UK time is: 00:50:48
Vital Login
Social Login

Choose your club

Other Sites

Network Navigation

Vital Partners

'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Fabianski still has time

My first thought after the Wigan game in which we fashioned an unlikely defeat in large part due to an error by Fabianski was that Wenger was wrong to put him into that game but maybe it was less of a reactive decision than I at first thought. If Almunia was genuinely injured then Wenger would have had no real choice but there was a suspicion following the defeat at WHL that with an outside chance of the title gone if Fabianski was to be allowed a run then this would have to be the time.

His performance in the CL game away to Porto didn`t help his confidence or any confidence in him but there wasn`t a great deal to lose in terms of our league position either. Had we won all the remaining PL matches after the Spurs game we would still have only managed 3rd place. It would be the sort of calculation Wenger would have made in deciding to risk a reputation damaged in Portugal in the belief Fabianski could redeem himself. If Wenger was to make a decision in the summer upon recruiting another keeper it would have been important to take advantage of the last 4 PL games of the season to test Lukasz in competitive match conditions without risking anything other than the ire of followers of the club. The results wouldn`t have helped him greatly.

In a perverse way the errors Fabianski made in the games against Wigan and Blackburn could be seen as more encouraging than a fundamental flaw in technique or decision making might be. They were handling errors which you would expect could be remedied if confidence could be acquired but that would only ever come about by accepting the mistakes in games that have no consequence in return for the opportunity to learn a lesson. The problems he encountered in the Blackburn game were ones that Lehmann struggled with throughout his Arsenal career without ever really mastering. That aside his performance at Blackburn was good with some technically very good saves.

David Seaman, 3 times a title winner with Arsenal, feels that Wenger might stay with both Fabianski and Almunia next season. Web site claims in an exclusive interview that Seaman told them:

"They`re still learning, especially Fabianski - people forget how young he is. He`s a great talent but he still needs to develop his all round game. It will come with age, but he`s certainly a talent.

"Then you look at Almunia who has all the experience...I think he`s going to have a problem in keeping Fabianski out. It`s great though to have competition for that one spot, Arsenal need it to be competitive as it will bring out the best in them.

"I think he`ll stay with the first choice pair he has at the moment. If you include Vito [Mannone] he`s got three with first team experience.

"Then you look at Wojciech Szczesny coming through and you have to say he`s a fascinating prospect. I think he may be a little young to throw straight into the first team as being in goal for Arsenal is very different to being in goal at Brentford. He is a great, great talent though - so Arsene`s got four top players at his disposal.

"I don`t know for sure what he`ll do but I accept it`s a tough situation when the fans are calling for change."

The threatened protests next season if Arsenal haven`t signed another keeper won`t persuade Wenger to sign someone just to appease discontented followers which suggests that if he does sign anyone it would have to be one with a proven pedigree at a high level rather than players like Joe Hart who despite a good season with Birmingham would still be less proven than Almunia. If he can`t command a place in the Manchester City squad in front of Given why would we imagine he would fare any better at the Emirates?

If a keeper is to be signed then as Wenger did with the then 34 year old Lehmann he would be safer in terms of supporter credibility in opting for an experienced and established player with a notable CV to replace Almunia whose lack of playing credentials has and will always be counted against him. That would still leave Fabianski space and the time his relative youth allows to convince those that the calamities can be eliminated in the hope that the much lauded Szczesny will eventually realise the potential that many see in him. Both need someone else to bear the weight of expectation which has proved such a burden for Almunia.

It would be brave, though not untypical, of Wenger to go into next season with the same keepers but maybe this is an occasion when it makes sense to give the discontented what they want and sign an international keeper with a proven track record just to take the heat off that aspect of the team. There would be little point in signing another promising keeper without the badges on his arm that would allow his errors to be dismissed as readily as they would for a keeper with a 'name'. Finding such a keeper is easier said than done. I don't suppose David James would provide quite the same excitement in the playground that signing Buffon might do but how many such keepers are there? It would mean the sacrifice of a decent keeper in Almunia who in many ways might seem a better number two at present than Fabianski but if it`s ever right to offer a ritual bloodletting to followers then that would be the one that would have to be made.

It's a cruel game. There will still be no gain without pain for Fabianski but maybe for Almunia pain relief will be the more pragmatic act though replacing him with someone demonstrably better rather than potentially better isn`t as straightforward as we might wish it to be. We already have potential enough.

Join Vital Arsenal

Want to comment on this article? It's easy to register , simply click the link and enjoy getting involved (you can even win prizes!)

