Mar 152009

When Philippe Senderos left for Milan in the summer, it seemed like the loan move was but a formality before he left the club on a permanent basis. Having arrived from Servette touted as the next big thing, his form had been up and down for years following a couple of serious injuries early in his career, but with the Gallas-Toure partnership pushing him down the pecking order, and his form patchy when he came into the side, it seemed that his career was stalling.

Milan seemed like a perfect escape – surrounded by experienced defenders, he would have the chance to move on, and with the emergence of Djourou, Arsenal would be fine without him. But football is a strange game, and times can change quickly. Senderos has not featured much for the Rosseneri this season, and his future again seems uncertain.

The defensive situation at Arsenal isn’t exactly secure anymore, either. Toure and Gallas publicly do not get along, and while friendship is not a prerequisite for performing well together on the field, the belief still remains that they are not an ideal partnership, so similar are they in style. Meanwhile Djourou is still promising, but beyond that there is a paucity of options.

Amidst all the talk of injuries this season (and there have been an awful lot), it has gone unnoticed that it has been mainly the creative players that have spent time on the sidelines. Perhaps that isn’t a surprise given how targeted they are by the sort of team we played yesterday, but we have been fortunate not to have a similar level of absence at the heart of our defence. Behind Gallas, Toure and Djourou lay only youth players.

The summer promises to be an interesting one. Gallas may be playing himself into the shop window since his much publicised loss of the armband earlier in the season, and despite his improved performances it would not surprise me in the slightest if he moved on, freeing Toure to play alongside a new partner. The Ivorian has always looked more comfortable alongside a ball winner, a tall defender willing to go and meet the ball, leaving him to clear up behind. Remember the Campbell-Toure partnership was among the strongest we had.

Senderos, for all his flaws, is in that mould. Whenever he is given a run in the team, he shines – he struggles when he flits in and out of the side, his confidence and comfort in his first team place seemingly fragile. But if Gallas does move on in the summer, we certainly need one, if not two centre halves (I’d argue two – I think we need one anyway), and perhaps the returning Senderos can fit that role.

Personally, I’d welcome him back. I’ve always liked him, a strong, honest defender who works his socks off and really seems to care about the level of his performance, an attribute we perhaps take for granted until we see a couple of others not pulling their weight. No, he isn’t perfect, but even out of the Milan team he is sure to have improved, and can bring that experience back to the Emirates next season.

I certainly wouldn’t be quick to write off the possibility just yet, and the more I think about it, the more I like the idea of the big Swiss returning.

Feel free to add your thoughts below.

  46 Responses to “Is Senderos set to resume his Arsenal career in the summer?”

  1. good god man are you on crack?

  2. Surely Djourou is now ahead of big Phil as our ball winning CH .. and a more comfortable player on the ball also. I would welcome Senderos back as number 3 or 4 for sure. The Silvestre signing looks the one to reverse for me, not necessarily Gallas. Gallas for me has had a good season as a defender and rarely lets the team down. Buts its possible Wenger may need to sort out the chemistry issue he has here between Tourie and Gallas.

  3. Senderos is a player who always got far more flak than he deserved really. He made some spectacular cock-ups, sure, but he was very solid, especially when given a run in the side (CL 06 & when Kolo was away @ ACN 08).

    If Gallas moves on in the Summer, I’d like Djourou and Senderos to fight for a spot near Toure in the centre of Defence with young Havard as the backup.

  4. Yes, when he plays regularly he is a star!

  5. Buck – really, no. In my opinion Senderos should at least be ahead of Silvestre, and competing with Djourou. That means, if Gallas moves on, he’ll be competing for a place in the team.

    We need another ball winner, Djourou alone is not enough, and we are at least one centre half short.

    Senderos has made high profile mistakes, which has unfortunately detracted from the otherwise excellent performances he has put in, most notably at the back end of the 04/05 season, and the Champions League final run.

  6. It seems as Song has moved up permanently into midfield now, so I’d welcome him back as extra cover. He was/is very liked in the dressing room, he speaks loads of different languages and he has history at Arsenal because he arrived along with Cesc many years ago. I’d love it if we brought him back – not as first or second choice, but as cover for Gallas/Toure/Djourou (and Silvestre) – because you also need those kinds of people in the squad. Those who likes the club, those who care how they perform and those who have a history at the club.

    But the only scenario when we would need to purchase a centre half is if any of the ones we have leaves in the summer. Gallas is a brilliant defender, Toure is finding his form and Djourou is really coming along nicely. Silvestre is an experienced backup and Song is a good centre half, so we’re not really in short supply, are we? What we need is just one more quality central midfield player – even if Song and Denilson are doing brilliantly right now. It’s more because of squad depth.

  7. This summer I see us swapping Gallas for Sakho+money (possibly the most exciting young french defender), letting Silvestre leave on a free and only letting Senderos leave if anyone offers enough for him (enough for a significant down payment on another defender, like Zapata?).

