Djourou injured + Why Arsenal do not need another centre-back (Guest Post Wednesdays)

Djourou injured + Why Arsenal do not need another centre-back (Guest Post Wednesdays)

It’s the Ekka Show Day public holiday in Brisbane today (don’t ask me to explain) and that means I was able to enjoy a beautiful bottle of red last night and a little bit of a sleep-in this morning. Excellent.

I’ve made the decision to switch the Arsenal FC Weekly podcast from Monday to Tuesday from next week onwards and Guest Post Tuesdays will become Guest Post Wednesdays as of today. As always though, before I get onto today’s guest post I just want to run through the latest Arsenal news:

  • Johan Djourou has been sent home from international duty with Switzerland with a minor knee injury. It’s unsure as to whether the knock will keep him out of the team against Everton but it’s certainly not the greatest piece of news.
  • Fabio Capello has admitted that Manuel Almunia is not in his England plans. Meanwhile, Almunia has commented on the height of our defensive options, stating that our previous problems have been more of an issue of attitude than size.
  • Nicklas Bendtner is looking to sign a new contract with Arsenal.
  • Former Arsenal striker John Hartson, who has recently been diagnosed and treated for testicular, lung and brain cancer, has been released from hospital.

And that is that for the news. Hopefully Hartson is enjoying being home with his family and hopefully Djourou pulls up OK for the weekend.

Onto today’s guest post now and John Law is back for a second go. He wrote the first ever Guest Post article for the Arsenal FC Blog about unsung hero Manuel Almunia and this time around he has written about the state of our defensive options, with the overall view that they will be good enough to challenge for the title this season.

I’m pretty sure this one will divide opinion so be sure to have your say on John’s article by leaving a comment.

* * *

Why Arsenal do not need another centre back by John Law

Having opened up the guest post Tuesday section on Manuel Almunia, I was overwhelmed by all the positive comments I received from you all so thank you very much for that! However, when writing this one, I do not feel that the same praise of the article will be given as pretty much every other gooner I talk to disagrees with me on this particular topic! Anyway, in the next 1,300 words I am going to try and convince all of you why, in my opinion, Arsenal do not need to invest in a new centre back.

In my view, 3 top centre halves plus one or two others as extra cover is what one needs in that area to win the league and champions league and in my view Arsenal have just that. 4 world class centre halves is too many and needless transfer and wage money. Start not playing a world class centre half and all that will happen is he will want out. 3 is the magic number followed by one/ two adequate ones. Throughout this article, I will work from what I believe to be centre half choice number 1 to choice number 5. 

Gallas, I believe I do not need to justify too much. Yes he had his problems as a captain and his character does not endear one but since stripped of the armband his performances were nothing but exceptional and it is my belief that he has and will be a world class centre half. With aggression, pace to burn, a superb tackle on him and ability on the ball, I believe that with the right partner, this man has everything. Add to these attributes his CV and abundance of experience; 31 years old, 8 seasons of premiership football, 72 caps for France (with a World Cup final in 2006), 2 premier league titles, a league cup, a community shield, a confederations cup and twice occurring in the PFA team of the year, the man is a world class defender and is the finished article. Enough said. 

My belief is that Johan Djourou is now that perfect partner for Gallas. Having been with Arsenal since 2004, I feel young Djourou has been constantly progressing and it is now perfect timing for him to make the step up. Having improved year on year to cement himself as Arsenal’s first choice back up last year, there is one more step for him to make and that is to become 1st choice. He now has plenty of experience having spent half a season on loan at Birmingham and making 25 starts for Arsenal last year, playing in the premiership and champions league and has made a total of 77 appearances in an Arsenal shirt. Now we have cashed in on Kolo, the question in Arsenal’s current defence seems to be who is going to play alongside Gallas. My view on this is that Gallas, as stated above, has many attributes a top class defender needs and it is positive that he is going to be playing for us next year. However, to get the best out of him, I think he needs someone who is aerially dominant and at 6ft 4inches and with substantial strength, Djourou could just be that man.

John sees Djourou as Gallas' ideal partner

When he came into the side last year, very little got past him and Gallas and given there is a clear void which has been left by Kolo, I really feel it is time for Djourou to step up and fulfil all that potential he clearly possesses. Attributes he has; strength, pace, good timing of the tackle, good positional awareness, ability on the ball and good in the air. I can’t think of much more a centre back needs? Where he has previously let himself down on occasions is lapses of concentration but I am confident that this is something which can be ironed out when one matures and my feeling is that he has played enough for this to happen. The only thing he now needs is a run in the side…..what better time than the present?