Message Board To visit the message board, click here. Get involved

Use your social login to comment on front page articles. Login using you Facebook, Twitter, Google or LinkedIn accounts and have your say!

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: Amos Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday May 17 2010

Time: 12:03PM

Your Comments

My sentiments exactly, I think given the fact that we have 3 young keepers, none of whom are quite ready yet to play week in week out at the level we require, a stopgap Lehmann style signing wuld be the best thing. Almunia will go I think, Wenger was very candid after the Spurs game when he said, "I never said Almunia was my long term number 1." I think that will have hurt Almunia sufficiently to hasten his departure and I often wonder if his recent "injury" was as much to do with hurt pride on his part than giving Fabianski a chance.
Little Dutch
People need to stop using age as an excuse, it's completely boring. Fabianksi is older now than Cech after the former had won 2 league titles. And your point re Joe Hart is fundamentally flawed because he's pretty much a cert for the no.1 jersey there next season. You also harp on about the "blood letting" and other such typical swipes at the support, as if you're completely tired and above all of the criticism of the goalkeeping situation and that the fans are wrong to voice their opinions on what is clearly a weak position for us.
Cech is a special player. Its like saying Denilson should be as good as Vieira was at 19 because he's 21.
Would love Almunia to be sold, but who in their right mind would buy him?!
I'm pointint out that age is not an excuse, nobody wants to hear that anymore. And why anyone would mention the pedestrian and average Denilson in the same breath as an Arsenal legend and warrior is beyond me.
Great, balanced article Amos. Is James better than Almunia? Would be interesting to hear what Seaman thinks. Has he proven himself to be a good professional with good leadership abilities? Yes. Is he more adept at handling pressure situations at a big club? I think it would be harsh on Almunia to suggest that James is any better at this criteria. Is James more likely to move clubs than Buffon? Yes.
"he's pretty much a cert for the no.1 jersey there next season". I'm far from convinced about that, and Tom's point is valid, players develop at different ages - look at Arshavin, who only really showed his class at 27, and thats for an outfield, attacking player. I personally don't think Fabianski will become the number 1 here, especially now all the supporters have lost all faith in him, but all the same, he has brilliant reflexes and is very decisive. As mentioned, all he needs is a bit more conviction.
For those who profess Almunia's lack of quality, and I'm not explicitly agreeing or disagreeing here, just look at the change in reputations of other GKs. I remember clearly just a couple of years ago a lot of Arsenal fans harping on about how jelous they were of Man United for having Ben Foster. I also remember tonnes of fans saying Rob Green is world-class (some still do, which is rediculous). Everyone now loves David James, and he is a good keeper, but the hate he recieved following his errors in an England shirt a few years ago are now forgotten. People were even saying that Van der Sar had lost it about a year and a half ago following some dodgy moments with Man U, not to mention the Chelsea fans earlier this season who were berrating Cech. It's a position where reputations fluctuate hugely, and just as Almunia was starting to convince people that he was our rightful number 1 last year, so a little patience might let him redeem that confidence.
Seaman was the bore 'excusing' Fab on the basis of age. If Hart is to be no.1 at Citeh next season then obviously we wouldn't sign him anyway but my point was that if we're going to sign a keeper then it needs to be someone with a bit more of a track record than one decent season with a mid table club no matter how promising (hence someone 'like' Hart) he might appear to be. I don't think followers would have the appetite for anything other than someone with a CV behind them.
We've been more than patient enough with someone who's not even remotely close to his international squad, i'd hazard a guess that half of Spain don't even know who Manwell is. Hughied, where on earth has Almunia proven his leadership capabilites? He's an absolute novice in terms of games played for his age, even if you compare him to Cesc's appearances for us. The players have lost faith in him, this I think is obvious in their body language, just have a look at Sagna after the Tottenham goal gesturing towards Almunia after his hollywood punch and typical role or two to make it look better. The 'keeper situation cost us far too many points last season, a mistake that Wenger can't make this year is to allow that to continue, that'd be his biggest ever clanger in my opinion.
you did finish your title, should be Fabianski still has time to be SOLD ! I would go and invest in Buffon, whatever the price !
Good idea. Let's get Messi as well while we're at it. Then let's invent a time machine and bring back a 29-year-old Bergkamp.
shewore - Well said mate. Many top keepers over the years were considered top drawer at a young age the most recent obvious example being Casillas (over hyped imho, but still an excellent keeper).
