By Chris Harris
There is a key ingredient to Alex Song’s attacking game – and its name is Denilson.
Arsenal were indebted to Song on Saturday after he popped up in the nick of time to plant a diving header past the previously impassable Rob Green and secure a vital 1-0 win over West Ham.
That was Song’s third goal in three games – a decent tally by anyone’s standards but a real eye-opener for a defensive midfielder who had netted just five times in his previous 125 appearances.
Arsène Wenger is perfectly happy to see Song’s name on the scoresheet and he attributes the Cameroon star’s purple patch to a certain Brazilian team-mate.
"Song changes when he plays with Denilson because Denilson plays more of a holding role and he [Song] goes forward more,” explained Wenger.
“I don't stop him because Denilson sits naturally. After the change with Samir Nasri [when Denilson was substituted and Nasri moved to a central role], I was concerned that we could get caught on the break because Song kept going and Nasri goes as well. On two or three occasions we were a bit short in midfield.
“Song wants to get forward. Sometimes defensive midfielders just want to defend but it's not his only role and he does [attack] well in fairness.”Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source