Having hopefully justified to you why my 1st choice pairing is going to be rock solid, the next question I must ask; is there suitable cover? If I am honest with you all, I do not know too much about Vermaelen. However, my feeling is that a 23 year old left footed centre back, formerly captain of Ajax, with plenty of champions league experience and many international caps under his belt, will be more than an adequate 1st choice back up and a suitable partner for both Gallas and Djourou. With the reputation of being commanding and aggressive, his attributes seem suitable for the English game and I simply do not believe Wenger would shell out £10million on a centre back who won’t be any good.

As mentioned earlier, I also think that at least one other adequate player is needed to provide sufficient depth and cover if there are a string of injuries in that area. I am not going to pretend I am a massive Silvestre fan. His performances in the semi finals of the FA Cup, the 4-4 league match vs Liverpool and the champions league semi-finals were, in my opinion, not far short of shambolic. Nevertheless, I do believe that players are allowed to make mistakes as they are human and in Silvestre and Song, I believe these two are more than enough to cover the 3 first choice men when needed. To me, Silvestre is experienced, has decent aerial ability, sound distribution, a fair amount of pace on him, and a fair sense of positioning with the eye for an occasional goal.

Over the course of last season, I actually thought Silvestre played well for most of his games in the league. He provides vast experience and a left footed centre half alongside Djourou, Gallas or Song balances the back four nicely. Experience is something which this Arsenal squad is light on and Silvestre provides that. With 4 premiership titles, 1 FA Cup, 1 League Cup, 2 Community Shields, 1 Champions League, an Intercontinental cup and 2 FIFA Confederation Cups, I hardly think that is too bad as a 4th choice and having seen him keep a lot of decent league strikers quiet last season, my belief is that although not world class, the man does the job and is as good as one can get for a 4th choice cover.

Even when there are 3 injuries to 4 of the previously mentioned players, I think that Song can also be adequate to shift to centre half for 4 or 5 games a season at least. When playing at Old Trafford in the 0-0 draw last season, not once did he look out of place. He now has experience under his belt and has developed tenacity last season which he previously seemed to lack. In possession of the ball he is fantastic and he seems to read the game exceedingly well, especially in the centre half position. Furthermore, given he is still young, the man is only going to go from strength to strength. 

So there you have it! My belief is that those 5 players bring all the various attributes and qualities a side needs in the centre half department to win cups and titles. There is enough talent, experience and depth there to satisfy me that we do not need to delve into the market for another player. My feeling is if a super class player who would be ideal to the team set-up comes along at a bargain then it would be foolish to turn that down but unless that happens, I believe we should, and will stick with what we have and that other areas(i.e holding role) are in far more need of strengthening. Gallas, Djourou, Vermaelen, Silvestre and Song I have faith in you! Please do not let me down!

Have your say on the latest Arsenal news or John’s guest post by leaving a comment.

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59 Responses to “Djourou injured + Why Arsenal do not need another centre-back (Guest Post Wednesdays)”

  1. slowmotion
    August 12, 2009 at 5:27 pm #

    while four world class CBs would probably be too many i’d be happy with just one.

    seriously, gallas, vermaelen and djourou aren’t bad but none of them is world class (and definitely all of them as your implying).

    i’d even say djourou wouldn’t get into the starting line up of most top clubs which makes him hardly world class.

    also, what makes you so sure vermaelen is world class not being possibly able to see him playing in a different league than the netherlands’ one?

  2. Gooner
    August 12, 2009 at 5:37 pm #

    Hopefully Senderos stays, then he can be our fourth choice defender – a big improvement on Silvestre.

    I personally think Song is much better suited at CB. Against Stoke and Man U last year he played excellently and looked more assured in his positioning.

  3. veteran
    August 12, 2009 at 5:42 pm #

    I hope your right but last season our defence conceded far too many goals and i dont see how replacing Kolo with Verm is going to change things.
    However i have every faith in Arsene to see us right.

  4. Frankie
    August 12, 2009 at 5:43 pm #

    Too long an article for starters…….

    Arsenal need a proper centre-back not the mediocre ones we currently have. Djourou is an accident waiting to happen, he is too cool to be a centre-back.

    Gallas is the best one we have as Vermaelen is untried in this league.

    If Arsenal don’t get a tall, brave, disciplined centre-back, we will struggle big time. Everyone knows this is one position where we need genuine world class pedigree but sadly we are still lacking that for sure. Anything else is just plain incorrect.

  5. om
    August 12, 2009 at 5:44 pm #

    It will be interesting to see how Vermaelen works out. 10m is by far the most Arsene has spent on a defender, and credit where credit is due, he does sign some absolute blinders, so I’m pretty hopeful there.

    Would be strange if he signed him just to sit on the bench.

    Gallas is fine, just borderline worldclass perhaps. If and when he leaves us I doubt it will be to a team that makes the CL quarter finals regularly.

