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Almunia`s working up his CV

When, last season, Wenger responded to two glaring early season bloopers from Lehmann against Fulham and Blackburn by replacing him with Almunia he was, not for the first time, taking a risk with a crowd favourite. Despite his eccentricities Lehmann was a very good keeper though at times a costly one. It wasn`t the first time Wenger had dropped Lehmann but this time there wasn`t to be any going back.

Few had confidence in the Spanish keeper but he kept his place for the rest of the season enduring the backbiting and contempt of his predecessor in much the same manner that Kahn had endured as first choice for the German national team for many years. An experience that Wenger has claimed has toughened him up.

Many had their doubts about the wisdom of replacing a proven international keeper with Almunia. It isn`t hard to understand why as he came as little more than a journeyman back up keeper from his native Spain. As a 27 year old at the time never having played international football at any level and with very few first team appearances to his credit it is hard to see quite how he had even appeared on the Arsenal scouts radar.

"Almunia came here without a CV so he had to make a name with his performances. It was not easy because he had to get experience at a big club" said Wenger at the time he installed the Spaniard as his first choice. "He had never played for a big club before and made some mistakes, but he has gained confidence and calmness. He is a good keeper" he continued.

Wenger knew he was taking a chance because, no matter how talented a keeper might be, playing for a club like Arsenal tests the mental strength time and again in big games in front of big crowds. Mistakes are magnified at such a club in major contests. Many promising keepers careers have been destroyed by that pressure.

"I knew he was good but how could he be Arsenal`s keeper? Only by playing. Everyone makes mistakes. Van der Sar makes mistakes." Wenger explains.

"But it was more difficult for Almunia because he was already under pressure from an outstanding goalkeeper behind him.

That was a tough test. If you play bad games, you are under pressure immediately."

So how has Almunia grown over almost 2 seasons as number 1? He played last season with a great deal of pressure on him both from public examination and the scorn of Lehmann as he scoffed at his replacement. "I'm an easy-going person," Manuel said. "I like to treat everyone with respect and I see everyone as equals. I treat people the way I would like to be treated myself. To have someone here who hates me is just amazing. I know he hates me."

But, by and large, it was pressure he was able to bear successfully as he made some match winning contributions including a penalty save against Spurs in the home fixture last season. This season he has been able to perform with a degree of comfort in the knowledge that he is largely unchallenged as first choice and seems noticeably more assured and confident. The criticism that he never makes match winning saves has been dispelled with a number of excellent stops. That`s not to say that there haven`t been shaky moments. His nervous, edgy performance against Spurs in this season`s home fixture after being lobbed by Bentley went some way to costing us points in that game. But he has recovered and he has been a solid performer.

That keepers make mistakes is true of every top class keeper. It`s how they deal with those and get back under the magnifying glass that distinguishes the top keepers from the rest. So far this season Almunia has dealt with any rare, below par performances with solid composure and determination. Though still short of this 32nd birthday, a good age for a keeper, he will probably never carry the CV of more illustrious names. Maybe in the minds of many that will always count against him but those less easily persuaded by such trappings will perhaps recognise that he is at least worthy of his place among the best in the league.

If we do manage to pick up a trophy with Manuel between the posts he should, at the least, qualify as a candidate for any future 'unsung heroes` features.



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The Journalist

Writer: Amos Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday March 24 2009

