Arsenal need a DM, not a PV

By Graham McNorthbank

If the pundits and analysts are to be believed, Arsene Wenger will employ a 4-3-3 formation this coming season to try to get the best out of his attack-minded players.

I'm not entirely convinced that's what Le Boss has up his sleeve, but in terms of allowing him to give more playing time to the likes of Jack Wilshere, Carlos Vela, Theo Walcott and any of our other young pretenders, I can see the logic.

But with only three midfielders to count on, surely this would suggest that the need for a recognised world class defensive midfielder is now greater than ever.

The rumoured return of captain fantastic Patrick Vieira has genuinely flummoxed me.  He's a legend and while I'd love to see him back in an Arsenal shirt, it has to be said that his best days are long gone and other than sell a few shirts, I'm not sure what he would do to improve the team.

Sure, he'd be an amazing role model and someone for our teenagers to emulate, but when it comes to coping with the pace of the Premier League I just don't think Vieira has the stamina any more.

And the bottom line is that he is not a defensive midfielder. He never was. That task was down to the Emmanuel Petits and Gilberto Silvas of this world.

If we do re-sign Paddy I hope he proves me wrong and has a fantastic season, winning his place back in the French squad that travels to next year's World Cup in South Africa.

But Vieira as the solution to our defensive midfield dilemma? I don't think so.

Even if Le Gaffer ignores the musings of the pundits and sticks with his 4-4-2 and 4-5-1 formations, us Gooners will still be hoping that he signs a DM because that's where the gaping hole was last year and with all respect to messrs Denilson and Song, when it gets to the stage when your manager experiments by playing Samir Nasri in the role, then you patently are not yet up to the task.

Arsene says he wants to have any new players at Arsenal before the first game of the season in 10 days time, so that doesn't leave too much time to start negotiations - at least not with the way the Gunners have conducted deals in the past.

Names such as Gokan Inler, Miguel Veloso and Daniele De Rossi are still being bandied around, while other candidates like Lorik Cana and Felipe Melo are no longer available. But I'm just hoping - even if it's someone we've never heard of - that Arsenal do actually make a move to plug the hole in the team, otherwise I fear another season of us Addicts talking into our pints about what could have been.