Thursday, May 5, 2011

Arsenal Transfer Prospects: 5 Reasons Why Wenger Must Sign West Ham's Parker

Arsene Wenger's disappointing season is coming to an end and Arsenal's trophy drought is likely to continue for at least another season. The Frenchman has come under immense scrutiny from various sections of the media and the supporters. With the rise in ticket prices, it is expected that the usually frugal Arsenal manager will spend the cash to acquire experienced players.

The manager is likely to bring in a few experienced players in the summer to bolster the squad which has many promising youngsters including the likes of Jack Wilshere and Wojciech Szczesny. Though many experts and critics have been clamoring for the signing of a centre back and goalkeepers, signing a quality defensive midfielder should be at the top of the agenda for Wenger.

Lukasz Fabianski enjoyed a stellar season until he was unfortunately injured (by Szczesny's powerful kicking! ) and Wojciech Szczesny has had a breakthrough season in which he has demonstrated his quality at the highest stage. Vito Mannone is likely to return to Arsenal at the end of the season and after the displays of the two Polish Internationals, Wenger should persist with the talented youngsters.

The defence has leaked goals for the Gunners but the general consensus is that they have missed the presence of Thomas Vermaelen this season. The impressive Belgium captain has recovered from the achilles injury and should he not suffer any more setbacks, he should be fit for the next season.

Though Koscielny has had some bad games, he has shown to be a quality defender while Djourou has been impressive since making his return from his long term knee injury. Sebastien Squillaci has not been able to impress at the Emirates and could move on. Though a quality defender would be a welcome addition for the Gunners, it is certainly not a necessity as the Gunners have three quality centre backs.

However the situation with regard to the Central Defensive Midfield role is different and needs to be addressed by Wenger. Emmanuel Frimpong was expected to play some part in the first team this season but he suffered a cruciate ligament injury which ruled him out for most of the season. He will be back in the reserves next season but will not be prominent in the first team for the next season.

Alex Song has been excellent in many games but has lacked consistency this year. He tends to venture forward to join the attack and the defence has been exposed due to this. Also, he has made many reckless challenges which has resulted in him picking up many cautions. Though he has made impressive strides in the last two seasons, he lacks the leadership and organizational skills in midfield and is occasionally sloppy in possession.

But the biggest problem that the Gunners are facing is that he has no quality competitor who could push him to reach greater heights. Denilson has been ineffective this season and has not been a good substitute for Song while Diaby is frequently injured and even when he is fit, his attributes are quite different from those of a defensive midfielder.

It is no coincidence that Arsenal have not won a trophy since the departure of Patrick Vieira and the Frenchman's leadership and steel in midfield has been missed by Gunners.If Alex Song suffers a serious injury next season, Arsenal do not have quality players who can fulfill the role of the Cameroon International.

Though Song has come a long way in the recent past, it would be better if Wenger supplements this department with a midfielder like Scott Parker who can be immense for a young team like Arsenal. The England International has established a good partnership with Jack Wilshere with the National set-up and joining Arsenal could also benefit him in this regard.

The reasons why Parker's signing could bring success to the Gunners are listed below.

1. Leadership

Arsenal's lack of leadership at crucial situations has been well documented and criticized by many journalists and even by many of their own supporters. Fabregas is the current captain of Arsenal but his ability to rally his team after encountering set-backs has been questionable. He is undoubtedly one of the best midfielders in the world but has not been the best captain.

Parker will not be the captain but will almost certainly be a leader in the dressing room. He has inspired his team to perform much better in dire situations and at times, he has been the sole reason that West Ham have looked a team that has hope of staying in the Premiership.

2. Competition for Alex Song

The two places which currently do not have enough competition in the squad for the last few years is that of the Left Back and the DM. Clichy has shown a lot of promise but due to a serious lack of competition mainly due to the injuries of Kieran Gibbs, he has not struggled to hold on to his place despite some poor performances. This has led to a drop in his performances and his development has not been helped by the security of a place in the eleven.