Time: 8:58AM

Your Comments

Still not Arsenal quality
Ozi Gooner
Still not Arsenal quality
Ozi Gooner
I think we can do better..good for him tho he has improved. I'd have Shay Given over him anyday.
number14
I think we can do better..good for him tho he has improved. I'd have Shay Given over him anyday.
number14
Its funny though. Wenger must be one of the most patient managers in the world...he can obviously do better. It must be comforting for players when he sticks with them..though much to the chagrin of fans.
number14
Its funny though. Wenger must be one of the most patient managers in the world...he can obviously do better. It must be comforting for players when he sticks with them..though much to the chagrin of fans.
number14
"He is a good keeper". I agree. He gets the job done well enough.
Warri Gooner
"He is a good keeper". I agree. He gets the job done well enough.
Warri Gooner
do we always have to settle 4 less? he is a good back up. nuffin more
gunnerchi
do we always have to settle 4 less? he is a good back up. nuffin more
gunnerchi
Cant see any other keeper coming in and improving,he does what is asked of him.We dont have the best CB's in the world maybe with that sorted we would see a better Almunia
ajwb
Cant see any other keeper coming in and improving,he does what is asked of him.We dont have the best CB's in the world maybe with that sorted we would see a better Almunia
ajwb
I think he has certainly grown and that he is a good 'keeper, but he's not a great one. The ghost of Seaman looms large, but I think Lehmann met that mantle. Whether his personality had a baring on that is open to debate. I would like to see a better goalie at Arsenal but I'm not unhappy with Almunia per se. Someone once put it to me that Lehmann is a goalie that makes mistakes but wins you big matches, Almunia is a keeper who rarely makes mistakes but never wins you matches. My concern with Manuel is also around his big game temperament, his most notable errors in an Arsenal shirt have come against United (x2), Chelsea (x2), Barcelona, Spurs and you might argue he should have done better with Liverpool's goal against us in December. The problem is, I think the position of goalkeeper is dying on its arse, I don't see many class keepers anywhere bar Buffon and Casillas. The best in the Premiership is probably Reina and he is not close to the Schmeichel/ Seaman vintage. Given is a great shot stopper but he never catches crosses and couldn't organise a ***** up in a brewery, let alone a back four. I must say I like the look of Fabianski though, I think this time next year he should be pushing for the shirt quite hard.
Little Dutch
I think he has certainly grown and that he is a good 'keeper, but he's not a great one. The ghost of Seaman looms large, but I think Lehmann met that mantle. Whether his personality had a baring on that is open to debate. I would like to see a better goalie at Arsenal but I'm not unhappy with Almunia per se. Someone once put it to me that Lehmann is a goalie that makes mistakes but wins you big matches, Almunia is a keeper who rarely makes mistakes but never wins you matches. My concern with Manuel is also around his big game temperament, his most notable errors in an Arsenal shirt have come against United (x2), Chelsea (x2), Barcelona, Spurs and you might argue he should have done better with Liverpool's goal against us in December. The problem is, I think the position of goalkeeper is dying on its arse, I don't see many class keepers anywhere bar Buffon and Casillas. The best in the Premiership is probably Reina and he is not close to the Schmeichel/ Seaman vintage. Given is a great shot stopper but he never catches crosses and couldn't organise a ***** up in a brewery, let alone a back four. I must say I like the look of Fabianski though, I think this time next year he should be pushing for the shirt quite hard.
Little Dutch
I have a question for you LD. Assuming you went in 2006, is the best way to get to Villareal to fly to Valencia and then train? What about places to stay? Am i best seeing what package Arsenal offer first as prices to Valencia seem to be at 180 each way already?
paul_ownz
I have a question for you LD. Assuming you went in 2006, is the best way to get to Villareal to fly to Valencia and then train? What about places to stay? Am i best seeing what package Arsenal offer first as prices to Valencia seem to be at 180 each way already?
paul_ownz
Last time I went with the club, but that was out of necessity because my match ticket arrived so late. The club never do decent packages for Euro away games, I think your best bet is to fly to Ali Cante or Barcelona and get a train. We usually fly to a neighbouring city and get a train, trains in Europe are cheap, reliable and often have a bar!
Little Dutch
Last time I went with the club, but that was out of necessity because my match ticket arrived so late. The club never do decent packages for Euro away games, I think your best bet is to fly to Ali Cante or Barcelona and get a train. We usually fly to a neighbouring city and get a train, trains in Europe are cheap, reliable and often have a bar!
