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Arsenal boss: Italy star is the template for modern defensive midfielders

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. Photo credit: Mike Egerton/EMPICS Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. Photo credit: Mike Egerton/EMPICS

Thursday, October 11, 2012
11:53 AM

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has singled out Italy’s Andre Pirlo as a perfect example of the evolving role of the defensive midfielder.

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Juventus man Pirlo was one of the stars of Euro 2012, showcasing superb passing ability from a deep-lying midfield position for Italy on their way to the final.

And Arsenal boss Wenger says defensive midfielders must follow Pirlo’s example and be more than simply ‘destroyers’ nowadays.

“You can now say that this player has had to become more technical - you saw it during Euro 2012, with guys like Andrea Pirlo playing in this position,” he told Arsenal’s official magazine.

“They are not destroyers anymore, they are players that the game starts from and the quality of their passing has become very important.

“That’s why you don’t really see purely destructive players in these positions anymore.”

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