    The new signing I think we need is actually a physio 😉

    The number of injuries we have and the amount of time needed to heal has been a huge factor in our last 2 or 3 seasons.

  6. Davi
    August 12, 2009 at 5:58 pm #

    Djourou’s great but he still needs more experience. He will definitely be world class imo. Hes got too much going for him.
    He looks good playing alongside gallas, and my hope is that vermaelen was bought to replace gallas whenever he or wenger decides its time for him to step down.
    Id be happy to see djourou starting this season, cos Im a big fan of his, but Id feel more confident if we signed a huge CB like hangeland to play the majority of games.
    RE Gallas – he was world class when he played with the right players. You cant have two CBs who cant win a high ball between them. If he had been playing alongside the old sol campbell in the invincibles side, he would have been considered world class then. I guess as a CB you can only be as good as the partnership you form with the guy next to u

  7. on d gooner
    August 12, 2009 at 5:59 pm #

    Would Gallas get in the ManU CB line up ahead of Vidic or Djourou ahead of Rio? I doubt it! Here again your argument is already floored before it even gets off the ground! Try again Mr Law!!

    I repeat it again, we need to get rid of Sylvestre and get in a decent CB as cover for Gallas or Djourou/Thomas, & a holding MF personnel who is also a leader. We do not need strikers as we are blessed with RVP, Theo/Arshavin, Bendtner, Vela & Eduardo. Thank God we got all that money for Adebyebye!!!!!

  8. Xabier
    August 12, 2009 at 6:03 pm #

    @slowmotion: congrats.

    your opinion is that they aren’t world class. But if the bench-mark of world-class is to play at international standard then all but Silvester are world-class. xD

    As for Vermaelen. If Wenger spent 10 million on the lad, the most he’s ever, ever, ever paid for a cb, he is going to be good. Compare almost every other defencive signing Wenger has made. All good bargains. This one, he went all out. Thus Vermaelen is going to be one special, special talent.

  9. BendyTheViking
    August 12, 2009 at 6:10 pm #

    You must be having a right old laugh. Reason to buy a new centre back? We are two injuries away from having to play that used tampon Silvestre who might actually be the WORST defender in the premier league. He is an absolute calamity, worse then Cygan and that is saying something. In addition, Song is needed in midfield and to count him as a centre back is moronic at best and damn right dangerous at worst. Song moves to the back then we have to play Denilson in the holding role. A team with Silvestre and Song at the back and Denilson shielding them is not a team that will go very far. In addition, Djourou is extremely young and you assume a lot to think an inexperienced, young centre back is going to remove his lapses in concentration. In addition, Djourou constantly picks up little knock. Vermaelen might turn out to be the read deal, but he is untested. Gallas is fantastic and he is the only WOLRD CLASS centre back at the club. To say we have four is asbsolute ridiculous. It seems like you are trying to fit square pegs in round holes. Bottom line is we have only three centre halfs and only on of which is world class. Djourou and Vermaelen and young and inexperienced and cannot complain about not starting. Gallas need a suitible patner and Silvestre needs to never play ever again. At this point not buying an older, premier league experienced defender would be a complete dereliction of duty. If we have the hope of winning anything this season then we need to invest in another centre back to partnet Gallas and provide stability and depth.

  10. Daniel O
    August 12, 2009 at 6:24 pm #

    Thanks for the write up. Though you started so well but spoilt it at the end. Gallas, Djourou, Varmealen and Song are people we can afford to go with. To mention Sylvestre in your write up is like a bitter pill for me.

    We were dumped from Carlings Cup, FA, CL last season all because of Sylvestre. It hurts me that Wenger still has him in his plan. His attempt on our goal in the emirate cup is a sign of what to expect.

    Arsenal will not win anything if Wenger intends to Play Sylvestre and Fabianski at any time this season.

    However, whether Arsenal WIN, LOSE OR DRAW, I AM A GUNNER FOR LIFE.

  11. Ryan
    August 12, 2009 at 6:30 pm #

    Hi John,
    Great article, I agree that we have enough central defenders however I disagree with your choice of centre backs.

    Those achievements quoted for Silvestre are generous considering he had little to do with a number of them. His age is showing and he is clearly not a good enough cover and in my opinion he is not someone I feel I can rely on. The same applies with Senderos.
    I think since Gallas was stripped of his captaincy he played fantastically and in my opinion is still a word class defender, however he is still without a worthy partner.
    I think you are relying on Djourou far too heavily and while I agree he is talented, I wouldn’t put him up against the best strikers in the world. I am confident Vermaelen will do well however he is approaching his first season in the EPL and while I’m sure he has potential, I doubt he is a superstar just yet.

