Sunday, February 22, 2009

The stats don't lie: Denilson and Song were a disaster against Sunderland.

I hate to keep banging on about this, but it's hard not to, given how diabolical performances have been of late.

Our central midfield has been a disaster, and now I (well, the Guardian) can provide some statistical evidence that relying on players like Denilson and Song simply isn't acceptable.

Go to

Set it up for Arsenal, 2008-9, Sunderland, click on D Pereira Neves, then passes for the event.

You will see that Denilson did not complete one successful pass into the final third of the pitch in the entire match. In fact you will see that almost all his succesful passes were sideways ball, he had no shots on goal, and whilst he managed a rather more credible 6 tackles out of 8 attempted, his tackling stats are exactly the same as Nicklas Bendtner.

Alexandre Song, supposedly the powerhouse in our midfield, made one successful tackle in three attempts, with 5 interceptions. Again, no shots on goal, but he did actually make, incredibly, three successful passes into the final third.

Samir Nasri's passing was more dangerous, but he had no attempts on goal. That second statistic is unacceptable, I'm afraid.

What does all this prove? That Denilson and Song are not up to being a central-midfield partnership at a club which supposedly has European ambitions.

For Arsene to come out with the amount of guff, that he states in this article:

is mind-boggling.

You know why Denilson hasn't got much credit Arsene? Because he isn't very good. Not at the moment, in any case. One day he might develop in a tidy little player, but at the moment all he has is hideously over-inflated pass completion statistics from continually passing the ball sideways. We have no-one in the centre of the park at the moment who is willing, or able, to make telling, dangerous passes.

Likewise we have no bite in midfield, with barely anyone making any tackles, and only Arshavin, out of the four players who started in midfield yesterday, willing to make any attempts on goal.

So we have a central midfield that doesn't create chances, can't win the ball, and doesn't make attempts on goal.

That is why we are in fifth place at the moment Arsene. And that is why I worry when he says this about Denilson:

"I am surprised how little credit he got for what he has delivered since the start of the season. I think he has improved tactically in his first pass and physically in the challenge. He is much stronger than a year ago."

“You can see today when he makes a tackle he wins the ball. I am convinced he will be even stronger in six months.

Well, maybe. But at this rate, we're going to be in the UEFA cup in 6 months time.

For the time being, one of Denilson, Song, and Diaby has to play, but playing more than one of them at the same time is killing our season.


Anonymous said...

OK - our shooting was woeful yesterday, but for some people can't see past the usual suspects.

Most of Song and Denilson's role is to win and keep possession - when you see that we had 60% of the ball yesterday, you can only conclude that Song and Denilson did their jobs to a decent level. Really, the problem yesterday was finishing.

Denilson's tackling has been excellent this season. The Cardiff game was a good case. He won the ball for two out of four goals, and played a killer ball for another.

If we'd taken one of our many presentable chances yesterday, the game would have opened up, allowing more movement and a thrashing would have been the likely outcome.

If there's any blame, it lies at the door of our wide men, full backs and strikers - this is where the movement has to come from. And finishing wouldn't hurt either!

Goonerboy said...

Good points, Gunnar. I just think central midfield has been an absolute disaster all season, and if there's one are of the pitch which is the reason we're in fifth atm, it's there.

TonytheGooner said...

well i watched the game and i'm pretty sure denilson put that pass in for van persies chance where he narrowly missed. so that tells me those stats are bullshit. Song could be an ok partner for fabregas in my opinion but denilson is definitely not good enough. But to pick out those two is a little unfair because the whole team was half asleep. There is just no urgency from any of the players. Its painful to watch, it really is

Anonymous said...

Well that statistic can't be accurate because I seem to remember Denilson making a sensational pass to set up RvP whose chip went narrowly wide.

He's having a good season. When he was with Cesc he was being sharing some of the flak the defenders were copping because we were conceding all over the place. Now that we've tightened up at the back considerably he's taking the flak for not being creative enough (a reminder that he wasn't purchased as a creative midfielder, as I see it he's a bit of an all rounder).

I think he's doing very well and it will take a series of all-round excellent team performances for people to realise that. Maybe he's not the answer to a strong centre midfield in the league but certainly he emerges from this season with some credit for me, and is absolutely worth holding onto for years to come. His statistics in the premier league for the entire season are among the best in the league. He's copping a lot of shit and coming from fans of the team he plays for some of it is unacceptable and petty.

