A New Rock Solid Defence – are we still one short?

The stress of the transfer window is clearly exacerbated when you’ve watched your experienced keeper – Manuel Almunia – make a series of howlers in the previous season and you hear how your manager is not really looking at a replacement. In addition, knowing that four centre-backs – Campbell, Gallas, Silvestre and Senderos – are possibly not going to be around for the start of the new season, the apparent inactivity by Arsenal has been difficult to witness.

Quite frankly, for a team like Arsenal, lacking a class goal-keeper is a ridiculous situation to be in. We have a number two – Fabianski – who is also of the flappable nature and a number three – Mannone – who was called into action and heroically kept us in a game against Fulham but wasn’t felt to be ready to play more than a few games. Our fourth choice keeper – Szczesny –  has everyone raving about how great he’s going to be but is currently too young and inexperienced.

So, reports that we could be interested in signing Mark Schwartzer from Fulham are interesting. Do we need 5 goal-keepers? Who’s going to make way for him? Surely if he is to be our new No.1, Almunia or Fabianski must be moved on…………..

But it is the centre-back pairing is causing even more debate. We are linked – and I suspect he’ll be unveiled very soon – with Laurent Koscielny from french side Lorient and we have Johann Djourou available fighting fit – for now.  Who should be first choice partner for Thomas Vermaelen? Senderos has already gone but we have no idea if Gallas and Campbell are staying or going. Gallas played his best football for us last season and Campbell was a revelation adding spirit and desire to the team. They both have high wages and I suspect they’ll both be hampered with injuries next season so we don’t need for them both to stay but one would be nice.

Koscielny may cost us £8.5m which is not money being spent for him to sit on the bench so I assume he will be our new No.6 and the first choice partner for Vermaelen. Djourou will be back-up together with either Campbell or Gallas. But what if they both go? Ooops we’ll need another CB – Anton Ferdinand anyone? What if they both stay? It must be doing Arsenes head in. Either way I’m looking forward to welcoming Koscielny to be part of our new rock solid defence but we still need one more……………..Silvestre?????????

Yesterday, Rasp and London got all excited at the thought of the new centre-back pairing being Djourou and Koscielny and Vermaelen being pushed up to partner Song in front of the back four as our new long awaited DM. Now that does sound like a plan, only then we’d be two short at the back. Go figure………….see you in the comments.

Following last nights Spain v Portugal game I’m compelled to say – Cesc, we love you, we’d never leave you on the bench for a whole game, come home, don’t even think about playing in Spain – not yet anyway, wait until they really need you.

108 Responses to A New Rock Solid Defence – are we still one short?

  1. moo says:

    nordveit at the moment will play 4th choice centre back and 2nd choice dm.

  2. Andy says:

    Bring in Richards. English, quick, good in the air and can play RB or CB

  3. david says:

    Arsenal need a goalkeeper or ends up like last 5 years!

  4. London says:

    Morning Peaches

    Good post, did you write it this morning or last evening?

    I am going to be working on the basis from now on that Gallas, Silvestre and Campbell are no longer Arsenal players.

    Koscielny, seems to be a shoe in but I think the true test of Wenger’s determination will be if he buys two new CB’s……I am not holding my breath.

  5. Rasp says:

    Morning all,

    Good post. That’s the question that everyone is asking. I think Campbell is gone so we may sign another back-up CB in the £3-4m range, but there is no chgance of a £10m+ CB signing.

    I am slightly more concerned on the GK front although I do think we will sign Schwarzer as Fulham have made an offer for Rob Green

  6. tommystout says:

    Morning everyone…..
    London… its a fascinating debate, seems like plenty of other sites are having similar discussions.
    Did Koskielny play left side for Lorient?
    I’m still not convinced as to if he will be automatic first choice – roll on the Barnet game!
    Heres to egg on my face 2 days in a row 🙂

  7. Morning London – I wrote it last night, I could have saved myself the trouble and let you do it this morning 😉

    Rasp – I’m not convinced that Campbell is gone. He’s 35, he’s a London boy, he’s just getting married – why move to Glasgow ………

  8. London says:


    I have been thinking about what has been written and I realise that I can say with some confidence that I have seen every game Djourou has played for Arsenal……the most impressive being in the CC with Song along side him in central defence.
    There are similarities with Eduardo in as much that there will be the inevitable niggles but that is where it ends. Eduardo was never the quickest player and he is sadly, since his injury, even slower. By contrast Djourou was always fast, still is and could get even quicker…… it is worth remembering the three reasons why he is still at THOF and Senderos has been allowed to leave…….pace, pace and pace.

