Posted on January 07, 2013 by ADMIN

The Arsenal midfield is not working – Here is why!

Arteta, Wilshere and Cazorla don’t work together by KJ

Ever since Jack Wilshere came back from his injury, I was extremely excited to watch our technically most gifted midfield we’ve ever had under Wenger. I was expecting a midfield that would never lose the ball and would absolutely dominate possession. I was expecting goals galore with such a technically gifted midfield and yet after all this, we’ve been on a downwards spiral ever since the return of Wilshere.

I’ve come to the conclusion that Arteta and Wilshere don’t work together as the two man central midfield pivot. Arteta simply isn’t a defensive midfielder and as a result is constantly struggling to fill two roles on the field – the protection for the back four as well as the creative spark that initiates attacks. As a result both parts of his game are suffering quite severely. Wilshere isn’t defensive at all and hence Arteta is constantly struggling to do his defensive duties as he isn’t your conventional defensive midfielder – big and strong.

Our three midfielders are very similar to each other. They all have a creative spark and occupy similar parts of the field. This restricts movement and space between the midfield and attack which has been a major problem this season. Too many times I’ve seen Wilshere and Cazorla get in each other’s way or both of them being within touching distance of each other.

We really are missing a physical presence in the midfield. It’s no coincidence that when Diaby is fit we look brilliant in both attack and defence. He provides the defensive shielding for Arteta and creates space for the Spaniard to operate in. He also occupies different spaces as well as being able to carry the ball for long distances opening up attacks for Arsenal to penetrate.

Obviously the problem with this entire situation is that Diaby is constantly injured and midfield is really struggling as a result. Wenger will need to bring in a powerhouse midfielder like Capoue or Diame otherwise we could really rue the decision of not getting one if we fail to get the top 4.

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142 thoughts on “The Arsenal midfield is not working – Here is why!

  1. Lol123

    I would like to see denilson back in arsenal for the rest of the season. If he isnt good enough Then skip him of in the summer

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  2. realgooner10 AFC

    @rasta.. U can confront me anytime… I love diaby, you’ll will never hear me call diaby a poor baller, he his a very good footballer.. And brings something diffrent when on the pitch.. And I totally agree if or when fit and a real good run in the team he could really push on and become one of the best midfielders in world football.. Never mind the prem!! But will that ever happen… The one thing is wenger is loyal to his players.. And if he keeps sticking by diaby and it doesn’t pay off, questions get asked!! And its puts pressure on himself.. I hate seeing wenger under this pressure.. But he as to take of the blame… We missed out on players because we’ve gambled on diaby to get fit.. And he’s hasn’t been able too.. Hw much longer do we have toowait…. There’s players like sissoko, capoue out there who could replace him and Improve us.. Who more than likely play a lot more games during a season… I’ve got nothing against diaby… But the clocks ticking

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  3. Jego

    Daily Mirror: “Arsenal boss considers move for Lucas Biglia”.
    I’m about to vomit…
    Wenger and the board are persistent in their course of turning Arsenal into Everton 2.0

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    Diaby will last for two or three games the guy has glass legs. I think Mr Wenger will string the fans along till the end of the transfer window and then say he tried to
    sign quality players but it is not easy. Same old same old.
    The real reason is he does not want to spend the money. This will be the Norm untill the board and Mr Wenger go.
    Arsenal a mid – table club get used to it.

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  5. johnverdal

    arsenal need to play with frimpong or diaby as dm from now on.
    arteta/ cazorla

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  6. johnverdal

    if wenger signs biglia and vargas arsenal will be in europa league. wenger why did u say u want to sign someone like messi and u will buy quality over quantity.
    if biglia was this good all big clubs would have already got him. vargas is shit.

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  7. Jonathan

    I wish i could just call Wenger and ask him what his plan is AND tell him to f**king buy Diame!!! ever since i saw him against chelsea earlier this season and heard about his buy-out clause, i’ve said to myself that he’s going to be a Arsenal player. he’s so alike Diaby but stronger and so so so cheap!! BUY!!!!
    sorry Arteta but your OUT and you should have blocked Graham’s shot the other night, so annoying to play replay!!
    i dont understand why players allways turn away when they are suppose to block shots…

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  8. Saffat

    I know this sounds may sound like a childish and stupid comment, but please RECALL FRIMPONG AND HAVE HIM FRIMPONG EVERYBODY! I know he still needs time to develop and isn’t the best at his position, but he has the muscle that we greatly need at the back. He’s humble, hard working and holds the ball quite well not to mention his fun and slightly cocky attitude might be what we need in situations when we’re having a rough spell on the field as it may help calm some nerves among the players and help relieve tension in the locker room.

