How many defenders have we really lost so far?

By Walter Broeckx

A lot of supporters have a difficult time in this transfer window and say that we have gone backwards and have lost a lot of players and mostly in defence and this was the point where we suffered the most last season. So let us have a look at it in detail and see who has left and what they meant for us in the last season. When I talk in this article about games played I only took the games played in the league.

So let us start by the defenders that have left us:

William Gallas was the most important defender who played 26 games in the league and he scored 3 goals for us. And yes to be fair he had maybe one of his best seasons for Arsenal. He played strongly, defended strongly and he also scored a few goals so we could be satisfied with this. The only negative point is that he got injured in February and this was somewhat the end of his season. So to replace him we need someone who can play a lot of games.

Silvestre also left us this summer and last season he played 12 games in total in the league for Arsenal. And he scored 1 goal. I think it is fair to say he was the most disliked player in Arsenal by most of the fans. His United heritage was lying as a shadow over him and he never could win the hearts of the Arsenal fans. His passing of the ball was not good enough. Defensively he was not that bad but I don’t think there are a lot fans who have thrown away their Arsenal shirt and would never support us again  after it became known that he had left us. I think it will be more the contrary, most fans are relieved that he is gone.

The third one that left us is Sol Campbell who played a total of 11 games and didn’t score for us last season. I admit that he worked his socks off, battled with all what was left inside of him but was he still good enough? He was our 4th or 5th choice centre back and he did what he could and showed his great heart and determination. But he was never the Campbell we knew from the time when he played for us before this spell.

I even wrote an article on him and Silvestre in the last games of the season and pointed out that when they played together we conceded lots of goals and our passing from the back was very poor. We couldn’t bring up the ball to the midfield and therefore lost a lot of balls and couldn’t keep control of the games. We all will  have him in our hearts but do we really, if we take away the sympathy we have for him, think he could be better this season? I really doubt it to be honest.

And finally we lost Senderos. He played no games for us in the league at all. So I think it is fair to say we will not miss him.

So we lost in total four centre backs who played in total 49 games in the league. An average of 12 games per player. And if we try to look at it in a fair way, only one player of those four was really a first team player. And he missed one third of the season because of injury.

The other thing we can ask ourselves if we really can say we lost Senderos in the summer? I think he was lost before that as he didn’t play one single game for us in the last two seasons. How can you count Senderos as a loss as he didn’t play for us at all? So I think we only lost 3 defenders and this means an average of some 16 games for the three of them.

So who do we have in their place?

Let us start by the player who cost us most money so far Koscielny. We will not know how good he really is until the season is over. But as I pointed out he was one of the best defenders in the French Ligue 1 last season. And we have seen him do a great job in the games he played so far and certainly in the Emirates cup against Milan, where he showed a bit of what he can do.

But if we want to make a comparison we can only look at the statistics of last year. And he played 35 games of the 38 games in the league in France. He had a little injury in the other games and it is fair to say that otherwise he would have played all the games. Maybe he could have missed a game because he got a red card in a cup game but I’m not sure on this.

At first sight then he looks like a player that is not injury prone and can stay fit in a season. He also scored 3 goals in the league so this is the same as Gallas. Will he be as good as Gallas? We don’t know but if we look at his statistics it looks that he could be a fitter player than Gallas and could be playing more games if needed than Gallas.

Another new, but not completely new player is Nordtveit. Last year on loan in Germany he played 19 games in the Bundesliga. And the Bundesliga is not an easy competition. It is one of the better leagues in Europe and a tough one.  For a young player Nordtveit played a lot of games for a side that was struggling to stay in the league last season. He was injured for a while but when he was fit he got enough games under his belt. He did rather well if we think of his age. And also in the pre-seasons game he performed on a high level so far.  I think this is a player who can be counted on when the first choice players are injured.

Another player we have as centre back is Djourou. Wenger believed in him at the start of last season. And it was a disappointment that he got his injury and lost the whole season.

So if we take it in total we have 3 new or somewhat new players and they had a total of 54 games and an average of 18 games last season.

We lost 3 defenders all above 30 years old and most of them over the top of their career and now we have three new defenders who are younger and who should be at the start of the best period in their career.

If Wenger brings in one more centre back I think we have gained, if we compare the set up to the last season. And Arsenal and Wenger have said that they are looking for at least one more centre back in this transfer window.  For the moment I think it is a bit balanced. 3 out, 3 in. The thing we don’t know is how those 3 players will react to the season and if they will stay free of injuries.

So on paper I see no reason to panic about the players we have at our disposal. Saying we have lost players in defence is not correct if you ask me. But one more centre back would be welcomed by me and I believe by most of the fans. After all we are Arsenal and injuries have never been far away in recent  seasons.

