Moving to the middle: Montreal Impact's Davy Arnaud finding success in central midfield

MONTREAL – Take a bow, Davy Arnaud.

The Montreal Impact skipper has quite simply enjoyed a stellar start to his 2013 season. Arnaud has been his usual energetic, spirited self, but his repositioning in the center of midfield has logically made him much more involved in Montreal’s quick-transitioning style.

If his lovely finish Michael Gspurning’s 6-foot-5 frame in Seattle was not proof enough of his excellent start, the gorgeous ball he fed Marco Di Vaio with for the Italian’s first goal of the season against Toronto confirmed it. And all that came through what his new position now allows him to do: runs through the middle, which are a central aspect of the Impact’s approach.

“I like getting in the box late,” Arnaud told reporters on Thursday. “I like being involved in the attack and in and around the box. Maybe it’s easier to do that from the middle of the field.”

When assessing his 2012 season, it’s almost simpler to list the positions Arnaud didn’t play.

Right midfield was what the 32-year-old mostly called home last season, but he also moved up front, switched to the left side, stopped by the middle and dropped at right back.

“But again, my whole career, I’ve prided myself on being able to play different positions. It’s there for now. If it’s somewhere else later on in the season, that’s okay too. But I definitely enjoy playing there. I’ve done it before in Kansas City, and I’m enjoying it now.”

Head coach Marco Schällibaum is enjoying it too. “Decisive” is how he described Arnaud’s achievements in his team’s first three games.

“He’s someone who works hard every day and has a strong personality, which is also something we need as a team,” Schällibaum told reporters. “He might not be the most technical player in the world, but he’s really comfortable in that position.”