Centre-back Selection Dilemma for Arsenal? I Don’t Think So!

After that emphatic win away at Chelsea,we are oozing confidence at the moment. As Theo rightfuly said, I believe we can beat any team if we continue this recent run of form. With games against West Brom and Fulham coming up, I dont see it ending anytime soon.

The game against Chelsea also saw the return of our star defender – Thomas Vermaelen. Though he hardly played for five minutes, it was a huge relief to see him back on the pitch. So, now that the ‘Verminator’ is back, who should make way in the centre of defence.

Let’s discuss,shall we?

We have Koscielny, Vermaelen, Mertesacker and Djourou (you can forget about Squillaci).

When I heard that Arsenal had signed Per Mertesacker in the summer, I was ecstatic. I thought our defensive problems had finally come to an end. But to be perfectly honest, he hasn’t really steadied the ship in a way that was expected of him. Make no mistake about it-he has been a very average signing for me. Sure, he has made some vital interceptions and is very handy with set pieces but his lack of pace is a serious problem.

Johann Djourou was by far our best centre half last season but he has not carried that form to this one (remember the Shrewsbury game?).

Then, there is Laurent Koscielny. The ‘Kosher’, performance wise, is miles above the rest. He was simply fantastic in the Chelsea game. And in the words of Paul Masefield, he has finally arrived. Alright, he hasn’t been the most consistent of defenders, but has really proved himself this term. Without him in the team, we would’ve probably conceded more than we already have. He has been an absolute rock in central defence. If you’d ask me, he has done more than enough to assure him of a place in the starting eleven. Wenger would be a complete idiot to prefer Mertesacker ahead of him.

We’ll just have to wait and see what Le Prof has in mind.

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34 thoughts on “Centre-back Selection Dilemma for Arsenal? I Don’t Think So!

  1. Gooner fresh

    Not a dilemma, it’s depth. Something arsenal have definitely lacked and needed in the past couple years. I agree it’s going to be Verm and kos running our D, with mert rotating in for the likes of stoke. I still find myself believing we need a creative mid in January who can play wing also. Hazard wants to come to the premier kefir so do whatever’s necessary to land him. Give them Rosicky, arshavin or park on loan or permanent. I hate to lose a player as I’m feeling so good about the squad gelling but hazard will be world class an would be dumb to pass up. Also get vertonghen, a class defender who can also play DM or LB an is verm’s mate.
    Gunners til I am deceased

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 1

  2. Mr Arsenal1982

    I think for the time being we should switch koscieny right backnan

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2

  3. Ken

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    Out of tune?. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 22

  4. Alex

    Koscielny has been better than Mertesacker so far this season, so he deserves to be in the starting XI next to Vermaelen. That said, I think our CB problems are over!! Someone like Jan Vertonghen would be a great signing, but to be honest I think we are good for now.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  5. Ankit

    Give sometime to defence…..everything will fall into place ! Although need one more creative midfielder and an out and out striker to reduce pressure that will mount up on RVP in the time to come ! CHANGE THE FORMATION !!!!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  6. Malik

    well in the newcastle game kos & verm were soooooooooooooo solid we didn’t concede even when we were 10 men they are tackling masters n against a technical team like marseille, barcelona exc. we’ll be impenetrable but against the likes of stoke, blackburn n all those neanderthal team’s we’ll NEED a giant animal like mert or samba 2 get agressive n sh*t but if u ask me our first team backline should be:

    sagna mert kos verm

    throwing out squillaci & djorou whilst adding verthongen + cahill would mean we would have solid PLAYERS but our game play is terrible during the 2nd goal mert should’ve been marking terry, whilst there was 2 players on the posts n the rest should have marked their men but what actually happened? mert was marking space instead of terry, their was no one on the posts 2 clear the ball cause arteta ran sideways 4 some reason n no one was on the other poster, result we cope an easy goal because of schoolboy mistakes

    1st goal, santos should have closed down mata but he has weight as an excuse but AGAIN mert was marking space instead of lampard, result we cope another easy goal from a school boy error

