Abou Diaby vs Arteta vs Song – Who Is Better?

As usual football pundits predicted Arsenal to do bad this season after selling two of their main stars RVP and Song. But as Wenger said earlier in an interview, “Arsenal can always surprise you.”

After two goalless draws, they produced a solid performance against a good Liverpool side to get maximum points at Anfield. Both the new signings Cazorla and Podolski had a good game. But it was Abou Diaby who stole the show at Anfield. He pulled all the strings in the midfield and Liverpool found it very difficult to stop his long stride dribbles.

Diaby show at Anfield

Now lets analyze whether he alone or with Arteta can fill the gap left by Song effectively.

Yes! Song is a good player. We all know that. Last season he had many assists under his belt and his link up play with ex-Arsenal captain RVP was great too. But as a defensive midfielder, he failed in my opinion. He lost possession many times with his poorly executed holdup plays. He also slowed down the tempo of the Arsenal famous fast passing game play. Most of time, he wandered forward which left Arsenal vulnerable to counter attacks. I was even more surprised when Barcelona signed him. Song will never fit in their midfield. May be a backup center back for the Catalans.

Now back to Arsenal. With Song gone, Wenger made Arteta to take a new role as CDM which he has adapted well. Arteta not only controlled the midfield with his amazing pass completion rate, he also gave good protection to Arsenal center backs. Diaby played average in his first two games of the season. But he was immense against Liverpool. Now lets compare all three players with respective to their position.

Song (CDM)


  • Good physical strength.
  • Killer long balls.


  • Slows down the tempo of the game.
  • Bad positioning.

Arteta (CDM)


  • Hardly loses the ball.
  • Maintains the flow of the game.
  • Discipline in maintaining position.
  • Provides cover for CBs.


  • Lack of Killer passes.
  • Makes some frustrating side way passes.

Abou Diaby (holding CAM – that’s the role he is playing right now)


  • Good ball control.
  • Good at both slow and fast dribbles.
  • Good at counter attacks.
  • Good physical strength.


  • Loses the ball many times.
  • Plays poor when off form.

In my opinion, Abou Diaby on his day is way better than Song and Arteta put together. If he can stay fit this season, Arsenal can be a real force in midfield with Cazorla, Arteta and Jack coming back from injury.

What do you guys think? Who is better? Post your opinions below.

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Written by Dinesh V

Co-founder of Soccersouls. Living a start-up life 24/7
Follow @dineshintwit

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