None of this self-defeating negativity please. There are plenty of games to go to earn that champions league place, not to mention the champions league itself and the fa cup to have an earnest crack at. I'm not worried in the slightest about 4th spot and I'm not going to let the miserable attitude of others try and bring me down unnecessarily.


Anonymous said...

Perhaps, but I think central midfield is improving. Denilson fills the Flamini role better than Flamini ever did (seriously - he just doesn't have that all-action style), and when Cesc comes back we'll be laughing. His injury has really hurt us.

We could probably do with another option in the summer, but then Diaby was looking good before he picked up yet another injury,

Stat-wise, Denilson is right up there amongst the top DMs for interceptions and tackle success.

Really, I think this guy is going to be a great player for the club.

Meanwhile Song is a good spoiler; he isn't the best creative outlet, but he can pass, he's good in the air and can time tackles. With a fit squad, he'd only get the odd game - coming on late to protect a lead or something.

Anonymous said...

mumbling here was pointless. It's been the fact few months ago yet Arsene still didn't get it though!

Denilson is simply just a decent player who occasionally produced some good football which nothing special as other lower league players in their club done it too (occassionally). When come to Arsenal, its unacceptable. A team that challenge top 4 but with bottom 4 players, and we still managed to get us up top 5, was that an appreciation Wenger had now?

A.Song just another sad "song", he pulled us back whenever we're switching to attacking mode. Back pass when trying to attack? Was he waiting opposite players line up to sing him a Song?

Wenger lied to everyone that he's the only 1 give chances to youngster. When he has so many youngster with potential stil lining up, where are their chances?

Anonymous said...

FINALLY, people are starting to say what I have been going mad about for ages. While some stats show Song and Denilson are good, it is because they always play safe and NEVER add intensity to our attacks!

Anonymous said...

Problem was poor finishing from Van Persie and Vela. Bendtner, whilst not so profiligate, also did not really work the goalkeeper hard enough. Sure, Song and Denilson are not going to be the best creative pair at Arsenal, but there is no need to scapegoat anybody, as the real problem was the absence of 5 potential match winners in Fabregas, Eduardo, Adebayor, Walcott and Rosicky. Also, Arshavin was not fully fit.

Too much over analysis.

Anonymous said...

i think you should also check other stats
maybe the link below could also tell you Denilson is the second best passer with 86% so far this season.,19528,11662_2705370,00.html

Goonerboy said...

Anon - yeah, but if he's meant to be our main creative hub in central midfield, it doesn't matter if 86% of his passes are complete if the majority of them are going sideways!

Pass completion has to be put into context: if you're a defensive player, it's ok to just lay the ball off to the guy next to you; if you're the one meant to be making things happen, I'd rather he completed less passes but more of them produced a threat to the opposing side, than his play it safe attitude at the moment.

The reason everyone remembers the pass to RvP, is that it was the only memorable thing he did in 90 minutes. not good enough.

Keep thursday nights free next year, that's all i'm saying.

Anonymous said...

Lies, damed lies and statistics. Or "stats" as they're called now... bottom line is that we dominated the match yesterday but our forward line had not teeth. Blame it on Denilson or Song if it makes you feel better but the bottom line is we didnt have a 25 a season goal scorer on the pitch - probably not a 15 a season goal scorer either, that is the biggest shame. Wanna be a top four club - get a goal scorer or two. Wanna wait for Eduardo, then forfeit the season. Simple as. And before anyone harps on about RVP; I know he can produce moments of magic... but so can Paul Daniels and he's never gonna get us 20 goals in a season either!

Anonymous said...

Wenger is so delusional it is starting to hurt the club.

Anonymous said...

You can't have the cake and eat it too - we have kept clean sheets at BOTH ends in this unbeaten spell.

Another 0-0 against Roma would be a great result, I prefer it to a 2-1 win. We then get Walcott and Eduardo back for the 2nd leg in Rome.

Its awful in the league at the moment but we have Cesc, Rosicky, Arshavin, Eduardo and Theo all to contribute before the end of the season.

Im sure we will make the CL next season

Anonymous said...

There are lies, damned lies, and statistics.

There's a reason it's become a cliche.

You say that the lack of passes in the final third from Denilson proves something and I say it does, just not what you claim. It proves that he wasn't playing much in the final third because he wasn't supposed to be there with all four of our attacking players in and around their box. He was supposed to get and give which is what he did.

Anonymous said...

