Credit where credit’s Djou

Sorry about the title, but I can’t resist a good pun if possible. Misleading as it might be, I must stress that I am not saying Johan Djourou deserves any credit for his performance against Manchester United.

However, for all the criticism surrounding Arsene Wenger for his choice to remove Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain just as he’d made our equaliser and was at the centre of everything good we were doing, a rather more bold move by the boss has gone largely ignored: replacing the more experienced Djourou, terrible as he was, for Premier League debutant Nico Yennaris, a move that proved more successful than bringing on Andrey Arshavin later.

Djourou might not be a right-back, I think we all know that now, but he should be quite ashamed of a display like that. Right-back or not, he’s still a defender, but he didn’t do any defending of any kind against Nani, Evra and Giggs, who were destroying us down his side for the entire first half. Nani’s poor decision-making was all that saved us from being 3-0 down at the break.

Still, when you bring on a teenager who hasn’t played at this level before you never know what you’re going to get, as talented as they might look in the Reserves or in lower pressure cup games, so well done to Wenger for giving Yennaris a chance. As the Chamberlain substitution showed later, Arsene is one who likes to stick to a plan, regardless of what is happening right in front of him on the pitch. He is also one who doesn’t like to “kill” his players’ confidence, but taking Djourou off at half time was quite a statement.

I don’t know how near a return Sagna or Jenkinson are, but Yennaris’ performance in the second half can give us at least a little more confidence in that position for the time being. United had nowhere near the same kind of joy down our right-hand side in the second half.

For all the talk about too many young players over the years, Arsenal fans and bloggers have also rightly pointed out that on many occasion it has actually been the experienced players who have let us down. In recent times the likes of Rosicky, Arshavin, Gallas and Clichy have come under criticism for not doing enough to help the youngsters around them.

So if Chamberlain and Yennaris look like better options than Arshavin and Djourou, so be it. Let’s hope Wenger will resist the urge to rest these youngsters when they really don’t need it.

On a separate note – I very much expected Chelsea to splash the cash this January, and worried this would give them the edge over us in the race for fourth. So far, only Gary Cahill has been brought in. I’m sure he’ll be a good signing, but they are still desperately lacking upfront and on the wings.

As much as I’d love to see us make some much-needed signings as well, it quite clearly isn’t going to happen, so it’s a relief there hasn’t been much movement at Stamford Bridge either. Things are bad at the moment, but we’re not so far behind them that we can’t pip them to the final Champions League spot.

For more Arsenal and football thoughts, follow me on Twitter @markbrus

  • JohninNorfolk

    For once I can agree with Mark Brus, Yennaris was like a breath of fresh air in a fart filled phone box.  Let’s all pray that Le Professeur sticks with young Nico on Sunday a doesn’t revert to the hapless Djourou.

    • bigsy

      Doubt he will, plenty of experience in that Villa side not to mention pace, think he will tinker about with it again and drop Mertsacker, Bent will have a field day against him, Agbonlahor (not sure if fit) wouldn’t mind a run at him either..i think you will see a different shape this week

      • Mashman147

        Cheers for the inside knowledge. Good to know you have been to the training ground again.

        • bigsypissinghispants

          obvious really isn’t it

  • JohninNorfolk

    ….Sunday and doesn’t…

  • Eva1425

    Dj’s been rubbish all season, in the first game again MU he probably contributed for 5 of the gaols we conceded that day, and since then hasn’t got much better.  Sad to see, he was brilliant last season.

    But true, gotta give Wenger credit for bringing young Nico in,  sometimes I think Wenger should actually play these younngsters more because let’s face time and time again some of the experienced players are just not living upto their reputations.  Ironic isn’t it, in years gone by we were saying we need experience, now we’re saying bring on the kids!

    • JohninNorfolk

      Bring on the kids, rather than bring on the clowns!

