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Thursday, December 08, 2005

Cygan out opens up excellent prospect of Toure starting at RB

Any news that opposition teams and management will be disappointed to read is good news for me. Breaking news of Cygan's unavailabilty for an indefinite period due to an inflammation injury falls into this category.

Cygan is a major weak-point for a side looking to achieve honours. He spreads nervousness across the defence; is targeted and exploited by opponents; and sadly commits more errors and looks more nervous than any AFC player I remember seeing in my time supporting the club (even more than Stefan Malz or Igor Stepanovs!).

His inclusion at the expense of two-footed Senderos has been completely confusing. Senderos is the future of AFC, and he needs first team football for both him and AFC to improve. Unfortunately, it seems that an injury, or is it an 'injury'?!?, is what it would take for the normally logical Wenger to drop Cygan and include someone more progressive.

Arsenal's website says that Lauren looks set to be the stand-in left back at St James' Park. I would really like to see Toure move across to cover Lauren's absence at RB and analyse how he and the Senderos/Campbell CB partnership performs.

I now feel that the combination of Toure/Senderos/Campbell/Cole should be the first choice selection when everyone is fit and available because Senderos' rise and rise cannot continue to be halted by sitting on the bench. Toure is also too excellent to be left out and I believe his future presence at RB would give increased defensive resilience to the team than offered by the determined Lauren.


Anonymous J. Pirulainen said...

I Think central defenders should be Campbell - Toure or Senderos - Toure. Eboue seems ok for me as a right back. I think combination Senderos - Campbell is too slow.

12/08/2005 7:58 pm

Anonymous D-I-N said...

I think that another central defender should be brought in - Toure would do well at right back, his forward runs would help to open up attacks on the right - also Sol is getting older and slower and is becoming more injury prone, think back to big TA when he was at the end of his carrer.

12/08/2005 8:10 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As much as I like the idea of Toure at RB, i still think someone of his power, desire and talent should be part of the spine of the team, at either at the back or in midfield. I think Toure has the ability to be a powerhouse central midfielder, not quite with the playmaking skills and distribution of vieira but someone who covers more ground, wins more tackles and scores more goals. Of course he could play with either fabregas or gilberto, with him sitting further back with cesc, and pushing foward when partnering the brazilian. I dont think he's inferior to michael essien, who was an undoubted target for us, in terms of physical power or skill. I also cant see the senderos and campbell partnership working-they're both left centre backs and seem dreadfully uncertain when playing right centre back. Senderos would play right side as he is very two footed, but at the back end of last season when he was moved to thr right, we lost to birmingham whereas while he was playing on the left, he kept clean sheets for fun for both us and switzerland.

12/08/2005 9:33 pm

Blogger Skippy said...

Cygan should not be playing for Arsenal. Toure would be solid on the right.

12/08/2005 10:50 pm

Anonymous zud$ said...

this is probably out of topic, but i think the main problem is not necessarily who starts, but the rigidity of the system. dont get me wrong, i hate to see cygan on the field at any point in time, but then i feel the combination of wenger and rice is terrible. rice needs to be let go for a manager with technical nous to come in and help wenger out when things arent going well.

12/08/2005 11:59 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

So the gods do smile on us some times because it was obvious the only way AW was going to leave Cygan out of the side was through injury!!!

As for replacement, Lauren for now.

But the most obvious and important thing I would like AW to recognise is that we have a ready made replacement for PV4 in midfield. KOLO TOURE!!!! It is so obvious that his drive is wasted at center back....let use his talent!! AW can work with Senderos who had a pretty good game against Ajax, alongside Campbell, sure it may take time to settle as a partnership, but hey this season we have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Personally I would like us to buy a top class center pacy back as cover or for an alternative how about putting Gilberto back there (how many people realise that center back was his position when he played in Brazil??).

But KOLO for midfield general and eventual captain for me.... his desire and will to win ...hey he is an ARSENAL player and shows it!!!

12/09/2005 1:28 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes toure, he is my favourite second to henry. i even feel he could b used as plan B for us. a target man if needed.