Little Dutch
Easter holidays are a lousy time to be drawn away in the CL!
Little Dutch
Easter holidays are a lousy time to be drawn away in the CL!
Little Dutch
good on ya amos, i think this article is way overdue. almunia has been good for us this season. our centrebacks have not done him any favours at times this season. but i think he has shown enough to prove he should be our regular no 1. i cant think of any other keeper who is available that can fit as well in our team. thing i like about almunia is that he always seems to be rallying the troops, especially around set pieces. he seems to have a great attitude and really tries hard to be a good shotstopper. he deserves his time as our no 1. as for fabianski, he will a great keeper for us in the future. but for now, almunia for me!
supersof
good on ya amos, i think this article is way overdue. almunia has been good for us this season. our centrebacks have not done him any favours at times this season. but i think he has shown enough to prove he should be our regular no 1. i cant think of any other keeper who is available that can fit as well in our team. thing i like about almunia is that he always seems to be rallying the troops, especially around set pieces. he seems to have a great attitude and really tries hard to be a good shotstopper. he deserves his time as our no 1. as for fabianski, he will a great keeper for us in the future. but for now, almunia for me!
supersof
Agree LD, those three games in April will surely show us if he has it to stay no 1.
alwaysgunner
Agree LD, those three games in April will surely show us if he has it to stay no 1.
alwaysgunner
Cheers. I will look at flights for Barcelona/Alicante
paul_ownz
Cheers. I will look at flights for Barcelona/Alicante
paul_ownz
Arsenal.com have just realeased some info on that game LD. "We are due to receive an allocation of 1550 tickets for this fixture, with a further 955 restricted view tickets to be received dependant on ticket sales." 955 Restricted view??? Also tickets are 72 pound, the most expensive tickets i have seen for an away game.
paul_ownz
Arsenal.com have just realeased some info on that game LD. "We are due to receive an allocation of 1550 tickets for this fixture, with a further 955 restricted view tickets to be received dependant on ticket sales." 955 Restricted view??? Also tickets are 72 pound, the most expensive tickets i have seen for an away game.
paul_ownz
I always really enjoy Amos's articles- well written, objective, and more often than not picking up on themes that are either overlooked or just plain unfashionable in the blog-sphere. I've always liked Almunia and think it's unfair to say he never makes game winning saves. No disrespect to Ozi but I get a bit tired reading "not arsenal quality" about pretty much every player that isn't flavour of the month (or season) as if bloggers have a better idea of what constitutes quality than the boss... The irony being that many were saying the same about Lehman not so long ago...
KaoTeK
I always really enjoy Amos's articles- well written, objective, and more often than not picking up on themes that are either overlooked or just plain unfashionable in the blog-sphere. I've always liked Almunia and think it's unfair to say he never makes game winning saves. No disrespect to Ozi but I get a bit tired reading "not arsenal quality" about pretty much every player that isn't flavour of the month (or season) as if bloggers have a better idea of what constitutes quality than the boss... The irony being that many were saying the same about Lehman not so long ago...
KaoTeK
Almunia has surprisingly very good stats, for what it's worth. The Telegraph ranks him as the PL's 4th best keeper, behind VDS, Reina and Cech (in that order). He's 6th best in clean sheets, 5th best in successful passes and best in penalties saved.
jaelle
Ask anybody who uses this site regularly, they will tell you that I've never once since his first game for Arsenal, changed my opinion of Almunia not being good enough. Sure he's improved from the bumbling joke that could not stop a beachball at his near post in the CL final, but he's still not Arsenal number one material. Seaman, was Arsenal quality until maybe a little before his last season. Lehmann was Arsenal quality until half a season before he left. Almunia has never been, and sadly probably never will be, Arsenal quality. It's my opinion I'm as entitled to that as anybody is one to the contrary.
Ozi Gooner
Almunia has surprisingly very good stats, for what it's worth. The Telegraph ranks him as the PL's 4th best keeper, behind VDS, Reina and Cech (in that order). He's 6th best in clean sheets, 5th best in successful passes and best in penalties saved.
jaelle
Ask anybody who uses this site regularly, they will tell you that I've never once since his first game for Arsenal, changed my opinion of Almunia not being good enough. Sure he's improved from the bumbling joke that could not stop a beachball at his near post in the CL final, but he's still not Arsenal number one material. Seaman, was Arsenal quality until maybe a little before his last season. Lehmann was Arsenal quality until half a season before he left. Almunia has never been, and sadly probably never will be, Arsenal quality. It's my opinion I'm as entitled to that as anybody is one to the contrary.