Untold Arsenal

Woolwich Arsenal

Making the Arsenal

65 Replies to “How many defenders have we really lost so far?”

  1. Last season: Gallas, Verminator, Slivestre, Campbell (in Jan) Senderos (loaned out) Johan D (injured)

    So really last season we can say had 3 and half defenders for the season being that Sol played half a season! We were lucky as Gallas played 35 games all comp’s and Verm played 45 games in all comp’s but when they both got injured, to coin a Wenger term, showed we were a little short! Song can cover as a CB but against better teams he has shown a lack of understanding of that role as he usually gets caught of position.

    This season: Veriminator, Kos and Johan D maybe promote Bartley and Nordtviet.

    Johan has already had a knock pre season so he will be injured at some point ill bet my house on it, Nordviet wasn’t used in the Emirates cup which shows Wenger doesn’t feel he is ready, Bartley hasn’t been around pre season but has played in Arsenal reserve matches as he is coming back from injury. You suggesting one addition to this will make us stronger that than last season?

    Like last season I think Wenger is missing a chance to win a title, with the right signings and additions the title would be ours no question but when injuries come the squad depth is just not there to cover it especially at the back.

  2. Is Spahic going to be the one that is going to come? His name was mentioned on and this looks a bit like the Chamakh,Koscielny thing over when they were named on the site before they actually signed? Or is this just a smokescreen for some other signing that is on the cards?

  3. The way I see it is different. How many centre backs do we need. Wenger says 5. We have 3, plus Nordtveit who might be deemed not ready, plus Song who can provide cover. By that calculation we need 1 more.

  4. Thank you, this is by far the best Arsenal site I have come across!

    This site is so refreshing it consistently speaks common sense and can see the bigger picture more than so called “fans” that want to pretend they are playing championship manager and we should buy this as that player!

    In my opinion we could do with another centre back just to be sure, after the assault by Shawcross last season i’m not convinced that it wont happen again so a bit more depth is always welcomed.

    Keep up the good work!!

  5. You are right in the way you did the analysis. However, to win a trophy, it is essential to have experienced back up and a good goal keeper. I am not sure that the back up of NORDTVEIT( 20y old) and Djourou only, combined with the goalkeepers we have, is enough to push us over the line to win the Premiership. I believe we do need an another experienced CB and a good goalkeeper to make us cut above and help us win trophies. Otherwise, we will again be nearly there but not quite, with all the regrets about what could have been. I am Wenger’s fan. Wenger please go out and fix these problems and have no regrets afterwords. Winners have no regrets, even if they don’t win, however looser always look back and ponder, what if this or that has happened. Please Wenger this is it. This team is now ready to rumble. All it need is few vital signings. Go on, grab the moment and grab the bull by its horns. Glory will be all yours.

  6. i wonder, if koncheilny was one of the best defenders in france why he hasnt been called up to the french squad why is essentially a B team.

    If we dont get an experienced centre back and a good goalkeeper its not worth even thinking about the coming season.

    we let in 5 to warsaw.

  7. Also, the experience of rosicky, diaby and eduardo should tell us that djourou cannot be depended upon this season after such a long injury.

  8. I agree that one more defender should be enough, provided their aren’t too many serious injuries. But, the one thing that I find frustrating is this goalkeeper situation. Wenger all but admitted towards the end of last season that both, Almunia and Fabianski were not up to the task and yet here we are, just 7 days from the beginning of the season and we’ve got the same goalkeepers fighting for the number 1 spot. There is no doubt that last season, the goalkeeper cost us valuable points by making absolute idiotic decisions or by just plain lack of ability. I can remember both goalkeepers in question actually throwing the ball into their own net on a couple of occasions. I would love it if Fabianski could suddenly come of age and prove his quality but we all know this just ain’t gonna happen. Our other options are too young and Wenger is sending one out on loan. I’m worried to be honest.

  9. Arsenal need a goalkeeper and a defender. Sell Fabianski and let Almunia be the backup. Buy a really good goal keeper and versatile defender. Then we can talk about winning titles.

  10. In most of things I do agree with you Walter but this time there is only one thing which has to be considered. EPL doesn’t necessary win better team, than one with longest bench. I think what we have right now, is sufficient to win title, if we would not be generally injury prone team. So one more CD is necessary at last until Firmpong can completely replace Song.

    Mentioning yesterday game, I would not be so much worried about it, we got goals in faze of game in which no one in red and white shirts was really in game. They were rather thinking, how to fastest and easiest get back home and to rest before Scousers game.

  11. Regarding the goalkeeper situation, there just isn’t goalkeepers that are AVAILABLE at a realistic price (most clubs will double what they are worth because of man city’s spending/our situation)

    Why should we spent £20 million on a goalkeeper with no guarantee that they will be SIGNIFICANTLY better?? when we have the likes of Wojciech Szczesny who is going to be better than the GK we would sign in only a few years!!

