Arsenal Defensive Vacancy: Cloggers Need Not Apply

Arsene’s admission that Sebastien Squillaci’s injury may force him to dip into the office petty cash to look for a new centre back has led to renewed speculation in certain quarters that Sol Campbell is going to return to Arsenal.

To my mind that raises one question: what hold over certain journalists does he have? There are any number of English centre backs that could be championed but no, they have to shout loudlest for a player whose lack of long term fitness has been so cruelly exposed this season that he does not get into Newcastle’s first team any more.

I am sure that in the next few days as the injury situation becomes clearer, targets will be emerging. The usual English targets will be murmured as will Mertesacker and the continental European players whose constant linkage to Arsenal is the football equivalent of the first cuckoo of Spring.

Some of the names such as Mertesacker and Jagielka, I do not have an issue with. Both are ball-playing centre backs, who would fit into the Arsenal side technically but please spare us the pleadings for a six foot eight clogger who might well win everything in the air, land and sea but knows sod all about what to do with the ball once a tackle has been won.

Whatever the case is, Wenger is in an awkward position. If Squillaci’s hamstring is not as bad as feared, does it signal that there is a bigger problem coming? With Vermaelen on the road to recovery but surely not going to be playing week in, week out, for a month or two, should he be signing a centre back in any case to ensure depth in the squad.

The nationality will be important for once but not the future of the English game, just making sure that he is keeping with the Premier League rules. For that reason, I suspect any signing will be English as it is less complicated for now and upcoming seasons.

Whether it is necessary or not will become clearer today as the Frenchman is assessed. For Ipswich though, there must be a strong chance that Miquel will get to make his debut, preserving fitness the key for Djourou who will surely be rested.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on January 10, 2011, in Arsenal, Carling Cup, FA Cup, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 255 Comments.

  1. I would prefer someone with PL experience but needs must.

  2. Yogi, do you categorise Samba as a 6′ 8″ clogger? A bit unfair, if so, given his abilities as a makeshift centre forward. Also long term he wouldnt be in the way of a Djourou/Vermaelen partnership which looks a good bet.

    Anyone know how tall Miquel is?

  3. Miquel is likely above 6 ft surely!

  4. To sign Cahill or Samba would cost money.Sol comes free.It would be a stupid signing.To sign a 36 year old who cant get into the Barcodes side is utter madness but he comes cheap.What about spending some of the £56m profit

  5. Not sure about Samba he always looks cumbersome in defence

  6. Andy why not wait and see before mouthing off.

  7. It’s all a bit strange… Squillaci with a “small hamstring injury” + Vermaelen due back end of January gives the strong chance of us waking up on Feb 1 with 5 fit centrebacks – if we are to buy. Mind you… fixtures are coming thick and fast now with the replay and the League Cup and the Champs League and the snow backlash. Basically – I wouldn’t say no to a shiny new centreback… it would mean we could be very careful with TV5.

    I agree on Jagielka and Mertesacker. Both nice, tidy footballers… both good pros. Though if we were to go German I’d prefer a younger model… Hummels of Dortmund? But then he is sitting top of the Bundesliga so that won’t happen.

    I like James Collins of Villa and Aaron Hughes at Fulham if we’re talking Prem experience. Though neither are English.

    Outside the Premiership I like Douglas of Twente… but that’s just me playing Champ Manager.

    I suppose with Micah Richards ‘wanting first team football’… and them needing to clear some squad space… and him being an Arsenal fan… surely he’ll be linked. The fact that he can play right back helps his cause too.

  8. Andy’s sentence construction reminds me of someone else who used to comment on here. Cannot think who it was though.

  9. What dull boy you are andy.

    I’m sure Arsene will sign the person who he thinks will do the job. I very much doubt that it will be Sol and if he needs to spend he will but spare us the ‘profit’ bollocks. Have you read and understood none of the eloquent posts on this matter here, and elsewhere, in the last six months?

    Do you get all you ‘knowledge’from the Mail and Mirror?

  10. LA could we afford Richard’s wages though?

  11. Surely Bartley would be a sounder bet that MIguel, as promising as he sounds?

    two seasons in the championship, plaudits all round, and an away start in the CL…could hit the ground running more than MIguel I’d have thought

  12. for me there is only 1 bring bk bartly he has beein doin realy well wot is the point in doin this youth thing if we r not going to use them he would only be used as cover have kos and jd then him and song as cover bring in denilson for some more game time i know he not a lot of poeple cou of tea but he dose a job very well get the ball a give it to jack or fab wot more do we need and bartly is english and can play abit to o it would cost any thing to so wenger would be happy, i stilll think that he should have gone and got cahill in the summer buy o well

  13. Hm… I suppose he’d have to take a cut wherever he goes, dups… if he’s serious about furthering his career.

  14. I think Miquel may start as the competition is over two legs, and therefor less of a risk to play him.

    But I dont think that will happen as when talking about vermealen and Squillaci injuries he mentioned that he would only have 2 centre backs left, that is Koscielny and Djourou.

    I think if he had the choice he would want to bring Bartley back but that cant happen (stupid contract, why do we give loans away without chance of recall).

    As we have Bartley and Miquel as back up in the comming seasons he will again go for an older defender if he does on a short term deal.

  15. I thought of Bartley… I suppose it depends on whether or not we stipulated a recall clause in the loan contract… and whether AW and the scouts think he’s ready… they’ll have been watching him.

  16. We cant get Bartley back as his terms of the loan state he CANT BE RECALLED. He can only play for us if Sheffield United agree to give him up, I doubt as he has been a real star for them this season.

    Maybe we could offer Miquel and JET on loan as bait.

  17. I would definately want us to go for Mertesacker. The only problem is that he is cup tied for Champions Leaague after playing with Werder Bremen.

  18. Nothing wrong with having 5 centre halves. George Graham used to hoarde them for fun (Bould, Adams, Keown, Linighan, O’Leary), so never ran out of them. If Wenger lands a top, long-term prospect this month, and everyone else becomes fit and available, we could always move Squillaci on in the summer.

  19. Delia---Block 112

    There are a lot of ifs and buts concerning TR5 and Squillaci’s injuries and how soon can we expect them to be back in the squad . I expect AW to use Song at CB and utilise young Jack or hopefully Ramsey as DMF. It’s taking a big risk not to bring in PL reinforcements but we know our leader only too well!
    As always COYRs

  20. Richards has been found wanting when playing centre-back, although that is his original position and maybe a change of club could help him get his career back on track. I wouldn’t want to see the club stump up £15m+ for Cahill and I don’t think Wenger would do it anyway, he’s way overpriced. Calling back Bartley from his loan appears to be the best way out of this, he could provide some cover while getting the odd game in the first team would help him even more than playing in the Chapionship.

  21. What about Nordveit? after all the promise why just let the lad leave. Was a bit shocked on that news, anybody have any inside info??

  22. The other weay of course would be to sign someone to do the Song role in midfield and move him back to cover until Squliiaci and Vermaelen recover. And before anyone jumps in, Denilson is not the answer.

  23. I don’t think we should have sold Nordtveit.

    The guy had experience at right-back, defensive-midfield and is a natural centre-back. As we really only need cover at the moment he would have been a good candidate for promotion to the first team. As it is I’d still prefer promoting someone like Bartley, rather than be fleeced in the January transfer window.

    What I really don’t want to see is Song being dropped back. He is too important to our midfield.

  24. ChrisGoona, all I know is what is on the official site. He wanted regular football and Wenger felt we had enough cover at Centre-Back and Full-Back. Whoops.

  25. Delia—Block 112

    Instead of pointing the blame at the manager before anything is done transfer wise, did you not consider that January is a time of the season where nobody really wants to lose their best players. Getting a Cahill, Richards, Mertsecker etc may sound all well and easy for you, but the other clubs will be reluctant to sell.

    Try not mouthing off first people. I trust Wenger will find cover, he knows better than anyone how many players he needs to go the season.

  26. Come on, Arsene, bring in The Defence Pole. He was the outstanding centre back at the World Cup, and we have already had a bid rejected in the summer.

  27. Markus

    Nobody knew Vermaelen would continually get setback after setback. Going into the season we were well prepared and most teams in the Premiership will be rather envious of us having 5 Cb’s.

    In that I include: Vermaelen, Koscielny, Squillaci, Djourou, Nordveit.. + Song if need be

  28. What about Bould?

  29. Richards did film himself on his mobile phone ‘roasting’ a girl with his mate, giving the news of the world a front page to sour my sunday (not least because my couisin insists on buying it). Now I dont want to judge, and far be it for me to impugn on the nobility of roasting, its the mobile phone and those ghastly faces he was pulling that are forever etched into my memory. Curse the tabloids.But from a fans perspective I’d find it difficult to chear him on without seeing that face. If we were to sign him I hope he never fucking scores.

    I admire all of Collins, Jagielka and Mertesacker and although a Campbell aquisition would seem like something out of the twilight zone, football’s a funny old game. Its easy to forget that 7 months ago he was our very best player for more than one game and showed tremendous desire and drive perhaps he lacks at Newcastle. Just because he can’t get into the team there does not nesceserily mean he can’t again do an outstanding job for us.

