Arsenal decisions justified during Swiss horror show

Philippe Senderos Switzerland 2

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger made the correct call in selling Swiss defenders Philippe Senderos and Johan Djourou.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has often been criticised in the past for not having a key centre-back, but not many can argue with his decision to sell on fellow defenders Philippe Senderos and Johan Djourou.

The Swiss duo have both had stints at the Gunners, and they lined up alongside each other during Switzerland’s World Cup clash against fellow Gunner Olivier Giroud’s French side.

The end result, a whopping 5-2 victory for the French – and it could have been much worse.

Switzerland were simply awful in defence, and centre-back duo Philippe Senderos – who replaced the injured Steve von Bergen after nine minutes - and Johan Djourou represented a pairing who played as if they had only just met.

There was no coordination, movement, leadership or spirit as France waltzed past them time and time again – racing into a 3-0 lead at half-time with the luxury of missing a spot-kick before adding another two in the second-half.

Senderos and Djourou’s nightmare performance can be highlighted by Opta Stats.

  TeamPosWon TackleDuel WonFoulsInterception WonOutfielder BlockEffective ClearanceError Lead To GoalAppsMins
Johan Djourou Switzerland DF 0 0 2 1 2 4 0 1 90
Philippe Senderos Switzerland DF 0 0 0 0 1 2 1 1 81

As per the table, current Aston Villa defender Senderos failed to win a single tackle, 50/50 or register an interception of any kind. His most notable contribution was one block, two clearances and committing an error which led to a French goal.

New Hamburg signing Djourou, on the other hand, was equally as bad as the 27-year-old also failed to register a single tackle, committing two fouls throughout the match – though he did manage one interception, two blocks and four clearances.

The duo are no longer on the books at Arsenal, with Senderos leaving in 2010 following a six year spell and Djourou making his recent loan move at Hamburg permanent in a deal worth a reported €3 million.

Whilst it’s perhaps unfair to judge the two Swiss stars on one performance, when comparing to current Arsenal centre-back pairing Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker, then it’s easy to see why Wenger made his choice.

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