Saturday, January 30, 2010

Sol Campbell v Philippe Senderos

Why did Arsene Wenger dump Philippe Senderos while preferring the 35 year old Sol Campbell whose signing surprised many, if not Sol himself.
One reason may be the style of play the 2 have. They are similar in height, with Senderos being 6'3 and Campbell 6'2. However, Sol seems to be the more smooth player; this may be due to when he was at Tottenham's youth set up and when he first came up he was a striker. I do not believe that Senderos was ever a striker in his youth career. Arsene may also look at their passing during games, which would show that Campbell plays more short balls, and Senderos plays longer balls.
Looking at one comparision which shows both against Manchester United. Senderos chalkboard (Guardian chalkboards are very very nice) was from the 06-07 season with the home fixture, Arsenal winning 2-1. Campbell's comes from Portsmouth's away 2-0 loss to United last year.

by Guardian Chalkboards

As shown, Senderos plays more long balls than Campbell.

In 2 more games from Senderos, from the 07-08 season against Bolton away and City away, he shows a tendacy to play a few more long balls than Campbell.

by Guardian Chalkboards

And finally, here are 2 games from last year for Sol Campbell, both against Arsenal.

by Guardian Chalkboards

To conclude, I believe Arsene Wenger replaced Philippe Senderos with Sol Campbell based on their passing styles. Will this turn out to be a good move? We can start with tomorrow's game against Manchester United.

Methodolgy: Games against good teams were preferrable in this analysis. There's a huge difference in defending against Manchester United then against Derby County.

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