As any of you who watched last night's friendly against Hungarian minnows Szombathelyi Haladas will know, the pairing of brothers Gavin and Justin Hoyte as our centre backs is not something we can rely on if we want to prevent teams from scoring against us this season, so it's back to the drawing board for Arsene Wenger in his plans to shore up our defense.
The central area of the back four was our major problem last season, as Kolo Toure missed vital games while on duty with Ivory Coast and then missed more when he came back crocked from the African Cup of Nations. William Gallas, in my humble opinion, has lost a yard of pace, which makes him something of a liability against fast Premier League strikers, while back up Philippe Senderos has become infamous for his errors and seems to suffer from real confidence crises.
Other options include Alexandre Song, who looks promising, and Johan Djourou, who I have to admit I prefer to Senderos. Mind you I'll also defend big Phil as he's saved our bacon on a number of occasions and too many fans conveniently forget that.
However, the news today is that Kolo has contracted malaria and that limits our options severely ahead of the new campaign. Quite what strain of malaria he has, I don't know, but it can be a seriously debilitating disease, and he'll certainly miss the first part of the pre-season fitness sessions at the very least.
So surely Arsene Wenger must now be looking at central defense as his priority. Havard Nordtveit might be able to play a half against Barnet, but expecting him to step into the pace of the Premier League is a bit too far fetched for me at present.
Le Boss hinted after the Barnet game that we would see more signings in the next few weeks, so I'm hoping a big powerful centre back will be among those. As things stand, our Swiss contingent - Djourou and Senderos - are our tallest defenders, but with today's professional footballers mostly taller than six feet, I'm hoping Arsene will be looking to bring in someone with real presence to help the Gunners defend our weak spot, especially at set pieces.
With any luck Le Gaffer will have someone in mind who can be similarly successful to Bacary Sagna and slot straight into the Arsenal set up. Gallas will be 31 next month and is therefore unlikely to have his contract renewed when it expires at the end of next season. No doubt we'll see Song covering more in defense this coming season, but I still fancy him as a defensive midfielder.
But who should Wenger target? Are there any particular central defenders you'd like to see at Arsenal this season? Or do you think that the Gunners have sufficient cover in that particular area and that other positions should be our priority? Share your comments here