  9. tommystout says:

    Im convinced that we are getting Schwartzer, i would be happy about that… and i guess Almunia will be sold and flappy will be number 2

  10. Rasp says:

    Thanks London,

    Nothing would make me happier than to see a fully fit, pacey, 6ft 4 in man-mouintain CB playing next to TV – I hope that you are correct and JD is the one 🙂

  11. tommystout says:

    Sol is in talks with Celtic isn’t he? I can’t see him turning it down if he gets offered a 2 year deal!

  12. London says:

    Morning Tommy

    If Almunia is sold and Fabregas stays, I don’t care how ridiculous it sounds, I am still convinced that Wenger will buy another Spaniard.

  13. Rasp says:

    peaches, Sol was in Glasgow yesterday, so he’s definitely considering a move to Celtic.

  14. London – I agree with you about the merits of Djourou – he is pacy and always impressed me as a ‘wengerball’ player. I’ve always enjoyed watching him play but hes not mean ……. hes not at all mean

  15. Well, I’m not convinced, actually my eyes are shut and my fingers are in my ears la la la la la 😦

  16. tommystout says:

    Pepe Reina then London, that would do!

  17. London says:

    Hi Peaches

    Hmmmmm yes, that is a bit of a concern…….

  18. London says:

    Now you are talking Tommy

  19. Joe says:

    2 left footers as CB??

  20. JSP says:

    If it wasn’t for the fact he is Spanish and as such Barcelona will feel they have a God given right to tap him up and try and sign him for peanuts, I’d say go for Reina from the Scousers. Champions League football should be enough to attract him!!!

  21. kelsey says:

    Morning all.

    I think one can take it as read that as London says, Gallas,Silvestre and Campbell are gone.

    Koscielny has very little experience of first team football, but I suppose Wenger knows what he is doing.Djorou to me will be back up.

    A CB is a must but who ?

    I think Schwarzer maybe no better than what we have got, but if he joins,I will be delighted to be proved wrong.

    On a side note, I heard on Radio 5 last night that RVP tore not one but 3 seperate ligaments, hence the slow bedding in period.

    I would go for the unwanted pair of Richards and Ireland to bolster the defence,and in Ireland’s case the attack, they will be available as City are going to splash more cash around.

    Then think really carefully if Diaby is worth keeping, as he just isn’t ready yet or perhaps never will be,despite the odd occasional good game, he just isn’t Arsenal standard. Every year we wait for the improvement in him, butone could say the same thing about Denilson and Walcott (cough) …..

  22. London says:


    I assume you are refering to Vermaelen and Koscielny? The thing is Koscielny is not left footed he is very clearly right footed…..go youtube it

  23. London says:

    Morning Kelsey

    I always liked you morning round up…still do.

    I can’t see Wenger changing Diaby; he seems like a player that Wenger will pick forever to prove himself right.

  24. London says:


    Champions League should attract Reina but how much do you think it will take for Liverpool to let him go?

  25. Rasp says:

    It may be that AW thinks that TV, JD and Koscielny all have the capability of playing in the midfield (defensively), they are all good footballers as well as good defenders, and he intends experimenting with the formation.

  26. Rasp says:

    We won’t buy Reina unfortunately, a great idea, but it’s never gonna happen!

  27. London says:


    Unexpected things happen when a new manager arrives but I wouldn’t bet Dandan’s house on it.

    Vermaelen in midfield instead of Diaby…….we are that simple switch away from being unstoppable.

  28. tommystout says:

    my suggestion of reina was a joke 😉

  29. Rasp says:

    I agree with you London, TV in midfield would be awesome.

    All three are quick and possess the ball skills. In your clip yesterday, Koscielny was playing higher up the pitch on the left. I can’t remember when, but I am sure that Djourou has played in the midfield for us before.

