Djourou keen to reward Gunners

The 24-year-old, who featured in Switzerland’s 2-2 draw with

England on Saturday, played a key role for the Gunners last season

after sitting out the previous campaign with a serious knee injury.

While Djourou admitted it has been great to be playing football

again over the past year, he has apologised to fans for their poor

end to the season. “For the team, it was difficult because we were

playing for so many trophies at the same time and we were so close

to getting one,” he said. “Last season, I didn’t play a game and to

play so many games and have a good season, I was happy. “Obviously,

now we want to do better as a team and as individuals to get

something. “I think that the fans deserve and the manager deserves

something. “We need to get better, get stronger, and really prepare

well for next season.” Arsene Wenger’s side have been linked with a

host of summer signings, including the likes of Scott Parker, Alex

Chamberlain and Peter Odemwingie. Djourou says he is not sure how

many of the mooted signings will come to fruition and how many

changes there will be. “I don’t know – that’s for the manager to

answer,” he said, when asked about the summer plans. “I think

competition is always good. That pushes you in your position. “When

you want to make a team better, you have to have a good squad. “I

think that we had a good squad but if players with experience or

different players can bring quality, they’re welcome.” Djourou

performed admirably at centre-back yesterday to help Switzerland

secure a draw against a subdued England at Wembley. Goals from

Frank Lampard and Ashley Young helped England rescue a point for

Fabio Capello’s side, who had trailed 2-0 after two Tranquillo

Barnetta free-kicks. “We weren’t overconfident because we knew that

the English have great qualities and when you play such a great

team, you know that, 2-0 up, it’s not finished,” he said. “They

showed that in the second half and they came at us really well. “I

think we can be proud of ourselves. “We came here to Wembley and

played and I think that not many teams have done that before. “We

gave them a lot of trouble by playing the ball, and that’s

something new for us because, before, we were struggling to make a

few passes. “We made a few mistakes on the goals that we lost,

cheap goals, but that’s football and you have to take those risks

to get better.” Despite an impressive display overall, Djourou was

at fault for England’s first goal after scything down Gunners

team-mate Jack Wilshere to give away a penalty. And the defender

admits he expects to be at the butt of a few jokes when Wenger’s

side return for pre-season. “Jack will give me stick because of the

penalty, of course,” he added. “I had to make the tackle because I

thought I could get the ball, but he played well and he got the

penalty. “Overall, I think Switzerland did well and ultimately we

could’ve won the game. “But it was just a bit of a pity at the

end.”