Should Kolo Toure be replaced?

The transfer rumours have begun anew with Toure’s departure. Brede Hangeland and Sebastien Bassong are being mentioned as possible replacements, although the Newcastle man maybe heading to Spurs. Wenger might have brought in Thomas Vermaelen from Ajax as cover for a possible Toure transfer which had been afloat for a long time after his spat with Gallas.
Having said that, it still begs the question whether we can do with the center backs that we have at our disposal. Thomas Vermaelen is ready to start. So who will his partner be?
William Gallas: The ex-Chelsea player did not entirely convince last season and he now has knee injury concerns. He is getting on in age, and at 32 years, naturally lost a step in his vertical spring and speed on tackles. For all his experience he does not inspire with his abrasive attitude.
Johann Djorou: The tall Swiss center back has been in and out of the first squad for five years and saw the most action in 2006-2007 before being loaned out to Birmingham. Since his return he has been mostly used as a cover for Toure. Has never played an entire season.
Mikael Silvestre: The most inexplicable Wenger signing. A Man Utd reject. Slow and less than sure footed with his tackles. He was embarrassed by Didier Drogba in last season’s FA semi-finals. Fans barely endured his presence when Gallas got injured in April.
Phillipe Senderos: Substantial in the air. Questionable speed and decision making. He has provided cover for both Toure and Gallas. Had a very good 2007-2008 season in both EPL and CL matches which led to a Milan loan. He is on Wenger’s list of probable sales.
Alex Song: An uneasy makeshift holding midfielder last season. Did not come close to providing the sort of wall that Gilberto was famous for but picked up the rougher aspects of the game quite well. Not entirely convinced of his defensive skills.
So yes, there are options but if you look closely only the Vermaelen – Gallas pairing have both experience as well as the necessary skills to provide defensive depth. If one of them is injured, one has to consider the variable experience and competence of the rest of the center backs. We need one more tough tackling center back with experience.

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4 comments on “Should Kolo Toure be replaced?
  1. Shourin, I appreciate your love for Arsenal. Like all true Arsenal fans, you too are the eternal optimist. As a Barca shouter, I love Arsenal’s idealistic commitment to glorious football. Yet, while watching Arsenal, I do not see in Arsenal Barcelona’s mix of youthful hope (Iniesta) and blunt nosed purchases (Alves). In as much as I too love Arsenal, I doubt that Arsenal will have the gumption to compete at the highest echelons of English football this season. I do not pity Arsene sitting as he does in the imperious Emirates stadium while also realizing the 5000 lb gorilla sits on his shoulder, a gorilla that is Arsenal’s debt obligations which prevent Arsene from marrying both youth and blunt nosed purchases.

  2. FB
    Well it is what we get when we say “In Wenger we trust”. Arsenal is saddled in debt and we have to make these player sales as a way of purchasing less expensive players and also drive down the debt. I think given the constraints Arsenal has done admirably but we need to do more. Barca on the other hand has been solvent throughout and one has to admire that the club is owned by its millions of supporters and not by a handful of billionaires.

  3. But Barca may be hiding its debt obligations or it does not earn enough revenue from either image rights, ticket sales or shirt sales. Here is what La Porta stated when he was assailed, in some quarters, for Ibrahomivic’s purchase, ““It is a different approach [to Madrid] and one can interpret what they want. We did not use one single euro of our bank debt. This makes Barcelona a serious club who respects the rules. The difference is that we always comply with the commitments that we make. It is clear that in a sporting sense, this is a great acquisition. It was an ideal operation and we will soon see if the player’s performance is profitable.” Does this statement mean that Barca is in debt but that it did not use its assets as collateral for more debt? Can you clarify?

  4. Clubs always have some amount of debt obligation. Real was able to raise money through very low interest bank loans which paid for CR and Kaka. Their reasoning is that these two players will recoup that amount with jersey and merchandising sales in about a year or two. Barca has not added any more debt through Ibra’s transfer but used pre-existing funds from other sources: Player transfers, CL final appearance, gate receipts, merchandising, and concessions. Also unlike the EPL, Spanish clubs are free to negotiate their own TV contracts which helps Barca keep all that money rather than share it with other clubs at the end of the season. Actually Barca made a very healthy profit (second in the big clubs) last season and its growth is even more phenomenal. Check out this link.
    http://www.soccerblog.com/2009/04/forbes-top-20-english-clubs-sa.htm

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