  30. London says:

    Keep the jokes coming Tommy. I like them.

  31. Rasp says:

    😛 tommy, even if the new manager was prepared to sell him, we wouldn’t pay the price.

  32. tommystout says:

    Pardon me for the change of subject, but Newcastle and Lansbury are in the headlines today.

    The idea of loaning out our youngsters rubs well with me, if we loan to solely premiership sides its like we have double (not so secret)agents with the potential to reak extra damage on our main rivals.
    I enjoyed cheering on young Jack last season when he played for Bolton against Utd, although i would prefer him to be a part of the first team setup this time, but you get my drift?
    Lansbury if he goes to newcastle will give Arsenal an extra crack at Utd & Chelsea – Loan more out Arsene.
    Maybe 2 or 3 players to any one side (if thats permitted) – imagaine newcastle v spurs if newcastle had Lansbury JET and Wilshere playing for them and how they would raise there game! Could be fun 🙂

  33. London says:


    Djourou, used to be a midfielder and probably still dreams of being one. I watched him a lot when he was at Birmingham in central defence (not very good) in the end he asked to play midfield and when he returned he got a chance to play there for us (even worse). He doesn’t have the passing ability to play there. If he toughens up and stays fit I still reckon that he could make the right side in central defence his own.

  34. tommystout says:

    LOL you’ll be pleased to know i’m going to get on with some work now so there’ll be no more nonsense from me – for a bit anyway 😉

  35. Rasp says:

    Thanks London, it can only be a good thing if we have 3 talented CB’s who can also be used to shore up the midfield.

    Despite my ‘matter of fact’ view of the potential transfers, I still expect there to be a surprise or two ahead – maybe that will be players leaving rather than joining …. EE, Clichy, TR7?

  36. London says:


    Lansbury to Newcastle makes a lot of sense to me. I can only see benifits from that arrangement.

  37. tommy – I love the idea of loanees giving us an extra crack at our rivals – I’m chuckling at the thought of LJ, JET and Lansbury lining up against spuds 😆

  38. Rasp – that was a sprinkling of cold water – players leaving 😦

  39. Rasp says:

    Players leaving doesn’t have to be a negative. I think it is best for all concerned if Eduardo moves on. I think we will sign another player over and above Koscielny and Schwarzer.

  40. zeki says:

    Djourou, ar you guys serious? lol. He is useless, slow, and not too good at tackling. We need another centre back, a right footed one, because Vermaelen and Koscielny both play on the left side…which is why Koscielny will probably be used as back up. I hope Campbell stays

  41. London says:

    Seems a pretty positive view to me.

  42. London says:


    Have you ever seen Djourou play (I mean in the flesh) he can be accused of many things but slow he is not.

  43. London says:

    Ok, I have to do other things for a while.

  44. tommystout says:

    Another point, Rasp has touched on this about surprising out transfers – he mentioned clichy, though it wont be much of a surprise to me if he moves on – gibbs is ready – we also have traore (who doesnt cut it for me) but Arsneal are readying Bothelo’s work permit for this coming season…. whether he will be loaned out or become no.3 i don’t know, but it suggests one of the left backs will be leaving!

  45. kelsey says:

    I would like to expand on the point i made yesterday about our french players.I think there was some mix up between the performance of the current french squad and those at Arsenal.

    12 yeras ago france reigned supreme and ever since then they have been going down hill rapidly, so maybe they just aren’t producing players such as Viera (born in Senegal),Henry,Petit and of course Zidane and others anymore, and therefore our expectancy of our french players is higher than it should be.

  46. Rasp says:

    Hi kelsey,

    I am not particularly well informed regarding our scouting system. I believe Grimandi is responsible for recommending many of our French players (Nasri), Tony Adams on the other hand apparently said we shouldn’t buy TV as he is too short!

    I agree that generally the tough Eastern Europeans make good defenders and we shouldn’t have too many Africans purely because of the ACN.

  47. Rasp says:

    Sol update …. it is reported that he will not make a decision on a move to Celtic for a month. Surely this is an invitation to us to negotiate a deal to stay that suits both parties?

  48. SharkeySure says:

    Sol’s a joker

    At what point does a footballer think…’Hey I’ve banked enough for ten lifetimes let alone one, let me play somewhere according to my love of the game, not just for my pay packet’.

