Almunia; Dead Man Walking? ….. and the real stats

Since two writers have submitted posts giving their particular angle on Manuel Almunia, we have decided to publish them both to demonstrate how views can contrast and stats can prove anything!

A view on Almunia written by 26may1989

What must be going through the mind of Manuel Almunia? We’re all frustrated and annoyed that the new keeper Wenger is after hadn’t been secured before the season’s opening, but I guess the point of this post is to try to look at this situation from Almunia’s point of view.

Whatever we think of his ability to be our first choice keeper, and I am very much of the view that he doesn’t have what it takes technically, Almunia has consistently shown himself to be a man of dignity and modesty. Unlike his predecessor, Jens Lehmann, or the man who has led the defence in front of him over the last two or three years, William Gallas, Almunia is a genuine team player. He has also undoubtedly improved his game over the last few years, and while not good enough, is not nearly as bad as many would claim.

But he and we know the reality. Almunia is the footballing equivalent of a dead man walking. It’s now a matter of record that Arsenal have officially bid for at least one other keeper, Mark Schwarzer, who would be an improvement on Almunia but not dramatically so. Whether or not Schwarzer joins us, Almunia knows his days as first choice are numbered, and quite rightly it seems he would leave Arsenal rather than resume duties as a back-up keeper.

However, we went into last weekend with a tough and difficult opening match depending on Almunia, a man who can only feel undermined and threatened by what has happened this summer. There’s no point whingeing about the situation, it is what it is now, and it’s obvious Wenger didn’t want this situation to have come about any more than we did. I just hope Almunia’s professional pride enables him to put any feelings of frustration and alienation to one side – he may even be motivated by a degree of defiance.

I feel for Almunia being in this situation but I also believe he has the strength of character to give his best for as long as he’s Arsenal’s number one.

What the stats say by GunnerN5

Most of us have agonized over our goalkeeping for several seasons,  really since the much maligned Jens left us, boy how we would like him back now. This chart shows just how  bad our main man Almunia really was last season.

Unfortunately the complete range of stats cannot be reproduced in the chart above, but the decisive conclusions are as follows:

Almunia was 17th in saves per shot at 87.8% and 8th on amount of goals allowed at 31. What is really surprising is that our defense only allowed 254 shots against Almunia in his 29 games. This (among this group of keepers) was the 5th lowest amount for the season and the lowest shots against per game at only 9. To the writer this indicates that our defense was not as suspect as perhaps we thought and that our goalkeeping was worse than thought.

If, for instance, Almunia had  the same save % as Van der Sar at 94.1% (5.9% allowed) then he would only have let in 15 goals and we would, have most likely, won the league.

I know stats are simply stats but this chart really shows just how bad Almunia was and although Fabianski and Mannone are not shown they were no better.

Hart, Schwarzer and Given were all better than any of our lot!!

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106 Responses to Almunia; Dead Man Walking? ….. and the real stats

  1. dandan says:

    Very interesting from both our contributors, fascinating reading and it makes for an intriguing mix,
    I don’t doubt that Manuel is a lovely guy and well liked. Unfortunately being nice doesn’t keep the ball out of the net.
    Its his inability to facilitate this, that has brought about his demise, no doubt he will move elsewhere and hopefully be a success.
    In the meantime a new keeper with a better save ratio is the absolute key to success this year.

  2. 1979gooner says:

    unfortunately those stats are completely meaningless, the shots saved % and shots saved/game are rather random and very meaningless indeed

    schmeichel in his prime was 13th on the opta stats!

    I pulled some prem stats from a few years back and kiraly came up 2nd and he was a useless keeper!

