By Richard Clarke

Alex Song has been given license to roam further forward by Arsène Wenger.

The midfielder has broken free of his defensive shackles on many occasions this season. A move that has drawn criticism from some quarters given Arsenal’s defensive issues.

Wenger knows the policy could possibly leave his side understaffed in midfield at times, but he feels it is a risk worth taking.

“The teams close us down so much high up because they know we play through the middle,” said the manager. “I push my midfielders a bit up at the start to give us more room to build up the game.

“When you come to the ball we are always under pressure, so Song is a bit naturally high up because I want him high up.

“I am comfortable with that sometimes it leaves us open in the middle of the park. We want to play in the other half of the pitch and, therefore, we have to push our opponents back.

“But my philosophy is not to be in trouble, but to fool the opponent into trouble.”

Copyright 2014 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 6 Dec 2010