Silvestre the Weak Link
Mikael Silvestre was a surprise addition by Wenger. Wenger has tended to sell players who are the wrong side of 30, but he made an exception for the former Manchester United player. Most people expected Silvestre to fit in as cover for Clichy and as emergency centre back cover.
Silvestre has played now played ten games as centre half, a position that we had weaknesses and Silvestre’s presence was to strengthen the defence. However, has it?
In the preceding 11 games including champions league games against Porto and Dynamo Kyiv, Arsenal conceded 6 goals, losing tow games and drawing two, whilst keeping six clean sheets.
Since Silvestre made one of the centre back berths his own, Arsenal have conceded 15 goals, losing three games and drawing 2 games and keeping three clean sheets.
Silvestre is not to blame for our sudden downfall, but when a player is brought in to strengthen the defence and the reverse happens, it is either bad luck on the player in question or it has not worked.
If you look at how we have defended, I do not believe that Silvestre has brought stability or authority in defence; he does not possess tremendous speed nor is he the commanding figure at the back. His partnership with either Gallas or Toure ahs not worked, he was not a regular centre-back at Manchester United and I do not believe he has covered himself in glory at Arsenal.
Wenger should seriously look at partnering Gallas and Djourou until Toure is back. Whenever Djourou played with Gallas this season, they have been solid, perhaps Gallas needs someone like Djourou who will do all he work whilst he sweeps up the bits and pieces. Whatever happens, Silvestre should only be a stop gap measure, not a permanent fixture.