Regular readers of my blog (And thank you if you are one of them), will know that I am a staunch supporter of Arsene Wenger and of his ongoing work at our club. However, there is the odd occasion when he does something that leaves me scratching my head, thinking "Why has he done that?" And yesterday was one of those occasions.
As we all know, Philippe Senderos has left the club on a free, and joined up with Woy Hodgson at Fulham. And good luck to him, I say. But can anyone give me a satisfactory reason, to why we just let a 24-year old international defender leave on a free transfer? Because I certainly can't think of one. I've read a lot of blogs and articles over the past couple of days about Senderos, and the same two reasons are given for his lack of success at the club. These reasons being:
- He couldn't handle Didier Drogba, and
- He let us down in the CL 1/4 final at Anfield in 2008.
Now Drogba, on most outings, is a whining, arrogant, preening, diving, infuriating ponce. But, at times, he is just unstoppable as a centre-forward. He's big, strong, pacey and has an eye for goal that very few strikers have today. If he wasn't such a prima-donna on the field, he'd easily be up there as one of the two or three best players in the world. So to single out Big Phil for not being able to keep him quiet, when for the last 5 years, almost nobody has been able to keep the shackles on him, is in my opinion, a little unfair on the lad. Don't forget, it was him who was the cornerstone of our defence when we got to the CL Final in '06, when all he had for help was a half-fit Kolo, a winger for a right-back in Eboue, and a midfielder at left-back in Flamini. Which brings me to reason number two...
Apparently, Wenger lost faith in Big Phil after his performance in that incredible game two and a bit years ago. Again, this just sounds a bit harsh on him. Okay, he wasn't great that night, but apart from Theo and Cesc, who was? And let us not forget that strange things always occur when you put the words "Anfield", "second leg" and "European Cup" in the same sentence. Liverpool have thrived on those sort of nights when the impossible just seems to happen. For him to be frozen out like he was after that game for two seasons was, frankly, baffling. And then to see him not being preferred to Mikael Silvestre at times this season, was just bewildering.
So as of this moment, the only defenders we can count on actually being at the club in August, are Vermaelen and Djourou. Gallas is days away from leaving, Sol wants to wait and see if he gets an offer from a decent team that are willing to play him every week (can't blame him there) and Silvestre is hopeless. So why did we just get rid of a player who, not only could provide decent competition for places at the club, but cares about playing for us so much, he cried his eyes out after that said game in Anfield in '08? He may not be world-class, but he has a lot more to offer than a lot of the players currently in our squad, and at 24, he's still young enough to improve as well.
Like I said at the start of this post, I usually support any decision Wenger makes at our club. But in my opinion, he's dropped a clanger here. I just hope I'm wrong.