    Can you imagine getting married then telling your new bride that your moving to Glasgow…for the money, when she knows you had a good offer to stay in London !!!

  49. Big Raddy says:

    Just returned from a pilgrimage to the Emirates. Bought a t-shirt, keyring, pan and toothbrush!!

    What kind of fool am I ?

  50. SharkeySure says:

    Old fool..??

  51. SharkeySure says:

    You throw ’em up Radders ….I’ll bat them in !

  52. Big Raddy says:

    SS. Fine summation. My guess is that his agent (Sky Andrews) is just angling for more money based upon Celtic’s interest.

    If my wife said we were moving to Glasgow, she would get a 2 word, 7 letter reply!!

  53. irishgunner says:

    Were they in the bargain bucket?

  54. irishgunner says:

    2 words, 7 letters = Let’s Go 😆 I’m technically calling the “‘” a letter for my own purpose.

  55. Big Raddy says:

    You know me too well Irish.

    £21 the lot. Still felt ripped of though 😦

  56. irishgunner says:

    £21 isn’t bad Raddy.

    I feel like a 12 year old again, my bed has an Arsenal duvet cover and pillowcase on it. Only cost me €8. One day I’ll act like a 24-year-old, one day….

  57. SharkeySure says:

    Thankfully you weren’t offered a Fabregas shirt at a massive discount !!

  58. irishgunner says:

    Sorry if its been mentioned but David Silva is off to City.

  59. SharkeySure says:

    No rush Irish.

    I laways said that I’d love to be 8 0r 9 again,…tose are the best years.

    You’re old enough to think a bit for yourself, but also young enough to think that playing footie and video games non stop is teh absoute best use of your time !

    My older son is 9 now, and I envy him so much. Cub Scout trips, friends round, plays football every weekend, loads of great kids shows on his channels all day long, and his mum doesn’t only pretend to love him (?!)

  60. SharkeySure says:

    Undsiclosed fee….how much does anyone reckon..?? I;m not mad about him.

    Di Maria went to RM for only £20m GBP, but he was supposed to be the hottest thing ever, but he really hasn’t impressed me at all out in SA. Hype..??

  61. irishgunner says:

    Ha ha Sharkey, that’s good to hear. I was playing Pokemon on my DS last night ha ha and intend doing so again later.

  62. irishgunner says:

    I’d reckon about £35million for Silva anyway. Lots of clubs were looking at him.

    Not impressed by Di Maria at all. Not seen too much of him at Benfica so can’t compare whether he’s just having a bad tournament or whether he is overhyped.

  63. Big Raddy says:

    Difficult to tell SS.

    What seems clear is that as AW said, the prices will be lower this summer. What with the recession biting and the clubs collapsing under the weight of huge wage bills, only the clubs with sugar daddies will be spending silly money. How much was David Villa who looks the best striker in the world at the moment? Half the price of Ronnie?

  64. SharkeySure says:

    Pokmon is one of my sons faves at the moment, hand held cards, game fo PS2, game for Wii.

    I just don’t get the whole Pokemon thing though. The characters and concepts just seem really silly.

  65. Jay-Jay says:

    Great post and it certainly shows that Wenger has a small problem. Why wait on Gallas and Campbell? Either they want to stay or they don’t, so let them go if we think their surplus to requirements or offer them a new deal.

    We don’t need to be dilly-dallying around in the market for a replacement. It’s 3 weeks until pre-season begins so we need to act now.

    I’ve started my own Arsenal blog and I’m trying to drum up a little trade from the blogs I read, so if anyone would like to take a look I’d be much obliged.

  66. irishgunner says:

    Sharkey – The concept is “can you catch them all?” *cue music*

    Apparently music used on the old Nintendo gameboy on the Pokemon game during the “Lavender Town” part used to drive kids to kill themselves and they had to change it.

    Then “Hypno” in his original profile, he used to hypnotize children, take them to a cave, then feed off their tortured dreams and the tortured dreams of their parents to get his powers.

    “Cubone” he wears a skull over his head, that of his dead mother.

    I’m not making any of this up. That’s the Japanese for you.

