Gooner of the Year #3; Alexander Song Billong

song

It was a bit of a surprise to see Song jump from 5th place to third place in the poll on the last day, but that’s exactly what happened. Emotionally, I like the player but objectively, he had an up and down season so 3rd place in the poll is at least two places higher than I would have put him. Granted, he turned his season around in the second half but there were some really rough patches in there, like when I went and saw them play Sunderland.

Again, you have to understand that I like this player, he has heart and sometimes heart is enough for me. So, I’m not taking the piss out of him when I mention his rough patch, or if I point out that his best games came against Burnley, Wigan, and Fenerbache. I’m simply stating the facts.

Beside the heart, what most supporters like about Song is that he played wherever the boss asked him to, he never gave a bad interview, never got caught with his pants down, gave 100% most games, and he got better as the season wore on, he was easily Arsenal’s most improved player.

At the start of the season, I ridiculed Arsene for even THINKING of using Song. I mean, I like the guy, I thought I saw flashes of good stuff from him at the end of last season, but he certainly wasn’t ready for the rigors of a Premier League, FA Cup, Carling Cup, Champions League season, was he?

Clearly, he was.

Alex Song isn’t going to score 10 goals, he isn’t going to spray passes all over the field like some pass spitting machine, and he isn’t going to be flashy, but he is going to be only one on the pitch even trying when we lose 4-1 to Chelsea… at home, he’ll be the guy who puts in a tackle when Nani is seal-dribbling, he’ll mark their best player, carry the team’s water, he’ll play center back in a Champions League final in a pinch because you need him too, and run till his lungs are bursting.

He’s got guts. And some times, guts is enough.

Is Something Else Going on Today???

OH YEAH

Champions League final.

I was thinking about this the other day and part of me wishes that Chelsea played in this final, because then I’d have nothing to root for and could instead focus all my glee on watching one of the two teams lose. Doesn’t matter which one, one of those two has to lose and either way, I get my money’s worth.

Unfortunately, I have a lot to root for; I want “Titi” to get a gods damned Champions League winner’s medal!  Which sucks, because now I’m invested in the outcome of this match, and if I were to be perfectly honest, after watching the way Man U steamrolled our poop in the semi-final, and after watching Barcelona eek by a terrible Chelsea squad, I have to think that it will take an incredible, incredible game from Barca to beat Man U. That’s why I’m going to say a little prayer for Barcelona:

“Crom, I have never prayed to you before. I have no tongue for it. No one, not even you, will remember if we were good men or bad. Why we fought, or why we died. All that matters is that two stood against many. That’s what’s important! Valor pleases you, Crom… so grant me one request. Grant me revenge!

That’s right, Crom, Patrice Evra ate Thierry Henry’s child, alive. He is an evil man AND he can turn into a snake at will.  Oh yeah and one more thing, Crom, do you really want to spend eternity listening to Man U supporters sing songs about their European Double?

In conclusion, please help Arsenalona win the Champions League tonight and if you do not listen, then to HELL with you!”

Hangeland is a Wuss and other Transfer News

Remember when I said that defenders might be reticent to come to Arsenal as our style of play often hangs center backs out to dry? Well, Bread Hangeland has said pretty much the same thing.

If there is an offer on the table, style of play and formation would be important factors. I’m probably more protected as a defender at Fulham than I would be at some other places.

It’s kind of a remarkable statement isn’t it? It makes me wonder if mentally he’s the right man for the job. Maybe he’s just got low expectations and doesn’t want to rise to the occassion that a club like Arsenal could provide.

And yes, yes, I know what you’re going to say, “Arsenal need to buy a Defensive Midfielder and then we can get Hangeland.”

HA HA I FOOLED YOU

There is no other transfer news, which is boring.

OK, well, I’ll be down at Doyle’s this afternoon, wearing my #14 Arsenal strip and cheering for Crom to annihilate Man U.

Join us for a tipple?

14 Comments on Gooner of the Year #3; Alexander Song Billong

  1. Song was solid but inconsistant. For me bacari should be above him. I dont think there is any doubt who should be #1 (even though he wasnt with us for a complete season) As for the UCL Rooting for Thierry to pull a Hat Trick He’s got a great name.

  2. Song was immense in the second half of the season, although he still isn’t the complete package and we really should bring in an experienced, defensive midfielder to provide a reliable partner for Cesc. But you’re right, at times he’s the only one who is really trying.

    Big fan of the blog, I know the frustration of being an Arsenal fan marooned across the pond… living in Texas a few years ago, relying on the odd game on Fox Sports World and pay-per-view, somewhat blighted the 2001-02 double for me! I’ve put a link to 7am on my site, http://arsenality.blogspot.com/, would be very grateful if you could put mine on your list of links! Cheers,

    Dave

  3. Guys and gals, I think you are being a little hard on Song. You say he was inconsistent, but remember the circumstances.

    1) The first time he played DM was for his country at the ANC, the previous summer.

    2) He never trained with the Arsenal squad in pre-season as a DM, but as a CB.

    3) He started the season as a backup CB and was thrust into the DM role when Cesc got injured, and we had no one else, because Diaby was also injured and Diarra, Gilberto and Flamini were no longer with the club. No other player on the team has shown such improvement.

    To expect any young player to suddenly adapt to a new role without the benefit of a pre-season or to be eased into the role gradually with someone mentoring him, is totally implausible. Considering the circumstances and the heights which he reached by season’s end, it was a remarkable performance and shows he is perfect for that role, especially with Arsenal. He brings some height and good aerial ability to a midget midfield which is aerially challenged and helps to take pressure off the back four by contesting balls over the top before it can get to them.

    Unfortunately, I think Arsene is going to push him back to CB and use Denilson, Diaby, Ramsey and a new acquisition to fill the DM slot. Unless we get a tall, robust DM, we are going to field a height challenged MF which will be prone to losses by EPL bottom feeders who will simply bypass the MF by playing over the top. Any MF combination of Denilson, Cesc, Nasri, Arshavin, Walcott, Rosicky, Merida and Ramsey will not strike fear into any EPL team, and we will be bossed around once again.

  4. Youth league and FA Cup winners – we did the double!!! Who said Arsenal weren’t going to bring in any silverware this season

  5. Song Billong; we say relatively inexperienced, but didn’t he have a loan season at Charlton? Wasn’t it their relegation year from the Premiership, or am I muxed ip?

    Ah! Conan the Barbarian, not to be confused with Colon the Vegetarian, which is a wind from an entirely different quarter.

    Wasn’t it the Chelski first team that won the Ladies League Cup? Or was it the ladies that won the Premiership awhile back? It’s so hard to tell.

    Anyway, must dash, chill down those Mahou ‘5 Estrellas’, and settle in for a hopeful Mancs humiliation. Bitter and twisted, who me?

    Viva

  6. I don’t think Hleb got a medal but I don’t know. Although I don’t give UEFA alot of credit because of the Blatter/Platini moron combo I believe they have some rules in place where you either may have to feature in a certain number of games in the run up or be featured a certain number of minutes in the final to get a medal – not sure, but every league does this so maybe the CL is similar. So you can’t not touch the field for 9 months and then get a medal because your name was at the foot of the roster.

  7. Song just needs to brush up feel for shooting , we have a machine in the making. His dribbling talent hasn’t gotten enough noticing.

  8. You missed the other 15 year old signing (sigh). We may be able to win something in the next 7 years.

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