  • Gman

    I was livid on Sunday with the sub of OX for Arshavin.  I took a day or two and saw the highlights on Sky and remembered the shot RVP missed, the shot OX missed by inches, Ramsey, and Rosicky missed two great chances also.  After some time and looking at the overall team performance, I relunctantly conceded that this was a team performance that let us down.  Which is the case so many times.  We as fans are frustrated, but at least this time not by the effort put in.  I don’t agree with the Arshavin sub still, but I can clearly see where we didn’t at least draw or win with our chances at home…many other teams have beaten us with less chances at their stadium.

  • Carlos Delima Za

    I am so happy someone else has reconized
    That Djourou is at best a squad member for a championship
    Team.I dont like attacking Arsenal players but
    When you have someone like Djourou who continuously opens
    His mouth saying ‘he wanted revenge ‘ is embarrassing!

    He is Swiss international and to me any international should
    Be able to defend first playing RB or LB defending
    Principles are the same and for proof look at Jones/smalling
    They defend first and do the basics well

    Since Newcastle came back 4-4 he has lost all
    Confidence and technical/tactical know how..

    • Mnpoo2

      youre very ignorant if you think any international should be able to defend first playing RB or LB.
      Djourou is a Central defender who is simply too slow to be played in full back against players like Nani.
      Djourou can only do the best he can, and its very unreasonable of us to expect a lot from him, IN THAT POSITION. 

      • bigsy

        someone who knows their football Mark..that makes 2 of us on here !

        • Mashman147

          That makes 2 c&nts on the site then. It is not about knowing the position. It is about being in the right place and talking to the man playing in front of you. Djourrou did none of this. If it was his first game there I wouldnt expect much, but he has had almost 50 games in that position. If in doubt, you stay on the winger. Nani stayed wide all the time.

          • bigsypissinghispants

            Many would say Ekotto is having his best season although I don’t rate him but it wouldn’t have anything to do with Bale would it ? nah thought not..arsenal need to give him cover and he has lazy C**ts in front of him

  • Jekyll

    If you watch Wenger’s post-match interview with MOTD, he said – after much hesitation – that he took Djourou off because he had a ‘small hamstring injury’.  So either he’s telling the truth and doesn’t deserve your credit, or he was lying and does.  Doesn’t sound too good either way. 

  • Loh

    The moment I saw the title of this article, i was thinking “OMG… is there actually someone who thinks Djourou actually played well??!!” Glad to see that this is not the case as the guy is HORRIBLE!!! Regardless of the reason why Arsene took him off, I am just glad he did! Nico was a much better option at RB and deserved to be our 3rd choice RB after Sagna and Jenkinson instead of putting Djourou there!

  • Jenny

    I for one will be making a stand against all these so called Arsenal fans, because all  this anti-Wenger is really upsetting and heartbreaking for someone who is an Arsenal fan 40 years.
    Have we all forgotten what Arsene gave us???

    In Arsene we trust

    • JayP

      Auntie Jenny u are in the minority my dear….. Wengers off to Real in the summer and the special one is replacing him at Arsenal. Fantastic news i say!

      • bigsy

        Dream on, Jose will be white hart lane bound,where we have an owner willing to spend, a team about to return to the champions league, a packed stadium each week being very vocal, and a club on the up capable of rubbing chelseas noses right in it and romans of course, you may argue that by May time you will have nothing to offer Jose at all

        • Mashman147

          Hilarious. Packed stadium every week. All 35000 fans. Money!! You dont pay anywhere near what mercenary Mourinho needs to build a team. But to be honest, I hope you get Mourinho. Shit football at he Lane again…

          • bigsypissinghispants

            that is the down side to it i must confess, although sooner have a packed 35,000 than a silent 3/4 full palace that noone wants to go to..literally can’t give your tickets away..and that was a topic on here..now that is embarrassing..keep chasing !..hope the boy is doing well mashman, some things are bigger and more important than rivalry..remember despite supporting different teams I will side with you where I can because i respect you, we go to games unlike the others who don’t know jack shit..so i do respect you for that !

      • JohninNorfolk

        No JayP, Jenny is not in a minority.  In a poll of all Arsenal supporters the vast majority would back Wenger.

