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Is that Goodbye then Phil?

Is that Goodbye then Phil?

As yet unconfirmed officially by Arsenal, Everton claim on their website that 'the formalities of the transfer will be finalised in the next 48 hours' confirming other reports this morning that Swiss defender Philippe Senderos is to join them on loan for the rest of the season. If so it will mean that the two Carling Cup games he played for us this year were the last in an Arsenal shirt as his contract, which is due to expire at the end of the season will not be renewed.

Neither club nor player has made any secret of the need for Senderos to move on and the signing of Sol Campbell until the end of the season made these intentions even more evident. Big Phil is looking to ensure his place in the Swiss team for the upcoming World Cup but has played little football in the last two seasons either for us or Milan on loan last season.

It`s easy to forget that he is still a young player - especially as a central defender. He won`t turn 25 until next month but has been on the club`s books for 7 years making 117 appearances with 105 starts scoring 4 goals in the process. Those appearances, naturally enough, would have been at a particularly young age and the occasional errors and misjudgements inevitable in a young defender were less easy for supporters to accept in a period when the club has struggled to repeat the success of earlier years culminating in the unbeaten title season. Nevertheless there were periods of great personal achievement in an Arsenal shirt winning an FA Cup medal in 2005 together with a notable run to the Champions League final in 2006. There is a good player still to emerge in Senderos and time could still give him enough confidence and self-belief to have a good career at a high level.

With Campbell on a short term contract only to the end of the season while both Silvestre and Gallas`s contracts are due to expire this summer news that contract extension negotiations with Gallas are 'positive` is equally positive for the shape of our central defence next year. Vermaelen has more than cemented his role and is a firm favourite with supporters. Djourou will return possibly before the end of the season but may not feature greatly and Song, who has on occasions even this season played centre back, could still find his long term role is ultimately as a central defender. The Gallas contract could be important for next season`s stability.

Though it seems only a matter of time any way, assuming we have seen the last of Big Phil in an Arsenal shirt then I wish him well knowing that he behaved well towards the club and I believe the club has behaved well towards him. As one of the good guys he can be sure he`ll get a welcome cheer whenever he gets to come back to the Emirates.

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Date:Saturday January 23 2010
Time: 1:21PM


Always thought he was a good player and he really needs to move on. Good luck Big Phil, member of the great 05/06 Arsenal record breaking Champions League defence.
Gun 'Em Down
23/01/2010 13:48:00
23/01/2010 13:48:00
All the best Big Phil! Just hope we has a good career (as I expected he would) without coming back to haunt us. :)
23/01/2010 16:00:00
thought he would become as good a defender as we've ever had in an Arsenal shirt. gutted to see him leave. never forget his contribution in that great run to the final and the FA Cup final before that. hope yu make a great career, and who knows maybe one day, just like Campbell, yu'd be back here again :)
23/01/2010 17:55:00
and i hope someday Arsene comes out and tells us why Sendy didnt make it at Arsenal, it'll always remain a mystery to me, cuz there is more to it than he declaring his love for milan or losing his confidence after the liverpool game. there is definetly a lot more to this than just all that..
23/01/2010 20:10:00
I dont think Wenger has treated him completely fairly. If he had lost faith in Sendy, then he should have been shipped out in the summer itself. He has lost 6 months of playing time (somehow almost always conveniently injured). Or perhaps, there are reasons that we just dont know, from the outside.
23/01/2010 20:37:00
One of the things Wenger has always sought for in his players is a level of intelligence. Tho it may be fairly dim of me to assume Phil is bonafide genius, I am confident he speaks at least 5 languages. Combined with the undeniable talent he displayed early on, with senoir players around him I am really surprised he never blossomed in an Arsenal shirt. Its very rare a player hangs around this long after Wenger has closed the book on them.
23/01/2010 20:46:00
I always tought he might have made it with us He needs a few games to regain his confidence and we couldn't give him them So a fresh new start will do him the world of good I hope we don't regret it Adios Senderos
23/01/2010 21:41:00
I kinda liked Senderos, though one has to respect the Manager's instincts in these situations. Good thing is we shall not be playing Everton again this season, so little chance him coming back to bite us; I think he will be looking out for opportunities outside England after his loan deal with the Toffees, which is only to keep fit for the WC.
23/01/2010 22:16:00
Sad the way this has turned out for Phil but guess Wenger has a lot of faith in his ways and his players and if he's allowing Phil to go then there must be something that he's seeing (or not seeing) that we're not. I personally can't believe he's a worse option than Silvestre but clearly he's understandably not satisfied as being a back-up and he is evidently not as good as Gallas or Vermaelen.
23/01/2010 23:16:00
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