    I think Arsenal need to purchase a new centre back and perhaps sell Senderos to Everton. I believe Brede Hangeland would be an adequate partner for Gallas however he is cup tied, probably over-priced and not Arsene Wenger’s typical signing. If by the off-chance we did sign him, that would leave us with Gallas and Hangeland starting and Vermaelen and Djourou as covers, allowing Song to play in midfield and fall back when necessary. I would feel a lot better with this defensive lineup.

  12. censored
    August 12, 2009 at 6:38 pm #

    Im still not convinced by our CBs, it is hardly being strengthened by the departure of Toure and with the new Vermaelen needing more time to gel into the Arsenal style of playing I doubt our defence will improve significantly next season. My opinion is to sell Senderos and buy Hangeland. Not only is he a proven CB, he is also a leader for his country.

    Also, I think our DM is still not commanding enough. Look at the way Atletico Madrid ripped out such rockets from our open midfield area. The amount of space they exploited was obscene. Therefore, AW should look to strengthen the midfield area. Our midfield is far too inexperienced and they will barely survive the test of tough away fixtures.

    Lastly, I feel this Chamakh guy is totally desperate to join Arsenal. However if we do sign him i fear he could do the same thing to Arsenal as to Bordeaux when big clubs come knocking. I feel Kalou would be a much better signing.

    Arsenal will not win the league with this squad, we have gotta strengthen these areas. Last season has exposed our weaknesses, AW should look to improve these areas not weaken them!

  13. rayman
    August 12, 2009 at 6:39 pm #

    Sorry John, I agree with the numbers of CBs needed but can’t agree that having one of Song, Silvestre and possibly Senderos as back up is good enough for us.

    I really like Djourou but he has a terrible injury record, Gallas is getting on a bit and so prone to injury, Vermaelen should be ok, looks strong and young enough but could pick up injuries in his first year in the premiership because we play more games with fewer rests between games than in Holland. So I believe we will need to call on our back up CBs a lot.

    I think Senderos should be ahead of Silvestre (althoygh I don’t rate Senderos either but at least he is young and could improve) and if Senderos goes we definitely need another CB. Silvestre should be nowhere hear the Arsenal first team – way too slow and despite his experience prone to lapses of concentration. Song is needed in midfield (can’t beleive I am saying this – what a fucking state we are in!), sods law says that when a few CBs are injured that Cesc and Denilson will be out too leaving us with a CM pairing of Diaby and Ramsey, with Song at CB behind them? Still feel that a challenge for the title is likely, I certainly don’t.

  14. voley_gun
    August 12, 2009 at 6:45 pm #

    I agree with your comments John.I am sure they are world class.It’s not that ManU alone has the best defence to compare with and our defence needs to fit well to our playing style.Even i believe ManU defenders may perform bad if they don’t fit ManU style of play.

    The big problem is injuries for us and not quality of players at any position in the park.

  15. White Ox
    August 12, 2009 at 6:53 pm #

    This is a good argument well written John and I must admit your reasoning goes a long way to why I am hoping for a midfield signing as opposed to a defensive one. Far too young and lightweight in mdfield for mine (and in any case that’s where a lot of defensive problems start).

    To play devil’s advocate to you though I would point out this will be Gallas’ last season at the club (does anyone honestly see him signing a new contract?) and on form he is comfortably the best defender at the club. If there is a world class CB to be had at the deadline, even if the fee and wages are high, the opportunity may not come around before the start of next season. As a club we would be foolish to neglect this problem now especially if it can be avoided.

    Would a signing knock JD20 back down the pecking order? Probably. Is that a bad thing? Not sure because if he’s good enough his quality will come through anyway. (Did Spanish just ban me from this blog for knocking his favourite player? Um…)

    Otherwise excellent post and I hope the responses are positive enough for you to post again because I’m really enjoying this concept on the blog.

  16. ignatz
    August 12, 2009 at 6:56 pm #

    Silvestre is NOT worse than Cygan. Not even close.

    I remember he marshalled Drogba pretty well during the Chelski drubbing, which indicates he’s at least got the edge on Big Phil. His decision-making is very good, he knows when to challenge for the first ball or wait for the second. He reads crosses and passes well. His concentration is good. Sometimes his positioning is suspect. Having played at left-back he’s OK going forward.

    Gooners despise him cos he’s a “Manc Reject” – but that says to me that you trust Ferguson’s judgement over Wenger’s. The needs of our two squds were very different- Ferg had to lose some older players to make room for the new; Wenger had to find some experience from somewhere.

    When you look at our defensive personnel one by one, they all pass muster. TEAMS score goals, and TEAMS stop goals. Defenders don’t stand a chance if the players in front of them let them down. Our defensive problems last season started up front with Adebayor and vP, carried on through middies like Walcott, Diaby, Vela and – yes – Fabregas. When we were up against good sides like Man U and the Chavs, we allowed them too much possession in good positions and practically invited them to score.

