Arsenal loss no disaster but is Senderos a lost cause?

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Sevilla inflicted Arsenal’s first defeat of the season in a dominant performance at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan last night.

Although Arsenal grabbed an early lead through Eduardo da Silva’s clever goal the Spanish side fought back and eventually grabbed a 3-1 win through first-half goals from Seydou Keita and Luis Fabiano before Frederic Kanoute added a late third from the penalty spot. Sevilla were good value for the win, controlling most of the possession and making the Arsenal defence look very ordinary at times during the 90 minutes.

The Arsenal lineup against Sevilla was, as expected, much changed from the one that took care of Wigan last weekend. Manuel Almunia retained his place in goals but Justin Hoyte, Philippe Senderos and Armand Traore joined Kolo Toure in a new-look defence. Emmanuel Eboue, Cesc Fabregas, Gilberto Silva, Denilson and Eduardo lined up in a five-man midfield, providing support for Nicklas Bendtner who started as a lone striker.

There’s nothing much more to say about the game other than that it was a poor performance from Arsenal and a superb one from Sevilla. Arsenal started well and deservedly went ahead after a lovely touch from Eboue, a perfect cross from Bendtner and an excellent piece of control and finish from Eduardo. From then on in though, it was all Sevilla as the Arsenal defence crumbled.

In very simple terms, Senderos was woeful, Gilberto was well-below par and Hoyte and Traore did nothing to show they are ready to challenge for a first-team position. I could harp on all day about Senderos’ errors, indeed a number of other Arsenal blogs already have, but I was very surprised with the sluggish performance of Gilberto and Hoyte and Traore’s sheer inability to accurately pass the ball when the pressure turned on. It was obvious that after Sevilla got back into the game through Keita’s blasted finish that they deliberately put pressure on the two yong fullbacks, and it definitely told as the game went on. Admirably, Hoyte and Traore continued to attempt to play the ball out of defence but with the attacks coming thick and fast it sometimes would have been better to just give it a long hoof up field to relieve the pressure.

Wenger will need to think long and hard about SenderosCan Senderos learn?

Senderos, unlike Hoyte and Traore who should at least learn from their errors, looks like a lost cause. Every time he enters the pitch the Arsenal defence look shakier and I really do believe it is time for Wenger to consider selling the Swiss international. It has been a LONG time since he has had a really strong game and with Johan Djourou returning from Birmingham and Alex Song looking a good long-term prospect I’m very skeptical about Senderos’ future at Arsenal. I’ve always defended the young defender and pointed to the future but the problems with him are numerous; a lack of pace, a penchant for mistakes and perhaps most tellingly, given the size of the man, an inability to win the ball in air. Wenger is a patient man, but how many more poor performances can Senderos put in before his place in the first-team squad will come under fierce scrutiny? Not many more, in my eyes.

There were some positives to take out of the game. Bendtner showed again what a useful player he is, and it’s just a shame that he is yet to start a match with an out-and-out strike partner beside him. Eduardo was my man of the match and the only player on the Arsenal team who got the better of his direct opponent and Eboue was a livewire on the right.

At the end of the day, this was not a game that Arsenal needed to win and as such, a loss is not the end of the world. Qualifying as group leaders is not as important as it is often made out to be and with the club’s passage to the Round of 16 already safe after the draw in Prague, Wenger was right to rest the likes of William Gallas and Emmanuel Adebayor. The most important thing for Arsenal is that the likes of Hoyte and Traore learn from this performance and ensure it does not happen again. As for Senderos, I’m not sure he can learn.

What do you think?

Have your say on Arsenal’s first loss of the season by leaving a comment.


37 thoughts on “Arsenal loss no disaster but is Senderos a lost cause?

  1. Senderos is just another center back flops like we’ve had over the years. Just like Cygan and Stephanovs. There were talks of Senderos leaving for Juventus earlier on in the season for 6M pounds(Great deal for us). I personally hope that he can leave this Jan as we have absolute no need for him as we will have 4 CB’s when Johan Djourou comes back. Gallas,Toure,Song and Djourou.

