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Player Focus: Arsenal Win When Song's On Song


Player Focus: Arsenal Win When Song's On Song


A run of 7 wins in their last 8 league games, with the other a draw against Fulham, sees Arsenal as the form team in the Premier League and just 9 points off of the top of the table. Although the gap still sounds substantial, the Gunners' points tally of 29 is one that may have seemed unattainable at this stage by many, after a run of 4 defeats in 7 at the start of the season.

While captain fantastic Robin van Persie steals the headlines, and rightly so having struck 15 times in as many league games this season, the midfield behind him is fast forgetting the absence of their former leader. With Mikel Arteta slotting into the side somewhat seamlessly, the Spaniard has been credited with filling the shoes of his countryman Fabregas, while the role of Alex Song tends to go unnoticed.

However, WhoScored's stats indicate that the 24-year-old Cameroon international has played more than his part in bridging the gap left by Fabregas. We look at Song's importance to the side over the last two seasons and how he has added creativity and flair to his game without impeding on a renowned tough tackling approach.

Arsene’s Favourite Song - With or Without You

When studying the impact of Alex Song on Arsenal's results one only needs to look at their success, or lack there of, without him in the side. Since the start of last season Song has lined up 42 times from the start for Arsenal, with Wenger's side winning 26 (62%). Though they have lost 10 (24%), they have only drawn 6 times with Song in the side (14%).


Player Focus: Arsenal Win When Song's On Song


With Song not involved, Arsenal have played 11 league games and have drawn 7 in comparison (64%), proving that the Cameroonian is crucial to winning games, perhaps more so than he is in preventing defeats. Arsenal have only lost twice without him in the side (18%) but have also only won twice (18%) - indicative of the 24-year-old's importance to all things Arsenal.

When it comes to goals scored and conceded, the differences are significant, with 2.02 scored per game when Song plays compared to 1.64 when he doesn't. However, his role in shielding the defence is unsurprisingly the facet for which he receives most praise, with the side conceding double the number of goals per game without him in the side (1.02 - 2.09).

Creation Outweighs Caution

An instant look at the defensive midfielder's figures from this season will show that he has already assisted 5 goals this term, which is a joint high for Arsenal and dwarfs Arteta's 1. The latest came from a sublime ball over the top of an Everton back line that were helpless to prevent it reaching Robin van Persie and the rest, as they say, is history.

While nothing can detract from the sheer brilliance of the Dutchman's finish, Song's delivery was one that Fabregas himself would have been mightily proud of, and the show of creativity hasn't been a one off. An assist to set up the Dutchman just weeks earlier in a Champions League victory over Dortmund was even more impressive, dancing his way around 4 opponents before supplying the perfect cross for van Persie to head home. One only need watch his last two assists to know that Song has plenty about him.

In fact, Alex Song has completed more through balls per game than any other in the Premier League Player Statistics (0.8), as well as attempting the most (30). While the figure doesn't stand up to Fabregas' exceptional 1.5 per game from last season, it is more than a match for the rest of the players in the Premier League, and twice that of Arteta (0.4) alongside him.


Player Focus: Arsenal Win When Song's On Song


When comparing his stats to some of the other top defensive midfielder's plying their trades in England’s top-flight, Song’s stats prove that he is so much more than just a ball winner. The Arsenal-man beats the likes of Lucas, Gareth Barry and Scott Parker when it comes to key passes per game, successful dribbles per game and his aforementioned through balls per game. In fact, his figure of 1.4 key passes per game is only down on Stiliyan Petrov of defensive midfielders in the league, while his 0.9 dribbles is only trumped by another Villan - Fabian Delph.

Despite all this, his 3.3 tackles and 2.5 interceptions still rank him 12th and 15th in the league respectively, which goes to show that he is isn't shirking his defensive responsibilities having made 3.3 and 2.6 on average respectively last season. An area in which he could improve, however, is his tendency to give away fouls, having committed 2.5 per game thus far - the third worst record in the league.

In spite of a clear increase in creative output this term, Song remains Mr. Consistency for Arsenal, only ranking below 7 in WhoScored ratings in 3 of his 17 appearances in the league and Champions League this term and never below 6.5. Wenger will therefore be delighted that Cameroon somewhat shockingly failed to qualify for next month's African Cup of Nations - with Wilshere's comeback still unknown. Whether the England international could break into the Arsenal midfield on current form is less than certain.