  8. Good comment!!! I, for one, always rate CBs not as individuals, but as members of a partnership. Senderos has been an impressive member of a partnershp with both gallas and Toure. Acquiring silvestre was a major mistake, but if that short-term move means Senderos returns even better, then Arsene has pulled another wonder stroke of genius.

  9. I like Senderos’ attitude and these points are fair but we can’t deny the problem he has had consistently against powerful English type centre forwards like Drogba and his penalty box defending and lack of pace and concentration has not been good enough. If we draw Chelsea in the CL and FA cup who would want Senderos in the side- only Chelsea fans.

  10. A significant part of the problem with Senderos was being asked to play as the left sided CB. Some right footed players can do it (Gallas and Djourou for example) others can’t. Senderos playing on the right is a far more reliable option. But don’t forget that Wenger sees Song as a CB in the longer term. That could also be the solution to what may well become a problem position in the next year or two.

  11. He plays just fine, right up until it matters. He is just not top club quality, ask Milan. Backs are hard to come by i know but i cant feel secure when he is in the side.

  12. Twat. Just trying to reignite the ant-Gallas campaign. FFS we need more positive vibes around our team than the cack bloggers like you resurrect to satisfy your petty biases and prejuidices.

  13. I’d like to see Big Phil back as well. I also genuinely don’t think Gallas will be sold but maybe I’m naive.

  14. we have 4 centre backs who i’d take ahead of him in toure gallas djourou and silvestre. They say song will end up playing at cb too. I dont see the point in bringing back a player who is behind at least 4 other players who has no pace or ball control and is prone to errors. However much it is we would get for him in tranfer fee it would be better spent going towards something else the club needs, whether its a player or helping fund debts etc.

  15. I would rather have Cygan back then ever see Senderos play for Arsenal again, awful awful player. If Milan do not take up the option then we should do our utmost to sell him in the summer

  16. no thank you…sell senderos and gallas and buy good experience CB

  17. no we dont wantn him.why cant we sell him and replace him.mite be hard to sell but easy 2 replace

  18. Senderos is utter garbage. Besides, he is too slow to play in the Premier League and in Italy he’s evidently no good either – I’m amazed they even thought about signing the chump. No, we dont’want him back – get some real defenders who can actually defend.


  20. Has to be crack and Dennilson should be sent packing with him

  21. Arsenal should sell senderos & buy fedrico fazio.

  22. Nordtveit?

  23. BLOODY HELL, i forgot about that muppet!

    And he’s only on loan…
    Right i’m off to the pub to drown my sorrows again.

    Just when things are looking up you post this article? you insensitive A***hole….

  24. get rid of silvestre, toure – gallas as first choise, djouru as backup and buy mertesacher ;)

  25. We don’t need an honest defender what we need is a good central defender that is fast and not a person Drogba will give a turn, and leave generally looking stupid. An idividual that has not played any reasonable stretch of football with AC Milan always on the bench, what “experience” does he want to bring on to the Emirates? The discussion shud be based on reality and a wish or sentiments. To me Send-errors shud move on and AW invest in 1 or 2 very good defenders coz we desperately need them with the possible loss of Kolo or Bill (IMO more likely to be Bill Gallas). Our defence is brittle and instead of the boss giving that department a suspect pass mark everytime he should simply make it rock solid and we fans will be able to rely more on our play even if we don’t play well atimes.

    i am not sure what player you are all talking about the senderos i know is the worst player i have ever seen in an arsenal shirt. he is awful. he cannot tackle and can barel head the ball straight. every time he gets the ball i feel nervous, if we are supposed to be winning titles this is NOT the sort of player we need. no other premier league side, let alone top four teams, would have senderos competing for a place in the team and shows how low are standards are due to wengers stubborn reluctance to admit a bad but when he sees one.

  27. Senderos has to stay in milan Djourou and take the number 6 that is a good player

  28. senderos has a couple of times come into the side and sparked a run of excellent defensive results, but ultimately comes undone when faced with a top quality, powerful CF, such as drogba or torres
    im convinced hes a quality player hwoever,and would hope milan choose to sign him permanently so he remains at a big club where he belongs, but in a league a little more suited to his abilities

  29. i think big swiss is the man we need
    “a natural ball winner”
    was criticised for not marking torres properly in the CL match but my question is “who can?”
    torres skinned vidic(who at the moment is the best CB in the world) everytime
    and ran the shit out of him.

  30. Frank the man totaly agree with..m lmao at the prospect of send-errors coming back with experience.what a load of crap..imho i see toure leaving hes been ofform this season n when fab returns he may be on the bench.AW should bring in mertsacer and we’l be good to go!

  31. Frank-the-man – I have no anti-Gallas bias, and recognised in the article that he is on form. I’ve no idea where you get your anger from but I’d suggest you temper it a little. I like Gallas as a defender but there have been too many issues to imagine he’ll be at Arsenal much longer.

    Paul N – Nordveit is a real prospect but it’s way too early to bring him in. Attacking players can be blooded early because their mistakes don’t lead to goals being conceded, while centre halves don’t have that luxury. Can you imagine him coming in at 18-19, making a couple of bad mistakes, and having his confidence wrecked by the minority of the crowd that would inevitably turn on him?

