Alex Song | Defensive midfielder? | Opta Stats


Through Balls

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However, it is this element of his game which has earned him so many plaudits has been remarkable. This season Song can be ranked as arguably the best player in the league in terms of through balls.  In fact, expanding it further, Song ranks respectively amongst footballs world-renowned creative talents, with only Ibrahimovic, Messi and Totti have created more accurate through balls than Song this season. This has paid off dividends, with the 24-year-old chalking up 7 assists- the second highest at the club- as he attempts to help fill the huge hole left by Fabregas in the summer.

One of Song’s main weaknesses, however, is that at times he appears to sometimes try too hard, whether that be in offensive or defensive aspects of his game. For all the delightful through balls and excellent tackles we have witnessed this season, there have been a fair share of overly eager attempts at through balls and unnecessary challenges that have earned him avoidable yellow cards

 This season, Song has picked up seven bookings in the league, a tally only beaten by Lee Cattermole (8) and Jason Lowe (9). This is hardly surprising given the fact that he concedes fouls at a rate of 2.3 a game- only Tioté, Fellaini and Grant Holt are more notorious in this aspect.

Although not a massive flaw, he does need to add better decision making to his game (which should hopefully come to the fore as he matures as a player) to move up to the next level and be considered one of the very best central midfielders in the Premier league.

 Providing he does this, Song has a very bright future in the centre of Arsenal’s midfield. Given how effective Song has been with added creative license, it will be interesting to see to what degree- if any- his role changes with the re-introduction of Jack Wilshere later in the season. Hopefully though, we will continue to see “Songinho” and his surprisingly delightful vision and passes for years to come.


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