Arsenal are struggling for a premiership-class defensive partnership with the club failing to replace Gallas and 'Gooners' are starting to sweat.
Arsenal may begin the season with Vermaelen as the only recognised starting centre-back, perhaps only backed up by Djourou (newly back from injury), Koschielny (inexperienced/unproven/lightweight), and possibly Campbell (good for 20 games max), none of whom are starters right now.
It seems that the longer this transfer window goes on the less likely Arsene Wenger is to signing anybody. AW clearly stated that he wanted to conclude transfers early on and it seems the club are again reluctant to spend in order to do this. Most are agreed that the key additions need to be a goalkeeper and a recognised starting defender but what's taking so long? Wenger said 'we have the money to buy the players we need', so what's the problem? We are rumoured to have given up on Jagielka, whom at £18m may not have been worth it anyway but good centre backs with experience cost money, and it seems the longer we don't sign anybody, the more likely AW is to reconsider his options.
It's not beyond the realms possibility that AW may end up re-signing Sol Campbell this month and make do with the current squad. I don't know what readers think but as far as Arsenal's title hopes go, with the advent of City and Spurs, maybe Liverpool and with Man U and Chelsea always strong, developing a strong defensive unit is paramount and we will need to be very good in all areas to go for 4th place, let alone the title. Almunia is dodgy, the rest of the keepers are young and Campbell cannot be first choice, whilst the other central defenders aren't ready for our Premiership.
Arsenal have been here before, AW too. Since AW has been at the helm, we have always had attacking prowess but the defence has been key to silverware - When AW fixes this, it's simple, we dominate and win titles. Why is AW doing his customary thing and stalling on landing some class because of a few million quid, here and there. We saw with Arshavin that he almost blew the deal because we wouldn't pay over £15m and it was lucky the transfer went through.
A lot has been documented on this subject but as it stands our defensive unit is going to let us down again and the pain will to continue, unless we do something soon.
I just hope that a failure to deliver next season, the subsequent migration of key players and the unimaginable signing-off of our legendary manager, doesn't come down to the loss of a certain central defender named William Gallas and a reluctance by the club to pay to replace him.