It’s taken until January, the midway point of Alex Song’s first season at Barcelona to really put in a good performance. Has he finally displayed his qualities at the Camp Nou, or was it a reflection of the opposition? One way or another, Song had his best game for Barcelona against Cordoba in the Copa del Rey on Thursday night.

But it’s not enough. It never will be enough. Is this really what the player wanted? It was reported by a number of outlets that Song had become too big for his boots at Arsenal, considering himself well above the regular routines and rules in place for everyone else. There’s no doubting that he thought himself as a soon-to-be Barcelona player last year well before his move, or at the very least an ex-Arsenal player.

He was bought into the club because Javi Martinez was deemed too expensive, and that’s perfectly understandable; while the former Athletic Bilbao player has started brightly at the Allianz Arena, Bayern Munich certainly feel an incredibly heavy fee was spent on the player. But it doesn’t disguise the fact that big money was spent on Alex Song too. He was promised and showcased to be the versatile player that would fill in comfortably at both centre-half and in the midfield. Since his arrival and up until his most recent game, neither of those promises have come to fruition.

For starters, Song has had to ditch his devil-may-care attitude and really pick up the tactical importance of being a Barcelona player. No more wandering off out of position and casually jogging back when possession was lost: no one, team-mate or coach would stand for that sort of attitude. And you could see as much in his early appearances for the club; Song had a knack for picking out a pass and his technique had been very good at Arsenal, but something was holding him back and forcing him to play the simple passes that make up Barcelona’s game.

However, that was all from a midfield position. At centre-back, he’s been nothing short of a huge disappointment. It’s largely due to the fact that Barcelona’s central defensive partnership need to play a very specific game, but it’s also because Song isn’t a natural centre-back. Playing in that position at various stages of his Arsenal career didn’t necessarily mean he should have been purchased with the idea of using him in defence. With Barcelona’s lack of numbers at the back due to injury—remember, Eric Abidal has also played very well at centre-back in the past — a natural defender should always have been high up on the agenda.

So was it worth it? It’s obviously too soon to tell, but Alex Song will never displace anyone in Barcelona’s midfield three as a matter of talent or application. It’s very difficult to think of a better holding midfielder in the game at the moment than Sergio Busquets, and finding a player who plays the game exactly as Barcelona need Busquets to do is bordering on impossible.

Song was also given licence, either by Arsene Wenger or himself, to push further up the pitch and play a role in the build up of goals. But again, that’s not his natural game. And again, he won’t displace anyone in the Barcelona team for that position.

For Song, and like Alex Hleb, Martin Caceres and a few others in recent years, it will remain a case that he simply won’t be good enough to make a lasting impression at the Camp Nou. He’s a good player, but one who perhaps didn’t think about the huge likelihood of warming the bench for much of his Barcelona career, however long it may be.

He doesn’t bring anything to the team that isn’t already there, and with La Masia heaving with talent waiting for their chance, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Barcelona move Song on come the end of the season.


 

What do you think?

Sign in with Facebook and be
entered for a chance to
Win a pair of Puma evoPOWER football boots

Terms and Conditions

Why?

  • Sign up in 2 seconds
  • Use your FB profile image
  • No need to remember a password
  • See which of your friends would like this

Note: We don't post to your wall

Login

Comment without logging in

You will need to fill this out each time to comment so why not quickly login with Facebook!

*

What do you think?

Sign in with Facebook and be
entered for a chance to
Win a pair of Puma evoPOWER football boots

Terms and Conditions

Why login with Facebook?

  • Sign up in 2 seconds
  • Use your FB profile image
  • No need to remember a password
  • See which of your friends would like this

Note: We don't post to your wall


  • BoB
    2 years ago

    Maybe now Barca will leave Arsenal players alone as they have been bitten enough times to realise that they’re at best average players.

    Reply
    • Raz
      2 years ago

      Yes, Cesc was very average – Div

      Reply
      • Cheadle
        2 years ago

        Other “average” Arsenal-to-Barca Players include Henry, Overmas, Petit and Van Bronkhurst

        Reply
  • TJGooner
    2 years ago

    Firstly, Song was forced out. Both he and Wenger have publicly spoke of how they didn’t want the deal to go ahead.

    Secondly, Song hasn’t been as bad as some people would have you believe, he was voted the worst incoming transfer to Barcelona this year, with only 12 more votes than Modric to Real Madrid. It’s not the quality of the player that this vote reflects, it’s value for money – Song has aided Barcelona a fair bit during the period that Puyol, Adriano, Pique and Alves have all been in and out with injuries – but costing £15m to only start a handful of games in what placed him so high on the list.

    You can’t just read a report from someone else, or watch a little revista and pretend you know what is going on in Spain.

    As I am half hispanic I follow my parents La Liga team (Getafe) aswell, not with the kind of passion I follow Arsenal with, but I like to see that they’re doing ok & watch as many games as I can.

    Reply
  • fat bloke
    2 years ago

    i thought alex was our best player for a long time. sorry he went.

    Reply
  • jose
    2 years ago

    song will be ok.

    Reply
  • Ruud Van Tanda
    2 years ago

    Fuck him, ‘Taxi for Alex, one way out of Barcelona!’

    Reply
  • haykeens
    2 years ago

    welldone Song, now that you have learn your lessons, you should have much to teach others.

    Reply
  • alino
    2 years ago

    Song is fighting Etoo’s leadership in Cameroon national team and was among those who plotted to keep him out of the field for some times. When he moved to Barca he said he will erase etoo’s passage in Barca from tifosi’s memories. I am sure he learned more than one lesson during his few months in barca, humility on top of all

    Reply