    Should we get a new centreback it’s going to be incredibly difficult for le boss to keep everyone happy when all return to fitness. Djourou is looking like a different animal, Koscielny has shown tremendous promise and needs games, TV5 was one of our star performers last season and will expect to be first choice if he continues in the same vein of form, Squillaci probably expected a little bit of bench time when he signed which would suggest that ‘speculative new centreback’ should likeley expect the same.

  30. What did ACLF think of Sanchez Watt’s performance for Leeds?
    Not trying to form a judgement off seventy odd minutes. Looked a good/fun contest against Gibbs before his substition.

  31. I think we should sign Howard Webb, he can defend, he can attack he can take the opposition out of the game with his decision making and he can buy you time when there doesn’t seem to be any.The only sticking point is how much would united want for him?

  32. I would not be too keen on Mertesacker to be honest. He is dominant in the air, but very imobile; think Sol in 5 years time. It is a tricky decision for Arsene, but if we are to buy he should go for a top quality CB and worry about having 5 defenders (should everybody be fit) in Feb.

    I don’t think Bartley will be recalled. I remember reading an interview with Wenger where he said that we never put recall clauses into loans.

  33. Chrisophe Berra, Nedum Onuoha, Jonny Heitinga (latter two double up as D**Ms)

    …thing is there are so few defenders in the Premiership that are up to scratch technically… it’s all well and good bringing someone in to clear the lines but that doesn’t really cut the mustard in a system that requires centrebacks to step up and play the ball in midfield.

    …So if it happens I reckon it’ll be a classic ‘who?’ jobby from Lige 2. Perhaps even non-league French. Or a street performer from Marseilles…

  34. J*mes is back after the Everton defeat!
    Is the meedjah still in meltdown over the prospect of ‘Arry & Dave?

    Thierry Henry, (who’s he?) has been and will be coaching and training at Arsenal for a bit? Like Pires (& Beckham?) and others before him?
    Fook me what a surprise.
    They’ve obviously need some new coaches at Arsenal.

  35. That does sound pretty traumatic, deano. I had not heard that. Though I’m sure there have been plenty of other swordsman at AFC over the years…

  36. Another issue to consider is that Djourou (one of our two fit defenders) is only just returning from a long term injury lay off. It is not improbable that he will pick up a muscle injury after so long out of the game. Especially if he is forced to play lots of games in a short period of time

  37. ‘please spare us the pleadings for a six foot eight clogger who might well win everything in the air, land and sea but knows sod all about what to do with the ball once a tackle has been won.’

    easy what normal defenders do and just get rid of

    agree with the post and agree with the nationality of the CB..not so much the nationality i suppose but more to do with PL exp..we need a PL cb…english would be a bonus for the reasons you stated..

    i think wenger took a tiny risk with koz and squil..neither knew much about PL and both have been mediocre at best, we need someone who can come in and hit the ground running as the phrase goes..PL exp is essential this time..

  38. I was about to post how much I enjoyed watching Arancha play earlier, Finsbury… but then I got bogged down playing Champ Manager. He is rapid as anything with loads of tricks. Must be a nightmare to play against. A ‘street footballer’ as AW put it.

  39. Kos and Squill have been excellent. Especially Kos. Best ball-playing centreback in the division he is. Like having an extra creative midfielder playing out from the back.

  40. limpar
    disagree with your ‘excellent’ phrasing..more like ok..
    koz has scored 2 own goals gave away three pens and been sent off twice (near enough i think) and its only jan lol
    wouldnt say that was excellent..its fair to say when either play with JD they do alright but when they play together they dont do well at all and i think its down to lack of PL exp.

  41. Wenger will sign Campbell.

    He won’t sign quality defender, a quality cdm and a striker who can shoot outside the box and score goals, because they cost money, and we do know that Wenger don’t like to spend if needed.

    On Saturday you could see that some players are just not good enough and have been at this Club for too long.

    Denilson should be sold as soon as possibe.

    We do have a great 1st eleven, but our bench is weak. Yes, we do have Arshavin, Rosicky, Bendtner, but they play badly.

    Arshavin is wasted on the win, his natural position is behind the striker. He is lazy, I love him as a playerr, but he has gone backwards as a player.

    We need a quality cd( even 2 if Squill is out for many weeks, and I have heard Vermy won’t come till March- John Cross said it on his blog), a quality cdm since if Song is injured we don’t have anyone to play. Just don’t start with Denilson or Eastmond- they are to weak.

    And a striker who can score for fun- Suarez would be welcomed.

    Jan Verthogen from Ajax is a great player, and he can play as a cd, lb or cdm.

    If Wenger fails to add some quality, and we fail to win any trophy this season, he should go.

    Isn’t it sad that we are after Sol and the spuds are after Suarez?


  42. ACLF
    Apologies for the awful typos above.

    “I wish I was a little bit taller”
    Or had better typing skills.

  43. Even if Squillaci recovers at least one of our CBs will have to play three tough games in a week. If he doesn’t recover then both Koscielny and Djourou will have to play all three. Ipswich, West Ham, then the Leeds replay next Tuesday. Good job they’re both young fit lads.

  44. ‘Kos and Squill’ sounds like a childrens programme, they could of been the new Sooty & Sweep

  45. I don’t see what the fuss is all about. If Arsenal buy in a player for defensive cover, it will never be someone they have not scouted before and it will be someone on a short-list already, subject to their club being happy to let them go.

    The scouts don’t wake up on a Monday morning scratching their heads as to suggestions to Wenger on who to sign. The club will already have options who have been scouted and kept in the ‘Just in Case’ folder.

    And they won’t be cloggers only good at clearing their lines. They’ll be ball playing centre backs.

  46. “John Cross said it on his blog?”


  47. and ppl shouldnt forget that if worst comes to the worst arsene can play song at CB…the lads a little bit good there as well i think..

    but that just leaves us abit short in midfield seeing as though hes become a monster there..

    which poses a new question?? do we really need a new CB or a new CM who can do what song can do??

    personally id be happy with both 🙂

    but one of either will do…

  48. Deano, Ferguson would never let us have Howard Webb – much too influential for his side and probably has the most assists for them. Going for Sol again would surely be playing the nostalgia card once too much. Any signing obviously needs to be able to step in straight away but Campbell would probably be several weeks away from match fitness. He is therefore unlikely to be available when we’d need him most. By the time he’d be ready, either or both of Vermaelen and Squillaci could well have returned anyway. A pointless exercise.

  49. Well JonJon, of all our centrebacks he’s won the most ball for us in the air, the most tackles on the ground, played the most passes in the opposition half, had the most touches and won the most duels… he’s part of the reason we’re still on for the quadruple. He’s been a massive success story. He’s one of the most enjoyable, stylish centrebacks you could hope to watch in world football right now… I reckon he’s excellent.

  50. For me the purchase of another defender is quiet tricky. Vermalen will obviously be eased back in so I don’t expect many games for him this season. Djourou obviously has the quality but Wenger is scared of over working him (which is completely reasonable) and so with frenetic amount of games we have he won’t be able to play every games. Koscielny was brought because he has tremendous potential but lacks a bit experience (which is the reason for some of his mistakes). Finally Squillaci was brought for experience and probably would not have had so many games if Verma had not been injured.

    So the question is what kind of buy should Wenger do? A really good defender with the intention to ship squillaci in the summer or a stop gap defender to help our injury crisis?

    In my opinion it is stupid to spend money for a stop gap defender so unless it is a loan deal or a free agent I don’t really see this as a possibility. But will a Cahill, Jagieska, Merstacker or Albiol would agree to come in whitout being first choice? Will Wenger spend more than 10 million for a emergency buy? Difficult choice ahead for Wenger.

  51. whats wrong with having a defender who just defends???
    the problem with having ball playing cbs is that they are not really naturall defenders…they are normally midfielders who have been moved back to the defence..

    we have enough of these type of defender we dont need anymore we just need a defender lol

    does it matter if he can dribble or spot a 90 yard pass???

    defenders are paid to defend..not be playmakers lol

  52. Thierry's Right Foot

    Keep it together lads, things could be a lot worse. Squillaci hasn’t been anywhere near as bad as painted, nor for that matter has Kozcelensysekayi. We’ve only let in a few goals more than the best defences in the league, and much less than most. Not bad at all for effectively our 3rd and 4th choice centre backs, at least one of whom who has ended up in all of our games. Centre backs, as with goalkeepers, tend to make high profile mistakes – they all do.

  53. JonJon

    stop using ‘lol’ like you are bringing something nobody knows to the discussion

    Djourou, Koscielny, Sagna, Vermaelen, Song.. all you will find can defend very impressively.

  54. The Year of the Gooner

    The only defender we should be after is David Luiz! Tall, quick, skillful, Brazilian, can play centre back or left back, young, experienced…expensive for us but who gives a shit! About time we made a statement of intent with a signing! Pick up hazard, the young right back from Zagreb, a centre forword in the summer and sell NB52 and eboue in the summer. Unbeatable then!

  55. JonJon, and use capitals letters when you start a new sentence.

  56. ‘Street footballer’ sounds good to me.

    In hindsight, it’s easy to write that the Damned Leeds Utd. made an error by switching to an occult five man pentagnal point D-Fensive overdrive tactic.
    The tactic of ‘just defending’ after taking off players who were keeping that football thingy in the opponents part of the pitch, for players who could just defend, lol.