Comments (1)

  • Song's defensive stats are not as impressive because Arsenal dominates in possesion and that's why he has better attacking stats . You only need to look his stats vs Dortmund (away) , I think he made like 13 tackles in that game


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Rondon Fabio Borini Patrick Herrmann Jonathan Scmid Kostantinos Fortounis Vincent Pajot Josua Guilavogui Idrissa Gana Gueye Ezequiel Munoz Nene Oliver Sorg Davide Brivio Sebastian Larsson Franceso Totti Tom Trybull M'Baye Niang Jean Daniel Akpa Akpro Matias Silvestre Euro 2012 Olof Mellberg Crisitano Ronaldo Alvaro Arbeloa Sebastian Boenisch Alan Dzagoev Andrey Arshavin Michael Krohn-Dehli Vaclav Pilar Theodor Gebre Selassie Gordon Schildenfeld Greece Miguel Veloso Mark Davies David Hoilett Santiago Garcia Marco Rignoni Vicente Guaita Michael Rensing Paul Robinson Fabien Audard Thomas Vermaelen Younes Belhanda Aurelien Chedjou Nancy St. Etienne Lukas Piszczek Dante Gijon Claudio Pizzaro Racing Santander Jonas Hannover Santander Claudio Pizarro Cesena David Jarolim Joe Cole Moussa Dembele Yakubu Javier Hernandez Leon Best Benat Kaiserslautern Christian Tiffert Paolo De Ceglie Federico Balzaretti Jeremey Menez Juan MGladbach Andreas Ivanschitz Jires Kembo-Ekoko Guillaume Hoarau Florent Malouda Steve Gohouri Kenwyne Jones Lecce Stephen Ireland Jakub Blaszcykowski Christian Fuchs Sloan Privat Abraham Guie Guie Louis Saha Martin Harnik German Bundesliga Grant Holt Ali Al-Habsi Ludovic Sane Aldo Angoula Younes Kaboul Brest Marcelo Stiliyan Petrov mathieu Valbuena Tono Ramirez Gianluca Buffon Emile Heskey John Utaka Markus Rosenborg Marko Arnautovic Jonathan Biabiany Andrea Caracciolo Evian Thonon Gaillard Mohammed Abdellaoue Dijon Anton Ferdinand Fabricio Coloccini Betting Eric Mouloungui Cedric Bakambu Gregory Pujol Eduardo Ribeiro Sebastien Larsson Nolan Roux Bradley Johnson Jamie O'Hara Wes Brown Jason Lowe Jose Enrique Anders Lindegaard Mark Schwarzer Cheik Tiote Alberto Aquilani Danny Murphy Martin O'Neill Modibo Maiga OGC Nice Perparim Hetemaj Alejandro Faurlin Leon Britton Antonio Nocerino Maximiliano Moralez Claudio Marchisio Marco Rigoni Simone Pepe Heidar Helguson Mark Gower Blackburn Emanuele Calaiò Zlatan Ibrahimović Germán Denis Jose Jurado Nicolas Anelka Edgar Barreto Alexandre Song Shaun Wright-Phillips Nicolas Maurice-Belay Jhon Jairo Culma Kevin Anin Sebastien Corchia Kevin Theophile-Catherine FC Cologne Julien Feret Jaroslav Plasil Yann Jouffre Tomas Rincon Kevin Davies Giampiero Pinzi Tamas Hajnal Camel Meriem Frederic Bulot AS Nancy Gabriel Torje Lynel Kitambala Florent Sinama-Pongolle Idriss Saadi Oscar Trejo Botelho Juanlu Axel Bellinghausen Gonzalo Castro Andrea Cossu Marcel Schafer Marco Hoger Timothy Chandler Bolton Wanderers Ivan Klasnic Paris St Germain Wolverhampton Wanderers Wigan Athletic Javi Varas Blackburn Rovers Stephan Lichtsteiner Anotnio Cassano Scott Sinclair Nenad Milijas Anatoliy Tymoshchuk Luis Gustavo Ruud van Nistelrooy Benoit Cheyrou Lucho Gonzalez League Analysis Walter Samuel Christian Chivu AS Roma Stephen Warnock Martin Kelly Gary Caldwell Karl Henry Kevin Doyle England National Football Team Javi Venta Vicente Iborra Sergio Ballesteros Bobby Zamora Jonas Gutierrez Dariusz Dudka Youssouf Hadji Christian Abbiati Alvaro Dominguez Phil Neville Senad Lulic Filip Daems Ezequiel Schelotto Victor Ruiz Jonathan Pereira Anthony Reveillere Santiago Gentiletti Cheikh Diabate Nicolas Spolli Luciano Fabian Monzon Mauricio Isla Ignazio Abate Titus Bramble