Ozi Gooner
Yeah, I got stuck in restricted biew last time around, though it is usually sit where you want in Europe. It's not a massive restriction, you just have to peer through a bit of perspex. The tickets are incredibly expensive, they weren't that dear last time!
Little Dutch
Yeah, I got stuck in restricted biew last time around, though it is usually sit where you want in Europe. It's not a massive restriction, you just have to peer through a bit of perspex. The tickets are incredibly expensive, they weren't that dear last time!
Little Dutch
Ticket prices are an absolute joke - that's about 80euros. How long are football supporters supposed to take the brunt of this?
shewore
Ticket prices are an absolute joke - that's about 80euros. How long are football supporters supposed to take the brunt of this?
shewore
I'll agree with the majority here. I don't think Almunia has the quality to be a world class keeper, but that said I don't think we're in any rush to go out and buy one. If a better keeper became available (but who?) then I won't be massively sad to see Almunia dropped, but at the same time I'm happy with him in the side. My main gripe about the guy is how he appears to be glued to his goal line. In our FA Cup match against Hull I think I saw Fabianski come out more times that I have seen Manuel in his whole career. Fabianski is always busy, always in a hurry and that's a brilliant quality from a keeper. Almunia always seems to like to pause and waiting till the photos are taken before distributing the ball or making a save. Case in point is Bentley's goal from 40 yards, maybe I'm being uber critical but I'm sure Almunia could have made the save easily but tried to make it look spectacular but fked it up.
Rocky7
Sorry, with Lehmann, meant half a season before last, when he started to go from eccentric to straight nutters.
Ozi Gooner
I'll agree with the majority here. I don't think Almunia has the quality to be a world class keeper, but that said I don't think we're in any rush to go out and buy one. If a better keeper became available (but who?) then I won't be massively sad to see Almunia dropped, but at the same time I'm happy with him in the side. My main gripe about the guy is how he appears to be glued to his goal line. In our FA Cup match against Hull I think I saw Fabianski come out more times that I have seen Manuel in his whole career. Fabianski is always busy, always in a hurry and that's a brilliant quality from a keeper. Almunia always seems to like to pause and waiting till the photos are taken before distributing the ball or making a save. Case in point is Bentley's goal from 40 yards, maybe I'm being uber critical but I'm sure Almunia could have made the save easily but tried to make it look spectacular but fked it up.
Rocky7
Sorry, with Lehmann, meant half a season before last, when he started to go from eccentric to straight nutters.
Ozi Gooner
"The problem is, I think the position of goalkeeper is dying on its arse, I don't see many class keepers anywhere bar Buffon and Casillas." -- I agree there aren't many world class keepers around anymore. Even Buffon and Casillas haven't had the best of seasons. Buffon hasn't been his best since the 2006 wc. For me the best keeper in Europe right now is Julio Cesar at Inter (Brazil's #1) -- his performances the past 2 seasons have been far better than Buffon's and better than Casillas this season (they were pretty much equal last season). For me Julio is better than Reina or Cech (who hasn't been the same since his injury) and I'd take him over VDS, even with VDS' good record this season. Julio singlehandedly prevented Inter from conceding at the San Siro against Man Utd. The thing that gets me is that when gooners say they want a world class keeper, they don't seem to have any credible suggestions: there are very few world class keepers around, those that exist are not available (too expensive, don't want to leave their clubs). I've heard gooners say Given is better than Almunia and he's world class -- frankly I'm not convinced. He's a fine keeper, he may be just as good as Almunia but I haven't seen that much to be impressed to say he's better. If he's so world class, why hasn't a big club snatched him up? I also have to ask, how would a world class keeper like VDS perform if he had our defense in front of him?
jaelle
