Arsenal 4-1 Wigan: Thoughts on Adebayor, Fabianski and Song

Song has really improved over the past two monthsA combination of Easter-related obligations and a difficult family situation means a very brief analysis of Arsenal’s 4-1 win away to Wigan. Here goes:

(+) The jury is still out on Lukasz Fabianski. In my last post I asked if the Polish goalkeeper was ready to step up but the evidence from Saturday was fairly inconclusive. At fault for the goal, Fabianski was also fortunate to be saved by a Kieran Gibbs goal-line clearance after rushing out on Mido and failing to make contact on the ball. In the Pole’s defense the back four should not have allowed either chance but he will still be disappointed with his overall contribution against Wigan.

(+) The injuries to William Gallas, Manuel Almunia, Gael Clichy and now Johan Djourou have pushed our squad to the limit. Although it would be easy to criticise Kieran Gibbs for his jittery performance (more on him in a second) I do feel the imbalance in strength of the right-side of our back four and the left-side was a contributing factor. While Bacary Sagna is a nailed-in starter and was supported by Kolo Toure, a man who knows our system inside-out, support for Gibbs came from the unfortunate Djourou and Mikael Silvestre. Add to that the relative inexperience of Fabianski behind the back four and Arsene Wenger could do worse than to switch around Toure and Silvestre on Thursday night to get the balance right. 

(+) Alan Wiley’s decision not to send off Gibbs was spot-on. Fabianski would likely have reached the ball before Antonio Valencia to at the very least smother it and deny Wigan the scoring opportunity necessary to make a sending-off the correct course of action.

(+) Alex Song is really starting to look the part and his goal was testament to the new found urgency and dynamism he has added to his game over the past two month. But while questions are starting to emerge regarding whether Song is a better option to Denilson alongside Cesc Fabregas in the middle, the reality is that Wenger is likely to keep starting the trio for the remainder of the games this season. 4-5-1 is most certainly the flavour of the month and if we are to win a trophy this season then that is the formation that is going to make it happen.

(+) Emmanuel Adebayor is a cut above Nicklas Bendtner at this stage of their respective careers. As much as I like Bendtner and have praised his recent efforts in the absence of our other strikers, Adebayor’s performances since returning from injury have been outstanding. Two goals against Manchester City, a wonder-strike and tireless effort against Villarreal and the thrilling late cameo against Wigan have illustrated his immense value to the club after his difficult (some might say lazy) start to the season.

(+) Marcos Senna’s injury has put us in the box-seat to make the Champions League semi-finals. He was their best player and scored in the first leg and while you should never cheer an injury to a football player, the loss of Senna will surely have been greeted with smiles in the Arsenal camp. Now it’s just up to Wenger and the boys to finish the job. 

Anyway, that’s about it. I’ll be back tomorrow with some pre-Villarreal thoughts and a comment on our defensive situation. Until then, enjoy yourself.

Have your say on Arsenal’s win over Wigan by leaving a comment.



  1. I have a bad feeling that Villarreal will score first on Wednesday… We will need two goals I think… Just praying we get through. Hope RVP and Ade both play up front thought I like 4-5-1…

    Needless to say Im worried about the D…

    My goals now are 4th place, Champs League Final, and FA Cup… That would be an absolute GREAT season, especially considering the injuries…

  2. @ MoMONEY – “My goals now are 4th place, Champs League Final, and FA Cup.”

    What else have we got to play for? It would be amazing if we got a trophy out of all of this, I totally agree. Champions League is looking decent, while we’re one good performance away from the FA Cup Final. A pivotal week awaits.

  3. 4-5-1 with both Denilson and Song doesn’t work. We will conceded goals without Gallas, Clichy and Almunia which means we must be prepared to attack. We have to start with RVP and Ade with Cesc and Song/Denilson in the middle. With also Walcott and Nasri on the wings.

  4. 4-5-1 is fine with me, but i want it to be Cecs and Song in CM with Nasri in the hole and either Eduardo or RvP on the left.

    Arshavin can come in for either Theo or Nasri in the Fa cup and the EPL.

    I know im getting my hopes up but anything less than a CL, Fa cup double would be a huge disapointment for me.

  5. @ Gibbs – A huge disappointment? I’d take either, to be honest. It’s going to take a huge effort to get a trophy and I don’t think it would be smart to expect to get both!

  6. It tough to call, its probably best to attack Villareal. Being cautious could be dangerous with our injuries.In addition, they have Senna out. So they could be got at.

    I think Song has earned the right to partner Cesc if any one does. However, If we must play with 1 up front then I like


    Sanga Toure Silvester Gibbs

    Denilson Cesc

    Theo RVP Nasri




  8. Actually I’m quite sure Song will play in CD, Silvestre at LB. It will be a 442, but the key will be to play faster.
    I also think VR will score first but go on to lose 2:1. But i’m not worried. They can score all they want, but so long as we go on to win it is what is important.

  9. Arsenal have face a lot of adversity this season, and the Wigan’s game was another testament of the group’s character. Everyone is coming along! I just think we’re at our best when we take the time to build our attack, instead of rushing things.

