I can’t remember the last time it happened. It had been so long, that I thought it was actually against the rules to do it. But no, Wenger made a half time substitution on the weekend and it wasn’t due to an injury!
After a diabolical 45 minutes, our Brazilian superstar, who’s passing was even worse than Rebecca Black’s singing ability, was taken off to sarcastic applause from the away fans. Denilson’s half consisted of plenty of wayward passes, a long range shot which was closer to the corner flag than the goal, and one of his trademark fouls for which he was correctly booked. Granted, he was being played out of position, but why does Wenger constantly attempt to play him in defensive midfield? Probably because when Song is injured, Denilson is the only one who can fill the gap. I know Frimpong is unavailable, but Wenger should have more than one, unproven back up for such a crucial position.
When Denilson joined the club a few seasons ago, there were rave reviews about him. He was captain of the Brazilian U17 team which came second in the 2005 FIFA U17 World Championship and he was considered to be in the same mould as Gilberto Silva. Unfortunately, he hasn’t lived up to all the hype. He would be a great player in a different league such as La Liga, where the speed of passing and pressing is generally slower (apart from Barcelona!). A team like Sevilla would suit the Brazilian, but he’s not a Gunner.
In addition to Denilson’s poor performance this weekend, David Luiz (another Brazilian) showed his class. He was very expensive for a defender, but his composure on the ball was fantastic to watch. He defended brilliantly, albeit against a Man City team which seemed to think that a draw is still only half the points of a win, and he grabbed the opener. Luiz’s determination and skill only highlights everything Denilson lacks. The speed with which Luiz plays is remarkable, especially as he is still getting used to the Premier League. Unfortunately, our Brazilian will never have that speed. And it is his slow, lazy passing which is most detrimental to the Arsenal team.
It is possible that his half time substitution will mark the end of his Arsenal career. However, he could do an Eboue U-turn and become a fan favourite. But even Eboue has lost some of his fans recently. It is clear that top players just don’t have as many poor performances as both Eboue and Denilson have had in the past. That is why Nasri, RVP and Fabregas are among the best in the world, and the aforementioned duo will probably never be good enough for our beloved club.
A couple of potential images of our home kit 2011/12 have been doing the rounds over recent weeks. I doubt they are accurate though – both the logo and the sleeves seem odd. It is a classic Arsenal shirt, without the frills that MAY be expected of an anniversary shirt (apart from the design around the Arsenal crest). I do still find it a shame that clubs use 125th anniversary to squeeze even more money out of their fans. Oh well, I’m sure the money will go towards a new keeper or centre back… I end up buying a kit most seasons, but if this is the home kit, I’ll probably be interested in buying the away kit.