Alex Song confounds.
At times this season, and particularly in the early weeks and months when the team effervesced, he looked ‘different gravy’, the sort of incisive and intelligent midfielder the like of which had not worn the claret and blue in some considerable time time. He could pick a pass, more pertinently deliver it, read the game and defend as well as create. He was truly a breath of fresh air to a crowd beginning to tire of the usual efficiency but lack of imagination of a Parker, a Noble, a Nolan. Here was the real deal, a bit of class and someone that the social media fraternity implored the hierarchy to go out and get, almost at whatever price.
Then Christmas came.
Like they apparently did for the rest of the team, things changed for Song. Suddenly he looked fallible, very fallible. Suddenly the pass completion looked less secure and, crucially, defensive errors began to creep into his game. That same, previously adoring social media fraternity now spoke in terms of the great man becoming a ‘liability’ and today the rumours abound that the club are no longer actively seeking to make the Cameroon player’s contract a permanent one.
I loved him early season but something is different. Is it a simple loss of form, in which case the old form is temporary – class is permanent adage should be invoked? Is it a complacency thing from Song himself? Are his best years well behind him? Has it to do with the wider loss of form and direction in terms of the first team?