This time last season we were becoming increasingly worried about the impending decimation of our midfield: Hleb, Flamini and Gilberto had all signalled that they were leaving for one reason or another. Hleb’s fans and critics were appeased with the signing of Nasri who brought with him the promise of more goals which, by and large, has been achieved. The problem as we all know was that the loss of Flamini and Gilberto left a chasm of a whole in our defensive midfield. We were led to believe that Wenger had earmarked Diaby to fill Flamini’s role but few expected that to be a success as Diaby’s defensive skills, did and still do, leave a lot to be desired.
This left Denilson and Song; yet again, it seemed glaringly obvious to most that the pair lacked the experience to carry the heavy burden of expectation, which we rightly demanded, necessary to win the premiership. The impending danger seemed obvious to many of us and we cried out for reinforcements.
These concerns were viewed by some, notably the Lefties, as some kind of slur on Wenger and were met with banal comments like “So you think you know more than the manager” the answer to that childish jibe is obviously “No”. The purpose of a blog, as far as I understand, is to express a view and get to know the views of others. What the Lefties, and the like, failed to understand was that far from criticising anyone we were trying to draw peoples attention to what we saw as the equivalent of a child we loved standing in the road with a lorry hurtling towards it and in the hope of trying to avoid what seemed like an inevitable disaster we were crying out the warning of we need midfield reinforcements.
Song and Denilson were simply not strong enough which, sadly, as far as I am concerned, is reflected in our final league position. But what most people didn’t understand was that most of us who expressed concern, especially about Denilson, were not doing so for concern about his future success at the club just about his ability to play such an important role should Fabregas get a serious injury.
Our critics pointed to the fact that he was only 20. This was exactly the point, too young and too inexperienced but that was never meant to mean that we didn’t think he would eventually come good with experience.
The reality of the situation now is that after playing in most games this season he has gained the experience that we thought was lacking at the beginning of the last; his tactical awareness, his defending, his tackling his passing are all carried out with the authority that we who showed concern were expecting of him.
My guess is that Denilson was under instructions from Wenger “Play the simple pass, always find a team mate” this is the only reason I can find for all those side ways passes that drove us insane during our seemingly never ending run of nil nil draws. Perhaps another reason to say that he must have been under instructions was because the season before when he was playing primarily in the Carling Cup he was so much more adventurous in his passing.
Cesc was similar when he broke into the first team: short passes that always found his man. But that certainly wasn’t the case last season, by Fabregas’s standards, passes were going astray at an alarming rate; I put this down to being more creative, more adventurous, taking risks.
It seems to me that Denilson now has the experience that seemed to be lacking at the beginning of last season. My hope is that Wenger changes his instructions to those of: take more risks, look for the incisive pass.
Written by London