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  9. Joe

    We need a presence in DM a strong quick and athletic player who can shield the back 4 but also be equally good in possession and has the intellegence to start attacks with passes.

    We need to get Yann Mvila, he’s young and technically gifted plus he can be brought for under 10m which is more then we offered for him last year.

    Jack is the perfect midfielder for our box to box role he can provide creativity in attack and can also get back and put a foot in when defending.

    The AM position or the highest point of our midfield which cazorla occupies in a concern for me. Iv’e seen cazorla play brilliant this season and it truly has been a joy to watch but he’s being marked out of games to frequently now. Wenger should try him in a more of a wide midfield role during games maybe swapping with podolski and letting him play in the hole which he did for his last club cologne. At least then we would be more fluent and less predictable, i much prefer it when our players have the freedom to swap positions in game which doesn’t seem to happen anymore. It keeps the opposition defense thinking and varies our play.

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  10. Joshua

    Some of you are forgetting frimpongs injury rrecord is as bad as Diaby’s and he is a big man not a youth player 21/22 years old and is good but not good enough for even our bench if we want to be challenging for trophies.

    If we want to add steel we need Ettiene Capoue, Gustavo or last result m’vila.



    Santi Cazorla———–Whilshere—————Villa


    All we need for this very very strong looking squad is only 2 players.

    Our bench would also be very decent: Mannone, Jenkinson, Chambo, Ramsey, Rosiky, Diaby, Giroud, Podolski, Koscielny


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  11. Joe

    Also on diaby i think wenger has to play it smart now. He was overused at the start of the season and hence he got injured again. He needs to be gradually brought back into the fold over a period of 1-2 months.

    And Arsenal should make him retire from international duty until he stays injury free for a season at least, its no good having a special player that doesn’t play we know he can play a whole season he has before so wenger needs to manage this correctly. If he can get fit he can become the best Premier league midfielder.

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  12. Allan

    Ive said we needed a new defensive midfielder since viera was punted. Even with song in the team it didn’t fully work because song had little interest playing the position. I hoped this year Song would play further forward then Wenger gets rid of song for having the gaul to say he wanted to stay at Arsenal for life and doesn’t sign anyone even though he admitted he needed that position in the summer.

    I’ve not seen any sign of Wenger trying to adapt to compensate for teams having a free run at our defence. I honest care less about results right now than I do signs that things might improve. I really don’t think Wenger has the drive any more.

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  13. Jeddahgunner

    I think Vermalen could do the job.He is deffensivly and in the air strong and his passes are accuret and he can score goals.He will be good for this position.I hope Wenger came to this conculution.

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  14. aussie gunner 247at

    I agree with this article. This is why I now think we should play cazorla on the wings. In centre we have rosicky, diaby when he comes back and other mids

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  15. Rasta

    @Joe. Well said
    i feel Wenger has a lot of loyalty and faith with players. Players just don’t replicate. players like son who was absolutely rubbish for all but 2 of the seasons he stayed with Arsenal you realize that its a recurring theme: Adebayor Nasri Clichy RVP and to a larger extent Theo are players that he has taken abuse for, virtually thrown games with all for the good of their future developments. They in turn decide they are worth more money than they are being offered and as such decide to go.

    I’m pretty certain Diaby will be like that if he can get 2 seasons under his belt injury free. its the climate we live in. Ambition in 2013 isn’t wanting to win but wanting to win where there is money to compete. and if in 2015 man city offer diary 250k to replace yaya in their midfield he will take it. its that simple.

    Arsenal will eventually get it right. But there is no patience anymore. because for the life of me i do not understand why a draw with a team that has taken points from both us and united has warranted so many crisis blogs on this site, especially when the team you all want us to be needed a 91st minute goal to force a replay with a far worse team. but to each his own

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  16. strawhat

    if wenger bought yaya toure earlier..the problem solved..did wenger realise this?..