"The problem is, I think the position of goalkeeper is dying on its arse, I don't see many class keepers anywhere bar Buffon and Casillas." -- I agree there aren't many world class keepers around anymore. Even Buffon and Casillas haven't had the best of seasons. Buffon hasn't been his best since the 2006 wc. For me the best keeper in Europe right now is Julio Cesar at Inter (Brazil's #1) -- his performances the past 2 seasons have been far better than Buffon's and better than Casillas this season (they were pretty much equal last season). For me Julio is better than Reina or Cech (who hasn't been the same since his injury) and I'd take him over VDS, even with VDS' good record this season. Julio singlehandedly prevented Inter from conceding at the San Siro against Man Utd. The thing that gets me is that when gooners say they want a world class keeper, they don't seem to have any credible suggestions: there are very few world class keepers around, those that exist are not available (too expensive, don't want to leave their clubs). I've heard gooners say Given is better than Almunia and he's world class -- frankly I'm not convinced. He's a fine keeper, he may be just as good as Almunia but I haven't seen that much to be impressed to say he's better. If he's so world class, why hasn't a big club snatched him up? I also have to ask, how would a world class keeper like VDS perform if he had our defense in front of him?
jaelle
I don't think there are many out there who are better than Manuel and I think Lukasz will push him next year and make them both better players. I agree with LD that the level of goalkeepers has dropped. There are no more keepers like seaman who dominate in the air and really comand a penalty area. When you consider that Sunderland paid 9M for craig Gordon and we paid about 2.50 it seems quite laughable.
PENZ
I don't think there are many out there who are better than Manuel and I think Lukasz will push him next year and make them both better players. I agree with LD that the level of goalkeepers has dropped. There are no more keepers like seaman who dominate in the air and really comand a penalty area. When you consider that Sunderland paid 9M for craig Gordon and we paid about 2.50 it seems quite laughable.
PENZ
Don't worry fellas, we have a world-class keeper in the making (Fabianski)..I'm sure come next season he will be competing with Almunia in EPL and CL games...he will start that by helping us win the FA cup ;)
CoastarianGooner
Don't worry fellas, we have a world-class keeper in the making (Fabianski)..I'm sure come next season he will be competing with Almunia in EPL and CL games...he will start that by helping us win the FA cup ;)
CoastarianGooner
By the way, very nice article Amos..cheers!
CoastarianGooner
By the way, very nice article Amos..cheers!
CoastarianGooner
Alumnia's save on Motta's shot at the Emirates against Roma was world class and a tie winning save. If Roma would have gotten an away goal early, I don't think we would have prevailed in the tie.
gunnerkid107
Alumnia's save on Motta's shot at the Emirates against Roma was world class and a tie winning save. If Roma would have gotten an away goal early, I don't think we would have prevailed in the tie.
gunnerkid107
Why hasn't this interview with Bendtner gotten more coverage? http://arsenal-mania.com/articles/3106553/Bendtner-defends-himself-from-English-press.html
jaelle
Why hasn't this interview with Bendtner gotten more coverage? http://arsenal-mania.com/articles/3106553/Bendtner-defends-himself-from-English-press.html
jaelle
Is it really that there aren't as many good keepers as there used to be, or that the athleticism and power of strikers has improved dramatically? If Almunia can help us to a trophy or two until Fabianski is ready, he can still be a 'minor' Arsenal legend.
elbondo
Is it really that there aren't as many good keepers as there used to be, or that the athleticism and power of strikers has improved dramatically? If Almunia can help us to a trophy or two until Fabianski is ready, he can still be a 'minor' Arsenal legend.
elbondo
Good one Amos. After the Newcastle game, my thoughts were along the same lines. He's done enough to justify his No.1 position. He has won us a few points while losing very few in the past 2 seasons. Whilst LD makes a good point about him not making world class saves, I have a feeling that its a matter of time coming. Almunia is very much a confidence player which should be higher right now. He's coming off his line far more often these days (a very valid criticism last season) and I can finally see him shouting at the defence, which also never happened last season. On the negatives however, his body language during the penalties against Roma was extremely shaky/negative, and I was disappointed to see that. You need a keeper who makes the opposition feel that he will save atleast one penalty, not one who doesnt look like he believes he will save one himself.
prits
Good one Amos. After the Newcastle game, my thoughts were along the same lines. He's done enough to justify his No.1 position. He has won us a few points while losing very few in the past 2 seasons. Whilst LD makes a good point about him not making world class saves, I have a feeling that its a matter of time coming. Almunia is very much a confidence player which should be higher right now. He's coming off his line far more often these days (a very valid criticism last season) and I can finally see him shouting at the defence, which also never happened last season. On the negatives however, his body language during the penalties against Roma was extremely shaky/negative, and I was disappointed to see that. You need a keeper who makes the opposition feel that he will save atleast one penalty, not one who doesnt look like he believes he will save one himself.
