Let Djourou Stay in Germany

The news that on-loan defender, Johan Djourou, doesn’t want to return to the club shouldn’t disappoint too many Arsenal fans, who would rather we would cut our ties with the 26-year-old altogether.
The Swiss international told Neue Presse Hannover he is happy at new club, Hannover, where he has made 12 appearances so far this spring.
“It would be fantastic if the clubs could agree on a deal,” he revealed. “It is a difficult situation since I still have two years left on my contract in London.”
Djourou left the Emirates in January after making just two appearances this season and hasn’t been missed since, boss, Arsene Wenger, finding a reasonably strong partnership in Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny.
With Arsenal set to strengthen their defence in the summer, it is becoming increasingly clear Djourou will not be in the first team from next season.
DJOUROU Hannover
Although the majority of football betting pundits agree  Djourou should be nowhere near the first team, news he wants to leave Arsenal is nevertheless disappointing for a player Wenger put so much trust in during the early years.
Since coming up through the ranks in 2005, the defender made over 100 appearances for Arsenal yet is maybe indicative of our recent plight. He’s never won a trophy and ruined his only chance during the Carling Cup final at Wembley.
The fact he started in 2011 against Birmingham proved just how fragile Arsenal’s defence was at the time and, although the only real addition has been Mertesacker, at least we have some nous at the back handling dangerous situations.
If anything, Djourou is the embodiment of our partially failed youth policy that put too much trust and gave too many shirts to players who simply weren’t good enough. Times are changing and Wenger has realised relying on poor youngsters to come good isn’t the solution to his problems.
If Djourou wants to go then let him; Arsenal are better off without a player who has proven incapable of meeting the demands of top-flight football, much to the chagrin of fans who enjoy a football bet
Guest post brought to you courtesy of Joe Short.

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Djourou breaks silence to dismiss transfer rumours – AFC

So Johan Djourou has no intention of leaving the Arsenal. The Swiss stopper has taken the opportunity to make a statement to dispel any rumours of unrest by reaching out to fans and public alike through his Twitter account.

The press has been rife with rumours of a potential move to Italy with Napoli being mentioned as a likely destination. Fees have even been reported with a price range of £8-10 million being mentioned.

All be it most of the quotes for this story have been allegedly made by Johan’s agent. Djourou’s twitter account has given us the opportunity to hear the news from the man himself as he tweeted:

“I just want to deny all what have been said in the press about my transfer. It isn’t true at all.

I have been at Arsenal since 10 years now and I’m always committed to the club”

The statement seems pretty clear on Johan’s intention to stay at the club. He clearly seems proud of his long-term affiliation with the club and has stated so. This is the type of statement Arsenal fans have been waiting to hear from skipper Robin Van Persie yet we still wait.

Many questioned the authenticity of the Djourou twitter account as it contradicted all the news in the press about unrest and Johan wanting to play first team football to enhance his international career. I can confirm that account has been active for a very long time as Johan conducts many a competition on twitter and via his fan page on facebook. The account @JohanDjourou is listed on the Arsenal.com website as one of the official twitter accounts for the Arsenal players. To have a fake account fed through the Arsenal website would be very poor and embarrassing to all concerned with the website. Check for yourself: http://www.arsenal.com/news/player-tweets

The comments from Djourou have clearly split the opinion of Arsenal fans. On one camp Djourou is not rated good enough for the Arsenal team and we should sell and take as much as we can get for the player. In the other camp Arsenal fans see the worth of Djourou as a squad player for Arsenal; one of the best 4th choice defenders around who would be hard to replace.

I would fall into the latter camp, I see Johan’s worth to the team. He has been part of the set up for a very long time and clearly loves representing the club. He still has some parts of his game he needs to work on but is able cover to the defence.

I do not think he currently is good enough to dislodge the first choice pairing of Koscielny and Vermaelen but that is just currently. He showed a couple of seasons ago the fight and determination that Arsenal fans demand and was probably our best defender that season. After taking a backward step last season Johan needs to knuckle down, work hard and get back to the level of a couple of seasons ago. It’s unfortunate he has to prove himself all over again to win back the faith in many Arsenal fans but it’s not an impossible task.

I’ve been here so long I remember changing your diapers

He is a great 4th choice back up but there’s nothing to say he can’t improve further, especially with Steve Bould now involved with the first team. That is an ideal situation as Bould was a master of the centre back craft, his advice and guidance should be a boost to all the defenders at the club.

Now that Johan has stated his intend to stay at the club Arsenal fans really need to get behind him and support him. There’s no point abusing him on twitter telling him how rubbish you think he is, we need to recognize the respect he has shown. As I mentioned earlier he has at least used his social networking platform to put the fans straight on his career.

