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Digging deeper in defence

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Ticket previously announced for Wednesday has now gone – sorry.

By Walter Broeckx

When I did a very first and short attempt to analyse our defensive performances I got a lot of suggestions from people who asked me to dig deeper. So I took my shovel and went digging. And after a few hours of digging I had to stop. My back was hurting me and I am out for the next game. And yes I could dig even deeper, if you ask me and after some rest. So nothing is final until now, as it never is. I did not analyse the games itself and looked at their possible difficulty. For now I took as point of view that every game we play is difficult. We only have played against PL opposition, even in the Carling Cup so far and thus I think it is fair to say that the level of the games was the same for each game.

Just to start with I will say how I did my digging. I first took all the competitive games played so far. I then looked at how many games each player has played. And I also looked at all the possible combinations that we started with. I then looked at the numbers of games each player has played and the number of goals we conceded when he was on the field. And then I also looked at all the different combinations, the number of games they played together and the goals conceded.

For the keeper, the right and left back this was rather simple as this is a position in which you play or not play on your place. But for the centre backs this is a bit more difficult because do you play on the left side or on the right side? Hard to tell as this can change during the game a lot. So I took the centre back combination a bit together as you will see. If you are still interested of course.

And then finally I will try to act like Wenger and will tell you which are our best defenders and in which combination they should play. Not that have any intention to take his place. Even if I have been called the Wenger of the Low Countries (= Belgium+Holland as we sometimes call them) before. But still don’t know if it was meant as a compliment. Anyway lets try to make some sense from now on.

(NB these figures don’t include our last game).

Total 23 games Total 24 goals
Keeper Goals Games Average/game
Almunia 7 7 1
Fabianski 17 14 1,2
Szczesny 0 2 0
RB
Sagna 18 16 1,1
Eboue 6 7 0,85
CB
Vermaelen 2 3 0,66
Song 0 1 0
Squillaci 19 16 1,18
Koscielny 16 14 1,14
Djourou 9 11 0,82
LB
Clichy 19 17 1,12
Gibbs 5 6 0,83

Of course the lower the average/game the better it is. But this is just based on looking at one player and his statistics. And if you look at Szczesny who hasn’t let a goal in so far when he played his statistics are great. But they are only based on 2 games. But it could give maybe a little indication for the future. Some will lift their eyebrows for the inclusion of Song. He did play at centre back in our second game of the season when we won 6-0 against Blackpool. Koscielny was suspended, Squillaci was still in Spain and Djourou was injured. But I will not count him later on when I try to attempt to form “the best defence”.

So if you only would have a look at individuals you could say that Szczesny would be the best option in goal and then Almunia and then Fabianski.

At right back Eboue should play and this comes to me as a surprise to be honest.

At centre back (and I leave Song out of this) Vermaelen and Djourou have the best statistics.

At left back it is Gibbs who has the best statistics.

So this first part is all very individual but as football is a team sport we must see if some combinations work better than others. So I did and this is where the back problems came as I had to dig very deep.

Used combinations Goals Games Average/game
Alm- Sagna- Vermaelen- Kos- Clichy 2 2 1
Alm- Sagna- Vermaelen- Song- Clichy 0 1 0
Alm- Eboue- Squillaci,- Kos- Gibbs- 1 1 1
Alm- Sagna- Kosc- Squillaci- Clichy 4 3 1,3
Fab – Eboue – Kos-Djourou-Gibbs 1 1 1
Fab- Sagna – Squillaci – Kos – Clichy 8 5 1,6
Fab- Eboue-Squillaci-Djourou-gibbs 2 1 2
Fab-sagna-Squillaci-Djourou-Gibbs 1 1 1
Fab-Eboue-Squillaci-Djourou-Clichy 4 3 1,3
Fab-sagna-Squillaci-Djourou-Clichy 1 3 0,3
Szczensy-Eboue-Kos-Djourou-Gibbs 0 2 0
24 23

For the sake of it I will leave out the Almunia- Sagna- Vermaelen- Song- Clichy combination as we all hope that Song will not have to play there again as this would mean that the injury crisis has returned in defence.

