I know the ink is not dry on a contract or even if a contract is being compiled for the signing of Emir Spahić of Montpelier but I find this rather depressing. We’ve lost two world class defenders in Sol Campbell and William Gallas together with Senderos and Silvestre and have managed so far to buy Koscielny to add to our squad. We don’t have a 6’4″ lump in our junior squad waiting to step up so why aren’t we buying one?
What is it about our manager that means that he won’t fix this problem? He must see it, we can all see it, from past players to current squad members, why would he want to undermine the spine of the team?
We are not going to sign a world class goalkeeper – or even a better one than we already have – and thats a pretty bad situation for a top club to be in. I can slightly understand the logic of not wanting a new keeper and a new centre-back pairing at the same time – the need for good comminication between those three is very important. What I don’t understand is that this situation hasn’t been sprung on Arsène. The failings of our keepers last season cost us the Premiership title so he’s had more than the closed season to be looking around for a new one.
We all say it in hushed voices “If Vermaelen gets injured we’re stuffed” well guess what? We don’t have to be in this situation and we shouldn’t be. Whatever the reason for not spending the money now that we have it, can’t possibly be a good enough one.
What is it about buying defenders that gives Arsène such a head-ache? If we can’t defend we get undone, results against Birmingham, Wigan and Blackburn last season show that. I’m all for living life on the edge but spending the last ten minutes of games chewing my fingers with my heart pounding in my chest because we’ve given a goal away and its now 2-1 are going to ruin my health.
Vermaelen is top class. Koscielny we don’t know. Djourou has returned from a year out injured and has so far failed to impress. Before his injury he was fourth choice – Senderos was a more proven centre-back than him.
We’ve spent £8.5m on Koscielny – he may be an excellent find, Spahić may also be an excellent find but this kind of business doesn’t inspire confidence. Arsène – you need some help here, you concentrate on the attack and let someone else help you sort out the defence.
This is an ongoing problem and a serious one and until our defending is brought up to scratch we’re not going to be challenging for the Premiership – it won’t matter how many great goals we score against the others, the ones that count are the ones we let in.