A Footballers Lesson….

By on September 24, 2010

Written by guest writer armourysquare

The word ‘initiative’ can really define what type of football player one sets out to be. In a nutshell, what I mean is, that the very fact that separates a Michael Essien or a Frank Lampard from a Neves Denilson, is that 10 letter word. Now before you read this article let me clarify what I actually mean by this word, so nobody gets confused. The word ‘Initiative’ which I have used in this context means the ability to produce a performance which affects the results of the match in a positive manner. A standard may beset at 8 – 9/ 10.

Consider this,

CASE 1 :

A derby match between Manchester United and Arsenal is taking place at OldTrafford. The score is tied at 1-1, it is the 89 min, and the ref adds 2 minutes of extra time. Thomas Vermaelen gets the ball he passes it to Sagna. The french-man makes a darting run from the right side, past J.S Park and plays it to Diaby. Diaby gets the ball and rolls it to Cesc. Cesc runs forward, past Fletcher and plays it left to Nasri. Nasri side-steps right, does a drag-back, turns 340 degrees and gives it to Arshavin who sprints past O’Shea and crosses only for the ball to be headed back by Evans about 25-30 yards from VDS. The ball comes to the legs of Cesc Fabregas. What is the most likely thing he will do ? The guy will shoot. What can happen –

1. The ball may rebound of some player and go back to the Arsenal half, where Vermaelen or SQ18  is there to collect.

2. The ball may be on target, and VDS saves it…thus a corner may be won or,

3. The ball may land in the back of the net, and Gooners all over the world would probably scream in Joy…(done that !)

Now this is the story of Cesc Fabregas, the guy who is most likely set to leave for ‘FC Basterdlona’ next year. The basic difference is Initiative. The will to take the ball or the game to the opponent and thus create an impression. That is what makes players great.

CASE 2 :

The same situation, but the ball comes to Denilson. What will he do ?

1. Either he will play the ball back to Tommy-V or SQ18 or,

2.Roll it to Sagna to cross  or Cesc to repeat Case 1.

Now I want to clear something. I do not hate Denilson. I have always regarded him as one very good prospect. But when you play for Arsenal FC and have done so for the last 4 years, Gooners will expect you to give something more, something special to the club.Its not that Neves does not take the initiative. He does, but rarely..

Consider these 3 cases when the guy took the initiative :

  • He smashed a 25 yard cracker in the 6-1 victory against Everton, when the score was 0-0.
  • The free kick he scored against Hull City at the Emirates
  • The shot which he took against Hull in the 94th minute, where Nikko scored on the re-bound.

It’s really sad to see a guy with so much talent , playing for a top club and “not” shining. I always expect Denilson to step it up each season, but the guy always disappoints me.

Why can’t we say that no matter if Cesc is gone Denilson is there or Nasri is there ?

Why is it always RVP, Chamakh, Arshavin oR TW 14 (new recruit), Cesc ?

The dependence on 1 player is something which I really cannot stand in clubs. Moreover, in Arsenal it makes me get even more pissed off, as it is a club I love.

Liverpool depend on Torres and Gerrard, Manchester United on Rooney.The real fact is that without some of these players, opposing teams get the feeling that “yes” we can get something out of this game. Its true, and I have always harped on the same fact with my friends who support these clubs. Sadly, Arsenal are tending into that situation and it will reach that point if players do not start taking the game to their opponents.

Lets talk about another guy from Arsenal –  Samir Nasri. He was bought by Arsenal for about 12.5 ml pounds. I honestly have never seen Nasri take any ‘real’ initiative ever (maybe 1-3 times in his entire career for AFC). I remember he once took it against Manchester United and we won that game 2-1 at the Emirates. The other was recently in pre-season – when he took some initiative. His performance was remarkable there. But that form or standard of performance should have been brought into the league. Sadly it died out.

Here is the recent comment by Rosicky on Nasri and Chamakh :

Fabregas and (Andrey) Arshavin were not on the pitch at that time. Ahead of the kick I communicated with (Samir)Nasri and (Marouane) Chamakh but nobody wanted to take responsibility, so I did.

Now Rosicky is not a bad player and neither is Chamakh or Nasri. They play for Arsenal after all. But here is proof. Nasri did not want to take the responsiblity, neither did Chamakh. Marouane still performs and his new to the club,  so I am giving him some leverage here. But Samir has been with club for 3 whole seasons. He should have been man enough to take the penalty there. Even Le Bosswas shocked that Nasri never took the penalty.

When the guy did take the responsibility against Spurs he scored, not once but twice.

“I provoked the foul and then I didn’t take the penalty,” Nasri said. “But after I talked with the boss and said, ‘Next time I will take the penalty’, and I scored.”

Now please do forgive me if I have some stats about the players stats about the player wrong ( like,maybe Nasri took the initiative 1-3 times in his entire career for AFC), but what I am trying to say is that these players do not give constantly good performances.

To make it more clear, lets say Cesc Fabregas plays a few matches. The guy plays remarkably well and he creates an impression that Arsenal fans can rely on him, when the team need someone and, this remains permanent. A guy like Nasri, does not create this impression, and even if he does, sadly it’s temporary. For eg. The performance he gave against Porto in the champions league was outstanding, but have you seen any recent performance after that you can compare to that ‘level of performance.’ No !

Now, it’s not that these players don’t have “talent” to be the best. Simply, it’s just the lack of initiative or rather will. You can compare these players to those kids at school who are really studious and brainy but when the time comes to speak about something in class, or give a presentation or seminar they **** in their pants! My question is why?