  12. The defence is good enough, and since we are not buying a goalkeeper, i think szczesny should be given the chance at liverpool. He is a keeper who could easily save us 9 points in a season. I just hate the fact that wenger said that “we are going for the title, so we need an experienced keeper”. Shesney has huge confidence. Fabianski would never have hit the bar that way at members day. cehesney is good at crossing balls ball, and a fantastic shot stopper. If arsene is going to dump him over fabianski just over a few years of experience, im gonna get pissed. Cause he is ovbiosly our first choice. The ATVO commentators called fabianski a great athlete aswell, when he ISNT! The first goal yesterday may not be saved by chesney (probably would), but fabianski was 5 feet away from the ball. I really dont see the potential for fabianski to be a top goalkeeper.

    Castilles was first team when he was 19-20.. so why shouldnt we do the same when chesney is the only keeper that could save us points?

  13. gooner nick

    we could literally buy any other keeper in the league and it would be an improvement on fabianski.

    we have a huge network of scouts, we are one of the best off clubs in the world and have buckets of cash in reserve. The fact we havent bought a keeper is complete madness and just stinks of arsenal waiting to do something on the cheap again.

  14. Silvestre actually played some of his time on the pitch at left back ( and was described by Wenger as his fourth choice in that position) so the situation is even more in favour Walters optimistic view. Songs ability to drop back into a CB position is also well established but the ability of either Denilson or Diaby to cover for him in DM is less clear cut. They are both, more naturally, attacking midfielders and look far better with cover behind them.
    Frimpong could be the solution there but his lack of height would need to be compensated for elsewhere. He might, for instance, work best with Diaby alongside him.
    As usual it all depends on injuries and those are unpredictable. What is certain is that another left footed/two footed CB/DM would be very valuable to us.
    And, having watched Fabianski fall over one of his own players at a corner why not try the tactic of taking all of our other defenders out of the six yard box at opposition set pieces and let the GK have a cleare run at the ball – as well as making fouls on the keeper even more obvious to the ref. Few other teams crowd round their keeper as much as we do and it seems to work better for them.

  15. I’m not sure some of you realise just how bad our two keepers have been for us. I am absolutely dreading watching another game when our team gives everything just for it all to be undone by a lack of class between the sticks. It makes me want to reach in the screen slap the shit out of the goalkeeper. I’m not talking about spending £20 million on a keeper. No other PL team needs to pay this to get a bit of quality. We can watch as teams below us are saved relegation and get into Europe on the back of a strong keeper while we watch ours single handedly pull our season apart.

  16. On the situation with Cesc Fabregas…
    “We are not in a Cristiano Ronaldo place. We are just focussed on the new season. Fabregas is one of our best players. We want him to stay and be focussed. He will be our captain this season and I hope for many seasons to come.”

    from arse website. Quesss hes not leaving next season either

  17. I am not impressed with Koscielny!! Full Stop!

    I know he is new and its pre-season but look at Chamakh…his commitment in the pre-season is worth applauding! I am sure we wont buy a quality CB and who ever we buy wont be in the first team as there is no time for the new guy to establish an understanding with Vermaelen!

    Truely disappointed!! Hope Wenger gets a quality CB or even get Gallas back (i wont mind that at all!) who is good enuff to walk in the first team ahead of Koscielny and Djourou!

    God Help Us!! Go Gunners!

  18. Gallas is a big loss but I think NASRI will benefit hugely from this grumpy bad influence being out of the team.

    I am going to put it out there I think narsi with that huge bonding with Chamkh already may have a better season than cesc

    Song could have been included in your anaylsis as with the emerging frimpong could take his place in DM

    I have big reservations with the defence this year, the world cup hasnt helped our preparations at all

  19. Hash, you seems to forgot that a season ago, when Vermaelen first come to Arsenal, he didn’t put a really amazing show during pre-season, he saved it for the whole season after that.

  20. Great write up well done. Its great to read positives about our great club.
    But I have to disagree about 1 defender needed. I think we need 2, one of which should have experience, maybe Mexes/Chellini???
    Also, we need a goal keeper badly. How many games should we have got more out of it last season only for our so called number 1 to make a howler. I’m not sure what keeper Wenger is going to sign but I do believe he will sign someone..
    If he can get us them 3 players, I think we have a great chance of topping the league and even the champions league..
    In Wenger we trust…..

  21. Koschielny is a very good player indeed. Watch the game against AC Milan to see a glimpse of his tackling and ball playing abilities.

    We do need another defender and this Spahic bloke we’re linked with would suit our playing style.

    Buy Spahic
    Buy Vertonghen

    Mic Richards and Eden Hazard would be the icing on the cake.