  2. Not too worried about the loss although we’re not topping the group.Dissapointed but hey we’re gonna lose a game sometime..Hope this will be the once off loss in a long time again. Well after the Jan Transfer window we’ll be more than capable of doing well in the CL and the premierleague.

  3. Yes its time for senderos to go he’s a liability and the defence looks very shaky with him in the team why wenger bothers i have no idea but i think in january we should by a new centre back and send senderos elsewhere, he’s as bad as gus ceasar.


    Meanwhile, Wenger is not worried by the fact his team have lost their unbeaten record in all competitions this season, insisting it was more important to rest players like Emmanuel Adebayor and William Gallas.

    “I’m not concerned about losing our unbeaten run in The Champions League,” said the Frenchman.

    “It is more important to stay unbeaten in The Premier League and we have a tough December coming up.”

  5. Spot on, Senderos has to go, how many more games do we need to lose at the hands of this imbecil before Wenger takes the point? After 20 minutes we were 1-0 and cruising, Sevilla had no belief, and we were controlling the game. Up steps that moron, and the game is turned.

    Add to that Gilberto’s inept display (reminding us all of his own lack of pace and inability to make even the most straightforward pass) and all the bad memories of last season came back to haunt us. With the wealth of talent we now have in midfield, Gilberto doesn’t merit a place there. He could provide cover at centre back, but if Juve want him, let’s take the money and buy a reliable stopper to supplement Gallas, Toure and Djourou. As for Senderos, just give him away for God’s sake.

    I cannot believe Wenger has thrown away our lead in this group. I appreciate the need to rotate but why leave out so many names in these last two European away games? Surely the time to rest players is at home to Bucharest with the group sewn up and with the game against Chelsea coming up a few days later? Now we need to put out a strong enough team to win the game and hope that Sevilla drop points in Prague. Infuriating.

  6. Today’s Guardian, amongst others, seems convinced that Arsenal must win and Sevilla lose the final games for Arsenal to finish top of the group. But by my reckoning, if Arsenal win (as they should do) and Sevilla only draw in Prague, then both teams will have 13 points and Arsenal will be top courtesy of the 4-3 aggregate score in the games against Sevilla. Can anyone confirm this?

  7. senderos must be sold.wenger for a great manager i can’t under stand why he sticks buy him we need a new centre back and a class keeper until we address these 2 postions we will leak goals

  8. Senderos weren’t the problem, Without flamini we had the same problem as last season = No one gaurding the defence! Gilberto left the backline completely exposed on a number of occasions, senderos played 7 games and we kept 7 clean sheets earlier on in the season when gallas was injured, so i dont think statistically he is that bad, fair enough he looks shakey sometimes but Gilberton was definetly the weak link last night!


  10. Well said Leebo, alot of arsenal fans have short memories dont they! Senderos will be solid as a rock given a 5 or 6 game run in the team! I personally think he looked more mature and played quite well, He had to do a hell of a lot of ,mopping up for Gilberto who looked like his arsenal days as a starting 11 player are numbered, he’s slow, weak on the ball and looks like he’s developed an attitude problem since he’s been on the bench! Also, I think we’ve seen the last of Justin Hoyte, it dont look good when arsene pulls of a defender to make a like for like change, it just tells me he has no faith in Justin! If he’d of brought on a striker for justin then fair play, but i’m sure we’ll see him in a sunderland shirt in the near future!

  11. hey dont panic we are still arsenal and i believe too that senderos has alot of potential. he is just having confidence problems because like flamini senderos is a good leader and i read somewhere he was in the reckoning for gunners captaincy. he will come good. just like bendtner who needs to be played alongside the creativity of fabregas, rosicky and hleb. i dream of that attacking option with eduardo’s striker instincts running off him.
    gunners for life

  12. last time i checked sendoros just came back from injury so i am not ready to slag him off yet, he will come good. if its abt mistakes how about gilberto’s pass to fabiano? so give sendoros a break.

