Wenger should give Djourou chance to do a Flamini

Hello again and a very happy Tuesday to you all.

I’ll start today by thanking everyone who commented on yesterday’s post focusing on the 1-0 weekend win over West Brom. There were some really interesting opinions on a number of players and I had a great time discussing the game with a whole heap of readers. Excellent stuff.

The strong performance of Johan Djourou was perhaps the most debated issue with a number of people – myself included – suggesting that he should keep his place for the Fulham game at the expense of Kolo Toure. There seemed to be a general feeling that his good form should see him keep his spot and it was interesting to see that Arsene Wenger is clearly tossing up whether to do so.

In the manager’s own words:

“At the start of the season it’s always very difficult to assess how good [players like] Denilson and Johan Djourou will be. They can only develop if they play. It’s a tricky situation. People want to see big names and they want to see good young players as well.”

I said it yesterday and I’ll say it again today – if I was in Wenger’s position then I would certainly be keeping Djourou in the side. While I don’t necessarily think he is a better player than Toure just yet he is certainly playing well just now and should be rewarded for it.

For me the situation draws some comparisons to the one that Mathieu Flamini worked himself into last season. Similarly to Toure, Gilberto Silva missed the first game of the season after a minor injury and Flamini was given the chance to impress. As you all know, he never looked back – forging a superb partnership with Cesc Fabregas and relegating Gilberto to a spot on the bench for the entire campaign.

While I’m not saying that Djourou will necessarily do a Flamini, I do think that the Swiss defender deserves the opportunity to show the manager and the fans what he can do. I can tell you right now that if Toure had played as well as Djourou has in the first two games there is no way the manager would think about dropping him. Experience aside, why should it be any different for Djourou?

Regardless of whether he does keep his spot in the Arsenal starting side, Djourou’s performances have certainly not gone unnoticed by Switzerland national team manager Ottmar Hitzfield. Indeed, he has deservedly recalled Djourou to the Swiss squad for the midweek game against Cyprus in place of injured club-mate Philippe Senderos.

I do wonder whether Wenger will use Djourou’s call-up as an excuse to drop him for the weekend game against Fulham even if he doesn’t get any minutes on the pitch against Cyprus. I certainly hope not.

Djourou is not the only Arsenal player to be recalled to their respective national team squad as Samir Nasri was rewarded for his weekend efforts with a spot in the France squad for their clash with Sweden. All I can say is that I will be praying that he doesn’t get injured. Him or anyone else going away on international duty for that matter. Fingers crossed, eh?

In other non-international news, Emmanuel Adebayor has finally put pen to paper on a new deal with the club while Justin Hoyte has gone to Middlesbrough in a move worth £3million.

The former is hardly a surprise while the latter is – I believe – a good move for everyone involved. I’ve said before that I’ve never seen Hoyte as being a good enough player for Arsenal and Wenger’s decision to let him go says that the club felt the same way. In some ways it’s a harsh end to a very good relationship between Hoyte and Arsenal but in another way it will open the door for the Englishman to get a fresh chance to show what he can do. I wish him all the best.

Aside from Hoyte, reserve-team captain Harvard Nordtveit has gone out on loan to Spanish second-division side Salamanca for the season while Kieran Gibbs looks all set for a loan to Reading. Hopefully both players can use the time to continue improving and gain the necessary experience required to push for a first-team position next season.

And that’s it for a relatively busy day. I’d love to hear more comments on the Djourou situation so if you’ve got some time be sure to let me and the other readers know what you think. Cheers.

Have your say on Djourou, Nasri, Hoyte or the loanees by leaving a comment.



  1. Djourou definitely deserves to keep playing. As does Eboue in the holding midfield role.

  2. Keep Djororu in the side for the return champions league and the Fulham game, allow Kolo to recover and then see whos best.
    Djororu most definetly deserves a run of games.

  3. I don’t think Djororu is quite good enough yet as seen when he nearly cost us 2 points on saturday. Decent opposition would have punished that mistake. Must just be me but whenever I saw him play for Birmingham, he made a dangerous mistake almost everytime. I think he will get plenty of chances to play this season but it will be interesting so see where Song will be in the CB pecking order.

  4. @ russ – You’d have to think Djourou is ahead of Song at this stage. I know what you mean about him at Birmingham, but I think a lot of that had to do with his confidence. For whatever reason when he went there he just fell to pieces – it wasn’t a great step in his career. I think he will recover well though.

