Power of Drogba highlights Arsenal's lack of an Adams/Campbell
First of all well done to Chelsea for the win today against Arsenal. They are a battling team and when on the brink forced a victory thanks to the supreme power of Didier Drogba - a striker that I was highly rating a year before Mourinho bought him to the Premier League and has proven to be a constant scourge to Arsenal.
Today was a game that highlighted for me Arsenal's achilees heel in this developing third-generation squad. When Wenger first came to Arsenal he had Tony Adams, Steve Bould and Martin Keown as centre-back options who loved a battle with a power centre-forward and often came out on top in such confrontations.
Then when Arsenal won the double in 2001/2002 and then went unbeaten two years later we also had the man-mountain Sol Campbell at the back who rarely ever lost a physical confrontation against an opposing power forward.
The defensive strength and assuredness gained from having such centre-backs in defence was the foundation for Arsene Wenger's success at Arsenal in his first and second generation teams.
Yet this third generation squad that Wenger is building to emulate these two previous Arsenal squads for me lacks a dominant centre-back who for the whole 90 minutes can win out a physical and aerial battle with a power-centre-forward of the supreme nature of a Didier Drogba.
William Gallas and Kolo Toure are excellent centre-backs but they each could do with a partner that fits the mould of an Adams, a Campbell, or a Vidic - rather than each other.
This is because for me neither Kolo Toure and William Gallas are highly dominant in aerial challenges - rather they base their centre-back play on their strengths of mobility and defensive awareness.
Chelsea looked to prey on this all day and when the heat was on at the end of the match it was the current inherent Arsenal weakness of defending the high accurate long ball that led to their downfall.
When Phillippe Senderos first came into the Arsenal side he looked like he could take on the mantle of Tony Adams. But he got a tough early education at the hands of the amazing Drogba and presently does not appear to have progressed enough to be the answer.
Hopefully Arsene Wenger, who is a highly analyical guy and is looking to build his most perfect team will replicate this summer what he did in the summer of 2001 and buy a centre-back of the pure power and dominance of a young Sol Campbell.
I have one defender in mind: Micah Richards. He is not the finished article but his potential is superb and I think he would be fantastic in an Arsenal shirt. Also in our ranks is Johan Djourou who I think has a lot of potential- but it has benn difficult to gauge his progress this season due to a loan spell at Birmingham and a long injury lay-off.
Any other centre-back's come to your mind? Or is this an over-reaction and should Wenger stay solid with the combination of Kolo and Gallas for the next couple of seasons?