Monday, 3 February 2014


It is a common believe that the midfield is the engine room of every football team. It is that department of a team, in which games are either won or lost.
Little wonder why midfield players are usually very difficult to purchase be it in the summer transfer window or winter.
The recent retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson as manager of Manchester United has raised a lot of questions with the most prominent being his inability to sign a central midfielder to replace the twice retired Paul Scholes not to mention the midfield maestro Roy Keane before he finally decided to call his 26 years career at the theatre of Dreams to an end.
Though Sir Alex maybe forgiven because he attempted to fill that void by bringing in two players in Owen Hagreaves and Anderson. Both of whom played a significant role in the team quest of being crowned the European Champions in 2008 and also booking a place in the finals again in 2009.
But many will agree with me that the current manager David Moyes also known as the "Chosen One" deserves no mercy at all for not being able to spot out a player (excluding Fellaini) who will solve the lingering problem of the team he was told in May that he will take over as the new boss.

While David Moyes was busy making a mockery of Manchester United in the summer by going after players who either didn't want to leave their current team or who foresaw a great shadow falling on the Red side of Manchester.  The newly crowned longest serving manager in the league Arsene Wenger was somewhere in the shadows waiting for the opportunity to present itself for him to sign one of the best creative midfielder in the game, Mesut Ozil. And when the opportunity came Wenger didn't disappoint as he grabbed the chance with both hands.

The inclusion of Mesut Ozil to the Arsenal team made the Gunner's midfield an envy to their long bitter rivals Manchester United who can currently boast of one good and slow central midfielder in Micheal Carrick and the most creative being the 40 year old Ryan Giggs who also is a member of the coaching crew.
Watching Arsenal play this season one will not help but enjoy the fluid transmission of play from their own half to the 18 yard of their opponent. This fluid transmission is not carried by either launching the ball forward from a long pass by a defender or a quick counter attack but rather with beautiful well worked inter play of passes between the midfield players.
Unlike Manchester United Manager David Moyes who keeps repeating the same speech after every defeat of how his team could not find the final pass in the box, Arsene Wenger has all that in Mesut Özil, Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere, Rosicky, Santi Cazorla and Mikel Arteta. These men have been able to produce enough for Giroud to miss as many as he likes and still find themselves on the top of the log competing seriously with money bags like Chelsea and Manchester City who undoubtedly can boast of a lager and better squad than most Arsenal and Manchester United.

Arsenal also have a centre-forward in Olivier Giroud who has the intelligence and expertise, with his back to goal, to bring midfield runners into the game. Mathieu Flamini's return to the club has added a greater sense of control while the sharp, upward trajectory in Ramsey's career gives him authentic credentials to be regarded alongside Luis Suárez as the outstanding performer in the league this season. Ramsey has made the club's player-of-the-month award his personal possession, winning five in a row. He has managed to provide his fair share of  goals during the run of elite performances that has meant even a player of Wilshere's refinement being shifted into other areas of the team, and to put that into context just consider how many the midfielders from Old Trafford have accrued. David Moyes has used seven different players in the central roles. Phil Jones, a centre‑half by trade, scored in a 4-0 victory against Norwich in the Capital One Cup. Michael Carrick, Ryan Giggs, Anderson, Shinji Kagawa, Fellaini and Cleverley have not managed a goal between them. The recent acquisition of Juan Mata seem to have been a stroke of genius from David Moyes, but after watching the tactical "nuisance" he did on Saturday against Stoke at the Britannia stadium one will begin to doubt the tactical part of his coaching ability.

With Arsenal flying high at the submit of the Barcalys premier league table all thanks to the formidable midfield combination, Manchester United fans would be praying for the season to quickly come to end to see if the massive turn around promised by David Moyes and his coaching team will ever come to fulfillment (That is if players will still fancy playing at the club if they don't finish in the UEFA champions league spot) if not they will still have to enjoy a very long and slow ride with their current crop of midfielders who at the moment are no where near what Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City or even Tottenham possesses.

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