  5. I totally agree, Djourou should keep playn in that position, as for Hoyte, i wish him all the best.

  6. It’s almost sacreligious to mention dropping Kolo Toure. He is the most consumate professional our team has seen in since Dennis (and during his time as well). I have never seen him on the back pages, never heard him moan about anything and he is willing to die on the pitch to save the team.
    On one occasion I saw him get hit in the nuts twice in a row saving on the goal line and I’m sure that you’ll all remember his ver class hand ball against rooney!
    There are quicker, more intelligent, more technically gifted players but none are as determined or committed as him.
    If you had said drop ‘can’t deal with a long ball, has a spak-attack everytime he is critisied, walk off and sit down’ Gallas, then I’m behind you.

  7. think its little unfair to say he nearly lost us 2 points cause he did make up for the mistake immediatly.. i think should give him a chance atleast.. and if we do get to see him play for switzerland, we ll get a better idea for sure.. although i am not so sure abt eboue..

  8. I really hope we do sign an experienced specialist DM. It’s just with AW, you never know what he will bring in.

  9. Fucking hell when will Arsene realise that we need a Micah Richards type of player.I will eat my hat on the fact that we will never succeeed with the current defense.Djourou ne good game the 3 next will probably be awful.Senderos well enough has been said about him every time he finally seems to be mature enough he goes and creates howler upon howler,great man but not a great player.We need a commanding central defender more then we need a midfield enforcer in my humble opinion.

  10. I certainly agree Djourou should be given his chance although theres the issue of helping Toure get some much needed fitness in these games(no disrespect to the cottagers)

    Nasri was good on saturday though he seemed to tire but that was to be expected.i always keep my fingers crossed when the players go for internationals never works so aint even goin to bother.

  11. I agree that Djourou should play, although Kolo must be given a chance. Perhaps Kolo & Djourou should play against Twente and then the three rotated. Remember that not playing Gilberto enough last year caused a dramatic drop in form.
    I agree that Djourou is ahead of Song for centre back, but Song must play as DM. Wenger likes one of his midfielders to have one or more defensive bone in their body. Rosicky just fits the bill – looking forward to Nasri, Cesc, Denilson/Diaby, Rosicky as our midfield. This Saturday he should play Song and Denilson. Against Twente try Cesc and Denilson but that probably means we will get Eboue on the wing.
    Against Newcastle, it will be Djourou to sit out and the previous two games will tell Wenger who to play CM.
    I do not think that we will buy anyone. If we do, then there will not be a Carling Cup place for Ramsey or Randall. That cannot be right.

  12. Djourou should play against Twente with Toure. Johan should play v Fulham. Song behind Johan and Ramsey and Randall and most probs Ramsey, Randall and Vela in CC

  13. Don’t forget last season when toure was at the afc senderos did really well and got dropped soon as toure came back and he even said he was knackered. Also I read ro sicky is saying that it was clichys fault we lost the league at the pen decision at the brummie game, so that isn’t going to cause any tension in the dressing room why can’t players just keep their mouths shut and use some common sense but hee will proberly come out tomorow like hleb and say he was misquoted as usual.

  14. isn’t it nice that we can debate or argue about who to play in a certain position? it goes to show that we have good and experienced players to choose from.Djourou, kolo or song? very nice!

  15. Actually, I’d like to see Toure play in the holding midfield role..or at least get a run there – he can defend, he’s fast, and has great skills.

    In other news, just back from watching a disappointing Australia draw with South Africa at QPR’s Lofthus road! 2 all draw…fairly bad quality football!

  16. Nigeria beat Belgium 4-0 and Argentina beat Brazil 3-0 in the olympic semi-finals.

    I wonder who AW will sign before the Twente return leg, i assume a holding midfielder = Inler or Xabi Alonso but i would like to see a Vidic type def bought aswell. A striker or keeper will not be bought thats for sure.

  17. Mikael Silvestre to Arsenal, now that is a bit of a shock apparently he is moving to Arsenal for £750.000, I hope its not true I would hate to see any M.utd players playing for Arsenal and vice-versa.He is 31 made a lot errors in later years at united then he was dropped.Please tell me its not true.
    I think Xavi Alonso will be a good option with Fabregas so is Barry but the price for both is a bit too much for Wenger’s liking so a cheaper option is more realistic.I keep hearing Inler is definitely coming to Arsenal.From what I’ve seen of him he is quite good he has a very good long range passes and a bit agressive in tackles.He’ll do.

  18. Toure should be one of the first names on the team sheet – he is not a candidate to be dropped.

    Invincibles anyone?

  19. Of all Djourou should extend his contract less we want flamini thing. he is a good player and wenger should not forget the many complains he made about his defense last season

  20. Although I would like Djourou to get an extended run in the team it just does not look possible. Everyone seems to have forgotten just how good Kolo is! Ok he came back shattered and out of sorts last season from the African Nations, but it is time to get him back in the team for good, he is a top player who needs to get a good run of games back under his belt quickly!

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