  13. For those of you with short memories how about the FA Cup exit last year? Senderos was moved out to right back for 5 minutes and we conceded the winning goal. He may well turn out to be a decent centre back (elsewhere), but Wenger’s style requires players to be flexible in various roles and comfortable on the ball. Senderos is neither.

  14. This talk is absolutely ridiculous. Sure Senderos had an average game, but overall the team’s intensity was off and the failure of the referees to penalize innumerable niggling fouls by Sevilla was a bane – how did Poulsen escape a booking in that match?
    But even then, it was clear that the player who was way out of his depth in that game was Gilberto. I have never been a fan of the Brazilian – even on his best days, he couldn’t pass the plate on a dinner table. He was the weakest link as “jjjj” alluded to. He has no place in this Arsenal team.

  15. How can you say that after last season? Gilberto is a player that needs games to work his way into the side – at least we have seen really good things from him in the past. Apart from a solid run in the Champions League a couple of years ago I haven’t seen much from Senderos to suggest that he has the quality to play for Arsenal.

  16. That was the worst Arsenal performance I have seen in a long time. The whole team was not good enough and pls Mr.Wenger, don’t play your Carling Cup team in CL games, it is totally a different game. This defeat will effect the whole team because evrything seems to be wrong..sloppy passings, team out of formation (sometimes I thought we had no leftback) and some of the players was so scared to put in a challenge to win the ball back. Armand.T was not a leftback, more to a centreback..and Senderos there is only one word for him..SHIT!

    Girberto was looking a way out from Arsenal by putting in a terrible performance. Get out and get lost. Wenger was the biggest loser yesterday by his weak team selection. He should concerntrate in Premier League and CL games more! Why can’t he play a better team than yesterday? He wanted to prove the world that he can win CL games with all his youngsters?? Well he got the answer..I was so dissapointed with the team’s was like Sevilla was us and we were Sheffiel United – getting bashed hurts looking at a great team like Arsenal performing like that.

    And about the refs..well they really wanted Sevilla to win that game..blady skunks!
    Eboue should get a penalty and got very harsh treatements..Sevilla came with a game plan to “bully” us..and the fuckedd up ref was supporting them all the way..a free kick that contributed Sevilla’s second goal was a joke..even the linesman was bought by them. All the harsh play by Sevilla and “crimes” like time wasting and targeting Eboue by giving him very harsh treatement was supported all the way by the was more like a rugby game than football..whenever an Arsenal player gets the ball, surely a Sevilla player will rush in, pull the shirt and jump all over him to win the that football?

    And the best part was the commentators that supported Sevilla all the way throughout the game and gave all negative feedbacks to Arsenal..when a Sevilla player commits a foul, they will be saying it was not a fault..a yellow card to Arsenal player, they will say it should be red…and one of them said “to be fair, Sevilla is playing much better than Arsenal..never seen Arsenal play this bad” again and again throughtout the game..hello we know that twat! He was clearly a Spud and Sevilla fan when Kanoute was going to take the penalty..he sounded so happy and proud by saying it is an ex-Spurds player that going to end Arsenal’s unbeaten run…come on he was rejected there and came to Sevilla to play for a better team..not a bottom half table team! and he is a Sevilla player not Spurds anymore!…by the way the penalty was very soft too..Kanoute ran over the two defenders and fall for his own mistakes..well as you know the clown (ref) was so quick to give a penalty.

    There it goes..unbeaten run ended but a new chapter will wenger said losing in CL group stage is long as they are unbeaten and topping the Premier League table. Sevilla will go down in their first knock-out stage and Arsenal will progress as long as Wenger plays his best team.

  17. In terms of pure practicality, the loss really doesn’t matter, however, there are a couple of dangerous factors: (1) 1st loss since April – how will the young team react? (2) Cesc injury – how bad? how long?

    Eboue’s antics are really unacceptable – too bad, because he’s a great talent. I wonder how hard A.W. comes down on him on all his diving and exagerated play acting – it’s really shameful.