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  17. jjoonneessyy

    we need a dm end of i rate diaby his injury record is ruthless but its not his fault if he gets injured but i must say wen he played at the start of the seaon he was class and hed been out for more than 12 months without a string of games to his name he is a cracking player wen he played arsenal for first 6-8 games had the best defensive record in the league also we were playing jenkinson rb who was brilliant but this is outlr problem we have no depth in our squad we need to buy players arteta by all means is a class player but hes a attacking midfielder anyone remember his goal at man city last year i think were wasting a talent by playing arteta in dm he can rotate with cazorla and wilshere but a defensive midfield is a must

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  18. Actually a gunner!

    Some of you Arsenal fans crack me up! talk about fake fans! You slag off Frimpong and Ramsey but forget that had it not been for injury they would have broken into the first team squad ahead of Jack. Yes their development has been delayed, maybe they will never reach their potential as with Diaby but you will also be the first to complain when we sell them; as happened this weekend with all the Kyle Bartley warriors who suddenly thought he was amazing and we should have never sold him!

    When I think about what Arsenal lack at the moment it has nothing to do with spending money, nothing to do with the players we’ve sold, not as much as people make out to be Wengers fault! but the players on the pitch not doing the business! Sagna I would say is the best right back in the league. Vermaelen struggling for form but on paper is quality. Mertesacker – how many caps for ze germans – captain – the experience we all cried out for and Gibbs – one of the most promising left backs in the Prem! not to mention the likes of Kos and Jenk. Yet the reality is they are not playing well enough! and we all say its because we haven’t got a DM! NO its because the back four are playing shit as a team! No excuse for some of the goals we’ve conceded! balls over the top, set pieces etc

    But still we have the 4th best defensive record in the league.

    Now to going forward! I like Giroud he works hard and when playing with Walcott on the wing has done well. Walcott has found some form up top but the reality is without Walcott on the wing we have no pace and drive moving forward! without Giroud on the pitch we cant put balls in the box or make the ball stick up top(442 anyone?). Ox has done well but look at the other teams that score a lot of goals. Utd choose between Valencia, Nani, Young et al Swansea, Routledge, Dyer previously sinclair. Spurs Bale and Lennon Chelski Mata, Hazard et al All direct pacy players!

    Now again back to reality! Third highest goal scorers! 4th Best defence yet somehow sitting 6th in the league.

    So we can establish that we’re not that bad at the back pretty good going forward but something is still missing! Our ability to see out games (Swans is the prime example) We cannot defend when we try to simply defend and out best form of defence is attack. In the difficult games we need to just carry on the way we are playing and push forward seeking the elusive 2 bar cushion!

    In summary do we need to spend big? No!
    Do we need a squad overhaul? erm nah prob not! the likes of denilson, bentner, squillaci, santos (unless deployed as a winger) need to leave.
    Do we need to learn how to see out games? Definitely

    Who do we need to sign?

    Personally I think the following would work pretty well:

    Out – denilson, bentner, chamack, squllaci

    Players that would obviously make our team better:

    Bains is obviously the best left back in the League – Felaini is on fire.

    Villa experienced and I actually think more than likely to come.

    Mvila? Not convinced we need him – Vermaelen, Kos, Frimpong, Coquelin, Diaby can all play there! Wenger chooses not too!

    Vertongon wouldve been ideal! perhaps Mbiwa is the next best option.

    I’ve purposely not mentioned Park until now cause hes on everyones deadwood list for no other reason than that Wenger hasnt played him! everytime hes turned out in red and white hes done pretty well!

    Finally these are the players I would actually like to see in an Arsenal shirt although somewhat controversial:

    1) Frank Lampard – we want experienced players who can see out difficult games. Who is more professional and suited than Frank.

    2) Nani – Imagine the pace of Walcott & Nani with the hold up play and aerial ability of Giroud.

    3) James Collins – Grit, determination, ability and desire rolled into one ginger headed man the test of a real defender is to stand out playing for a shocking team. Collins consistently does this!

    4) We do actually need another left back! other than Baines I have no real suggestions – I hear Mbiwa can play in this position but I wont pass judgement on what I have not seen.

