Arsenal's Alex Song Needs an Understudy, and Fans Need Some Israel Vibration

Mitch DrofstobCorrespondent IOctober 31, 2010

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 30:  Alex Song of Arsenal holds off Luis Boa Morte of West Ham during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and West Ham United at Emirates Stadium on October 30, 2010 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Clive Rose/Getty Images

Alex Song proved again this weekend just how valuable he is to Arsenal’s cause, as his late header from a Gael Clichy cross broke the hearts of West Ham fans to the delight of Arsenal fans. His hair helps him to look like a light bulb, and the Cameroon international undoubtedly provides the spark, especially on a defensive end, to Arsenal’s midfield. This is all good.

My worry is that in the event that Song picks up an injury, and when he goes to the African Cup of Nations, his cover is far too light. Let’s look at the players who can possibly play defensive midfield.


Denilson has played alongside Song this season, especially in the games that Jack Wilshere—whom I would consider far too much an attacker to include in this list—has been suspended. Highly-rated by the Brazilian Football Association, I can’t help but feel he is more of a traditional centre midfielder, who can do it all, rather than a specialised, sturdy defensive midfielder. Maybe that in itself means, if he packed on some muscle, he could be a good understudy to Song?

Abou Diaby

Diaby looks like the kind of footballer that should make this discussion absolutely irrelevant. He is tall and physically strong. The problem is that he is more comfortable further up the field, utilising his often insane ball control.

Craig Eastmond

Eastmond is perhaps the closest person Song has to an apprentice, although they have slightly different styles. From what Eastmond has shown the Arsenal faithful, he’s a very defence-oriented midfielder, who could potentially have a very bright future at the club. Unfortunately he’s still a teenager, and it seems a bit much to expect him to be anything more than a prospect for at least a couple more seasons.

Emmanuel Frimpong

He would have been the perfect cover for Song, as the two have many similarities. Unfortunately he picked up an ACL injury in August, and will most likely miss almost the entire season.

Aaron Ramsey

Ramsey is another talented teenager, one who has spent a long time out of football since a horror challenge broke his right tibia and fibula. He will be looking to gradually return to football, and Arsene Wenger must be hoping he hasn’t lost the star quality that made him Arsenal-worthy, like Eduardo did after recovering from a similar injury. Ramsey could definitely play in defensive midfield, even though he’s more comfortable operating a Fabregas-type role.  

I’m hoping Wenger can bring in a quality defensive midfielder in January, just to give Song a little bit of help in the heart of midfield.


If you were wondering who Israel Vibration are, they are a somewhat legendary Jamaican reggae group who found fame in the 1970s with their debut album Same Song. The title track of the album plays like so, and I am suggesting that we, as Arsenal fans, make it Alex Song’s new chant—with a few lyrical changes of course:

We all gonna sing the same song
We all gonna jam the same jam

Oh whether you're a Rooney
Oh whether you're a Lampard
Oh whether you're a Drogba
Oh whether you're Torres and Gerrard

We all gonna sing the same song
We all gonna jam the same jam