Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A song for Charlton, and second leg preview.

Yes, possibly the most momentous moment since the departure of Pascal Cygan has occurred: Alex Song has left Ashburton on loan for the rest of the season. The cynical amongst us may see this as Arsene following the dictum that 'revenge is a dish best served cold' - especially as Alex has received possibly the most stick of any player during the Wenger era. While this criticism has perhaps been overstated, it's also not unjustifiable on the performances I've seen. Whether we ever see him in an Arsenal shirt again remains to be seen; I'm certainly not holding my breath.

The team news for tomorrow is not great. Baptista has now been ruled out, a great shame considering his red-hot form in the CCup this season. He definitely seems like a player who's best when he starts and plays up-front, rather than Arsene's current tactic of throwing him on in centre-midfield for ten minutes at the moment. On the plus side, his injury does seem to be less serious than first feared.

While a partnership of Adebayor and Aliadiere is probably the more likely, I would like Theo to get a chance up-front. He needs a goal and playing as a striker would surely facilitate this; on the wing he seems to be struggling to beat players, causing him to lose confidence and impairing his subsequent shooting ability. I heard a bit of abuse directed towards Theo at the game on Sunday, and while he didn't have a good game the crowd needs to get behind him. He's a young lad and heckling him for missing a few chances is not the way forward. I seem to remember Adebayor receiving similar criticism when he missed chances last season and now he's a folk-hero. And, unlike Song, Walcott clearly has the potential.

Who's going to play in midfield tomorrow also remains a question. Walcott may have to play in midfield as, with Hleb and Eboue(?) out, who else will play on the right? And with Rosicky rested and Freddie injured, who's going to play on the left? Diaby didn't seem too comfortable on the left last time, but I think Diaby-Denilson-Gilberto-Walcott may be the line up.

Whoever plays, I still think we'll have too much for them.


Anonymous said...

I still think you're being overly harsh on Song. I'm not saying he's Arsenal quality now (or maybe ever) but folks are SO harsh and quick to judge. If he was English he'd be getting more slack (Theo rightly is getting a lot of slack to mature). Or maybe if he just had better hair he'd get more slack. I guess we will see soon enough what he's got now that he'll play games for Charlton. Stokes proved he was good enough to be sold, Hoyte proved he was good enough to stay on the squad... Which will it be for Song??? Damned if I know.

Anonymous said...

I don't know what you have against Song. I think he has improved a lot the last 5-6 months. I thought he was great at Liverpool and I surely see there is great potensial there. Remember he's only 19 and he hasn't been given that many chances yet in the first team, like Theo for ex. I think he will get more time in Charlton and then you will see him coming back and fight for a first team place for real. You just wait and see...

Anonymous said...

You seem to suggest that you are fit to comment on Song as a player yet if you had actually been to any reserve games or seen his carling cup exploits at West Brom or Everton you wouldn't be so quick to judge

Goonerboy said...

I did watch the Carling Cup games, and reserve team football can't be used in an argument about whether or not he's good enough to play Premiership or European matches.

The fact is, we have Denilson, Diaby, Cesc, Flamini, and Gilberto for two central midfield positions; I don't think we need another player there, especially with the likes of Merida coming through.

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Anonymous said...

Am I the only Arsenal fan who liked Cygan? He was a squad defender, not brilliant but alright and he always tried his best yet it never seems good enough for other Arsenal fans.

I'm not someone who believes Song will stay at Arsenal but he seems to have become the boo boy like the Latvia defender or Cygan. I think Charlton will go down but he will do well for them while on loan.