  22. Good post, I’ve just seen the goals vs Legia and I think signings are only one side of it< we need a defesive coach, we did last season and we do now. The organisation and defending from the front was very poor and the positioning was even worse.

    As for our marking at set pieces….. what are we doing? Who is organising them? I won't blame Fabianski as the team defending was woeful but his reaction bothers me and highlights the problem.

    Instead of kicking in frustration Fabianski should be out telling his players what to do, where they went wrong, he has the best view on the pitch and needs to be communicating and instructing – Jens always let someone know what he wanted from them, as an international I'd expect Fabianski to take the same ownership!!

    Almunia is just as guilty at times, the keeping has a vital role and responsibility above just saving shots. I think some of the defensive issues the past year or two have been due to poor leadership at the back and the absence of a mature and intellingent keeper.

    Tony, I know you said we can only comment on the keepers if we can find one better who is available etc etc I disagree, Almunia is technically flawed and that is hard to change, there are better keepers who have been available and who have gone to much poorer teams, we shouldn't accept such poor quality – I accept good keepers are hard to find but it's been 3 or 4 years now so I don't believe there is noone we can find available and better, Almunia is not a 'good' keeper, he does what we should expect and no more, an arsenal keeper should be able to organise a defence, catch and know where his near post is!! Almunia's stats last season were average to say the least and whilst stats don't tell the whole picture I think we saw enough games to fill in the rest, great shot stopper but we need more than just that.

  23. @ Miller, Vermaelen is an exception! He was already the club captain of a team who has had plenty of domestic and european success. It would be unfair to compare Vermaelen and Koscielny! The only thing bothering me is EXPERIENCE of Koscielny!! With his bit of experience and keeping the expensive price tag (10 millions) we were better off buying a player from a mid-table league team or even a championship side (Hangeland, Cahill, Upson, Samba, etc!!) And PLEASE to the people who think KOSCIELNY put up a GREAT show against AC MILAN…AC MILAN like all other Italian teams (with the exception of Inter) are annoyingly slow and dont have the same pace as the likes of Birmingham City, Blackburn or any other mid-table team!

    The fact that Koscielny didnt put up a good show against Celtic (they are on the same level with the likes of Fulham, Birmingham City etc) and more importantly Warsaw worries me!!

    The whole point of PRE-SEASON is to make amends and test possible partnership and tactics to counter all the mistakes made in the previous season! Saying that pre-season is solely for match-practice is wrong! The area where we screwed up last season was Defence and Set-Pieces! As a dedicated Gooner who hasnt missed a match minute of an Arsenal game eversince i fell in love with the club, I was hoping Arsenal to particularly improve in defense and try to CONCEDE as less goals as possible!! Did that Happen?? NO!! I really wish we had lost to Strum Graz or Barnet so that Wenger could’ve done something about defense earlier on!!

    Come on guys! 4 CBs went and only 1 came in!! Do the maths!! Dont be blind! Be Realistic! We technically have two CBs since Djourou is injury prone! Have pity on Song and let him focus and develop himself as a top quality DM..not a CB! Frankly, I dont see ourselves in a better shape defensively then what we were last season!


    Have a good day fellow gooners! Arsenal For Life!!

  24. @ Miller, Vermaelen is an exception! He was already the club captain of a team who has had plenty of domestic and european success. It would be unfair to compare Vermaelen and Koscielny! The only thing bothering me is EXPERIENCE of Koscielny!! With his bit of experience and keeping the expensive price tag (10 millions) we were better off buying a player from a mid-table league team or even a championship side (Hangeland, Cahill, Upson, Samba, etc!!) And PLEASE to the people who think KOSCIELNY put up a GREAT show against AC MILAN…AC MILAN like all other Italian teams (with the exception of Inter) are annoyingly slow and dont have the same pace as the likes of Birmingham City, Blackburn or any other mid-table team!

    The fact that Koscielny didnt put up a good show against Celtic (they are on the same level with the likes of Fulham, Birmingham City etc) and more importantly Warsaw worries me!!
    The whole point of PRE-SEASON is to make amends and test possible partnership and tactics to counter all the mistakes made in the previous season! Saying that pre-season is solely for match-practice is wrong! The area where we screwed up last season was Defence and Set-Pieces! As a dedicated Gooner who hasnt missed a match minute of an Arsenal game eversince i fell in love with the club, I was hoping Arsenal to particularly improve in defense and try to CONCEDE as less goals as possible!! Did that Happen?? NO!! I really wish we had lost to Strum Graz or Barnet so that Wenger could’ve done something about defense earlier on!!

    Come on guys! 4 CBs went and only 1 came in!! Do the maths!! Dont be blind! Be Realistic! We technically have two CBs since Djourou is injury prone! Have pity on Song and let him focus and develop himself as a top quality DM..not a CB! Frankly, I dont see ourselves in a better shape defensively then what we were last season!