"It would be brave, though not untypical, of Wenger to go into next season with the same keepers" - Amos - For brave see idiotic. Mate if we start next season with the same trash that has constantly fluffed their lines this season then Wenger is neglecting his duties as Arsenal manager imo. The best goalkeepers in general have always been big tall strong guys who command fear and respect in equal spades, take Given, a great shot stopper, but technically not the best and certainly doesn't dominate his area, a flaw that Fabianski would be a miracle worker to get round, unless he can grow taller over night?? Arsenal (and many other top sides) best GK's have always been big lumps like Lehmen, Seaman, Wilson and Jennings. Anyone suggesting Buffon, needs to go back to their PC and carry on playing CM2010.
If Fabianksi proves me wrong then fine, congratulations to him for that. Personally I don't want him to be given the chance to.
Seman is 6 foot 4, Lehmann 6 foot 3 and Fabianski is also 6 foot 3. Granted it's what you do with it that counts, but Fabianski has the physical attributes.
Little Dutch
I will reluctantly support Fabianski as long as we sell Almunia. Next season will be our toughest yet with regards to cementing the highly prized ' top 4 ' finish. We can possibly afford to carry 1 dodgy 'keeper, but not 2. AW absolutely MUST sign a top draw, CL experienced, week in- week out , been there seen it done it QUALITY 'keeper.
Cockney Rich
Btw, nice piece again Amos, thank you.
Cockney Rich
Looks like big Dave is angling for a coaching job. Almunia whilst not making the clangers of Flappy does not command his defence or inspire confidence. I honestly cannot remember a keeper making as many consecutive mistakes as Flappy has for us, its a long way back for him now as every time he gets between the sticks the pressure will be massive, he might have the agility and attributes of a good keeper but I dont think he has the temperament.
Sorry, just another thing. If we are to persevere with the 'keepers that we have, might it be an idea to bring in a new and better goalkeeping Coach ? We have heard how ' talented ' our keepers are, so would a new Coach help to realise that talent quicker ?
Cockney Rich
shewore: "as if you're completely tired and above all of the criticism of the goalkeeping situation" - yes, this does get tiresome. Nearly every post from Amos takes a swipe at the support as if he's perched on some superior cloud above it all. Amos: "my point was that if we're going to sign a keeper then it needs to be someone with a bit more of a track record than one decent season with a mid table club" -- on that we are in complete agreement. But "brave" is a ridiculous adjective to use if Arsene doesn't do anything about the keeper situation this summer. It would be more like a case of him trying to prove that he's right and everyone else is wrong. I saw Seaman's comments on sky and was quite surprised to hear an opinion so different from every other pundit's. Fair enuf, that's what he believes. But another former keeper of ours--and the club's strongest AW supporter on staff--Bob Wilson, recently came out with a dissenting, actually critical opinion on AW's approach to training keepers. I was very struck by those comments because you NEVER hear Wilson even hint at criticizing AW in any way. I don't have his exact quotes (arseblogger had them a week or 2 ago) but he said that our training staff don't spend enough time working on our keepers' game and--his most important point--none of our current keepers have enough presence in goal. (Now Wilson actually works at the club and knows Arsene's methods up close so I think his opinion is a bit more authoritative than a blogger's). He said that presence is a very impt. factor for keepers and none of ours have it. He's absolutely right. Now, that said, I actually think there is a way to improve our problems in goal and still keep our current keepers: TRAIN THEM BETTER. That would be a way of addressing them other than bringing in a new guy. Make them more aggressive, work with them together with our defense so that they establish an understanding and communication with each other. We can talk about ability all we want but Allardyce did us a favor: our keepers and defenders have absolutely NO IDEA how to handle physical intimidation. Look how clueless Fabianski looked and how his teammates didn't help him at all. Talking about Jens' mistakes is totally irrelevant: JENS KNEW HOW TO HANDLE ALLARDYCE'S TACTICS. He'd draw the ref's attention to it, he'd push and shove back. So would his defense. Almunia and Fabianski have both been exposed in this area repeatedly. That's why we need an EXPERIENCED man brought in, someone who already knows how to handle that kind of tactic. Or change entirely our goalkeeping training. Because clearly our training is severely lacking in this area.
You'll find Wilson's comments here jaelle. No need to go over to arseblogger for them: It seems though that any criticism is fair, reasonable and to be encouraged unless it implies criticism of supporters. Why should we be free from criticism? The suggestion you and shewore make is that you are speaking for all supporters and that there isn't a pretty wide spread of opinion amongst us. Some sharing similar views to those I express some diametrically opposite. I accept that if I put my views up there then they're a fair target for anyone who takes exception to them. The fact that they aren't always expressed in tones that are universally popular is more of a sign of my belief that most here aren't that precious that they need to be patronised by writers that are just seeking acceptance.
And next season I wouldn't bet against at least 10 teams employing the Allardyce tactic against us.
As I understand it Seaman is currently coaching Academy goalkeepers at the club, so he already has a coaching job (though he could be angling for the big one- he was a keen angler after all) and you'd also presume he's very au fait with the coaching methods.
Little Dutch