    Gilberto is really struggling right now – for us and Brazil. That will come to a head with the upcoming Transfer Window and the African tournament exodus.

    – BG


  19. Honestly, I wouldn’t look too far into this game though.
    1.) Team Chemistry is HUGE. When players are inserted into the lineup that haven’t played on a day to day basis, it takes time to find form.
    2.) Sevilla has a GREAT Home record in European competitions. So, them getting a win at home, with an A-/B+ team doesn’t surprise me.
    3.) We have a very winnable game against Bucharest at home. Slavia are playing at home as well. They’ve only conceded one goal at home (to Bucharest). So the possibility for a draw there is good, and that would give us the group, based off of goal differential. No need for alarms yet.


  21. Some very harsh reactions to the game in the comments there. I can’t go through and reply to them all but I will reemphasise what I believe are some key points to take out of the game:

    (1) Senderos has played consistently poorly for Arsenal and this for me was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I don’t necessarily think that he should be sold, just that Wenger needs to think long and hard about whether or not he is good enough to play for Arsenal.
    (2) Gilberto was flat, no question. Very disappointing. But I stick by him because of all the loyalty he has shown over the years and the fact that he usually takes some games to get back into the swing of things. People could argue that Senderos is the same, but the evidence is not really there to back that up.
    (3) Hoyte and Traore were targeted by Sevilla and put under immense pressure. It takes great skill for a team to pass their way out of defence and Clichy and Sagna should be complimented for their ability to do so. The two understudies quite frankly struggled in a very tough game to do so and when they realised the problems they were having, should really have changed their method and hoofed the ball out a little more often. I’m certain that Wenger will have wanted them to keep playing and I can understand why, and for that reason I think they will learn from this game. Both have the talent (Traore moreso than Hoyte though) and will bounce back from this. Sevilla away is about as hard a game as someone who has not been playing regularly can be asked to come in and do a job.
    (4) I don’t think this loss will hurt the confidence in the squad. If it does, Arsenal have big problems. There will be much, much bigger losses for them to cope with this season and if losing to one of Europe’s best side away in a Champions League group game when already qualified is going to hurt the confidence, then I fear what will happen if Arsenal lose more important matches.
    (6) I stick by the team and so should everyone else. We do not really need new players, the squad has had a thrilling start to the season (better than expected) and we should all remember that. Those who are being overly negative should really think about what they are saying at what the side have achieved thus far. Good times lie ahead. Enjoy it!

  22. Senderos looks and plays like Cygan.It is a matter of time before he goes.Arsene said he wanted to expose few players to top level football. Poor Traore he had to face Daniel Alves I hope he learned his lesson. I disagree with SF Eduardo for me is a lazy player yes he did well and scored that’s not enough he never tracks back traore needed lots of help he wasn’t getting it from Eduardo who was playing in front of him sometimes when you know your team mate is a having a hard time you need to track back and tackle.if he didn’t do that at least you would expect him to support Bendtner he held the ball really well and there was no one around him to give to. Not all doom and gloom it doesn’t matter if we finish first or second we still have to beat the top sides and this what fabregas had to say:
    “I don’t care if we finish second in the group and have to play the big sides in the next round. If we want to be the best, we have to beat everybody”
    I can almost see it. It is going to be Barcelona in the next round.

  23. le gunner – I would love to play Barcelona in the next round. Arsenal typically lift when they play big sides and flop against the smaller ones so I don’t really mind who we draw in the second round. I take your point about Eduardo, but when you consider that his favoured position is as a central striker how can you expect him to track back? It’s not in his nature. I wouldn’t call it laziness and I did feel he supported Bendtner well. The problem was he was too wide, and that is Wenger’s fault. I think 4-4-2 with Eduardo in behind Bendtner would have worked, Denilson could have played wide left and I think things would’ve been better.