    With a choice of a replay or elimination, I wasn’t complaining.

  57. ok limpar if you say so mate…lol
    maybe in a few seasons il agree with you but for now we’ll just have to agree to disagree because i think JD has been more of the success story to be honest..hes been excellent..

  58. If there is a signing they will need to fit into the Arsenal system. We won’t be changing our whole defensive system halfway through a season to accomodate a different type of player. I think he’ll be mobile, quick (or at least quick-ish), good on the ball (particularly in terms of moving the ball on quickly and accurately) and the type of defender who likes to win the ball in front of the striker.

    I just don’t see Metersacker, Samba or players of that type coming in.

  59. james..
    why?? does it matter you can read it cant you??
    we might be signing a cb today and all you wanna talk about is grammer??
    football blog mate not an english exam

  60. I can’t see us signing anybody. Wenger rarely makes knee jerk signings.

  61. JonJon,

    That’s JD who started off as a midfielder of course. The type of defender you object to in an earlier post.

  62. JonJon, that is where you are mistaken, this was a test and you have just failed buddy boy. You must learn to be alert at all times.

  63. cg

    i think u’ll find lol means im laughing..not what you think it means about discussions or whatever..

    im only talking about the CB’s mate and vermys injured in case u missed it..

    todays post is all about gettting a new CB so i dont see where your coming from at all..

  64. To me it seems like the Campbell link is just laziness. There is a world of difference between his last resigning and the situation now. Campbell had trained with us for a few months and shown his fitness. I don’t think the fee came into it really. Wenger would have payed for Campbell’s services last season had he still had the comfort of knowing his fitness levels and obvious commitment to the team. Now however with him bench-warming for Newcastle he probably wont take the risk.

    A few years ago I would have loved Richards to sign but now i’m not too sure. As someone above mentioned his personality seems a little off. With us currently having 4 centrebacks which includes 2 short term injuries. I say don’t splash any cash. Paying over the odd’s for Metersacker or Jagielka would not be what i’d imagine Wenger to do. That would surely mean that Wenger is no longer confident in Bartley and unwilling to wait for Miquel to come of age.

  65. gib.
    eh??? lol
    yeah so…
    i never said i didnt like ball playing cb i just said i didnt mind a defending defender…
    james maybe you are right maybe i should improve my grammer obviously ppl have problems understanding lol

  66. “they are not really naturall defenders…they are normally midfielders who have been moved back to the defence..”

    I’m happy to be wrong but I took the quote above to mean that midfielders who have been moved into defence generally aren’t “defending defenders.” Having said that, I don’t really know what “defending defenders ” means. Is Koscielny one? You can see it in his game that he loves a tackle. He makes a lot more than Djorou does. Does “defending defenders” just mean big?

  67. Have to say I’m a bit puzzled by this whole story as well. Seeing as continuity is about as important as it gets for a defence, I agree with those suggesting that we should negotiate for Bartley to come back for the rest of the season.

    He’d join the bottom rung at 5th choice, which would still guarantee him a few games. Why disrupt the relationship between our current choices by signing a new first choice defender when we’re likely going to have the lot available in just a few weeks? I mean, they’re only just learning to play together as it is.

    It also has to be said that – a rough ride from Tevez aside – Koscielny is looking better and better. The progress is there for all to see, so why risk hampering his development as well?

  68. “I wish I was a little bit taller y’all”

  69. deano, love your very apt observation and analysis.

    If we are to buy a new CB, it has to be a ready-made one. He doesn’t need to be young, just someone who can hold his own and as least as good as the 4 first team CBs we already have. Nationality doesn’t matter as Arsenal has an abundance of home grown players. The only issue is that if we buy, it’s likely to be one born before 1/1-90 and as such, we need to sell at least 2 players before next season starts (at least we can’t list them on the PL list).

  70. heres a few more for you gib u missed these ones

    for now we’ll just have to agree to disagree because i think JD has been more of the success story to be honest..hes been excellent..

    we have enough of these type of defender we dont need anymore we just need a defender

    agree with the post and agree with the nationality of the CB..not so much the nationality i suppose but more to do with PL exp..

    and ppl shouldnt forget that if worst comes to the worst arsene can play song at CB…the lads a little bit good there as well i think..

  71. basically…we have lots of ball playing cbs and i think most ppl would agree that jd and tv are there 1st choice..

    wengers considering buying a new cb so does it really matter if hes bobby more marting keown or chris samba…??

    we just need a CB…who will prob end up 3rd 4th choice who cares if he can over head kick from 40 yards…

    ball player/clogger… who cares we are down to 3 we need another

  72. The campbell link is sheer lazy journalism- a hack who wants to start a debate. There is absolutely no chance Campbell will resign with us! But this defensive crisis may just turn out to be a blessing in disguise- if we make a quality signing. Imagine going into Feb with 5 quality defenders? But buying in Jan is a bitch! No one wants to sell, those who will overprice, player may not settle etc! Then you need to consider the future of the likes of Miguel/Bartley etc! What I would hate to see is Song moving back to CB-he has been brilliant in midfield and would be a massive loss!
    On a side note has Chamakh lost some of his direct play recently in favour of tippy tappy football of late or is it just me?

  73. JonJon,

    I don’t understand your point. I was saying that it was odd for you to call Djorou our best centre back while claiming that converted midfielders don’t make good defenders. It seems like a gap in your logic. I wasn’t suggesting that Johann was a bad player, he isn’t and I’ve long said so.

    I’m slightly baffled by the string of quotes you’ve put there, what are you suggesting I’ve got wrong? Like I said earlier, I’m happy to be wrong if I’ve misunderstood your point.

  74. I only saw your second post after I’d typed mine. So you don’t care what kind of player we get, as long as we get one? I’d like us to sign the best we can as long as he fits into our style of play. It’s no use chucking in Gary Doherty on the basis that he won’t be playing every week.

  75. i never said they dont make good defenders tho gib your just taking one phrase out of about 30 ive said and twisted to suit your arguement..

    what im saying is i dont care who we get..some of the greateset defenders out there can play the same time some of the greatest just like to defend..

    my point is that i dont see any problems in buying a ‘clogger’….it doesnt matter to me i just think we need cover for a fragile position due to injuries… if tv was fit we wouldnt care if squil was injured and we wouldnt be talking about buying a new cb

  76. Highlights of Bartley against Villa are available on the ITV website.

  77. fair play gib

  78. Runebraker, we both made a similar post there. But looked at the pros / cons of the 5th defender very differently. I guess that’s football though, so many ways to look at one situation.

  79. saying that i dont think cahills a ‘ball playing’ cb but i dont think many will frown if we signed him…

    sometimes the best dfensive partnerships are when you get one who likes to just tackle and one who likes to you balance..

  80. james
    you have spelled ‘were’ wrong and londons got a capital L 😉

  81. good player james
    explosive…one of our best performers of the season so far if you check his goals and assists 25 games 9 goals 13 assissts so far..
    not bad for a lazy good for nothing and whatever else ppl have been calling him recently
    hes off colur yes and hes out of the first team yes but he’ll be back
    i hope

  82. Why don’t we buy Senderos?

  83. JonJon, I concur, he’s a great player but a bit of a bell-end.

  84. @ deano | January 10, 2011 at 11:58 am |
    ha ha ha!

    @ Markus
    Quite right, Wenger never spends any money. He gets all his players in exchange for a packet of jammy dodgers and a go on his scooter.

    @ Darius | January 10, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
    Such a sensible comment.

    @ gunnerluc
    I agree that it is a quandary and that AW’s instinctive preference would be for a long-term buy. However, it may be that the emergence of Miquel and Bartley, the new squad size rules and simple lack of availability (it being January) might push him towards a stopgap solution. What do you think?

    @ goonerandy
    It’s not a panic signing in response to a defeat or a loss of form – that is what is usually meant by the expression “knee-jerk signing”. I agree, he never does that. However, he will sign someone IF the injury situation demands it. When Wenger says explicitly that we WILL sign someone, we nearly always do.

    @ gib

  85. hes not a bellend

  86. ‘If I say so’ doesn’t come into, Jonno. Of all the Arsenal centrebacks Koscielny has won the most ball for us in the air and he’s won the most ball for us on the ground and he’s played the most football for us too – in terms of minutes and in terms of passes. Those are facts. But you don’t need stats here… you just need watch him play, he is quality. One of my favourite players to watch. Never really known a defender like him.

  87. All of you criticizing Fabregas get the fuck out of here. He is the captain to speak for the team and on many issues. I was also kind of upset when I read the storey about Denilson in the press but after seeing the video there is nothing in it. It was another way to say you don’t make this kind of mistake when the game is 0:0. It is all about choice of words for Fab. As a captain you have to give interview in calm and heat situations and that exactly what the boy did. Look, I am not sure whether Fab. was angry but I will be upset too if Arsenal 2nd team cannot beat Champ team or loosing 1 nil at home. Fuck off Fab haters.

  88. who would be your 1st choice cb pairing, limpar??
    providing everyone was fit who would you pick??

  89. and for what its worth he does look very promising…does win alot of ball i wont argue with that

  90. and for all the sol campbell talk, personally i dont see any point in taking him back
    we would look rather silly letting him go in summer just to get him back in jan…but saying that i was talking to him just before xmas and he looked fit as a butchers
    very slimline..think hes got another year left in him at top..