Jens would push and shove and and draw attention, but still would end up conceding.
Thanks for the link to Wilson's quotes. Look, Amos, I've very often agreed with criticism of supporters on this and other blogs: the abuse of players, the idiots on blogs like le grove who think it's so easy to just get any player they want, etc. However, your tone in this and other blogs is condescending to legitimate criticisms and opinions. I would've had no problem if you said something like "the demand among supporters for a new keeper is understandable" followed by a sentence or two recognizing the problems we've had in that position. You could've written something giving legitimacy to the concern among supporters, yet pointing out equally legit problems with bringing in someone like Hart, pointing out the weaknesses in opinions among supporters toward certain candidates. That would've been reasonable and balanced, instead of typing something like "It would be brave, though not untypical, of Wenger to go into next season with the same keepers but maybe this is an occasion when it makes sense to give the discontented what they want and sign an international keeper with a proven track record just to take the heat off that aspect of the team" - as if it would just be AW satisfying the petty, ignorant rabble, labelling us as just "the discontented," as if we're children needing a bone tossed to us. Your tone is sneering and dismissive. You may be getting a reaction out of me (and maybe shewore) because this condescending tone is constant from you and you never balance it out with any genuine criticism of our manager and players. Other writers make strong criticisms of the support but also freely criticize the manager and players, which you never do. You just come up with excuses and rationalizations, the manager's authority is unassailable, what is happening with the team is totally according to AW's plan, our players are never guilty of complacency, we only fail because of injuries, and so on. I'm sorry if I'm coming on too strong here but it's infuriating to see perfectly legitimate, reasoned opinions sneered at and treated as if we're all just mindless children.
"Jens would push and shove and and draw attention, but still would end up conceding." - oh ok, so Jens was just as bad as Fabianski, ok, fine, I'll forget about those trophy medals he got with us.
Lehmann made mistakes but not as many as Flappy, probably the same amount as Almunia but Almunia has made zero contribution to us winning any trophy unlike the mad German.
Offtopic: Any truth in the Fabregas showdown talks? Or is it (as I hope) just media BS?
I love Jens, for me it was his temperament that let him down, not his technical ability. His experience and that ' winning mentality ' would be useful tools to bring to the training ground.
Cockney Rich
I really don't see why I should seek to balance out any positives I might see by having to find something negative. That's just patronising. I don't seek to follow any line but if it coincides more with a positive view of the club than a negative then that will be because by and large the club is in a very positive place. There is no kudos in being able to find the flaws - they are always there - but there is a bit more to be gained by looking behind the things that have gone wrong and trying to understand where and why mistakes have happened and whether those decisions or paths taken that have proved wrong were understandable at the time they are taken. In that sense I believe I'm treating others exactly the opposite to mindless children I'm assuming that most of those here have the interest, intellect and maturity to take a view with much greater depth than to just be content the superficiality of many of the criticisms.
Fabianski is also 6 foot 3LittleDutch - Then I have mis read as I was certain he was 5 foot 11 LD?
@Sajit yes, its true Cesc demanded a shown down talk. I believe he wants Arsenal to sign big talents or he would offer to leave. Also barca his threatening now or never, with Pedro and other new guys coming up the ranks
Take the Cesc talk outside lads & ladettes, it's boring. Fabianski's a big lad LG, he is about 6,3 most definitely.
I feel Fabianski has been given enough chances but he makes a serious mistake every time he plays. I don't think he can cope with the pressure and you can't keep on giving him endless opportunities. I would be happy for us to sign someone like Hart (even though he is not completely proven) because he has already shown he has the confidence and ability to do a lot better than our current keepers and he will probably keep on improving.
"I'm treating others exactly the opposite to mindless children I'm assuming that most of those here have the interest, intellect and maturity to take a view with much greater depth than to just be content the superficiality of many of the criticisms." -- you keep proving my point, you paint your opinions as being superior in that they have greater substance and depth than those of us who (according to you) have inferior opinions because they're allegedly arrived at in knee-jerk, mindless fashion. For me, some of your arguments are knee-jerk in their attempt to immediately come up with rationalizations to excuse problems with the team. And this dismissive comment from you in another article proves my point about your consistent depiction of the support as mindless children: "In consequence the attitude towards the team, amid accusations of a lack of endeavour, then took a slightly girly tone amounting to something along the lines of 'You wouldn`t treat me this way if you really cared!'" And you do most definitely follow a line, you are not some detached voice--"circumstances" are always at fault for problems with the team, never the manager nor the players.