But based on this numbers we could say that Szczensy-Eboue-Kos-Djourou-Gibbs is on paper the best combination as they didn’t concede a goal so far. Be it only in two games.  The second best combination looks to be Fab-Sagna-Squillaci-Djourou-Clichy with only 1 goal against them in 3 games. The worst combination looks to be Fab- Eboue-Squillaci-Djourou-Gibbs but this is only based on one game and they only conceded 2 goals in the final minutes when we were pushing to score with only 3 defenders left on the pitch.

A combination that we have played a lot is the Fab- Sagna – Squillaci – Kos – Clichy. And on paper they look bad. But we must keep in mind that they conceded 6 goals in 2 games and in the other 3 games only 2. So a bit of an up and down performance one could say.

Before I turn myself into Mr Wenger I just would like to make a final remark but an important one. We must not forget that our centre backs have until this season never played together. Vermaelen and Djourou have as far as I know never played together in a competitive game last season. And Scuillaci and Koscielny also never have played together before in their career. And we all know that forming a centre back combination is about building. Yes it can work out from the first seconds but still to know what your partner in defence will do when you do this or when you do that is something that needs time. So we are still in the building process from this defence and certainly in the centre.

Now if we would take a very short turn we could say that Wenger should play in the following line up IF ALL OUR PLAYERS ARE FIT and based on this attempt to analyse things a bit and my personal feelings:

In goal: Szczesny

Right back: Sagna (Eboue his individual numbers look better on paper but I just feel more relaxed with Sagna)

Centre back: Vermaelen – Djourou

Left back: Gibbs

And when I look at this I think this could well be a defence that could be around for a while and maybe it is the spine of the defence of the next invincibles? It has length in Djourou, a high jumping and always battling Vermaelen, a reliable right back and a fast left back. And a keeper I really like a lot.

And finally this defence never has played in this formation so far. If we do in the not so distant future will they prove me right or wrong. Time will tell.

——

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34 comments to Digging deeper in defence

  • Dark Prince

    I’d like to see Vermaelen and Squillaci play together bcoz Squillaci stays behind while Vermaelen can sometimes can go ahead to join in the attack when it is required. Also they are probably the most experienced defenders in our team, so why not use both of their experience??

    As far as gk is concerned, Almunia looks like he wont be our number 1 in the future. Fabianski is still has lots of improvement to look forward to and Szczesny will eventually give a good competition to fabianski in next year.

    Left back is simpler, Gibbs is the future and he’s becoming more consistent. Clichy will eventually have to give way to him.

    As for the right back, Sagna is impressive but its his substitute which is worryin, Eboue. Very error prone. But what is more surprising is that there is promising youngster to replace Sagna.

  • A Casual Observer

    Great work Walter, nice to have all the figures there for discussion!

    🙂

  • Gf60

    Good one Walter. What’s it look like when purely league as opposed to Cup games are analysed? Gut feel says Djourou out performs Kos.

  • Thanks Walter for this deep shoveling, though I really respect you I hope Vermaelen will get better sooner than you after this.

    Stats and numbers are always tricky and they hide more than they show, so it is still, as you noticed to get some conclusion which would not lead us in wrong direction.
    As this is still early stage of season, hardly some strong points can be established cause some players had less than 5 appearances, and to get real conclusion they need at last 5 under belt.

    I believe that right now we have versatile back line and have defenders whom we can place depending of stile of play. Squillaci and Vermaelen in games with teams who prefere “air” aproach. Vermaelen and Koscielny for teams who play on fast counterattacks, and Vermaelen – Djurou combination for ala Stoke teams.
    Reason for bad stats (shown here) is continuous problems with absence of one of defenders so we are forced to play with what we have and not what would be best.

  • JohnW

    I think in many of the games we have lost, if JD had been there may be we would save some thing. And on Monday I predict an Arsenal win or draw if JD starts. By the way, what is it with our playing the offside trap quite often?