    3rd goal was stupid, santos got fouled so i don’t get y we coped that 1 but in terms of attack EVERY1 was outstanding even djorou was giving sexy as long balls, i’m not dissing our team, i’m just sayin we could have easily won, 5-1 and we NEED 2 stop making these basic errors if we want a MAJOR trophy

    Opinions divided. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2

  7. Mr Arsenal1982

    Sorry about not finishing my last comment, I have a new I pad and got o get used to it. I have a very simple solution from now, I think we will all agree that jenkinson and djorou are not good enough to cover sagna till the new year so why don’t we switch koscieny at right back for now and play vermaelen and mertesacker in the middle or at least do this against the big teams.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  8. George ibude

    Verminator and kosser are our cb for now. I want us to sign Mvilla, Gotze or Martin to add dept to the team. To digress a little,are Spurds players etc suffering from voyeurism? V der fart why are regretin the fact we didnt sign u?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  9. alex

    Stupid article, there’s no need no argue who deserved to start, because pert, kos, and TV5 all deserved it. We need rotation, that mean everybody eventually have to start if we want to win something. The season is far from concluded. We also need to tweak our defense strategy from game to game depends on our opponent. That’s basically something that we didn’t have last season.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  10. Ayounggunn

    Certainly mert will drop to the bench and a bit of rotation won’t do harm to the team.kos has been outstanding dis term and certainly would keep his place a little panic mert comes back.i tink dis is what we lacked last season competetion for places in the backline.now things r gonna get tight wit every play using every chance to get 1st team sport.
    Agree or not

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  11. Twig

    Koscielny should start of course; he has earned it. But with Wenger you never know

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  12. Carl

    Mertesacker should drop to the bench for me, Koscielny this yeah has been one of our star players by far! And mertesacker still needs a bit more adjustment into the PL. Vermaelen and koscielny at the back will be our rock! All we need now is for santos to up his game otherwise he will lose his place to gibbs when he’s back. Then bring back sagna and our defence will be great once more! Come on Arsenal show Marseille what we got!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  13. Adm

    I think Per should start on the bench because he played so many games since Koscielny and Vermaelen were out.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  14. Deduke

    Let every player fight for a shirt, this will bring out the best in them & create or give room for healthy competition in the team, meaning if you are not fit, you don’t even sit on the bench talk less of playing.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  15. Derrick

    We have a good pool to fish from now in terms of CD.Per must be given time to adjust to PL football.No player becomes good and consistent there and them.With Sagna out i would go for Kosher in right back,Santos on left back and Verm with Per in CD.We need to give Carl some time for the tough games remmember the boy is just 18 and failed to run with Bale.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  16. pontus

    To have 3 top class players (yes Mertesacker is one of them, just wait and see) competing for two spots is not one too many but quite possibly one too few. Defenders get injured, suspended, fall in and out of form so we need cover.
    As much as I love him I don’t think that Santos is ready for 3 games in one week yet. If Gibbs is not fit we should therefore play TV5 on the left. If Gibbs can play I think we should move Kos out to the right but it’s a tough call and I trust the manager to make the right choices.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  17. Gunner123

    Per should be rested or on the bench. He play many games.

    TV5 & Kos should should start against Marselle.

    Who should parterner TV5 should depend on each individual game. If play against big strikers, Per should be better option. If play against fast and tricky strikers, Kos is the man.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  18. kamal

    koshelny whoo???….that was the words of arsenal fan including me…but now we are seeing a good player emerging…so the moral is trust arsene….

