Monday, 26 January 2009

Give Fabianski a run in the side!

In Manuel Almunia's early days at Arsenal I never thought that he had the potential to become Arsenal's number one.

Jens Lehmann stood before him and I felt that Almunia was a solid replacement for the German if he was ever needed.

Last season Almunia replaced Lehmann as number one choice and although I still preferred Jens to Manuel, the Spaniard become increasingly at home between the posts.

Almunia was consistent and I wonder how much of a part Lehmann had in that. Almunia had to keep on his toes because Lehmann was a world-class keeper ready to replace him at any time.

This season Almunia doesn't have too much competition because despite how good Fabianski is, it seems Wenger feels Fabianski isn't ready to play week in, week out.

Almunia has become complacent and I believe his performance level's have dipped as a result.

There is no doubt in my mind that Almunia is a good goalkeeper but I don't think he is a great one. He needs to be pushed to be at the top of his game, like last season, but he isn't getting the competition.

Without being harsh, if I categorized goalkeepers throughout Europe into ratings or for example a league format, I'd have Almunia as Championship level.

For example,

Premiership-Buffon, Cech, Casillas etc

Championship-Almunia, Green

Blue Square Premier-Gomes

The levels of Buffon, Cech and Casillas are extremely high and I doubt that Almunia could reach those heights.

However, I feel that Almunia could reach the performances of last season again if he was challenged for his place more.

Perhaps Arsene Wenger needs to have more belief in Fabianski and give him a run in the side. He kept a clean sheet against Cardiff and he is Poland's number one choice. Almunia is probably about Spain's fourth or even fifth choice.

If Almunia began to believe he wasn't guaranteed his place every week then we may see the Manuel of last season who kept a world-class player out of the side.

Until then, I think that we may have seen the best of Manuel already.

Keep it Goonerish..........


Anonymous said...

I agree, but Fabianski isn't poland's number 1, it's Boruc.

Anonymous said...

Cech has usually 10 men helping him keep the ball away from his net, doesn't he?

Anonymous said...

What have you got against Almunia?he really hasn't done anything wrong this season except perhaps against stoke and that is debatable. fabianski can't be rushed into the first team on the basis of one good save against Cardiff. he is far too impetuous always tearing out of his goal and missing the ball. let's get rid of him quickly.

Anonymous said...

Brouc isn't polands no.1, fabianski replaced him

Wrighty7 said...

I have nothing against Almunia, I just think that he needs to be pushed to perform at his best level.

Lehmann pushed him last season and look how well he did.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the basic assessment that Almunia is a good goalie rather than a great one, but I take issue with the veiws that (a) his performances have dropped significantly from last season and (b) that Fabianski would offer any kind of an improvement at this point in time (eg, much more of a flapper when it comes to dealing with aerial threats). I feel much more secure with the big Spaniard in goal, to be honest.

And as for Cech being a class aprt, I can only suggest you go back sytematically through matches Cech and Almunia have played in the past 2 seasons and count up which of them has made more errors. Cech has dropped some real clangers both for Chelsea and Czech Republic. The Stoke game apart (when he got bugger all protection from his defenders), Almunia rarely has a bad one.

Anonymous said...

Almunia has never played for any nation, so he's like 15th choice, Fabianski is not first choice for Poland, get your facts straight, Arthur Boruc is first, then tomas Kuzchak (Manu) and Fabianski is 3.

Aeoric said...

Almunia saves the shots you expect him to save (90% of the time).

He always concedes the ones you expect him to.

I've never seen him save something beyond something that an above-average keeper should save.

Never a Seaman vs PeskySolidOh (Stoke), Lehman vs Raul (Madrid).

A good goalkeeper will help you to retain a top-6 place.

A Seaman, Schmeical, Cech, Casillas, Buffon will win you the EPL, ECL etc..

As far as GK's go, you get what you pay for.

I mean - it's not everyday you can pick up a Lehman for 1M or a Carlo Cudicini for free...

err hold on...

We pay the most expensive ticket prices in the world (no exaggeration) - yet they wheel out the same old shit about having nothing to spend.

Meanwhile Bolton with their 5 fans, and Hull make 8-figure transfers.

Spurs throw good money after bad (Modric 16M, Bent 17M, Chimbonda (twice), Gomes 7M, Bentley 17M, Zokora 12M, Defoe (twice) 7 & 17M) in 2 years.

Where do they get the cash ?

Sorry - but to say you've been offered legal tender for Eboue, only to follow up that you've refused it so you can give the universally hated mental paraplegic twat another contract disgusts me.

Same with AdeBarnDoor and Almunia.

These people should never be seen in Arsenal colours again.

30M for Ade - bite the hand off.
Buy Benzema.

7M for Eboue - bite the hand off.
Buy Yoan Gourcouff (7M release clause).

Cudicini was free and A LOT better than anything we have.