  • Wrenny

    Great work Walter, many thanks! 😀

    As I presumed, in Vermaelen’s absence our best CB partnership seems to be Squillaci and Djourou.

    Fab – Sagna – Djourou – Squillaci – Clichy have conceded just 1 goal in 3 games. If you have the exact same back five but swap Koscielny for Djourou, we have conceded 8 goals in 5 games!

    If we ignore the goalkeeper and fullbacks and simply look at the CB pairs (ignoring Song and TV) in isolation then we have the following results:

    Koscielny – Squillaci: 13 goals, 9 games

    Koscielny – Djourou: 1 goal, 3 games

    Djourou – Squillaci: 8 goals, 8 games

    So clearly we have been much better with Djourou than without him. And on this evidence it seems that the young pair of Kos and Djourou is significantly stronger than any partnership that includes the vastly more experienced Squillaci, which I find very surprising.

  • Wrenny

    And you’ve made the very important point that these defenders are still learning to play alongside one another. As good as a CB might be as an individual, that is only a small part of defending. The co-ordination and understanding between defenders is what makes a solid back line. This is why signing a CB in January would probably achieve nothing – we would just have 5 CBs who are unfamiliar with one another instead of 4.

    What these players need is more games and more time. The talent is most definitely there, and the understanding will come.

  • Arsenal_stevie

    To start off, great work Walter, many thanks!

    Firstly my main worry is that its coming to x-mass and we still don’t know are our best centre back partnering, i understand that Vermaelen has been out and will be out to at least January but the other three haven’t covered them selves en glorly however as Gf60, JohnW and Wrenny (just to point a few out)Djourou has surprisingly been our best defender. Djourou – Squillaci is my pick for now until Vermaelen is back. Koscielny at the moment is not to the standard required (niether of them really), but Koscielny seems far to mistake prone and the fact he only ever played one season of top flight football, no europa, champions league or international games doesn’t install huge confidence and could be why he’s so out of depth at the moment, the name Cygan somtimes springs to mind thinking about it (Both came with simliar circumstances).

    We can all talk about who we think is better but the fact is Wenger must by now have an idea who he believes is the right pairing and sticking to it. I play centre back and failry high standard of football my Dad played for Southend also centre back and the simple fact is that partnership as we all no takes time to build. Chopping and changing pretty much the hole back four at times aint improving in my eyes the situation. I mean we can say what all we like but last weekend when who have two centre backs that knock each other out is through a lack of communication and knowledge of each other, for both to go for the same ball is poor.

    I remmember in 2005 when we have defensive problems Wenger got Keown to drill the defense, as as i still remmember we still hold the champions league record for clean sheets, 10-in-an-row.

    Finally keeper is a must in x-mass. Why not put pressure on Man city to sell us Given. He wants to come and im sure he would choose us over any other club after him after him at the moment. I mean what other club is after him that can offer him Champions League football.

    If we fix our leaking goals problem then bring on the league!!!

  • Paul C.

    I cannpot believe people are still calling for Given!!!! He is a decent ‘keeper, no more, who is weak in the air and was made 2nd choice at City the moment Joe Hart proved he could tie his shoelaces. Why would we want another clubs reject? Given is not the answer.

    As far as this attack/defense debate that is ongoing is concerned, I’ll say it again, balance wins Championships. Teams that win the Championship tend to have good defensive records compared to the rest of the League because they also tend to have a good attack as well. It is no good getting clean sheets if you can’t score, and no good scoring if you can’t defend. The main thing is to play to your strengths as a team, and our strength is attacking, so we need to be focusing on that.

    Having said that, our defense does still need to sharpen up, but as others have said (and Walter points out in this article) that hasnt been helped by injuries and the constant rotation of players that has necessitated at the back. Right now more than anything we need a stable back-4 for a period, just so they can grow together and establish an understanding. I hope Djourou’s fitness is fine now because he is going to get a run of games now and needs to step up. He has looked outstanding so far and that needs to continue.