The problem is Song. He's slow, lumbering, negative in his passing, dwells on the ball far too long, the list is endless. It's questionable whether he's even a premiership player let alone good enough for Arsenal.

Denilson has improved throughout the season, especially defensively. There's not a huge amount wrong with him when he plays alongside Cesc but anyone would struggle partnering Song.

Goonerboy said...

Rosicky will not make a meaningful contribution to Arsenal for the remainder of the time he's at the club. He's a crock.

By the time the others are back, it may well be too late to save the season.

This season has been a disaster. The only thing that could save it is a run to the Champions League final, which will not occur.

A stupid summer has caused a stupid season, simple as that.

Goonerboy said...

Also, for all those stating the 'damned lies' cliche, it's worth bearing in mind that Arsene is a firm believer in stats - it's why he sold Vieira, for instance.

I'd love to know what magical stats he's got at the moment which are convincing him this team are good enough.

Anonymous said...

goonerboy you are manipulating the statistics. 86% pass completion doesn't matter but an incorrect statistic about passes into the final third yesterday does?? I'm not a fan of Denilson but you're argument is wrong.
Its frustrating right now but Wenger is the man who has to answer for it. His substitutions yesterday were bizarre. And he should be forcing them to move the ball faster but he sits on the sideline and only gets up to complain at the ref. He's not doing enough

Anonymous said...

stats about denilson don't lie! I was saying exactly the same thing yesterday after the game... the guy can only pas sideways to a team mate no further than 5-10 yards away... not a single pass forward made it to the forwards who with such a poor support have to try things on their own!

Anonymous said...

What a ray of light you are Goonerboy.

Anonymous said...

Denilson and Song have been the reason that Arsenal have conceded so few goals lately. While together they offer little attacking threat, Song gets his tackles and interceptions. Denilson gets around the park, puts in some big tackles and pickpockets the ball.

Their job with four attackers in front of them - AA, Nasri, Nick and RVP was not to be the creative hub but to shore things up and let those 4 express themselves and let Clichy and Sagna overlap.

I think they did their job well enough.

Anonymous said...

we had chances yesterday. its about time the blame is layed were it should be. lazy luxury players like van percie and that other world class barn door hitter ade bad player

Anonymous said...

From Pistol Pete:
Let face it our midfield is rubbish, if we have to look at stats for verification then it's rubbish simple. Look at every successful team in the past and you can see that the midfield is the driving force, Song and Denilson are not a driving force. Other team know that they can overrun out midfield it's common Knowledge, that why we ar losing games and giving up stupid goals. Forgets the stats we are crap and as long as we play these guys that are not ready to be first team regulars we won't get anywhere near the Champions league, we don't deserve it. I said it before and i say it again, We must demote or sale Song, Eboue, Diaby and Denilson.

Any average player can pass a ball sideways

Anonymous said...

Denislon 86% passing. So what? Any div can make 5 square passes sideways and backwards. You have to make key passes forward, otherwise the strikers get no service - someone has to pass to them. It doesn't help that Bendtner and Clichy are also crap and Nasri was lousy yesterday too.

DG said...

As someone who never comments on these blogs I have to say that, as a season ticket holder for many years, this is the worst Arsenal team since George Graham. Although we have no divine right to win everything, we do have a right to compete. Denilson and song are arguably the worst midfield pairing in the league. They are rubbish and although they may do the odd good thing THEY ARE CRAP players. So is Bentdner and Almunia. We will be lucky to finish above an ordinary Villa side and Everton must be smiling. Yes we have had injuries and have been unlucky but Denilson and Song are pure shit what ever way you look at it.

Anonymous said...

Arsene has won 3 titles with a central midfield made up of Vieira Petit Gilberto & afraid Song &Denilson do not fit into that group....thats why we are 5th.

Anonymous said...

I took your advice & loaded up the chalkboard expecting to see 50 odd passes from Denilson with many going astray. In fact, I found he made 82 accurate passes out of a total of 85 & that, btw, is actually a pass completion rate of 96%, some 10% above an already very high average of 86% as some people have already mentioned in their comments. I think you'd be hard pressed to find another midfielder in any team over the w/e with a pass completion rate that high but also, I think Denilson is being compared unrealistically to Fabregas here. They're just not an exact like-for-like player. If Denilson spent most of the game passing sideways & did so accurately then he must have successfully played passes to Vela, Nasri & Arshavin throughout the entire match. For you to criticize his effectiveness in doing so show's a distinct ignorance about the role he would surely have been asked to play.