Leroy Lita Christian Lell Philipp Wollscheid Milivoje Novakovic Tottenhman Hotspur Johan Cavalli Eliseu Serdar Tasci Ryan Babel Aleksandar Ignjovski Chechu Dorado Djamel Mesbah Arsenal Swansea Ashely Williams Piscu Eden Dzeko Emmerson Boyce Auxerre Phil Bardsley Jose Bosingwa Gretar Steinsson Mattia Cassani Jonathan Woodgate Germany National Football Team Gasperini Mauro Zarate Diego Forlan Estaban Cambiasso Juraj Kucka Marco Faraoni Joel Obi Benedikt Howedes Clemens Fritz Chris Lowe Daniel van Buyten Albania Yann M’Vila Baptiste Reynet Angelo Palombo Eric Tie Bi Chris Mavinga Aaron Hughes Chris Baird Raul Aly Cissokho Alessandro Del Piero France National Football Team Marc Tierney Bundelsiga Raul Bobadilla Loric Remy Jean Pascal Mignot Mainz 05 Schalke 04 Marcel Risse Steven Reid Danny Gabbidon Michal Kadlec Paulo Machado Ben Watson Spain National Football Team German National Football Team Bundeslgia Ricardo Carvalho Ivan Ramis Diego Colotto Sergio Fernandez Sere A Cesare Bovo Miguel Britos Bostjan Cesar Jose Angel Gabriel Heinze Chris Samba Charles N'Zogbia Yohan Demont Rod Fanni Rudy Mater Georgios Tzavellas Javier Pinola Dennis Aogo Daniel Schwaab Attacking Full-Backs Defensive Wingers 2010/11 Attacking Wingers Nicolas Douchez Under-21 Team of Season 2010-11 Maxi Rodriguez Scott Dann Crossing Wingers Under-21 Team of Season All-Round Midfielders Benoit Pedretti Rising Stars Kyle Walker Gaetano D'Agostino Centre Backs Paulo Da Silva Ivan Hernandez Eric Abidal Weligton Borja Ekiza Alassane Toure Stephane Grichting Jordan Loties Kader Mangane Adama Coulibaly Pedro Geromel Neven Subotic Christian Zapata Roger Johnson Stephan Lichsteiner Reto Ziegler David Vaughan Seb Larsson Asamoah Gyan Benoit Pedretti Anthony Mounier Simao Duda Alvaro Cejudo Xabi Prieto Alexsandar Kolarov Guiseppe Mascara Simone Bentivoglio Fernando Marques Gian Piero Gasperin Thomas Hitzlsperger Rafael Van der Vaart Theofanis Gekas Gerard Asamoah Youssef Al Arabi Lisandro Loric Remy Victor Hugo Montano Edison Cavani Sergio Pellissier David Di Michele Steward Downing Spain Under 21 Felipe Caicedo Pierre Webo Youssef El-Arabi Brown Ideye Mobido Maiga Chu-Young Robin Van Persie Kevin Gamerio Udinese. Alexis Sanchez Sami Allagui Frédéric Kanouté Renato Augusto Jonathan Pitropia Eljero Elia Ivo Llicevic Diego Perez Alvaro González Abel Hernandez David VIlla Marcel Schmelzer Danijel Pranjic Holger Badstuber Sven Bender Johan Djourou Darren Fletcher Carlos Kameni Thiago Silve Antonia Di Natale Cristiano Zapata Domenico Criscito Luis Jimenez Josep Ilicic Samuel Eto’o Alexis Thébaux Ludovic Sané Mamouda Sakho Boukary Dramé Daniel Alves Nikolay Mihaylov Charles Puyol Ji-Sung Park Edwin van der Sar Dani Alves John O’Shea Park Ji-Jung Gabi Fernandez Jonathan de Guzman Michael Owen Gary Taylor-Fletcher Ian Evatt DJ Campbell Charles N’Zogbia Wolverhampton Avram Grant Conor Sammon Wayne Bridge Rob Green Victor Obinna Mike Hanke Borussia Munchengladbach VfL Bochum Tomasz Kuszczak Martin Olsson Brett Emerton Steven N’Zonzi Muset Ozil Gianpaolo Pazzini Leonardo Seydou Keita Miguel Pallardo Ibrahim Afellay Valdo Pallardo Damien Perquis Luka Modrid David SIlva Benoit Assou-Ekotto Vedran Corluka Saloman Kalou Clarence Seedorf Matteo Brighi Fabio Simplicio Rodrigo Taddei Mark Van Bommel Gennaro Gattuso Kevin Prince-Boateng Nicolas Burdisso Elkin Soto Pep Gaurdiola Lassana Diarra Antonio da Silva Robert Mak Heurelho Gomes Andre Marriner Pinto Alavro Arbeloa Alexander Hleb

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