    TOP OF THE LEAGUE!!!!!

  • Dark Prince

    @Arsenal_stevie- i dont think Wenger will ever buy another gk now. We have 3gks, and 2 of them show good potential. Even if fabianski makes lots of errors and gets dropped, then Wenger has Szczesny, who i think is the best gk we might have since David Seamen.

    To be honest. I dont see why Arsenal has to buy another gk for another 10yrs. Though Arsenal can buy in more younger gks later…but i dont think it will happen for atleast 5yrs.

  • Micheal

    Walter, great article as ever… However, the way you are analyzing is different from the way I see it… You researched the defense by judging the back four… However, opponents attack vertically, not horizontally… This year we suffered from counter-attacks and crosses… Why dont we analyzing by breaking the team into left-side and right-side…? Lets go back 6-7 years ago by looking at the Invincibles… The partnership between Campbell-Toure was good, but it was over-rated for me… Our defense was rock solid because the balance of the left and right team was perfect… The Henry-Pires-Cole attacking triplets on the left was very well supported and protected by Vieira and Campbell… Pires genuinely shields Cole, Henry runs tirelessly up the pitch while Vieira and Campbell were monsters… On the right, Lauren’s football intelligence, skill and stamina compliments Ljungberg’s work-rate and nose for the goal… These duo thrive on Bergkamp’s god-given-vision, Gilberto’s “fireman” qualities and Toure’s athleticism… So, the whole team was comfortable and trust-worthy of each other, and the rest is history… The present team does have this potential but it takes time… Instead of looking at Sagna-Koscielny-Vermaelen-Clichy (assuming first-teamers), why not try Koscielny-Sagna-Song-Nasri and Vermaelan-Clichy-Wilshere-Arshavin…? Fabregas and Chamakh are mainly running all around the pitch… The right-side is very solid but not the left side… Defensive limitations of Arshavin and Wilshere will definitely effect Vermaelen and Clichy… Koscielny was very good at the beginning of the season because he was at the right side… Since Vermaelen’s injury, the left spot had him severely exposed by players in front of him… New guy of a attacking team in a tough, physical league… What else do you want…? I think he’s doing well under these circumstances… And have you watched the way Squillaci screams and organize the defense…? Just like Keown and everybody knows what defender he was… Most of the time, when the opponents send aerial bombardment towards the left side of Arsenal, the dolly-trinity of Clichy-Wilshere-Arshavin were got out of jail by Song and another covering defender… Blaming players is not the agenda here… Just that a football team is made from 11 players who understand their roles and responsibilities set up by the manager… It takes time, patience and encouragement… The day is at the darkest before the sunrise…

  • Wrenny

    @Micheal
    This is also an important issue, and one I was thinking about a while back. Our left flank of Clichy – Wilshere – Arshavin does not seem to hold the right balance between attack and defence. That is not a criticism of the players individually, but the combination of them together.

    Wilshere likes to get forward (and is very good at it), but when he does go into the final third it puts a certain amount of defensive responsibility on Arshavin. One needs to be able to cover for the other if the play breaks down or we are susceptible to a counter attack down that flank. When you then add Clichy, who is more of a risk-taker than Sagna (Clichy will often try to control the ball and spark an attack from positions where Sagna will tend to play it safe and knock it long/out for a throw) there’s perhaps a bit too much exuberance down our left side.

    Compare it to the right flank where we have Sagna, Song and Nasri, and there seems to be more physical strength and defensive nous. Sagna takes fewer risks than Clichy in dangerous situations, while Nasri has a far superior engine than Arshavin.

    I wonder whether swapping Song and Wilshere over could be a solution. Jack would have more license to go forward with Nasri always willing to help out, at the moment he is a little shackled by Arshavin’s poor defensive qualities. But obviously the passing angles would be very different, with Jack’s left foot moved to the right, and Song’s right-footedness on the left…

  • RedGooner

    Good Article Walter. I would have included central defensive midfield also possibly.
    However I noticed AW’s comments today about allowing song to roam further forward even if it gets us caught out at times.

