Arsenal: A Look at Alex Song's Hairdos over the Years
It is a testament to his play this season that many fans have talked more about Alex Song's passing than his hairdos.
OK, it's a very tight race at the moment in terms of what gets more talk time.
Never able to settle upon one distinct look, the Cameroonian central defensive midfielder, who recently earned the praise of center back Thomas Vermaelen for the "automatic understanding" between the two in terms of who covers in defense and who gets forward, has apparently added a new style of hairdo to the video-game customization board each season.
(PES and FIFA must have a man/woman whose sole occupation is keeping track of Song's do's in anticipation of next season's game.)
Here's a look at Song's evolution—not just as a player—but as a, well, fashion statement, throughout his Arsenal career.
2006: Flowing Locks
It's easy to forget that Song was signed from French club Bastia for just £1 million back in 2006. (He had spent the 2005-06 season on loan with Arsenal as Bastia dragged their feet over a potential transfer of their coveted asset.)
Opting to continue with the 'do that had made enough of an impression on Arsene Wenger during that '05-06 season to sign him permanently, Song's dreads at the time were quite tame in regards to what we'd see down the line.
2007: Same, but Sort of Different
He'd begun his Arsenal career playing central defense, showing poise on the ball and toughness in his tackles.
In that '07-08 season, he had been thrust into the starting lineup for a pivotal match away to Manchester United on April 13 due to injury problems within the side. He made quite a good impression in that one, staying on the whole 90.
The hair was still much the same, perhaps with a bit more length.
2008: A Closer Crop
Ah, yes, the season when we began to see the "current" Song take shape.
Arsenal were not yet in the 4-2-3-1 we've come to know so well in the past three seasons (this one included), but Song slotted into the central midfield of the then-4-4-2 look that boasted Emmanuel Adebayor and Robin van Persie up top.
Playing the enforcer to Cesc Fabregas's creator, Song made sure that Arsenal did not miss Mathieu Flamini, who'd left the previous summer on a Bosman transfer for AC Milan, too dearly.
2009: Growing It out Again
Playing in the aforementioned 4-2-3-1 formation, Song was making the defensive midfield position his own.
We were also beginning to see the creative side of him come out, though not yet in force. He was too busy with his defensive duties.
Wenger had taken notice, though, and decided Song fit into his long-term plans. On Nov. 25, 2009, he rewarded Song with a long-term contract that runs until 2014.
2010 (World Cup): A New Look for the Tournament
He finally tightened down that growing crop of hair for the 2010 World Cup with Cameroon. A new look for the biggest tournament on earth.
Couldn't really begrudge him that, when you think about it. Song saw limited action during the tournament, but did start in his country's second group-stage match against Denmark, which would result in a 2-1 loss and subsequent elimination.
2010: The Old Man and the Sea
Ah yes. Song had always been known for his distinct stylings, but even the most flamboyant Arsenal fan must have done a double-take when they saw the Cameroonian trot out for the pre-match lineup ceremonies in the beginning months of the 2010-11 season.
He was too young for a mid-life crisis—still is, of course—but this hair was the sort of yellow Ferrari that signals a crisis.
Song was having nothing of the sort, though. That season proved to be perhaps his best in an Arsenal shirt until that point.
He was excellent in defense, and he ratcheted up his offensive production with five goals and four assists in all competitions.
January, 2011: Going All in on the Bleach with the Beard
Not content to reserve the statement to his hairdo, Song decided to add the bleached look to his beard as well.
It must be said that the result matched quite well with the color of Arsenal's away jersey that season, not to mention the yellow ball used during the winter months of the campaign.
February, 2011: An Even More Shocking Shade
It's tough to outdo Wolves striker Kevin Doyle's highlights, but Song did his best, shown brilliantly in this picture.
The bleach in his hair got a bit "bleachier", the beard following suit. If you couldn't pick him out before..
April, 2011: A Return to Basics, of Sorts
The bleach became a bit more subdued, if that, and the style changed up once more to a more tightly-wound crop.
Arsenal did not end last season too well—they saw their third-place position in the league evaporate thanks to a run of form from Manchester City, but Song continued his excellent play nonetheless.
August, 2011: The Tiempo-Inspired 'do
It seemed too perfect that his newest hairdo design would so closely resemble the Nike Tiempo cleats released that summer—a shrewd marketing ploy by the folks at Nike? Perhaps.
Either way, the shocking middle portion to his Mohawk was nowhere near as impressive as Song's play on the field, which has been positively transcendent at times this season.
He was always seen as a reliable option in attack, but his 14 assists to date in all competitions is earning a him a rightful claim as perhaps Arsenal's best passer.
It was thought that Arsene Wenger might need to bring in a transfer to replace the passing of Cesc Fabregas, but maybe that wasn't needed.
Given the quality of some of Song's distribution this season—see any and all assists to Robin van Persie—maybe Wenger had his replacement all along.
February, 2012: Letting the Growth Grow
The word "tendrils" seemed to pop into mind, kind of like Song's hair began popping out. Some have compared the look to the tentacles that line our stomach, but whatever your views or opinions on the nature, one thing is certain.
Song is not afraid to go for the gusto.
March, 2012: Tendrils
He had hinted at them in March, but in April we saw them emerge in force.
It could for all the world be a hairdo for a 90's alt-rock band, but Song has made it his own. And if you thought his 'do in August was something different, what could you have thought when you saw him ahead of the Aston Villa match?