    5) Villa – would love to see him at Arsenal simply because we havent got a striker like him! We are missing the fox in the box (lets not get another franny jeffers lol) but Giroud strong/aerial, walcott nimble/pacey Villa touch/movement/finish in fact Eduardo was a similar figure in an arsenal shirt.

    And that my friends is my 50p in the Arsenal pot

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  19. gunnerscott

    very well written, spot on,,, but amazing that with out a DM, we still struggle to score,,, chemistry trumps skill in midfield…

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  20. rooben

    with deep play. no push and penetration like Viera.just analyse play when the german is absent and see how players play deep.There should be someone defending who look towards the attacking players rather than facing the net.

    The defender does not see the attacker in his back and is free to score. the 2 goals in the match against Newcastle are examples.

    the 3 goals from Michu are all alike. Have a look. u ll make make same opinion.

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  21. allan1340

    I do not understand what Wenger means top class player???
    Chealshenski have already signed Ba and now they are after Falini or what ever his name is. They are both top class player Diame as well why they are not good enough for us wehen they are good enough for other top team?? Why fucking Spuds can signe every player we are after but we can not??
    they play with those fucking player and are top of us but we still looking for top class player which we will not pay them top class money??? I remember in the past every player wished to play for Arsenal and now they prefer fucking Tottifruty over for us!!! and with this kind of display as we have and inconsistancy we have today and the way we misplace our player i am not surprised that they choice the other clubs. With all respect for Wenger I am very disappointed with him and the way he run the club even Swansea make fun of us when other clubs beat them in there own backyard and we can not even beat them in our ground ALL TANKS TO WENGER.

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  22. joe

    As god as a player arteta is and has been he is not on the same wave length as jack and santi. We need a solid defensive midfielder who can win the ball and play. Arteta has done a good enough job but he hasnt really got the legs in him anymore and tends to pass the ball sideways or backwards more often than going forward. Mccarthy for wign would be a good signing because he is young british and has bags of potential or maybe strootman from psv. If only diaby was injury free !!

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  23. sarafa abayomi

    Why can Arsene get Diame cos the team need power player pacy and ball passer defensive midfielder…is high time we forget been loyal to player only unique players…it should be important to be bringing high intelligent players to Arsenal rather than those ordinary players Arsene has been bringing quick sometime now…ranging from chamalkh,squillaci,park,denilson,djourou and so on….pls.pls.pls Wenger we need players like lion,chitta,tigers,leopards in our team…all this Animals tells what it takes to be a champion…we have not achieve much as club as far as I concerned,champions league is there,league,FA cup and capital one cup…no doubt wenger is a good coach but he need to change is personal interest in some players to a full professional motive where only exceptional players are bringing to the team whether as youth or mature players…also am of the opinion that money is not everything but whenever we are aiming for any players let just go it at one not playing a waiting game which is not good for the club and the fans…let goes to any part of the world get this players when nobody has known anything about them and master them with monster training believe me Arsenal will be undisputable like every other European team…I love to see this set records after records like Messi is doing cos he was spotted when nobody knows.aslo is Christian Ronaldo,Falcao,pirlo,iniesta,xavi,tevez,pique,busquelt now see Pedro,El-sharawil pure quality tender but mature heart….I don’t here Wenger telling one players is young a lot bigger team are bringing young players that are doing great things we have seen gotzet,rues,Rodriguez from porto…also william…there great interceptor of the ball and markers from napoli and torino let the club do the secret work come up with the world beaters not mediocre players….that will be complaints about fatigues cos Messi as been playing,pirlo,el-sharawil iniesta,xavi and a lot of player like that but never complaints about been tired….I think is more about train our players are lazy cos there training and gym works is too weak..some of our ex players had said it like fabregas and van passie even more smart this days…what is wrong with team management cos they are killing players that come to us cos have started seen the sign in cazorla and giroud lack of adequate training…pls,think about it cos a lot is happening to out beloved club and is making us sad….long live Arsenal and fans all over the world.

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  24. Lawrence gf

    Wilshire is great but not the most “technically gifted midfielder we have had under Wenger” unless you are talking solely about english lads.

    Edu, Vieira, Pires, – any one of those three would elevate this very average current team.