    The reaction on many Blogs has been one of astonishment. I sort of read between the lines and think AW meant when we play team who like to park the BUS and play for a point he allows song to roam further forward. That this would NOT be the case against the chelseas and Man Utds of this world.

    It such as hard topic to cover as defending as a team is so important some days we have seen players not work hard enough for eachother and it has made the defence look worse.

    Nice stats though interesting stuff.

  • Bexxy

    Back on form, Walter! Very interesting, cheers

  • Paul C.

    Wrenny and Michael – absolutely right about side-to-side differences. I am still, a third of the way into the season, trying to figure out if Clichy is a defensive liability or simply someone who is continually left exposed by the cover in front of him. The amount of times we have seen Nasri tracking back to help out Sagna is huge, I struggle to remember too many times that AA has done that on the left side. I still tend towards Clichy being inconsistent in the extreme, but we’d need to see Gibbs there for awhile to make a proper judgement, and what if it is wrong to say Clichy is poor, and that actually he is doing a great job in tough circumstances? That is where the manager makes his money I suppose.

  • Wrenny

    In the second half against Villa Wenger swapped Arshavin and Rosicky, it seemed, to offer better protection to Clichy. Perhaps we will see this ploy again while Cesc is absent.

    Something I would like to see would be Nasri on the left with Arshavin on the right. I think Nasri would be a big help to Clichy and Wilshere on that side, while having Arshavin on the right side would discourage Song from his attacking forays and return to what he’s good at – protecting the back four.

  • Paul C.

    Wrenny – the one problem with your suggestion is that Nasri and Sagna have developed a great understanding together. Why mess with that? We have complained that our team hasnt had an opportunity to settle down together and yet that is advocating breaking up one of the most succesful partnerships we have, down the right flank. I would much rather just see the player in front of Clichy play better.

  • Wrenny

    @Paul C
    I agree, Sagna and Nasri have developed a good understanding. I would still like to see us at least try that option as I believe it could also be of huge benefit to Clichy. He used to be a very potent attacking weapon for us but has seen his influence on games diminished by (in my opinion) the arrival of Arshavin as much as our switch to 4-3-3. I believe a Nasri – Clichy partnership has a lot of potential, perhaps as much as Cole – Pires.

    As for the negatives, I’m not sure the switch would benefit Arshavin’s style. He has a wonderful ability to invite a challenge from defenders, and pull the ball away from them at the perfect moment. On the left wing he can do this with ease, but on the right side he would have his body between the ball and the defender.

    Playing him on the ‘wrong’ side probably gets the best out of him, as it has done for Robben, Messi, Ronaldo and many others who in years gone past would have played on their corresponding side (right footers down the right, lefties down the left).

    I just find it all very interesting, and it goes to show the difficulties that Wenger must face. How can he improve us defensively without taking anything away from our ability to attack?

  • Wrenny

    Almost forgot, you say you would like to see the player in front of Clichy player better – do you think Arshavin is able to do more defensively? Some have said he’s lazy but I’ve come to the conclusion he simply doesn’t have the stamina, or engine, to put in the defensive effort required, at least not when he’s playing twice a week.

    His recent peak in form has coincided with him being rested in midweek from our recent CL matches, which would suggest it’s more a question of fitness than laziness.

  • Paul C.

    Yeah, AA is a tough one. When he is on form he is fantastic, and there are signs he is slowly coming to the boil right now. His stamina shouldnt be a problem, although I do think he tends to switch off a little bit when he is without the ball.

    Yeah, I think he just needs to be more aware of what is happening behind him, although at times Clichy does as well. Both have been guilty of that at times. I just wouldnt want to mess with what Nasri and Sagna have developed on the other side, because we are pretty solid down the right side.

