Attitude Problems Reportedly Led Arsenal to Sell Alex Song

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistAugust 20, 2012

BARCELONA, SPAIN - AUGUST 20:  Alex Song poses for the photographers after signing for FC Barcelona at Camp Nou on August 20, 2012 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David Ramos/Getty Images

The Daily Mirror has released a report claiming attitude problems and complacency were the reasons behind Arsenal's decision to sell Alex Song.

The Daily Mail echoed these sentiments in a similar report, suggesting Song's work rate in training and preseason had been deemed below-par.

Mirror writer John Cross suggests Gunners boss Arsene Wenger was keen to part ways with Song for some time:

"But the truth behind the Cameroon star’s departure is that the club decided to sell after he continually turned up late for training, was seen as being lazy, drove the coaching staff to distraction and lacked defensive discipline."

In all honesty, this kind of suggestion doesn't come as a great surprise. Song's complacency on the pitch was evident at various times during the last few seasons.

His casual demeanour tracking back and inconsistent tackling form, revealed a player whose energy and commitment was sporadic at best. Cross indicates that this was the ultimate motivation behind Wenger's decision to sell, although this appears to be based on the following rather cryptic quote:

Wenger said: “There are different reasons, I don’t want to come out with that now, but it happened. Every case is individual and maybe one day I will explain everything." 

Although this author supports this view regarding Song, this revelation does speak to a central issue of Arsene Wenger's recent tenure. The Frenchman has simply had too much faith in players not deserving of such support.

Why, for instance, if Song's attitude had become such a problem, has it taken so long to send him packing? Certainly, before Barcelona's declared interest there was not a hint that Song had stretched the patience of the coaching staff to breaking point.

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There are not many Gunners fans who wouldn't believe Song would still be a regular starter, had Barcelona not decided to pursue his signature. Wenger's belief in his players is admirable, but it's difficult not to wish there were more stringent limits on it in some cases.

Song's apparent disruptive behaviour also highlights the atmosphere of complacency that is the chief reason why Wenger's prospects have not delivered a trophy in seven seasons. Some have simply believed they are better than they are and have taken their responsibilities and the opposition lightly.

That's why Song's departure should be greeted as good news for Arsenal. It heralds the construction of a new team, one built on a foundation of a core group, prepared to work as hard as it takes to win the game's top prizes.

Players such as Thomas Vermaelen and Mikel Arteta embody these values and Arsenal need all of that kind of commitment they can get. Song's attitude may have prompted his exit, but he shouldn't be the only one shown the door.

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