  67. irishgunner says:

    Kerrea Gilbert is released, finally!

  68. SharkeySure says:

    Good shout that Radders re Villa and Ronaldo’s transfer fees

    You couldn’t see that sort of price differential last night could you..??

    Villa for Spain is something like 32 in his last 36, and combined club and country i saround 84 in 109 !!

    Thats phenomenal. Sio he’ s28/29 now, where and what was he he doing at 22/23, and age which most fans happily write players off completely ??!!

  69. SharkeySure says:

    “I’m not making any of this up”

    You couldn’t make it up !!

    In a similar vein I’ve watched a few Korean films, and Old Boy is a particular favourite of mine. ‘Watch it blind though’ …ie don’t watch the trailers or read a preview.

  70. Big Raddy says:

    I am heading off to my summer retreat and as such will be off AA for sometime. I will try to blog from Internet Cafe’s just to touch base with my cyber mates.

    Going sailing around the South Italian islands and then up into the Alps.. Back in time for the Liverpool away game.

    I wish you all a wonderful summer.

    Up the Gunners

    BR 🙂

  71. irishgunner says:

    I know what Old Boy is about but haven’t watched it. The Asians are mad – always trying to hypnotize you in films so that can either rape or kill you – mostly both.

    Raddy – Have a wonderful time.

  72. SharkeySure says:

    Have a great summer Radders !!

    Its a great film Irish. Shame you knowwhat its avout already before watchiong it.

    Half of what makes it great is that it completely comes at you from left field.

  73. irishgunner says:

    “Ong Bak” is a very similar film Sharkey.

    I watched “Rise of the Foot Soldier” last night – good film but a bit graphic for my eyes.

  74. SharkeySure says:

    Cheers Irish

  75. irishgunner says:

    LOL I’m at a loss as to what to do tonight with no World Cup …………….. Pokemon it is I think 😆

  76. kelsey says:

    How the rich live eh Raddy. I have this vision of you sailing up The Alps. Love and kisses to her indoors 🙂

  77. irishgunner says:

    Twitter is hilarious.

    I joined up so I could snoop around. Celebrities seem to love it.

  78. SharkeySure says:

    I just don’t get those things Irish. Why would I give a flying one about what x y z is doing today..??

    I get upset when my yahoo mail account screen asks ne what I’m ‘doing right now’. Mentally I always reply ‘what the f**K has it got to do with you’.

    I fear that Twitter is another step into the abyss of dumbed down foolishness for the masses who believe that thinking is hard work, and that World Peace is only a concert.

  79. irishgunner says:

    I don’t get it either Sharkey, but here:

    Lady Gaga: “At Bukowski’s in Cambridge ordering hooker bbq and beer with my best friends SPW. Let’s Rocknroll Boston.”

    Eminem: “Thanks to B.o.B and Keyshia Cole for a dope performance tonight. BET thanks for having me I had fun.”

    Kaka: “Parabéns ao INSTITUTO BOLA PRA FRENTE que hoje completa 10 ANOS !! Parabéns a todos aqueles que participam desse maravilhoso projeto.”

    P!nk: “where do i take Carey Hart shopping in London. do u guys have dickies?”

    😆 Isn’t your day complete now Sharkey that you know all that useless information?

    Having said that, P!nk keeps her one right up to date. I didn’t realise how sexually appealing her husband was till this week and they were off up the Dublin mountains on their motorbikes two weeks ago… could have kidnapped him then… next time P!nk, next time!

  80. SharkeySure says:

    Yep, my days complete now !!!

    So, so pointless.

    So Pink asks a question, do people reply to her then..??

    Best of all is the fact that its limited to xx no. of characters, just to make sure that nothing of any importance or value is written.

    Keep it short, keep it shallow !!! Lol

  81. irishgunner says:

    See, someone like P!nk has so many followers that it would need to get “retweeted” for her to see it cos so many people would be leaving her messages.

    LOL, do you want to ask her a question, like “why isn’t you hair pink, P!nk?”

    You can only see what she typed, not what people said back to her, unless you also follow them.

    ” Keep it short, keep it shallow !!!” – YES 😆

  82. irishgunner says:

    Your only allowed 140 characters.