Stephen Appiah - solid def midfielder - also free.

You could shed the dead-wood Ade & Eboue, and without spending a penny re-enforce a desperately weak spine.

Lastly - How is it we have a wage bill only 3M behind Man Utd, when we apparently have a squad of cheap kids.

Either money is being well siphoned by the club, they are horrifically overpaying the darling little cherubs or AW is bailing out a small country.

It's revolting to me as a double Season Ticket holder to pay top dollar and be told we have no money, only to watch Bolton who have 4 quid season tickets buy a 12M player and Wenger reward Eboue with a new contract.

If he's going to be a wasteful socialist with our money, he won't be getting any of my hard-earned next year and I imagine I won't be alone.

Anonymous said...

Almunia is much worse than van der
Saar (Man Utd) and Cech (Chelsea).

Almunia will never ever play for any nation, too poor.

Fabianski is No for Poland but he is stronger mentally than Almunia.
Give him a chance. Almunia had several blunders.

Vertino Aleci said...

Loving the fact that you classed Gomez as a non league level goalkeeper!

This debate is an interesting one. The definition of a world class goalkeeper is not by the saves he makes, but by the percentage of mistakes he makes. In other words, the fewer the mistakes the better he is. Mistakes will be fewer if the defence before the goalkeeper is good. This is why I think Cech and Buffon stood out.

Then there is Casillas, who perhaps has it difficult at Madrid but I guess it also comes down to playing styles. If Casillas played in the Premiership, I suspect he would struggle with the crosses and headers coming into the box every 5minutes.

Almunia's performance is not as great as last season but neither are the outfield players matching the performances of last season, Van Persie apart (who was injured for most part)

Fabianski for me needs more games, but such is the situation of Arsenal that Wenger I think will stick with Almunia unless the Spaniard has a really bad run of form like Lehmann did before he was dropped.

By the way I came across your blog while I was searching for fellow Arsenal fans. Wrote a post myself on the Cardiff game and it would be interesting to see your views on it.

Keep up the good work.

Stu said...

Fabianski has far more ability than Almunia. He is more natural keeper, is braver and decisive.

Almunia either comes half way into no mnas land or flaps at the ball. At least Fabiansji decides early and goes for it, usually winning the ball or drawing a foul. He has better reflexes and imo a greater understanding of being a keeper (ie when to come and not to)

Lehmann made 2 mistakes and was fucked off for the season. Almuia has made far more mistakes, point costng mistakes, as still gets to start.

Fabianski should be starting now so he will be completely ready to take over next season.

Also, Boruc was demoted as no.1 because of his lifestyle choces but I think he is back as no.1 again(unfortunately)

Anonymous said...

well whoever said we aren't spending any money it seems we're spending around 15 mil on arshavin if the reports tonight are correct.

that leaves us with a few days left to get in a dm (i don't have my hopes up).

but ye refusing legal tender for eboue? WHAT?


i think almunia's bit a little worse this season than last but still ok. if our defense looked solid then i think he'd have made less errors. our real issue now is just dm. we sort that and we don't have any major problems elsewhere,

Anonymous said...

please wrighty...TELL ME y u think almunia's performances have dropped from last year??! I think hes always improving and have nothing but respect for the man... true he'll never b the level of buffon/casillas but how many r??? keep the faith with him... hes not amazing but hes fine.. we culd do with strengthening other areas and how many big mistakes has he made this year??? not many

keep it goonerish

MeteorMonster said...

Almunia balls must weigh a ton, because he always seems anchored to his goal line and never wants to come out for crosses. His inability to command the penalty box puts a lot of pressure on the back 4 and has resulted in numerous goal opportunities for opponents.

Yes, he is a decent GK and I like his commitment to the cause, however, he must surely rank in the bottom 1/4 of EPL net minders. As a contending team, Arsenal should have better quality between the sticks.

Fabianski may not be the finshed product but he is an excellent shot stopper and commands his penalty area. He deserves the chance.

Anonymous said...

cudicini is complete shit
not better than either of our keepers

Anonymous said...

Is Harry Redknapp in a world of his own? I must admit, I used to like the bloke when he was in charge of "smaller" teams, no disrespect to Portsmouth, but he seems to have turned into the biggest snake in football. Why can't he get his head round what it is that's actually pi*sing off the other managers? He seems to think by saying "...all they have to do is say he is not for sale" then that is the end of it.

That's all very well but I think the point is that whether the clubs tells Harry where to go or not, the players themselves are the ones who have their heads turned and these days once a player makes his intentions clear with regards to moving on, there is sod all his club can do about it.

For me, Harry has lost all sense of dignity in the way he has conducted himself since he took over at Spurs. I find them, and him, as despicable as the likes of Chelsea these days

Wrighty7 said...

'Arry Redknapp gets on my tits too mate!

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