West Ham have managed to see what Arsenal and Wenger couldn’t see; the talents of Carl Jenkinson and more importantly – Alex Song. Both players have been in great form for their club, but watching them against Swansea got me wondering – why didn’t Arsene Wenger call back Jenkinson from his loan, and why didn’t he make a move for Alex Song? Poor decision, for me.
The Hammers captured Song on loan from Barcelona in the summer, as well as loaning Arsenal’s 22 year-old right back Carl Jenkinson. Arsenal have been in dire form recently, due to a mixture of untimely injuries and poor tactics and they could do with these two players perhaps.
Alex Song has been pivotal in West Ham’s form that has seen them climb to 3rd in the Premier League table. The Cameroon international has been influential in everything West Ham have done this season. He’s played the holding role majestically, using his physicality and class to dictate play and be a dominant force. One game that stands out for me was West Ham’s 3-1 over Liverpool at the end of September; Song was easily the best player on the pitch. He showed that previous experience in the Premier League didn’t faze his switch back from La Liga. Song was a key figure in his Arsenal playing days, most famously known for his looping assists for then striker Robin van Persie, and his quality hasn’t diminished over the 2 years he’s been away from England.
Arsenal are not overwhelmed with world-class defensive midfielders, none of their current batch are even at Song’s level. Wilshere and Ramsey however utilised in a defensive role are not defensive midfielders, so they are exempt. The players I mean are the likes of Arteta, Flamini and Diaby; with the latter having excellent potential if he wasn’t strapped by injuries.
Whilst on the topic of injuries, Arsenal haven’t had the best of the luck this season regarding them with the majority of their back four – Koscielny who is working his way back to full fitness and Debuchy, still on the road to recovery and adjusting to his new club, being the biggest fatalities.
With all these defensive injuries, Arsene Wenger could do with a young right-back looking to show his worth, right? Perhaps an on-loan Carl Jenkinson, yes? The Under-21 England full-back has enjoyed his best season of football, for club and country. Currently holding 12 appearances for West Ham he has contributed to 2 assists, 1 of those assists coming on Sunday against Swansea.
Jenkinson, who came through the Charlton youth ranks, didn’t impress me in his Arsenal days. My earliest memory of him being the sending off he received in an 8-2 mauling at Manchester United. It’s safe to say that under Hammers boss Allardyce though and with regular first-team football, he’s beginning to develop into a very accomplished right-back. He would be a much better option than recent right-back performances from youngster Bellerin and out of sorts Chambers.
Maybe something for Wenger to think about?
By Sean McPolin – @SeanMcPolin1