Anonymous said...

Are we aiming to be the best? We used to. If we are then ask yourselves this question; Would Song, Eboue and Denilson get a game for Man Utd? - Ramgun

Clear Sleeve said...

Was Denilson supposed to be our ACM or DCM? Because I'm pretty sure he's supposed to be the ACM when Song's playing. We need at least some attcking creativity in the middle, we can't play two DMs with no ability when it comes to passing forward. Oh, and that pass to RVP was a fluke coupled with a defensive mistake, not an ingenious through ball.

Anonymous said...

You really didn't have to be mystic meg to predict what was going to happen this season.

Wenger obviously sees something in training we don't. Pointless shite talking about our midfield and what the stats say. The stats also tell us were 5th and looking behind us. Unfortunately channel 5 beckons. Not saying flamini alone would of made us challengers, but it's sure looking stupid now not paying him 5-10 grand more.

Anonymous said...

Denilson has been fantastic. Use the same Gardian website to look back over Flamini's performances last year and you will notice how very similar they have been.

"He doesn't pass forward enough" sigh...

He is our defensive midfielder who defends better than any other DM in the PL this year.

Anonymous said...

Let's throw something positive in here. Almunia had a very good game yesterday and was as commanding in his box as I've ever seen him. He is now becoming a real keeper which is great news.
The problem is simple. We have no balance. We can't play Song and Denilson because neither instinctively look for the forward pass. We must play one or the other with Cesc, Nasri(who looks good in the middle) Diaby or Ramsey. Full marks to Arsene for trying to play Song and Denilson into form. How many times do players only get one or two chances to shine then disappear. They are getting the chances but the balance is not there between them yet and maybe never will be. The big question remains though. Who partners Cesc when he's fit. It's as simple as that and Arsene is hoping that Denilson or Song can do it. I'm not so sure.

Anonymous said...

Denilson will be a fantastic partner for Fabregas. Well, he was a fantastic partner for him. Our problems remain the same. We lacked a quality right midfielder, but now we lack a quality central midfielder.

Arshavin will hopefully step up and fill that gap, but Fabregas has not been replaced at all. Song could become a decent center back/defensive midfield back up, but a creative central midfielder? Not a chance.

Anonymous said...

Denilsons stats are better than carricks or scholes yesterday

Anonymous said...

Obviously you don't understand football. Or statistics.

Anonymous said...

It takes determination and gut to continue to support arsenal.We have to be sharper in front of the goal.For teams that will come to emirate to defend, we must put enough pressure on them to concede an early goal and subsequently the game will open up.there is still hope for one or two trophies this season. Up arsenal!!

Anonymous said...

It takes determination and gut to continue to support arsenal.We have to be sharper in front of the goal.For teams that will come to emirate to defend, we must put enough pressure on them to concede an early goal and subsequently the game will open up.there is still hope for one or two trophies this season. Up arsenal!!

Anonymous said...

So, what about the pass that set up RvP for a clear shot on goal(that he missed BTW)?

Statistics are for geeks!

Anonymous said...

Some of you morons crack me up: stat this....stats that....etc...repeat.

THE ONLY STAT THAT COUNTS: Arsenal are FIFTH, 17 pts behind United. Denilson and Song would not even get on the United bench nor the Chelski bench. Defo the poorest midfield combo I have seen all season. How many league goals have Denilson and Song between them? How many medals have they won? Some of you are truly pathetic.

Here we are with a team that cannot beat Sunderland and jokers are saying 'Denilson is fantastic'. HIlarious. Alex Ferguson must be bricking it and som must Roma! LOL. Four years, sod all trophies is the only stat that matters. Don't care if Denilson stats say he made 2,000 backward 2 yard passes in a game.

If Denilson is supposed to be a creative mid (and i think he is) then he was garbage yesterday, as he always usually is. If he was supposed to be defensive, then that means that AW was playing against a poor team like Sunderland with 2 holding midfielders. And its a sign of how utterly useless he has become as a manager. Our club is a laughing stock.

Only stat that matters? Lost to hull, fulham, stoke, battered by city and beaten easily by villa.

Wax lyrical about Song and Diaby and Denilson all you want. Let's have this conversation again next season when we are struggling in the UEFA cup yeah? talk talk talk LOOK AT THE LEAGUE TABLE.

Denilson probs has better pass stats than Xavi and Lampard and Gerrard. does that make him anywhere near as good? ha ha ha ha.