    Have a good day fellow gooners! Arsenal For Life!!

  25. Walter. Based on yesterday I’d suggest we’ve lost about 10 defenders. 4 gone already and 6 still finding their way to Warsaw. That really was a bugger’s muddle!

  26. So u really think.. Nordtveit, Djourou or Koscielny can do a better job than Gallas or Sol or even Dolphin Head for that matter…. Ur takin the piss mate…

  27. Hash:

    Just trying to be realistic. If an Arsenal fan is likely to be killed in a car accident some time this year, does that mean there is one less Arsenal fan? No more than we are one short of a CB because that CB might be injured this year.

    And yes, any improvement in any position will always be beneficial. Maybe that improvement will come from those who are still fitting in (or back in) the team, learning during pre-season what is necessary to counteract the mistakes made during the previous season. I don’t know yet if that learning has been effected by the players, but I’m sure it’s being worked on behind the scenes. It’s quite possible that we do still need to buy, but I don’t feel that knee-jerk buying is the answer.

    Maybe all that indicates why I’m not a manager.

  28. WAZ, spot on all you said about defending. It is not matter of quality now, I really believe we have quality. Enough for winning all what can be won. But there is something wrong with how our last line operate.
    Yesterday second goal is nothing than twin brother of goals we got vs Wigan. I am 100% sure its not lack of individual quality, than poor coordination.
    It is up to AW to sort it out, for all of us who endlessly believe in him.

  29. In light of the result yesterday and the often pathetic defending on display for us, this article seems a bit overly optimistic, Walter. I understand the reasoning behind it, but let’s look deeper: Koscielny may play more matches and be more fit than Gallas last season, but that hardly makes him a better defender. The Emirates cup and preceding matches all seemed to be played at 3/4 speed; Warsaw absolutely went for it yesterday and our defenders were overmatched. It was as though our players were confused that this team weren’t just laying back and having a run-out for fitness. Not even counting the OG, Koscielny was poor, particularly his positioning, which is supposed to be one of his strengths.

    We lose Sol, who was much better than you describe him once he played himself into fitness, and not only this, he injected passion, dedication and above all experience into a lackadaisical and contented squad. And we replace him with Djourou, “like a new signing”? Out for a year injured, and with a history of injury problems. While he’s been with the club a long time, you wouldn’t call him “experienced” would you? He may improve based on his age, but I’m not cheering for next season. We have problems to deal with now.

    No real loss on Silvestre and Senderos, but we were already too short at the position to begin with last season. We’ve got less now than we had then, and we had less last season than the season before. And only with Arsenal do we talk about our first-choice holding midfielder and one of our key players as being cover for another position for which he is ill-suited. We move him to a position at which he is a downgrade, and just slap in Denilson, Diaby or Frimpong and pretend as though nothing happened? No.

    We may buy another defender, we may not. If I’m honest, we need at least 2 with the inexperienced Nordveidt (who played defensive midfielder in Germany) in the squad. In any case, I think fans are completely justified in being worried. With international breaks upon us, Wenger wouldn’t be able to make purchases now even if he wanted to. We are a week from starting the season at Anfield without RvP, Cesc, Denilson, Bendtner, and with an undermanned and ill-fitting defensive unit, and that’s not even to address the shambles that is our goalkeeping situation. It’s okay to panic, even if it doesn’t fix the situations causing the distress.

  30. Thanks for writing this up, Walter. After all the complaining we heard about Silvestre (and the rueful thoughts about old Sol) last season, it didn’t make any sense to me that fans were complaining about their departures. Although Gallas had some serious “moments of quality”, we would be foolish to ignore 1. his acrimonious departure from Chelsea (the own goal statement) 2. his supposed locker room feuds with Kolo, Nasri, etc 3. no team has rushed out to sign him this pre-season. For all that he brings to the table, it seems the other teams throughout Europe decided the same thing Arsenal did this summer — Gallas brings both good and bad to a team, and he may not be worth the trouble anymore at his age.

    I imagine that if the team allows Fabianski to leave, the same fans who have been booing him at every minute will turn around and complain about our lack of depth in goal.

  31. All this debate would not have happened if we had kept Sendy around.
    Watch his performance in the World Cup,better than what all arsenal defenders except TV.We will miss him a lot and don’t be surprised if he shines at Craven Cottage.

  32. You can put all three of the so-called incoming central defenders together and they won’t equal one William Gallas. He is STILL a world-class defender with countless BPL games under his belt and trophies in his cabinet. He is a winner while the likes of Djourou, Nordveit, and Kosceilny haven’t won a thing. It’s almost disrespectful to compare those kids to William Gallas.

