Arsenal this past summer naturally set off the siren to load the guns and take aim at Arsene Wenger and his policy. It was, of course, a fitting response to those who may not have been used to regularly seeing what Alex Song did (or didn’t do) during his last season with the Gunners. For those who saw beyond the one hit wonder that remained a steady fixture in Alex Song’s set, it was no great loss to move on the Cameroon international.

Not many fancied looking at his obvious flaws and what could be done with better personnel taking up that deep-lying midfield role for Arsenal. He was viewed as an indispensable player for Wenger and one who grabbed a bag full of assists. He was a player who had come so far from those first few outings for Arsenal; a player deemed not good enough then was now on his way to Barcelona. It’s almost as if Barcelona and even Real Madrid have never and will never make a poor decision in the transfer window.

Alex Song was hailed a great player whose versatility and defensive awareness would be a huge plus to Barcelona. The Catalans needed a centre-back much more than they needed a midfielder who can also operate in the defence in emergencies: they had those players in their ranks already.

But Song’s worth was put to the test almost immediately following his move to Spain. The injuries to Carles Puyol—who has seen more time on the treatment table in recent months than on the pitch—and Gerard Pique meant Song would partner Javier Mascherano at centre-back. For a team looking to maintain their eight point lead at this early stage over Real Madrid in the league, Marc Bartra apparently wasn’t ready.

It didn’t take too long for many onlookers to realise just what some Arsenal fans had complained about with Song. Sid Lowe put it excellently: “Alex Song was playing centre-back but no one appeared to have told him. Every time you looked up he was standing somewhere he shouldn’t be,” while Raphael Honigstein stated that “Song was an impostor made out to be some great defensive midfielder.”

The highlights, where Song once looked imperious for Arsenal, now showcased a player who was literally all over the place. He seemed to either forget his responsibility as a defender or just fancied a wander forward, much like during his Emirates days.

Lets not get too bogged down with the negatives because Barcelona obviously saw a good player in there. Alex Song has played very well for Arsenal in the past, but those days clearly seem to be behind him. It’s still unclear whether Arsene Wenger instructed him to venture forward or if the player took it upon himself to do so. Song’s abandoning of his defensive post wasn’t only a theme of last season, he’d regularly be the most advanced player up the field even with Cesc Fabregas in the side.

Alex Song is an international, a Champions League-experienced player and someone who took a leading role in the Arsenal team for a number of years. But he didn’t fit the disciplined system that was necessary if Wenger’s Arsenal were ever to be successful. Teams like Barcelona and Dortmund can’t get away with one or two players not pulling their weight and doing their own thing.

There were also far too many suggesting that Arsenal were continuing to weaken their stance in European football by letting their best players go without a fight and seemingly for a low fee. But is Song really worth much more than the £15million Barcelona paid for him? Furthermore, was Song really the player who would allow Arsenal to crumble once he opted for the exit door? There does need to be a greater focus on the story of Arsene Wenger wanting to let go of the player, seeing Barcelona as a good opportunity to move on someone who was reportedly forgetting his place behind the scenes.

Barcelona are still looking for a centre-back as well as someone they trust enough to give Sergio Busquets a breather. Arsenal, on the other hand, are taking great steps forward with a system that has the correct personnel in place. It may not have garnered much faith following the closing of the transfer window, but Arsenal’s team as a whole look far safer and assured of themselves than they did with Song in the line up.

 

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  • John Gee
    2 years ago

    pUT SIMPLY, aLEX sONG WAS VERY OVERRATED AND AT £15M THE SALE OF THE YEAR.

    Reply
  • Chris ong
    2 years ago

    Many goals conceded are Song fault . So glad he was sold

    Reply
  • John
    2 years ago

    Who?

    Reply
  • barry the gooner
    2 years ago

    look at our performances this season without the one paced,miserable,looking at the floor stupid haircut one.Thank goodness he’s gone and 15 million for someone to keep the bech warm maybe they should have loaned Squillaci.

    Reply
  • David Fox
    2 years ago

    Good stuff, and very true. I said it all last season and I rejoiced at the sale. Look at us now!!

    Reply
  • WeAreGoonerWinIt
    2 years ago

    Should have given Squillaci to Barca as a bonus for taking Song.

    Reply
  • The Cabbie
    2 years ago

    Look back 4 years and every year I said that with Song in the team we would win nothing . His sale made my dreams come true

    Reply
  • bailliff
    2 years ago

    rubbish, last season when song was making the passes when there was no other midfielder with the proverbial balls to do it, all of you weren’t talking the load of tihs you are talking now. He will be successful at barcelona…just like he showed at arsenal. When he started at Arsenal he was nothing.

    Reply
    • Eddie
      2 years ago

      He could succeed, given time, say 4 years. But Barca or in fact no one else has the patience of Wenger. He is a goner next season, to Birmingham…

      Reply
  • Tom
    2 years ago

    Alex Song is a good player and before the season is out, some of his critics might wish he were still here. For all his deficiencies he also had some qualities Arsenal need in a player. He has a great engine , he is very strong on the ball, strong in the tackle and last but not least he is robust and injury free which is a great asset in case of Arsenal for obvious reasons. As for his lack of impact at Barca , perhaps he needs more time. Let’s not forget about the gap in quality between the two clubs. Last time the two sides met , Arsenal didn’t have a shot on goal.

    Reply
  • young
    2 years ago

    it doesnt sound like most of u who criticise song ever played football,most of the wins we got,he was the one feeding rvp to look like without him we cudnt score

    Reply
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