A Case For Wengers Defence

A caller to the tedious and now rather boring drive time show on talk sport on the Monday after our FA cup win went on about how Mr Wenger is rubbish at buying defenders. He went on about Cygan, Senderos etc. and also how he had not replaced the defense. I am not sure which defense, he was saying had not been replaced either the 1997/98 one or the unbeaten defense of 2003/04. So I thought I would look at Mr Wengers record of buying defenders

Season 96/97

M. Upson  £2m Appearances 56 (39 starts, 17 as a sub)

Season 98/99

Oleg Luzhny £1,8m Appearances 110 (91 starts, 19 as a sub)

Nelson Vivas Free Appearances 69 (29 starts, 40 as a sub)

Season 99/00

Lauren  £7. 2m Appearances 241 (227 starts, 14 as a sub)

Sylvinho £4m Appearances 80 (66 starts, 14 as a sub)

Season 00/01

Igor Stepanovs  £1m Appearances 31 (29 starts, 2 as a sub)

Season 01/02

Kolo Toure £150,000 Appearances 326 (295 starts, 31 as a sub)

Efstathios Tavlaridis £600,000 Appearances 8 (7 starts, 1 as a sub)

Sol Campbell Free Appearances 211 (208 starts, 3 as a sub)

Giovanni Van Bronckhorst £8.5m Appearances 64 (39 starts, 25 as a sub)

Season 02/03

Pascal Cygan £2.1m Appearances 98 (80 starts, 18 as a sub)

Season 03/04

Gael Clichy £250,000 Appearances 264 (230 starts, 34 as a sub)

Johan Djourou Free Appearances 144 (123 stats, 21 as a sub)

Philippe Senderos £2.5m Appearances 117 (105 starts, 12 as a sub)

Season 04/05

Armand Traore £250, 000 Appearances  32 (28 starts, 4 as a sub)

Season 06/07

William Gallas Swap Appearances 142 (142 starts, 0 as a sub)

Season 07/08

Bakari Sagna £6m Appearances 284 (272 starts, 12 as a sub)

Season 08/09

Mikael Sylvestre £750,000 Appearances 43 (37 starts, 6 as a sub)

Season 09/10

Sol Campbell (see above)

Thomas Vermaelen  £10m Appearances 150 (136 starts, 14 as a sub)

Season 10/11

Sebastien Squillaci £4m Appearances 39 (35 starts, 4 as a sub)

Laurent Koscielny £10m Appearances 165 (160 starts, 5 as a sub)

Season 11/12

Per Mertesacker £10m Appearances 123 (121 starts, 2 as a sub)

André Santos £6.2m Appearances 33 (21 starts, 12 as a sub)

Carl Jenkinson Free Appearances 57 (43 starts, 14 as a sub)

Season 12/13

Nacho Monreal £8. 3m Appearances 33

That is 25 defenders signed by Mr Wenger in his time at Arsenal; I am looking at that list and thinking that over half to two thirds of those signings were good and were what the squad needed at the time. Some were awful, while others were just not good enough for the style of Arsenal play. Supporters like the man who called in to Talk sport label defenders like Senderos as rubbish, but they fail to look at his contribution to our run to the Champions League final, he played in eight of the games helping keep clean sheets in all eight games he started including the games against Real Madrid, Juventus and the first semi-final against Villarreal. Perhaps the European style of play, he was facing and his partnership with Toure suited him better than playing Premiere League football and partnering Gallas? Cygan French defender of the year signed for £2.3m but a limited run in the side and a difficulty adapting to the English game meant he was moved on, but you also have to credit him with helping with Arsenals unbeaten season playing 18 times that season.

There were poor buys by Mr Wenger, Santos, Squillaci and Mikael Sylvestre for example, but to say that Wenger cannot spot a defender is I think an over the top statement by  section of fans who wish to see Mr Wenger leave the club.