  24. SF- I like your point regarding Eduardo’s positioning.I agree most strikers don’t like tackling but there are certain situation when you need to do the dirty work and get stuck in for example if the team is down to 10 men or in Traore’s case where you know your mate needs help.let be fair Traore had a nightmare against Alves.But I take your point Eduardo behind Bendtner would’ve worked better. Eduardo is a typical Fox in the box he loves to finish things off. Don’t you just love to play Barcelona and give them a kick up the backside if we do that it would be a dream. I still haven’t got over that final in Paris makes me sick thinking about it. and that would settle it for me.Not only me lots of the Gooners would love that.

  25. le gunner – Well said. I have nothing personally against Barcelona, I would love to play any of the big sides (Inter Milan, Real Madrid, AC Milan) – it would be a great test for the side. I just look back at our great run a couple of seasons ago when Arsenal defeated Juventus, Madrid and Villareal – it was so good to get past those top teams. I think we can do it again.

  26. if you’re going to finally lose one. it might as well be the meaningless one. but this better be the only one! again, senderos ruins it. he must go. i see no more hope for him. and with gilberto, i don’t understand why he played in this game. i love gilberto, but the more he plays this year, the more i am willing to say get rid of him. it seems like he is becoming more of a useless veteran figurehead. as for the rest of the team. i hope no one blames cesc, you can’t play perfect in every game. the next premierleague game he’ll own as usual. bendtner proves more and more that he has reason to be frustrated that he is not getting more starts. he seems to be in the right places at the right times and uses his head well. kolo toure? what more can i say about him? he continues to show that when gallas has to come out because of risk of injury (knock on wood) he is the true anchor on the back line. all in all. there were some positives that came out of this game and though it is a letdown that our unbeaten streak is over, it doesn’t really matter. go gunners!

  27. All in all the match against servilla was the poorest performance of the season but that is all about games as there is defeat, draw and win,but me my entire blames goes to wenger fot having not retained the line up that demolise wigan and also I think wenger idea of planing to buy lyon striker benzama to strength the current striking thanks that is all i have at the moment. bye!

  28. Darren and Leebo

    Senderos needs games to find his form. Has he got any form? or you’re talking about Stepanov/Cygan types of form? The guy is a crap and should’ve been shipped out long ago. His mistakes are so numerous to recount here; he can’t jump, tackle, head the ball, run so where does he fit in the team?

  29. To say dt senderos shd be given a run of games is like commiting slow murder,lt wemgeer sell him and bring hm a better CB.Must he have playas who can give hrtaches like we had cygan some years back?

  30. Two years ago Senderos kept an incredible 13 clean sheets in a row for club and country, including the Champions League games against Madrid, and against France and Italy at international level, and was the main defender for the Swiss national team that conceded only 1 goal in 4 games, all at the age of just 20. His lack of pace wasn’t such a problem then. He is intelligent and has a strong will to win. Last season he played with exactly the same shoulder injury that had Theo Walcott sidelined and excused by fans (quite fairly) for most of the season. Earlier this season when Gallas was injured for a couple of months he performed perfectly well for the most part. As it has been pointed out, certain players need a few games to get going again – Sol Campbell is a good example. Comparing him to Cygan (himself just an average premiership player rather than the complete disaster many ‘supporters’ had him down for) is ridiculous. Were Juventus ever interested in Cygan? Senderos is only 21 and is one of the brightest defensive prospects in Europe. The problem is that when a promising young attacker has an off day he is excused but if a young centre back is at fault for a goal you people choose to vilify him. We lose one game and instantly you jump on the bandwagon and start discussing who should be sold. Not good enough for Arsenal? Tell me this, if there were a league judging those on how they support their team where do some of you whingers think you would be? In my opinion exactly where Derby are right now. Don’t some of you realise how some of you are viewed by people who have been going to games over the years and who have supported their team through thick and thin? I’m sure that if many of you saw the young Tony Adams play you would say he is not good enough for Arsenal. He made many mistakes but took it on the chin and got on with it (opposition fans regularly chanted donkey his way at first.) Rio Ferdinand made some glaring errors early in his career. These things happen. All teams lose games. Deal with it and move on. You’re lucky to support such a great club. Try getting behind them

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