A Good Start but the Opposition’s Midfield Has Been Poor

So Arsenal have played 5 matches in the Premier League scoring 11 goals and sit proudly at the top of the table.

But let’s not get carried away; the opposition we have played against haven’t been the best of quality. Yes, we should enjoy the moment and there are promising signs for this young side but the true test is yet to come.

Cesc Fabregas is back and the team has gone up a gear since his return. We are not a one man team but a lot of the play revolves around the Spanish playmaker. It is important that the other midfielders play to make sure that if he is not in the squad Arsenal do not miss him. The midfield has become the most talked about area and always the most important position now Flamini and Gilberto have left and there are some doubts of whether the Gunners can cope in this area.

  1. West Brom: Greening, Morrison, Brunt, Cech, Kim (4-5-1) v Walcott, Eboue, Denilson, Nasri (4-4-2)
  2. Fulham: Davies, Bullard, Murphy, Gera (4-4-2) v Walcott, Eboue, Denilson, Nasri (4-4-2)
  3. Newcastle: Gutierrez, Guthrie, Butt, Owen, N’Zogbia (4-5-1) v Eboue, Fabregas, Denilson, Nasri (4-4-2)
  4. Blackburn: Emerton, Reid, Andrews, Pedersen (4-4-2) v Eboue, Fabregas, Denilson, Walcott (4-4-2)
  5. Bolton: Joey O’Brien, Smolarek, Muamba, Nolan, Gardner (4-5-1) v Song, Fabregas, Denilson, Eboue (4-1-3-2)

Things have changed since the start of the season where a sluggish start was due largely to injuries but confidence has shot up among players especially Walcott, Eboue and Denilson. If you look at the opposition midfield so far this season they have been poor. Arsenal lost aginst Fulham who were made to look good by a poor Arsenal performance but if the Gunners played them now without Fabregas I’m sure they would win.

Bolton was an interesting line-up. Arsene played 4-1-3-2 to counter the tough tackling threat of Bolton though the opponents were technically very poor which meant they couldn’t muster many passes together. Arsenal could have scored more but the team selection could mean that Arsenal will play different formations depending on the opponent.

Song has played as the anchorman but when Diaby comes back could he make way or is the Frenchman going to play further up? Denilson has certainly improved playing with more confidence, scoring and setting up goals though in a 4-4-2 against stronger opposition will we see how good he is defensively. He was quoted by Wenger as being a ‘bit of Gilberto and a bit of Rosicky’ when signed. He has taken a bit of creative pressure of Fabregas but still the Spaniard remains the main fulcrum of the team and was influential in the comeback against Kiev and was the main central midfield man in trying to force something against Kiev.

Overall a highly promising start but the real test is yet to come and that’s where will see if the Arsenal midfield is truly strong enough this season.


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