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Has Arsene left Arsenal defenceless?



Arsene Wenger will need to grab a top quality defender in the summer.Arsenal Wenger isn’t exactly known for spending big money, or spending for the matter, so was it almost a given that he would again sit back and watch a hectic transfer window?

Even with defensive frailties the Gunners have still managed to keep their name in the title contender’s bracket. They have summer signing Laurent Koscielny, a centre-back who at 25 years of age has only had one season in Frances top-flight, playing for a very average team in Lorient.

However Wenger saw something in him that many others didn’t and still haven’t. It is clear to see that his fashion sense is pretty good, as he always seems to match his Arsenal shirt with a red card, very clever, oh wait…

The clumsy Frenchman has been bashed about by multiple strikers and even his new partner at the back, Sebastien Squillaci, who head butted him all the way into concussion.

Picking on the inexperienced is often easy though, and his defensive partners can be called into just as much critical questioning. Previously mentioned Squillaci is another Frenchmen who Wenger signed in the summer to boulster his defence. It seems that if you are French, reasonably talented and reasonably priced, you should give Arsene a call!

Again, like Koscielny, his ability has been called into question but his experience at the top level in various leagues (French with Lyon, Spanish with Seville) has seen him captain the side in what could be argued as his best game.

The two paired together just doesn’t seem to work. With Squillaci’s experience and Koscielny’s pace and raw defending ability, you would expect the two to match up perfectly. Did I mention they are both French as well?

Whilst maintaining his confidence in the defenders, Wenger’s desperation on the situation was exposed when he tried to bring back Sol Campbell, again. Without Thomas Vermaelen, who is up their with the likes of Nemanja Vidic and John Terry, they do look weak.

Johan Djourou is the other option, but whilst he looks solid at times, his strength and judgement can even be exposed by a team at the depths of the Championship (Ipswich). It just doesn’t seem like the Arsenal manager can catch a break when it comes to signing defenders.

Maybe it is time for Wenger to widen his search and think about spending a little more, to get more. Yet I’m sure if an emerging top-class defender called out all over the news for Arsene to buy him, he would just pull that old chestnut out of the bag and say: “I didn’t see it.”



  1. Jon Jarvis

    February 1, 2011 at 1:26 PM

    I think your review of Djourou is completely unjust. He has been great this season and except for an odd mistake here and there I think he has been one of our top performers in the last month. Since Koscielny and Djourou have partnered up, Koscielny has looked much more solid and seems to be a very good partner for Djourou. What I like about Koscielny is he will battle for every ball no matter what. The only time he has been weak is when he is partnered with Squillaci which I believe is due to a lack of premiership experience between the two.

  2. realistic tony

    February 1, 2011 at 2:13 PM

    good comments and extremely generous in your mild criticism of the worst player ever to wear the proud red and white shirt: squillachi.
    Im hoping kos keeps on improving, djourou can be a very good centre back as well.
    In the future perhaps wenger should put out an advert for his requirements…WANTED : CENTRAL DEFENDER ANY HEIGHT /WEIGHT. TO COST 0-6MILLION..MUST BE FRENCH. PREFERENCE GIVEN TO FREE (BOSMAN) APPLICANTS

  3. Jonny Martin

    February 1, 2011 at 2:29 PM

    Completely agree with Jon Jarvis above. Djorou has put in a fantastic contribution. I fear Jack that you have only watched the Ipswich game and not his other games ?!?!?!?!?

  4. Jack

    February 1, 2011 at 3:03 PM

    I watch every premiership game and think Djourou is average at best, in comparison with their best defender Vermaelan. They may have only conceded one more than United but they always look shakey at the back. Granted they have got better as the season has gone one. But if they want to be genuine challengers on all fronts they need someone better to partner Vermaelan.

    All good points though your feedback is appreciated.

  5. Padraic Connell

    February 1, 2011 at 3:58 PM

    Pretty bad assessment of arsenals defense to be honest, Squillaci has been a bad buy no doubt but is he really much worse than Johnny Evans or Chris Smalling who are united 3rd and 4th choice centre backs?

    Id argue that he’s probably better than Evans and only slightly behind Smalling. Koscielny is in his first season in the premiership and is improving with every game. The same can be said about Djourou who is returning from a long term injury and has never been exposed to such a prolonged stint in the first team and as such is bound to make occasional mistakes. Central defensive pairings take time to grow strong as a unit and even more so when neither have experience at such a high level. Either of these guys paired with the proven and irrefutable class of Vermaelen will be a strong unit.

    As Finngun has already pointed out Man United have only conceded one goal less than Arsenal all season and that was with a midfield who support their defense much more than arsenals and at least one of there first choice CBs constantly present and that statistic say a lot positively about these guy performance this season. As with all this opinion is personal and you are entitled to yours but in mine i feel your being unduly negative in yours. Hopefully after reading this you might take a more positive view but in my experience haters never do…

  6. VanTrevor

    March 1, 2011 at 10:46 PM

    Its not how many goals you concede, its how you concede them that defines a good defence. Man Utd may have conceded the same amount but their discipline has meant that these goals are often not results of sloppy defending. Arsenal’s problem as they often concede in the crucial stages of the game which causes dropped points. They lack a leader at the back, someone like Tony Adams. Hopefully, Szczesny will be able to fill that gap soon.

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