  • Getty

    Walter great job, I know what you’re trying to do, but one glaring point for me is how small the data sample is. It’s very difficult to conclude anything out of this. What you see is that we have a lot of rotation in the squad for various reasons. Sometimes stats can be so meaningless. The back 4 or 5 can be as good as what is in front of them at times. Our tactic seems to be high line defense, possession football, press up the field when possession is lost. That means everyone is moving up the field as a unit. When you lose possession if you don’t press them up the field as a unit they get behind you very quickly and punish you. As commendable as it is to find the best five in the back, our tactical approach to these games has inherent risk. You enjoy it when it works and a heart break when it doesn’t. So we are not a cohesive unit yet, but we are getting better. When we do, the number of goals we concede will go down for sure.

  • Mandy Dodd

    I think a lot of our defence problems start with MFs not always doing their job and tracking back – interesting comments today from Wenger about Songs role. His more attacking mf role may work against some teams but please not if we end up facing the likes of Barca!

  • Richard B

    Wengers comments today about allowing Song to go forward more on order to increase the pressure on the opposition defence (and thereby keep the ball further away from our goal) indicates, yet again, that he considers attack the best form of defence, Stats show (and I know we’ve ruined them a couple of times) that he who scores first tends to win – not least because it forces the opposition to come out, not waste time and to leave gaps at the back which can be exploited to score a second and third goal. We do have attackers – Arshavin especially – who are not the best when we don’t have the ball and that can lead to us conceding goals. But the goal creation/scoring record of the Arshavin is very good and probably makes up for deficiencies elsewhere.
    But the key point has been made – defences need to play together regularly in order to be at their best and three of our CBs barely kicked a ball for us last season and the one who did has been injured for most of this one.
    I’m confident that by the end of this season we could be looking at an outstandingly successful defence.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Hope so but we need to stop surrendering leads and making life so difficult!

  • luke

    good article walter. it is nice to see a blog on the tinternet that actually does leg work to make an article valid. personally i have always held the opinion that arsenal fans seem to forget why V12 was so successfull in his first year at arsenal. He essentially plays as a DM/CB meaning he is an attacking option from defence. not only that physically hes
    a lot more compact meaning (haha)physically he suits the game better than a giant and will adapt quicker. frankly to say that any of the rest arent good enough for arsenal at this point of the year is just stupid.
    on a further note it would be interesting to see the same concept as above put into a team sense as the team defends from the front backwards (zones).
    cheers.

  • Andrew Chua

    Wow! That’s loads of work. Thanks Walter. Its refreshing and enlightening… compared to the calls of ‘buy buy buy’.

    My humble input:

    1. the holding midfielders are vital as they provide the buffer; when Song/Denilson/Wilshere played badly, I believe we let in more goals (I don’t have stats on that, but I measured by my level of anciety and number of ciggis lighted :-)); Hence consideration of CDM is crucial as it is an influential variable. Its no coincidence when you consider Chelsea at the beginning of the season and compared that when Lampard, Essien were out injured. I use Chelsea cos they are a benchmark for defence in EPL, IMO.

    2. GK… not too sure I agree with the interpretation of the stats. The sample size is simply too small for Zesny. As in any stats analysis, it should be taken off, as the results sway between 2 extremes when a small sample size is employed.

    3. Quality of opponents… our tendency is to push the defence high on the pitch when we face supposedly weaker/slower opponents. In doing so, the risk(s) of counters increases.

    Cheers

  • La Shiz

    Excellent work Walter! Also, thanks for being open minded in the analysis of the figures as well.

    Fab-Sagna-Squillaci-Djourou-Clichy is going to be our back line for the next month where the most important games are going to be played. Given their record, they can be quite good. Lets hope their stats stay that way 😀

    Top of the table!!

  • Quite interesting thing happened last night. Reina got his 100th clean sheet. We spoke a lot about importance of clean sheets lately.
    So Reina, or Liverpool as team got their 100th clean sheet in last 6 years, and that’s a way better than we did. And I believe that’s best record in EPL lately. But how many titles Liverpool won? Nil. In how many seasons they were ranked better than we? Only 3 from 6. Despite all those clean sheets.