  83. SharkeySure says:

    ‘Load of bollox’ ten times ??

    How many followers has she got…does it show you that..??

  84. SharkeySure says:

    Great read….be warned that he’s a Spud though!!


  85. irishgunner says:

    She has 1.6million Sharkey. P!nk is cool though, she doesn’t go looking for meeja attention which is always nice to see and she does a great concert. Also, having seen her up close I’d not pick a fight with her, she’d kill anyone, FACT!!

  86. irishgunner says:

    Beckham should DEFINITELY be next England manager – just give me time to pull up my chair and put on the popcorn ha ha

  87. SharkeySure says:

    I think the clue to your “joy” might just be in your name !!!

    Coming to a screen near you soon…

    England Manager Becks in 3-D Smellavision!!!

  88. irishgunner says:

    Give Theo back his spot in the England squad and I won’t laugh. No Gooner, no support – seems fair to me.

    I shouted for England during Euro 96 because of the Arsenal presence, so now.

    My love of Arsenal is stronger than my need to laugh.

  89. irishgunner says:

    But I like to laugh 😉 😆

  90. SharkeySure says:

    I’ve pretty much been an ABE for a good while now…simply because of the meeja shite and hype surounding the whole shebang.

    I live in fear of England winning the WC, to hear them bang on about the last one is bad enough.

    It weren’t even in my lifetime and I’m 43 !!!

    Night Irish

  91. London says:

    “Sol Campbell to delay decision over Celtic move for up to a month”

    I know Rasp mentioned this above but every time I read it, it makes me chuckle.

    If ever there was a statement that cried out to be read between the lines, this is it.

    You all know I have an offer with Celtic but if a better one comes along I will take it.

  92. andy says:

    Diabys twitter

    Just in Starbucks gettin a skinny latte… Oh no someones taken it and run up the other end…. it’s ok i’ll race up and get it…. on second thoughts, nevermind Cesc will come along and get me another one in a minute.

  93. kelsey says:

    I always thought a twitter was named after Old Harry.

    Can’t think of anything more absurd than following people who are being followed by others, and none of them know each other.A bit like the England team.

  94. andy says:

    Ha ha like it Kelsey
    I dont know why people think like what they are doing is so exciting to evry1 else even though in reality its very boring and a little bit sad…. Oh thats England again isn’t it ?

  95. SharkeySure says:

    Andy 7.12 Brilliant !!!

    You had a good’un for Abou last night n’all

  96. SharkeySure says:

    U2 Kelsey…quality.

    Perhaps Terry tweeted to Upson to let the ball bounce, not realising that Klose was following him

  97. SharkeySure says:

    Andy, the thing is that it can only be driven by demand.

    They tweet cos people follow.

    I’m at the dentist, I’m having a shit, I’m eating my dinner wearing a new outfit.


  98. andy says:

    Thanks SS. I do like him really…honest !

  99. andy says:

    I hear that a lot of the celebritiess actually employ people to tweet for them, now that is sad !

  100. SharkeySure says:

    Well your agent would do it I guess….make sure your ‘fans’ knew where you were going to be so that they’d turn up everywhere and make you look ‘oh so popular’.

  101. London says:


    You have to carry that on the Diaby and twitter thing…..top drawer absolutely top drawer.

    Diaby’s daily twitter or something like that.

  102. andy says:

    Thanks London but sadly like the big guy my moments of inspiration are all too few and far between to offer any lasting substance.

  103. London says:


  104. kelsey says:

    Morning all have a look at this and make your own mind up as to how you read the situation. I have my own theory, but would like to here from others first.


    With Hodgeson apparently taking over at liverpool this week he naturally looks to sign Hangeland, according to the BBC, with the few coppers he has to spend, and most probably will do so, therefore cross him off the list, even though I read somewhere a month ago that it was a done deal that he was coming to us 😉

  105. SharkeySure says:

    Barca have never had the money to buy him.

    And there this tale endeth !

  106. SharkeySure says:

    Is this red background my PC playing up or is this a new design..??

    Its awful !!

  107. Morning all

    Theres a NEW POST

    Sharkey – we’ve had the red background for months!!!!!!!

  108. Unless the standard of goal keepers improve, GOOD LUCK to us! 😛

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