Arsene Wenger may know his tactics, and his scouting system is second to none, but there’s one aspect of English football that has bypassed this most studious of managers. Down the years, successful teams have had a backbone of moany, whiny, niggly midfielders.
Small of stature and pale of skin, they were easily identified by an aversion to sunlight and a willingness to fight players taller and wider than themselves. Yes, the narky Scottish professional, conspicuous by his abscence these recent years, as Wenger creates his Academie Francaise in north London.
There would have been little point in suggesting Wenger sign the Jock terrier of recent vintage; a basic ability to control or pass a football, or even know what one is, has been missing from the tartan engine room.
There is one player, though, who can add the required bite to the Gunner’s engine room while bringing the technical ability synonomous with Arsenal. Rangers Barry Ferguson has tried life in the Premiership before, with Blackburn Rovers. While not a standout, he was impressive enough, and clearly has the chops to survive in the EPL.
Trying to lift a mediocre Blackburn and doing the dog duties in a smooth Arsenal machine are two very different things, and those of us who have seen Ferguson in Glasgow over the years know that while in a modest side he takes on too much responsibilty and suffers as a result, in a class team he excels while bringing a rare vision and bite to the party.
If you’re in Bolton one wet January afternoon, and the frankly talentless opposition have, again, outmuscled your talented but timid team of wunderkinder, you could do a lot worse than have a miserable, narky Ferguson grabbing Van Persie by the neck and politely suggesting he get stuck in.
Arsenal have been painting pretty pictures, but what they need is a graffitti artist.
This article was written by Andypendek and first published on Rangers Media. Please visit Rangers Media for more articles and discussions on all things Rangers FC.