Arsenal and Spurs are much better off without Jonathan Woodgate

Ollie Irish

28th, January 2008

71831418.jpgJonathan Woodgate looked all set to move from ‘Boro to Spurs, but it seems Arsenal may have gazumped their north-London rivals at the eleventh hour. The Guardian reports that the Gunners ‘have also agreed a fee with Middlesbrough for the England international’. Wow, I didn’t see that coming. When I heard that a third club had come in for Woody, I guessed that it might be Man City or Everton, but not Arsenal.
Is Arsene Wenger still so bitter about the 5-1 Carling Cup debacle that he’s willing to buy Jonathan Woodgate to spite Tottenham? Surely not – Woodgate spends more time on the treatment table than on the pitch. He is not a Wenger type of signing (he’s English, for starters).
And yet there is no doubt that Arsenal need back-up in central defence. With Kolo Toure at the Africa Cup of Nations, Arsenal must rely on William Gallas + one from Senderos/Djourou/Gilberto.

Spurs, too, could use a little support at the back – but in Ledley King they already have a super-crock; they don’t need another. Can you imagine how unreliable a central-defensive pairing of King/Woodgate would be?
And why are Middlesbrough – who are by no means safe from the threat of relegation – prepared to get rid of their most talented central defender at this crucial stage of the season? Surely that must set off a few alarm bells in the minds of Wenger and also Juande Ramos.
Woodgate has played a few impressive games for ‘Boro since he joined them from Real Madrid, but he is not good enough for either Arsenal or Spurs, particularly with his record of persistent injuries.
Buyer beware…