  91. Koscielny and Vermaelen for me. I appreciate Djourou has done brilliantly and is probably the best of all at clearing our lines… in fact I’ve been bowled over to tell the truth, at just how well he’s done. But for me, Koscielny is the more complete player. He’s everywhere… he makes goals with his passing and I’d back him to win us the ball back more times out of 10 than Vermaelen even. Having said that I love Djourou’s style… and he plays the piano. I doubt John Terry could tell a piano from a ukelele.

    The more I think about it the less likely it is I think we’ll buy. Miquel for the first leg of the League Cup…

  92. Nothing wrong with what Cesc said in my book. He called it for what it was, a stupid challenge.

    Limpar – I agree that Kos does look a very good defender. Don’t get carried away though; “never seen a defender like him” is a bit much.

  93. TV5 and Djourou for me. Kos an ample replacement for either of them.

  94. ‘ and he plays the piano. I doubt John Terry could tell a piano from a ukelele.’
    tv/jd for me koz can play with either when needed

  95. JonJon

    No point in buying a clogger who hoofs the ball clear of danger every time or cannot be relied upon to use the ball well when defending. You just give the ball away in those circumstances and invite more pressure.


  96. I’ve never seen a defender like him! He defends higher up the pitch than anyone I can think of, he hunts the ball down way deeper into the opposition half than I’ve seen before, and I’ve never seen someone win so many tackles staying on their feet, standing forwards up and just bullying them out of possession by reading what their options are and squeezing them out of it. I also struggle to think of many centrebacks with a better first touch and a better eye for a pass. I’m not getting carried away; there’s lots for him to learn and he needs to be stronger… I’m just calling it how I see it, and I’ve not seen it before.

  97. Cannot see us signing Cahill or for that matter any established PL defenders at all. Expensive, and unlikely to settle for being third/fourth/fifth choice defender (don’t think he’s that good at all) once TV5 is back. Reckon Arsene will find better value elsewhere with a similar profile to SS though I haven’t the faintest idea who or where!

  98. Limpar is it just me (perhaps i’m feeling a bit jaded after all the dooming). But…. if Arsenal had better fans you wouldn’t have to persuade our fans to support Koscielny! He is a fantastic player. It’s great to read the stats, I have to admit I didn’t realise he had the best defensive stats in the squad.

    For a pairing though, I’d go for Johan and Vermealen firstly. I’d like to see how that would work out. Perhaps Koscielny may fit better into the fold, who knows. I would like the defence to be picked as a unit, to see who gel’s the best and can work together best. We have had some great defenders here for a number of years but it hasn’t always come off as well as we would hope for. I think we need the best partnership.

    It’s a fantastic problem for Wenger though. As you say when you start thinking what we have already, why buy anyone else. I’m a big fan or giving Bartley or Miquel the chance.

  99. Limpar – His playing style reminds a bit of Steve Bould. Except the chasing down other players high up the pitch.

  100. @limparassist reading you wax such lyrical on Kos I’m now much tempted to re-watch some of his performances

  101. Koscielny will only improve for the next few seasons. His career has exploded out of nowhere. He has relatively little top flight experience.

  102. yw

    i understand that..i know that some of the best teams in the world have ball playing cb’s
    but from my point of view i doubt wengers going to spend big, not when hes got tv and jd on his books, so the chances are this guys going to end up 4th choice..if there even is a guy 😉 so does it matter if our 4th choice is a ‘clogger’…?? i would have said no and id also say that squil isnt a ball player and hes 4th choice
    also..anyone can pass a ball..its not that hard you get it you give it, any professional footballer can matter where they play and if they cant they are in the wrong job… so although i think a ball player would be nice it wouldnt bother me if wenger signed a player who likes to kick the ball into row z..he’ll still be able to pass it from A to B when needed and sometimes row z is better than trying to pass your way out of trouble becuase if you lose the ball in your own half then the opposition has got less distance to cover to your goal..
    theres pros and cons for both types of defender..a ball player could misplace a pass and lose it in his own box whereas a clogger could kick it 80yards and the pressure would be gone..
    im not bothered what type of defender we sign, IF we sign one
    i just think theres an over emphasis sometimes on ‘cloggers’..defenders are there to defend first and foremost and as long as he can defend anything else is a bonus in my opinion

  103. My concern is how Vermalen or as I call him TVCinq will have been affected by his injury. How many times do you see a player coming back subdued and it takes a fair few months before they get back to their best. It happened to Cesc, Eduardo was the extreme end and now Diabby. Thing is TVCinq may come back soon but there is no guarantee he will slot back in and play to his usual standards. I suspect it will take time to get him match ready mentally.

  104. OOU, Els, & Limpar

    Koscielny and Djourou against Tevez:
    Considering $iteh’s cunning plan, was it the right decision by Koscielny to hassle and harry the ‘hard working’ Tevez at every opportunity? On the one occasion he managed to get away whilst Djourou and Koscielny were mixed up, the bullied Tevez looked a little tired and frustrated. I agree wth Limpar.

    There’s a clip on the ITV highlights of Bartley making a Koscielny/Clichy style challange/interception ahead of Ashley Young.

  105. >challenge

  106. or TVVijf or TVifj as Thomas is Flemish Belgian as opposed to French Belgian

  107. LimparAssist at 2:42 pm

    Couldn’t agree more. Kos is an absolute beast in the making. He already has an incredible repertoire of defensive skills. With a little more experience and time to settle (the premier league is literally, in a league of it’s own; and he’s only been here a couple of months) he is going to be a brick wall that the opposition attackers find themselves crashing into. Wonderful defender to watch.

    Still think we have a brilliant set of defenders in Thomas, Johan and the Kosh! I’d be very happy with any combination of those three!

  108. Finsbury there’s no question we all should be excited about having Koscielny. When all the defence is fit and ready, i’m really looking forward to the competition for the two first team places. I wonder if Verm is sweating it a bit.

  109. Not much love for Squilli here?

    I think variety is what’s needed. He is a bit more of a physical player than the others. But sometimes that can be used well. He seems to read the game very well also. I’m a fan of being able to play against different styles of play by fighting fire with fire. I loved it when we gave Bolton a dose of their own medicine last year. While it’s a complete myth our team isn’t strong enough to ‘get stuck in’ I have to say I enjoy watching SS mixing it up a little.

    Perhaps Jon Jon was suggesting for variety in his posts today. I think that’s what he meant ultimately but went about it the wrong way.

  110. Like LA, my preferred first choice CB pairing would be Kos6-TV5. I feel they compliment each other more than any other pairing.. One goes for the header(TV5) while the other sweeps from behind(Kos6) just like the Sol-Kolo partnership we’d…

  111. TV5 should be sweating. If Kos and Djourou strike up a good partnership, and our defence stabilizes, Wenger should not alter it.

  112. JonJon

    If Wenger asked for his defenders to hit the ball in to row z they would probably do it. It doesn’t take great skill to do so. But it does take great skill to spray 60 yard passes accurately. And very few defenders can do that.

    Furthermore Arsenal’s formation DEMANDS a defender that is capable of not only passing but passing while under pressure from an attacker and in the knowledge that any fuck ups at this point and the guy in front of him will be one on one with our keeper. Our formation demands that we maintain possession for as long as possible to apply as much pressure as possible on to the opposition and thus avoid any pressure on us.

    Attacks are initiated by our defenders and defence starts from our forwards. Welcome to the beautiful intricacies of Wengerball! Counter intuitive, but incredibly effective.

  113. els,
    I like Squilly too.. During the first 4-5months, He was doing well but for the last couple of games He has been struggling.. Maybe He was forced to play with the hamstring injury as TV5 was out and Djourou was being eased in..

    I think Squilly must have aggravated the injury during the weekend and because of that Arsene must be thinking of signing of a new CB with Djourou still not fit to play twice every week and TV5 being eased in with his Achilles injury..

  114. els – I also like Squillachi. He is a good defender, and a good organiser (which is what we miss at the back).

    Indian – I think Djourou is actually better placed than TV5 at attacking the ball whilst somebody sweeps behind. TV5 is a bit like Kos in that he likes to nip in front of the attacker.

  115. Jabberwocky-or TVVijf or TVifj sounds like a tongue twister, I think in honour of Arsene I’ll stick to TVCinq!

  116. Limestonegunner

    I don’t disagree with LA’s paean to Koscielny–he is an exciting fighter in defense. However, on the question of the first choice pairing, I go along with Vermaelen-Djourou when/if Vermaelen is fit and in form. But this is a highly theoretical first pairing. Kos plays a bit like Vermaelen so I feel Djourou complements either of them better as a partner. In all cases right now he is first choice. The problem is that he can’t be risked to play twice a week for weeks on end because of his fitness record. Vermaelen is a slightly more restrained and experienced player than Kos, who shows fantastic potential as he learns the league and matures at this level. Right now, it would be best if Kos was number 3-fighting for first choice and rotated in regularly.

