Based in London and writing for a global audience our aim is to produce EliteFootballTalk. Enjoy the site and feel welcome to join in our discussion on the beautiful game.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Wenger must remember Campbell was killer signing before Arsenal's 2nd generation success

After the Chelsea defeat, when Drogba roughed up the Arsenal centreback combination of Kolo Toure and William Gallas, I wrote on EFT that Arsenal's achilees heel in this developing third-generation squad is a power centre-back in the mould of a Sol Campbell/Tony Adams/Nemanja Vidic.

And watching Arsenal since throw away advantages in games against Man Utd and Liverpool in the last month and overall noting the lack of clean sheets the team is keeping when more-or-less dominating possession my belief is now very strong that Arsene Wenger's number one priority should be a champion centre-back.

In early July of 2001 I remember very well the day we bought Sol Campbell. I was delighted wwhen I heard of the signing - I rated Campbell really highly and instantly felt very confident that our defence would be super strong to give true solidity to a team that I knew could dominate play and score goals with a progressing midfield featuring Vieira, Ljungberg, Pires and a superb attack featuring Henry, Bergkamp, Kanu and Wiltord.

Arsenal won the double in Campbell's first season and after leading the league for the majority of the second season (only to fall away right at the end) then went the whole season unbeaten in Campbell's third season.

Of course it was not just down to Campbell that this success came to Wenger's second-generation Arsenal side - but I don't think it is a coincidence that winning trophies coincided with his arrival because his magnificent power and athleticism at the back was the foundation for the rest of the team to play their attacking football.

In this third-generation side, Arsenal have in Toure and Gallas what I call excellent 'second-in-command' centre-backs. In other words they are a great compliment to a dominating power centre-back like Campbell/Terry/Vidic but do not have the size, presence and power to be a champion force together.

With this concern in mind I'm really happy to hear the hints Arsene Wenger has made about his transfer plans for the summer. Last month he said that he would bring in one 'experienced' player of 'real, real quality' and that his concern is not the number of goals being scored but the number of goals being conceded.

And today comes the headline from the Independent that Wenger is after a powerful centre-back - just as I hoped and wrote about in the aftermath of the Chelsea defeat.

I'm now not only hoping but somewhat expecting Wenger to deliver to Arsenal fans another 'Sol Campbell moment' this summer: unveiling in the summer sun a proven, top quality power centre-back that will ensure that Arsenal's defence will concede around ten less league goals per season and in the process give Arsenal that killer edge that we have lacked this season.

Lets wait and see that this is the current Wenger thinking - and keep the trust in Arsene to get it right.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just hope Aw gets a player with a physical presence who can scare the rooneys and ronaldos with his athleiticm .He must be at least 1.90m tall,fast and moble.Then Arsenal can plug the gap at the back.
Actually Senderos fits the physical side but is not mobile due to his weight.

5/08/2008 1:32 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Senderos, Schmenderos!!! Drogba has made Senderos look like a weaklin on numerous occassions, unfortunately this boy falls short on both fronts, physical and athletic.

5/08/2008 2:41 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Senderos is as big as John Terry, and as fast/quick I'd think, but I'm too lazy to look it up. He's mostly just young and this counts for a lot at centreback. Terry's concentration is better it would seem, and sniffs out danger better and sticks closer to the dangerous player, but doesn't this come with experience? When Terry was younger Arsenal used to whoop on him. Ljungberg ran past him ffs in the FA cup final; Vieira would use him whenever Terry pushed into midfield to hold a high line, and Bergkamp routinely outsmarted him. Not to mention Henry and Anelka's pace.

5/08/2008 3:22 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You dont need a CB, you need to wake up!! You're not as good as you think you are. A CB allowed you to sink in the Champs League and the Prem, stopped you from scoring goals did it? Christ you lot cried from the Emirates to John o Groats about hleb against the pool couldnt score nothing else now your saying drogba was too much for you lot Wake up! Sort out the mids of your cB and you can sit easily

Your captain a baby for a start and when you actually get touched get stopped you dont like it acussing teams of kicking you about the park maybe wnehn Veggie keeps his gob shut you can get somewhere no wonder Flamini left what is it with teams you outplay? Barca were outplayed but Henry stil went there, the prat, then AC got it and Flamini still went there maybe Hleb will be off to Newcastle ROFLAMO!!!!

5/08/2008 6:34 pm


Post a Comment

<< Home


Locations of visitors to this page