When Arsene Wenger compared Thomas Eisfeld to Robert Pires, he was specific in his reasons. Eisfeld has the ability like Pires to sneak in to the box without anyone noticing and is a deadly finisher. Unfortunately that is where the comparison ends. Where Pires was a player with brilliant technique, pace and flair, Eisfeld is wonderfully efficient.
For that reason there is only one player I see when I watch Thomas Eisfeld and that is Paul Scholes.
Eisfeld is unfortunately a Manchester United type of player. Fergie’s teams have never been flashy and quite predictable but extremely efficient. The ball was usually played to the wings and either Beckham or Giggs was there to cross the ball. Scholes through the centre usually started the attacking move and would finish from the edge of the box. Very efficient!
Watching Eisfeld coming on as a substitute against Reading in the 58th minute when Arsenal had been overrun in midfield and were losing 4-0 in the 1st half, I knew what a player we had on our hands. His first touch brought an assurance that had been missing from our midfield. His passes were not breathtaking and he is definitely no dribbler. What he did was just to steady the ship. Increase the pace of the game when he needed to and reduce the pace when our team was under pressure. For a youngster to have such an influence is nothing to be sniffed at.
So, keeping in mind Arsenal’s flashy midfield, I ask again. Would Paul Scholes have made it at Arsenal? The truthful answer is an emphatic no. The reason is that he was too direct and rarely showed a moment of brilliance. What he guaranteed was goals and a steady midfield without standing out. Arsenal need more than that. They need wow moments and that is why I do not see Eisfeld making it in Arsenal brilliant as he is.
I am hoping against hope that I am wrong but the truth of the matter is Wenger is more likely to choose a player like Zelalem than a player like Eisfeld. His goals unfortunately cannot save him. I want to see him go out on loan to a team where I can enjoy his talent more often but the truth is as much as Wenger admires his talent, he just does not fit into the Arsenal mould and will have to go elsewhere for his talent to shine.