Tonight it emerges that Phil Senderos could be off, on loan, to AC Milan.
My first thought? Bad timing, really.
Phil Senderos has blown hot and cold for some time and it’s pretty clear that the way things are right now, he’s not first choice at Arsenal. He had an average season last year and with Djourou seemingly ahead in the pecking order, something had to give.
At 23, are any centre-halves the real deal? Not that many. But he needs to play more to become the player it was hoped he would be.
The big worry for me is that we’d be yet another player down. We’re already several down on a squad that, last year, fell short. Is Silvestre his replacement or can we expect a new centre-half to arrive? I hope it’s the latter, I really do.
If we were well stocked with central defenders in the rudest of health I think Senderos heading off on loan would be sensible – but we are not. Toure and Gallas have not had great starts, Djourou is still pretty raw and Silvestre is injured.
And it’s bad timing in light of the weak midfield – another player leaving only serves to make fans more nervous. Understandably so.
I was going to write something following our abject performance against Fulham, but it was summed up neatly by the arseblogger and several others, and I didn’t end up bothering. The burning question for most is why have we not replaced Flamini (or Gilberto – or Diarra for that matter), because everyone has seen for months that we need to.
For me, it’s equally intriguing why Wenger has left it so late to do so. Do prices drop now? Does the market only get sufficiently fluid at this late stage? I don’t know the answer but it seems true that it’s not only Wenger who intends to pounce late: most of the rest are still shopping furiously. Whatever – it’s backfired.
But let’s get one thing straight – Saturday’s defeat was not entirely down to our callow and lopsided midfield, though that was a factor. From top to bottom, as Wenger admits, we were plain awful. We defended like drains, our midfield four didn’t work and our strikers didn’t take the few chances that came their way. In top of that – and sometimes amidst the wearing of sackcloth we forget this – Fulham played very well.
So the bigger question is why were we so bad. It can’t purely be down to the international midweek as our worst player was the one player who didn’t go anywhere – Denilson. Besides, all the teams to a greater or lesser degree have the same issue so it should never be used as an excuse.
An off day with bells on? You’ve got to hope so.