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  19. African Gooner

    This is the kind of dilemma every team would love to have. We have a choice of good players in a department that has been our weakest which can only be a good thing. I think AW should look to rotate his center backs to keep them fresh as we go into the more demanding second half of the season. For the game tonight I would be more comfortable with Kosc and Verm as the first choice and keep per on the bench.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  20. Gooner frm 9ja

    Its a simple choice as far as am concerned,who has worked his butt out & impressed MOST has EARNED it!And for me Kosh is way ahead of Mert in dat dept so he definitely gets my vote!But de gud news is that now we hv options as well as can comfortably rotate,smthng dat used 2 be only a dream b4 now!Finally someone mentioned Kosh in de RB,nao,nao,nao for me.While he’s very solid & comfortable in de Centre,de few times I’ve watched him in de RB I hvnt bn very impressed,he isnt as solid and comfortable as wen if plays as a CD!I thnk dat dept shld be rotated bw Djourou & Jenk for now till Sanya’s resumption wch shldnt be more dan 8-10wks frm now!And who knows Wenger might evn suprise us wt anoda Defender come winter Trsf,2 further add 2 our Defensive options! [GFL]

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  21. Richmike

    We should give jenkinson,vermaelen,koscielny,santos a trial,I’m sure we can still get some stability in defence xcept kos has to fill in for d over-lappin santos.we should play arshavin,walcot n gervinho all 2geda tonight,I think we’ll crush marseille with arshavin playin behind RVP d MVP.RVP for ballon d’or

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  22. ike@Ghana

    Is Andre Santos good enough to take full control of the left of defence? I think TV5 should be pushed to the left when Sagna is back, until then the defence should be Kos,Santos,TV5 and Per. We need to be patient with Per as he still has to come to terms with the language.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  23. Fanboy

    Verm n Kozzer are definitly the first choice pair, when they played in preseason and d game at ‘castle they conceded only one goal – an own goal

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  24. wisdom

    What you guy don’t understand is that Per Mert. make koscielny look gud through his commanding present in the pitch and also have winning mentality that is why we keep on collecting full point. Go back to the defence of Squilaci and Kosher, what did you notice? it was full of defeat and disappointment through out. So Mert. present in the pitch is very very necessary. Stop judges player because of one mistake. And if kosher make that mistake against chelshit what will you say? It was the same kosher that you guy call for his head when he fumble against Birmingham and now he has become a corner stone that was rejected. Remember somebody make person to look gud in the pitch while together.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  25. emangunners

    My fellow arsenal fans will agree this is a dilemma we have wish for and not just put any person in cb but now we have players available for the position and not a make shift cb partnership

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  26. sweeper

    i like kozer,verms and mertersacker…. but i would love to get vertonghen. he has immense skill,vision, decent pace, wicked shot and he’s a centre back. i think that should be our 4 CB’s for squad. I even think we could play them as our back 4 in the biggest games. RB-Kozzer,CB-Mert, CB-Verms, LB-Vertonghen

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  27. rushky

    I think you’re wrong. To me Mertesacker is a great player not am average one. His positioning is excellent which does a lot to make up for his lack of pace.

    I find our backline is getting increasingly stronger. Kudos to Djourou for playing out of position against Chelsea and for definitely holding his own. I am happy to see how Arsenal’s depth in the back developed and think we will be doing quite well with the backline in the team. Vermaelen, koscielniy, djourou and mertesacker are all going to be viable options. Give mertesacker a little more time to adapt and he will get a lot better. Koscielniy is also a greatly improved player yet people were extremely harsh with him. You got to let people adapt.

    I believe in Wenger and I think he is far from being an idiot. And that is why he is the manager of Arsenal fc while you are blogging about him.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  28. Arsenal man

    We should keep Mertesacker and Koscielny as our CB’s and move Vermaelen back to LB where he played before! Then our defence will be solid when Sagna is back from injury. To me sounds like the best defence in the EPL. Also we should buy Cagill, Martin & Podolski. Podolski will ease the pressure on Van Persie. This may mean moving to a 4-4-2 formation ad it should look something like this:
    Szczesny
    Sagna-Mertesacker-Koscielny-Vermaelen
    Walcott-Wilshere-Martin-Gervinho
    Van Persie-Podolski

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  29. mike gooner

    need one more defender in Vertonghen, yann m”vila and eden hazard/goetze and podolski

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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