Den and dusted

Adeus Denilson. Ta-da for now (though I am prepared to wager that the ‘for now’ part will become ‘for good’).

Denilson’s departure reminded me that this summer was as much about clearing out some deadwood as it was about bringing in some alivewood [find a new word – Ed]. He’s the first of the exclusive gang to go – though who is in that gang is subjective and ebbs and flows accordingly.

Poor old Denilson was – along perhaps with Bendtner & Almunia, though it wasn’t an exclusive triumvirate – the butt of things last season. Personally, as I have said before, I think Bendtner got it a bit hard. He was shoved on the wing for the most part – nuts really – and his goalscoring ratio was not that bad.

But Denilson, well Denilson was in part a victim of the emergence of the staggeringly good Wilshere and the returning Ramsey. But it was only in part: Denilson was shorn of confidence, while Wilshere brims with it. He was too timid, where Wilshere exudes forward threat. He half-tackled, half-tracked. He just never seemed to do enough. So this loan has hardly slapped us in the face. He played 153 times for Arsenal but his 51 appearances in 2008-9 seem a long time ago now.

So who’s next? We were told pre-Asia that Almunia and Bendtner were negotiating moving-on deals (they’ve clearly been imbued with the same glacial negotiating tactics favoured by the club).

I wouldn’t be surprised to see Eboue go, too (if someone will have him – a foster club?) In a moment of sleeplessness the other night, I tried to name a few starting XIs across the years, and attempted to recall the line-up of the 2006 Champions League final. Eboue was right-back then (no, it didn’t help me get back to sleep). But what is he now? A jobbing fill-in. Sad but true. You can’t push an opponent over in your own box in the 102nd minute of a 90-minute game and carry on as normal. Or can you?

As for the rest, well I can’t see much doing unless we sign a new centre-half. If we do get in Garris Samhill, I can see us ditching a centre-back (even for balsawood Arsenal, five seems a bit greedy). The Squill would be the obvious victim there, though I’m afraid we’ve now entered the realm of pure conjecture.

So anyway, good luck Denilson. I hope you come good. You need to play.

13 thoughts on “Den and dusted

  1. Denilson wont be missed by me at all – that’s a clear step forward for the team. Almunia too. Bendtner was played out of position every week but I wont miss him as a right winger! He might still make a decent number 9 somewhere.
    As you point out Ebouseless can go now we have Jenkinson, and I would happily see Diaby sold too, but I understand he is carrying an injury (surprise). Squilliaci is also a poor player but if he were 5th choice behind Bartley I wouldn’t complain though I fear the young lad will be loaned out again.

    But I think all the talk of players coming and going is beside the point when wenger cannot manage the squad of players he has. And he is so stubborn as to the tactical side of the game, that I cannot ever see a team playing 4-3-3 winning the premier league. Every champion has to be solid at the back and we never will be unless wenger has a u-turn and I dont see that happening.

  2. Sadly, when Den played this season, he never seemed to exert himself to any great degree. That’s hardly the attitude required of someone looking to win their place back. It was clear he’d made up his mind to leave fairly early on in the season and it showed on the pitch. 

    I hope he has a better time at Sao Paulo as he really needs a fresh start.

  3. I must say, wouldn’t it be better to admit your glee about Denilson rather than just lie about him.  He had 146 appearances for Arsenal, not the 51 in 6 years you mention — and 69 of those were Premiere League starts,

    Typical of English fans, you have never asked what happened to him — you just blame character, basically.  Two seasons prior to this one just past he started 36 games in the league, 46 overall, scored 3 goals and had 7 assists.  No doubt when he helped save Arsenal’s season that year, you already knew he was crap.

    Why did his form drop?  I cannot find a blog that even speculates on a reason other than worthlessness as a human being and a competitor.  So much easier that reaal analysis.   It could be simply that he was passed by by Wilshire, but his overall game changed as well.  Again, no doubt you are right — it must be character and lack of pure English qualities that is the only reason this could happen.  I suspect it was a combination of factors, including the coachin he received and the direction in which he was pointed.  Clearly, he never had the good will of the fans behind him, and again, since they are English and he is not, his failure of birthright must be the answer.

    I dont know why he faltered; could be he could not step up.  Could be that Arsene saw something in 2008-09 that made him think he could shift Denilson to a more defensive role, replacing Gilberto, and that his injuries in 2009-10 lost him the chance to make the change.  Or maybe he isn’t good enough, and suffered when it was clear he would not have the minutes he needed to progress.  Whatever the reason, it is a sad end, and he did not deserve the opprobrium he got from the heartless fans, who can afford to throw away thousands a year on season tickets yet have the gall to resent the players who might make more than they do. 

    He’s young enough to revive his career, and if he still harbors aspirations of making the international team, he can best do so from Brazil.  Here’s hoping it works out for him.