Its confusing, because to play for Arsenal FC is tenseful enough. When you play, the world watches, that fact doesn’t deter any of them. But to take a shot, or dribble or give a killer pass is what frightens them.If they take the initiative or will, then can they onlymake a difference. In the past, when they have , they have performed really well, so its not a case of “flukes” is it ?

Before ending my article, I’ll leave you with this thought. You will usually hear commentators say that Arsenal have often been criticised for passing the ball more often than shooting. Why? Is it that most Arsenal players are too ‘shy’ to take the initiative or is it that most of the players just prefer passing the ball around like play-ground children to entertain fans around the planet ?

Feel free to comment below.

Cheers,

DKD

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31 Comments

  1. Maverick

    September 24, 2010 at 10:40 am

    I understand what you are trying to say and I agree that more people have to take responsibility on the pitch, but I think a lot of the team seem to be doing just that this season (I know its early days).

    Nasri is starting to look like the player I hoped he would be and I think he will be one of the main guys taking the “initiative” for Arsenal this season.

    Fabregas and Arshavin will always contribute (even if they are not playing well).

    A lot of other Arsenal players look like they will contribute this season and I have been encouraged the starts made by Walcott, Rosicky, and Wilshere.

    Denilson is OK, but he can never be a key player for Arsenal, he’s a squad player and the fact he made 3 match changing contributions last season should be applauded not derided.

    Interesting blog, but I hope your point is not as relevant this season as it has been in the past…

    The guy who always disappoints me is Diaby, he’s never contributed what I would have hoped from him

    • armourysquare

      September 24, 2010 at 12:22 pm

      I hope the same mate…

  2. Aziz, KL-Malaysia

    September 24, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    Interesting and actuallty well founded thoughts.
    Well, if in every game 2 out of 5 produce “initiative”, I’d be already entirely happy as long as the other just do their job.

  3. Tom

    September 24, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    Mate, this is bullshit!!

    I like reading various blogs, but never really comment, so thought I’d start today!

    I think that all of the Arsenal players are taught to play a certain way. The players go out onto the pitch and follow year instructions. I do not think they’re scared to try a final ball or shoot, but if someone is in a better position, use them.

    I really disagree that if the ball fell to Fabregas he would shoot, it all depends on the situation. If someone was in a better position, or one of the wide men could put in a better ball, he’d use that option.

    Arsenal play this way as it’s the way they’re told to play. If you became Arsenal manager, you could tell them to shoot at every opportunity, and see how far that takes you. I don’t believe it would take you very far.

    Nasri and Denilson are very very good players. Both will do the right thing, always look to pass to someone in a better situation, if they’re in the best situation, I have no doubt they would shoot.

    I read a recent blog slating Denilson for shooting against Sunderland in the 92nd minute where he should have taken it into the corner to waste time. What’s your take on that?

    Anyway, I believe in the Arsenal team, and when I say team, I also include the manager and backroom staff. They know the players the best, they know how they should play, and I trust their judgement. Obviously, that’s why they’re paid to make these decisions.

    • armourysquare

      September 24, 2010 at 1:53 pm

      Dude, look at it this way.
      Its the 89th min, the ball land 25 yards outside the goal at your feet, people will charge at you like bulls to stop whatever that is your going to do. Is shooting not the most logical option as:
      1. it may be a corner
      2. go back to arsenal
      3. go in the net through deflections..
      If arsenal players were told to do follow instructions like robots then I think they would be vocal enough about it when the club is going through a patch which can be compared to that of Liverpool right now.
      Its football, its unexpected, maximum the layers are told to utilise the team as a whole, not written down instructions like an algorithm.
      Sorry, mate got to disagree with you there.
      Cheers…

  4. Goonersprotector

    September 24, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    Fabregas will kick and score, the ball will not rebound out idiot!

    • armourysquare

      September 24, 2010 at 5:08 pm

      fabregas will kick and score, wow, how much I would want that 2 happen…BUT dont you thnk there is a ‘slight’ chance that he may miss or you know the ball may go out of play, or rebound into the arsenal half…
      …if not then CESC should have a 100% goal scoring rate, hurray for us !

  5. Gooner

    September 24, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    (Ex Real president Florentino Perez)
    He once famously criticised the French midfielder, saying that: “We will not miss Makelele. His technique is average, he lacks the speed and skill to take the ball past opponents, and ninety percent of his distribution either goes backwards or sideways.”

    Zinedine Zidane once complained that when Real Madrid sold Makelele in the summer of 2003, and bought David Beckham,they had lost the most valuable component of the team.
    Zinedine Zidane quipped,”Why put another layer of gold paint on the Bentley when you are losing the entire engine?”

    But it his analysis of his own role, “the Makelele role” no less, where we begin.

    “It’s the ultimate honour to have it named after me, I suppose it shows that I have achieved everything I have worked for,” he says. “I really learnt how to play that role at Real Madrid where, if we were losing 1-0, we would say ‘Right, lock up shop’. The four at the back and the one in front of them – me – would concentrate only on defence and let the others go and do what they had to up front. They would take the risks, I would take care of the opposition’s attacks.

    “In every team you need to know what your role is and one of the keys to my role is to keep the balance of the team right. So when Didier [Drogba] goes here, I do this. When Frank [Lampard] goes there, I go there. Same with Michael [Ballack]. When one person moves out of position, then someone else comes in and covers for them.

    Claude Makelele (role) was clearly misunderstood by many but highly regarded by his peers.
    Unfortunately the same principles apply to Denilson (Arsenal) and to a certain extent Micheal Carrick (Man U).