    1 Cech Chelsea 83.3%
    2 Kiraly Crystal Palace 82.9%
    3 Carroll Manchester United 80.0%
    4 Taylor Birmingham City 78.4%
    5 Sorensen Aston Villa 78.3%
    6 James Manchester City 77.6%
    7 Dudek Liverpool 75.0%
    8 Hislop Portsmouth 75.0%
    9 Martyn Everton 74.4%
    10 Niemi Southampton 72.0%
    11 Green Norwich City 71.2%
    12 Schwarzer Middlesbrough 69.8%
    13 Jaaskelainen Bolton Wanderers 69.8%
    14 Speroni Crystal Palace 69.0%
    15 Friedel Blackburn Rovers 64.9%
    16 Robinson Tottenham Hotspur 64.4%
    17 Van der Sar Fulham 64.2%
    18 Kiely Charlton Athletic 63.8%
    19 Lehmann Arsenal 63.0%
    20 Given Newcastle United 62.1%
    21 Hoult West Bromwich Albion 60.3%
    22 Howard Manchester United 58.3%
    23 Kirkland Liverpool 50.0%

    These are not aberrations either, the statistics are very random and there doesn’t appear to be much rhyme or reason to them.

    The stats say nothing about the quality of the saves or errors made.

    You can save lots of easy shots all day and have great stats, while being a sh*t keeper. In fact if you play for a weaker side it seems to help as you get to save a lot more shots and bump your % up.

    I agree on Almunia in that he has been undermined and now has very little confidence, however the stats are not a solid way to base your argument.

    The opta goalkeeper stats are a useless tool and I wouldn’t use them.

  3. jimmy says:

    nice article, thanx. wow hart was amazing, saved 543 shots with a % goal per shot at just 7.2%, incredible!!

  4. Grant says:

    Those stats are pretty much worthless in determining the quality of keepers. Is Manonne really a better keeper than Reina? Would VDS have really let in all but 15 goals setting a new defensive record for the club playing behind our defense? There are far too many variables to consider. Even if the defense allows fewer shots on goal – which given our possession stats isn’t too surprising but tells you little about our defensive qualities – does this allow for the fact that we play a high defensive line and the chances we allow may be much clearer than more defensive teams that pack the goal allowing more pressure on their goal and more numerous but less clear chances? In any event the statistical sample is too small, even at 30 or so games, a degree of statistical variation between keepers, given all the variables, of as much as plus or minus 10% wouldn’t be significant.

  5. Armourist says:

    Looking at your table, When you strip out those who have played less games than a hundred games and sort the table, by goals conceded per game which in my opinion is the most important stat, only vds, cech, reina and games have a lower percentage than almunia.

    I’m not supporting al, just highlighting your biased use of stats, which confirms you can prove your bias with stats

  6. Rasp says:

    Morning all,

    1979gooner, Grant, welcome,

    Most of us believe that stats are pretty meaningless. The most common phrase is that ‘Almunia is a good shot stopper’, which is incorrect, he’s OK, no better than that.

    I wonder if either of you are happy to keep Almunia as our No.1 if you are able to take off your statisticians hats and speak from the heart?

  7. Rasp says:

    Morning Armourist,

    The full spreadsheet of stats that GunnerN5 produced was comprehensive and had many more figures than we could fit on the page in this format. I don’t believe there were any errors in the figures used.

    He is the king of stats and has analysis and figures for every aspect of Arsenal.

    I’m sure he could produce a statistic to prove any point you or anyone else would wish to make – that is the problem with statistics in general – they are seldom subjective.

  8. goonergaz says:

    aye, the stats don’t show quality of shots saved or errors (they must be somewhere!?) – but it does confirm that an Arsenal goalkeeper is well protected…just as well as the Chavs & Liverpool anyway (similar shots against).

    Also we are told things even out over the season, so maybe the stats are not as pointless if you just take those 3 teams (with similar shots against):

    1st Cech 91.7
    2nd Reina 90.1
    3rd Almu 87.8

  9. Morning all

    I agree with all those who have said that goalkeeper stats are meaningless. If the mid-field protects the back four and the back four protect the keeper there are fewer shots obviously. I’m not saying that Almunia would be a better keeper if we defended better as a team but his stats would be better ;)

    My view is that apart from the fact that he isn’t good enough he could give the impression of being commanding but he’s actually too scared to try to appear big.

  10. kelsey says:

    We seem to be debating the same thing over and over again.I believe in general we could do better than any of the keepers we have, but that is only part of the prblem.

    The missing ingredient in defence is height just as much as Almunia’s frailities.
    Defence wise we are a below average height team and that is another area of concern to bolster the defence.
    So if Schwarzer or Given did come in it would only resolve part of he problem, and Almunia himself has been quoted that it is effecting his concentration,and we are only one game into the season.