12/09/2005 4:12 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

GunnerPete says...Now we are talking.....Kolo should be central to all our actions. As 't' will confirm, I have been advocating Kolo for midfield for sometime, and would be really happy with him at right back until Cole returns. One point though, I saw his brother Yaya last year, and he looks as good as Kolo, but bigger and stronger AND plays in PV4's old role. I also understand that AW had first refusal on hime, so why not get him now? Can he be as poor as Cygan ? He may, as I feel, be a big star.

12/09/2005 9:23 am

Blogger T said...

Excellent analysis, thanx everyone!

The anon commentator who said that Senderos/Campbell may not work because both are left-sided CB's is a really good observation that I never hear pundits pick up on- say when discussing the England CB possibilities. I think Wenger has not pushed ahead with a Senderos/Campbell partnership because of his doubts that either player will be uneasy on the right.

But for me its not a good enough reason to sideline Senderos who needs first team action for the good of him and the future of AFC. I would like to see Sol take control and say that he will move to the right sided CB slot because he has the experience to adapt and is clearly right-footed. If he doesn't do this I'd like to see Wenger get tough and say that he must do it (not sure if Wenger is the type of guy to do this?).

They will have to play together when the African Nations takes place next month so there will be plenty of matches where we can analyse the suitability of the p'ship. I don't really agree with the comments that it will be too slow: when Sol gets fully match fit he has plenty of pace, and IMO Senderos is no slouch.

I really like the feel-good factor with Kolo: he has been a favourite of mine since I saw him really early on in his AFC career smashing a thunderbolt 42 yard free kick against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge... (I had never seen anything like it- do you remember it?!) and then afterwards gave one of the best inteiview's ever where his natural enthusiasm and humility was outstandingly evident. He is a special character- a huge asset if you want to be a top player- and over two years ago I was telling my colleagues at EFT that he was going to be a future Thuram for the team- versatile and dedicated enough to be a top quality CB or RB.

Anyways, I am definitely a fan of Kolo also being considered for a CM role and can vouch for GunnerPete making this suggestion on EFT a couple of months back. I also wrote about it here in July on the day after Pat left in very much the same way as written by anon (9:33pm) and anon (1:28am).

If Senderos/Campbell works- as I have faith that it should do because both are excellent CB's- than the call for Kolo to also be considered as a CM should definitely increase.

12/09/2005 12:36 pm

Blogger plato said...

I'd like to see Arsenal sign Anton Ferdinand.

12/09/2005 1:15 pm

Anonymous Nturtle said...

Perhaps the door is open to Gilbert then, since he obviously enjoyed the Champions League debut, but maybe it is too soon - however we mustn't forget he is also an under-18(?) England International so he cant be that bad a choice given a chance, being played out of position shows adaptability and bodes well for the future.

Moving Senderos to the left might work...but I think he DOES lack some anticipation or agility to deal with fast may not be raw speed he is lacking as T says - hopefully that will come with time.

Regarding Toure into the centre...well...does he REALLY pass the ball that well? His younger brother Yaya at Panathanaikos has shown some ability...but I don't know whether Toure can make the grade so quickly against more fearsome EPL opponents. Song is obviously not that leaves a small gap of opportunity.

I disagree with Zud$ though...if you read the latest comments by Wenger he has admitted that he tried a 4-3-3 system..with the wingers Quincy and Reyes moving forwards and almost the dreaded 4-5-1 sometimes with Henry out in front. THAT has shown me that Wenger, lacking any other options is actively seeking that missing PLAN B!!! Let's see how it works out.

A braver manager might go for a 3-5-2...but that one might be best left for PES5 or Football Manager!!

12/09/2005 2:34 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Arsene said he will never use 3 at the back because you cant push up as much. He is a big believer in the arrigo sacchi 442 pressing system, but with 3 at the back, you need to drop off a lot more.

12/09/2005 5:16 pm

Blogger RedsMan said...