    Xavi Hernandez labelled Carrick as the ‘complete midfielder’, highly rated amongst his peers, his compatriot and former Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso had said Carrick would be a useful player for England.

    Pep Guardiola had highlighted, despite what the media was saying, Carrick as one of three Man Utd players he felt were playing well and how important it was to deny him the ball.

    Either Pep isn’t on the same page as what the press would like you to think or I must be lost in translation.

    They say he’s not his former self, but his former self wasn’t even getting a look in for England, during which he was dubbed ‘un magnifico Carrick’ by the Italian press, which makes it even stranger at his lowest ebb he’s in the England team.

    There has been in the past comments made that Carrick is more appreciated on the continent because he’s not your ‘typical English player’ – which is another debate, to what constitutes your ‘typical English player’, for another time.

    Wearing the number 16 shirt for Man Utd, worn with distinction by legendary skipper Roy Keane and we assume him to be a similar player, well he’s not.

    Keane a box-to-box midfielder extraordinaire is a one-off, get over it. Carrick operates as a deep-lying playmaker, definitely not a defensive-midfielder – even though his inability to make attacking forward runs leaves him starting attacks from deep and a shield to the back four.

    When Arsene Wenger signed Denilson, he described him as a cross between Gilberto and Rosicky, two players seemingly at opposite ends of the midfield spectrum. However, what he was alluding to was Denilson’s all-round qualities: a remarkable trait which brings him much closer in style to another young playmaker, Cesc Fabregas.

    Wenger first spotted him in a video he was given of another player he was supposed to assess! He liked the look of Denilson and David Dein was later instructed to get him., ( he was 18 years old at the time dictating the midfield)

    Makelele’s role at Real Madrid was invaluable yet inconspicuous. He sat in front of the back four, intercepting passes and hassling the opposition’s midfielders. Although he was criticized because it seemed he only passed backwards or sideways, many failed to realize that Makelele was the (starting point for many Real Madrid attacks.)

    Makelele’s subtle brilliance paved the way for more heralded names like Zidane and Figo to work their magic up front which made a winning recipe for Real Madrid of which a pinch of Makelele was the key ingredient.

    The position of defensive midfield is now colloquially known as “the Makelele role” and this is a fitting tribute to a man who revolutionised football and is arguably the greatest Galactico of all time.

    Denilson cameo role against bolton (20 odd mins) he made 47 passes 46 successful.
    Alex song played the full 90 mins 62 passes 58 successful.

    Denilson remains the Arsenal player most efficient and tidy on the ball.
    His performance against West Ham demonstrated this well. 73 passes attempted, 73 passes completed – an astonishing record.

    Do you hear about these statitics in the media, or even Arsenal fans raving about him?

    Every player shows their initative in their own way, the problem is not everybody can appreciate it or even see’s it.

    • armourysquare

      September 25, 2010 at 7:57 am

      ALonso, Essien, scholes give something more to the team than Denilson. He is not a bad player, but has never performed to his ability.
      Moroevr he is a make shift CDM, normal he plays the CM role, so personally I do expec something more from him. just like Lampard, xavi, iniesta gives to their respective teams, the guy should step it up, cause he definitely has the ability too…

      • Gonner

        September 25, 2010 at 12:44 pm

        “I do expect something more from him. just like Lampard, xavi, iniesta gives to their respective teams.”

        Alonso, Xavi are deep lying playmakers, Scholes now also plays the xavi role as a deep lying playmaker. Iniesta is a advanced playmaker.
        Essien, lampard, box to box midfielders,
        Denilson is a ‘center midfielder’.

        Xavi is the undeniable king of Barcelona’s midfield, Iniesta is sort of his sidekick.

        “I think Iniesta is the best player in the world at the moment,” Wayne Rooney, May 2009.

        “Paul Scholes is the complete midfielder. He is undoubtedly the best midfielder of his generation.”France legend Zinedine Zidane praises the midfield maestro.

        The players that you compare Denilson to, Essien, Scholes, Lampard, Xavi and Iniesta. They are all world class in their prime or the best in their position.

        Denilson is only 22 and a ‘center midfielder’, He’s not a Fabregas or a Xavi (playmakers) he won’t give you that killer ball.Those driving runs from Essien and lampard are not in his repertoire (box-box).

        like i said in my previous comment his role is largely misunderstood.

        “The four at the back and the one in front of them – me – would concentrate only on defence and let the others go and do what they had to up front. They would take the risks, I would take care of the opposition’s attacks.” quote from, Claude Makelele.

        Denilson reminds me of Makelele, meaning people never understood his role or appreciated it. His role will never grab headlines ie’ score a goal or be the star in the team like Fabregas, you have to remember the current team was built around Fabregas.Now Fabregas has the option to roam and do what he likes on the field and pull the strings and hearts of the fans.

        Denilson does not have that luxury even if he did he’s not that type of player:

        Strengths: Denilson’s strengths lie in his short passing and reading of the game. He is very effective at retaining possession and has become stronger in recent seasons, adding a goal threat.

        Weaknesses: His positioning can sometimes be suspect, allowing his man to drift away from him, and Denilson’s passing in the final third is not as incisive as some of his team-mates’. He lacks star quality.

        Style: Unassuming, effective, reliable, an unspectacular midfielder.

        Quotes: “If you look at the numbers and the amount of balls he wins, he is one of the top midfield players in the country on many indexes. He doesn’t talk too much but he is very efficient.” Arsene Wenger, February 2009

        Trivia: In the 2008-09 season, Denilson touched the ball more times than any other Premier League player.

        Arsenal saw Gilberto Silva, Mathieu Flamini and Lassana Diarra depart, but instead of recruiting an expensive replacement, Wenger placed his faith in Alex Song and the Brazilian, who made more appearances than any of his team-mates in the 2008-09 season.

        Comparing Denilson to Xavi,Iniesta,Scholes and even Lampard is unfair, When Arsene Wenger cleary see’s him as a Gilberto “Mark II”.

        We all want Denilson to perform but whatever he does is not enough for arsenal fans because…

        “I do expect something more from him. just like Lampard, xavi, iniesta gives to their respective teams, the guy should step it up, cause he definitely has the ability too…

        People don’t get it he’s a Makelele in disguise dressed as a brazilian, Unassuming, effective, reliable, an unspectacular midfielder. His job is to dictate the midfield not in a Xavi or Fabregas way, but Claude Makelele himself. By breaking up play intercepting balls, maintaining possession-circulating the ball and giving it to the likes of Fabregas. After the match people will not remember how many tackles/interceptions, successful passes he made like- 20/03/2010 West Ham United.

        “His performance against West Ham. 73 passes attempted, 73 passes completed – an astonishing record”

        How many people remember this, or more to the point how many peopl even know these stats?

        “I do expect something more from him”- what do you want from him ?

        While everyones is partying and having fun,he’s picking up the glasses. Denilson is here to do the “dirty work”, but he does it in a elegant and classy way, just think of Micheal carrick or Sergio Busquets not Xavi or Iniesta.

        You have to remember desire never ends….

        • armourysquare

          September 25, 2010 at 7:44 pm

          who told you he is here to do the dirty work?
          “Denilson is only 22 and a ‘center midfielder”….is he suppose to do dirty work, if so then what is Song supposed to do, killing?
          at 22, Cesc Fabregas was a star performer at Arsenal, so was Andres, and right now Jack is to…and don’t tell me Jack is a cdm?
          73 passes 73 complete, that is a brilliant stat, but in any one of those passes, was there a killer ball, a through ball…like a cesc ball to Vela in that 24 pass goal, like a arshavin ball to Song to get arsenals 2nd…Evrybodys partying and having fun, Song is having fun according to you…guys like Cesc Theo ,RVP are having fun?..sure gr8 fun.
          Denilson is a make shift CDM, and when he plays in that role, he does not give much to the team, and I understand that, so do you bcoz you wrote an essay on the ”makalele role”, but when he plays in his natural role, whichhe usually tends to play, he does not give a perfromance at par with Cesc,Arshavin theo “ever.”
          I’d prefer it if he gave atleast 1 of those performances a month, then he may gradually improve so that he can be an “influental’ cm player in the Arsenal.
          Cheers

          • Gooner

            September 26, 2010 at 8:11 am

            Arsenal saw Gilberto Silva, Mathieu Flamini and Lassana Diarra depart, but instead of recruiting an expensive replacement, Wenger placed his faith in Alex Song and the Brazilian, who made more appearances than any of his team-mates in the 2008-09 season.

            How clear can that be either Song or Denilson was suppose to replace Gilberto. The players mentioned above did all the dirty work.

            When did i say Song was here to have fun?

            “at 22, Cesc Fabregas was a star performer at Arsenal, so was Andres, and right now Jack is to…and don’t tell me Jack is a cdm?”

            Your still comparing Denilson to Cesc, Iniesta and now Jack.

            Cesc, Xavi, Iniesta, Scholes.(playmakers)
            Why do you mention denilson ‘center midfielder’ under the same breath?

            These are Legends or going to be Legends in the game, young Jack is compared to Scholes and i can see why.

            Not everybody can be like Xavi, Iniesta, Fabregas, Scholes…

            Jack had a few good games and you call him a star, Cesc is labeled as the future of Spain, Jack is the apparently the best english midfielder since Gazza.

            Iniesta some say the best player in the world, Fabregas the best player in his position,
            Jack has the potential to match Cesc.

            Fabregas was a star performer at 22. What’s your point?

            i think your living in fantasy world that Wenger has made for you, if it wasn’t for the result against West Brom earlier i would be laughing my head off.

            To be honest i had enough this is ridiculos. Xavi, Iniesta, Fabregas are best players in the world. Denilson could never perform like them, first of all he’s a differnt type of player, second he’s not world class, does he even have the potential to be world class?
            About the killer ball? Ramsey could play it while standing on his broken leg. Denilson can’t with his able body, simply he’s not that type of player and he doesn’t have it in his locker.

            How many through passes do you remember Nasri making?

            Cesc,Ramsey,Wilshere can play the final ball with one eye closed, can the same be said about Nasri or even Rosicky i mean on a regular basis like Cesc does, so to ask the question why can’t Denison make killer passes like Cesc is not even funny or worth answering anymore.

            We waited for 4-5 years for another Cesc if you include Ramsey/Wilshire in the mix.

            It’s down to the genius of Wenger that we have Wilshere and Ramsey if Fabregas goes to replace Xavi.

            Alex ferguson has been trying to replace Scholes for years, Anderson is suppose to be his Successor?. While we at it who has replaced Roy keane, Peter Schmeichel? It took Fergie 6 years and many goal keepers to find an able deputy in Edwin Van der Sar. It’s been 5 years and counting and nobody has replaced Keane or even come near in doing so.

            How many more years before you find another Xavi.,Barcelona are hoping Fabregas will replace the ageing Xavi, who will replace Fabregas? Ramsey? Wilshire?

            To elaborate the point further Patrick Viera, Dennis Bergkamp,Henry,Who has replaced them?Niklas Bendtner can’t play killer passes like Bergkamp why?

            “Do i really need to explain this?”