    Arsenal to win nada again this season and then sign postman pat in the summer ad he always delivers say wenger and the commercial opportunities are vast says gazidis.

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  25. Amol

    Wenger should sign biglia…

    There’s capuou n other good dm too…

    but…biglia is the only player available…in wenger’s range…

    Another dm…badelj is good too…

    Arteta lacks pace…wilshere is not that good at interceptions

    this is hampering…cazorla’s game…

    Is Wenger still gonna depend on diaby???

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  26. ran

    We need frimpong to instil fear in the hearts of others. He is a tough tackling beast, which is what we need now. We could rotate wilshere and arteta, since arteta is ageing. With that midfield, our midfield will then be more all rounded and more effective.

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  27. david

    arsene, we are tired of your lame bull shit excuses, buy players of world class stature or get fired, you are not indispencible

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  28. Ricardo

    use the Youth , that is why we built the new training facilities. Coquelin and Frimpong will be our holding mids from next season.

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  29. get real gonners

    Stop dreaming people! We are buying players like park and thats it! Dont expect top players! Weve got sumink like 5 games in 10 days! Wenger is gonna panic buy and we will get sunk! Just wait and c! ….

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  30. Me

    People are ignoring/avoiding the fact that if a M’Vila/Capoue is bought, either Wilshere or Arteta will not start. I see proposed line-ups with Carzola on the wing, yeah he can play there but he’s better than Wilshere and Arteta in the playmaker position. English (Wilshere fans) or not you know it’s true.

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  31. arsenal4eva

    i agree dat we lack of ‘steel’ in front of back 4…but also, when u c at d available player, they did not have enuf visibility or speed when they are wit da bol…our display av totally changed when da departure of Fab4..our attacking unit is slower than b4..and end up did not creating enuf chances…dis has to be changed, bring in midfield players dat have speeds, creativity and visions to attack as well.

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  32. fsdafafs

    forget about it. for the first time wenger said ‘diaby is coming back’, means no DM signing for jan. when transfer window closed, wenger will say “diaby is 3 weeks time”

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  33. larnor gates

    I just want to know if Arsene Wenger and the Board are HUMAN and whether they think right and moreover, if they think right. A good coach shd be able to mould a player’s x’ter. Arsene, are you one of such professionals? Why shawn M’VILA when he has all the requiredabilities needed in morden foofball but lacked only X’TER of which youcna mould. Arsene, has your old ade got to do with this unwholesome performances? Asene, could it be that your days of immense glory must have been orchestrated by your predecessor who by then had the eagle eye in snatching the best of players of which your benefited you. Someone else built the team b4 u got it. Try and do same now that u’re about leaving.WE LOVE YOU YET I CAN SEE THAT U DONT HAVE LOVE FOR URSELF.PROOF ME WRONG BY SIGNING BETTER PLAYERS SUCH AS :ISCO, LEWANDOWSKI, M’VILA AND OTHER EQUALLY GOOD GOAL POACHERS. AM DONE.

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  34. trm

    My thoughts:

    The game has developed where the deep sitting player needs to be able to link up the play from defence to midfield. The question is, is this far more important than being a predominate defensive minded player. Do both types of abilities exist in one player? I felt when we got 2-1 against Swansea, we didnt have someone to come on and sit infront of our defense and close up shop.

    Are managers moving towards the belief that ‘we shall hold the ball and have the most procession and therefore contol and ultiamtely a greater chance to win’? If so than is the defensive midfielder bein lost in our game? Other ‘smaller’ teams are learning how to play to the law of the game and developing into foot ball playing teams…like wigan, swansea… This is where football is going and hence, would require a ball winner.

    I feel if as the modern game is, with 2 attackive fullbacks, attackive wingers supported by 2 centre midfielders and a striker…do these teams not need a defensive midfielder?? Surely that wouldnt stop the flow of play.

    If the players can be interchangable like Arteta and Diaby were you have someone strong like Diaby but able to power forward than you have the missing ingrediant. It is a shame becuase we have the best player for the role but he is going to go down in footballing history as one of the biggest disappointments due to injuries, he would be a what if conversation on the terraces.

    So this role needs filling so the likes of Wilshire and Caz can move forward with confidence in knowing someone is behind them to sure things up.

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