Perhaps before condemning some of these buys we should also look at the position they held within the squad and how many were signed as back up players to the starting back four. Unless you are willing to pay high wages for players to be called upon for League cup games and the odd run in the first team, you are left with either young players making their way in the game or those who are coming to the end of their careers who are happy to be bench warmers.

*if I have missed any players Mr Wenger has signed as a defender please let me know


17 comments on “A Case For Wengers Defence

  1. “is I think an over the top statement by section of fans who wish to see Mr Wenger leave the club.2

    As is every statement these losers make…… and the motivation behind their statements is not logic but frustration.


  2. I’m sure goal post will start shifting from “not good enough to win a trophy bla bla bla to anythg the malcontent think could help their lowlife never ending doom sayings”
    When fans talk abt Arsene not good @ signing defenders, I only remind them of three defenders: Kos, Kolo and Lauren. I dnt talk about Sol because I don’t have to. So when anyone talks rubbish abt Arsene and defenders, tell to STFU.


  3. “A caller to the tedious and now rather boring drive time show on talk sport on the Monday after our FA cup win went on about how Mr Wenger is rubbish at buying defenders.”

    No one is worse than the guy who spent nearly forty million on Smalling and Jones.


  4. lmao gains..well said mate… on another note i’ve been touched by this :


    Ok…. i feel for this guy and i will go for the jugular…i could never go to a ground and sit down 90 mins as if im punished. i’m used all my life that the stadium is to go and act in mad fashion for your team and not having people telling me to sit or else they will call the stewards…. Cant smoke? Cant drink? not even a bottle of beer? I see people sitting next to each other quiet as if its a church/theatre and we have to be silent not to upset anyone. Ok noone wants hooligans but today we live in another extreme. These events of mild mischief dont go on in all stands but only a selective few where youre more likely to find the nutters rather than the families. But even these stands /areas are being denied

    Football is not chess nor snooker nor the opera and the people have been supporting football for many many years everywhere in the world. You dont go to the stadium only to watch football, you also go to meet your friends, to have fun and cause some noise and to hear the hillarious cultural one-liners from legendary figures in the stands, and if you dont like that you can go sit at the centre to have your panoramic view and watch like in a theatre…in todays environment where do i go ? Nowhere…i have to sit there and be silent as nto to offend anyone..fuck this shit..bring back standing sections and areas which are ONLY for alike-minded.

    Some of the stuff they have pollutted football with are serous damage to the game. Sponsors are more important than even teams and the regulatory authorities of the game. Playaers and agents have noticed the carousel of billions and keep asking for more part of the pie ( mesi , ronaldo etc) and thats where the plot is lost. How can a real madrid fan or chelsea feel any connection to his team when he knows that with the exception of one or two the rest are only there for the money rather than the shirt? When he knows that his club will have to pay off countless enormous different salaries so to have the honour of those players playing for their club????? Noone bigger than the club. the youth today and in the future will have no knowledge of this axiom because by then football will have become just another soulless stock exchange which liek every bubble, will burst at one point. the more it takes time to burst the bigger the burst will be

    I salute Wenger for seeing all this and taking measures to rectify it or delay it as far his club is concerned either via his principles of not overspending or by his efforts to create/build teams that grow together and rely on chemistry rather than fat contracts and i also hope that the clubs who sold their souls and have caused this football rot get what they deserve when the bubble bursts. But our Owners need to also make allowances for the nutters too. If it werent for my respect to this exceptional football personality , our manager, i doubt id be paying nearly 1,5k a year for arsenal just for going to the emirates to be told to sit down or else….no matter how beautiful it is… so yes to modernity and progress but at the same time fuck this “modern football”, this sterilised shiny faceless soulless “commodity” served by sponsors to silent customers….we are supporters ffs… we want amok in the stands…flags , flares, singing …or am i saying something wrong and need to …aghhem….comform?


