Arsene Wenger's Message to Philippe Senderos, Time To Step Up

Farooq Ahmed@@farooq09Correspondent ISeptember 7, 2009

LONDON - AUGUST 03:  Philippe Senderos of Arsenal in action during the pre-season friendly match between Arsenal and Real Madrid during the Emirates Cup at the Emirates Stadium on August 3, 2008 in London, England.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)

If there was ever a time for a Gunner to step up his game, the time is now for Philippe Senderos in the wake of a knee injury that will keep Johan Djourou out for around six months.

The 6'3" Arsenal stopper, and currently the third option at centre back behind incumbent starters William Gallas and Thomas Vermaelen, Johan Djourou will face a six month spell on the sidelines following an operation on his left knee.

At the beginning of the season the Swiss international was hopeful of pushing for a starting place in Arsene Wenger's first eleven following the departure of Kolo Toure, introduction of Vermaelen and concerns over William Gallas, but this devastating blow has been an unwanted setback for not only Djourou but for Arsenal as a team, with the veteran Mikael Silvestre now the third option followed by outcast Philippe Senderos who’s last Arsenal appearance was in may of 2008 before he went out on loan to AC Milan.

Another option for Wenger is to play starter at the defensive midfield position at centre back, however Song has been nothing short of brilliant this season and Wenger will not want to play one of his best performers this season out of position.

With that said, Song has been solid in the centre of defence whenever his number is called, providing a no nonsense, sometimes scrappy workmanlike effort.

Senderos, 24, who, in his short career, has been the victim of many mistakes in the past for Arsenal now has a chance to solidify his position as the No. 3 centre back ahead of Silvestre who has not impressed many in his last couple of years at The Emirates Stadium, with a Carling Cup fixture coming up against West Brom in the coming weeks look for him to figure and climb his way back up the depth chart in defence for the Gunners and help rectify his once promising career.

Wenger, meanwhile will be worried about the lack of strength in depth in defence following the sale of Kolo Toure and the injury of Djourou, will almost certainly look to strengthen in the January transfer window.