Defensive Crisis for Arsenal

Arsene Wenger may well be wishing he had not been so cautious in last month’s transfer window, because Arsenal now look like being without three key defenders for tomorrow’s game at Sunderland. Captain Thomas Vermaelen, Kieran Gibbs and Laurent Koscielny are the players injured, leaving just Per Mertesacker as a first choice centre back.

Koscielny, who picked up a calf injury playing for France against Germany on Wednesday, will have a fitness test so there is a chance he could play. That would be a huge boost, because the options are bringing somebody up from the reserves, like Ignasi Miquel, Squillachi or Bacary Sagna, with Carl Jenkinson taking over at right back.

Sunderland will try to keep the game very tight tomorrow and exploit corners and free kicks as much as possible. We are not very good at defending them with our first choice back four, so a makeshift one could spell disaster. It makes Wenger’s decision to allow Johan Djourou to go on loan to Hannover without replacing him look very risky.

Next weekend Blackburn come to London in the FA cup, and 11 days from now is the first leg of the Champions league against Bayern Munich. We need Koscielny and Vermaelen back for that, because Monreal is cup tied after playing for Malaga, and Santos is the only other option.

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42 thoughts on “Defensive Crisis for Arsenal

  1. Hafiz Rahman

    its only 2 games against Bayern….

    how about Wenger sign another 11 players to cover for future injuries for every first team player….

    just pay them to warm the bench……till someone gets injured…..

    another pointless article…….

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  2. Briano

    Well done Arsene.We all said we needed a CB as well in the transfer window because everyone bar you knew something like this would happen!!!It happens the whole time!!!

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  3. craig2500

    a planned Arsenal crisis because we all new this could happen, apart from the manager,coaches and board. Stupid when we could of even loaned someone to cover Djourou

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  4. Dan

    Its irrelevant who we put in defence at the moment. I haven’t worked out if our defenders are actually poor or whether Wenger’s tactics are just terrible, probably a bit of both.

    Nevertheless, an experienced goalkeeper, centre half, and a right back with all be needed this summer

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  5. artillery1

    Vermaelen, Kosielny n Mertesacker are Best but Just Lack concentration some time, all goals we conceeded this season were Mistake of Some players….

    JUST DEFENDERS NEED CONCENTRATION n REST too… MERTESACKER when get break he come to best again but when he plays so many games he just loose concentration!
    KOSIELNY just unlucky n now afraid too tht his touch may not convert into own goal…..
    Vermaelen, i think Captaincy is load for him!

    Thy are good, Bould need to give them extra defensive drills!

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  6. John Legend

    Injuries are inevitable at Arsenal and Wenger knows it. Having three centre-backs in a team competing in three different competition is ridiculous.

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  7. S.H

    This is our week to catch up on points. Our run for 3rd place starts from here. 5pts off Chelsea 4pts off Spuds. We can step up to 5th this week if Manure beat Everton and I’m praying Le Newcastle pull off another big win. Even if they draw with spuds, it’s a good result for us. COYG!!!!

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  8. Adam

    Personally I think miquel is more than adequate to fill in at centre back, I don’t see what the fuss is about!? Firstly he’s a decent defender, secondly he can’t do any worse than our so-called first choice centre backs have done lately.

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  9. Henry

    It does seem a bit ridiculous that we didn’t have anyone lined up to replace Djourou. Wenger must have a contingency plan to deal with this as our defenders fitness’ is a problem every year.

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  10. apc

    wel mbiwa was what 8 million cant believe we didnt sign him or ajax Toby Alderweireld decent defender

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  11. Gunner

    SAGNA – MERTESACKER – MONREAL

    DIABY – ARTETA – WILSHERE – CAZORLA

    WALCOTT – PODOLSKI – OX

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  12. mwenyeji

    No problem there. we still got …wait a minute, give it up fooooooooor Squillacccciiiiii…WTF???Okey, Am out of here.

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  13. Bob Dylan

    Yh @ gunner that formation is very balanced loool, 2 attackin full backs as rcb, no wing backs, no proper defensive midfielders, very good keep out the intelligent posts

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  14. bert

    SAGNA – JENKS – MERTS – TV5

    why not deploy jenkinson more centrally for this game?

