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Saturday, March 19, 2005

Senderos is Arsenal's answer to Federer.

Arsenal's young players are maturing at a rapid pace.

This is the positive theme in Arsenal's story of 2004/05.

Ewood Park is not an easy place to gain a result. Yet Flamini, Toure, Senderos, Clichy, Van Persie, Reyes, and 17 year old Fabregas demonstrated a collective maturity beyond their young years in containing a hungry Blackburn team and achieving a one-nil victory.

This maturity has developed far quicker than expected through consistently having being thrown in at the deep end this season.

That a team who has featured so many inexperienced players are lying level with money-bags Man Utd is a big marker of Arsene Wenger's coaching ability.

In the past five games the team has stabilised. Five clean sheets on the bounce is to be respected after a run of matches where defensive weaknesses were badly costing Arsenal.

The tipping point for this resurgent stability is a player I first talked up 20 months ago.

His name is Phillipe Senderos.

Or as I like to refer to him: Arsenal's Federer.

This Swiss youngster captained his unfancied Swiss under 19 team to European championship victory, upsetting sides like Spain, Italy, France, and Portugal.

The European giants targeted Phillipe. They all wanted him. They all saw that Switzerland has produced another sport's sensation. They all wanted Swiss football's answer to Roger Federer.

So Arsene made a coup when he convinced Senderos that his footballing education would be best under his tutelage.

It is not only that Phillipe has a good physical presence that impresses. And it is not only that he defends with no-nonsense and is not easily knocked around- a'la the hapless Cygan- that heartens Gunner's fans.

A key indicator of Phillipe's potential is the determination in his eyes. This determination, this focus on the pitch, is reminiscent of the Arsenal legend Tony Adams.

Kolo sees it and it gives him confidence. Kolo got the shakes playing next to Cygan. His game has picked up eighty percent since he's had Phillipe as a partner.

And with the centre of the defence strong, the rest of the team has picked up. Jens Lehmann is visibly enjoying a fatherly role in encouraging and applauding his young centre-backs.

The introduction of Phillipe Senderos has therefore been a huge plus for the Gunners. And he shows Arsenal supporters that despite the relative disappointment of season 2004.05, at least their team look assured for a bright future.

4 Comments:

Blogger RedsMan said...

Considering the knocks the Gunners have had of late, today's result is a nice boost for them. Blackburn have denied both Merseyside top two teams and at home, a draw could have been possible, though in any event Arsenal seemed to have the game under control enough to avert that result.

Names have been missing, Henry, Campbell, Coles, Senderos even with Cygan in place, the susepnsions of Bergkamp, Fabregas and Reyes. Van Persie too, young and yet to mold himself entirely in Arsenal's colours but nonetheless one that the fans at least enjoy seeing the inclusion of.

The CV for Senderos looks like a beginning tale, captain the Swiss U19 side as TS stated. If Campbell is to move on, Wenger has already set another in place to come up. Unfortunately for Cygan, though I believe he as the potential to be a good defender, there seemed to have been lapses of concentration that has made fans uneasy, possibly cost Arsenal too.

It's been something of a broken season, as the Gunners, along with Man Utd, having seen themselves distanced from the title, and out of the Champs League in the same round. Both their plans seem to be destined for the FA Cup final, yet another thunderous event possibly occuring between these two.

But this is for Arsenal. Unbeaten and into the record books, romping away with the title last season, and here, with demicating injuries and suspensions, and one or two performances of bewilderment (Bolton away, for one). Mainly, Arsene is setting a scene for the young to come in, and the old to choose, stay or go. The balance is still there, at least for next season.

3/20/2005 2:50 am

 
Blogger Skippy said...

I like seeing youngsters coming through. I was talking about Philip with some guys in the park, he has also caught my eye, some say he has the potential to become like Tony Adams, some comparison.

The future looks bright for the gunners.

3/20/2005 10:12 pm

 
Blogger Berry said...

There is no doubt that Arsenal have got some good youngsters. Arsene and the Arsenal fans have the patience for them to develop and become great players. And when the big day comes, they will be ready to stand and be counted.

3/21/2005 8:43 pm

 
Blogger Abdul said...

Agree with you all on the quality of Arsenal's young players. The problem is that Arsenal are a European giant and in the Champions League you need players who are at their peak - not players who are still developing.

3/22/2005 2:21 pm

 

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