Will lack of defensive options cost Arsenal the title?

By on February 3, 2011 - 33 views

Our resident Arsenal correspondent – Editor of Gunnersphere – is concerned that a lack of defensive options could cost Arsene Wenger’s men…

So another January transfer window has past, and surprise surprise Arsene Wenger decided against signing any form of defensive reinforcements for the remainder of the season. Will this decision come back to haunt the Frenchman come the end of May?

Undoubtedly, the Gunners are short in numbers at the back. Thomas Vermaelen has been sidelined since early September and looks set to miss another month of action, whilst Sebastien Squillaci continues to struggle with the pace of the Premier League. Consequently, this has left Arsenal heavily relying on the services of Johan Djourou and Laurent Koscielny to hold down the fort.

To be fair to them, the two lads have done a great job so far. However, with such a congested month ahead, which sees the Gunners play in a Carling Cup final and a first leg Champions League clash with Barcelona, one must ask, can they continue to cope and depend on Koscielny and Djourou to stay fit?

Wenger did say that he was willing to sign a player if the opportunity arose, but it seemed it never did. The Frenchman was also looking to secure a loan deal to strengthen the back-line, as he thought a short-term deal was the ideal solution. Wenger told Arsenal.com earlier in the week: “If we can get a defender on loan until the end of the season, it is an ideal solution for us.”

This would have possibly been, as Wenger put it, the ‘ideal solution’ for our defence this January. We didn’t necessarily need a player on a long-term basis this season, but someone who could be utilized as a cover option in order to give the fit centre-backs a rest from time to time. Unfortunately this never ensued, and as a result, Arsenal have been left with just two fully-fit centre-backs.

It would have been reassuring to see Wenger acquire a defender during the winter window, either on a permanent deal or a loan, but as usual nothing transpired. Arsenal fans should be used to this procedure by now, Wenger rarely does business in the winter. I for one actually conceded in December that the North London club wouldn’t be bringing in any player during the winter window, and it looks like I was right all along.

I just hope the incapability of attaining a centre-back doesn’t come back to haunt Mr. Wenger and damage our silverware hopes this season.

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