Whilst the former Gunners and Barca star thrived at the Boleyn in the opening part of the season, Alex Song has seemed to fall short in recent weeks.
He has publicly stated how much he is enjoying his time with West Ham and has not ruled out a permanent deal in the summer, though his performances would say otherwise.
Song is inconsistent to say the least. Yes, the occasional eye of the needle pass successfully finds its way through, and often provides us with a goal scoring opportunity, but his unwillingness to play the simple pass is more costly than beneficial in my point of view. I would still like to see Song in claret and blue this time next season, but changes on his part need to take place before he will truly earn the respect of the West Ham faithful.
With clubs like Arsenal and Barcelona on his CV, it is impossible to deny that he is one of the most gifted players we have in our ranks. Nonetheless, that isn’t to say he should automatically start every week if he isn’t performing. Although being an avid critique of Allardyce, dropping Song for the game against Chelsea does show a change in attitude from last season, in which Big Sam would not dare to leave out his captain Kevin Nolan.
Every fan can see that Song is a great player, but his work rate and fight seems to be a lot lower than the likes of Mark Noble and Scott Parker, for example. We want that heart and desire, win or lose.
Song isn’t a player who will instinctively put everything on the line for the cause. He likes to play at his own pace and conduct the game. When he does this effectively its brilliant to watch, but far too often he has been sloppy on the ball. I believe that with some more winnable games still to play, we can be optimistic that Song will get back to the form in which he thrived at the start of the season.
I think we also need to take into consideration how much Barcelona would sell him for. I don’t know if his performances and consistency really justify a hefty price tag that Barca would likely demand for him. On the contrary, if he could consistently perform as he did throughout the earlier stages of the season, I doubt many would be opposed to the Catalan club’s demands.
I must state that I am a fan of Song. I believe he has all the credentials needed to be a top player at this level. If Barcelona saw something good in him, who are we to judge? Nevertheless, consistency is key in a league such as this.
If he is to sign, for what I imagine will be a rather large sum for a club of our stature, he needs to prove he can consistently play to the standard we all know he can.