Song has not got any serious competitor in the squad and is a regular in the squad but it will be good if he can learn from an experienced professional like Parker. The Englishman is certain to push Song for a place in the team which will make him fight for his place.

3. Commitment and Never-Say-Die attitude

Parker has always been a player who has a excellent work rate and possesses a lot of commitment and desire to win. He is a player who is willing to do the dirty work of breaking up plays and starting counter-attacks. His tackling is amongst the best in the league and he recognizes danger quickly and moves to cut it out.

The West Ham midfielder adds a lot of steel to the midfield and his never-say-die attitude is what is required for the team. He was the player who inspired the comeback for West Ham after they were 3-0 down against West Bromwich Albion to earn an unlikely point. That is the sort of spirit that is absent in the Gunners when they endure a spell of pressure by the opposition.

4. Technical ability and Passing

Though Parker may not be playing in a top club, he possesses more than a decent technique and is quite good on the ball. He is not a great dribbler but is a clean passer with a good passing range. He can start attacks with his passing and his vision is also a bright spark for his team. He does not dribble like a Nasri or Wilshere but his job is to provide a shield in front of defence and start attacks with his passing.

Parker can also strike the ball sweetly and has scored some scintillating goals in the Premier League with his long range shooting. He is also capable of driving the team forward and can provide good crosses from wide areas.

5. Experience in Big Games and Hunger to Succeed

The English International has played in a number of big games for different clubs and can handle the pressure of those situations. He has the experience to guide the youngsters like Ramsey and Wilshere in these big matches and can effectively prove to be a leader on the pitch.
At the age of 30, it is only now that he is a regular in the England team and is desperate to prove to Fabio Capello that he has much to offer England. He will have the hunger to succeed and win trophies at this stage in his career.


Satish (chelsea fan and fellow nittian) said...

wat arsenal needs is an experienced world class player with good leadership qualities.. they also need a man with good physical powress.. look at the top four and u'l know wat i mean.. DD,Vidic,Carra,Gerrard, Terry.. parker cld fit the bill on the first note but on the second thing i doubt it..

Vijay Murali said...

I do agree that Arsenal need an experienced leader which Parker is capable of. I don't agree with the fact that a defensive midfielder needs to be physical.. He must win all 50-50 balls and start attacks from the back.. Parker is quite physical actually but cannot cut out the aerial threat.. He may not look the strongest but he makes crunching tackles in the middle of the park.

Liverpool, United and Chelsea play a different style of game.. For example Torres has struggled at Chelsea because they play a more physical style of football which is suited to Drogba.. Arsenal need to be more direct as in shooting when there is an opportunity instead of passing it in the box but no need for physicality except in defence and the defensive mid..

Anyways look at best defensive mids in the league and I will say Parker is as good as any of them..

Vijay Murali said...

Hey also thanks a lot for reading the blog and commenting on it.. i will do a preview of United Chelsea game today or tomo.. do tzake a look then...

Jamrock Rover said...

I like Parker too but Arsenal have enough players with his stature. I think we need a beast of a man who can do the dirty work in midfield and defend set pieces as well as be a threat when we have set pieces.

Vijay Murali said...

I think Parker will very well do the midfield mopping up but as you say, he won't improve our defending from set-pieces.. but the thing is leadership and he is defensively one of the best.. he can tackle and pass decently.. something which most other defensive midfielders are not as good as Parker.. Also, a person who is a beast could well be a slouch on the ball.. We had the option of Yaya but Wenger let City sign him..

Satish (chelsea fan and fellow nittian) said...

i agree arsenal's style of play is different to the others (its their beautiful football) but then if u look at the reasons for their failures most of them can be attributed to lack of a physical presence and an aerial threat.. take the match against barca for instance.. they lost possesion mainly cause they cldn sheild the ball wid their body..