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Should Arsenal have done more to keep Senderos?

philippesenderos_258856By Jonny Payne.

Arsenal defender Philippe Senderos will be playing in the Premier League again next season having signed for Fulham. The Swiss international, who is currently training with his international teammates ahead of their World Cup opener against Spain, has signed a three-year deal after seven years at Arsenal.

Senderos told Fulham’s website:

“I’m delighted to join the club during the most successful period in its history,” he told Fulham’s website.

“I will be looking forward to meeting up with my new teammates and of course, Roy Hodgson, a manager I respect very much, shortly after the World Cup.”

Senderos’ departure is not a big surprise, as he has seemingly been unwanted by Arsene Wenger for almost a year. Everton took him on loan in January and were rumoured to be in the frame for his signature, but Fulham stepped in to secure his signature.

The question is this; is letting Senderos go a mistake? The Swiss has had plenty of criticism during his time at the club for some well-publicised blunders, but he is the type of player that Arsenal currently lack, a commanding no-nonsense centre-back.

Moreover, with the futures of William Gallas, Sol Campbell and Mikael Silvestre in the balance, that could leave only Thomas Vermaelen and Johan Djourou as Arsenal’s only two recognised centre-backs. It is surely an area Wenger will look to recruit, but as Arsenal have found in recent days with the reported unsuccessful £8 million bid for relatively unknown French centre-back Laurent Koscielny, good defenders are not cheap.

With two defenders needed if the three veterans leave, that could amount to around £20 million. That’s a lot of money for Arsenal’s board to sanction given recent transfer activity. So maybe the club should have done more to keep Senderos. The only other option is to promote from within, something Wenger is very keen to do, but the two likely candidates Kyle Bartley and Havard Nordveit may not be ready just yet.

‘Big Phil’ was a fixture for years at the club after signing as an extremely promising 18 year-old. He was one of the first of Arsene Wenger’s youth signings to make it through, so let’s hope the current crop does not meet the same fate.

Do you think Arsenal should have kept hold of Senderos given the current centre-back situation at the club?



  1. dickie

    June 9, 2010 at 9:13 am

    i don’t think so. he had a fair crack of the whip and unfortunately had a few dodgy games. there is very little margin for error in the premiership and mistakes are punished. hopefully we will buy another ‘vermaelen’ or two and we will be sorted. I wish him well though and hope he achieves his potential at fulham. hope we have a ‘buyback’ clause just in case!

  2. Thomas

    June 9, 2010 at 9:25 am

    No. Why try to keep a player that should be in his prime, but doesn’t have a chance against a 35 year old? “Commanding centre-back”? Come on, are you really talking about Phil “better kick the ball as far as possible before I make a mistake” Senderos? He hasn’t got the skills to play for Arsenal, he isn’t good enough with the ball. I have to say that Wenger has made many bad choices in this position; Cygan, Senderos and Silvestre. We need another player like Vermaelen, only a bit taller.

  3. James

    June 9, 2010 at 9:37 am

    I reckon he’ll be one of those ones in a few years, like Upson, when the press will say we should’ve kept him because he has a decent season or something.

    The problem with Senderos, contrary to what someone wrote above is not his ball playing, in fact during a stint in the first team a few years back I was impressed with his passing and his reading of the game was decent. Solid in the tackle, but the problem with him is that we play so high up the pitch, all i takes is one long ball over the top and he has a chance of being exposed.

    I think at a team where he won’t be asked to stand on the halfway line all game he’ll look assured and classy.

    An intelligent guy and by all accounts a top bloke. I wish him well.

  4. Pesi

    June 9, 2010 at 9:46 am

    Yes – I think Arsene has got it wrong on this one. Senderos was instrumental in keeping the defence tight in the run to the CL final in 2006. He then had a couple of bad games the next season (who doesn’t), Gallas comes in and it was pretty much down hill for the Swiss thereafter. Takes two hands to clap – his loan move to AC Milan (at his behest) probably did not go down well with Arsene, and the writing on the wall pretty clear by then. Pity though, I would have liked to see him play more in Arsenal colours.

  5. jgunz

    June 9, 2010 at 9:53 am

    Sorry swiss tony your time was up, you did well but drogba distroyed you mentally.
    So i hope that with less pressure on you at fulham you regain your confidence and show that ou are a class act after all.

    If we can get in:Kolishney(CB), Micah Richrads(RB,CB,DM) and Lucio(CB) we will be just fine.

  6. Fab4

    June 9, 2010 at 10:05 am

    I think we should have tried to keep him. As Jonny said, it’s going to take at least £5-8m to get a decent CB in and by the looks of it we need 3.

    Phil has been at the club a long time, knows how Arsenal operate, knows how the team plays, tactics, etc, so wouldn’t take any time to settle as a new signing would.

    If we spent £6m on a player with Senderos’s profile this summer (6ft 3″, big lump, looks hard, decent in the air, etc) then we would be buzzing. Phil’s biggest problem was always confidence. After Drogba did him, he was never the same.

    His run in the 2006 Champs League team shows he has the potential to be a great player, but i agree he will look better in a team that defends deeper.

    I think he’ll do well at Fulham.

  7. mo

    June 9, 2010 at 10:23 am

    Senderos was not good enough for arsenal but he is still far better than Silvestre.
    We don’t need players like Senderos who is afraid of big strikers, So glad we got rid of Upson cos his the same.

    I hope we keep hold of Gallas because theres still not many out there thats better.
    We need a good start to next season and changing the defence again will not be a good start.
    TV was fantastic on his first season but there were some moments when he did get out of position and we conceded, what I mean is that is down to experience especially in the premier league, This season I know TV will avoid those mistakes and will be even more stronger.

  8. Mik

    June 9, 2010 at 11:25 am

    there was a strong reason why Arsenal got rid of Senderos. His skills didn’t matter. Arsenal made an announcement in January and anyone who knows anything about corporate letters can see that Senderos was practically fired.

  9. Roberto

    June 9, 2010 at 11:50 am

    Big Phil is just one of those defenders who you watch having a relatively good game but you know a disaster isn’t far away. Will never forget his performance v Liverpool in the Champs league at Anfield. We played the scousers off the park but his piss poor marking cost us 2 goals. Wish him all the best though as he tried hard, just wasnt quite good enough.

  10. Wilsheres dad

    June 9, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    He was never the same after he got concussion during an international game. Ultimately though, for his lack of involvement at Arsenal over the past couple of seasons there must have been a serious breakdown in his relationship with Wenger.

  11. Ismail

    June 9, 2010 at 9:11 pm

    I remember Senderos actually was in real good form during a 1st team stint when Toure went to the african cup of nations in 2008- Arsenal only conceded twice in that time… It’s just that against the very best… He couldn’t do it. Torres murdered him in the 4-2 match vs liverpoo!

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