Have Arsenal abandoned the hunt for a defensive midfielder?

Arsenal were thought to be on the verge of signing a big, strong, tough tackling defensive midfielder in the summer, with Yann M’Vila and Etienne Capoue two of the favourites. The window opened and closed and Arsenal, despite having money to spend did not sign an enforcer.

Arsene Wenger had said that he would only buy a player who would improve the squad, so does that mean he thought there were no defensive midfielders good enough? Or did he think that Arsenal do not need such a player?

Wenger has spoken about the changing nature of the game of football in England and in Europe and he seems to be suggesting that the make up, playing style and physical attributes of midfielders is evolving.

“There is less space available, so accuracy is key. Secondly, because there is a smaller space, the shorter players, the very agile players, are becoming more important and the taller players less so.”

Look at Arsenal, operating with 5ft 9in Mikel Arteta as the deepest lying midfielder. What ha lacks in aggression or physical strength, he more than makes up for in technical ability, vision and movement. Who is his closest replacement? Francis Coquelin is only an inch taller than Arteta and, while he has a more all action style, he is becoming more of a ball playing midfielder all the time.

Is Abou Diaby and his long legged, Viera like style becoming the exception rather than the norm? Diaby, despite his size has always been more of a technical player anyway. Cazorla is our snallest but also our best player.

“They are not destroyers anymore, they are players that the game starts from and the quality of their passing has become very important.

“You saw it during Euro 2012, with guys like Pirlo playing in that position.”

So Gooners, it looks like the rumours about M’Vila or somebody like him were way off the mark. Where is Paul, anyway?

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36 thoughts on “Have Arsenal abandoned the hunt for a defensive midfielder?

  1. Dave

    We don’t need one. Coq, Arteta, Diaby and Cazorla control the midfield almost every game. We also have Wilshere on the way.

    COYG

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 6

  2. neil moxon

    The days of tough tackling midfielders have gone the refs are whistle happy we don’t need players like this anymore.

    Opinions divided. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 6

  3. goooner

    I think wenger is relying on frimpong who is close to comeback. coquelin and even wilshere who is also close to comeback. When wilshere returns, the midfield would be arteta wilshere and cazorla wenger cannot resist playing these three midfielders when they are fit and we also have a good backup for them in midfield.

    Opinions divided. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 4

  4. Toni Ton

    Paul !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    you better answer now. by the way, who needs Paul and Mvilla.
    we are pretty solid and good enough to win trophies.

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 4

  5. Jimmy Jones

    Hahahaha, thank you for taking a dig at Paul. I was sick of the amount of fans here gobbling up his bullshit and asking for his next crap on the treadmill.

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  6. leo

    yeah but every now & then coquelin comes out & syas play me or i will leave if then sell him & get fellaini + frimpong for cover

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4

  7. Red DB 10

    Frimpong is no where near the finished product and Diaby is too injury prone so Mvilla would be a great move.

    Opinions divided. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 12

  8. Green Gunner

    @ Paul is on some dirtbag united site talking about the imminent arrival of Snieder in January. He just had lunch with Ferguson and got a couple of txts off Moriniho. What a pleb.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  9. james

    there is only one reason this question has been asked and that is diaby cannot be depended on. the only way arsenal will sign a first 11 cm is if arsenal tell diaby,”sorry we only have the money for one first choice cm and you are not it goodbye.” that will not be happening and i dont think it should happen. just stay fit ffs man. also players mentioned in article are not arsenal first choice grade.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  10. Henryesk

    Don’t need either of them.. However the thought of coming up against a midfield containing Ettienne Capoue and Abu Diaby is pretty intimidating.. Why not throw in Emmanuel Frimpong and the opposition will be sh*ting themselves…

    CRASH!!! BANG!!! SMASH!!! “Robin Van Herpes..” ANKLE.. GONE.. HADORKIN!!! PERFECT!!!