    Man U had a great back four last season, but they also had grafters like Carrick, Fletcher, Anderson, Park and Giggs in front of them.

    You know who our biggest defensive loss was? Hleb. The ball stuck to that guy like glue, he rarely wasted a pass and he always had the other team on the back foot. He always tracked back too. He gave us the platform to both defend and attack.

    Arsenal defend best by a) keeping the ball, and when that fails, by b) overwhelming the opposition in midfield, closing them down, threatening to nick possession and score on the break, making the opposition play much more conservatively. None of that happened last season.

    Right, got that little lot off my chest….

  17. iceman
    August 12, 2009 at 7:04 pm #

    Unless we want to fall over on our faces as we do every season, we must buy a kick ass centre back, whether it is Hangeland, Subotic or Tony Adams! We have the best attacking force in world football but always have the sword of Damacles hovering over our heads and the other clubs know (e.g. Everton) that if they get a bit physical we crack. I don’t know much either about Vermaelen, but guess that he is technically gifted as is almost every Arsene signing. But is he a John Terry? Like him or not, he is their Tony, a win or die merchant who we haven’t had since Vieira. This also is an area we need to stiffen up. I am hoping that all Gunners fans get the much awaited signing(s) they crave, or this season – unless injury free, might be a nail-biter again.

  18. Ole Gunner
    August 12, 2009 at 7:07 pm #

    Pundits have set so many people for a fall. All this talk of commanding midfielders and centre halfs is 90% NONSENSE.

    Wake up Arsenal fans. There’s not one player anywhere who’ll singlehandedly command a midfield. The obssession with height is worth close to nothing.

    If you boil down Arsenal’s football to those 2 things, you’re completely out of sync with what the game is about.

    The truth is that Arsenal will sink or swim on how well the team defends, especially players like Cesc, RVP & Arshavin.

  19. G4L_Harry
    August 12, 2009 at 7:21 pm #

    John, interesting article and at least you are trying to put a positive spin on Arsenal unlike most fans at the moment.
    Reading some comments here and on other sites, it is clearly obvious some people only watch highlights, ok some are geographically challenged like your self and i accept you’ll rarely get to go games, which is a shame, you cannot beat watching it live. I have supported and been going to the Arsenal for 40 Years now, I went to some 75% of home games last season and some away, I also goto the Carling Cup matches always and occasionally get to see youth matches, so I have seen first hand the talent we have tucked away.
    Getting back to your article, where you would have been better balancing your argument was against the “Priority – CB v DM”.
    I dont necessarily agree with all you say, but yes 3 decent CB’s plus two stand ins as long as all 3 main ones arent out at the same time and thats the gamble….
    Both Gallas and Djourou are injury prone… Djourou has returned from international duty already with an injury. Also from comments i have read about vermaelen he is injury prone as well, but i cant back that up. Song is in my opinion so much better as a CB than in midfield, wenger even said this himself 2 summers ago, that song wouldnt last a season of 65 games in midfield.. He reads the game better from the back, he is more comfortable on the ball and his positional sense is better.
    I understand everyones frustration with silvestre, and I wont make comment but to say he is way down the pecking order… I would rather see ayling or bartley come in from the reserves……
    Where we lack is in midfield, a tenacious, fiery and “”very busy”” player, someone to put himself about, break play up and push the ball to our talented players..
    Song does a half decent job and is getting better at it, but he doesnt relax in the middle, also he isnt a dynamic enough player for that role, ie busy-snappy, he might be better this season who knows, but i want someone who is going to snap at anyone who comes close to our box. Diaby has alot of the attributes we need and was seen as the answer a couple of seasons ago, but he has been injury prone as well and never had a decent run in the side. Maybe this year he will prevail?
    Rosicky getting another injury hasnt helped either, he is a world class player, who has alround abilities, he gets stuck in as well and shoots!!!
    If i could pick a player I would go and buy right now, it would be vincent kompany, can play either dm or cb, covering both arguements.
    papers today are linking us again with subotic at dortmund, heard some good reviews as a Cb, if he comes in senderos will defo go to everton, if he doesnt then i think senderos will stay until xmas, maybe….
    Wenger will buy one or the other DM or CB, I would prefer a DM……

  20. voley_gun
    August 12, 2009 at 7:25 pm #

    @ignatz

    It’s true that Hleb was providing us a comfort for both attack and defense which we missed last season.Especially in case of tough games our defense tends to push the ball too quick to midfield succumbing to pressure.

  21. G4L_Harry
    August 12, 2009 at 7:25 pm #

    Oh for OM at 5.44.