  5. If the bloke on the phone said that Arsene had an outstanding eye for a midfield player and an attacker but not the same sharpness of eye when it comes to defenders I would probably give him a friendly but cautious nod.

    I would however point out, as you have so eloquently, that among his back four purchases there have been some very good players, Sol and Kolo and Lauren obvious examples of the earlier era, Per, Kosc and Bac more recently.

    I would also point out that AW was responsible for bringing through Ashley who, while it might grind our testicles, has probably been the most consistent left back for the decade up to 2012/2013 in the EPL.


  6. The problem with loving a team is that every goal against plays in your mind time and time again in agonising slow-mo. If it is a goal that leads to a loss, then it is even worse. And that can cause even the most reasonable to end up thinking that the defenders are rubbish.
    But reasonable people don’t phone up Talk Sport to spout anti Arsenal propaganda, so well done on a great post that nails yet another lie.


  7. Anicoll
    As well as €a$hley, Wenger has promoted Gibbs and bought back Jenks.
    Ignasi Miguel shouldn’t be overlooked either.
    I think we have bought in another young fellow from Charlton recently too.


  8. Apropos of nothing really but totting up money paid (85.6MM) divided by total starts (not as subs) 2836 comes to only 30,183 per start. Peanuts.


  9. Nice case study. Just want to make a small correction. Jenkinson was signed for one million from Charlton. I remember, because everyone was screaming for Sambha and Wenger went and bought this kid for 1 million.

    Would be worth a million to see the look on the faces of those people when that happened.


  10. Sensational Arsenal-
    I have taken my figures from http://www.transferleague.co.uk a site that I know to have errors but one used by many for transfer figures.


  11. Well I dunno, I would personally say well over two thirds were decent, especially considering cost and circumstances; and some of the very best turned out to be some of the less expensive. Senderos is around the “cut-off” point for me, but on the plus-side of the equation. He ultimately failed at the very top level, but was a valuable player for us for a spell (until Drogba tore his confidence to shreds). Similar might be said of Djourou, who was mainly third in pecking order and injuries mainly got him game time. I rated Traore quite highly (potential) for speed, but he was only ever a bit-part player. Santos had some valuable games for us too, but rapidly faded in the sterner tests.

    I think those looking only at defenders missed the entire point and enjoyment too of Wenger strategy, reverting to a kind of negative football (Maureen) = success. Wenger is not a huge exponent of the defensive side of the game, he prefers football I think, and always looked for combinations he felt could play some football, or add something.

    In any event Wenger has studiously invested in defensive players, and better strategy, over the past 3 seasons.


  12. Very nice writeup SWALESEE.68. this was one of their accusations that never had any legs. I for one didn’t like it much when Upson decided to leave to be first teamer. Thought he should have stayed and bid his time at the ARSENAL. he could have been a great one with a little patiance. Right teaching.


  13. I’m starting to really despise this two faced pierced organ. He is talking and celebrating as if he was always on board with AW & THE CREW. That goes for all fair weather so called supporters that never missed a chance complaining, moaning , bitching, rotationally degrading many of the team members when they were going through their down cycle and now are the most ardent of all supporters anywhere. Complete hypocrites. Absolutely no honor.


  14. At least have the decency to admit you were shit as a supporter when the team needed you most. Cover your damn head with your black bin bags and your black shawls. weasels.


  15. Thanks for the replies, surprised nobody argued against the point I was making or perhaps their point does not really exist and it is just a thing to throw at Mr Wenger to make him sound like a bad manager.


  16. I think Wenger has a good record in buying defenders when considering there generally isn’t many good defenders around unlike attacking players which are available in abundance, I mean let’s be honest, when you were a kid, you wanted to be the goal scorer right? Who would want to be a defender, defence is boring, the commentator on TV never screams the defenders name like they do the striker.


  17. FIFA must suspend Uruguay too for fielding a blood-thirsty wolf to prey on unsuspecting human athletes. Suarez is like a Paedofile on a school yard


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