    Whom should we bring in and for what type of role? A starter who can compete for first choice pairing? Vermaelen is rumoured to have taken another step back in recovery, but even if he rejoins in early February, he will come back in quite slowly. Squillaci might be out for a few weeks but even when fit, he should ideally be our 4th choice–an experienced back up. I think this means we do want someone who will be fighting for the first three positions of starting pairing or first backup with Kos.

    If we get someone in early in the window, in the next week, that would give us a month and 9 or 10 fixtures before the Barcelona tie to discover the top pairing and to insure that they have had games together.

    The key is to do it soon so that Squillaci and Vermaelen can be brought back in slowly rather than rushed in and Djourou can be rested so he will be fit and available by late February and for the stretch run. It won’t happen, I think before we play Ipswich, so give Miquel a run out for a game or two and let’s see if he stuns us with his quality.

  117. Yeah I see Kos and Verm as similar types of defender. I don’t think this is necessary a problem as there is nothing they can’t do. Both very good all rounders.

    But… I have always bigged up Johan and shit… like someone said he tinkles the ivories. There have been rumours from blatters camp that from the 2018 world cup onwards penalty competitions will be replaced by ‘Jam Sessions’. Johan will give us a vital sound no other team could capture.

  118. serk da turk
    totally agree…formation-system-possession
    cant argue with any of that
    what i will add is this…
    90th min..we concede a corner..2-1 up and we win the ariel challenge and the ball drops to a, you want him to control it and pass it out of a crowded box like hes been trained to do for our system or do you want that ball 90 yards up the other end of the pitch accurate or not???

    i suppose now weve all got talking about it and ppl are coming up with good points its fair to say we need a defender (again if we do sign) with good decision making essentially…
    someone who can play and clog..someone who knows when to pass and when to just put his foot through the leather

  119. Limestone I totally agree with your first paragraph. The only thing I’d say is who would Wenger buy that would be happy with 3rd / 4th choice football. That wouldn’t be anyone that’s ready to play regularly if need be. Therefore as you say, that could and should be Miquel. I understand the need to cover all the injuries but personally prefer to give that chance to a young gunner.

  120. Players like Vidic seems to do OK, and he is a clogger. As long as one of the CB’s is decent on the ball it is fine.

  121. I realize that it is hard to buy in January but I really hope we do something. We are in 4 competitions with games coming fast. I think this is a critical year for the club and a problem at CB could quickly ruin our year. Last year all of the top 5 clubs had multiple injuries at CB and there is no reason to think it will not happen again this year. No one knows when TV will really be back. Johan has been superb but historically he has been an injury risk and Arsene has not had him playing several games in a row. We have plenty of money in the bank and we can afford to overpay if needed. There is no long term risk to the club to spending some of our office petty cash at this point. Some of the regulars have called for adding a player or 2 who might shake up the squad in a positive way and perhaps this is the chance.

    I think the Kos has been an excellent so far although he has been somewhat mistake prone. I see that improving as he matures. He has incredible potential. It does seem like he has played better when paired with Djourou. I think both Kos and TV5 are aggressive up the field defenders and both would be better paired with someone who is more likely to stay deeper and is better in the air such as Djourou. Most of the top teams in Europe all have at least one of the 2 CB who are bigger and not necessarily as mobile. Vidic, Terry (in years past), Pique, Campbell with the our last title winning team etc etc. When we have paired 2 smaller more mobile CB’s in the past it seems like we have been less organized and our defending has suffered. Toure and Gallas and TV5 and Gallas were not always stable defensively. Hopefully the boss will get someone with experience who is a strong defend first player. Will be interesting to see what happens.

  122. and it would be an interesting point to add..
    that with all these ‘ball playing’ cbs suiting our system weve still conceded 22 goals this season so far…
    theoretically speaking we are on course to concede 40..which is alot i think we would all agree for a team gunning for a league title

    maybe it wouldnt be a bad idea to have a few cloggers and leave the ball playing to the attackers 😉

  123. But Andy we play different tactics from ManUre. If it was down to Vidic to get the play going for Arsenal we’d be fooked. And if Vidic brings the ball down it doesn’t automatically appear at Ferdinand’s feet for him to play the ball out. Vidic is good but surely everyone would rather have a player that can win anything and then start a move going all in one fluid motion.

  124. Bill – Good post.

  125. RSVP: Cloggers Need Not Apply

  126. Els – I know what you mean, and I have nothing against a ball playing CB. I am not advocating buying a Vidic type player either, I am just saying that having that type of player could easily be a sucess in our team. All of our players are comfortable on the ball, and the CB’s useually have a number of options open to them which does not require them to spray Platini style passes all over the pitch.

    If we buy, I just want us to buy first and formost a good defender. If he is useful on the ball, all the better.

  127. Bill. Sol Campbell not mobile? Just because a player is big, doesn’t make him immobile. I get your point in general however. I think if we were unlucky and all the potential injuries happend then maybe a 5th first team centre back would be invaluable. Historically we will need that player, but surely to shit we deserve Squilli and Verm to recover also Johan to have an injury free season.

    I am eager to get more youngsters through the system into the first team. It’s only really been Johan so far and he’s looking top class. If we purchase now, bearing in mind January will be hiked prices we will eventually have to let someone go once injuries are behind us.

  128. Goonerandy, how is Limpar saying he has never seen a defender like Kos a bit much?

    Anyway, best comment of the day is Deano recommending we sign Webb, I would say though that it would cost more than when Madrid bought Ronaldo from United and we just dont spend that kind of money and we usually dont buy players in their prime!!

    Blessings all!

  129. Geez, I am bit late, I see Limpar responded.

  130. Personally, I’d really like us to sign Toby Alderweireld from Ajax, but I highly doubt we’d be able to convince Ajax to part with two of their best centre-backs in the space of a year and a half. Then again, wouldn’t it be poetic justice if the players who do the job against Barcelona for us are to be Fabregas and Miquel?

  131. Reserves playing tonight at Villa interesting line up : Shea, Boateng, Brislen-Hall, Eastmond, Yennaris, Monteiro, Ozyakup, Henderson, Emmanuel-Thomas, Aneke, Sunu.
    Plenty of attacking flair in JET, Ozyakup,Aneke and Sunu but it is interesting that Miguel is absent- does this mean he is starting on Tuesday? I think Yennaris is also a very good prospect but not many people mention this but every time I have watched the reserves Shea has really stood out as a goalie. He is a big lad and looks like he has the Chesney factor- it may suprise a few people if in the next few years moves up to Number 2 or 3!

  132. Your probably right Andy. I think the purchase will be difficult though. There’s so much balancing and negotiating to do. I think sometimes I’m too bias towards the youth academy. I would never make a good manager. I could never fire anyone. Which in effect a new signing would do.

  133. I would have Djourou and Vermaelen as first choice when all are fit, they compliment each other perfectly. I have also been very impressed with Koscielny, he looks calm and assured, I haven’t seen anyone really take him to the cleaners and having already played all the big clubs away that says something. I think Squillaci is at the back of the queue right now, he gets too tight too quickly for me and gets turned a bit, still not a mug, but maybe hasn’t shown his best form.

    For me the solution is a quality defensive midfielder to cover Song if we need him to go into the back four or is out because of injury/suspension or needs a rest. He would ideally be in the 27-30 age bracket. Touloulan from Lyon would fit the bill (although I’m sure Wenger has scouted a cheaper option!), one player addresses two concerns and he’s not too young to stunt the progress of Bartley or Miquel should they prove good enough.

  134. Not to forget Donny Vitto.

    What was it? Oh yeah!
    Arsenal need to buy a ‘keeper, a CB, the obligatory D**Mer, and a striker. Simples!

  135. Don’t forget a leg breaker in midfield cos song is shite and never ever ever will be good enough.

  136. Els – I think Arsne has pretty much the same school of thought. I honestly don’t think he will buy a player who will push Djourou and Kos further down the pecking order. I reckon he will try and go for a stop gap of sorts, which of course is a gamble.

    Part of me agree’s with this, but part of me thinks if we get a better defender it can only benifit the team and that is the priority. If Kos and Djourou are good enough they will force their way back in. Tough call, who would be a manager eh?

  137. Anyway, off home.


  138. The specialist Gr*tkicker!
    How could I forget.

    According to reports Melo’s having another amazing season. Fook me.
    Sign him up!

  139. Limestonegunner

    Els, yes, I say give Miquel two games: first leg v. Ipswich and this weekend v. West Ham to show us that he has the potential. But if he doesn’t grab the chance with both hands like Sczcesny did with his two performances so far, then we have to be prepared to get someone of real quality soon–so discussions/negotiations should be taking place right now.

    If that means we have five great options by the end of this season, we’ll manage for two and a half months (March, April, bit of May) and the manager will make a decision about whom he keeps this summer. The new CB will get games this month and next because of injuries–no question. If he isn’t good enough to keep his spot when Vermaelen and Squillaci are back, well that’s a situation many players at a club like Arsenal have to deal with. If you get your chance but don’t play well enough, you have to be patient and work hard in training to be ready for your next chance. Competition is, as Arsene Wenger says, a reality of professional football. Kos is still learning and has made a big jump from Ligue 1 to the PL and a great club like Arsenal. He has already played more games perhaps than he might have expected and he will be ready to fight for a starting place next year. He can be patient during the last couple of months of the season if he finds himself #3 or #4 after a new addition establishes himself and Vermaelen returns to form (at the earliest mid-late February). Squillaci might be the most upset but he also has played alot more than he might have expected. Djourou has come through but knows that from him it is about quality and not quantity this year.