    I like your comment about the physio, well we changed our head physio last season, gary was taken over by his brother colin lewin. And since Xmas we have had a new club doctor, although he spent 2or3 months away with the lions tour. Now he is back and fully committed to us, hopefully he can sort this injury jinx out………

  22. anicoll5
    August 12, 2009 at 8:02 pm #

    Interesting article John and thank you for that;

    I am in the “let’s buy Hangeland” camp simply because he seems to be a leader in the box, and while Gallas and Djourou are good footballers we lack that central character(for want of a better word) to marshal the defence.

    Whether Arsene is seriously interested in Hangeland Gawd knows – he has made a rod for his own back however with his comments concerning signing a new central defender in Jan/Feb

  23. enemyairships
    August 12, 2009 at 8:31 pm #

    One of the recurring events of our past three or four seasons is that our defence hasn’t been good enough and has leaked more goals than the teams around us in the league. Also, towards the end of the season we seem to be hit by a plague of injuries that see us lining up with makeshift back fours who never have time to establish themselves together.

    By signing Verm and selling Toure, I don’t think we have solved this problem. If you are pinning hopes on Djourou and Song being decent CBs, I don’t think that’s good enough considering it’s almost a guarantee that they’ll be featuring in a lot of games together towards the end of the season and both players need to make another ‘step up’. If it takes the two of them another season to adjust and Gallas gets an injury, then we’re looking paper thin at the back.

    Chelsea, Liveprool and Man Utd have rock solid defensive partnerships, whereas we do not, and our best defender seems to have the brain of a 16 year old boy in spite of his experience. I think our defence will let us down again this year.

  24. Solomon Kebede
    August 12, 2009 at 9:29 pm #

    Dear Freinds,

    It is a sad news for Arsenal F.C. fans that Djouru has injured. This time, for Arsen Wenger to think of the Fuluham Defender.

    Best wishes to Arsenal FC

    Solomon

  25. censored
    August 12, 2009 at 10:28 pm #

    god dam it arsenal will have a repeat of last season, the board simply wouldn’t release funds for wenger. Its ridiculous, id rather the club be financially less stable than having barren runs lasting 5 excruciating years!

  26. butterfingers
    August 12, 2009 at 10:33 pm #

    The best thing is we play a good team on the 1st day and 1-0 over everton with our thin squad will look better than a 5-0 win for manure against the brummies but it won’t look like that in the papers and nothing can be judged till xmas as hull was in the top 4-6 last season by xmas and look at the final day of the season. It will be a great season to watch and as much as I want us to do the treble or go unbeaten I really don’t think it will happen for a long while when all the big spender owners like the ambromavics, glaziers and saudis loose interest. we will be laughing with the youth set up arsne did and have wilshere, thomas and gibbs setting records and all these BIG clubs ending up like leeds and so on.
    @ sf (can’t get it out of my head mate) 3 more sleeps yay.

  27. Xabier
    August 12, 2009 at 10:41 pm #

    Thanks ignatz and Ole for being some of the only voices of reason amongst all the rest of that doom garbage.

  28. anicoll5
    August 12, 2009 at 11:08 pm #

    No Solomon it is not bad news for Arsenal fanms that Johann Djourou is injured, it is bad news for Swiss fans

    It is – arguably – rather good news for Arsenal fans that a young player has the good sense to withdraw from his national side rather than play while injured – which normally results in a longer lay off.

    As far as I have heard Djourou is not ruled out at Goodison

    RvP are you watching and learning ?

  29. RVP-The next RVP
    August 13, 2009 at 1:15 am #

    @ panda bear- do you plan on getting a refund from bendtner he says hes promising to refund every fan who bought a shirt with his name and the number 26 because he changed his kit number to 52: http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2009/aug/12/nicklas-bendtner-arsenal-shirt-number-refund

  30. Rooiseun
    August 13, 2009 at 1:37 am #

    it really doesn’t matter whether AW buys players or not, one or two players will not change this team around. i know some fans have mentioned this before but it still seams like the majority is looking for a miracle.
    Arsenal players do not defend as a team and thats is the problem. i’m not sure if AW can not see that or he just doesn’t care about defending. Man U made it with Carrick and Fletcher in the middle because those guys track back. the CL semi is a good example, even Rooney was defending with Evra at the back. the 4-4 game against Lpool is another example. the last goal we conceded was pathetic. it should not matter whether you have Silvestre or JTerry as your CB in the last minutes all players need to help out in the defence.

  31. GunnerBoss
    August 13, 2009 at 2:22 am #

    mmmmmmmmmm
    No signings yet?

