Arsene Wenger’s midfield neglect revealed

“We have still not replaced Gilberto” is a well heard narrative heard at Arsenal for many a year, and it was heard no louder than after the draw at Anfield on Sunday when we well and truly lost the midfield battle.

Gilberto Silva left Arsenal in the summer of 2008. That is 13 transfer windows again. Our midfield has been neglected ever since.

Do not believe me, the below is a list of defensive midfielders and central midfielders that Arsenal bought since Gilberto was released. And what our opponents have spent in the same time:


The full breakdown is:

Amaury Bischoff Free
Mikel Arteta £10,000,000
Mathieu Flamini Free
Total spent: £10million

Nemanja Matic £1,500,000
Ramires £18,300,000
Raul Meireles £12,000,000
Oriol Romeu £4,350,000
Nemanja Matic £21,000,000
Marco van Ginkel £8,000,000
Cesc Fàbregas £30,000,000
Total: £95.15m

Marouane Fellani £15,000,000
Darron Gibson £2,000,000
Thomas Hitzlsperger Free
James Mc Carthy £13,000,000
Muhamed Bešić £4,000,000
Gareth Barry £2,000,000
Total: £36m

Raul Meireles £11,500,000
Jonjo Shelvey £1,700,000
Charlie Adam £7,000,000
Jordan Henderson £16,000,000
Joe Allen £15,000,000
Emre Can £10,000,000
Total: £61.2m

Manchester City
Nigel De Jong £16,000,000
Patrick Viera Free
Gareth Barry £12,000,000
Yaya Toure £24,000,000
Owen Hargreaves Free
Javi Garcia £16,000,000
Jack Rodwell £15,000,000
Fernandinho £30,000,000
Fernando £12,000,000
Total: £125m

Manchester United
Marouane Fellaini £27,500,000
Daley Blind £13,800,000
Ander Herrera £29,000,000
Total: £70.3m

Wilson Palacios £12,000,000
Sandro £6,000,000
Lewis Holtby £1,500,000
Moussa Dembele £15,000,000
Gylfi Sigurdsson £8,000,000
Etienne Capoue £8,600,000
Paulinho £17,000,000
Benjamin Stambouli £4,700,000
Total: £72.8m

It is clear that for nearly 7 years, we have neglected the midfield. Yes, in that time, Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere have come through, saving us a few million, but the fact is it is not good enough.

When you take defensive midfielder’s in isolation, it is even worse. We have bought 1 player who was naturally a defensive midfielder, Mathieu Flamini. The midfield has clearly been neglected.

Will this be addressed in January? Probably not.

Games are won and lost in the middle of the park, and until we invest in this key position, we will not compete for titles.




3 thoughts on “Arsene Wenger’s midfield neglect revealed

  1. Rich

    Hard to argue with any of that, we don’t need one defensive midfielder we need two, after years of neglecting to invest adequately in our squad we’re left with a lopsided squad.
    Get rid of Flamini, Rosicky, Diaby and Podolski and go and get Schniderlin and Kramer.

    1. Ken

      Wnger, the AKBs, as well as Walter & Tony (wnger’s online mercenaries) may suffocate if they hear you. Invest in DM. Hell we may challenge for the league! They will most probably get a heart attack. YOU MEAN, Challenging for another trophy instead of Wnger 4th place trophy (and a champion league spot). Don’t you know WENGER KNOWS BEST at ARSENE FC.

      1. nicholas larkin

        I agree that one of arsenal’s major downfalls has been in defensive midfield but the worlds best defensive midfielder is not going to cover up the fact that we have been weak at the back because Wenger has not bought quality replacement’s for Lauren, probably one of the most underestimated defender’s that has played for arsenal over the last 30 year’s, sol campbell koule toure ashley cole . To lose one of these player’s and not replace them like for like is criminal every man and his dog knows Arsene will say he has not had the money to spend paying for the new stadium but here comes the real question in the last18-24 months we have been debt free we can compete on a financial level with anyone in europe but yet we do not is this a case of arsene having the money and refusing to spend it if this is the case it is time for arsene to go and bring in a manager who is prepared to spend to fix obvious problems

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