Monday, May 26, 2008
Djourou: "I want to play in midfield"
It seems that Johan Djourou is plagued with bad luck this year.
First he was sent by Arsene Wenger on loan to Birmingham so as to get much needed experience of the Premier League.
But Birmingham really struggled throughout and Djourou had to play under extreme pressure trying to keep the team out of the relegation zone.
You might say this was good education for the young lad but it was then followed with his recall back to Arsenal in January.
This was so as to replace some of the gaps left by the Ivorians Toure and Eboue and Cameroon’s Alex Song who were called up on international duty in the Africa Nations Cup.
Djourou, speaking to the Swiss press today, revealed that Wenger assured him that he would get significant game time under his belt on his return.
“When I returned from Birmingham, he assured me that I will get important game time. But I got injured in the first match against Tottenham in the League Cup on January 9".
Indeed he only managed to start one game during which his battle hardened body gave in when he got injured in that fateful Carling Cup semifinal heavy defeat at White Hart Lane.
Now in Geneva getting ready for the forthcoming Euro 2008 he seems to have accepted that he will not be first choice central defender alongside his team mate Philip Senderos.
This is because first choice Patrick Müller (of Lyon) who was expected to miss the tournament is back in the reckoning again.
He ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament of his right knee in early December of this year but has now made a remarkable recovery.
"A team shape emerged on Saturday. Without me. I must accept the choice of the coach”. I am kept out by Patrick Müller. But I also know how much the team needs him" Djourou said.
He went on to state his preference at what position he prefers to play his football.
"This is not a secret. In the future, I want to play in the middle of the pitch". But I am only 21 years old. I still have time before me".
"But my future is always at Arsenal. I owe everything to Arsène Wenger”.
Senderos: “I have nothing to be ashamed”