    Technically, Vermaelen was absolutely brilliant last season. However, tactically, he is still very naive and needs a “big brother” to show him the ropes. That’s what Gallas was for him. I recall games where Gallas didn’t play and Vermaelen made some horrible tactical decisions and Arsenal were punished. When Gallas went off against Barcelona, Xavi played him like a drum. He’s one for the future but still needs mentorship from an old head. I think he’s very likely to have a so-called sophmore slump this season.

  33. Is it just me or any blog around is full of buying comments, get him or him or get this one or this one, spend spend spend…..
    I am sorry to say that yesterday’s games was crap in defence and Vermaelent was playing….. he did some mistakes too, yesterday performance was a one off, no one could do well at the back and that’s it, you can have sent Metersacker, Tasci, Gallas or Superman…well not superman, the final score would have been the same. Lucky enough, Vela and Nasri will be our onform guns that will make the difference, taking 5 goals maybe, scoring 6 surely

  34. I can see what you are saying about the centre backs and agree we do need one more because the balance of experience is gone and that just simply isnt good enough for a club like arsenal.

    More worrying is how many keepers do we have 4 and none are good enough at least some of the backs we have our half ways decent.

  35. If Arsenal has a bad season, it will probably be down to poor defending and goalkeeping. Wenger will take some serious heat from the fans if we concede more goals than last season. Wenger is a brave man. I his position, I wouldn’t have the integrity to continue on this path. Having faith in his current goalkeepers and defenders takes some cojones. I think most fans would agree with “buy some defenders and a proper goalkeeper and we can challenge for honours”. With the strong players we have in offense, it would be so sad to see us lose yet again due to poor defending and goalkeeping. As I see it, Arsenals title ambitios this season is decided in this transfer window. We just have to have better cover at the back. We usually have on average 6-7 players out injured during the season. Too many at the back, we’re in trouble.

  36. Almunia is a much better keeper than Fabianski. In fact, I think he’s a brilliant goal keeper with a temperament problem. He goofs plenty alright…. but I don’t see one Arsenal fan out here mentioning the many many many many many many times he saved it when you REALLY thought it was going in.

    Walter you’re awesome… I’m sick and tired of these “fans” that want to buy this and that….

  37. Walter, on the surface its fair what you say. However surely you know that the quality and experience the likes of Gallas and Campbell brought to the fore is something to consider as well?

    Secondly, lets not make the mistake and set this season’s defensive standard on the setup of last season, Ill say lets not even try to marginally better it (as your post suggests to me) because it will not be good enough.

    We need an experienced man in, I see Spahic is not playing for Montpellier tonight and there is no talk of him being injured so that is a good sign. I would also call for the resigning of Gallas as well and then finally a goalkeeper with Almunia going away.

    Finally adding some quality GK and defensive coaching could stand us in real stead.

  38. This discussion went a bit wide now, but about Almunia… He is not bad goalkeeper at all (not the best in world) but not bad as we think of him, and its mostly because we really dont care when Given make mistake, or when v.d. Saar do something silly, but we see every Manolo mistake.
    But fact is he make average, one mistake per game, if its cleared away and we don’t get goal, he improves and improves and do well whole game.
    Fabianski is not bad, problem is his confidence, once he make mistake, he falls from one to another. But in games in which he avoid it he is terrible good goalkeeper.
    And I know its cheap excuse, but most of goals we got (when Almunia is on goal) are wonder-goals, little miracles which cant be explained.

  39. SA Gunner
    Sorry to disappointing you, but Spahic miss game because suspension. Though Montpelier blogers mentioned that he looked as saying “good buy” to fans in last game.

  40. Next time I will start the article with the end in which I say: “But one more centre back would be welcomed by me “

  41. What also is important is the partnership between the centre backs. But this is something you can only see after some games in the league. Sometimes it works and goes natural and sometimes it doesn’t.

    Maybe conceding 5 goals in Warsaw could become a blessing in disguise at the end of the day. And the whole team was at fault by most of the goals, not just the defenders. Defending is a matter of team work and yesterday our younger players sometimes missed the knowledge of how to press and where to press and exposed the rest of the team.

    But better to have this experience in a friendly game than in the league. And as long as we score more goals then we conceded after 90 minutes we did win the game. 😉

  42. GF60, I think you hit the nail on the head but maybe didn’t intended to at first: the whole team defended bad yesterday at times.
    It was only when Nasri was talking things in hand (I at least had the impression he was doing it) we defended better and more as a team.
    Chamakh is our first defender (and not a bad one in fact)

  43. Nicolás Otamendi, Hugo Nervo, Federico Rasmussen, David Luiz, Kornél Saláta, Neven Subotic, Gojko Kacar, Jagos Vukovic, Jonathan Mensah, Héctor Moreno, Lewin Nyatanga, Rolando, Mamadou Sakho, Basel Mansour Abdoulfattakh, Benjamin Brou Angoua, Serdar Tasci, Benedikt Höwedes, Mats Hummels, Davide Astori, Leonardo Bonucci, Lorenzo Ariaudo, Álvaro Domínguez, Boris Pandza, Dejan Lovren,
    This should keep some of you busy for a while, there is actually some good players listed above, my favorite is the last boy listed but i cannot see wenger getting him in. my point by listing the above is that there are some very good players out there that people generally have not heard of, some names are well known. I personally would rather that AFC bring on youngsters than buying as i see it as a failure of the set up within a club when you have to recruit from outside you organisation.

