View From The Sphere

Is this midfielder Arsenal’s most underrated player?


When it comes to Arsenal, credit usually gets given where credit is due.

For instance, the likes of Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie are ritually applauded for their performances, whilst the likes of Jack Wilshere and Samir Nasri have either won or been nominated for a PFA award this year. Heck, even Bacary Sagna, the finest and most competent member of Arsenal’s widely criticised defence was voted the best right-back in the Premier League by his fellow players.

One man who rarely gets his due, outside of Arsenal fans that is, is central/defensive-midfielder Alex Song. Whilst the majority of Gunners fans realise just how important Song is to their team, he doesn’t get the acknowledgement from pundits and neutrals that he deserves. It always strikes me as very strange when I hear fans talk about how Arsenal need a ‘good’, ‘competitive’ defensive-midfielder. It’s strange because Arsenal have arguably the best defensive midfielder in the Premier League.

He represents the spine of this Arsenal team and without him the Gunners look a much weaker side. Fabregas, as important as he is, can be replaced by younger members of the squad like Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey, but there’s no direct replacement for Song who can do his job with anywhere near as much success. I’d argue that this is because Diaby and Wilshere simply aren’t defensively enough minded and because Denilson is too ‘slight’ (to put it kindly).

Alex Song is a tireless worker, who covers an incredible amount of ground every single game. Beyond his work in front of the back-four, you’ll also have noted that he’s one of the most attacking-minded defensive midfielders in the game. He’s always keen to bomb forward and aid the Arsenal attack and quick to get back into a defensive position when necessary.

His influence during big-games is telling. In my recent memory his tough, energetic performances have allowed Arsenal to dominate Manchester United’s midfield and to sneak a victory against a rampant Barcelona side (in the first leg of their Champion’s League clash).

He’s not perfect of course. There can be the occasional moment where he lacks discipline and pushes too far forward exposing Arsenal’s back-four. However, I believe it is Arsene Wenger’s responsibility to make sure that Song knows his role and is willing to stick to his task.

Is he the best defensive-midfielder in the Premier League? Better than Scott Parker? I’d say so. Better than Essien? This season, certainly. Better than Darren Fletcher? Perhaps.

He does an important job for Arsenal on a weekly basis and rarely gets the credit he deserves for it. He’s slowly but surely positioned himself as one of the best defensive midfielders in the world, but when will he get the plaudits he so richly deserves?

Click HERE to see the original article. This article was first published on ThisIsFutbol

Written by Harry Cloke – Follow him on Twitter @ThePerfectPass

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  • bserious says:

    @ Alfie- Nas, Wilshere and RVP are not able to their job if song isnt doing his. HENCE *underrated*

  • Uk says:

    Agree that song has done well, but pleeeease don’t give the barca games as examples of his usefulness b’cos he was totally outclassed in both legs. &to be honest, i’m glad we won against barca @ home but the way some guys hype our performance beats me. We were dominated in both legs, just more comprehensively in the second

  • ozed says:

    Uk are you for real? Who doesn’t get dominated by barca? Pls give the boys credit. Of course song is underated, he is not english.

  • Phil23 says:

    I agree Song is one of the best in the league. The only player on par with him is Scott Parker. Agree that mentioning the Barca game was wrong as that was probably one of his worst games this season and ever since then we have seen the effects of him being our only dm ie he is tired. Imo people who say he he lazy etc need to jump off a large bridge.

  • yangz says:

    Now i know some of u guys watch because of goal a team score…..for crying out loud,who would hav song in mieldfild and stil be asking for anodr dfm…….in nigeria,if u ask any football lover how does song plays then u wil know how high he is placed…….name d top dfm dat can use the ball wel more than song…….song can take up the role of an attacking mieldfielder……but fabregas can do wit out song…..example of such is arsenal vs newcastle(4-4)…….even in nigeria,chelsea fans pray they have him instead of mike,while man u fans pray the hav him instead of carrick…….so haters of song should better start watching footbal wit their comon sense

  • Mark says:

    i think he’s pretty highly valued by Arsenal supporters. but he’s still a little inconsistent. his match against Man U was really good and he lead very well. but there are some matches where he’s really frustrating and he needs to be a bit more proactive. he’ll need to be more consistent with the return of Ramsey, otherwise he might not be starting as much.

  • Ozy says:

    I do wonder hm some pple r reasonin. Only a blind person myt nt see it bt song is a dfm 2 reckon with. He’z sharpness, intelligence, good football skillz n movement as a dfm is far match beta than many dfm’s across the world. So far, he’s been a massive player 4 Arsenal dis season and last season. Hate or lyk him, SONG deservez beta acknowlegdement.

  • Andy says:

    i think this is true ,the guy is a good player and no one to replace at the Arsenal squad..i personally think he is the best in the league ,maybe even better than Mascherano the Barcelona mid….

  • Samuel says:

    Give me Alex Song in the defensive midfield anyday
    to Wilshere or Ramsey,who clearly don,t have the ski
    ll,technique and power of Song,simple facts ,not Arsenal fans claptrap?

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