    HeGunner – too many people have slated Senderos for the fact that Drogba was all over him for a season. I find that odd, because in that particular season Drogba destroyed all comers.

    Senderos’ mum – if you think Big Phil’s the worst centre half of the Wenger era, you can’t have seen Stepanovs play.

  32. To criticise Senderos because he failed to handle Drogba and Torres on a couple of occasions seems a bit churlish.

    Torres made Vidic look very average yesterday, does that make Vidic a bad defender all of a sudden?

  33. There all rubbish, Mikael Silvestre is the real deal silvestre and djourou as 1st choice cb’s sell gallas bring back senderos

  34. Sadly as much as i appreciate Big Phil as a player and popular person within the club he simply isnt good enough for Arsenal. I see Djourou as a better player technically and in terms of pace.

    I believe Phil will be sold in the summer, Silvestre will leave for nom.fee/free, Gallas will go to Man City as bait for Richards and Sakho brought in.

    Toure/Richards 1st pairing with Djourou, Sakho and Song as cover.

  35. GaryH – I can’t imagine we’ll make that many changes, far too disruptive for one summer.

  36. Song is not going to be a centre back in the long-term. And why would you want Cygan back ahead of Senderos? He’s gotten EVEN worse than he was at Arsenal since he left. Senderos is a decent defender and he does have potential and in fact our best defensive partnership of the last four years has included him. Our defense was best in the champions league run, he was immense in 04/05 and we barely conceded when he played with Gallas when Toure was away at the ACN. Then when Toure came back Wenger threw him straigh in and he was awful for three months and was one of the reasons why we won nothing last season (I’d say that’s more Wenger’s fault than Toure’s, Toure was clearly playing poorly and Senderos was playing well but for some reason Wenger changed that around).

  37. Senderos is just not Arsenal material. We need another centerback. Hangeland is an option. Nordtveit probably needs another season to mature.

  38. Big Phil is coming back in the summer to form a new midfield partnership with Bischoff

  39. Senderos is alwys good despite small blunders he occasionally make but the problem our lès manager A.W preffers to favor his countrymen like Gallas, Silivester & diaby no matter how down they seems to be. Anyway lès manager tries to improve france national side in the expense of The mighty Gunners.

  40. It amazes me how people write this stuff.

    Saying Senderos is good and should return to Arsenal is comparable – in my opinion – to saying Auschwitz was a good idea and that Hitler should be reanimated.

  41. Sanderos is a very good player but lacking confidence and experience. He may be a little slower but it does not matter if he can read the game well. Speed is not the only thing for a good defender. Great defenders in the world are not alway fastest. Look at Beckenbaur, Maldini, Tony Adams and many many more, are they super fast ? I think the future for Arsenal with regards to CB lies with Djourou, Sanderos and Toure. Look at Djourou now, he plays with great confidence after having been given first team chances. He is no more fumbling and dumbling but can even charge up field to join attack. Song is improving with every game. He is effective and quick although looking a bit slow and lumbering. His reading of the game is excellent. Give Song and Denilson another season of first team action they will graduate into players every clubs in the world will want to sign.

  42. The last time Senderos featured in a match of any significance for Arsenal he was raped by both Torres (fair enough, he did the same to Vidic this weekend) and Hypia (Hypia FFS!) to help end our involvement in the Champions League for another season.

    Do any of you Senderos lovers remember how Drogba owned him every time we played Chelsea?. Not good enough. Leave him where he is or sell him. We need to move on.

  43. You idiots, Gallas and Denilson will not leave because they have been the top contributors this season, so many times gallas has saved clichey, and denilson has performed much better than fabregas did before he got injured. Senderos is solid and he also has heard, these mistakes he makes will cease to exist, if he is given the chance to play on a regular basis.

  44. welcome back my hero… Senderos alway give his back to Arsenal..

  45. Torres & Drogba have schooled both of Man U’s CB at various points. Drogba made Ferdidand look turgid in the CL final, and Torres absolutely violated Vidic just this weekend.

    Apart from that Liverpool fiasco last season, Senderos looked pretty damn competant to me so yeah if either Gallas or Toure leaves, I’d take him back and give him the support I give to any who plays their heart out in an Arsenal shirt.

  46. For goodness sake – has everyone forgotten what doos Senderos has done for Arsenal? He’s a massively confidence player, and if he’s confident he’s great. He’s been mugged by two of ther best striker playing in the Premier League? Big deal! He’s also been in the heart of an impressive defence that kept clean sheets on huge European nights.

    And you’d.. what…? Rather have Pascal Cygan!?! Given a choice of not having him or Hitler exist you’d choose him!?!

    No-one’s saying he should come back and be a first teamer, the suggestion is that he could come back and fight for a first team place, especially if Gallas leaves (and frankly if someone offers £4 million for Gallas Wenger’s going to sell him). And after a season of bemoaning squad depth now that’s a bad thing?


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