  44. In spite of having Gallas, Silvestre, Campbell, we managed to concede 41 goals last season. Even assuming that the above three were not useful, we at least had numbers in the back. Now we don’t even have that.

    Nordtveit pllayed as a defensive midfielder for many matches in the Bundesliga and he is in no way ready for a full premier league season.

    To say that we have lost three players who are over 30 and past their best and have gained three who are at the beginning of the best period of their careers is, mildly put, asinine.

    Can Koscielny do a Vermaelen? I hope so but I am not that confident. People seem to be eager to point out that we didn’t know anything about Vermaelen before he arrived and by the same token we should also see Koscielny work wonders. But they forget that Vermaelen was an established defender at Ajax and was the captain. Where was Koscielny then? Ligue 2. One good season in France’s top flight does not mean he would do that same in the Premier league. That said, I am still willing to excuse his purchase as we are yet to see what he is capable of doing.

    But Djourou? The man who, by virtue of missing last season through injury, would seem almost like a new signing? What rubbish. He seems to be made of glass. We need defenders who don’t limp off in preseason at least. Where are the bulls like Sol?

    I have tremendous respect for Mr. Wenger and for you lot at Untold Arsenal. I eagerly read your analysis of football finances and the successful youth project. But if you really feel we have a good chance of winning the league without another bull of a defender, I would have to say that you and Wenger are smoking the same stuff.

    While your unshakable trust in our manager is wonderful to watch, there are times when you must be able to criticize him when it is due. The manager can do without some more ‘yes men’.

    I don’t like the gloom and doom brigade myself but with this team we will finish comfortably in the top 3 but will struggle, and will probably fail, to win the league.

    Rant over.

  45. Thanks for pointing out that the article appeared on Simply Arsenal. I have written to them to ask for an explanation. It may of course be a simple slip and it went up there by mistake, but to answer the question…

    Neither Walter nor I know of that site, and neither of us gave permission for the piece to be there. There is no link between Untold and Simply Arsenal, so on the surface the article shouldn’t have appeared there.

    Hopefully they will reply to my email shortly and we can get it sorted.

  46. i love this site as it edits away those who have no stomach for facts in argumentation. that being said, i disgree with any notion that the defence currently on our books can win the league, or the ucl. we need either gallas to return along with a new competent signing or we need a world class defender along with a new competent signing. we are short there.

  47. can some1 xplain to me how did arsenal concede 5 goals against a fairly unknown team???

  48. Let me first say that I don’t want us to fail to win a trophy this coming season but I do fully expect us to once again finish potless. So if that is to be the case then I hope that our failure is abject, undeniable and plain for all too see. So that the necessary upheaval that is required can finally take place. Although worryingly I read today that Wenger is thinking of extending his contract.Why do I know we will fail again this season?Well lets start with the appalling goal keeping situation which Wenger has failed thus far to rectify. Even were we to get ourselves into a challenging position in the league or into a cup qtr or semi final, then either of the two current clowns will let us down, just as they have every time they have been called into action in such a situation in the past. This failure by Wenger to sort this out and bring in a decent keeper, will alone ensure we win fuck all this season.Then we have the current lack of cover at centre half, we haven’t looked too secure in our pre-season friendlies (5 conceded against Warsaw is very worrying indeed).So if either TV or the new unproven and in-experienced Pole get injured, then we have only Djorou ( who is not only injury prone but a bit shite as well)as recognised cover. The simple problem here is 3 have gone out and only 1 has come in, to what was already a problem area.Some might argue that Song can play centre half, I don’t agree and he has looked very vulnerable and a liability when asked to do so. And given that he is our only defensive midfielder of any substance, we can hardly afford to have him at centre back.Which is where our next problem will lie, if Song gets injured we will once again be left with the absolutely shite Diaby or Denilson to try and fill the role.Next we have the only area where we seem to have adequate cover in numbers if not necessarily in quality. The creative midfield role, where we have the 7 dwarves, Fab, Arsh, Nas, Rosy, Wilshire, Theo and Eboue. Here we have our captain who would rather be somewhere else and could very quickly become disillusioned, if things aren’t going well, and around him players who have simply not been consistent enough in recent seasons, and young Wilshire who may or may not get his chance this season.Finally, up front, we once again will be relying on the injury prone RVP and hoping that Chamakh can settle quickly With Eduardo gone we have the same depth in numbers as we had last season, which proved ultimately not to be sufficient.So I’m sorry if I am once again a Harbinger of doom, but I’m very worried about this coming season, as I honestly think this is the weakest most vulnerable squad we have ever entered into a new season with. Led by a manager who is becoming more and more stubborn and unwilling to accept when he is wrong.