Appreciate that Cygan's omission from tomorrow's game is pleasing. Disappointed because he has good potential to be a better defender and has not reached the mark expected.

I would go for Toure RB, Senderos and Campbell CB, Lauren LB. I'm not sure about Lauren on the left, but he is stubborn and resolute enough to give a good show in the interim. Toure is equally as stubborn in terms of getting past him and this could go on to cease the likes of N'Zogbia or Solano zipping up the wings.

But perhaps even Cygan would do well to feature in this fixture if he was fit. Defensively, Newcastle need to concentrate and the partnership of Bramble and Boumsong is shown to be shaky and susceptible. Shearer and silky Ameobi can be an immense threat yet their flow upfront is not of a partnership, more an individual effort that is hoped to culminate together along the way. Owen clearly is better with Shearer and Owen isnt playing.

Following from Bolton, and a perhaps lukewarm approach to Ajax, Wenger is very eager to quiet the gossips that spent more attention on Henry's 8th missed penalty out of 30 (I think???), and to appease the travelling fans too.


12/09/2005 6:17 pm

Blogger T said...

Solid comment anon (5:16pm), and equally solid analysis Redsman.

Re change of system: me and Nturtle have agreed in the past that Wenger's experiments with 4-5-1 usually produce terrible performances (the 2005 Cup final and Bayern away... ouch!). What I saw on Wednesday was a 4-5-1 and again it didn't work nor look like working. Henry likes to drift to the wings- but he can't when he is the only man up front cos otherwise we'd end up playing a 4-6-0 formation... not good!

We must stick with 4-4-2 but just make sure our attacking players are more flexible like they have proven time and again to be in the past.

12/09/2005 7:11 pm

Blogger RedsMan said...

I think that goes without saying, T. I mentioned before on EFT after the Chelsea game that then Henry was alone upfront and when he drifted no one of the predatory nature he has was in the box. The main man to aim for in that vicnity is Henry himself.

I also mentioned that he needs another player with him that helps to reduce the attention, and on occasion Henry has used the second man to do exactly that, the second striker on the ball renders Henry to drift out of sight of defenders and eventually into space when they least expect it.


12/09/2005 10:06 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

GunnerPete says....The debates re; formations are always interesting to me. It may be my age, but I still believe it really does not matter where you place players on paper, as long as they have (a) The ability (b) the willpower (c) the lung power (d) The love of the club (e) and finally the brain.

I am the first to say that AW should receive a bit of a kick for not adding to our squad last summer, and I dont expect much from him in January, but with that said, if your list our best players and our young potential together, you realise we should be much better than at present.

I for one would like an experiment with 4-3-3. This would need AW to be able to pick from all his squad to work. My team especially for away games = Lehmann..Toure, Campbell, Senderos, Cole.

Hleb, Silver, Clichy,

Reyes Henry Van Persie.

Subs = Almunia, Quincy, Fabrigas, Smith, Hoyte, Eboue

my theory is that with that solid back four, with its height and pace would be ample to fight of the bully boys from Bolton. If help is needed, two of my middle three are top defenders. But the important difference to the boring 4-5-1, is that my forward three would need at least 4/5 defenders to mark them, giving Hleb & Clichy, opportunities galour to attack.

If Arsene has the sense to buy a world class right sided defender ( Trebalsi or Kompany ) then our Gem in the pack (Kolo) could replace Silver in the midfield three.

You will note several absentees from my squad ie; Freddy,Pires,Lauren,Cygan, Flamini, etc. and that is because I feel their time has come & gone, and AW should get as big a fee as possible for them all. There is no sense to me in keeping players who have lost that spark and/or do not perform in away matches at all.

Ill be interested in your thoughts 'T', as we are usually on the same wavelength.

12/10/2005 11:15 am

Blogger RedsMan said...

I understand your theory on players and positions, GunnersPete. On occasion strikers have come back to defend and failed poorly, sometimes to their team's detriment. Fowler did this twice, I remember against Tranmere Rovers when we won 4-2 in the FA Cup semi-final and against Leicester when we lost 2-0 at Filbert Street. Henry was caught out slightly himself against Bolton in the left-back position. Rooney too has been caught out in defence.

