However, over the next few weeks I aim to conduct some blogs that give a more positive message from Arsenal's 2010-2011 season, and look at some of the good things that happened over the course of the year. For the second blog, I will look at the midfield trio of Song, Fabregas and Wilshere.
As stated in my previous blog, Jack Wilshere have excelled in the last season, but using Wilshere's talent, along with Fabregas and Song, Wenger has managed to build an amazing foundation for a successful title challenge. Although the lack of depth, combined with failure in the other positions, meant this ended up fizzling out. Which meant yet another trophy-less season.
In Arsenal's 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 formation, the midfield have a vital role in providing the renowned Arsenal flair as well as shepherding the back four. This season, our captain has been pushed further forward to provide more influence on the game, with Wilshere, sliding out towards the left and Song, anchoring the middle, sharing some defensive duties. In previous seasons, whilst using players such as Nasri, Denilson and Diaby in these two deeper lying roles, Wenger has failed to achieve a suitable balance, and the defence has been overrun on many occasions.
However, with Wilshere's amazing emergence we have successfully plugged a gap which probably should have been filled years ago with the addition of a quality signing.
In the big games - such as against Barcelona - these three hustled their counterparts and helped us keep the ball when we did eventually win it back. Song is the archetypal midfield destroyer, but with a freedom to advance forward. Whilst not been as technically adept as many of our other players, his sheer power makes up for it, and Song's forward runs have delivered amazing results this season, with his goal against Chelsea leading to a memorable boxing day victory.
Wilshere is the man required to cover for song as his makes his rare marauding runs, but the little Englishman offers far more than this. What is amazing about Jack is that he is always heading forward; carrying the ball at least 5-10 yards before releasing it successfully to another player. This contrasts his predecessor Denilson who was known for only passing sideways and backwards. Wilshere also can deliver key passes which is illustrated by his 9 assists this season. The only way we could get more from Jack is if he can add a few more goals to his tally of 2, which will almost inevitably come with more experience.
At the head of the triangle stands the player with never-ending accolades. Best player, Captain, World and European Cup winner etc. Fabregas is simply an amazing player and if he does leave we will undoubtedly be worse off. Even in an arguably under performing season last time around, Cesc still managed 9 goals and 17 assists in 35 games which would leave many other Premiership midfielders envious. Just today, on French television Wenger has been bullish about keeping the 24 year old, saying:
"I will be clear : Fabregas is still a gunner, for a long time"However, whilst losing Fabregas would be a massive step backwards, we have a couple, more than adequate replacements already at the club in Aaron Ramsey - who showed his class and intelligence in the victory over United - and, if he stays, Samir Nasri - who when playing in his favored central role scored that goal against Porto. It could also be argued that Nasri's amazing form was happening at a period when Fabregas was injured and not alongside him. Nevertheless, we still cannot afford to lose our captain.
Hopefully these three will still be here next year and will be backed up with reinforcements in other positions to challenge for the title.