Vital Football

Latest Arsenal FC News

Wenger's Full Backs

Wenger's Full Backs

As part of a series of features in recent issues of the Arsenal magazine Arsene has given interviews on positions and players in specific team roles. Collected together they give an interesting insight into what he sees as important in those roles and players in those positions that he has managed and admired.

His views on full backs appear to have been influenced many years ago when still a player himself harbouring aspirations to be a coach. An unnamed coach asked him to take a look at a full back he was interested in. As he reported back to give a run down on the player the coach halted him saying I don`t want to know how he defended, how does he attack? It`s clearly something he has carried into his own coaching since then. Asked whether full backs are defenders or midfielders he insists that in the Arsenal team at least they are midfielders "There`s no handbrake" he says "It`s just let`s go!"

Of those he has managed he has particularly high regard for Manuel Amoros, a French international defender, and national team captain, he had coached at Monaco. With the ability to play both left and right back roles he describes Amoros as a fantastic footballer and an exceptional, world class full back. Along with the legendary Roberto Carlos he feels Amoros stands out above most full backs as the best of their kind.

In turning to Arsenal players he notably excludes Cole but feels that Clichy has struck a good balance between defence and attack. As a talented player with great attitude and determination and a constant desire to improve he has impressed Wenger since he first saw him at Cannes where he usually played in midfield I knew there was something special he tells us. Bacary Sagna receives similar recognition and praise for his attitude in training as well as games. His commitment and ability in both disciplines of defence and attack with the added bonus of good aerial ability are qualities Wenger appreciates in Sagna. Sagna himself feels that he had played a slightly more withdrawn role at Auxerre and now enjoys the extra freedom to attack at Arsenal, a freedom he has exploited this season with his first ever goal in top flight football.

Of those that came before our present pairing he reveals the resistance he had from Lauren in converting him from midfield feeling that he lacked a little power for the midfield role. "I said to him 'you will be an even better full back`" claims Wenger, seeing Lauren as tactically intelligent and able to start play from the back in the offensive style that his teams play. Nevertheless it took a year to convince him that that was where his abilities lie.

The duo of Dixon and Winterburn from the teams famous back four of the '90s are remembered with great admiration. Lee Dixon he saw as an intelligent player with good analytical ability. Essentially an attacking full back playing a more defensive game as he got older but retaining the fighting spirit and determination that characterised his erstwhile partner Winterburn.

Winterburn he saw as more of a defensive player but in that defensive role he was the best Wenger has ever seen. He was not very quick in his view but you still couldn`t get past him! Like Clichy now he describes Winterburn as 'a tough cookie` To stop him playing against the physios advice you would almost have to cut him in two. He recalls Winterburn in his 40s playing in Bergkamps testimonial He played like it was a cup final! It`s the only way he knows how to play! he declares.

Nutty Boy may well be more defensive by inclination but most of us will recall a couple of long range specials that embellished his career in the Arsenal team. Clichy has yet to open his account for us but lets hope when they come they are as equally memorable.



Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:Amos
Date:Friday June 13 2008
Time: 8:47AM