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  11. mark

    no need. arteta is perfect. coquelin and frimpong not far.

    mvila arteta
    cazorla

    OR

    arteta wilshere
    cazorla

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 7

  12. true goon

    Trust me we definitely need 1,i havent really seen m’vila an capoue play so i can’t really comment on them.Its a bit off field cos it wont happen,but i think moutinho of porto is the player we really need,but i think he will go to spurs.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  13. ruelando

    Although i agree we have a lot of technical players in that area of the field, we could still used some body with the height and body size of m’vila or capoue with diaby , when playing stoke, westham and manciti

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  14. Kobi

    The best teams have a real DM. Of course its not enough for him just to be tough tackling but he needs to be technically adapt. Just look at Barca, Real or the champions Man City.
    They all won with a real DM.
    We need one and all of you who say we dont play with one (when we played with Flamini as one we were top of the league)
    or dont need one are gonna turn on Wenger at the end of the season when we dont win a trophy.
    Honestly, what is the argument against having one?
    We are starting to mix up our tactics offensively with a false nine for instance which is good, why not have the same options defensively. (Arteta is playing a heck of a role as a DM)

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  15. amol

    There are already two good youngsters in wenger team for the defensive midfielder role…

    Bringing another player who takes a season to adapt is gonna leave francis n frimpong with almost no chances…..

    A playmaker should be signed instead….who’s versatile….like Isco

    jovetic is another good option n within arsenal’s reach…
    If wilshere shines again wenger won’t need any box to box midfielder or enforcer…
    If wenger can bring in fellani
    he would be great addition but he would cost much more….

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  16. true goon

    @ amol
    wiltshere is not a DMer,and why would it take some1 a whole season to adapt when podolski and cazorla have settled straight away?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  17. KickuPtheArsene

    @Bob

    Brilliant!!!! So many of us were calling @paul bluff. He knew diddly squat about who was coming or going. It was his 15mins of fame. So many fans on this sight were hanging onto his every word, and he loved it. There you go suckers … Next time, don’t be fooled by snake oil merchants telling you what you want to hear. Find out the facts, and look at our consistent transfer philosophy, not someone who just tells you what you want to hear.

    Also agree, not CDM needed. Best defensive signing was Bould. Our defence has improved tenfold, without a single player signing. Just goes to show that we might actually already have the quality players we need, & we don’t need to look elsewhere.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  18. dzoya

    We need a DM…Real DM,even Wenger cant say Arteta play a DM roll cuz he dont do it,our defence will have much less work there with a nice DM…And we have a lot of attacking options,no need for falcao,no need for llorente and other players like that…Ppl who turn this down dont know much about football…

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  19. bob

    we do not need one I personally don’t think capoe would improve the team at all I would be ok with yann m’villa but to be honest right now I am very confident in the team and the team chemistry I like the idea of just having two box to box midfielders like and one attacking mid

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  20. cicero@gunner

    What are people saying? Arteta is ok as our dm. I only fear for injury so he needs a dependable back up as diaby is injury prone and not discipline to dm just like song.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  21. Denis My True Name

    I do hope we can sign mvilla though. he is not a typical pure enforcer, he is more technical, he can fit right in, into our current setup.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  22. Joe

    The closest cover for arteta in my view is rosicky. This Guy works hard and with his age and experience I believe he can sit deep to break up opposition play and start attacks and ..added advantage. This Guy can drive the ball upfield and dribble which means he can also cover for diaby. I don’t really think we need to sign any more players
    And I almost forgot. If you want a destroyer, we have frimpong he can pass and from what am seeing with his under 21 endeavour? His discipline in the tackle has improved

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  23. Banga

    Still thing it would be wise to bring in a defensive midfielder, especially a world class talent like M’Vila

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  24. gunner forever

    We don’t need new dm. If anything is perfect in our team it’s midfield. How will M’Vila break the trio Arteta-Wilshere-Cazorla? I can’t see him coming and better so, because his attitude is in question.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  25. winston

