Do Arsenal Need Another Center Back ?
Lets first take a look at the CB's linked with Arsenal
1) Naldo (Ronaldo Aparecido Rodrigues)
Born: 10 September 1982. A Brazilian footballer playing for Werder Bremen in the German Bundesliga.
Naldo is a versatile two-footed central defender.
During his first few weeks at Bremen, fans likened him to an ox due to his immense height and athletic build. At 6'6", he can solve most of Arsenal's problems.
2) Tasci (Serdar Taşçı)
Born: 24 April 1987, in Esslingen.
A German defender who plays for VfB Stuttgart and the German national team, Tasci usually plays as a centre back, but can play right back.
He would provide versatility, but with Eboue and Sagna, we don't need a center-back who can also play at right-back.
3) Bassong (Sébastien Bassong)
Born: 9 July 1986, in Paris. A French-born Cameroonian defender who currently plays for Newcastle United of the Football League Championship.
At only 6'2" I don't see how he will solve Arsenal's vulnerability from set pieces.
Frankly, having recently bought Vermaelen I don't think Wenger will sign another Centre-Back.
Unless one the current squad is sold. Having said that, lets take a look at our current Central Defenders.
Let me know what you think...
Touré joined Arsenal in February 2002 from ASEC Mimosas for £150,000.
At the start of the 2003–04 season, Wenger began using Touré as a central defender alongside Sol Campbell. He formed a terrific partnership with Campbell, and had a great season when Arsenal went undefeated for the entire season.
Touré quickly established himself as one of the best center backs in the Premier League.
In the 2005–06 season, he established a formidable defensive partnership with Philippe Senderos.
Both center backs had immaculate form towards the end of the season, helping the Arsenal team reach the 2006 Champions League Final after keeping 10 consecutive clean sheets (a European competition record).
Touré is known for his pace and power, which enable him to force weaker attackers off the ball and to keep up with pacy strikers.
He possesses good marking ability and most of his tackles are well timed, which has contributed to his relatively good disciplinary record.
His attacking instincts have enabled him to score a few goals. At times, if he finds space, he will shoot from long range. He also takes long range free kicks occasionally.
He is more deserving of the Captain's arm band than Gallas, or for that matter Fabregas, as he was the senior-most member of the squad.
Last season saw a dip in his form. Aged 28 I still feel AW should retain him and not allow him to leave for Manchester City.
The ex-Arsenal Captain was in picture for all the wrong reasons last season. His reported outburst against his own teammates in the French media came on top of his leaving the field against Birmingham City in 07-08 season.
At this time he was arguably the most hated player among the Gooners (a position currently occupied by Adebayor).
After he was stripped of the captaincy, he improved his game significantly, and was one of the main reason behind the 11 clean sheets we achieved at a time when Fabregas was injured .
This period was crucial in Arsenal retaining the Champions League spot. He was clearly missed whilst injured, and the team needed the most.
Gallas would have made a world of difference if he had played during the F.A. Cup and Champions League semi-finals
A player of his caliber should always be retained as he brings much needed experience. Gallas was part of the Chelsea team that won back-to-back Premier League titles and a League Cup under José Mourinho.
He is one of the few members of the squad to have tasted success. He should not be sold this year.
I first saw Song play during 07-08 season match against Manchester United when he was given the job of marking Rooney.
Seeing him play, one of my friends who is a Manchester United fan said he would become an Arsenal fan if Ronaldo left Man Untd (I hope he will become one now).
His sincerity saw him rated as the most improved player last season among most of the Gooners.
Alex impressed during Arsenal's run to the Carling Cup Semi-Finals, notably at Blackburn in the Quarter-Finals, and earned a late call-up to the Cameroon squad at the Africa Cup of Nations.
The young Gunner excelled in Ghana and, although Cameroon fell short, Alex was named in the team of the tournament.
On May 16, Alex turned in probably his best performance of the season with a masterful display at centre back in Arsenal’s 0-0 draw at Old Trafford, and he remained at centre-half for the season’s final game a week later.