prits
I have read it jaelle and it's spot on, scandinavian papers have some moral standards where the english press seems to have none. It is also important to remember that Benthners mother tongue is Danish, English is his second language, show me 20 year old English footballers that can speak theyr own language properly, not to mention a second language. On the topic of goalkeepers I can't see much wrong with Almunia, yeas he is prone to an odd mistake but show me a keeper that does not (Reina against utd for example) all of them have bad day's and Almunia has been let down by his defenders far more often than he has let them down.
Armory
I have read it jaelle and it's spot on, scandinavian papers have some moral standards where the english press seems to have none. It is also important to remember that Benthners mother tongue is Danish, English is his second language, show me 20 year old English footballers that can speak theyr own language properly, not to mention a second language. On the topic of goalkeepers I can't see much wrong with Almunia, yeas he is prone to an odd mistake but show me a keeper that does not (Reina against utd for example) all of them have bad day's and Almunia has been let down by his defenders far more often than he has let them down.
Armory
Jaelle, that article sums up something I've been feeling for a while. More of a danger to us losing players due to a lack of trophies (if that were true sp*rs would have no players) is that the media is a joke and are clearly trying to make stories out of nothing with our players. Why stay and deal with that *****.
TPowell
Jaelle, that article sums up something I've been feeling for a while. More of a danger to us losing players due to a lack of trophies (if that were true sp*rs would have no players) is that the media is a joke and are clearly trying to make stories out of nothing with our players. Why stay and deal with that *****.
TPowell
Almunia is #1 because we don't have a better choice and the goalkeeping market is down. There just aren't that many 'world class' keepers out there. He kept five clean sheets of six games previous to the Newcastle game, saved a penalty in the match and through some pretty dire defence and plain luck, let one through in that match. If a stopper keeping a clean sheet isn't a 'match winner' then it's a tough and thankless life between the sticks. He can only be as good as the players in front of him - that's why Given is sitting in 10th place and yo-yo'ing up and down the table, whilst we've been here or here abouts for the season and now (thankfully) steadying the ship and moving in he right direction in all competitions. Sure he commits howlers (but one must say less and less) but being a regular reader here.... so far only Arshavin has escaped unscathed from criticism this season. So far.... Form ebbs and flows and is sometime steady. If a keeper keeps five of six clean sheets, in general you ain't going to read about it in your sports pages. If a striker scores in five of six games, he's an unbackable genius. Lay off Almunia. He may not be the best, but he's up there and he's OUR best.
the yza
Almunia is #1 because we don't have a better choice and the goalkeeping market is down. There just aren't that many 'world class' keepers out there. He kept five clean sheets of six games previous to the Newcastle game, saved a penalty in the match and through some pretty dire defence and plain luck, let one through in that match. If a stopper keeping a clean sheet isn't a 'match winner' then it's a tough and thankless life between the sticks. He can only be as good as the players in front of him - that's why Given is sitting in 10th place and yo-yo'ing up and down the table, whilst we've been here or here abouts for the season and now (thankfully) steadying the ship and moving in he right direction in all competitions. Sure he commits howlers (but one must say less and less) but being a regular reader here.... so far only Arshavin has escaped unscathed from criticism this season. So far.... Form ebbs and flows and is sometime steady. If a keeper keeps five of six clean sheets, in general you ain't going to read about it in your sports pages. If a striker scores in five of six games, he's an unbackable genius. Lay off Almunia. He may not be the best, but he's up there and he's OUR best.
the yza
Almunia also gets over excited in big games. I remember a game this season where we were under pressure and the game needed cooling down. after one such attack manuel collected the ball and threw it straight away to Nasri but it fell to an opposing player who collected and this led to a goal. He can't read the game very well.
Gael-Force
Almunia also gets over excited in big games. I remember a game this season where we were under pressure and the game needed cooling down. after one such attack manuel collected the ball and threw it straight away to Nasri but it fell to an opposing player who collected and this led to a goal. He can't read the game very well.