Yet if a striker possessed some of the qualities of a defender, then there wouldnt be much of a problem, if at all. And to that degree a player can be versatile enough to play in any out-field position, or even in goal. Players have taken over in goal, though I remember they have failed most times between the sticks.

A 4-3-3 that aims to create less work on the midfield and bring it down to the last third. That doesn't necessarily mean three strikers upfront, like Chelsea avoid doing in their 4-3-3 or 4-5-1. I would prefer to have three midfielders that drift slightly behind the front three. They would receive the ball to alleviate an avenue for breaking through the opposing defence and pass it around instead of dwelling on the ball, allowing the front three to then move around. The midfield three are expected to not necessarily break through but purely add assistence.

With Arsenal, and a 4-3-3, I would have Lehmann, Toure, Senderos, Campbell, Lauren; Flamini, Silva, Fabregas; Bergkamp, Pires behind Henry/Van Persie. Bergkamp and Pires assisting the striker because I believe they can move around and work the tightest of lanes to feed that ball through for the striker to snap onto in front of goal, something Henry and Van Persie are eager to do.


12/10/2005 12:28 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

redsman, agree the midfield needs to have passers, but the problem I have with your formation is Bergkamp and Pires on the wings - they don't have the pace/mobility necessary to be effective wingers in the 433. They are also not enough of a goal threat anymore. We would be relying on Henry/van Persie alone to score. Henry drifts deep too much to be effective alone up front. What you are proposing sounds more like a 4321. Chelsea do play a defensive-minded 433/451, but Robben and Duff are strikers.
*Flamini or X midfielder for away matches
Pienaar would make sense as a Cesc back-up in this scheme, but both are still too lightweight. Ideally you would have someone like van Bommel, Lampard, or Gerrard where Cesc is. Gilberto is also not quite dynamic enough for this scheme to really succeed. And Henry wouldn't want to be demoted from "main man." So, I really like 433 but for several reasons I don't see Wenger switching to it regularly unless personnel are changed.

12/11/2005 12:03 am

Blogger RedsMan said...

Anon (12:03AM), I see your point, and your line-up too. Henry and Reyes on the wide feeding an eager and talented RVP can work well. I feel Henry is happy when he can drift side to side in the final third, why he finds himself on the wings on occasion. With Reyes/RVP/Henry, they all can take turns to drift around the front line and take turns in being that lead man being found in the box.

As for yesterday's defeat, maybe T will cast an analysis on it on where Arsenal were finally beaten. But it is very unusual for the Gunners to allow defeats like this, regardless of weather conditions or pitch conditions. Their pace has usually overcome any difficulty in the pitch or climate so it must be looking quite mediocre at the moment. I'm writing on the game in my Premiership weekend review.


12/11/2005 1:05 pm

Blogger T said...

Sorry for delay in the reply GunnerPete- been v busy elsewhere the past few days.

I like the concept of the 4-3-3. But in practice I feel there will be teams that are good enough to dominate our midfield and expose the lack of protection of our fullbacks. Also I've seen Wenger play Reyes on the right on a mumber of occasions and he really stuggled.

I like 4-4-2. It works and is proven to work. AFC is not very adaptable at changing this formation if things aren't going well and maybe that's where an emergency 4-3-3 can come in.

Is anon (12:03am) GunnerPete or a different contributor? I like the point he made about a dynamic midfielder needed in the centre. Vieira was extremely dynamic. Gliberto is a player who is effective supporting a dynamic player- but is not one himself. And young Francesc also needs support from a dynamic power player in the CM. For me this is where things aren't perfect at present.... hence the call in the article above and preceding articles for AW to buy an experienced, powerful CM ASAP.... the problem is that they are hard to find!

Thanx Redsman for replying to GunnerPete in my absence and making good points as ever. The defeat to Newcastle I'll write about in your Prem review...

12/13/2005 9:58 am


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