  49. at Critc
    we coincided 5 goals because players thought same as you “UNKNOWN team”. Legia is great team, with great heritage, fanatic supporters and fine eastern European kind of football. And while our players were more thinking of “who care, this rednecks anyway never sow better team than us”, they were scoring goals…

  50. As usual you write UK guys from the script, to promote the theme that the Brits at AFC are kaffirs. Kyle Bartley??

  51. Blame if you want Rhys. They don’t mention Bartley in the first team.
    People are now already say I look with rose tinted glasses. Imagine if I would have included a player who has never played first team in the league or in pre season.
    But I really wouldn’t mind if he would come in to the first team at all.

  52. Jeerry – don’t worry, you are not a harbinger of doom at all. You have to say intelligent things to be a harbinger of doom. You just regurgitate things other people have said and then add in your own incorrect assessments to try and make it seem original.

    Dont worry, nobody is going to be at all depressed because of yoru statements. When we see people like you it just reaffirms how happy we are to be able to see things with perspective and clarity.

    So, your comment that our creative midfield role has quantity, but not quality. I would love to know your opinion as to what team in England has more quality than Cesc, Arshavin, Nasri, Rosicky and Wilshire in that role? This should be good.

  53. Walter- There are only 2 real losses in defence- Gallas and Campbell. The biggest loss in defence is Gallas- he is a big loss as a defender (maybe not as a captain)-35 games- but top performances in most of those- not a few moments. We have lost Campbell 11 games at the business end of the season- but it was his leadership that is also lost- remember the Stoke game. No way was he a real 4/5th choice. Just compare his performances to those of Silvestre.
    We have got Djourou back looking fragile and almost completely untried over a season. Kozzy is untried at this level at this pace and intensity. If we look at the loss of defensive experience- it is massive and we have not replaced that. Potential has to be proved to replace experience- and in defence its a risky business when one mistimed challenge means a red card and a penalty. AW says we are short in defence and I agree with him as things stand.

  54. it’s the same as the last few seasons 3/4 players leave and only 1 brought in but this time we had 3 C/B’s leave and a unknown and untried 1 brought and the only back up is so injury prone he has a monogrammed bed at the Middlesex hospital. I don’t think it’s a lack of money how can it be when wenger has rewarded average dross with long term and lucrative contracts and also going by the links above we average a profit of £6million per season on transfers or the fact that the board paid off 5yrs of repayments in 1 hit??no i think it’s more to do with Wenger’s strategy of building a squad of youth without splashing the cash and of course the board are happy to allow it as it continues to get us into the C/L and so shares price increase.

    The board told us that the new stadium wouldn’t interfere with the transfer budget and would put us on par with the elite of world football…bollocks at The Highbury we won league and cups and competed with the best in the world but now we have a total reversal,we allowed the demise after the 2004 invincibles and didn’t replace like for like,only 2 real young players have come through the ranks the others are brought in youth players and wenger doesn’t strengthen the squad where we lack.
    So i expect another fruitless season but more importantly there is going to be more teams challenging for a top 4 spot and stronger so really how can it be doom and gloom when it’s going to be same old, same old.

  55. @Rhys Jagger.
    “promote the theme that the Brits at AFC are…” What?? That could get you 3 months jail in South Africa. Deservedly.

  56. @jeeryy

    sharrap!! and stop spitting rubbish. Your comments are so negative I suspect you are one of those anti-arsenal arsenal fans. Still peeps like you make me appreciate the club and its achievements more. you have been feeding of the fat of AW’s success for so long that when thing go wrong (as it often does in life) you start to condemn him.

  57. thanks for following up on the comment i made on simply arsenal. i checked it now. i didnt say “nice” .. i told them are you copying stuff from untold… and they now changed that into ” nice”… ??? haha!

  58. Campbell scored the equalizer in the first leg against Porto. I really wanted him to stay because he’d bleed for the Arsenal shirt.

  59. gf60, to be fair to rhys, i normally find his comments a bit left-field, but in this case, i think he was talking about perceived racism, and his use of the offending word was in sympathy rather than being offensive.

    strange tho, i havent heard that term used for years.

  60. You’re so interesting! I do not think I’ve truly read through anything like that before.
    So nice to find another person with unique thoughts on this subject.
    Seriously.. many thanks for starting this up.

    This website is one thing that is required on the internet, someone with a bit of originality!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *