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Schwarzer Begs For Arsenal Chance

Fulham keeper Mark Schwarzer has pleaded with his club to let him get his preferred move across London after it was rumoured the Gunners bid for the stopper had been rejected.

The Austrailian goalkeeper has been one of Wenger's targets this summer as he looks to provide goalkeeping experience whist at the same time not interrupting the progression of what Wenger called 'the future Arsenal number one' in the form of Wojciech Szczesny, and Schwarzer fits the bill pretty well.

Following the bid from Arsenal, Schwarzer has expressed his desire for a move to Ashburton Grove.

'I need it to happen,' Schwarzer said in an Austrailian paper

'I've had a couple of chats with Mark Hughes. It's delicately poised. Who wouldn't be keen to go to Arsenal? At this stage in my career it's an amazing opportunity to play at that level and one I really want to take.'

'It's taken a long time and the season's very close. On one hand you understand them not wanting to disrupt too many things but I want things resolved as quickly as possible.'

'Only time will tell whether that happens or not.'

At 37 years of age, this is probably Schwarzer's last chance at a shot at Champions League football and a genuine crack at some silverware. Debate still rages in blogosphere as to whether he is even an improvement on what we already have.

Personally I'd say he'd be a marked improvement on the current shaky Fabianski, and would have in his locker everything Almunia has on show with the added exception that he'd be something new who could bring some confidence from his defenders that is seemingly lacking from Arsenal's current array of keepers.

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

The Journalist

Writer: Rocky7 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday August 13 2010

Time: 8:36AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
I've always thought he was a bit crap. I felt a couple of years ago at Fulham he was decent, but now he's a crap keeper who is getting on for past it. I don't usually know enough about Wenger's signings to judge, but I have to say, this is the first time I can remember knowing that we were in for someone and being desperate for us not to sign him.
Little Dutch
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13/08/2010 08:42:00

At the very most he might be more reliable back up to Almunia than Fabianski has been. Much ado about not very much. If he joins as first choice at the beginning of the season he's unlikely to be first choice by the end. It's a Mart Poom type buy for me.
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13/08/2010 08:48:00

Hmmm, I'd take him over what we have now most definately. Both Almunia and Fabianski are emotional wrecks, one little mistake and they're f****d for weeks. Neither inspire confidence from their defenders which leads, in my opinion, to the defenders making mistakes because they don't trust the stoppers to do their jobs.
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13/08/2010 08:49:00

Yeah, I rate Schwarzer as he is reliable, technically sound and commands his area whilst barking at the back four constantly. Fair enough, he's not my ideal choice, but with Anfield looming on Sunday, I'll take anyone other than Almunia / Fabianski. Even if we just get 1 or 2 seasons out of him it's a bonus. He will bring an end to all the mistakes and howlers that have been regularly made, and will be a great coach in the end for Szczesny.
Cockney Rich
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13/08/2010 09:01:00

I think the emotional wreckage is mainly among the supporters. Both Almunia and Fabianski seem to recover from errors reasonably well. Even after his bloopers in the Porto and Wigan games Fabianski made good saves in both games. If we can sign someone clearly better then we should go for it but this is just someone different. That maybe reason enough to bring him in if we can't get anyone better on the same principle that signing Linighan made Steve Bould impossible to leave out of the side.
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13/08/2010 09:01:00

Confidence is a fragile thing at the best of times and something that's been missing in our defense for a couple of years now. The fact is Schwarzer is better than what we have and offers a short term solution to the eventual number 1 that Wenger doesn't want to hinder. Add to that the psychological lift it would definitely give the squad and the defense, then this transfer makes perfect sense for Arsenal. Yes he may not be world class but he is better than our other keepers and I'll take that over nothing!!
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13/08/2010 09:02:00

Amos > " Almunia and Fabianski seem to recover from errors reasonably well ". Yes mate, they probably do actually, but they still continue to make the SAME errors in DIFFERENT games. Schwarzer will give the back four confidence in their goalkeeper, and that's what they've been missing.
Cockney Rich
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13/08/2010 09:07:00

I think that's just it, Schwarzer is just someone different. An upgrade on Fabianski now but Schwarzer makes more errors than Almunia does (remember Arshavin's goal against him last season, Almunia would have been chased out of the stadium for that). I don't think Almunia's confidence has gone, I just get the impression he knows he's not long for the club and is a bit annoyed. I could kind of understand moving for Schwarzer if we had had a few other targets refused and this was a last minute thing, but that we've been chasing him all summer makes me a bit sad. If Wenger cannot identify decent goalkeepers perhaps it's time he called on the advice of someone that can?
Little Dutch
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13/08/2010 09:09:00

LD - I don't know how true the rumours were, but if we did have a bid for Reina rejected it shows Wenger was doing something to bring in a top class stopper. I mean, as far as I'm aware neither Arsenal, Liverpool or Reina refuted the story so it is possible. I can't agree with Amos that they both recover from mistakes well. I don't think I've seen two more nervous keepers in my life, Wenger even admitted to Almunia being a nervous wreck before matches .... doesn't exactly instill confidence does it.
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13/08/2010 09:15:00

And that's the problem, because it's flippin contagious and affects the overall play when under pressure. How many times do we see the defense in a panic when the ball comes bouncing in? +++++++++ does Fabianski even have a voice? I've never seen this guy scream at the defense!!
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13/08/2010 09:36:00

Wenger denied that quote about Almunia. It was taken from a fictious interview from a Kenyan newspaper. That doesn't mean Almunia doesn't get nervous in big games but if World Cup games can be described as big then Schwarzer ain't no island of calm serenity either. It's laughable how we are desperately turning Schwarzer into some class performer. He's just a cheap insurance policy that we might end up spending a bit more than we should on.
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13/08/2010 09:40:00

i don't think Schwarzer is an upgrade on anything we have... but by pursuing him so publicly we probably destroyed whatever little confidence Almunia and Fabianski had, thus painting ourselves in a corner where we HAVE to have him now. or risk going into the season with 2 emotional wrecks who, for the first summer in a while now, have not benefited from Wenger's backing. 2 more-so-than-usual emotional wrecks.
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13/08/2010 09:48:00

I don't think anyone is painting him as a top class performer Amos, just a steady away keeper who, whilst may not be bring that much (if anything) extra to the team, with him will bring a change .... and sometimes that's all that's needed.
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13/08/2010 09:51:00

I think criticizing Schwarzer on a blunder in what was a meaningless match at the end of Fulham's season is unfair, Hangeland played that game and they shipped four goals, yet no one would question his ability. Being Australian, I have seen a lot of Schwarzer over the years. Is he world class, whatever that means? I'm not sure. But, he is very solid and makes very few mistakes (although the ones that he does make tend to be horrendous) I do believe that he is an improvement on Almunia. In much the same way that Van Der Sar operates for Manu, he will provide sufficient protection and organise the defense effectively. He won't make saves in the vein of a Given or a Reina, but he does provide a keeper with assured hands and a level head. I remember when these stories first hit the press, I hopped over to vital Fulham to see what they thought, and they described him as their best keeper in decades. This coming from a club that had Van Der Sar prior, fair comment indeed! Whilst I would prefer the big names of Given or Reina, I would welcome the move for Schwarzer. It isnt Almunia's shot-stopping ability that frustrates me, but his organisation of defense, horrible distribution, and occasional positional mistakes. I believe that Schwarzer is better in each of these categories, whilst perhaps slightly below in shot stopping ability. Que sera sera I suppose...
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13/08/2010 09:54:00

jl13, then surely by that measure it's equally unfair to criticise Fabianski for mistakes in meaningless end of season games? Schwarzer made a fair few blunders in the World Cup too and has made a catalogue of them in his time in our league- it's just we don't pore over them quite as excruciatingly as we do our own keepers. I take your other point though, I always thought Schwarzer was the worst in the league until his move to Fulham coincided with an improved defensive record for them. That made me think, "O.K. perhaps he's not terrible." Still not a great endorsement. However, I think Arsene Wonder has a point, Almunia's legitimacy is gone- it's like Gordon Brown's reign as PM, nobody can take it seriously. But I have to say I was hoping for better than this, we're replacing someone average with someone average, on the proviso that the incoming average guy hasn't yet been publicly ripped to pieces by the Arsenal fans.
Little Dutch
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13/08/2010 10:07:00

Fair comment LD. I would argue that the season wasnt quite over at Wigan, but beyond that, an uncommitted defense is likely to produce a less protected and less focused keeper. Fabianski's attributes as a keeper are clear, and I think that Wenger tried to move him into the team in these lower intensity matches. It seems to have backfired, and there is no confidence on or off the pitch in the poor boy. Whilst I disagree with your analysis of Schwarzer as a poor keeper, I have to say that I too am disappointed that he was first on our list. Arsenal are without a doubt in the top ten clubs in the world, and we should at least be aiming for a top ten keeper. It frustrates me that Man city arguably have 2 excellent keepers (I think Hart needs another couple of good seasons before he can really be classed as excellent) and we have one average keeper...but then again, Chelsea have Cech and no one else, and he has been error-prone, and Van der sar will be keeping at 50 at the rate Man U are going...Good, consistent keepers are hard to find... If Almunia is Gordon Brown, does that make Jens Tony Blair? :-D
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13/08/2010 10:22:00

LD, did you watch the CL game against Porto? There was nothing meaningless about that game. I get all your views about Schwartzer but you cannot discount the lift psychologically it would give to the defense. Also maybe this is what's needed for someone like Fabianski and Almunia. I remember Almunia's best season was when he took the number 1 from Lehman. There is only 1 fact here. Arsenal cannot rely on those two. FULL STOP!
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13/08/2010 10:27:00

Goal keeper selection always toughest as there is no other team members to back you up (at least not with hands!). I miss Mr. Seaman.
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13/08/2010 10:38:00

Amos - keepers make good saves in nearly all games, it's judgement that's the key so sayin that carries not a lot of water i'm afraid
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13/08/2010 10:40:00

Saying what doesn't carry a lot of water???
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13/08/2010 10:53:00

"Hamstrung, Groined, Calved and Tired: Arsenal's injury crisis adds up!!" headline from one of the papers or blogs. Is this the way we are starting the season?? I dread what is to come!!
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13/08/2010 12:42:00

The season before last he was as good as any 'keeper in the League, Fulham were all-out in the Europa League last season and played half a team every other week. I would love him to sign for us because he would allow Chesney to come through much more smoothly. And, as has been said, he would not receive anywhere near as much criticism (one catch froma corner would justify his siging in some peoples minds), which helps us as a team.
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13/08/2010 12:56:00

He will be a good signing. At 37, he has the necessary experience to command our backline and he can be used to groom Szczesny up. So could be a good signing. The guy's inviting us for God's sakes. Come on Arsene, accept the invite
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13/08/2010 13:11:00

A decent enough stopgap signing. He is getting past it but I would still take Schwarzer in goal over Fabianski any day of the week, twice on Sundays and that is saying something, considering how old Schwarzer is. It will be a straight battle between him and Almunia for the #1 jersey IMO. He is a temporary solution until Sczneszcy is able to take the reins.
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13/08/2010 13:23:00

Amos - making good reflex saves after errors of judgment, e.g. "bouncing back well" as you put it.
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13/08/2010 14:57:00

Arsene wenger is Bill Murray in Space Jam - he doesnt do defence
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13/08/2010 14:57:00

Apparently Hughes is still playing hardball and is fighting to keep Schwarzer, and Arsenal just won't budge on the price. Interesting state on Almunia I just read: Manuel Almunia has one of the best clean sheet-to-games ratio in Arsenal's history - 66 from 161 games.
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13/08/2010 16:51:00

Interesting to note that several of you mention that Scwarzer "barks at and commands his defence". I have often thought that part of Arsenal' s defensive problems have been due to a lack of communation due to the multi language problems among them all. 80% of defending well is about "being there", it is very little use being the best in the air or a great tackler if your five yards away from where you need to be and the goal keeper and the dominant centre back need to drive this. Any interview with Almunia or Gallas would indicate that they are not fluent English communicators and whereas no-one could think that Schwarzer is the best shot stopper he may well have some other attributes to add that have been missing recently.
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13/08/2010 21:54:00,17033,8652_6310870,00.html Schwarzer has handed in a transfer request. I would be surprised if he wasn't in goal for us for the Blackpool game.
Little Dutch
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13/08/2010 22:44:00

Although I agree with the overall sentiment that Schwarzer isnt really better than Almunia, he is different. But I do think that a change is needed, certainly for the supporters, but also for the defence to have more faith in their goalie. Seeing your no.1 flapping at corners does not inspire confidence. As far as our defensive performance goes, the team as a whole can defend better, not just the goalie or the centre backs. I feel that the mid field doesn't offer enough protection at times to the defence.
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15/08/2010 21:52:00

Where does this idea that the defence doesn't have enough belief in the keeper come from? There is a least as much reason, far more in fact, for the keeper to lack belief in the defence which is way more culpable for many more goals conceded than the keeper.
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17/08/2010 09:50:00


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