oh, and since when is acknowledging the merit of supporter concerns "patronising"?
Have to take you up on Almunia never having a part in winning us a trophy Iceman, he helped win our last one! pen shoot out for the FA cup. I think he got us through a pen shoot out in an earlier round against shefield utd too with a couple of great saves.
Il have to give you that 1 Niko. I still maintain that Jens input to what we achieved in the time he played for us was massive and Almunia should in no way be compared to him despite his Sheffield penalty heroics :)
And manure heroics :) ....but that really is it, I'm all out of plus points for our current 'keeping options. I just can't see any future for either of them. Al was always a number two really nothing has ever suggested he had what it took to step up, it was just a case of a promotion based on Jens' rapid descent into madness. Fabianski if he remains our no2 will rarely have the run where nothing is at stake, that's just the way it is, big clubs have big high pressure games every weekend, teams will always want us for a scalp and he will always now be targetted as a weak link. Would love to see a thorough summer clean out hand them all their swords and instruct them all to fall on them for the shame they have brought :)
Falls on their swords? With Fabianski just lob it in the air and ask him to catch it.
Pantomime arguments jaelle "Oh yes he is -Oh no he isn't". They don't have anywhere to go so no point following them. I suspect you'll need to have the last word but I'll call time on my defence. I doubt that we'll ship both Almunia and Fabianski out this summer but in much the same way the Eboue was able to obtain redemption Fabianski might be able to. I'm not sure that Almunia ever could.
Dont think he will ever be no 1 to be honest. We will sign a stopgap keeper and once Mannone or Scznesy are ready to be no 1 they will step up. I think Almunia is probably more likely to get shipped out this season but I wouldnt be surprised if Fabianski is gone within the next 2-3 seasons. I still reckon it may be a good idea to loan him to a mid table, lower table club if anyone is willing to take him. I am starting to think that AW does sign a keeper it wont be someone relatively young e.g. Lloris or Adler as this could stunt Mannone or Scznesy's growth.
We had a clown called Gomes, who became a world beater when we sacked the goalkeeping coach and brought in a better one. Who is supposed to be coaching Aflie Moon and Flappyhands anyway?
Tony Rocky Horror
TRH makes a great point. A change of personnel turned Gomes the Clown into the all conquering Octopus of WHL. Whos your goalkeeping staff? They cant ALL be awful goalkeepers, somethings not right. Simple solution would be to sign Joe Hart, hes the best English keeper since Spunky. But he is English and although i said that tongue in cheek but still i cant see Wenger signing an Englishman. Hope im right coz i think hed be great for you.
It's an undeniable fact that we've had too many goalkeeping errors this season, from 2 goalkeepers, and Fabianski is one of them. Personally i haven't been amazingly impressed by him, ever. He's made some decent saves, but every keeper in the premier league has the quality to make decent saves. Look at Myhill's game against Spurs? But on top of those decent saves you need strength and confidence just as much. Fabianski lacks mass amounts of Strength to become a good keeper. I honestly think Mannone will be a lot better keeper, he's a tough looking ******** and coming in he ddn't look scared at all to me. Mannone wasn't perfect, i agree, but he was thrown in with a lot less professional experience then Fabianski and in my opinion Mannone looked the better keeper.
The idea of Buffon might be fanciful, but we need someone with a CV, who knows what it takes to win and/or knows all about the rigours of keeping in the English league. Gomes was a quality keeper before he came to Sp*rs, but seemed to lose his mojo in the transition to the more rugged English game. Schwarzer would be a good choice if we could get him - would give us at least 3 or 4 good years by which time Sczczcznczy should be ready, if the hype on him is justified. Keep Almunia as a backup, and send Fabianski back to Poland.
Fabianski needs a season away on loan. Send him to a Championship side, where he can learn to deal with over physical defenders, and then get him back here for a second chance. Sign a new keeper and keep Almunia as No.2. Thats a good solution for me.
Goalkeepers really confuse me and I just can't work them out. A few years ago I was crying out for AW to sign Ben Foster, while he was on loan at Charlton. A couple of my uncles are Charlton STH's and absolutely raved about him. During a midweek game at The Emirates, Foster turned in one of the most outstanding performances I have EVER seen from a 'keeper, English or otherwise. We won 4-0, but it was THE most one-sided PL fixture that I can remember. We could easily have had 10, and SHOULD have had 8, but for the heroics of Foster. I see him now, and he looks remarkably ordinary. When Jens came, I felt confident in his ability and presence in goal and he made some brilliant and important saves. The problem was I just couldn't settle in my seat as I was expecting Jens to get sent off at any moment, for any type of misdemeanor imaginable. Jump forward to the present times and Almunia and Fabianski. At half time during the CL first leg with Barca, I turned to my Dad and said " This performance will do Almunia the world of good, it's just the kind of game he needs to have". The second half then saw Almunia unfortunately revert to type. A couple of goals were conceded due to poor decision making and positional awareness as well as some bad handling. My fustrations then turned to Fabianski at Wigan. A poor corner into the box on our six yard line got me shouting " all day long ", as it was a bread and butter take. Cue the Wigan fans celebrating a goal, as somehow Fabianski found the whole catching process beyond him and deemed it better to drop the ball onto Brambles head. I thought the clean sheet against City would boost his confidence and he would be all the better for it. Unfortunately, whilst sitting at Ewood Park, I realised I was wrong.
