By Chris Harris
Emmanuel Frimpong wants to follow in the footsteps of Alex Song.
The England youth international was born in Ghana, about 700 miles from where Song grew up in Cameroon. Their paths have converged at Arsenal and Song has emerged as a role model for the clutch of defensive midfielders hoping to compete for his first-team spot.
Mark Randall, Francis Coquelin and Craig Eastmond have all been given opportunities in the Carling Cup this season but Frimpong is hoping for his chance at Manchester City on Wednesday night after shrugging off the groin problem which has troubled him since last season's FA Youth Cup Final.
Frimpong knows the competition for the 'Alex Song' role is fierce - not least from Song himself - but he is determined to emulate his fellow African.
"Yes, that's what I want to be doing in a few years," Frimpong told Arsenal TV Online.
"Obviously in the last couple of years Alex has showed everyone what he can do. He went on loan to Charlton and came back stronger. Everyone wondered if he would be a good player for Arsenal, whether he would establish himself in the first team, and I think he has proved that. He is playing really well at the moment.
"It's tough to get in the Carling Cup side and obviously I am one of the younger players. There is Mark who is older and can show what he can do, Francis is playing really well and now Craig has made a great change from right-back into midfield. They are all playing well and it's hard to get into the team but when you do get into the team you just have to show what you can do."
Subscribers can now watch the full interview with Frimpong on Arsenal TV Online. He discusses:
- his verdict on the two previous rounds
- the encouragement of the Emirates crowd
- competition for places in the Carling Cup team
- his rivals for the 'Alex Song' role
- the prospect of facing Manchester City
- his friendship with Emmanuel Adebayor
- why Arsenal can win the Carling Cup