  • Andrew Chua

    Its funny how supporters here think they could outscore every team in every match. Presumably you are right, why then bother about signing defenders, CDMs and GK? Get 11 strikers that will do the job.

  • Andrew that would be simplification. Point is do you play to score and defend what you made from it, or you defend and wait to score, that is difference we are talking about.
    You have teams which score and than fall back protecting lead. Arsenal fails to do it, and in each game we allow it happen we get in to nerve cracking last quarter of game. So there is other way to do it and in each game we done it, we kept clean sheet, it is playing on possession, holding ball, trying to score one more.And that’s what we are good at, and that is what we should concentrate on. I don’t think with team we have now, even having Terry and Vidic back would save us from receiving goals, as we are not suited to defend result.

  • Rhys Jaggar

    The thing with a stat like that Walter is that Gibbs will, in general, at the moment, play against weaker opposition than Clichy. As he’s second choice (well, we can argue about that, but that’s Wenger’s position right now).

    Not comparing like with like, is it?

  • Micheal

    I agree with Rhys Jagger… To blindly say Gibbs is better than Clichy is lazy input… Gibbs performed better because he was mostly played against lesser teams… At big matches, he do struggled… Remember that Man Utd slip, it happens… Every player makes mistakes… However, Clichy have vast experience and stamina to overcome his limitations, in his case, his height, therefore his jumping ability and strength… Against Fulham, Clichy did a brilliant job in containing Davies and Patsil while getting forward occasionally… As I was pointing out in the previous comment, if Clichy was severely exposed, its not because of his fellow defenders, but team-mates ahead of him… Defenders do station horizontally but have to defend attacks vertically… Swapping Song and Wilshere is worth a try but at what cost…? By the way, instructing a physically superier Song on an amok-run in front pressing is way better to panic the opponents… I do realize whenever Song does this, Fabregas or Nasri do cover for him in midfield… Now, thats understanding… It will grow stronger in coming years…

  • Arsenal_stevie

    Gibbs will be better than Clichy. However Clichy for the moment is better and more experienced, however Clichy does make some poor desisions (with I no not much help from Arshavin at times) but also on his own, I still believe that we can cash in on Clichy and bring Gibbs in soon with Pedro Botelho and Traore to battle it out for the back-up.

    @ Dark Prince – You said you don’t think Wenger will buy another GK for about 10 years, but don’t ever remmember Wenger been hugly keen on younger keepers, always gone for that experience over younth in the GK department (funny that). Years ago I was talking to Bob Wilson and he was saying how Stuart Taylor was more than enough ready to replace Seaman, I remmember signing Lehmann that summer. So why personally you and many Arsenal fans believe that Szczesny will get the nod anytime soon, I don’t no. Fabianski has been desent but we saw with Fulham again he’s another one that can’t deal with crosses and its proberly just a question of time when he flaps at another one and we conceed.

    Wenger aid he wouldn’t be buying unless he loses someone, well Almunia is listed according to papers for £1.5 mil with Athletico intreseted so we never no

    @Arsenal_stevie- i dont think Wenger will ever buy another gk now. We have 3gks, and 2 of them show good potential. Even if fabianskifabianski makes lots of errors and gets dropped, then Wenger has Szczesny, who i think is the best gk we might have since David Seamen.

    To be honest. I dont see why Arsenal has to buy another gk for another 10yrs. Though Arsenal can buy in more younger gks later…but i dont think it will happen for atleast 5yrs.

  • Dark Prince

    @Arsenal_stevie- i think if Wenger really needed to buy an experienced goalkeeper, then he would have done it in summer. Now that he has given Fabianski a chance to prove himself, and fabianski, though a little clumsy at times, has got results. But bringing an experienced gk now will only show his lack of confidence in his 2 bright gks. It would not be a good sign. Also, the reason Wenger bought Lehmann that time was bcoz Arsenal were not in any stadium debt those days. If after Lehmann retired, Arsenal didn’t hav a stadium debt then i doubt Wenger would have persisted with Almunia.