        You really shouldn’t believe all you read in the Daily Mail.  The operative word in the sentence “Spanish giants Real Madrid have targeted under-fire Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger to replace Jose Mourinho, who may leave the Bernabeu in the summer” is MAY. 

        • bigsy

          He is leaving, trust me he is leaving !

          • JohninNorfolk

            I wouldn’t trust you to tie your own shoelaces.

          • bigsypissinghispants

            I use velcro ..do your buckles up on your sandals and go for a walk JIN ..at your age it’s good to cool the toes..ha ha

          • Jenny

            You’re so rude you horrible little man.
            John is more a man than you’ll ever be.

          • bigsypissinghispants

            JIN ? you dirty old dog..

          • bigsy

            It’s official JIN is now known as JIJ ..hee hee

          • bigsypissinghispants

            JIN ? you dirty old dog..

        • Jenny

          Thank you my dear John, a true gentleman xx

          In Arsene we trust

  • mark

    well the djourou sub was a no-brainer. simply too slow to control those Man U wingers.
    Fair enough Djourou was way out of his depth playing at right back, but where was Theo and Chamberlain to support him?! I thought Arsenal were getting serious about all 11 players defending. Well everytime Djourou was being ran out by those wingers theo and chamberlain were never in sight.
     

    • bigsy

      Valid Points, it is paramount that the right and left side midfield back track to assist, Nani may have exposed Djorou but in truth Nani would have given Sagna something to think about he is no mug, but there is no reason on gods earth why Ryan Giggs should be swanning past him without a youthful midfielder back tracking with him,

  • Yalam

    It’s the third straight game Djourou has played awful.. he cost us a game against Fulham & now Manure.. Don’t trust him as a CB nor on RB.. I can’t figure out why Wenger doesn’t buy a defender but rather hope the injured players get back which is gonna take sometime..
    btw.. most worrisome for me is the dip in Ramsey’s form. With Arteta out Ramsey has just been poor/clueless the past 3 games.. 
    I don’t doubt the Professor but sometimes he just needs to buy the player and stop thinking about future valuation..
    btw.. i think we still need a creative midfielder & Gannero (Real M) wouldn’t be bad..

  • bigsypissinghispants

    Rumours are aplenty that Harry will get 200 hours community service where he will be told he must help the needy and it is understood he will be heading to London Colney each week to show Wenger how to get the best out of under performing players .

  • DANTHEHOTSPURMAN

    GIVE IT TO EM BIGSY MY PAL UR SUCH A SMOOTH OPERATER.
     I HATE ARSENAL SOOO MUCH IT HURTS! BUT RESENTLY I WAS FEELIN SORRY FOR DEM COZ THEY AR LIKE A PATHETICK LITTLE DOG THATS LOST AND LOOKIN FOR DA MAMA HAHA.
    SPURS ARE ON ANOVER LEVELAND FOR YEARS TO COME!

    • bigsypissinghispants

      Dan I genuinely do sympathise with the true Arsenal Fans it doesn’t matter who we support we must stand together as fans, yes it is amusing and I have had some giggles but ultimately a football club is taking the piss out of it’s fans and we know better than any how that feels, yes I am a happy yiddo but i do care about where our game is heading and even these poor sods deserve a saturday afternoon of pleasure..yid ahoy my Israeli brother

  • Crazy Horse

    In the words of Squeeze: ‘the past has been bottled and labelled with love’. We have to let what Arsen did for us in the past go. We HAVE to look at what he is doing now and what he will probably do for us in the future (for how ever long he stays). The here and now is not good. Wenger looks old and tired, void of any real belief in himself or HIS team. I want to remember him for what he was…not what he has become. If he had any sense he would stand down after this season. I don’t think he will because his arrogance will get in the way.
    AFC needs new ideas and a totally fresh outlook. That won’t happen if Wenger stays. I think he needs a new challenge and Real Madrid would be perfect for him.
    Let the past GO!!!