Cockney Rich
Take the Cesc talk outside lads & ladettes, it's boring. Fabianski's a big lad LG, he is about 6,3 most definitely. shewore - So it seems like only the missus falls for "mis-measurements"!!!
I'm sure u aint gotta impress her mate
Wasn't it Carson at Charlton?
My mistake sunaadh, it was Carson at Charlton. Thank you for reading my rambling drivel !!
Cockney Rich
I agree with Jaelle insofar that our goalkeepers need to be more like Jens, letting everyone know that his area was his. He would have gone completely bonkers at Blackburn and made sure that the referee knew what the problem was. That part of his game was never in doubt, his failings were elsewhere. We do need a “ready made” keeper and Buffon would fit the bill and we should be doing all we can to get him. I agree that these types of keepers don’t come along too often but as far as I’m concerned we’ve not had a keeper of the required standard since Seaman and our hunt should have been ongoing since then. Had it been then, by now, we would have got our hands on a decent one. Wenger cannot dodge this particular bullet – not again. By the way Amos, Jaelle is right about how you express yourself because there is a sense of condescension about it and occasionally I take exception to it as well. You know, sometimes it’s OK to criticise the club – it’s not perfect. However, I don’t have to agree with you to enjoy what you write. The whole point of me being here is to talk about Arsenal, whatever complexion it takes.
Sir Henry
Hate to say this but I think HY and TRH are spot-on about what good coaching did for Gomes and what our keepers need. Gomes didn't improve all by himself. I really do think our coaching in this area is suspect and I think both Almunia and Fabianski would improve with better coaching. Of course you can't teach what Wilson calls "presence" - you either have it or you don't and neither of them do. But they can, with better coaching, build confidence and develop a stronger sense of ownership of their goal area. It's true we should all acknowledge that keepers are the most difficult position to fill in a football team. And for a top class team like Arsenal, it's even more difficult because we compete with big money teams like Chelsea and we're in the top competitions. World class keepers are extremely rare, very expensive, and difficult to wrest from their clubs. Word in Italy is that Juve would ask 30m for Buffon. That's apart from his high wages. And as CR explained so well in his post, it's really hard to judge keepers. I think we've all been in CR's position: we see a young keeper, think he's going to be top class, then a couple of yrs later he's nothing what you thought he'd be. That's why I'm not as certain about a young keeper like Hart as everyone seems to be. He could be great for us, he could be a big flop. Esp. if our coaching is suspect. Remember all the accolades young Schmeichel got 2 seasons ago? So I don't underestimate the difficult job AW has to do. It's not as if Ferguson has been any better lately. Apart from VDS, who's almost 40, he's got Kuschak and Foster. Hardly impressive. He too is in search of a keeper and he's not having an easy time of it in the transfer market.
HY, please stop this nonsense about AW's disdain for English players. AW has tried to get Green and Hart.
Im not saying its because Harts English, i'm sure that cant be the reason. But for whatever reason he prefers French speaking players, maybe because of how bad Jeffers and Theo were/are. The fact that English players are usually overrated and overpriced probably doesnt help either. I wasnt having a cheap shot im being serious...I mean how else can you explain Silvestres signing? You can almost see the thought process behind it. Cheap defender? Check. Experienced? Check. French? GIVE ME HIS NUMBER
I know we will always have transfer rumours against Fabregas, but sky sports are reporting that he has told the club he wants to leave and the odss for him to join Barcelona are 1/8 on. Of course this does not mean anything, but their seems to be a bit more to this than the usual cra* with the barcelona DNA etc etc
Fair enuf, HY, point taken. Your pts about the price of English players is a big issue with AW. paul, my thoughts exactly. Been reading the wire services and news reports and this is the first time Guillem Ballague has actually come out declaring with absolute certainty that Cesc has personally asked AW to let him out of his contract. I always dismiss Cesc rumours, usually they're worded in such a way that you can dismiss them, but this one's a bit firmer than usual.
I really consider that most of our defensive frailty emanates from the goalkeeper; it affects the whole team and is a vital square on the board. I remember Wenger identifying at the end of last season that the goals we conceded were a major issue and he needed to address the problem. TV was a super signing but it didn’t go far enough and this season has seen us concede silly goals with comic regularity, a lot down to goalkeeping blunders. So it’s vitally important that we secure a solid presence in goal, one that has the confidence of playing top-flight football and is not over-awed by Arsenal Football Club. If Buffon cost 30m I think we should still approach him and be willing to pay his wages. It is the one supreme signing that we should make over the summer.