            Xavi,Fabregas,Iniesta,it’s going to be hard to replace them just like the other greats in the game,Bergkamp, Oliver Khan, Ronaldo, Messi,Scholes,Henry,Zinedine Zidane,Viera.

            Hopefully one day Jack wilshire, Aaron Ramsey will be on that list of greats.

            Now back too Denilson would you add him to that list?, you did compare him with Xavi and Iniesta and Fab….

            I wouldn’t because i know i would be insulted, he’s not one of the greats, never will be.

            Marouane Chamakh are you impressed with him? can he play a killer ball like Bergkamp no.
            Has Robin Van Persie got the touch, vision, imagination, magic of Bergkamp, no not quite but he’s close.

            Robin Van persie and Dimitar Berbatov are the two most technical strikers in the premier league and none can quite compete with Dennis Bergkamp.

            Why not? the same reason you just can’t compare Denilson to Xavi or Fabregas.

            Dennis Bergkamp is one of the greats, so is Cesc Fabregas, Cesc first touch is outrageous, his vision is unbelievable, the weight of his passes are hard to match not even Iniesta can, Xavi and Fabregas are pass masters. Why do you think Cesc Was publicly courted by Barcelona players Xavi, Messi so on were all begging to play with him.

            Denilson was/is here to replace Gilberto not Fabregas if he leaves.
            Micheal Carrick, Sergio Busquets, Xabi Alonso, Gilberto are similar players to Denilson a fair comparison a cross between defensive midfielder and a classy midfielder.

            ‘When Arsene Wenger signed Denilson, he described him as a cross between Gilberto and Rosicky’

            “Everybodys partying and having fun, Song is having fun according to you…guys like Cesc Theo ,RVP are having fun?..sure gr8 fun.”

            What?! are you being serious….

            While everyones is partying and having fun,he’s picking up the glasses. Denilson is here to do the “dirty work.

            Dirty work ie’ Defending, Do you watch the matches don’t you see players bombing forward? who’s left after the party goers have gone. Almunia, Squillaci, Koscielny, little Jack the boy has more discipline then Song.

            Have you heard but Song want’s to score more goals, this season. Look at that face when he scored against Bolton.

            Song has lost his discipline this season and has left little jack isolated screening the back four.

            According to me he is having fun in trying to act like Cesc Fabregas/Scoring more goals, neglecting his duty of why he’s in the team,in the first place as a defensive midfielder.

            Have you ever played football without a ball? If you do play football is it fun? Do you demand the ball when you play? Cesc key man/playmaker, Van Persie/key forward they don’t need to demand the ball the game is played through them, meaning they recieve the ball alot. Playing football without the ball is not fun (defending) so i say they are having fun. Theo’s face lights up when he’s scoring goals for fun.

            I wasn’t sure if you was being serious or sarcastic, but on a serious note Alex Song is having the greatest fun of them all, because he’s not suppose to be having fun.

            People blame Almunia for the poor results, which i find amusing. If you look at the bigger picture we only have a Goal keeper and two center halfs Squillaci, Koscielny defending. The rest are having great fun who cleary hate the dirty work (defending) and only comeback on set pieces.

            Where the hell is Clichy, Sagna, ones on the left wing near the opposition corner flag the other on the right.

            Theo never tracks back, Arshavin don’t get me started. Diaby obviously hates defending. Persie is suppose to have fun like Fabregas let them they not really suppposed/expetced to defend.

            When barcelona play next take note of how the whole team defends even Messi.

            At Arsenal Nobody likes to defend,Vermaelen spends most of the time playing one two’s on the opposition half. So when Arsene Wenger signed Squillaci, Koscielny. I had high hopes for the season particularly when he said Squillaci was a real/proper defender.

            Now all we need is a proper left back and defensive midfilder, i never said jack was a defensive midfileder but he has more discipline then Song to play as a defensive midfielder, the role he’s got now suits him while he’s learning the game. He has the option of dropping deep or going forward to receive the ball/time to develop his mind and game. On the wing he will not see the ball that much, he’s not even a winger right/left sided midfielder his best position is in the center.

            Where will you play the little star jack as you call him. In the Cesc role, advance midfielder/playmaker. where he will have less time to think/pulling the strings in midfield basically the brains of the team? With defensive mifielders like Obi mikel,Essien, Ramires snapping at his heels, not including center halfs like Terry and Alex scaring the life out of him.

            Or the role he is playing double pivot linkman/second defensive midfileder. In this role he has more room to breath and express himself. Go forward if the space is there or drops deep when it gets too much for him. Squillaci, Koscielny will look after him. By the looks of it he could look after himself, He can’t think fast enough yet/physically developed or intelligent enough to shield the ball.To play in a congested midfield(Cesc role) advance midfield/playmaker.

            When we played 4-4-2 we played Cesc and Gilberto as the two center midfielders.

            Jack wilshire and Denilson are similar players double pivot with Cesc in front? better option then Song and Diaby, both have more discipline the Song/Diaby.
            Jack can tackle look at the carling cup he was throwing himself to win the ball.
            Denilson has bulked up this year, if he can improve his postioning and awareness(that comes with age) he’s older now just give him playing time to gain more experience. He’s only 22 Jack 18 we could have another Gilberto and Cesc partnership in the making.

            Jack is the star? If Ramsey never broke his leg he would be the better option to fill Fabregas boot’s while Cesc recovers from his hamstring injury. Like i said Ramsey can play the killer pass with one eye closed and a broken leg.