Listen to yourselves. Worst midfield pairing in the PL and some ppl are trying to big them up. P-A-T-H-E-T-I-C

Clear Sleeve said...

It's sad but I agree with most of the points the guy above me has posted. Though I would have tried to post them in a less ''in your face'' way.

Anonymous said...

If you are going to comment on the game at least show some undrstanding of it. Denilson is not meant to be the creative hub. He is a defensive midfielder.

Since the injuries to our creative players, Wenger has played a more defensive central midfield set up - hence the goals against us have improved since November. Some credit for that should go to players like Denilson and Song, but of course, it doesn't. Against Sunderland, Denilson and Song sat back and allowed room in front of them for Nasri, RVP and Arshavin to play behind Bendtner, and to cover Clichy and Sagna when they went forward (allowing Nasri and arhsavin to stay forward). Hence passing into the final third by Denilson was not part of his game. For some reason everyone seems to expect that he is going to fulfil a Cesc role, but that is not what is expected of him. We had 60% possession and enough shots on goal to have won 3 or 4 nil, but for some poor finishing and good keeping. How Denilson and Song get blamed for that is difficult to comprehend.

Anonymous said...

As someone said earlier, THE ONLY STAT THAT COUNTS IS THAT WE ARE FIFTH (5th)! that says it all! However, you want analyse the season, we are NO BETTER THAN 5th-simple-The table doesn't lie!

Anonymous said...

if the stats show that denilson didn't hava a single successful pass into the final third, then they're immediately dodgy and they are lying, because it was denilson who played the through ball for vp to chip wide....

Anonymous said...

I think that the pass of Denilson's to RVP was deflected off a defender so that may have impacted on the stats?

But I personally think Denilson had a good game & has had a good season. Given the improvement in his game I think he deserves to be retained in the first team alongside Cesc (when fit) and to continue his development. He is smart and very efficient.

All those who criticise him must take the view that he is not following Wenger's instructions...

His role against Sunderland was not to provide final ball. It was to cover the wingers and full backs and he did that well. So did Song for that matter (although I am convinced he is just a squad player).

Anonymous said...

The stats dont lie??? Compare Song/Denilson with Scholes and Carrick. Without knowing the result you would say Arsenals midfield duo outperform better stats all round. I think you need to compare Nasri Vs Ronaldo if you want to see the real difference

Unknown said...

For me the table says it all! We have four midfielders at the club (Eboue, denilson, song Diaby) of whom only 2 ( denilson and Diaby) are even good enough to be fringe players at a ANY premier league club! and none of them 2 really fit the mould of a natural defensive midfield player, the position that so obviously needs addressing!
Im personally getting irritated by the amount of trust and support wenger has in players that are simply not good enough to play for arsenal.
And contrary to others Im not very optimistic about us getting 4th spot either and if we dont it might be the wake up call and kick up the arse needed to change things.

Anonymous said...

The article is right in respect to the midfield partnership doesnt work, but I dissagree entirely with the notion that Denilson is to blame. I would go as far as to say that he has beeen one of the few consistent performers in the team this year and has improved a lot. He has cut out a lot of his forward play in favour of doing a solid defensive job for the team. Hr makes very few mistakes, reads the game well and moves the ball quickly enough. The problem is that Song is also playing DM and he is quite one dimensional. He lacks the quality we need in midfild; too slow, cant pass, doesnt move the ball quickly because it takes too long to control it. I like his commitment, but prefer him as a back up CB if anything. Overall I think Denilson has changed his game to protect our leaky defence and is doing exacactly what AW wants.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7.58 - we only have 4 midfielders at the club? Really?

Anonymous said...

Sorry 7.46

Anonymous said...

Lots of moaning about the central midfield, but the bottom line is that we have not lost for ages and have hardly conceded any goals.

The feeling is that they are not offensive enough, that they do not pass forward, but RVP got two good chances, Vela had two good chances, Bendtner a 50% chance and Galas a good chance: for Arshavin first chance he was unopposed and shot off target (though apparently this was good, well at least he did shoot). So the strikers lost us the 2 points and it is tough on the midfield to blame them, we all know Adebayor needs 5 or 6 chances to get a goal but you would hope some of our forward line could come up to standard. RVP has done it against the big clubs and Eduardo showed the way against Cardiff.

Anonymous said...

.fergie is correct we are light in quality in the middle of the pitch.When we bring useless waste of space eboue on then we truly have surrenderd the game.

Anonymous said...