  32. GunnerBoss
    August 13, 2009 at 2:24 am #

    @IGNATZ – way to go

  33. GunnerForever
    August 13, 2009 at 2:44 am #

    A better defensive midfielder alongside Fabregas would be a nice addition. Someone tall and muscular that can provide aggression and height at midfield. As for defenders, only time can tell whether Vermaelen is really good or not (hopefully he is). I think Djourou is not there yet. A world class defender is still in need.

  34. ALGunner
    August 13, 2009 at 2:47 am #

    Hmmm….one more possible AW target is gone that is Cattermole that to Sunderland. If you go by source Marouane Chamakh may me heading to Wham. Lets just hope Arsenal will get the fourth place. This seems to be quite realistic to me. Never doubted the commitment and quality of the team. But most of the backup player for arsenal or first team player are not ready for the big stage they are quite young. In the past two year our squad has been trimmed. As far i know we have not even purchased the same number of player we have sold in this two year. This year also we are gambling with this squad i just hope we get fourth place.

  35. theicehammer
    August 13, 2009 at 3:46 am #

    Could someone rewrite me a short version of that opening article. Sorry i just dont have the stamina to finish it. Gallas is a world class defender, his record speaks for itself. There is parts of his game that is even better than Rio’s. His main floor might be that he wants to win so much that he sulks and moans if things go wrong. Roy Keane was also like that and people put it down to his winning mentality. Gallas by far Arsenals best defender. I have no idea how good or poor Vermaelen is as i have never seen him play. Could be injured at present. Djourou has a long way to go as he is so young. Seems to pick injuries to often which is a problem for Arsenal. Shows lots of potential. Arsene should never have sold Kolo and it will come back to bite him in the rear. The rest are not worth talking about yet.

  36. theicehammer
    August 13, 2009 at 4:08 am #

    I must say, the comments made by u all are of the best and well thought out comments i have ever read since i started blogging on this site. Wether i agree or not almost everyone is talking common sense. Very constructive. Keep it up people.

  37. Anonymous
    August 13, 2009 at 4:21 am #

    Rubbish comments. How come Vermaelen and Djourou be considered world-class. Gallas was during his prime but not now.

  38. theicehammer
    August 13, 2009 at 4:24 am #

    IGNATZ, masterfully written article. Your comment show that you really have done your homework. I enjoy how engaging and enlightening your knowledge of football tactics and format is. Almost makes me feel that Wenger is slightly an enigma.

  39. theicehammer
    August 13, 2009 at 4:43 am #

    Going off to watch the England game. By the way Ashley Cole is in the best form of his life, it must be said. He could always attack but his defending is now first class. News flash from Talk Sport, Wenger will be signing a CB from fulham by Friday.

  40. shambogunner
    August 13, 2009 at 4:57 am #

    @ignatz,nice one bro except the whole sylvestre is better than cygan bit, hes not even better than stepanovs…to say he performed wel on drogba durin our HOME DRUBBING is hilarous as drogba wasnt arsed after the whole barca ref rant and he was just strollin around..aswel as,wel the fact that it was a drubbing and hes a def.he backed off for 20 yards for anelkas opener that day and if i remember correctly he did the same for jenas’s goal in the 4-4 game….face it bro hes crap he backs off too much and hes easy beat for pace as david villa displayed sat nite…ur bang on wit everytin else tho,fair play!
    as some1 already stated we dont hav 1 world class def although i would say gallas’s attitude after the captaincy was taken from him and his performances since hav been top notch…hes a huge player for us.vermaelen may be a top player in time but as for jd i just dont know wher all these people who claim him to be the next big thing get their info from, the guy has achieved and proved nothin of note so far and once again alot of people are takin the boss’s lack of transfer interest in players of this position as a sign that the dude has secret powers that will be revealed this season…the fact is i just dont think we hav the funds and im gutted but we must soldier on….come on arsenal
    hello ice hammer and gunnerboss how u dudes keepin

  41. RVP-The next RVP
    August 13, 2009 at 7:03 am #

    apparently according to the Norwegian tabloids, fulham and Hangeland have agreed a deal with arsenal….according to the ITV commentator of tofays Norway Vs. Scotland game he said thats the story that all the sports journalists in Norway are breaking tomorrow

  42. georgetown gooner
    August 13, 2009 at 7:14 am #

    xabier your banging on about being the voice of reason amongst the doom garbage but on what basis can you see us being better than last season considering we,ve bought 1 defender and sold 1 defender and a striker whilst already losing players from a wafer thin squad to injury. last season our biggest problem was we conceded more goals than the top 3 teams and were over run in midfield on numerous occasions especially against cheslski at home in the league and manure home and away in the cl since then whats changed???