Comments

0
Cheers Amos, good write up. Wenger has this knack of identifying talented left backs. 1st with Cole (who, to be fair, Wenger did include in his all time best 11), then with Clichy, and Traore might get there as well (despite criticism, I still think he can make it as a good LB). Wenger said that he signed Lauren as a RB, even though he played mid field at the time. Its amazing how he can see things that others cannot. And it goes on with Sagna.
prits
13/06/2008 11:08:00
0
Cheers Amos, good write up. Wenger has this knack of identifying talented left backs. 1st with Cole (who, to be fair, Wenger did include in his all time best 11), then with Clichy, and Traore might get there as well (despite criticism, I still think he can make it as a good LB). Wenger said that he signed Lauren as a RB, even though he played mid field at the time. Its amazing how he can see things that others cannot. And it goes on with Sagna.
prits
13/06/2008 11:08:00
0
In the Wenger years, full back is the one position that we have never really been lacking in talent. Even Sylvinho bridged the gap between Winterburn and Cole. I still feel RB is Eboue best position, still not as good as Sagna though.
navydave
13/06/2008 12:05:00
0
In the Wenger years, full back is the one position that we have never really been lacking in talent. Even Sylvinho bridged the gap between Winterburn and Cole. I still feel RB is Eboue best position, still not as good as Sagna though.
navydave
13/06/2008 12:05:00
0
i love Winterburn
bootoo
13/06/2008 19:42:00
0
i love Winterburn
bootoo
13/06/2008 19:42:00
0
best fotballin to win nothing ......
123spurs
14/06/2008 02:14:00
0
best fotballin to win nothing ......
123spurs
14/06/2008 02:14:00
0
So far I feel that Sagna so far looks better than Lauren and Clichy is just a couple of goals away from being as good as Cashley at his peak (around 2003-05). Otherwise I think we've got the best full-backs in the league. Of course Dixon and Winterburn are defensive legends, but they didn't go forward as much. You guys have been around longer than I. Do you think Clichy and Sagna are the best attacking full-backs Wenger's got so far?
Lou the Gunneress
14/06/2008 02:31:00
0
So far I feel that Sagna so far looks better than Lauren and Clichy is just a couple of goals away from being as good as Cashley at his peak (around 2003-05). Otherwise I think we've got the best full-backs in the league. Of course Dixon and Winterburn are defensive legends, but they didn't go forward as much. You guys have been around longer than I. Do you think Clichy and Sagna are the best attacking full-backs Wenger's got so far?
Lou the Gunneress
14/06/2008 02:31:00
Page 1/2
  1. 1
  2. 2

Login to post a comment

Best of Vital Network

Recent Arsenal Articles

Whose Won The Most Points So Far

Which player has won your side the most points so far in the Premier League campaign of 2016/17?

Premier League Team Of The Season So Far (25/3/17)

The Team of the Season so far based on statistical scoring points has now been released.

Ozil Remains Happy At Arsenal

German international Mesut Ozil has has again been speaking about how happy he is at Arsenal and he says that speculating about his future would be wrong, we'll simply see what...

Vote For The March Awards - 2016/17

The Premier League have now opened voting for the Manager, Player and Goal of the Month awards for March.

Archived Vital Arsenal Articles

Vital Arsenal articles from

Site Journalists

Rocky7
Editor email
Profile

Current Poll (see more polls)

West Brom MotM
Suggested By:
Cech3%
Bellerin4%
Mustafi0%
Koscielny0%
Monreal4%
Oxlade-Chamberlain0%
Xhaka31%
Walcott0%
Ramsey9%
Welbeck4%
Sanchez45%
Sub-Ospina0%
Sub-Giroud0%
Sub-Iwobi0%
ScoopDragon Premier League Network Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Chelsea 28 22 3 3 69 38
2 Spurs 28 17 8 3 59 34
3 Man City 28 17 6 5 57 24
4 Liverpool 29 16 8 5 56 25
5 Man Utd 27 14 10 3 52 19
6 Arsenal 27 15 5 7 50 22
7 Everton 29 14 8 7 50 21
8 WBA 29 12 7 10 43 1
9 Stoke 29 9 9 11 36 -9
10 Southampton 27 9 6 12 33 -3
11 AFC Bournemouth 29 9 6 14 33 -12
12 West Ham 29 9 6 14 33 -12
13 Burnley 29 9 5 15 32 -11
14 Watford 28 8 7 13 31 -15
15 Leicester City 28 8 6 14 30 -14
16 Crystal Palace 28 8 4 16 28 -10
17 Swansea 29 8 3 18 27 -27
18 Hull City 29 6 6 17 24 -32
19 Middlesbrough 28 4 10 14 22 -13
20 Sunderland 28 5 5 18 20 -26
Write for Vital Football
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News
The Vital Football Members League

Recent Arsenal Results (view all)

Arsenal Fixtures (view all)

Apr 2 2017 4:00PM : Manchester City (H)
Barclays Premier League
Apr 5 2017 7:45PM : West Ham United (H)
Barclays Premier League
Apr 10 2017 8:00PM : Crystal Palace (a)
Barclays Premier League
Apr 17 2017 8:00PM : Middlesbrough (a)
Barclays Premier League
Apr 22 2017 3:00PM : Sunderland (H)
Barclays Premier League
Apr 23 2017 3:00PM : Manchester City (H)
FA Cup

Vital Members League Table

RankNamePoints
1.connor2
2.Naijagunner1
Vital Football Comment