Swiss daily Le Matin reports that Johan Djourou has signed a 2-year contract extension with us.
Despite some admirable, if inconsistent, performances for us this season playing out-of-position at right-back, JD has come in for harsh criticism from some fans. Let us not forget that this was the same Johan Djourou who returned from a long-term injury last season, and was being acclaimed as the best in the league as he came back to shore up an absolutely horrific defensive unit in the fine form leading up to the Carling Cup final.
Opinions change quickly, and whilst Djourou would be the first to admit that he needs to work on certain areas of his game, he’s still only 25. He’s played more than 130 games for Arsenal, has 30 caps for Switzerland, and it’s great to have a player of that age with that experience. It’s widely accepted that central defenders start to peak towards their thirties, so it’s great news that he’ll be around to strengthen the squad.
Competition for places can only help him in the long-run, although he does need to play at centre-half and not at fullback (where he’s clearly not equipped to play on a regular basis). He really deserves more support than criticism, and people forget as well that he’s an Arsenal boy, and one of our longest-serving players. He’s been at the club almost 10 years, gone all they way from the scholars to the reserves to the first-team, and has rarely ever kicked up a fuss or caused trouble, and always plays with a smile on his face.