            ‘Jack Wilshire would be at loan in Bolton right now’

            • armourysquare

              September 26, 2010 at 9:56 am

              mate, do me a favour…dont write such a huge comment, email me rather..
              now to my point…so who do you thnk i should compare denilson too…name me one player?
              “And in one word.”.
              Also, denilson is a cdm “according to you”, a guy who is approaching his prime yrs as a footballer, (usually tends to be)i.e age b/w 22-27, has not shown any unique signs according to his position which is CM, applying the math i.e b/w gilberto and rosicky i.e CAM and CDM..in other word the role of Diaby who is also a cm and supposed to attack. ..
              WE just have to agree to disagree, i expect something more from Denilson and you don’t , you think he is just fine and I want a bit more than that.
              I respect your opinion,
              cheers
              DKD

              • Gooner

                September 26, 2010 at 11:42 am

                2008/09 Statistics
                Denilson the best interceptor in the the Premier League, the most accurate passer, fifth best tackler and the fourth most fouled player (OPTA stats).

                I would compare Denilson to Micheal Carrick similar mould, a ‘center midfielder’ jack of all trades defend/attack, but does not excel at either.

                Players like these will never be appreciated/respected in the premiership.

                Diaby is a box-to box midfielder.

                Player reach their prime/peak between the ages of 28/32

              • armourysquare

                September 26, 2010 at 2:15 pm

                Denilson is not a CDM, he is a CM…and fine according to you he is good, wonderful…i think differently..peace!

              • Gooner

                September 26, 2010 at 7:55 pm

                i said Denilson is a ‘center midfielder’
                Sergi Busquets is a ‘center midfielder’
                Busquets does the dirty work for Barcelona.
                Does that ring a bell?
                I never said Denilson is good, you want him to perform like Xavi and Iniesta, which i find funny.
                Go watch more matches study games/players

                “Also, denilson is a cdm “according to you”, a guy who is approaching his prime yrs as a footballer, (usually tends to be)i.e age b/w 22-27”

                After that comment i wonder why i bother discussing football with you, every man and his dog knows a player prime/peak years is 28/32.

                Have you ever hear the expression Rooneys(24) best years are ahead if him.

                People say can’t wait for Thomas Vermaelen (24) to reach his prime.

                Best years for a center half are between ages of 29/33.

              • armourysquare

                September 27, 2010 at 8:08 am

                DENILSON IS A MAKESFIFT CDM, HE FILLS IN FOR OTHERS…JUST BCOZ HE CAN PLAY CDM DOES NOT MAKE HIM ONE…THAT WAY ESSIEN SHOULD BE RB !

              • Gooner

                September 28, 2010 at 2:50 am

                @”DENILSON IS A MAKESFIFT CDM, HE FILLS IN FOR OTHERS…JUST BCOZ HE CAN PLAY CDM DOES NOT MAKE HIM ONE…THAT WAY ESSIEN SHOULD BE RB !”

                Now that’s a bold statement….
                Arsenal invincible year 2003/2004 Formation: 4-4-2 Gilberto played the “anchor man”-Viera “ball-Winning midfielder”, akin to the “anchor role” but more advanced position. Gilberto played deeper, Fabregas went on to replace Viera.

                2007/08 Gilberto was mainly on the bench, so it was 4-4-2 with Cesc/Flamini in, Cesc “central Midfielder” Flamini “anchor role” Same year, Flamini contract expired left for AC Milan. Gilberto also left.

                “Instead of recruiting an expensive replacement, Wenger placed his faith in Alex Song and the Brazilian”
                2008/09 4-4-2 Cesc/? he opted for Denilson playing the “defensive midfield” role, who made more appearances than any of his team-mates in the 2008-09 season.” (36 games) out of 38

                2009/10 4-1*2-3/ 4-3-3 Song was the (1*) playing the “Anchor role”

                2010/11 4-2*-1*-3/4-2*-3-1 Cesc is now the (1*) “advanced play maker”, So who are the 2* /? /?

                Diaby (24) was/is supposed to be the new Viera/Giberto siged for Arsenal near his peak years at 26.

                Denilson is only 22, If you read my previous comments Arsene, “see’s likeness in Gilberto and Denilson and hoping, expecting him to be Gilberto mark II.”

                “Cesc was a star at 22” The guy is a one off, get over it!, , like Rooney playing at 16, Wilshire now special talents potential/destined to be world greats.

                Wenger added: “Theo is 21, so now he is at an age where players usual start, you cannot say he is at the peak of his game.
                http://www.espnstar.com/football/premier-league/news/detail/item487865/Wenger:-Walcott-was-electric!/
                Arsene Wenger admits he regrets that West Ham star Matthew Upson didn’t fulfill his star potential at Arsenal.

                ‘Between the age 18 to 21 is a very sensitive step for a player,’ Wenger observed.
                http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1222563/Arsene-Wenger-admits-regrets-West-Ham-star-Matthew-Upson-didnt-fulfill-star-potential-Arsenal.html

              • Gooner

                September 28, 2010 at 3:11 am

                DENILSON IS A MAKEFIFT CDM, HE FILLS IN FOR OTHERS…JUST BCOZ HE CAN PLAY CDM DOES NOT MAKE HIM ONE…. THAT WAY ESSIEN SHOULD BE RB!
                Now that’s a statement….

                Arsenal invincible year 2003/2004 4-4-2 Gilberto played the “anchor man”-Viera “ball-Winning midfielder”, akin to the “anchor role” but more advanced position. Gilberto played deeper, Fabregas “center midfield” went on to replace Viera.

                2007/08 Gilberto was mainly on the bench,so it was 4-4-2 with Cesc/Flamini in center midfield, Cesc as “center midfielder” Flamini “anchor man” Same year, Flamini contract expired left for AC Milan. Gilberto also left.