"Pass completion has to be put into context: if you're a defensive player, it's ok to just lay the ball off to the guy next to you"

Denilson was signed as a defensive midfielder.

That he's developed into a more rounded player in his time with us is just a bonus.

I'm still sure that every last one of his vital stats was better than Cesc's before he was injured, including goals and assists (might be wrong about assists).

Like I said, when Denilson is part of a successful Arsenal team his hard work will be better appreciated.

Anonymous said...

there can't be any argument with this article, the guy has shown it statistically

these 2 are not good enough, Song is worse than not good enough, he's not good enough and not bothered

Eboue coming on was the final straw for me. Although he is not the worst player at the club, his very presence is just infuriating. He should have been chucked in the reserves for what happened at SHL.

Anonymous said...

I find it almost comical that wenger has the nerve to criticise sunderlands performance. they COMFORTABLY held a team bereft of ideas and sadly lacking in quality on a stage were we have always struggled ... with abit more quality sunderland had the chances to nick it, so i think arsenal got off lightly ! arsenal are no longer the force they used to be...end of....

Anonymous said...

all i wish to say is that i really liked arshavin ....he reminded me of marc overmars really ....his stature his quick feet and he was one player who looked decisive in that barren midfield and the denilson thing is just frustating we have sufferd throughout the season from losing in midfield

Anonymous said...

Why Wenger is so stubborn?!
Im fed up with Denilson and SOng..
he can put Vela on the left and then move Nasri to his best position - The middle.....Then put SONG as DMF for denfensive work.
It will be like that for midfield
Vela Nasri Arshavin

Don't you guys think this is better ?? Nasri is really good in the middle, Wenger is onyl wasting his talent! Put Denilson on the bench or reserves! He needs more practise in order to play for the 1st team. Wenger is now ruining Denilson's future and Arsenal's future!!

Anonymous said...

You all seem to beat about the bush, we are now playing with two DM and that is unacceptable, it has to be either Denilson or Song and Nasri will play in the AM role.

We are talking about Denilson not making enought attacking threats, it is because he is playing as DM but when he plays with Fabrigas, he wants to be the AM, that is the problem we are having, I bet Fabrigas will be scoring if he was playing with Song, because Song will just stay deep and protect the back 4. The formation should be Almunia

Sagna Gallas Djourou Clichy

Arshavin Nasri Song Vela
Van Persie Eduardo(fit) Bentner.

Period, I will always play Djourou ahead of Toure, the guy deserves a chance as well, Wilshire, Ramsey and the Rest should also get some decent playing minutes. Instead of bringing Eboue on, Wilshire or Ramsey or Merida would have added something better.

TonytheGooner said...

I can't understand why people are on Denilsons case so much. I think he's crap but Wenger is the man who put him there so thats who i have a problem with. The teams slow style of play is his fault too. We are in this situation because of Wenger and a board full of greedy twats who claim to love the club. Fed up with people like HillWood for 15 years

Anonymous said...

This is getting silly now. We were all believers around this time last year when we were sitting pretty at the top of the league. What has actually changed since for people to say things like "the shittes team we have had since George Graham"? We hae lost Flamini and Hleb and we have gained Nasri and Arshavin. Was Flamini really that good that he is the difference between a shit team and a great team??? We have had a poor season due to lots of factors including injuries and poor form but is there really a need to overreact?? Support the team and we will get into the CL!

Anonymous said...

The time has come for wenger to jump ship & let someone else spend the millions we allegedly have to spend.
Wengers gone stale, the end of Graham's tenure anyone??

Anonymous said...

Sorry but you are full of shit.

Have you ever heard of a 4-2-3-1?

We played two holding midfielders whose primary task was to win the ball in the middle and cover the wings because Nasri and Arshavin aren't strong defensively.

Madrid are playing something similar, and it has solidified their defence(they hardly concede these days). But go and check and how many passes Diarra and Gago complete in the final 3rd.

Oh your stats are complete bollocks! Denilson played the pass of the game to Van Persie(who chipped it wide) in the opening minutes of the match.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I watched Denilson play further up the pitch against Roma last night, and you're right, Goonerboy; all he can do is look composed and tidy and make incisive passes, using his good balance and quick feet to engineer space for himself and others. What a waste of space. I'm sure you'll agree we should sell him and buy Yaya Toure who is teh best eva!!1!

claptongoon said...

Denilson was my MOTM against roma.he was great. he is 21. he will be awesome.