Sir Henry
Barcelona’s pursuit of Cesc is absolutely sickening. I started the month with Barcelona as my “second” team but after the club’s conduct against Inter in the CL semi (turning the sprinklers on where Inter were celebrating etc.) and this nauseating coveting of our players I dislike them with a passion.
Sir Henry
Just went on twitter where I follow John Cross and various arsenal bloggers. The Cesc rumours are getting serious, Cross says he's definitely gone.
just watched the 20 best goals of the season on, cesc kissed the badge and pointed at the crowd after scoring one...he is under contract until 2014, i hope to god he stays, theres no one in the world i would want over cesc
sir henry we know what its like with old red nose at utd nicking all our best players i can actually (gulp) feel sorry for you guys wenger is becoming an absolute joke and 30m for cesc (which leg do they want) is a joke aswell but there again when a player starts saying he wants to play somewhere else (berbatoss) there isnt much you can do about it, this could be the beginning of the end for you guys
jaelle - Personally, I dont think there is a stronger set of three goalkeepers in the league than Van Der Sar, Kuszczak and Foster. United are looking for a new number one because our two backups arent good enough to be Man Utd number 1, but are more than good enough to accept being on the bench.
Also, If you guys got Yaya Toure + £30m for Cesc, then used the money to buy Gourcuff - you would arguably be stronger next year - both physically and in terms of depth of quaity and experience.
Gotta be honest - if the Cesc rumours are true, I can't really blame him. He wants to win trophies.
Some fantastic action shots, copy and paste the link ;
spu 4 life
wahey hot weather is on the way ,yeah baby ,hot weathers on the way ,oh & so is fabregas
big cockeral
Crazy stuff going on on Twitter. Apparently some idiot gooners sent nasty tweets to Cesc's sister when they heard the rumours he's leaving. Other gooners sent her apologies, for which she was grateful. She calls herself a gooners and complimented gooners as being great football supporters.
JALLE; be better of with ROBSON & JEROME, Oh dear had to sell your best player again, to pay the mortgage on the immigrants stadium, good business and good riddance
spu 4 life
Watch out for the postman tomorrow, his got a very special PARCELONA FROM SPAIN
spu 4 life
You never sell your best players do you spunk 4 life?
the diff is gomes was a great keeper before he joined us an had a bad patch, sorted now, unlike almunia and fab were never great to begin with.
agree with 123.....for once.
Thanks for the words of support from Utds feeder club, I suppose we could always rescue Modric?, wouldn't be anywhere close to a replacement but it would cheer everyone up for 5 mins.
at the end of the day it won`t just be arsenals loss ,it`ll be the premierships ,i like him arsenal or not ,he`s easily in the top 10 of premierships greatest ever players & like bergkamp & henry the premiership will be weaker without them ,arsenal shouldn`t be bitter he`s been a great proffessional & a joy to watch ,it`s players like him you don`t mind paying the over inflated prices you do ,i wish him luck ,& you should too, he gave arsenal everything & deserves everyones respect including ours , at least he`s being honest & should be leaving on good terms
big cockeral
Iceman, i know, we got shot of berbatoss, mugged the northern monkeys for 32+million and he still sulks, looks like fergie, has had enough and ready to out him again, fab is one hell of a player, but i think, barca said, now or never, that forced the issue into overdrive, as we both know, what ever happens, sod all we can do about it, but we carry on our respective support, take the mickey out of each other, but all in the fun of the game, one day Modric will move on, they all come and they all go, at some stage. :-)
spu 4 life
bc, I agree completely. I for one am not bitter at Cesc and I know many gooners aren't. I'll always love Cesc and will watch him at Barca, I hope he wins lots and lots of trophies, he thoroughly deserves it. I don't blame him at all for wanting to leave. I think the 2-legged tie with Barca affected him. Then the way our team collapsed again at the end of the season - plus he's seen THREE of his teammates slaughtered on the pitch, then witnessing for himself 2 of them never coming back at their best from those injuries. And he's seen the way the media and the FA respond to those injuries. All of that, plus wanting to be back home, finally drove him to the decision.
Bordeaux will rip anybody off before they sell Gourcuff. He's happy in France too, unlike Cesc. So 25+million would tempt Bordeaux, but no way guaruntee his signing. Anyway, Flapianski is crap, you have to sign a better keeper. Possibly Joe Hart? That's 30 million for Gourcuff+15 mill for Joe Hart. No way Wenger wll spend that amount.
Jaelle - agree with most of what you say here re GKs and patronising arguments of some posters. Not to denigrate those posters - they're contributions are insightful, enjoyable to read and well written; they're much appreciated - just that Jaelle makes some fair points.
I was not so surprised to see tons of comments accumulated for this GK blog. This is an important position, in fact, the most important position of the team. Having a rock solid GK that filled up the 6 yard box with electricity shocking all enemies is life vs. death. You would remember many great goals but also you would remember how Zoff single handedly defeated the great Brazil team.

