Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger appears to be experimenting with Ian Holloway’s bizarre book of vocabulary.
Speaking prior to Arsenal’s tricky Premier League showdown with Swansea City, the Gunners boss oddly compared the emerging talents of Thomas Eisfeld to one of nature's deadliest creatures.
As reported by Jack Wilson of the Daily Star, Wenger's comparison to Arsenal legend Robert Pires was better placed, and certainly a huge compliment to the young player:
He is a Pires type. He appears to be in the box without being noisy and appearing suddenly. When he is there, he finishes well.
Thomas has that kind of quality that some midfielders have - not many. They have the timing to get in dangerous situations.
When they have those dangerous situations, they are like snakes.
They bite you to death because they don't miss their first touch. He is cool enough in front of goal and he finishes well.
Strange serpentine comparison aside, Wenger’s praise towards the creative German suggests Eisfeld is heading towards first-team football with greater regularity.
Although Wenger has confirmed he will bring the likes of Mesut Ozil back into the starting lineup for Arsenal’s trip to The Liberty Stadium, per Wilson’s report, Eisfeld’s natural ability continues to outline the 5’8” playmaker as a future Emirates star.
Handed his first start of the season during Arsenal’s Capital One Cup scare at West Brom, Eisfeld left a difficult tie at the Hawthorns with a goal to his name. Latching onto a smart pass from Nicklas Bendtner, the No. 42 coolly controlled and finished beyond Lee Camp in the Baggies’ goal.
An inexperienced Arsenal side held their nerve to eventually win the encounter on penalties, setting up a mouth-watering Round of 16 fixture with London rivals Chelsea.
Eisfeld’s confident performance at senior level won’t surprise those who have followed his development. The former Borussia Dortmund youth academy player scored once in three appearances for Arsenal’s reserves last season and netted twice on the 2012 tour of Asia, as reported by the club’s official website.
This season, Eisfeld has helped the Arsenal U21 side to an unbeaten start across four games in the recently-restructured division. His two goals against Stoke U21’s gave the Young Gunners a 2-2 draw with the Potters on Aug. 19, highlighting Eisfeld’s ability to take control of difficult situations for the youth team.
With the likes of Santi Cazorla returning from injury in the near future, as reported by James Orr of The Independent, Eisfeld's immediate first-team chances are likely to be limited to Capital One Cup appearances only.
Should any of Arsenal's ball-playing midfielders succumb to injury throughout the campaign, Wenger would be extremely smart to provide Eisfeld with a prolonged opportunity in the first-team. The further the talented youngster goes, the more he's looking like a natural fit to the Arsenal philosophy.