Sebastien Squillaci breaks his silence on struggling at Arsenal

Sébastien Squillaci is among the players who have donned the Arsenal jersey without making a significant impression, having joined the club from Sevilla. Both Spanish side Sevilla and Arsenal have histories of signing players from around Europe and achieving success in their respective domestic competitions.

Squillaci was part of the Arsenal squad from 2010 to 2013 after departing from Sevilla. Unfortunately, his time at the Emirates Stadium is not one that Arsenal supporters fondly remember, and his name is not typically associated with success at the club.

The Frenchman himself recognises that he could have performed better during his time at Arsenal and has shared his insights on his struggles in a recent interview.

Squillaci said, as quoted by Sport Witness:

“I had three difficult years, to be honest. At first, I played a lot, but I didn’t have a great preseason. In the end, if you don’t have very good physical shape in the English league, it is very complicated.

“I played a lot, but after two or three months I was dead. I also lost confidence and it was complicated for me, but this is how it is. It was an experience. For me it is an impressive league and club. I also had good times there.”

Just Arsenal Opinion

We have a high standard at the Emirates that has not changed, so Squillaci could not cope after some error-strewn performance for us.

We have since signed better defenders after he left and we are a better team now, so we did not miss him at all.

Tags Sebastien Squillaci


  1. In those days, I don’t think it was possible for most defenders to be successful at arsenal – the attacking setup and lack of protection from midfield meant that the cbs needed a lot of pace to stand a chance, as they were frequently facing counter attacks.
    Maybe that wasn’t the issue for squillaci, but it strikes me that the only CB who really did well at all between kolo leaving and Gabriel joining was koscielny (and to a much lesser extent, vermaelen – who had different issues, mainly injuries). All the others struggled to some degree, and none of them had significant pace.
    Squillaci was probably a good defender (we wouldn’t have signed him if he was rubbish), but wasn’t a good fit at the time.

    1. i agree with you. With lack of a proper DM and a team setup only for attack, I don’t think any CB would have succeeded and I think even our current CB’s would have struggled in the latter years of Wenger’s era.

  2. Sebastien Squillachi OUGHT to count himseldf extremely fortunate that , but for the fact that Wenger could hardly ever recognise a top class CB unless one got up and bit him, he Squillachi, would never have been within a million miles of a club of our standing , but for Wenger and his notorious two decades long inability to get decent CBs, with very few exceptions.

    The long list of AW chosen dud CB s would take a longer post than I am prepared to waste my time on in listing here.

    1. Apart from two CB who went unbeaten for an entire season and took us to our only CL final in our history ?

    2. so Sol Campbell, Kolo and Koscienly were not decent CB’s? while some of Wenger’s acquisitions were not great, but the main fault was the protection Infront of the defense and even our current CB’s would have struggled with the crappy defensive midfield that Wenger had during the late stage of his era. No defense can overcome that. And for comparison the goal against during Wenger’s time is better than MA.

      Goals Season
      37 2012-2013
      41 2013-2014
      36 2014-2015
      36 2015-2016
      44 2016-2017
      51 2017-2018
      51 2018-2019
      48 2019-2020
      39 2020-2021
      48 2021-2022
      43 2022-2023

      1. Ibrahim, I do not know if your first language is English but you have failed to read my post properly, for sure.

        I knew when writing it that some misinterpretation, whether wilful or careless, would be posted about what I wrote.

        Perhaps you missed reading my” very few exceptions” although you managed to list them, I note!

        1. quoting you Jon ” but for the fact that Wenger could hardly ever recognise a top class CB unless one got up and bit him”
          so you are saying Wenger doesn’t have ability to recognize a decent CB yet his stat is better than the current CB. in that case do you think that MA is bad at identifying a decent CB ?

          1. Ibrahim No disrespect intended but unless you can sort your true thoughts out and state them clearly, then further debate between us is pointless.

            You are again misinterpreting what I WROTE. I said precisely what I MEANT TO SAY, BUT YOU ARE PUTTING YOUR OWN SPIN, AN INCORRCT ONE, ON IT.
            I prefer honest debate with fans who can at least understand correctly what I WRITE.

    3. Yes, apart from those mere two and the top class ones inherited from George Graham, so you ARE correct in mentioning my “very few exceptions”!
      Glad to see you agree with what I wrote then.

      1. well the stats proves you wrong. we have conceded more during MA’s tenure with the current CB than wengers

        1. STATS “prove” NOTHING . Stats when used in true context. with the aid of an intellect, are merely a guide.

          1. what is the context jon? what metric are you going to use to measure a defense? bad defense is measured by goal conceded same way bad offense is measured by lack of goal.

            1. FAR TOO SIMPLISTIC, andif I may say so, a somehat naive view of how both attack and defence works. Indeed, in your own post above timed at 6.05, you wrote , astutely, that “even our curent CBs would havw struggled with thr crappy defensive midfield that Wenger had during thtlate stage of his era”. So you are ,inTHAT post, admitting that defence is affected by midfield- as is obviously the case – but in the post at 6.22, you state that ” bad defence is measured by goals conceded”.

              My question to you than is which of those two contradictory posts do you stand by and which do you reject? BOTH cannot be correct.

              1. As I have mentioned before the main issue was the midfield and not just the individual players in the defense. But you are the one that you mentioned how wenger was bad at identifying good CB yet his CB had better stat than the current CB. What is your proof the current CB are better than Wengers? we can debate about how the team play as a unit or setup was better but you are the one that brought up the issue that Wenger was bad at recruiting decent CB. I say the team setup was bad but still with bad midfield and all misfits wenger had they managed to concede less than our current team

                1. YOU HAVE CHOSEN NOT TO ANSWER MY QUESTION. That is of course your choice and right. My choice and right is not to debate further with you on this topic, on which as adults, we must agree to disagree.


                  1. you chose not to answer mine when I asked what metric or how the current CB are better. You made a statement about how wenger was bad at identifying good center back without backing it up. There are some CB were acquired by wenger that were below par just like some under MA. Like I said Wenger had hit and miss like most managers when it comes to defensive recruitment but his lack of filling the gaping hole in the mid was the downfall for his defense.

  3. Ibrahim, your GA figures are the same ones that I asked Jon to look at, before he made a similar claim a few days ago – just as it is now, he failed to answer why MA, after spending millions on defenders, still hasn’t improved on AW ‘s defensive record.

    Just for the record, it was during Unai Emery’s time, that a certain William Saliba was signed, so let’s not forget that fact either.

    Squillachi was not a good signing, that’s surely something we can all agree on?

    As a final note, despite the claim that Arsene couldn’t put a defence together after 2008, we either finished in the top four, won fa cups and every season bar one when appearing in the CL, we ALWAYS progressed to the knock out stages as a minimum… we never finished 8th twice and always has european football right up until Arsene’s final season.

    Now, one can look at it in two ways :
    1. His squads were better than some people give him credit for.
    2. He worked miracles with players who were below pre The Emirates build standards.

    Simple really.

  4. Ken, I completely agree with your points. I don’t the current CB will fair well had they played with the likes of song, Xhaka, coq, denilson and all the other square pegs used as defensive midfielders.

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