Have Your Say

Log in...
with your social network     OR     with your Vital account

Recent Arsenal Articles

Arsenal Games Switched For TV (Friday December 19 2014)

Bellerin To Play With More Freedom Now (Friday December 19 2014)

Wenger - Monaco Completes The Circle (Friday December 19 2014)

Liverpool v Arsenal Match Preview (Friday December 19 2014)

The Ox: Don't Blame Wenger, Blame Us (Thursday December 18 2014)

Ozil Slightly Ahead Of Schedule (Thursday December 18 2014)

Archived Arsenal Articles

List All Vital Arsenal Articles
Have your say
Click here to suggest an article
Click here to suggest a poll

Vital Members League (view all)

1. Amos. 64
2. Naijagunner 47
3. paul_ownz 25
4. Galway Gooner 22
5. Little Dutch 12
6. shewore 12
7. luckys_10 11
8. Nwankwo25 11
9. alwaysgunner 10
10. Wyn Mills 10

League Results (view all)

Latest Results
Arsenal 4 - 1 Newcastle
Stoke 3 - 2 Arsenal
Arsenal 1 - 0 Southampton
WBA 0 - 1 Arsenal
Arsenal 1 - 2 Man Utd
Swansea 2 - 1 Arsenal

League Table (view table)

Team P W D L GD Pts
3. Man Utd 16 9 4 3 12 31
4. West Ham 16 8 4 4 8 28
5. Southampton 16 8 2 6 12 26
6. Arsenal 16 7 5 4 9 26
7. Spurs 16 7 3 6 -2 24
8. Newcastle 16 6 5 5 -4 23
9. Swansea 16 6 4 6 2 22

Breaking League News

Team News: City v Crystal Palace
» Man City : 19/12/2014 19:57:00
Pellegrini Confident Milner Will Stay
» Man City : 19/12/2014 19:54:00
Team News: Hull v Swansea
» Hull City : 19/12/2014 19:37:00
Dawson Out For Five-Weeks
» Hull City : 19/12/2014 19:36:00
More Than Arfa Chance Hatem Will Leave
» Hull City : 19/12/2014 19:35:00

Current Site Poll (view all polls)

Wenger's sure Henry will return - in what role?
Suggested By:  Site Staff
Coach 67%
Manager 33%
Director 0%
Like Wenger, not sure but know he will return.... 0%