That made me think—if only we had played him at that position instead of Silvestre during the FA cup and Champions League semi-finals! The story would have been different.
He provides us with depth in the squad, as he can also play at DM. If Kolo does decide to leave for Manchester City, we may see the pair of Senderos-Vermaelen and Song-Gallas being rotated.
He definitely has a bright future.
We should in one way thank Flamini for leaving Arsenal, as this helped our "YOUNG" squad mature much faster, with Song being the main benefactor.
Senderos signed for Arsenal in December 2002, though he remained at Servette until the following summer. The transfer fee was reportedly £2.5m.
A series of injuries to Sol Campbell meant Senderos was able to forge a defensive partnership with Kolo Touré in the 2005–06 season.
Senderos became a major force in the Arsenal's Champions League run, which included a record-breaking run of ten clean sheets.
In the Arsene Wenger biography by Xavier Rivoire, it was revealed that Arsene Wenger consulted Tony Adams about making Senderos captain of the club before he made Thierry Henry club captain.
The Swiss defender played an outstanding role after replacing the injured Kolo Toure seven minutes into the first leg, against the then reigning European champions.
Philippe snuffed out the threat of Kaka, Alexandre Pato and company, before repeating the trick in the San Siro 13 days later.
At 6'3" Philippe's aerial power is a valuable asset. At the start of 07-08 season, when William Gallas was unavailable, Philippe contributed to six clean sheets in his first eight games.
He was part of the Swiss defence which did not concede a goal at the 2006 World Cup and played every minute of his country's campaign at Euro 2008.
This may be his make or break season. I hope he does excel in Red and White. He must be given another chance
Djourou I feel will be loaned to some other club, as he may not find a place in the starting eleven this season.
Most of his performances last season were average and he definitely is not top four material yet.
With age on his side (He's just 22) he will definitely mature if he gets to play more first team football.
At a height of 6'3", he can become an asset for the club.
He was completely omitted from the squad which traveled to Old Trafford in the Premier League in May. There, Song showed that he fits the bill, compared to Djourou.
I don't much about him, so I'm putting whatever I got from Arsenal.com:
Vermaelen (23), who was the Ajax club captain last season, made his first team debut for the Dutch club at just 18, after playing at Youth level for Belgian side KFC Germinal Beerschot.
His performances led him into the Belgium national football team.
The Johan Cruijff Shield and another KNVB Cup were added in the following season and in 2007, he won the Johan Cruijff Shield for the second consecutive time.
Vermaelen served as captain of Ajax for the 2008–09 season. During his time with Ajax, the club won the Dutch League Championship in 2003-2004, with Vermaelen also winning the Dutch National Cup on two occasions (in 2006 and 2007) and the Dutch Super Cup twice (in 2006 and 2007).
Being left-footed, he will provide competition to Gallas, and can also play at left-back. If Clichy gets injured during the campaign Arsenal will have experienced cover.
That way we will have an experienced back four throughout the season, an area we lacked during the latter stages of the season with injuries to Gallas and Clichy.
Signed from Manchester United in summer 08-09, Silvestre's season has seen more lows than highs at the Emirates.
He made his debut for the club in a 3–1 victory over Everton on October 18, 2008. He set up Arsenal's first goal of the match, which was scored by Samir Nasri.
Injuries to Johan Djourou and William Gallas ensured that Mikael played all the April games. During this period, his performances were better left unsaid.
His marking of Drogba during the FA Cup semi finals, his dismal performance in the Champions League Semi-finals, and Anelka's shot from range during Arsenal's 4-1 drubbing at the hands of Chelsea, are some the very many examples.
Due to these performances, he is unpopular among fans and the owners. This was evidenced during a question-and-answer session with the club's shareholders in which defender Mikael Silvestre was branded a 'geriatric'.
Despite all this, the Arsenal Youngsters do look up to him, as was mentioned by Jack Wilshere.
A transfer to Bordeaux does seem to be on the cards, and if they do bid for for him, AW should sell him, as his contract expires at the end of this season.