Thomas Vermaelan is almost back from his long-suffering injury and might even be available for some of our fixtures at the end of the season. At the start of the season, he was accompanied by Laurent Koscielny at the heart of our defence. But now that Djourou is fit and in his prime form, who should accompany the Verminator at the back?
Koscielny has had a superb first season in England. I’m sure many of the renowned defenders playing in Europe would have struggled to cope with the demands of the Premier League. Koscielny also had his ups and downs. Mistake against Blackburn, Bolton and Birmingham(obviously!) along with some others have shown that he needed time to adjust to this league. But the fact remains that he was thrown into the deep end very early in his Arsenal career but still managed to survive it.
He’s become exceptionally stable and so has his performances. He now plays with this authority of a quality centre-back and has learnt from his mistakes quickly. He’s great in the air and assure with his feet.How many of the Arsenal fans would’ve thought at the start of the season that he’d be so very instrumental for us. His vision for a defender is also pretty good. For me, he is a great centre-back who deserves a place along Thomas.
But now arrives Djourou. He’s got power, strength, aerial ability and tackles very well. He is another defender who’s proven the critics and the fans wrong. I for once never thought that he’d make it at Arsenal( I thought the reverse for Kozzer though!!!). But I don’t feel guilty for that. I mean that even if I hate Bentdner, I would surely won’t mind if he scores 25 goals next season(if he stays, of course).
Djourou has given the Arsenal defence the much-needed stability and has been a revelation. He’s also got the best out of Koscielny. Koscielny’s performance take a major dip when Djourou is not there. That’s also something that’s good about Johan. His performances this season also deserve a starting place next season.
So where does that leave Vermaelan. Yeah Vermaelan. How long it’s been since he’s played. It would have felt much longer if it was not for our much improved defence. But DO NOT forget that Vermaelan is better than both of them. Far far better. So it’s no point suggesting a Djourou-Kozzer partnership. One of them has to make way. But that’s where the problem is. WHO?
One thing I know for sure. The partnership that Wenger puts out next season should stay there for as long as they are good. If it’s Djourou, then let it be so for the next 6-7 years. The same goes for Koscielny. Or should Wenger buy Cahill? I don’t think so. He surely wouldn’t fit the bill. I’d rather prefer Vertonghen from Ajax as he also can cover for Song. The thing is, provided the fact that we’ve got 3 great defenders, we only need a backup. But an able backup. That’s what we’ll get in Vertonghen. Also, he won’t get frustrated sitting on the bench as his arrival would mean that Song could also get some rest which he rarely does presently.
If I were to choose, I’d partner Vermaelan with Koscielny. Koscielny has a much bigger scope of improvement than Djourou and also the fact that his performance improves with the player he plays with means that he’s my choice. But it’s very close as Djourou is almost just as good as him but he is injury-prone. Like it or not, he is. That means that with Djourou, we’ll not have the same back-line for a lot of time.
Or perhaps we should play all 3 together???