Thoughts On Denilson, Bartley, and Campbell

Denilson’s finally moved on. I believe all concerned will be happy with that. Those fans who supported the Brazilian will appreciate a fresh lease of life for him. Others who couldn’t stand him must be delighted he’s gone. For Arsenal this opens up a slot in midfield and saves on some wages. For Denilson it is a chance to get his confidence back and an opportunity to work his way into the Brazilian national side.

I believe, just like the Clichy transfer, this one is a win-win. The important issue here is whether he will be replaced by a new player or via a promotion from within. Clichy, based on Arsene’s statement, will be replaced by Gibbs with Traore providing competition and Vermaelen the back up. I think that will be an extremely risky approach even if we discount his inexperience because the English youngster has had some serious injury problems and might miss a big chunk of the season again.

I am not blaming Gibbs for his injuries. And I believe he has the talent to be a top class left back despite some worrying performances during the slump last season. But to start with him as the main man is like challenging fate to a duel. Your luck will never hold out.

Traore is an interesting player but is not consistent enough to be a top four player in a defensive position. If Vermaelen is viewed as a third choice left back then chances of a new defensive player arriving are also slim because any new signing won’t get enough games with Vermaelen and Koscielny likely to partner as first choice pairing.

By the same logic, if Denilson is replaced by Frimpong I expect to see the squad weakened. That is not to say that the youngster is a bad player. I want him to develop and can see the need for giving him some playing time. But Arsenal need at least one more defensive player who is not in the learning phase, and if both Clichy and Denilson are replaced internally the squad will lack balance.

That brings me to the case of Kyle Bartley who had a decent-ish loan spell at Rangers. I was surprised he wasn’t even on the Asia touring party. Does that mean Wenger rates him as fifth choice centre back or thinks he needs another loan? If that is the case the need for bringing in at least one more defensive minded player is all the more pressing.

Considering the fact that Arsene did bid high, given his standards, for Phil Jones, I am inclined to believe he is looking for such a player. But in this transfer window Wenger will have to be a lot more decisive than he has been in the past. I am not in panic mode though, there is a long time to go and these things can take time. Based on past evidence some fans will be sceptical but I don’t see any constructive value coming out of that attitude.

Finally, I want to express disappointment that the Joel Campbell deal is off. Once it was clear that other clubs were getting involved and offering better deals, or at least hinting at better deals (if they’d offered better deals the transfer might have been completed), it would have been a surprise if his father had agreed to the Arsenal offer. They are looking after their own interests and it’s hard to blame them for that. Arsenal too did their best and I’d not admonish the club for missing out on the opportunity. It’s a shame but its part of life in the football world.

Let’s see if the kid was a flash in the pan or has real talent that shines in the U20 World Cup. If he can perform the Campbells will be well rewarded.

Since it wasn’t a priority signing for Arsenal I am not too concerned. But it’s good to know the club are always on the lookout for talented players in all positions. We should not blame them for the realities of the modern day transfer market.

Now I’m going back to waiting and watching.

14 Responses to Thoughts On Denilson, Bartley, and Campbell

  1. colney says:

    Gael Clichy had serious foot problems, that didn’t stop him from becoming consistent till he was moved on. Ashley Cole was almost sold but given a chance because Sylvinho had a dodgy passport. If anything, Arsenal had always had good luck with left backs, from Kenny Sansom to Nigel Winterburn, i think we’ll be fine. Traore is a year older and has improved his positioning and defensive awareness.

    On your second point about Kyle Bartley, he’s still recovering from an MCL tear he sustained last year while playing for Rangers. That’s why he was omitted from the Asia tour but should go to Germany to face FC Cologne. In my opinion, i don’t see the difference between Cahill and Bartley. Kyle has euro experience as well as some SPL and Championship experience and don’t forget he came from the Bolton academy. Judging from the statements on the official website i think fans should be prepared to see him promoted and the rest of the transfer funds spent elsewhere.

  2. jethro says:

    I believe we should stop bringing in new defenders and let this lot really gel together, they havn’t got enough playing time together, new faces would only bring them more apart. 1 or 2 more seasons together, the solidity will return. don’t forget jenkinson can also play centre back and his hero is tony adams:)

  3. santori says:

    Bartley looks like he will be given a run in the first team (at least till December ). I only hope this does not convince monsieur Wenger that we have 4 quality Cbacks (5 including the ineffectual Squillaci)

    We really ought to have a better senior man at the back that can cover but also afford Kos, Djourou and Bartley (not to mention Miguel) space to grow.

    Keep an eye on Alex. If Chelsea land a new Cback, he may come available for way less than the overated Cahill.

    Regarding Denilson, Frimpong won’t be any worse. The real issue is cover for Song. I think we’re packed in the middle of the park and can’t see us adding here.

    however if Fab has to be let go, a move for Montolivo may be sensible being that he will be reasonable (one year left on contract). He plays as a deep lying playmaker (4-4-1-1), on the left, in an advance role and crucially as DM. he may make us a little more balanced in the middle IMO.

    Also another solution (as yet untried) is playing Kos in DM as cover. He’s quick and has a good reading of the game, exactly what you want to screen the lads at the back.

    Finally with regards LB, I am apprehensive about Gibbs and Traore holding the position too. Neither have demonstrated an ability to supplant the recently departed incumbent over a season.

    Gibbs looks excellent thus far pre-season (admitedly against weaker opposition) but it is a gamble we’re taking.

    To my mind, we could do with another winger if Gervinho is to function primarily as striker. Bastos at Lyon is interesting as we can utilise him on either wing (much as he does for Lyon) if Gibbs has a Wilshere season (I’m hoping he does). He won’t be any more expensive than Gervinho surely @27.