                “Instead of recruiting an expensive replacement, Wenger placed his faith in Alex Song and the Brazilian.
                2008/09 4-4-2 Cesc/? he opted for Denilson playing the “defensive midfield” role, who made more appearances than any of his team-mates in the 2008-09 season.” (36 games) out of 38

                2009/10 4-1*2-3/ 4-3-3 Song was the (1*) playing the “Anchor role”

                2010/11 4-2*-1*-3/4-2-3-1 Cesc is now the (1*) playing “advanced play maker”, So who are the 2* /?/?

                Diaby (24) was/is supposed to be the new Viera/Giberto siged for Arsenal at near his peak years at 26.

                Denilson is only 22, If you read my previous comments Arsene, see’s likeness in Gilberto and Denilson and is hoping, expecting him to be Gilberto mark II.

                “Cesc was a star at 22” The guy is a one off get over it! like Rooney playing at 16, Wilshire now special talents potential/destined to be world greats.

                Wenger added: “Theo is 21, so now he is at an age where players usual start, you cannot say he is at the peak of his game.
                http://www.espnstar.com/football/premier-league/news/detail/item487865/Wenger:-Walcott-was-electric!/
                Arsene Wenger admits he regrets that West Ham star Matthew Upson didn’t fulfill his star potential at Arsenal.

                ‘Between the age 18 to 21 is a very sensitive step for a player,’ Wenger observed.
                http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1222563/Arsene-Wenger-admits-regrets-West-Ham-star-Matthew-Upson-didnt-fulfill-star-potential-Arsenal.html

              • Holding Midfielder

                September 30, 2010 at 9:10 am

                @ DKD you have just been give a A Footballers Lesson…. from Gooner. 😆

  6. Tom

    September 24, 2010 at 9:49 pm

    Last comment….bingo!!

    That’s exactly what I’m on about. I think he’s very underrated. I do think he’s a good player, but he’s not all flash and in your face. He does his job nicely.

    Going back to my earlier point, I do not think Arsenal play like robots, opposite in fact, I just think that anyone in that position would shoot!!! If it was the best option, if the best option was pass, 99% of te Arsenal team would pass instead of shoot.

    Arsenal have very intelligent players, and that’s what I really like about them. Arsene buys intelligent players.

  7. Gooner

    September 24, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    Barcelona was rumoured to be after Denilson if the Mascherano deal fell through.

  8. Pingback: Tweets that mention A Footballers Lesson…. | Football Talk -- Topsy.com

  9. Holding Midfielder

    September 27, 2010 at 1:40 am

    @ Gooner stop! wasting your time i have seen and read your comments on various blogs/sites. You evidently know more about football then most bloggers.

    Perhaps you should write your own blogs and share your Knowledge with the footballing community. I can assure you many will be intrigued with what you have to say!

    Denilson is distinctly a ‘holding midfielder’ akin to Gilberto,Busquets,Carrick.Makelele.

    DKD if you read Gooner’s “essay” on the Makelele role. Denilson is more parallel to Makelele then a Cesc or Xavi type player definitely!

    ‘When we played 4-4-2 we played Cesc and Gilberto as the two center midfielders’

    “Jack wilshire and Denilson are similar players double pivot with Cesc in front? ” quote from, Gooner

    The partnership worked well against Spur’s in the Carling Cup look out for Wilshire, Denilson is visibly perfoming the ‘Makelele Role’ as the holding midfielder/defensive midfielder.

    here’s the evidence,sorry about the music! 😳
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qDAxbA07R8&feature=player_embedded

  10. truth hurts

    September 27, 2010 at 5:35 am

    To be Honest the DM is a bit of a dying breed. United play Carrick/Anderson/Fletcher, Chelsea Mikel/Ramires, Barca mostly Busquets although they have signed Mascherano and Madrid Khediera and Alonso. The midfield breaker seems to be replaced by energetic ball playing midfielders who can play some.

  11. armourysquare

    September 27, 2010 at 8:16 am

    A footballers peak yrs are not b/w 28/32, rather 23-29 maximum……….there are some exceptions like Drogba n lampard e.t.c…..Do u have any proof for the bold statement you made??
    Just asking bcoz u tend o write essays as replies and well I’m curious…

  12. armourysquare

    September 27, 2010 at 10:25 am

    Just out of curiousity can u just write the positions of the following players:
    1.ESSIEN
    2.SCHOLES
    3.FLETCHER
    4.BUSQUETS
    5.DE JONG
    6.YAYA TOURE
    7.CARRICK
    8.DIABY
    9.RAMIRES
    10.XABI ALONSO
    11.XAVI
    12.INIESTA

  13. Gooner

    September 27, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    Denilson is a center midfielder and can play in the “role” of defensive midfield i agree. He can only fill two “roles” ‘center midfielder/center defensive midfielder’

    There are many “roles” in the center of midfield, De Jong “anchor man” Scholes/Alonso plays in the Xavi “role” as “deep lying playmakers”, Carrick, Fletcher, Busquets, Iniesta “center midfielders”, Essien/Diaby/Ramires “box-To-box Midfielders”, Lampard “attacking midfield center” and Fabregas “advanced play maker”

    This is the reason i picked a bone with you when you mentioned, Denilson and why he does not give performances like Scholes,Iniesta,Fabregas,Lampard,Essien,Xavi. To be frank he simply can not play in their “roles”. Iniesta is one of the best players in the world Denilson has not played more then 63 games in the premier league as i’m typing, you just can’t compare.

