The sale of Alex Song seems a strange one for many Arsenal fans. He was a mainstay of the team last year and we were all dazzled by the lobbed pass he has made his own. Fans fell in love with his bad-boy attitude, his ridiculous hair and the tucked in shorts. He was our only midfielder that could boast any kind of physical presence and strength. All of these factors have made fans and pundits alike unaware of his faults.
He is classed as a holding or defensive midfielder. Whether he was instructed to rotate with the other midfielders remains to be seen but he often left gaping holes in front of our defense. This sale means that Wenger has completely overhauled his midfield in the last year. Arteta was brought in on deadline day last summer and Cazorla was only recently acquired. Diaby played in Song's position yesterday and I thought he did reasonably well. No doubt there needs to be someone else coming in though. Nuri Sahin appears to be closing in on a move yet nothing is official. A midfield trio of Arteta, Sahin and Cazorla represents a new tactic by Wenger. One which is dangerous but if implemented the right way, could see us dominating every match we play. All technically superb and all able to tackle - this system is a unique one. I have rarely seen it put into use yet it is one which excites me. The system I am going on about is the midfield interchangeability. Any one of those players can play in any one of the midfield positions. Sahin played as a box-to-box central midfielder for Dortmund in their title winning season 2 years ago. The box-to-box player is an interesting one. That basically means that he is an all round midfielder. He can tackle. He has vision and is technically superb. Arteta is very similar. They have the same characteristics. Cazorla would start off as a more advanced midfielder but his versatility means he can play deep as well.
However, I still think we need a proper holding midfielder. When we play teams who love to counter attack it is important to have someone designated to break up play. Wenger hinted that a player 'in the defensive area' would be brought in if Song was sold. Whether he classifies Sahin as that player remains to be seen. With Wilshere coming back Sahin represents the perfect stop-gap signing. It would be even better if we could retain Sahin permanently as a long term Arteta replacement. A midfield of Wilshere, Sahin and Cazorla is the stuff of dreams. I find it amazing that even without Fabregas and Nasri, Arsene could potentially create one of the most feared midfields in the world.