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Arsene Wenger’s Defensive Dilemma

As most of the Arsenal side are away on international duty, Arsene Wenger has a few decisions to make regarding his back line. Arsenal fans were screaming all summer long for a central defender and in stepped 26 year old German international, Per Merte…

As most of the Arsenal side are away on international duty, Arsene Wenger has a few decisions to make regarding his back line. Arsenal fans were screaming all summer long for a central defender and Wenger duly obliged by signing 26 year old German international, Per Mertesacker.

Now most would of been happy with a Vermaelen and Mertesacker pairing at the back, but since Laurent Koscielny has stepped in whilst Vermaelen was injured, he has improved dramatically producing consecutive world class performances. Whilst Koscielny is great on the ball and brilliant in 1 on 1 situations, Mertesacker gives the aerial presence.

So where does this Vermaelen? He returned from injury and has slotted straight back in to the back four producing a great performance over WBA last week, that including a well taken goal. He is surely guaranteed a first team place, so Wenger must decide between Mertesacker and Koscielny to partner the Belgian.

Not only that but the situation at left back, with Gibbs nearing full fitness, Santos might be dropped but Santos has improved greatly in recent weeks. Andre Santos provides a lot more going forward but can sometimes be caught out of position, but so does Gibbs! With Sagna out the right back position seems to be Jenkinson’s but Koscielny has played there before and should Wenger choose Vermaelen and Per at centre back we could be seeing Koscielny drafted out into the full back position.

A genuine dilemma for the Arsenal manager who’s side travel to face Norwich City at Carrow road on the 19th. What would you do?



  1. Allen

    November 12, 2011 at 11:10 am

    Santos should continues the left back he is more matured than Gibbs he can move the ball, he can push forward, he can score what more do you want from a player who just arrived at the club please i choose him as the left back idea.

    • chris from Cambridge

      November 12, 2011 at 11:50 am

      Santos is in a different league from Gibbs who would not have got into the England 3rd team if he had not been left footed.

  2. Allen

    November 12, 2011 at 11:12 am

    Santos should be our first choice left back

  3. mich-mayor

    November 12, 2011 at 11:16 am

    Let say kosielny played in d full back position(right) while sagna is out what about carl who is on d top of his game and we all know he gat to improve game by game and dat is in progress. What if d rock is back kos playing time will reduce and dat is not agood idea. Is let 4 mr wenger to decide. Smooking gunners

  4. dude

    November 12, 2011 at 11:33 am

    A good problem to have

  5. dude

    November 12, 2011 at 11:35 am

    santos for left back , kos & verminator for CB

  6. Time up AW

    November 12, 2011 at 11:41 am

    the verm would make a great defensive midfield destroyer.For tough away games where you want it tight in the first half…(like liverpool did with us at the emirates), then you play mert and kos at the back leaving verm to protect the back line. Song can do this but you have the verm as an option. For me mertesacker is really a stretched version of cygan or senderos….sometimes commanding but often caught out and slow to turn and chase. The team generally is doing well but that masks some poor defending….we let in far too many goals

  7. Givemore Bhamuya

    November 12, 2011 at 11:50 am

    Santos is the man and Laurent Koscielny is the best to pair Vermitator

  8. bannbi

    November 12, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    let kos play veer is a good option

  9. geo

    November 12, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    just rotate this players

  10. bashman

    November 12, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    i think its hard to bench anyone out of the 3 of them at the moment they are all in excelent form, for me i would pick koscielney over mertasaker only because he has a year more experience in the epl.
    i think kosielney improved alot since mertasaker arrived because he knows his place is no longer guaranteed

  11. Phil

    November 12, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    I agree with Dude, Time up AW & Bashman
    It is a good problem for Arsenal to have as a fit center back trio will only help them to focus and improve their individual performances.
    Kos’ performance improvement coincides with TV returning to full fitness…that’s more by purpose (I feel) more than coincidence.

    If Song is ever injured or suspended all three could play with TV holding in midfield.
    Frimpong is good and gaining in experience but in a game without Song, where we need a more experienced head, TV would be the man for the job.

  12. Chimba

    November 12, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    Kos tv r good

  13. Kenneth

    November 12, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    I feel Mertasacker would have to sit on the bench for Vermaelen and Koscielny to partner in defence.

    I have faulted mertasacker on many occasions where he is out- jumped by smaller players leading to dangerous situations. most recent are the first two goals we conceded against Chelsea. I think he seriously needs to work on his agility.

  14. Cesc 4tune

    November 12, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    TV n kos to partner.I personally lyk PM 4 but kos is better.

  15. mids

    November 12, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    the 3 of them are a trarting material,two established internationals and a fast improving a top team we need at least that much plus another cover on djourou ho is not to bad to,people seem to forget that we play almost 60 game per season on a regular realy it is a wonderful problem to have,3 top defender 2 of whom massively underrated by our beloved MS4 would be perfect along sagna ho can cover for him.

  16. Yerima

    November 12, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    I prefer santos to Gibbs certainly non comparable and varmalen can pair either kon or mat . Arsene must still buy samba in Jan market.

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