A look at our current midfield trio

Posted: September 4, 2012 in Arsenal

Arsenal’s midfield has always been one of their strongest points, boasting players like Vieira, Gilberto Silva, Cesc Fabregas, Liam Brady and many more. After the departure of Cesc and Nasri our midfield looked incredibly depleted, add to that with the injury of Jack Wilshere, it wasn’t as bright and flairy as it once was. But since then we’ve had some key men in our midfield. Alex Song conjured up a mighty 13 assists from the defensive-midfield position last season. We also had the signing of Mikel Arteta who’s slotted into the midfield perfectly, his experience and versatility making him an integral part of our squad.

The signing of Santi Cazorla made every fan drool at the prospect of seeing him in the red and white colours of The Arsenal. We’re currently still drooling. In the space of three games he’s adapted to the premier league so quickly and efficiently making him one of our best midfielders already. A goal and an assist in the triumph over Liverpool saw him rack up many deserved plaudits.

Arsenal’s current midfield trio of Arteta, Diaby and Cazorla has been superb. I’m going to take an in-depth look at those three and explain why they’re going to be massive players for us, this season.

Mikel Arteta: A man who’s expert passing has turned him into a fans’ favourite here at Arsenal. An offensive midfielder by nature, Arteta has curbed his instincts to go forward and has become our current deepest midfielder. Arteta is usually our most influential midfielder, his vision and passing accuracy is second to none at Arsenal. What I like most about Arteta is his ability to hold-up the ball and look for unmarked players; he hardly ever misplaces a pass. When Arteta plays in the defensive-midfield role you expect him to be flying into tackles and being an aggressive player; he’s different. Arteta reads the game like none other, when it comes to tackling he circles the opposition player until he sees the ball and then he sticks his foot in. He isn’t your average defensive-midfielder but he gets the job done. He’s currently averaging 96 passes per-game with a 93% passing accuracy. In regards to his tackling, he’s averaging 5-6 successful tackles per-game. Arteta’s versatility, consistency, concentration and dedication makes him, arguably, the best midfielder in our team.

Abou Diaby: Probably the most frustrating player at Arsenal due to his fragility. Diaby is always injured. When fit, Diaby shows us why Wenger has so much faith in him. Diaby is usually perceived to be a defensive-midfielder due to his stature but he’s more of a box-to-box midfielder, similar to Yaya Toure in some ways. Diaby’s strides and strength make him a force to be reckoned with when he goes forward; a player who’s also tough in the tackle when he needs to be. Potentially, Diaby could become one of our best midfielders, providing he doesn’t continue getting injured. He’s forever being likened to Patrick Vieira, let’s see if he can become as good.

Santi Cazorla: “He came from Malaga, to play with Arteta”. Indeed he did. Cazorla and Arteta’s near-telepathic understanding is a joy to behold considering the two have only played three games together. They’ve played more passes between them than any other pair in the Premier League. Cazorla is the type of player that we’ve been crying out for since the departure of his compatriot, Cesc. Santi plays in the #10 role, just behind Giroud. His passing has been instrumental in our first three games; we’ve really been missing a consistent attacking-midfielder since last season. His quick adaptation to the Premier League has surprised many people despite the waves he’s made in Spain for the past three seasons. Cazorla’s performances in Spain led to him usually being the best player outside of the ‘top two’. 44 caps for Spain shows how much of a good player he is considering how talented Spain’s midfield is. What an absolute coup Cazorla was, £16m for a player of his experience, talent and fairly clean injury record.

Here’s how our midfield trio lineup: 

You can always make a case for the other midfielders at the club and why our current midfield trio may not look the same after a while. Diaby’s injury record could see him suffer another injury (knock on wood). Wilshere returning soon will probably see him eased back into first-team football. This could be Coquelin’s breakthrough season as a defensive-midfielder. Ramsey may want to prove his doubters wrong and work his way back into the team. Chamberlain could be moved into a more central position. Rosicky’s return could see him take Diaby’s spot. In all honesty, it’s great to have depth and all these dilemmas regarding our midfield.

GB1886 – I hope you enjoyed this piece on our midfield. I haven’t written about Arsenal in a long time but expect a lot more from me. It was a breath of fresh air writing this.

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