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Slowly but surely Denilson is sliding out of the picture

I found this on the official Premier League site. ACTIM is what is used to provide unbiased judgement of a player’s performance during the season. There are 6 ways in which points are given and below are the points.

  • Calculation 1 – Assesses a player’s contribution to a winning team, based on points won by the team when he appeared
  • Calculation 2 – Assesses a player’s performance in each game, by allocating points for actions that positively contribute to a winning performance such as shots, tackles, clearances and saves. It also takes points away from players for negative actions such as yellow/red cards and shots off target
  • Calculation 3 – Allocates points based on time on the pitch
  • Calculation 4 – Allocates points for goal scorers
  • Calculation 5 – Allocates points for assists
  • Calculation 6 – Allocates points for clean sheets

While I never like to single out any particular player for any defeat suffered by Arsenal, my purpose today is just to show where and who are our most influential player. And if the stats are correct and as you know, numbers don’t lie, Denilson will come out worse off.

The current top 10 Arsenal players in the overall score are Fabregas, Vermaelen, Gallas, Arshavin, Diaby, Sagna, Almunia, RVP, Song and Eduardo. Incidentally these 10 players are currently in the top 100 of the entire Premier League with Fabregas leading the charts and Eduardo coming in at 89th position. In comparison, Denilson is not even listed in the top 100 and has started 1 league game more than Eduardo. Even in terms of assists, he is one short of Eboue with just the single assist. Although, to be fair, the Brazilian has already produced 3 goals in the league thus far. The only surprise is that Almunia is ranked higher than him.

Denilson has been given plenty of chance both last season and this season to show what he can do. Consistent but not spectacular last season, Wenger chose to continue showing the former plenty of faith this season. However if report cards are given out at this point in time, Denilson would surely not make the grade. That’s not to say he is a finish article and would not become a very good player in the near future but based on current form and capability, it is hard to rely any further on him. He has a rather languid style of play. Last season, I thought Song was a very slow player, but I couldn’t be more wrong. Denilson is well and truly the winner in that section. Vermaelen justifies his ranking in the top 10 of the ACTIM charts by being able to overtake Denilson from a further starting point than the Brazilian when chasing back during United’s second goal on Sunday.

Considering that we are chasing for the title and are in a good position to do so, the million-dollar question is, can we afford to have Denilson in the first team? Surely for someone so precise and dependant on statistics, Wenger would not fail to realise that Denilson is not contributing much to the team. And that his presence now (together with Almunia) presents a form of liability for Arsenal’s title charge. If Senderos can be cast away due to his failure to prevent Drogba from scoring, then surely Denilson cannot be spare the chop.

Sure enough, Aaron Ramsey is not miles ahead of Denilson but if Diaby remains injured, the Welshman can’t do any worse than Denilson at the moment. Give Denilson the rest and let him fully recuperate, if his back is still bothering him. Some time on sidelines could help clear his head and give him the necessary space to rethink his career. If he comes back the stronger, then all the better but if he doesn’t then it’s time to move on. Ramsey’s knocking on the door now Mr Wenger, why don’t you welcome him in.