People say Arsenal have leaders now. Above and beyond the sharp edge he gives to the attack, Robin van Persie has been a juggernaut of superhuman effort and deadly precision at crucial junctures of the season. However, there are times when Arsenal do not have their own way and whilst I have seen the team talking to each other about passing and closing down , there has not always been anybody driving the wider team strategy on the field. When Arteta plays, he sits deeper than Song when the team has the ball most of the time and has given the team a natural spine. Through his professionalism, experience and air of class he brings a stamp of authority that the midfield lack in his absence, which is why the recent talk of Wenger negotiating with Rennes for Yann M’Vila interests me.
M’Vila, a deep playing midfielder with an solid engine and passing ability matched by no other in France, would likely give Arteta more licence to roam as suits his quick, technical game. Song’s chipped assists justify his forward-thinking style as long as he is provided with adequate cover. My personal favourite for a signing of a defensive midfielder might just be the 26 year old Lucas Biglia from Anderlecht. The Argentinian closes players down as quick as Ramires and caresses the ball in a way Javier Mascherano wishes he could.
Biglia put in a two footed block tackle against the USA recently, in a 1-1 friendly draw. Although, unnecessary and potentially violent, he landed a foot and a half from Clint Dempsey. The Fulham striker was furious and tried to intimidate him with his distinctly menacing eyes. Biglia smiled, shook his head and trotted away. My own view is his passing range is not the same as M’Vila over 30 yards, but he would harden the centre of the team at its core. Biglia is a player both Guardiola and Mourinho would target for this team.
If the middle of the pitch is secure, strong and established the rest of the team have their yardstick to work from. Song alongside Arteta, Biglia, or M’Vila feed the attackers the ball, protect the central defence and define the movement of the fullbacks. Passers like Arteta are also a great asset to feeding the wide forward players. I can see Arteta and Podolski having a great creative bond. In this respect. Arteta has not played with a wide forward of his calibre before who has such timing, drive and a tremendous resolve to win. I hope Podolski has the impact he should do. Players like Ryo Miyaichi are going to watch his finishing, his preparation before games and see his gratitude to be given a second chance at a big club. This should spur them on and make them appreciate their own opportunity.
Ryo has a good brain, quick feet and a assured personality. He deserves to playing with players with movement, touch and drive. However, playing him at Bolton Wanderers alongside a perennial under achiever like David N’Gog or a one-dimensional brute like Kevin Davies gave him a mantle to excel and space to attack. I would like to see him undertake a further year on loan at Aston Villa. I fancy them to rally under a new manager, and playing alongside Darren Bent would help him. Bent is a typically English forward, athletic and natural in front of goal. He’d finish the chances Ryo would make which would make both of them look good.
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