A few days ago, I wrote about the potential brittleness of our defence, and although there is still a good chance that the team will get strengthened in the next few weeks, we should also hope for a more attack-minded style of play that will alleviate the pressure on our defence to a large extent.
The coming season holds the very exciting prospect of two super fast and multi-dimensional Arsenal wings: Theo and Debuchy (maybe even Jenkinson) and Sanchez and Gibbs. With Ozil, Jack, Ramsey, Santi and Rosicky in the middle we also have the sort of players who can pick them out and send them flying forward. The one thing that is missing is a top quality, defence-minded midfielder who can co-connect the back with the front (together with the B2B midfielder), who can protect the back-four and win balls to start of our attacks, who bosses the midfield with ‘Presence!’ (with respect to the American-Kiwi Prof) as well as perfect positioning and reading of the game, and who leads by example throughout the game.
We have had many discussions on Bergkampesque on the sort of midfielder we need to add to the team to get the balance absolutely right. Some, including me, prefer a more traditional DM but with good passing skills; and others want another box to box type of player who can do a bit of defending as well. On the one hand, there are the Macharanos, De Jongs and Wanyamas and on the other hand we have the Schweinsteigers, Khediras and Yaya Toures. At this stage, I would welcome any style of midfielder, as long as they are top quality and experienced.
We have become heavily reliant on Ramsey, who had the perfect start to the season and falls more into the latter camp. He has had a long break and a true professional as he is, will be chomping at the bits for another fully committed and successful season. This could be his year. He works well with either Arteta or Flamini, but it is fair to say that both are more suited for back-up than being the all-season force we require. I am still not convinced Jack should play in the double DM-pivot, but that is for another discussion.
The one player who could fully make our season is of course Abou Diaby.
A fully fit and dedicated Diaby should be THE wish for the coming season for every Gooner. The prospect of him and Rambo bossing the midfield, supporting the back four and feeding the four advanced attackers, is just so appetising. Diaby is a pretty complete midfielder, and I would settle for him in a heartbeat IF he would be able to play a full season for us.
But we know that we just cannot go down this path as the risks are too high. Let’s give Diaby a season in which he hopefully makes 15+ starts and take it from there the season after next.
In the meantime, let’s be sensible and buy a quality DM/all-round midfielder who has everything we need to move us forward. It looks like the club is seriously looking for a quality defensive midfielder, but we have been here before and recent comments by Arsene are pointing in the direction of ‘wait and see how our midfielders will come through the pre-season’. Or is this all just bluff by Wenger to land his prime target? All will be revealed in the next six weeks, and I am curious to hear your views. :)
Written by: TotalArsenal.