Someone, I can’t remember who, posed the question ‘Could we cope with a serious injury to William Gallas?’ It didn’t take long to come to the conclusion that any team, no matter who, would suffer if they lost their most experienced defender; although, in our case, the problem is compounded by the fact that he is not only our most experienced defender, he is also our main goal scorer.
Djourou would seem the most likely candidate to get the nod; he has the one thing that Wenger values more than anything and is the reason that his national team partner is up for sale and not he – Djourou has pace.
When Gallas got injured last year and Djourou was called upon, he took his place along side Toure and being the respectful Swiss young man that he is Johann looked to his more experienced partner for guidance, the result being comical: a football version of Dumb and Dumber. Kolo can’t organise himself let alone anyone else, it was screamingly obvious then and even more so with the objectivity that wearing a sky blue shirt gives.
There is, however, a new reason to be optimistic. If Gallas gets injured then it is reasonable to assume that Djourou will once again be the first choice replacement but this time he will be along side someone who knows about organising defences — Tomas Vermaelen. It is noticeable on telly and even more reassuring from first hand reports from Jonjon at the Everton game that this man is very confident and knowledgeable when it comes to organising the defence and it takes a very small leap of imagination to envisage him helping Djourou enormously.
There is of course the possibility that both Gallas and Vermaelen could get injured, in this scenario I would expect Djourou and Song to play. This partnership was very successful in the CC last season. The funny thing is that when Djourou is the more experienced central defender of the two he takes on a very different persona; he becomes very…..well, like Vermaelen…… organised and commanding.
It’s gets a bit scary after this if we carry on playing the “what if game” as we start getting into Silvestre territory.
Will we buy a new defender? Much depends on Swiss Phil, I get the impression that he would prefer to work in Italy or Spain. Once these CL qualifiers are sorted out it will be clearer who will have extra money to spend. Fiorentina showed some interest in him earlier, maybe they will renew it if they qualify. But if they don’t then he may chose to stay and as back up; I reckon he would be fine, after all he certainly knows the system and what would be required of him. What do you think?