Arsenal: Yann M'Vila Is The Rock Needed For Wenger's Next Great Team
Deployed as a defensive midfielder for club and country, M’Vila’s qualities are tailor-made for the hustle and bustle of the Premier League. Athletic and strong, everyone needs a player of his ilk to stymie the opponents, but he is the antithesis of the midfield hatchet man because his cultured calmness enables him to instigate attacks before he orderly sits in the middle third ready to repel the enemy.
Manchester City boast the best midfield in England because of the mixture of silk and steel available at their disposal. Nigel de Jong has encountered unfavourable accusations of anti-football methods despite proving to be a crucial lynchpin to City’s attack, and even Gareth Barry can operate to a successful degree, in spite of how maligned he is nationwide. Their competitors however do not currently boast such a dogged yet dexterous middle man.
But honest Arsenal supporters wouldn’t dare regard themselves as City’s competitors anymore. Even though the most recent fixture between the two sides is most memorable for City’s catenaccio frustrating the fruitless Gunners, the match also illustrated a battening down the hatches quality that the hosts still lack.
Arsène Wenger’s successful negotiation through the knockout stages en route to the 2006 Champions League final came with not a single goal conceded from six games. Whisper it, but the aesthetes morphed into the artisans in their quest for glory as they won 1-0 and drew 0-0 against the Spanish (Real Madrid and Villarreal) with a 2-0 home victory and goalless draw against Juventus sandwiched in between.
His cultured calmness enables him to instigate attacks before he orderly sits in the middle third ready to repel the enemy.
For all the sanctimonious lectures Wenger and his charges have given about the ugliness of parking the bus, they yearn for that now at the Emirates. In spite of his trequartista brilliance, Jack Wilshere’s bite is a greater loss to his team during his prolonged spell on the sidelines. He and Emmanuel Frimpong have both been guilty of reckless challenges in the space of a year, but their overzealous meatiness is in fact cause for optimism for Wenger.
The caveat is that Frimpong isn’t trusted and the emphasis on Wilshere’s game is on his technical ability, while regular defensive injuries prompt Alexandre Song to drop back into defence, which exposes a void in midfield.
These factors further emphasise why M’Vila would be a perfect acquisition. Wenger’s frantic splurges as deadline day loomed were at least a signal of his discontent with his porous spine, but he didn’t acquire the essentials. Many within the English media banged Scott Parker’s drum but for all the Tottenham man’s qualities, he didn’t convince Wenger due to his age and the assumption that he is a stop-gap. M’Vila meanwhile, is an experienced international who only turned 21 in June and is plying his trade at a French club that finished only 6th last season, which makes him comfortably obtainable. And for ze unfunny jokers, il est Francais.
He will be a definite starter for France this summer which means, barring another instalment to the back-to-back Les Misérables displays on recent ventures under Raymond Domenech, his price tag will rise and give Wenger an excuse not to pursue him.
Capturing M’Vila could further the club’s renaissance. Misguidedly, Wenger has allowed Arsenal to become City’s feeder club, with Nasri’s northbound move heralding City usurping another English giant after Liverpool’s self-inflicted demise. Considering Manchester United’s interest, it was a PR disaster that Nasri fled the nest in favour of a team who Arsenal viewed as a competitor only months ago.
M’Vila is an opportunity for redemption since Arsenal have the scope to build a team around him and Wilshere which would be buoyed by a fully-fit Thomas Vermaelen and the presence of Wojciech Szczesny, giving the team a solid spine. Already there are six international captains at the club but only the Belgian Vermaelen would befit a pictorial example in the dictionary, but the aforementioned three all possess leadership traits.
In 2008, Wenger rejected the opportunity to sign Xabi Alonso from Liverpool because he banked on the emergence of Denilson. Alonso was Liverpool’s player of the year for the subsequent campaign then joined Real Madrid and was integral in Spain winning the World Cup in South Africa. Denilson meanwhile was loaned out to San Paulo in the summer, a polite euphemism for ‘rejected failure’. Wenger cannot afford to make the same mistake with Coquelin ahead of M’Vila.
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