Our captain has done no such thing, understandably Robin has been invaluable to the Arsenal team and without him our season would have been in massive limbo. Yet the longer the silence continues the more likely it seems he may move on. One feels if he was really staying a tweet about his love for the club would dispel all the gossip mongers and leave him to have a distraction free Euro 2012. There’s no point hearing from his dad, his wife, his cousin or his cleaner, we need to hear from the man himself.

Johan may not be everyone’s cup of tea but I think Robin should take a leaf out his book and be honest to the fans that clearly love him. Like a jilted girlfriend we need to be able to get over it and move on, don’t string us along. The Radiohead album is in the CD player, do we need to press play?

Enjoy your day people.

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Djourou admits frustration, Vermaelen admits admiration – AFC

So it seems the words from Ottmar Hitzfeld managed to register with Johan Djourou. Earlier this week the current Switzerland manager made the suggestion to Johan that it may be in his best interests to sever his ties with Arsenal in search of more regular football which will in turn enhance his opportunities with his national team.

Over the past season the Swiss stopper has slipped down the pecking order for the centre back position at the heart of the Arsenal defence. Given the continual improvement of Laurent Koscielny, The return to fitness of Thomas Vermaelen and the purchase of Per Mertesacker Johan has found himself as 4th choice centre back.

His performances compared to the 2010-11 season have not been as commanding and assured meaning his progression has stalled.  Add to that having to play out of position a number of times Johan never really got into his stride when called upon. Most players need a run of games to shake off the rust and maybe he never had that to really force Arsene Wenger’s hand in selecting him more often.

Djourou was quoted as saying in an interview with Swiss media “I’ve never played so little and especially not in my own position. If an interesting offer comes, I’ll look at it carefully”. It’s a fair comment from the defender, he hasn’t played as often in preferred position and so he needs to evaluate any opportunities.

What Arsenal will miss out on if he were to move on is his quality as a relative 4th choice centre back. Not many clubs can boast 4th choice centre backs in the same caliber as Johan. You only have to look over at a club like Manchester City and the walking disaster that was Stefan Savic. At times he seemed on a one man crusade to derail the Manchester club’s title charge.

Although Johan may not be as popular with many Arsenal fans; last season the alternative was Sebastian Squillaci, the still quite raw Ignasi Miquel or moving Song out of position to cover. I saw no problem with him as a 4th choice defender though most footballers would not be accepting of being 4th choice for a position when at the age of 25 and a current international player.

I touched on the alternatives for Johan and you have to question whether Arsene has any plans to promote within if the Swiss defender moves on. I do not see Sebastian Squillaci being on the Arsenal books next season; I believe he will be moved on. His time with Arsenal has been a constant downward spiral and even Wenger must realize his confidence will only reduce further the longer he stays at the club. Then again Wenger could surprise us all and keep him around. Ignasi Miquel shows promise but is still a bit raw. He would benefit from first team experience on loan somewhere for a season to aid his development.

Kyle Bartley will be returning to the club after his time on loan with Rangers. Would he be an option for that slot in the team? Despite the turmoil at the Glasgow club young Kyle still managed to play a number of games in the first team and in his fair share of high-profile old firm derbies. Although he may not have always played at centre back whilst on loan he still gained valuable experience and probably enhanced his mental strength for performing at a big club. I suppose Arsene will have a look at him over pre-season and assess whether he has stepped up to the level required to represent Arsenal.

There was some nice news emanating from the Belgian camp this week as our vice captain declared his love for the club and how happy he is there. In preparation for the upcoming friendly against England Thomas is hoping that he will overcome a niggling groin injury to be able to face the three lions.

To hear Vermaelen state: “There will be no transfer for me. I love London. I’ve got a house there, I’m happy there and I don’t see any reason to ever leave the club” It does help restore your faith that players can openly declare they are happy at a club and assure fans how they really feel.

Many times when a player has left his club to join up with their national team they usually have free license to talk about everything about themselves ranging from contract negotiations, how unhappy they are, which clubs they admire to their favorite flavor of ice cream.

Usually the players use it as a chance to vent something they don’t like going on at their club. They aren’t under the press constraints usually imposed on them during the season by their club and so many fall into the trap of revealing too much. The more intelligent footballer’s now realize just because they hold an interview in their mothers tongue it can be translated into English and reported in our press.

So it is definitely nice to hear the positive words coming from Thomas Vermaelen. Not usually the stuff our Red Tops would find headline news but the kind of news that is of interest to Arsenal fans.

Good on him, that’s the kind of loyalty and determination his international team-mate Jan Vertonghen should take note of.

Enjoy your day people

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