Gael-Force
Almunia has had a very good season for us, imo as the back four have not helped him in some games. He has proved alot of people wrong who felt he couldn't do a job for The Arsenal.
hackneyval
Almunia has had a very good season for us, imo as the back four have not helped him in some games. He has proved alot of people wrong who felt he couldn't do a job for The Arsenal.
hackneyval
Ozi- I've been around long enough not to have to ask, I'm not having a go at you nor your opinion, just venting at that particular turn of phrase, nothing personal mate...
KaoTeK
Ozi- I've been around long enough not to have to ask, I'm not having a go at you nor your opinion, just venting at that particular turn of phrase, nothing personal mate...
KaoTeK
Alminua has been pretty solid. Always catches or makes a good punch (apart from newcastle for the penalty) and hold onto low shots or pushes them away (apart from sprus at home). He's making very few mistakes, I hardly remember. As for Lehman, that guy was a top keeper, but a lot of people forget how that guy made mistake after mistake every season. The one that sticks out for me was against Chelsea CL 2004, spilling Makalele's shot for Lampard to score. But there were a lot more. Then he made brill saves like against Newcastle from Bellamy's back heel. I feel A LOT more comfortable with Almunia in goal than Mad Jens, and he's 32 so will probably still get better.
ian7
Alminua has been pretty solid. Always catches or makes a good punch (apart from newcastle for the penalty) and hold onto low shots or pushes them away (apart from sprus at home). He's making very few mistakes, I hardly remember. As for Lehman, that guy was a top keeper, but a lot of people forget how that guy made mistake after mistake every season. The one that sticks out for me was against Chelsea CL 2004, spilling Makalele's shot for Lampard to score. But there were a lot more. Then he made brill saves like against Newcastle from Bellamy's back heel. I feel A LOT more comfortable with Almunia in goal than Mad Jens, and he's 32 so will probably still get better.
ian7
I am afraid to say that Almunia is average at best, he does not command his area, and I have never heard him shout / command his back four unless it is to organise a defensive wall from a free kick, I would like to see Lucas step up next season, as I feel he has the potential to be very, very good. On the subject of talking at the back, I think that it is a problem all 5 of them have, they never seem to communicate with each other, leading to some silly schoolboy errors at times. Very frustrating! On the subject of talking at the back, I think that it is a problem all 5 of them have, they never seem to communicate with each other, leading to some silly schoolboy errors at times. Very frustrating!
ukgooner
I am afraid to say that Almunia is average at best, he does not command his area, and I have never heard him shout / command his back four unless it is to organise a defensive wall from a free kick, I would like to see Lucas step up next season, as I feel he has the potential to be very, very good. On the subject of talking at the back, I think that it is a problem all 5 of them have, they never seem to communicate with each other, leading to some silly schoolboy errors at times. Very frustrating! On the subject of talking at the back, I think that it is a problem all 5 of them have, they never seem to communicate with each other, leading to some silly schoolboy errors at times. Very frustrating!
ukgooner
The 'Almunia for England' story is all over Newsnow again. Surely he's as good as David James, Ben Foster, or Robert Green? Peter Shilton is all upset about the prospect, but I didn't hear a peep from him or anybody else when Calgary, Alberta, Canada born and bred (until 16 years old) Owen Hargreaves decided to play for England? How can UEFA force 6+5 rules on club football when national team rules are so lax?
elbondo
The 'Almunia for England' story is all over Newsnow again. Surely he's as good as David James, Ben Foster, or Robert Green? Peter Shilton is all upset about the prospect, but I didn't hear a peep from him or anybody else when Calgary, Alberta, Canada born and bred (until 16 years old) Owen Hargreaves decided to play for England? How can UEFA force 6+5 rules on club football when national team rules are so lax?
elbondo
He is not above Foster. But he would be in the squad.
Tom14
He is not above Foster. But he would be in the squad.
Tom14
Very average the penalty shootout in rome he wouldnt even commit and was caught flat footed numerous times still believe Cech is the pick of the keepers in the premiership
highmark998
Very average the penalty shootout in rome he wouldnt even commit and was caught flat footed numerous times still believe Cech is the pick of the keepers in the premiership
highmark998
Reserving judgment til the Chelsea/Liverpool and CL games. IMO he's not as good as Foster though.
shewore
Reserving judgment til the Chelsea/Liverpool and CL games. IMO he's not as good as Foster though.
shewore
 

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