Who is Cheikhou Kouyate and can he solve Arsenal’s defensive problems?

Cheikhou Kouyate has recently been linked with a move to the Premier League and in particular Arsenal but who is he?

Can Kouyate solve Arsenal's problems?

Can Kouyate solve Arsenal’s problems?

The Senegalese defender is currently playing in Belgium for Anderlecht and has been in impressive form and with him only be 23 will have a lot of time to develop and get better. He can also play in the holding midfielder role so his distribution is very good and not only does he stop attacks but he also starts them from the back, which means that he would certainly fit into Arsene Wenger’s style of play. Kouyate has nearly played 100 league games for Anderlecht and also has five international caps to his name and played at the London Olympics for his country in 2012.

Kouyate has already announced that he will be leaving the Belgian side in the summer and with Anzhi Makhachkala and Borussia Dortmund also said to be keen on the player, Arsenal may have to move quickly if they are to sign him. Arsenal have expressed their interest in the player a few times but that has never came to anything, however this time could be different and it seems a lot more likely that a transfer will come off.

But what does this mean for Arsenal’s other centre backs? At the minute they only really have three centre backs anyway, so it doesn’t mean that somebody has to leave. Sebastien Squillaci is still at the club but he really shouldn’t be and has been an awful signing and I fully expect him to leave this summer. On to the other three and in my opinion there isn’t much between them at all and that is because they are all as inconsistent as each other.

Firstly, Thomas Vermaelen has got quite a lot of praise for his time at Arsenal but for me he hasn’t been that great and at times looked more interested in adding to his goal tally than actually defending his own goal. He can be very good at times and got away with some poor performances in his first season because he did score eight goals but now they have dried up, fans have been more critical. In his defence though he did miss almost a full season through injury so I am possibly being a bit harsh.

Per Mertesacker is another defender that came to Arsenal with a good reputation but on the whole has been too slow and cost his team on several occasions. It is surprising that he has struggled at times because he is a German international and has a lot of caps to his name but put him in a one on one situation with basically any Premier League striker and he is struggling.

Finally, Laurent Koscielny is possibly the most frustrating to me because he looks very good for spells and then he will just have an awful game and seems to lack the required concentration to be a first choice centre back in the Premier League. All the defenders have good qualities and maybe if they weren’t in a team competing in the Champions League and expected to win trophies they would be seen as brilliant players. But to put it simply, Arsenal score enough goals to win trophies they just simply cannot defend and a lot of this is because of how poor they are in the centre of their defence.

Who is to blame?

Who is to blame?

Who is Frank Turner?

Frank Turner was chosen to warm up the Olympic opening ceremony and a lot of people may have been saying who is this guy?

Frank Turner performing at the opening ceremony

It was a surprise to me that he was chosen but after I thought about it for a while I realised it was a masterstroke and he was the perfect choice as he can perform just as brilliantly in front of a few people in a living room as he can in front of millions. With his lyrics so meaningful combined with his punk past he is in a quite rare genre of music which is folk-punk which is most likely the reason why not as many people will have heard of him. But, as he proved he is instantly likeable which inevitably leads to sing-along’s. Frank Turner is an outstanding individual but it is difficult to describe his sound at times, however he manages to draw in the crowds with his down to earth humour and joyful noise, add this to his clear passion for writing and performing music and you have someone that deserves a little more success than he has got in recent years.

‘Poetry of the Deed’ is the album I have chosen  to look at to show off some of Frank Turner’s skills and it begins brilliantly with an upbeat piano sound and tongue in cheek lyrics in  ‘Live Fast Die Old’ and then continues onto the brilliant song, ‘Try This At Home’ which has a punk ethic to it and can be described as quite frantic at times but the energy to it makes you want to repeat it over and over again. It is basically a song about following his lead and has some of the greatest and funniest lyrics in it, ‘No such as thing as rock starts they’re just people who play music and some are just like us and some of them are d**ks.’ This made me laugh because he isn’t taking himself too seriously and is taking a swipe at other artists who love themselves and more like tools that produce the same rubbish over and over again.

Turner has had some praise and some exposure in the past when the first single off the album ‘The Road’ was named hottest record in the world by Zane Lowe on BBC Radio 1 when it was released. It is another first in the air song with an unforgettable chorus and this song in particular shows the charm to his voice which gives his music its personality.

‘Dan’s Song’ is another great song but the whole album seems to lack something and it is a fantastic place for new fans to start but if you are an older fan of Frank Turner then you will see a lot of songs that just aren’t quite up to his earlier standard and they seem to be missing something, in particular, ‘Sunday Nights’, ‘Richard Divine’ and ‘Isabel’. ‘Isabel’ is a strange song though because it has his usual good lyrics and is quite heartfelt but still doesn’t feel quite right.

‘Poetry of the Deed’ is a good album and I would recommend it to a lot of people but there are a lot of flaws to it and it isn’t quite as good as its predecessor ‘Love Ire & Song’ but if you are a big fan of the man then you should definitely get both.