Friday, November 6, 2009

Thoughts on Some Non-Regular Players

Fran Merida:
He is currently under the spotlight due to his contract coming to an end next summer. There are news that he might be keen to go to Atletico Madrid if given the opportunity. However, Arsene has responded that Merida has agreed to sign a new contract but has not signed yet (nothing is certain until the paper is signed). Arsene also added that Merida is ready to be a regular! From his rare appearances on the first team, I think we only see glimpses of his talent. Merida is gifted with good technical ability and a clever football brain, as we have observed from the way he releases the ball quickly to players in space. However, that is his only asset, and he has neither the physical strength to hold the ball for long nor the pace to outrun players. I feel that his strengths will be fully utilised if he is deployed in central midfield (in the position of Fabregas), as the current position that he is often deployed (wing) will require someone like Nasri (physical strength to hold the ball to wait for the full back to overlay) or Walcott (pace to outrun defenders) to be more effective. Hope to see him try out in central midfield position sometime in the future.

Carlos Vela
I feel almost the same way for him as for Merida. What we have seen of him are only glimpses of his talent. However, that is all we see. Other than the wonderful chipping goals that he scored in the past, there is nothing much that he impresses me of. He is like a Merida with a better scoring ability. Currently, he seems to be going through the same training that 'Walcott' (and Henry in the past) is going through: being deployed in the winger position to learn to gain confidence through dribbling past defenders. I was excited about him in the past (especially last year when he scored those technical goals), but the excitement is gradually wearing off as I don't see much of him nowadays.

Aaron Ramsey
Among the non-regulars, I rate him the highest. He has exceptional coolness on the ball and excellent technical ability to distribute the ball to the player in the best position. Other than being a visionary player, he is also willing to run forward to try to score goals, whether long or short range. Give him two years, and I believe he can become a Fabregas!

Craig Eastmond
The first time I saw him was at the Carling Cup match against Liverpool, and I was wondering why in the world did Arsene deploy such a weak-looking, Walcott-lookalike figure in the DM position (later I realised that he usually plays right back). But this player made me think twice the moment he touched the ball. Even though it was a big match, Eastmond was not overwhelmed by the atmosphere but played as if he has been playing for this team for years. He was very composed on the ball, waiting for a player to be in a good position before releasing the ball forward. Furthermore, I was impressed by his tackling, as they were timely and neat. Would love to see him more in action in the future, although he is far from a finished product.

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