the player is gold dust.
Looking at a player like Vela, you can just see what a little experience in the Premier league will do to the player. I expect to see more of him throughout the rest of the season and wholeheartedly believe that he will be a very interesting player for us next year.
And then Eduardo – his goal was sublime.
Cheers JAT for the picture. And Eduardo has come back from his injury into some serious form. Arsene says he’s surprised by how well he’s recovered:
“I didn’t expect him to [come back so quickly] because he was out for so long. His finishing today was exceptional. You can understand now why he kissed the fitness coach [Tony Colbert] for two reasons. One, to thank him for working hard and two, because he doesn’t see him anymore. That goal shows that finishing is instinct. In a fraction of a second you consider the right surface, the flight of the ball and his position.”
More tomorrow, Champions League week starts…]]>