Alex Song or Cesc Fabregas?

Everyone knows the qualities of Cesc Fabregas. Every week, the man is linked with a move back to Barcelona. Fair play to the man, that he always states he is not interested in a move back to Spain. He says that he is happy at Arsenal and wants to stay.

Alex Song is never asked about his future, perhaps because he wasn’t signed from a fashionable club.

I first saw Song play in the Carling Cup quarter-final away to Doncaster Rovers back in December 2005. Arsenal were poor that day but won an exciting game on penalties after Gilberto Silva had scored a last minute equalizer in extra time to make the game 2-2. Arsenal eventually won the tie on penalties to book a place in the semi-final against Wigan Athletic. Eboue’s run and cross for Arsenal’s equalizer was forgotten by many Gooners. Instead, the Negatives moaned about the performance of Alex Song, who was making one of his very few starts for Arsenal aged just 17. The two Doncaster goals were the fault of Senderos, but not many Gooners mentioned this at the time.

Cesc made his Carling Cup debut at 16 and his Premiership debut at 17. Song was not far behind the Spaniard making his Arsenal debut at 17 but had already played 34 times for Bastia as a 16 year old.

If Wenger gives a 17 year old first team appearances, then that player has to be something special. Henry at Monaco, Anelka, Fabregas, Walcott, Ramsey and Song at Arsenal.

The difference between the two is where Wenger signed them from and their roles in the team. Cesc was poached from Barcelona. Song was bought from Sporting Club de Bastia for one million pounds after an initial loan deal. Bastia play in the island of Corsica in the French Ligue Two. In 1978, they reached the UEFA Cup final losing to PSV Eindhoven. In 1981, they won the French Cup and in 1997 they won the much maligned Intertoto Cup.

Bastia are not a big club in France. Their English equivalent is Coventry City.

Barcelona are the current Champions League holders. They have won La Liga 19 times and 25 Spanish cups.

Alex Song plays for Cameroon. Cesc Fabregas plays for Spain.

One player has a fashionable football CV. The other, not so much.

Some people might think that Song’s real job is to dominate the midfield, to break opponents hearts and minds, by denying them possession of the ball and blocking the route forward. However, there is more to Song’s game than just protect and support. The man has dribbling skills and is very dangerous going forward. Darren Fletcher he’s not. Lothar Matthaus is a better description.

In November 2006, Song was booed by Arsenal fans after a 2-1 loss to Fulham – the Cottagers first win against Arsenal for 40 years. At half-time, Song was replaced by Cesc Fabregas and was eventually loaned out to Charlton Athletic later that season, making 12 appearances.

Many Arsenal fans at the start of this season said that Song was not good enough for Arsenal. Some even suggested that Wenger should buy a Phil Neville type of ‘holding’ midfielder.

These fans should be sent to prison.

Unfortunately, Song is being sent to play for Cameroon in the African Cup of Nations in January. If Cesc was going, I would be concerned. But in the case of Song, I am bothered.

The man is irreplaceable.

Keep it Arsenal

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1 Comment

  1. I’m a very big Fabregas fan. At the speed he is advancing, he’ll definitely become the best footballer by his early thirites.


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