Arsenal: Too Many Cooks, Not Enough Servers

Laky MohanContributor IJuly 22, 2009

Something is wrong with Arsenal. With all the positive signs the young and maturing club has shown, the problems in the squad are crippling. While the most pressing need is likely a world class centre defender (the jury is still out on Vermaelen) or a powerful presence in the penalty area (with the departure of Adebayor), the simpler problem is the congestion in midfield.

Most Arsenal midfielders can be played both centrally and as wingers so its easiest to group them all together:

Fabregas, Denilson, Song, Ramsey, Diaby, Eboue, Nasri, Arshavin, Rosicky, Wilshere, Vela, Walcott

Naming Vela and Walcott as midfielders is debatable yes but at the moment neither has the strength and composure to be a top class premier league striker. Although Vela will likely take the required steps this year to progress, it looks more and more like Walcott will forever be a winger.

Fabregas is a given in central midfield, but Arsenal still lack a true holding player to partner him. Of Arsenal's central players, I prefer the powerful Diaby or defensive minded Song to partner Cesc, but neither has really dominated the role as of yet.

The real conundrum comes from the wingers. Who starts? After his scintillating form last season Arshavin is a sure thing. But Arshavin prefers playing centrally in an advanced position, where he would have to compete with Robin Van Persie. Wenger would likely want both to play in his first 11 so Arshavin would be relegated to the wing position.

As for the other place, it comes down to Nasri, Walcott, Rosicky, Vela and Wilshere. Thus unless Arsenal change their formation or sell players, they will have at least one world class player relegated to the bench.

There is no easy solution. Arsenal can change their formation to a 4-5-1, which Wenger adopted on occasions last season, or a Barcelona style 4-3-3. The 4-5-1 worked well with Adebayor as the lone striker, but can Bendtner fill that role? And Arsenal still lack the central midfield ball-winner necessary to the 4-3-3.

The only possible solution is to sell one of the wingers (or Denilson) to raise funds. Hopefully with that and the money from Adebayor's transfer, Arsenal will be able to sign both a defensive midfielder and a proven target man.

But which talented midfielder must leave? A difficult question that Wenger must answer. For solving the problem of too many cooks in Arsenal's midfield kitchen would go along way to bringing balance to the side.