Johan Djourou currently holds the second centre back position alongside captain William Gallas and will be looking to cement his place in the position which has arguably been the most problematic for Arsenal.
Since Sol Campbell had left the side the Gunners defence have looked less stable and are regularly under threat from the higher ball. Kolo Toure, once an unassailable member of the Arsenal line-up is no longer guaranteed a first team place. After a great partnership between Gallas and Toure had formed last season, it was broken up by the untimely African Cup of Nations duty for Kolo and once he came back, never recovered. By the end of the season he was playing at right back after a few shaky appearances at centre back, most notably agianst Chelsea where both he and Gallas were constantly unsettled by the power of Drogba and the longer ball. Although Kolo missed most of pre-season through injury, when he did come back he showed his frailties as a defender, at fault for two of the goals against ajax from long balls. While Kolo has all the attributes of a great defender and yet to reach his peak, the calming and towering presence of a partner like Campbell is needed to get the best out of him.
Philippe Senderos is another contender but is for the moment out with injury after a fairly impressive pre-season game with Sevilla. Looked great when he first broke into the side but constant mistakes have riddled his promising career.
It is now up to Johan Djourou to show what he is made of after an injury ridden loan spell at Birmingham where he played mostly in midfield. A solid performance against FC Twente and another assured display vs West Brom has led to a call up to the Swiss national team looking like good things beckon for the youngster. He is looking to learn from the captain William Gallas who has his doubters but apart from a show of petulance against Birmingham the French defender has looked the best and was mightily impressive especially at the start of last season.
The high and long balls have been the bane of Arsenal in recent seasons but they must defend as a team and make sure they don’t go one down as much as last season otherwise the result may prove costly. Defense may be the key to attack this season and Djourou is in the position where all the other defenders want to be and the Swiss man must grab the chance with both hands.