  43. theicehammer
    August 13, 2009 at 7:56 am #

    Shambo, excuse my absents mate but ive been watching England v the Neverlands. Parts of Englands performance was like preseason, lacking in sharpness. Two mistakes by Rio and Barry were punished by the Dutch. The three best players on the pitch were the subs who were introduced at the beginning of the second half. J Milner, J Defoe and C Cole. Defoe got himself a brace. There were seven westham players on the pitch at one time. Didn’t we also win the 66 world cup. Ha ha. By the way Shambo your comments are bang on again home boy! Come on England. I haven’t anything more to add as we all know to well the situation and are all waiting for new developments. If it does not happen by Saturday i fear it will never happen. Heres to good football. Peace out.

  44. theicehammer
    August 13, 2009 at 7:58 am #

    What are the other gooner blog sites.

  45. Gibbs
    August 13, 2009 at 8:03 am #

    John i have to disagree, we do need another CB. Silvestre is an awful defender and he’ll be just 2 injuries away from being in the starting lineup, thats not good at all. There rumours that we’re gona sign Hangeland before saturday, i really hope its true he is the big commanding CD we’ve been asking for. Make it happen Arsene.

  46. Spanish Fry
    August 13, 2009 at 8:23 am #

    @ RBP – Hahah, I just called Panda to let him know about the shirt. He’s not happy, not happy at all. Bendtner is one seriously weird character, the longer we hold onto him the more fun we’ll have as a club! 🙂

  47. ozziearsenal
    August 13, 2009 at 8:37 am #

    Hi guys just read a match report France V Faroe islands Gallas had a shocker a game to forget ,he got beaten on a number of headers etc. and Sagna wasnt at is best I hope fingers X its not 2 in a row Everton next {T. Cahill} who scored 2 for Australia overnight

  48. Spanish Fry
    August 13, 2009 at 8:42 am #

    @ ozziearsenal – How good was Australia’s win? World Cup, here we come.

  49. GunnerBoss
    August 13, 2009 at 8:51 am #

    @SHAMBO – I think we have cash….wat up mate?
    @ICE?

    Yeah ENGLAND and HOLLAND showed some real class today. FRANCE is way too petty and almost drew with their match.Did you guys see GIGNAC?

  50. ozziearsenal
    August 13, 2009 at 8:54 am #

    Great to see young players comming through there not big names but where a team looks go for improvement over the comming year Spanish

  51. GunnerBoss
    August 13, 2009 at 9:14 am #

    @SHAMBO – Excellent post….but I know we have cash. For Christ’s sake, we do

  52. GunnerBoss
    August 13, 2009 at 9:18 am #

    @SHAMBO – Pls tell me we do

  53. Darragh Murray
    August 13, 2009 at 10:19 am #

    Are you kidding? – they definitely need another centre back!

  54. Anonymous
    August 13, 2009 at 3:34 pm #

    I’ve been watchin alot of Ajax games from last season and I really rate vermaelan he was top class in all the games I saw I really think he will step up in the epl (knock on wood) I think we will do fine in the back line jd has a gr8 teacher in galass and I’ll be happy with who ever plays in the cb position out of the three. Guys don’t panic, just a quick question how many goals did we concide last year in the pl and who had the least.
    And hell yeah AUSTRALIA played really well, played Ireland off the park Timmy was AWESOME hope he doesn’t carry that form into this weekends game.

  55. KURUPT
    August 13, 2009 at 3:36 pm #

    Above^^^^^ posted by KURUPT

  56. barihona samson
    August 13, 2009 at 7:05 pm #

    Premier league is back. let us wait to see wenger suffering for because of his mistakes. Am really not optimistic in our current squad.

  57. jay-jay
    August 14, 2009 at 6:41 am #

    After reading that I understand why you think that but I do not agree. Gallas is a superb CB and he is defo start. Djourou and Vermaelen are the 2 that will partner him but lets face it they are not the 2 names that spring to mind if you think of a dream premier league defence! They arent even on the subs bench in that team. Whilst I think Djourou and Vermaelen still have the role in the squad to play I feel with Senderos leaving and Silvestre being useless, we need to sign another CB. I have a feeling Djourou will be a superb CB this year and go infront on Vermaelen in the pecking order. But with injuries/suspensions and 4 competitions, we will want to rest our players so I think a CB needs to be signed.

  58. jeremy scott adidas
    June 6, 2012 at 8:56 am #

    we really know how big they can get? In 2009 NASA told us to be wary of solar storms, and warned of the dangers to America’s ancient overloaded power grid. Being without power for a few months, in the developed world, is a lot more serious than most people realise.

  59. jeremy scott adidas
    June 6, 2012 at 9:02 am #

    America’s ancient overloaded power grid. Being without power for a few months, in the developed world, is a lot more serious than most people realise.

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