    I think the situation can be managed, but sure, if Miquel dazzles we might be able to afford the risk and let him be #3 for a few weeks until Vermaelen and Squillaci are back and fully fit. But we need a strong run through a mass of fixtures right now or our chances for a real break out season could be jeopardized. We are in four competitions and will need to battle for the league until the very end. If we get past Barcelona, we will have fixtures galore.

    The only other option I see is getting cover for Song in DM–an experienced player there would give us flexibility and something we need. We could still bring up Miquel but have Song as a back up if someone could bring what he does to midfield. Plus, I worry about Song burning out having to play so many games. He is everywhere on the pitch when he is playing well and no one offers the sort of game he does. When he is out I don’t think Ramsey, Wilshere, Diaby, or Denilson offer the defensive strength and steel he can.

  140. What I would love to see if TV and KOS play against Barca. I believe their speed, skill and mobility would be something that Barca may not be used to, same with Sagna and Clichy.

    I think we can cause them much trouble with the type of skilled defenders we have.

  141. Block4 Song to cover CB is deterimental and whearas Song can do a decent job at CB what we loose in the centre with his absence much more significant. Look at Essein he was brilliant until he become a jack of all trades for Chelsea plugging holes in defence and now he’s a shadow of the player he was. Moving Song is to CB is just a plaster job- if we have problems with Squilly and TVCinq then the only two possibilities are buy a decent replacement or promote from the reserves where the only candidate is Miguel. It looks like Wenger will buy a CB- I am hedging by bets that way!

  142. Limestone – The midfielder option is a good one I think.

  143. Good post Limestone. Very ruthless i’d say. You may very well be spot on.
    Putting Miquels fate at his own feet is good, but that’s a shit load of added pressure for a young player. Hopefully the decision wouldn’t be that black and white for Wenger. The only problem would be getting a competative player with all the experience you need, of a certain age 27+ who would be happy without a guarantee of first team football. The players who move in January tend to be those wanting more playing time also.

  144. I want The Defence Pole. It’s him or no one as far as I’m concerned.

  145. Limestongunner,

    I’ll be amazed if Miquel plays against West Ham and I’d be pretty surprised (albeit pleasantly surprised) if he plays against Ipswich. It’s only days ago that everyone was saying we need to take the League Cup seriously, I think if we can beat Ipswich well then maybe give him a run at home in the second leg after the job is done.

    We saw on Saturday the difference that Fabregas and Walcott made when they came on, playing even half of the first team should prove too much for The Tractor Boys.

  146. Defence pole? What have I missed Poli?

  147. According to an unreliable source, it’s Mertesacker’s nickname.

  148. all I DON’T wanna see is a repeat of last season’s injury situation. We better sign a stop gap player, IF Seb’s injury is serious. I like the look of Miquel & would love to see him cover for TV; but he cannot be expected to replace 2 injured players.
    That said, I’d rather see Miquel or Bartley in defence, than a certaib Silvestre..

  149. Els:

    Big and mobile is the best but I think the one thing that the last few years has shown is that we do not defend as well if we have 2 mobile higher up the pitch CB and no one is staying home. I am not called for a Hangeland type but someone who is strong in the air, defend first type of player is needed IMO. He does not have to be slow but if you look at the top teams in Europe they all have at least 1 defender who is not as mobile and they do quite well. Barca and Spain both defend and attack very well with Pique who certainly would not win any foot races in the back. Puyol is not exactly a speed merchant either.

    I hope we do not try to hold up for a couple of months just because buying someone now might block the way for Miquel and Bartley. If those guys are good enough they will make their way into the line up but we can not risk this year on the hope that they might come good. We can not wait for tomorrow forever. Jack Wilshere has broken into the first team despite a large number of people ahead of him. If Miquel or Bartley are good enough they will do the same. Neither has reached age 20. Nordtveit was not good enough.

  150. Bill I don’t think it’s the same thing for defender as it is for Midfield. With a lot more emphasis in strength and concentration and outright trickery / gamesmanship defenders generally come good mid to late twenties. So as you say it’s a long time to wait. But there is a balance in not completely blocking the players route.

    Gota go anyway chaps byee

  151. I think our best CB pairing would consist of Djourou with either one of Koscielny, Squillaci and Vermaelen. In fact, our defense has been at its stingiest thus far this season with Squillaci and Djourou playing together. If Wenger buys anyone I hope he buys a Djouoru type in order to rotate and still maintain quality. I think West Ham’s Tomkins or Fulham’s Haageland fit the bill as they’re good in the air and can play the ball out of the back. If we can have two defensive pairings consisting of one tall, ball playing defender and a nippy one we’d have the deepest defensive bench in Europe. If we can get either of these two for a decent price I don’t see a problem with that.

    Bill, all those players you mentioned are not lumps. Vidic, Terry and Pique are all tall guys who are good with the ball at their feet. The reason why they play at top clubs is because it’s pretty hard to find that particular combination.

  152. Ignasi Miquel is the same height as Djourou. If he can prove that he’s got what it takes to play with the senior squad, then there’s no need to buy anyone else. I would love it if Wenger could promote from within.

  153. Limestonegunner

    Block 4, Els, it is always a lot of pressure to come through to the first team. I don’t think it means we would be taking the cup competition less seriously–we would just need to make sure we are playing a few more experienced, first choice players in midfield to help shield the defense. Ipswich is a two-legged tie so if we need to we can play a stronger team, but at the moment Djourou needs a rest. This is the first time he has played two games in a week this season and we shouldn’t add a third straight game a few days later–he needs a rest to play versus West Ham.

    If we aren’t comfortable playing Miquel in these fixtures, then all the more argument for quickly getting in a CB (I agree, a Djourou type-tall defender to play the games Djourou rests) for the weekend game v. West Ham.

  154. From what I hear Puyol is more of the lump figure than Pique, even though Pique is bigger. Supposedly Puyol’s pace is finally beginning to betray him as he enters the twighlight of his career.. Walcott lick your lips!!!

  155. Limestonegunner

    Bill makes a good point that if young players are good enough, Wenger will give them chances to play. Wilshere is a great example. You wonder why Vela did not get chances when RvP and Bendtner were out injured–Chamakh played game after game. Either it was that he wasn’t showing the quality in training or he just hasn’t been able to play the central striker role in our system. Other players have got their chance, so while I understand the argument, we have had trouble in the past keeping CB’s fit, to the extent that last year we bemoaned the fact that Campbell could only play once a week and we had to go into fixtures like CL ties versus Barcelona(!) with Silvestre in the line-up. We don’t know how Vermaelen will react to treatment and what kind of form he will be in after missing most of the season so far or how long Squillaci will need to recover and return.

    Kos and Djourou are fighters and are going to have long Arsenal futures, of that I am pretty confident. Hopefully Vermaelen will as well but also might not feature prominently for us until late in the season if at all.

    I want to go into the Barca tie with a settled CB partnership and a solid backup in place. You watch, we are going to blast Barca if we have a solid defense and go very very deep into the CL. We are fighting on four fronts and we could use the reinforcements until the end of this long season.

  156. “From what I hear Puyol is more of the lump figure than Pique, even though Pique is bigger.”

    How many really young players at CB or CF have we seen thrown in of late?
    Anelka at seventeen/eighteen, over a decade ago? Was it a different league back then?
    Irrespective of any signings, we might see Miquel play against Ipswich. That’s an exciting prospect.

  157. some cracking comments on here today..everyone seems to know what they want from their cb’s its been a good read..
    a real eye opener…

  158. Simon Kjaer? Or might we be able to somehow pull off loaning Micah Richards for 6 months

  159. A 6 month loan deal would seem a good bet. Cahill to us and Vela to Bolton.

  160. Finsbury — the actual relationship between Puyol/Pique with Puyol as the lump does a great job highlighting the perceived differences or problems with defenders.. Koscielny is one whom I’m having trouble categorizing. He’s go that TV5 pounce on anything that moves tendancy, then the lets dominate every aerial ball tendancy. I think he could be on track to becoming an Arsenal legend!

    In terms of best CB pairs, Djourou just has to get in there for me. When he starts this season, we havent lost a match!!! Thats not an accident! The prospect of Djourou/TV — Djourou/Kos — and TV/Kos is most exciting!!

  161. I agree NJ.

    “I wish I had a rabbit in a hat”,
    and out popped Djourou!

    How did that happen?

  162. That’s an open question above!

  163. Finsbury – what was Djourou doing with that rabbit in your hat?

  164. shocking but not surprising from arsenal “fans”

    @GoonerFan1988 @_denilson15 do you not realise that when you trip someone in the box its usually given as a penalty….muppet

    @talthegooner woeful performences by @Arshavin_soccer@ _denilson15 , Nicklas Bendtner and Squillaci. World class save though by @53Szczesny53 🙂

    @McLovin19811 @_denilson15 why do you jog back and not SPRINT back? your not good enough for arsenal **** off…

    @toaney_montana @_denilson15 sorry man… But youre not good enough. If u cant even perform against a championship side.