  4. Vince – You won’t find an instance of xenophobia from the author of this blog. If he has ventured as far as to say that he would like to see more English players, when there were none in the first 11 or on the bench, it is nothing like xenophobia.  I would love to see more Frenchmen and American’s playing for Arsenal, but to suggest prejudice against Brazilians is…it’s so ridiculous I don’t know why I’m responding.  

    I think you’re right, though, about him botching Denilson’s appearance stats.

    As far as speculating on Denilson’s collapse in form, pffff.  On the one hand, it doesn’t really matter.  If he’s playing really poorly, then just being glad that’s he’s moving on is a reasonable reaction.  I’ve always pulled for Denilson to do well, but his motivation looked to be in the tank.  I think Arsene could have gotten a lot more out of him, but I’m just guessing.

  5. I think denilson suffered  by being forced into a defensive role that simply didnt suit him. I remember when he 1st arrived he looked an excellent prospect in the carling cup team & sprayed the ball around with aplomb, however i dont think he was ever really cut out to be a def mid within the demands of the prem.
     He was regarded as quite a  talent in brazil & i dont think we saw the best of him here, his confidence dropped & his play was somewhat restricted. I think he will go on to prove he is a good player. He has in my opinion been made a scapegoat unjustly by some vitriolic fans (as has bendtner) Sometimes things simply dont work out for players for a multitude of reasons, it could be just wrong place, wrong time for him at Arsenal & he may flourish elsewhere?
    He seems like a very nice person & i wish him well for the future.

  6. First – yes, the stat was wrong. I have amended. My mistake. But I’m afraid I disagree with the point on nationality. I’ve never attributed Wilshere’s emergence to him being English, nor to Denilson’s fading away being due to him being Brazilian. That would be absurd. 

    Maybe the coaching/direction was not right – it’s hard to say – but the main reason is that he’s simply not as good as Wilshere, and when he got his (admittedly few) chances to shine last season, he didn’t take them. I should add he’s not the only one. 

    As you say, it could be that he simply couldn’t step up. Football can be cruel like that.

  7. Probably the biggest problem Denilson faced was that Arsene likes to buy attacking midfielders, and when Arsenal has several world class ones, players like Denilson are going to be used to fill in the gaps elsewhere. Perhaps it was thought that he could adapt to being defensive midfield, but when other players started being selected ahead of him in that position also, he knew his time was up. By that stage he’d lost his desire to regain his place.

    He’s not the first player Arsene has played out of their best position and won’t be the last. So Denilson’s lack of success recently is down to a combination of things. However, his obvious lack of motivation on the pitch is what fans see and lambast him for.

  8. Is Jagielka any good?  I jest (a little); but not really.  Didn’t he get a chance for England in the friendly against France, in which he looked miles off the pace?  That’s just one match, and maybe he wasn’t in his best position, etc., but I had a strong impression from that match that he wasn’t very good.

  9. The question is not ‘why did Denilson’s form drop’ but why people still believe that it did drop. Some are still peddling the myth that he was brilliant in 08/09 and keep churning out the fact that he played 51 games as proof of this.
    The facts however are a lot simpler. Wenger made a huge mistake in letting Diarra,Flamini & Gilberto leave within 6 months of each other & so ended up playing Denilson most weeks. The poor kid was hopelessly out of his depth. Far from ‘saving’ Arsenal’s season his presence in the first 11 was the main reason our ‘title challenge’ was over well before Christmas. But of course the usual happened then with Gooners: the extremists decided he was shit & the AKBs reacted & decided he was brillliant. How many people on blogs spent that season talking about how he was ‘the best DM in the league’. (one of the greatest AFC lies ever !)
    Denilson is the perfect example of why Wenger’s continued assertion that new signings ‘kill’ young players is rubbish. Playing a kid that was so hopelessly out of depth like that is what ‘killed’ Denilson at Arsenal.

  10. You have no evidence to back your opinion except your pre-conceived bias. You really are amusing: you reject the stats of his good year as somehow irrelevant, then use lack of them in subsequent years as your proof – or is it your unerring and always correct “sense” of quality? It’s amazing that you revel in your irrationality. Did you somehow miss an education?

  11. So you view the sole fact that someone played a lot of games as proof that he played well & then accuse me of irrationality ? Priceless.
    He played a lot cos there were no alternatives, not because his performances justified it. (Wenger himself admitted at the end of the season that out title challenge was over within months because our midfield just wasn’t up to it. Always amused me the way the AKBs who talked Denilson up all season hid away when those comments were published) 
    My pre-conceived bias ? A player signs for Arsenal who I’ve never heard of & I’m already biased against him ??? Yep, that’s rational. What on earth makes you think that’s a logical argument ? Truly bizarre.

    You would be amusing except that you sum up so depressingly the sad, complete inability to grasp the game that is prevalent in all the constant do-gooding AKBs out there on the net spouting their nonsense. Maybe if you had any interest in the game pre-Premier League/Sky etc, you’d be a little more ‘educated’ yourself…

  12. I’m disappointed Arsenal haven’t added two or three more players to give us hope for the new season – good players who could step right into the first 11. I’m feeling like PDDD today.

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