Time for a re-think, Arséne

By Avenell Dave

We've been here so many times, haven't we?

A promising start to the season shattered by a couple of avoidable results and the realisation that this squad simply is not good enough to cope with the injuries and demands of a consistent Premier League title-challenge.

Yes, we have some phenomenally gifted players, but do we have the right blend to really push Ch*vski and M*nure for the title? Not at the moment.

For all the regrets we fans have about a lack of new signings in the summer, there's nothing we can do about it now.

The fact remains that we have conceded 11 goals in seven games, with only Celtic away registering a clean sheet. That is simply not good enough and underlines the challenge Arséne Wenger has had stemming the flow that he highlighted as Arsenal's major problem last season.

Does or can the Alex Song/Denilson midfield axis work, with Cesc Fabregas acting as playmaker? It doesn't look like it can at present, simply because the balance is all wrong.

Song, who Wenger also sees as an option at centre-back, wants to defend primarily, even though he gets his positioning and his challenges wrong sometimes.

Cesc wants to pick the ball up from deep and start dictating play with defensive duties at a minimum. We have all seen what happens when he starts to defend - his game falls apart.

Then we have Denilson. Solid, unspectacular but often too laid back when it comes to the defensive side of the game for which he is employed; not to mention his sideways passing.

Whether we are to retain 4-3-3 all season or have the flexibility to switch to 4-4-2, it's essential that we have a box-to-box midfielder.

Someone with a strong engine, a good tackle, a fierce shot. Essentially, the link between Cesc and Song if that's how we're going to play.

And we've got him in our ranks.

Aaron Ramsey may be young, he may be raw, but he has a footballing brain which overshadows that of many other members of our squad (Manu Eboue, Abou Diaby, Theo Walcott to name just three).

While we all expect a comfortable three points against Wigan tomorrow, away sides have a tendency to frustrate us and defend in lines that we simply cannot break through.

We also lack the pace to beat these teams on the break in quite the way we used to, especially with Walcott and Andrey Arshavin both out.

So we need someone who can drive through the opposition, mix it up, give the tempo moving forward and in Ramsey, we have a talent who could prove to be a new star and an integral member of the team.

Ramsey has the perfect blend of defensive awareness and attacking trickery. It's a no-brainer, isn't it? Especially when the alternative is Abou Diaby.

Along with Kieran Gibbs, it is VITAL that he starts tomorrow and if he performs, keeps his place.