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  15. Absolute prince

    Be positive I mean a good team work with every one committed and defending as a team, you won’t feel the absence

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  16. yann

    maybe wenger could put a santos mask on monreal, commentator: wow, santos is a different man today, but seems to be chatting well with javi martinez(spanish)

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  17. Teg

    Our defender situation has turn out to be very pleasant gunner as another reason to shout and play blame game, but why dont we just support our available def miguel and pray for miracle to our samba dancer. Talking of transfer another spaniard will be avail as bossman in 16 months to challenge our mighty schez. Sounds like a better deal for our future goallie

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  18. Uche

    That is the modern arsenal for you. Lots of injuries and no reliable back ups. But that is the way arsene and co seem to like it because they know we are exposed when injuries hit and they ought to do something about it. Arsene brags that we have two players for every position. So for the two centre back positions, we have merts, TV, Kos and Squillaci? Is squillaci still an arsenal player? When was the last time he kicked a ball? Well, whatever. I am done wasting my breath on these man made problems. Whatever happens happens.

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  19. bashman

    time for arsenal to pounce, both everton and the spuds will lose. its time COYG

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  20. ISF

    @bert
    Verms is injured thus the article
    @ absolute prince
    Even with our first 11 defending has been our weakness so far, hope the team can find extra incentive knowing we are short handed and pull together .
    Probably clutching at straws but Wenger may have seen something in Miquel that led him to think loaning Djourou would be ok .
    Imagine having santos and squid playing :( be more SOS than SAS :)

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  21. Joe

    If kos isn’t fit our best bet is too play sagna alongside per and have jenko at right back.

    Sagna’s an experienced defender and will be able to fill in at CB much better then anyone else. Hopefully our midfield can control the game and the defense wont be called upon too often. Big game for Arsenal with teams above us bound to drop points.

    The next few weeks we have some easier fixtures where as chelsea, Spurs and Everton all seem to be playing each other or one of the manchester clubs.

    The first week in march we play spurs away and then everton at home the week after. If we pick up maximum points from here till then we could see ourselves in 4th at least and if we get a positive result in just one of them two games we could be pulling away and chasing chelsea we could even be above chelsea with the way they’ve been playing.

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  22. Big Gun

    Play Monreal LB, Jenks RB, Yennaris and Merts CB. Yennaris is quality and his speed will make up for Merts sluggishness. This situation makes me wonder why we ever got rid of Bartley and then decided to loan Djoure. Bartley should be playing CB on Saturday. When will Wenger learn. We have had defensive woes for the last 4 years.

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  23. Bolly

    Sagna is very good in the air and could play in middle with BFG with Jenks and Monreal at full back.

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  24. PetePaff

    Santos is leaving Arsenal for Grêmio Porto Alegre in Brasil. So no more Santos in an Arsenal shirt. Off you go.

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  25. redarmygooner

    a good solution would be for wenger to switch up the tactics so we have a 3 2 3 2 formation and dominate through the midfield.

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  26. Gunner

    Gunner @ YH
    If we would have a strong and constant defence it should be no problem..
    We have to dominate the midfield that’s the reason for goals.

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  27. Arsenal!!!!!!!!!!

    Chill we have coq who can cover lb and jenkinson for rb so either sagna or Monreal can cover cb and we have miquel so that won’t be necessary. Either kos or Vern will be fit for Bayern it’s not that big a deal

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  28. Vlad

    Get someone on loan!!! In the meantime, if Sagna can stop thinking about going to PSG (or wherever else) in the summer, and get his priorities straight, he can still play a decent game. Can’t say the same thing for Santos. Wenger, whatever you do, don’t put him even near the pitch.

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  29. Mark420

    Jenkinson can easily play as a CB with Mertesacker! Sagna will play his favorite position as RB and Monreal or Coqelin can play LB… Verminator can play the LB against Bayern when Kos is ready again :-) I don’t see the big problem fellow Gunners?

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  30. true goon

    $get about Djourou,have you watched him play 4 Hanover?i have an we’re better off without him,he is a very poor defender as our most of our players.Wenger you’ve let us down again,You had a whole month an did nothing,unbelieveable!

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  31. tinalex

    It helps to comment after checking on players available. As I was going through pictures of today’s training I do not recall seeing Squilaci’s face or Yannaris’. The face I saw was that of Miqual. Wenger talked about either Sagna or Miqual playing that position. I therefore do not I understand how Sebastian’s name is thrown in the fray here. By the way Koscielny was also training with the other guys and so was Coqualin.

    Miquel will turn 21 years in September and at this stage of his career he wants game time. If Johhane had stayed it would have meant no game time for Iggy. So these injuries present opportunities for Iggy to get game time which is vital for his career. So you must therefore stop pressing unnecessary panic batons.

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  32. Ige Sunday

    I believe we still av covers for our central defenders.let’s see sagna and metasacker in central role while jekinsin and monreal play wide

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  33. Gunner#14

    If we play miquel I think we’ll be fine he is strong and tall defender which would work well against a team like Sunderland

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