    The best defensive midfielders are no longer all about grit and brawn. Its now more of technical ability and brains. The first class have players lyk lass, melo, tht shitty guy frm man shitty who went to inter, tiote etc. Real madrid dnt nid tht which is y lass cldnt get a game, man city dnt nid it either wc is y they sold that guy to inter milan, juventus unbeaten into the second season ddnt nid melo, mascherano cnt get a game as a defensive mid, man utd hvnt played w a midfield enforcer sinc keane. Nw lets look at th oth syd. U hv players lyk alonso, busquets, pirlo, arteta etc. The top clubs hv intelligent ball playing midfielders as DMs, midfielders who rarely get booked and rarely tackle js for the sake of it. Pirlo, Busquets, alonso, arteta are jus sum of thoz top DMs. Arsenal dnt nid another DM. We hv him already!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  26. Hafiz Rahman

    Arsenal dont need to sign anyone unless theres a major injury crisis……

    the squad is strong and full at the moment…but

    any young talent like ronaldo, messi or henry is always welcome

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  27. Daymee

    The last thing Arsenal need right now is an unhappy player in the dressing room. I doubt that M’Vila would be happy just sitting on the bench. His club is pricing him out of a move anywhere anyway. They want 16m. They’ll be very lucky to even get 10m.

    During the summer, I struggled with the argument that he is not better than what we currently have. I’d like to argue with that because I like M’Vila. But the reality is that we have fantastic options that can do his job, even better than we think he can in Coquelin. Unfortunately because some players don’t get to play often or get run of games prevents us from seeing how good they are. I wish Coquelin could get a good run but not with Wilshere returning and Ramsey returning to form. As we all saw with Jenkinson, the true nature of a player can only come out when he plays regularly.

    As much as I hate to admit it, Arsenal’s midfield is not our priority. I think for over 8 years now, Arsenal have continued to recycle the same errors over and over again but this season is the first time in about 8 yrs that we are doing something different. We are addressing the major things first. DEFENCE. Working on the defensive discipline is NUMBER1. Now that we are having a foothold in defence, I think it is important to look for a very deadly STRIKER and get rid of Chamakh. We are mixing things up in the final third and that’s good that we can find solutions tactically. I just feel we need more than just one way of playing. By bringing in another striker, we would be insuring against an injury to Podolski or Giroud. We can be deadlier in the final third and I feel this is our priority. If we continue to defend the way we are and become razor sharp and deadlier in attack, then we will push everyone this season

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  28. Hafiz Rahman

    @Daymee

    totally agree…players can show their true potential by playing regularly…

    it will boost their confidence….

    let Coquelin play…

    Wilshere shouldnt be rush to return….slowly introduce him in November….

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  29. S.H

    Frimpong is greener than grass in Spring. He needs so much more time on the pitch. I like his battling attitude, but the kid is like a dumb doberman. Too much brawn and not enough brains. I like his charisma and fun-loving ways, but as a player I can’t give him as much credit YET. He needs to control his temperament, but this will come with maturity. Mentally I still think he’s far off, but he’s shown strength in this department with his comeback and diligence in regaining fitness. Additionally, I still think his passing is shocking. He has no range or accuracy. These are mandatory skills all DMs should have to avoid losing possession in our own half – something Ramsey still needs to work on.

    We need another striker more desperately when Gervinho takes off in Jan. Wouldn’t Theo be pissed if we bought another CF in Jan and used him instead of the Englishman in Gervinho’s absence? LMFAO. Something tells me we won’t spend at all in winter, Theo will get his chance at CF from Jan-Feb, so this might push him into signing a new contract. If he doesn’t, I’m not going to lose sleep over it like I did with Song. There are so many other quality wingers in Spain that are worth twice as less and have double the skill.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  30. Dankrupt

    With an extremely humble opinion we have to sign a quality CDM. Its true that Arteta has done well in a holding role, but with Diaby (little bitch) constantly injured we waste his creativity and attacking edge that he brings on the pitch. Sign a quality CDM so we can use Arteta in a more influential role, and drop the dead weight that is Diaby.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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