    And on the subject of Gervinho up top, I don’t quite see why we were in the hunt for Campbell. I presume this is a youth buy for a couple of years down the road (If Chamakh remains unconvincing)

    Otherwise, I think Gervinho should give us the pace we are missing right on the apex, and crucially the ability to beat the last man (thereby allowing us to transition quicker on fast breaks before teams clam the door shut)

    I don’t see wenger reinforcing the left unfortnately. Therefore, 2-3 more players for me depending on IF cesc is sold on.

  4. Greg says:

    Strange that we’ve all forgotten about Bartley. I mean, we need a CB and a DM, and he’s both, and he’s already ours.

    Of course there has to be a question mark over his quality. Wenger didn’t throw him straight into the team like he did with Song, another CB / DM. I guess the next couple of weeks will tell us how much he thinks the lad’s developed. Maybe that’s the only reason we haven’t completed a CB transfer yet.

  5. aditya says:

    I’m actually much more worried about the lansbury situation. Excellent young player, always gives his 100% on the field, reasonably skilled and was great in the championship. He’s in the last year of his contract and arsenal are not giving him any assurances about his role in the team.
    Out of the current lot of youngsters, we really need to hold on to bartley, miquel, frimpong and lansbury.
    As for bartley’s chances in the first team this year, i’d love to see him as 4th, or even 3rd choice cb ahead of djourou, who’s been shaky after his shoulder injury.

  6. goonerstan says:

    I rate him more than denilson. So glad he’s gone. Lansbury plays with his heart and he loves the shirt.

  7. wrightydenhenry says:

    Yes some good points didn’t understand why we didn’t bring Bartley in last year and bought Squillacci. This is where I get confused by Arsene he says he puts faith in youth and yet when he has the chance he doesn’t always take the opportunity. He’s strong, tall, mobile and loves Arsenal why would we want to pay £20M for Phil Jones when this boy already has European experience and played for the top side in Scotland, he’s also had a season a Sheffield United. As 4th choice I would be happy.
    To have a good defence you need stability in the back 5 over the last few years we haven’t had it. 2/3 players changing per season he needs to mould them into a real force.

    • John says:

      Bartley himself said he wasn’t ready last year, the Rangers move changed his mentality- Ally Mccoist himself paid testament to Bartleys willingness to fight on through injury. He is commanding, built up his leadership having to fight for the title with Rangers but also scrapped for every point putting his body on the line…. With a season in the premier league he will be better than Samba or Cahill, now.

      What we have to remember was that Vermaelen was out for so long that it was the weakness of our 3rd choice defender which caused the problem…. Squillaci, if he can be demoted to 5th choice CB we should only have to endure his performances in the Carling cup- but for this season it may be worth keeping him for the experience to offer the youngsters such as Miguel and Bartley.

  8. drew10 says:

    Bartley was injured which is why he didn’t travel to Asia. By your reckoning, we should never have taken the chance last season on Jack Wilshire. At some point you have to play these players the manager obviously has faith in Gibbs and Frimpong. Gibbs, do not forget, was selected for England not long ago and was hotly tipped to be Cashley’s replacement. A few games under his belt with Traore as his back-up and we will be fine. Both Gibbs and Traore have better delivery on crosses and shots than Clichy. If either or both can have anything like the impact Gael did when he came into the team we will be fine!

  9. ak47 says:

    i hope your right drew. its certainly plausible that clichys replacement is both of them rotated regularly. the competition could possibly make the left stronger as the spot is up for grabs.

    i wouldnt complain if campbell was the smoke screen for lukaku and with a bartley promo. do we need a new cb? dunno, our defense is ruffly the same age and havent played a whole season together.

    im more concerned about injuries to the lb than cb. would we really shift vermz out there? would song then play cb with frimpong covering. we have alot of versatility i suppose. balance?

    hmmm, is so much tinkering the solution?

  10. Prabal Rakshit says:

    Agree with your thoughts on the LB. Gibbs/ Traore are inexperienced and in Gibbs’ case his inexperience was partly due to his unfortunate tryst with injuries. Arsene justified his choice by mentioning that Ashley Cole and Gael Clichy also assumed first team responsibilities at the same age.
    However what is worrying is the fact that Cole/ Clichy had the benefit of playing with a more conservative version of 4-4-2. For instance, Cole had Pires and Henry in front of him on the left flank. Gibbs on the other hand will have the likes of Wilshere/Nasri/ Arshavin in front of him. A very very risky left flank (defensively at least).
    I still think Arsene might still be monitoring Jose Enrique as he could be a decent defensively minded left back. On the other hand a secondary defensive midfielder, who can man the left flank might now be necessary instead of ‘nice to have’. In this context Arturo Vidal looked pretty interesting, since he looks good defensively (at least in Bundesliga numbers) and can also offer options going upfront. SImilar to a more defensive aware Diaby?
    Regarding the center back too I hope Arsene does not stick to Koscielny/Vermaelen combo. Both of them like to stick close to the main opposition attacker and might leave spaces to be exploited by canny counter attacking teams. TV5 in particular has been guilty of misreading his position numerous times by going forward too early. The good thing about TV5 is that he has come through the Dutch ‘no. 4’ (mobile defender) school that has produced the likes of Arie Haan, Frank deBoer, Ronald Koeman, Danny Blind etc. They have been very good at liniing up with the midfield and providing more impetus to the attack etc. However each of these defenders had a more conservative, more physical foil in the likes of Wim Rijsbergen, Jaap Stam,
    Hope Arsene pulls out something similar.

  11. big tank says:


    […]Thoughts On Denilson, Bartley, and Campbell « Desi Gunner[…]…

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