    Players also have different duties/mentalities attack/defend for example:

    Yaya Toure was the “defensive midfielder” in Barcelona, Busquets his deputy, Yaya at Man City now plays in front of De Jong and Barry (double pivot) in a Lampard role “attacking midfield center” he was/is clearly instucted (Duties) to by Mancini.

    Carrick and Fletcher are two center midfielders, Carrick is more defensive minded and plays deeper and dictates the play from there. Fletcher likes to drive forward and makes things happen further up the field.

    Diaby/Essien “box-To-box Midfielders” Diaby is more offensive minded. Obviously mentalities
    change through the match and sometimes even their roles depending on the situation.

    Iniesta is a versatile player who can play in a variety of midfield roles. He is usually used in a central midfield role – sometimes as a creative midfielder and sometimes as a holding midfielder. when he played at the base of Barcelona’s midfield, his anticipation and awareness won him more possession than any player in La Liga (how many knew that)

    “He is the complete footballer. He can attack and defend, he creates and scores,” says Spain coach Vicente del Bosque, while Frank Rijkaard adds: “I played him as a false winger, central midfielder, deep midfielder and just behind the striker and he was always excellent.”

    2008-2009 Denislon broke into the first team (36 games) In a 4-4-2 formation. Denislon and Fabregas played in the center of midfield, Denilson was the “defensive midfielder”
    2009-2010 Formation was 4-3-3 Song played just in front of the defense as the anchor man “Makelele role”, not “defensive midfielder” If you remember correctly fans where worrying about he lack of cover for Song if he got injured/suspended. When Denilson (19 games) did cover for him he struggled because he can’t play in the “anchor role”

    2010-2011 Formation 4-2-3-1 Song/Diaby as two defensive/holding Midfielders double pivot.Song (main) defensive midfielder has the license to attack, now he’s enjoying his freedom and playing in Fabregas “role” forgetting to hold the midfield, Diaby “box-To-box” only plays in one box unfortunately the oppositions. Against West Brom there was no cover in midfield for the defence.

    Denilson started his career at Arsenal as a “defensive midfielder” and played a whole season as one (36 games), 2009-2010 Song played “anchorman” can’t remember if Song was injured/suspended, but Wenger told the media Denilson would cover for Song and quickly realised he can’t play the “anchor role” starting/makeshift/cover. Wenger from the very beginning has used Denilson defensively and in my humble opinion i don’t think Denilson is as offensively minded as you think. Song, Denilson was/is here to replace Gilberto “anchor man”

    Thers is no other “role” for Denilson to play in our current formation, Cesc is injured, Nasri, Rosicky have got that covered. He can’t play up front . Winger?/Walcott? no. Inside
    forward/Arshavin? no. Anywhere across the back? no. The only “roles” suited to Denilson are the two defensive/holding midfielder position. Either the First or secondary defensive midfielder/linkman.

    Saying a player peaks between 28/32 is not a bold statement it actually a cliche, it’s a complex issue, sports science to explain over the web (Ageing and Aerobic Performance) etc. It also depends on the sport. Football for example, players positions,goal keepers peak between the ages of 30/35 some depends on the individual/other factors.It’s difficult to explain…

    The general consensus is a outfield player peaks between 28/32, defenders a litle later. I’m going to leave you a few links to get the general idea..

    Man Utd boss Ferguson: Rooney has several years before he peaks
    http://www.tribalfootball.com/man-utd-boss-ferguson-rooney-has-several-years-he-peaks-1055631

    “I don’t think my age is a problem. My experience in football is great and players of my age tend to be at the peak of their playing career.” Squillaci
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/arsenal/7961393/Sebastien-Squillaci-lure-of-Arsenal-and-Arsene-Wenger-too-much-to-turn-down.html

    Wenger believes his team are already good enough to win one of his two targets, the Premier League or Champions League, but feels they will not peak for five or six years.(2008)
    http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/premier-league/arsene-wenger-success–i-make-it-i-wont-buy-it-906388.html?action=Popup&gallery=no

    Here’s an article/study of what ages footballers peak.
    http://www.robystahl.com/page/Reaching-the-Peak.aspx

    Former Goalkeeper David Beasant talking about when goal keepers peak.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sportacademy/hi/sa/football/features/newsid_2339000/2339433.stm

    • armourysquare

      September 28, 2010 at 7:05 am

      JUST ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS MATE…
      Would you agree if I told you that xabi Alonso is the deep lying play maker , and his duty is equally to defend, you know protect the back four ?
      And essien ‘currently’ has the role of box-to-box midfielder, but under Mourinho did he have this role or the makalele role?

      • Gooner

        September 28, 2010 at 8:37 pm

        I agree about Xabi Alonso, same as Andreas Pirlo both deeplying play makers, but AC milan use him in the 4-1* pirlo 1* (intresting). Xavi “DLP” you would never put him in the anchor role/defensive midfielder or give him duty to defend/screen back four.
        I think Essien played the Makelele role under Mourinho, Obi Mikel was supposed to replace Makelele, but at that time he was still young, learining the “role” Mourinho trusted Essien more in that “anchor role”. Now Mikel has matured and grown into that role he now plays “anchor man” under Ancelotti, Essien now plays box-to-box which always should have been the case given Essien’s great engine.

  14. TheFA.com - Respect

    October 1, 2010 at 4:49 am

    This guy is a provocateur if you were to look up his comments on various blogs, he shows no regard to fellow bloggers. If you were to read between the lines, you begin to seriously question his football knowledge. DKD you should watch more football matches, not write more about them.

    What a douchebag ❗

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