I occasionally get sent pieces from people who are interested in writing and whilst often it isn’t quite in the style that I have, every once in a while there’s an opinion that I think is worth sharing, which is why today’s blog has come from Soham De. He’s a budding writer and has written an interesting piece about Max Meyer, with whom we’ve been linked recently, so I thought it’d be an interesting read worth sharing. He writes over at Arsedevils.com
Over to Soham.
Since the days of Henry, Bergkamp, and the free flowing structured pacey attack that won us the Golden Premier League crown, Wenger has always shown an extreme case of overindulgence of creative, fluid, mobile midfielders best suited to the Wengerball that we have grown to adore over the years. Rosicky, Cazorla, Ozil, Ramsey, Wilshere, Helb, Nasri, Cesc the list seemingly goes on with players that have donned the jersey over the years and have perfectly fit the bill in Wenger’s eyes.
Generation after generation Wenger has always found a way to structure the fulcrum of the team in a manner which will glorify the beautiful version of the game that he so loves and yet ever since a certain Patrick Vieira departed the club Wenger could never find himself a comrade to carry on the mantle of the perfect defensive midfielder of the team.
However the game has evolved much more than Wenger has himself aged since the Invincibles paraded around the city of London. Maybe the proper center midfielder like Vieira will never exist again under Wenger and he himself probably knows that. Which is probably why in search of a defensive midfielder Arsenal ended up with Xhaka a perfect deep lying playmaker rather than a protect-the-back-four kind of guy like Fernandinho or Matuidi.
One of the key reasons why a certain Santi Cazorla was so instrumental in the role was that he had naturally adapted himself to the versatility of being able to do the best of both worlds. A tenacious diminutive two footed magician who was extremely adept as using his low center to gravity and two-footedness to get out of dangerous situations while maintaining an excellent ball retention rate.
The ability to keep the ball in tight situations is invaluable in those areas and Santi seemed to be a master of doing just that. Maybe a bit far stretched and with differed anatomy, but Santi’s movement at the base of the midfield was quite reminiscent of how Vieira used to launch an Arsenal counter attack by dancing through the midfield. At the heart of every move and occasionally producing slick pass right through the opposition defenses Santi had it all and he had it perfect.
Enter Max Meyer, a player for whom Arsenal reportedly had a £17.5million deal rejected in January. Physically and technically constructed in a manner completely similar to that of Santi Cazorla, 22 year old, short, diminutive, utterly technically skillful and adept at getting out of tight situation will his par excellence ball control. Max Meyer is exactly what Santi showed to be playing as the deepest play-maker, a player with exceptional technique, impressive vision, complemented by a captivating ability to dribble past opponents.
In a manner similar to Santi, Max is also someome who has managed to build himself as one of the most invaluable member of a team which is currently second in the Bundesliga by shifting himself to the ‘number 6’ role. A player traditionally thought of as a more of a number 10 or as an alternate play-maker, Max could never ultimately establish himself in that role in the team as despite showing brief moments of astute technical quality, he was unable to make his presence felt regularly upfront.
Which is why just like Santi, Max’s shift to the base of the midfield was completely essential in his career.
Rather than showing what was missing in a not so efficient role, Max moved on to bringing something extra in the deepest lying play-maker role so well that he currently tops the charts for defensive midfielder in the Bundesliga. Probably why the Telegraph are linking Max Meyer as one of the possible replacements the club are lining up for Jack Wilshere in case the 26 year old leaves on a Bosman at the end of the season.
At just 22 years of age Max is probably as versatile as you could ever find and yet deeply experienced in the role of a man whose absence has been universally lamented by the entire fan-base for the last one and a half years. With less than six months to go on his contract and with Schalke’s sporting director Christian Heidel confirming the players interest in shifting clubs after his agent cancelled a scheduled meeting with the club regarding his contract, he is literally just too much of goodness for Arsenal to simply pass up on.
A 22 year old player with 189 appearances in the Bundesliga for a club currently second in the league, playing just the kind of football that even Santi would have been proud of and with Sven utilizing his extensive German football database to convince the dithering Arsenal board of the players acumen, everything sort of clicks with Max Meyer to Arsenal. The gunners need some reliability in the midfield and going by his versatility and abilities Max Meyer is completely the perfect perfect man to replace Santi Cazorla who is yet to return from his lengthy injury layoff, when he does indeed decide to leave the Emirates.