  10. Basically I meant that I will be totally satisified if we get those done… If we lose to barca so be it. We need one trophy and 4th place though…

  11. Although I like 4-5-1, I feel Van Persie, Eduardo and Vela will get fed up. I want to see these players playing. I like Song at the moment and great goal, dancing through the defence lol. Im sure they cheered at Gallas, Almunia and Clichy being injured, we are laughing more about Senna, because we have many world class players, they only have 2 or 3 including Senna, I feel we will go through now.

  12. Our next 3 games:

    And our possible defense:
    Sagna Toure Silvestre Gibbs. This is terrifying at the very least.

    If DJ is not available for Wednesday, in my view, Silly has to play left-back(his natural position), Sagna as makeshift CB alongside Toure, Eboue on RB(his natural position again). Gibbs and Fabinski really frightens me. Same with Silly at CB.

    Also I feel like Denilson should be dropped for Wednesday. Lately his performances has been very shocking. Can’t even think what he brings to the side. Would like to see midfield four of Cesc & Song, Nasri/Walcott.

    Song has improved a bit lately but he is not a long term answer. Simply beacuse our league oppositions have monsters like Essien/Mikel, Masherano/Alonso, Carrick/Hargreaves. Arsenal esp Cesc deserves a better partner. I rate a motivated Diaby but he is so injury prone.

    I don’t like the idea of playing 4-2-3-1 esp at Emirates. If we have a shaky defense then we need to attack. Like Hiddink once said, attack is the best defense. Agree with him.

    Thought DJ was our for several weeks but apparently he is in contention for Wendesday. Excellent news.

    Have a busy one week schedule.
    At Emirates wednesday.
    At Wembley saturday.
    At Assfield wednesday.

    We play 7 games in the space of 20 games which is a heck of a schedule considering our injury problems. None of the games are easy including Boro at home and Portsmouth away. No need to talk about cup games and Scoucers away.


    Come on Porto against Manyoo. Night.

  13. Who is DJ? Djourou? He is in contention for Wednesday? Where did you see this? That would be immense news

  14. @ ramugunner

    Carrick and Mikel are monsters? Are you kidding? Song would walk all over them just like Denilson did earlier this season.

  15. Ah, ramugunner, always finding new ways to be negative :D.

    This is really frustrating, as if we hadn’t had enough injuries this season, we get a whole bunch at a crucial time of the season in the exact same area on the pitch.

    I think Silvestre will play Left Back and Song will play Centre Back against Villareal assuming Djourou is still injured of course.

    Also I don’t understand some comments on this blog about how we may be getting in a new Defensive Midfielder and that Song “isn’t a long-term answer.” Like it or not, Song and Denilson are viewed by Arsene as long-term and Wenger has said multiple times (in various interviews) that if he did buy an experienced midfielder they would most likely kill off the chances of Song/Denilson to develop to their fullest therefore he won’t buy one. The only new central midfielder I can see coming through is a talented young player who would come behind Song and Denilson in the playing order and would be an even longer term player.

    I will destroy this keyboard I am typing on if Sagna plays Centre Back against Villareal, hes only 5’9″, hes played Fullback his whole career as far as I know, I could see Eboue playing CB before Sagna to be honest.

    Also I would like to say this, I hear people saying maybe on this blog or various others, I’m not sure, how Sagna isn’t having his best season… Thats rubbish, to be honest I wouldn’t have any other Right Back in the premiership if I could choose, name a better Right back in the EPL, I dare ya 😛 Remember the goal line clearance against Villa? thats a perfect example of his true athleticism. He very rarely gets beaten down his wing, and I can’t remember him making a mistake this season. Sagna is a player legendary teams are built on.

    Also Song is looking to be a fantastic player, really repaying Wengers early faith in him, he has looked very dominant in Midfield and is becoming very consistant, has not had a below average game in over a month at least.

  16. Really the gunners are on fire this time around and i could see the way we were dimolishing Wigan after taking the lead at home.I would really wish to see the same happen in London against V/Real.Lets support the team and have confidence in Mr Djuoru who is going to replace Mr Gallas,he is a versatile and accomplished defender and i aways liken to former France int’l Desaile.Good lucky boys.Patrick-Zambia.

  17. Another player who is a marvel to watch this season is Eboue,coming in so strong with good skill and very forceful in providing the attack,Nasri another inteligent character,very difficult to disposess the ball,you just end up committing a foul against him in a bid to get the ball off him ,”what a team”.Enjoy yourselves guys.Parick-Kitwe.

  18. The thing with Song is he was often dominant for Cameroon in the African Cup of Nations- just had to translate it… He can be real good for us in the future though I am not sure about his speed…

  19. This is crazy, Sagna is a better player than Silvestre but not a better centre back. We already struggle aerially and Sagna is another 2″ shorter that Toure and Gallas. I think we should pack the midfield 4-2-3-1 so we dont expose are make-shift defence.
    I would think about dropping denilson, and have Cesc play the deeper role along side song. Maybe RVP right wing and Nasri left wing. With Walcott behind Adebayor, could that work?

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