    @KLAIMDJ @_denilson15 Seriously, why are you SO **** ? If you can’t put in a solid tackle on the player, just guide the player wide! IDIOT

    @caolanmahon @_denilson15 I’m sorry to say but you do not deserve to play for arsenal. Simply not good enough. Foul for pen was amateurish. Leave now.

    @sekh1 @JohanDjourou @persie_official @53szczesny53 @nanas08 @jack_wilshere @cesc4official —— PLEASE TELL @_denilson15 to **** OFF. HE IS ****!

    @tOna_jonAsdvEla @_denilson15 i hate you

    @matt23ray @_denilson15 raise your game! U looked like a sunday league player out there!

    @sekh1 @_denilson15 useless tosser, whenever you play we dont win, cesc has saved you, now **** off.

    @EnEngin @_denilson15 YOU ARE ******* **** **** OFF

  165. Finsbury,

    It’s remarkable!! I knew that Djourou’s performance after a year off would be a bit of a question mark this season, but he’s gone from question mark to exclamation mark!! or point.. not sure what the proper name is..

  166. KS – that is the trouble with twitter, the cowards can vent their foul nonsense without having to face anyone.

  167. Reserves down to 10 men and a goal behind after only 9 minutes.

  168. Bloody hell 2 down now.

  169. KS, are these comments posted so that Denilson can read them?

  170. Paul – @_denilson15 is his twitter address so he will read them.

  171. Please not Sol

    Last time I saw him (playing for Toon) he reminded me of Frank Bruno in his heyday, all glassy eyed & chinny. Mind you, I said that last year & he was excellent for us. Apart from Porto away.

    The Danish lad at Wolfsburg would be my choice but they`ve just flogged their centre forward so that won`t happen. Cahill ? No thanks – he always seems to be stood near the goal scorer. Jags ? possibly but not now. Micah Richards ? Nope , City won`t sell OR loan to a rival – doesn`t leave much does it.

    Would Agger do ?

  172. dupsffockcuf

    “What was Djourou doing with that rabbit in your hat?”
    I don’t want to know. As long as he’s happy now, it’s all good.

  173. Well thats a damn shame then isnt it KS!

    He doesnt deserve this at all.

    How stupid, people trod all over their team.

  174. Fox Deportes are showing the Stevenage v Newcastle game. And there I was thinking there was nothing entertaining on tv today!!!

  175. “What was Djourou doing with that rabbit in your hat?”

    Let’s just hope he didn’t record it on his mobile.

  176. I might need a new hat.

  177. What’s this about rabbits in a hat? Did I miss a magic trick!?But I lurvvvvv magic!!!! Aww….I miss all the good stuff!! 😦

  178. Must have a big head if Djourou was in your hat.

  179. Now I could believe he would fit in Maureen Yo’s hat.

  180. Berbatov out for the next 2 months with an ankle injury

  181. reserves 5-0 down at HT.

  182. Kitchen Sink, I wouldn’t worry too much about those comments. Denilson has seen and heard way worse than some little prick telling him he’s shit. He pretty much comes from the birth place of moaners.


    1. Denilshite

    2. Bendshite

    3. Rosicknote

    4. Arshmiss

    5. Chamakh (non attack)

  184. “Berbatov out for the next 2 months with an ankle injury”

    I remember last season when they said Rooney was out for a couple of months with an ankle injury. He played the following week. Never trust a drunken, purple nosed jock.

  185. G69

    Birthplace of moaners? Didn’t realise he was from Tottenham.


  186. @Dupsffokcuf – nah I was just wishful thinking out loud mate 🙂

    @ Muppet – I think I speak for everyone when I say FACK OFF!!!!

  187. Arsenal losing 5-0 to Villa in the reserves – WTF ?!

  188. Well I love Denilson, and I don’t care who knows it!

  189. That’s some seriously unbecoming shit, KS. It’s enough to turn you all neo-luddite or something. The worst part is that Denilson loves this club, and if people keep this up some other team’s going to be getting the best of him. Arsenal fans need to start showing some restraint – not to mention dignity.

    I don’t use Twitter myself – did you get those tweets from one place or search the name?

  190. Muppet | January 10, 2011 at 7:59 pm |

    It’s not the usual reserves team – there are a lot of very young players in there, not helped by having a player sent off early!

  191. “Berbatov out for the next 2 months with an ankle injury”

    That would be instant karma, but I’ll believe it when I see it!

  192. Reserves will still be in first, level on points with the Villains, but with a game in hand. And as Passenal pointed out, its not our full strength team.

  193. Ahh.. thanks Passenal. Thought as much.

  194. KS that is disgusting. How each of those twatters can call themselves supporters I don’t know.

    I say we level out the negative comments with good, decent opinions of him.

    Who would be up for making pro denilson comments at a set time tomorrow. And sign each one with our ACLF names and the link to this site?!

    We should all do this. If Deni can and does read these comments then we CAN support.

  195. oneofus I dont use it either but i was reading another blog and they were talking about them .. I checked on his wall and hes deleted everything really shit that they sent messages to our other players about it, but you have to be thickskinned these days..

  196. KS, I’m horrified at those comments directed at Denilson and I think Cesc has to take some of the blame for his ill-considered remarks after the game. He has given license to that scum to abuse a decent player who loves this club and will play his heart out for it. Cesc should be ashamed, especially when he considers that penalty against the spuds. That was a disgrace. But of course he is above criticism as our friend oscar told us earlier.

  197. 7-0 now. Not going to do their confidence a lot of good.

  198. Those comments on twitter are probably from the same morons who use le moan.

  199. That’s tough on the players dupsffokcuf – but they will learn a lot if they can survive such a humiliating defeat. Arsenal use the reserves for player development, whereas villa are so determined to win they are playing several first team players. It’s pathetic knowing they are playing against 10 youth players.

  200. I’m glad we got one back at least. I hear villa took off a DM at half-time and sent on another striker. They should be ashamed of themselves.

  201. 10-1 – even with 10 men that is a awful lot of goals to concede.

  202. Arsene never likes his team to humiliate the opposition. Others lack the same class though.

  203. They’ve clearly lost all hope now dupsffokcuf and just given up. The usual reserves team is much better than this. They have only lost once prior to tonight.

  204. It’s really nothing for villa to be proud of.

  205. Not the regular CB pairing either Passenal. Miquel is in the squad for the Ipswich game and a lot of players are out on loan now.

  206. Agreed Passenal, I would have to say that I would give Cesc most of the blame for the Spurs loss so he should apologize and be a bit more gracious, considering.

    I didnt even know he blasted him!?

  207. After Brislen-Hall got sent off, we had an attacking midfielder filling in at left back! Some of these players are scholars playing for a professional contract. They should not be surprised if they don’t get one after that display!

  208. dups @ 7:44pm,

    I thought magicians (like AW) never give away the trade secrets.

    Messi wins the Fufa Ballon.

  209. Limestonegunner

    Well let’s take the reserves result as an endorsement of Miquel’s defending!

  210. Yes Paul, he said “When you are a professional footballer you cannot give away this kind of penalty so easily.” Way to support your team mate captain! Whatever happened to ‘we win as a team, we lose as a team’? Or does that only apply when you are the one giving away the ‘unprofessional’ penalty?

  211. Ha! Ha! Szczesny made a comment on twitter about Theo apologizing for diving and followed it up by asking if Berbatov had done the same. A short while later he said something to the effect of; well of course he didn’t apologize that’s why he played at Spurs.

    Does anyone have a link to the article where Cesc talks about the penalty decision?

  212. I don’t think he’s trying to throw Denilson under the bus, Passenal. I think he was just frustrated with the performance overall. And do you really think Cesc’s comments were the catalyst for the shit talkers to gang up on Denilson? Denilson has always been the prime target for the doomers. I can’t remember a time when he wasn’t. He was even a target two years ago when he was playing out of his skin.

  213. G69, they already hate him, then the captain throws him to the wolves and the doomers spiritual leader features the quote in his blog. I knew exactly where to go to find it and he didn’t disappoint me. I think cesc was out of order – blaming one of his team mates in public is not good form for a captain. Especially knowing how some of the mouthier fans feel about the player. I don’t believe he would have said that if it had been one of the popular squad members.

  214. It does seem like Koscielny is the future for Arsenal. Johan Djourou has shown a lot of potential but will be the first choice in some time. I would love to see Vermaelen and Koscielny play together. At the start of the season, Laurent Koscielny was making errors but with time, he has seemed improve a lot. I think it is mainly due to understanding and coping with the physicality of the game. Song and Miguel are the other options to play at CB if Squillaci and Vermaelen are not fit.

    I also blog a bit and am a featured columnist on Could you take a look at my blog,

  215. I read the quote in the Independent and it wasn’t all that bad.

    Fabregas, who appeared to be angered by Denilson during the game, said: “At this stage when you are a professional footballer you cannot risk these types of penalties. It’s so easy for them.”

    Who is he talking about here? Denilson? Squillaci? Eboue? Is he including himself when he says proffesional footballer? How does the reporter know his anger is directed at Denilson? I don’t think Denilson is being blamed at all. I’m sure he saw how the play developed and he doesn’t strike me as being dense enough to interpret the game the same way your run of the mill moaner retard would.

  216. G69, he could just as easily have pointed to the missed chances in the first half as the penalty. Denilson was just at the end of an unfortunate chain of events involving defenders losing their man and allowing him the freedom of the box. Whether he meant it or not, people who were looking for it have used cesc’s comments to further their own agenda. He should be more circumspect in his comments as it’s not like he hasn’t made stupid mistakes either, but no one hung him out to dry.

  217. Hey,

    I wrote an article regarding why Laurent Koscielny will be a quality player for the future of the Gunners. I do want opinions from you fellas and it is put of passion that I put my views into writing.. Thanks a lot and hope you guys can help me..

  218. Who is the doomers’ spiritual leader?

    And, can you really have a spiritual leader or would it be a “dispiritual”/dispiriting leader?

  219. Cesc gave away a penalty in the Spuds game, a silly handball on the free kick. He did the same in a game last year and got away with it. As I recall, folks were livid and gave him lots of abuse on the blogs for that infraction.

    Of late I have come to appreciate Denilson’s qualities and his valuable role for Arsenal as a solid squad member. He keeps the ball moving, retains possession for the side well, and has good intercepting and dispossessing abilities when the ball is being played in front of him. Against Spurs or was it away to ManCity (I can’t remember which) he was actually terrific in the air, winning all kinds of headers in midfield and was aggressive coming forward. We know he is one of the few who can really shoot effectively from distance, and I’d like to see him doing a bit more of that when he is playing as it pulls the defense forward when they are packed around and in the box behind the ball. Last year he struggled with a back injury and really wasn’t at his best, but this year is healthy and looks fitter and stronger–looks to me like he has bulked up a bit to help himself in our physical league.

    However, he does have some persistent weaknesses or lapses that make me cautious about him as cover for Song–I don’t think he really is. He has difficulty tracking back because of his lack of pace and often shuts down when the play goes behind him. This has happened to spectacular and dire effect a few times that everyone remembers. He has had a few lapses in defense and given away penalties for a handball this season and now a very bad penalty.

    I think many gripe about him unfairly and those insults to him on twitter really disgust me–people shout all sorts of things when drunk and in a crowd at a stadium during the passion and energy of a game; even in those circumstances I despise booing and slagging off players. But to write comments to someone’s twitter account is much more direct and personal–it is like receiving hate mail from people. Yes, you have to have a thick skin these days as a professional athelete, but that is vile. I feel awful thinking of our players having to deal with that abuse. They really shouldn’t have these twitter accounts as it puts them in too much proximity to fans, I think. If I was a club official involved in media relations I would counsel players not to use some of these forms of social media and communication unless they are prepared for the abuse. It will effect some players’ confidence and psychological outlook. Hopefully gainsboug is right and that Denilson is very tough mentally.

  220. Passenal, my point is that Fabregas didn’t throw him to the wolves. The wolves already had their claws out. Look at what the doomers said after the Wigan game. Personally, I thought that Denilson had one hell of a game, but the doomers decided that he was shit and unleashed the hounds on him. There’s nothing you can really do when you have people who are mad at the world and decide to take it out on you. You just have to roll with the punches and understand that some fans are frustrated, ill tempered and unhinged sorts. As far as the attacks are concerned, they’re really not that big of a deal. If Denilson were playing in a Brazilian club and he’d given away a penalty, then he’d have to worry about his family getting hurt and not about some idiot saying he’s shit on twitter. Trust me, Denilson will shrug this off. He’s been a proffesional for some time now and he knows this comes with the territory. Thus far today I’ve seen a lot of people stick up for him. This means that the level headed amongst us are being heard over the loud moaning.

  221. I hope you’re right G69 and I’ve just over-reacted because of my disgust at the abuse KS quoted. But I would rather see the captain use his popularity to protect the less popular members of the squad rather than appear to unwittingly endorse certain attitudes towards certain players. In private he can slam whoever deserves it, but a bit of solidarity in public would be preferable IMHO.

  222. Imagined if Gallas had still been here and used those words after Cesc’s handball in the spud game…. uhoh

  223. No problems, Passenal. Just know that these boys know how to keep things in perspective. These guys are at the top level of football. They know damn well that most of the idiots slinging mud at them wouldn’t last a second playing in front of our sixty thousand plus capacity crowd. I bet that they take these comments in stride the same way an adult would if a little kid called him or her a poopy head.

  224. I doubt Denilson is slower than Song.

  225. Ars vs Leeds
    Denilson – 74 passes (94% accurate) best in both categories (approx 50% forward passes, 50% sideways (including switching to the other side) and backwards)
    2 successful tackles including 1 key in the box first half
    2 interceptions
    2 shots – both on target – from distance (2nd drew an excellent save in the last minute).
    4 fouls committed including the very bad penalty lapse and booked (strategic foul)
    Interesting that AW took off Song rather than Denilson at the 58 minute mark.

    Could it be that Cesc is a little annoyed that Barca have again asked about Denilson’s availability?
    Denilson did say in response to the recent media about (3) European teams enquiring about him that “if it is his choice (unless AW wants to sell him) that he doesn’t want to go, and has tremendous affection for Arsenal”.
    I’d be disappointed if he was sold now, especially as last year was a virtual write off for him (and early this season) due to serious injuries. He’s now getting back to full fitness and still logs the most mileage per game of any Gunner.

  226. “He’s now getting back to full fitness and still logs the most mileage per game of any Gunner.”

    That can’t be right, JBH. We were only told on this very site a day or so ago that hard-working players are always admired by the fans, and that Denilson is disliked for his lack of work.

  227. Henry is training with the squad possibly coaching the likes of walcott. If we were short of strikers like last year Wenger would have sigend him on loan. Still it is good to have him around the young players.

  228. Thanks JBH. He started the game really well, went into his shell after the penalty incident, but finished the game strongly. Poliziano, some Arsenal fans don’t know what they want! If they don’t like a player, they will find a way of criticising whatever he brings to the team.

  229. Poliziano
    Denilson has always been hated, ever since some hack mis-quoted him as saying he plays in the Cesc position (when he always played the Gilberto role – since the age of 10!). Brazilian + Cesc + special talent visa = no chance unless he scores 15 goals a season with 15 assists.
    It got really ridiculous when he played (when unfit) last Jan because Song was at the African cup….. shameful some of the non-support.

  230. Liverpool – Lucas (current Brazil 1st choice holding player)
    Chelsea – Ramires (current Brazil 1st choice holding in 4, 2, 3, 1)
    Man U – Anderson (recent Brazil midfield)
    Spud – Sandro (recent call up to Brazil midfield)
    Euclideo – unfortunately injured last year, but surely his time will come when compared to the nonsense above?

  231. A R S E N A L

  232. These doomers will never learn i suppose, instead of supporting the team they boo and then hold their heads high and call themselves arsenal fans. despicable lot, all of them.

  233. If anyone doubts Denilson’s talent please go watch him against Barca last year

  234. i hear talk about sakho. some beast from psg. great leader apparently. anyone knows anything about him?

  235. Passenal,and it is not the first time fab4 has done it,remember last season about school boy mistakes to fabianski?as a our captain he should know better and being he isnt excempt from such mistakes himself (tots game) can he keep his mouth shut.

  236. I don’t think there is much wrong with what he said. I am sure he would be the 1st to hold his hands up (excuse the pun) for his mistake at the Spuds. Denilson’s challenge was lazy and stupid, what is wrong with pointing that out?

  237. I agree with Andy. I think it is the Captains job to highlight these mistakes. He was asked a direct question and answered it. Perhaps it would have been better behind closed doors, but Denilson should be fine with taking criticism from Fabregas. It’s the shit he’s taking on twitter that get’s my back up. People with no clue what they are talking about needlessly bad mouthing deni.

  238. Exactly. Nobody is beyond critisism; the board, the manager, the players. Obviously constructive critisism is the prefered way of doing things, and in general praise is more productive. But a quick kick up the backside every now and again is fine (and indeed healthy).

    We are too quick to pamper our players and stroke their fragile little ego’s.

  239. “We are too quick to pamper our players and stroke their fragile little ego’s.”
    It seems when I read comments like this that I must be living in a different universe.
    The problem is clearly the exact opposite.
    Did you hear our ‘fans’ getting at Arshavin? Do you read what is written about Denilson?
    A handful of us try to defend our players against the onslaught. That’s the truth.

  240. yeah that’s true. As I said about the current denilson twittergate affair. It disgusts me that these idiots call themselves fans. But it happens at matches too often, people put more effort into finding the next scapegoat than praising and supporting the team. My point is that it should be the case were the captain can chastise the players. Maybe with our fans captain to player criticism shouldn’t be in public as they don’t need much of an excuse to ‘have a go’.

  241. I agree about some of things being said about him are over the top. I also think lots of the “bigging up” of players is over the top as well.

    Listening to some you would think Denilson is some sort of indespensible medifield genius, others think he is a big pile of turd. I think he is a decent player, but should not be a starter at a club of our size. Good squad player.

    Whilst people are quick to jump on players for their poor performances (merited or not), I find it equally frustrating when people are completely unable to view players faults.

  242. And i think some bloggers are full of shit. And the belittling of some players despicable!!

  243. Why shouldn’t Denilson be a starter. He’s a very good player. He does things that justify criticism every now and then like all our other players. In the main he’s usually very good.

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