  11. Morning kelsey

    Could it be Given?

  12. Grant says:

    That’s the problem here a little too much speaking from the heart and not enough using the head. I’d be perfectly happy to keep Almunia until we can get someone better. Same goes for every other player in the team in every other position. Most of those being proposed Schwarzer, Given et c., aren’t even as good and those relatively few genuinely better just aren’t going to be available on demand.

  13. Flint McCullough says:

    Good article but the stats are useless for the reasons given by others.

    My view, for what it is worth, is that while Almunia is our goalkeeper, we should get behind him because if his confidence gets further destroyed it certainly does us no favours.

    To me he is Lukic, perfectly reasonable ‘keeper but if there is substantially better (like Seaman in those days)then get him. My problem is that I just don’t see that kind of player available to us. Given looks a good ‘keeper but he gets the opportunity of saving a lot of look good but savables, whilst letting a few more in than Manuel, in spite of playing in a more defensive side.

    We really are not a ‘keeper friendly side because of the way we play. We allow few opportunities but my impression is, without checking the facts, when we do they are very good ones via the hoof over the high line or from set pieces, which all ‘keepers have problems with. Does anyone have the stats for conceding from these situations?

    There were quite a lot of ‘keeper errors over the weekend all far worse than the one Manuel has been condemned with by many. With the change of balls over the years the saying “should never be beaten at the near post” is not as true as it may once have been. Show me a ‘keeper that has never done it?

    My fear is that we will change Manuel with a purchase of equal or minimally better ability, which could unsettle the side. Manuel often leaves the impression that he “might of saved” a goal but really crass absolute errors ala Green have been very rare.

    It is not an easy position particularly in the modern game, which is so much faster & also reliant on footballing skills that the Shilton’s never had to use.

  14. Ole Gunner says:

    Great discussion. Very heartened to see an intelligent and meaningful discussion on what stats mean.

    Save % is a flawed stat with which to measure a keeper’s performance. A keeper might for example, face 100 shots, 20 of which are penalties. Let’s say he saves 5 of those and concedes 15, he’d look worse than a keeper who faced 100 shots, but lets 12 tame shots pass under him.

    This stat does not allow for the quality of the shots. All shots are not equal.

    Last season, as the blogger noted, Arsenal conceded very few shots on target but still conceded 41 goals. In terms of shots on target allowed, we were as tight as Chelsea and Man Utd. Yet we conceded more goals.

    Two possible explanations; the keeper was very poor, or we conceded high quality shots on target.

    It’s obviously the second. There’s a stat for keeper errors. Almunia wasn’t very bad on that score. If you count the number of errors he made, it might be possible to make the argument they were costly (goal against Birmingham), but it’s simply not true that more than 8 of those were Almunia errors. 33 goals is still a lot to concede after adjusting for keeper errors, since all keepers make mistakes.

    In fact, a lot of the goals we conceded were stupid goals, early in the season when we’d be 4 nil up and concede a cheap goal in the last minute.

  15. Ole Gunner says:

    Could I ask the blogger to post the spreadsheet containing the keeper stats on google docs and share?

  16. Ole Gunner says:

    Sorry for banging on and on. Keeper stats are fundamentally flawed because it tries to measure individual performance with a team stat. You can have a good back 5, but if you have a front and middle 6 that defend poorly your team will concede many goals.

    It’s much the same as judging based on clean sheets. It’s a good measure on those who keep clean sheets, a poor measure for those who don’t because they don’t identify who caused the goal. If a team kept a clean sheet you at least know nobody gifted the opposition a goal.

    Keeper stats have to be developed. The problem is that goalkeeping is fundamentally subjective in a way that goalscoring isn’t. We know who the highest scorer is. We don’t know who has made the most difficult saves, or the highest value saves. Judging goalkeepers is thus very much an issue of bias.

    It’s why Reina wasn’t pasted for conceding that goal at his near post to RVP at the Grove a couple of seasons ago, while Almunia was pasted for conceding a goal at his near post from a nearer shot by N’gog.

  17. Hi Ole Gunner – we may be able to put the whole spread-sheet up as a link in the side-bar – leave it with me and I’ll see what I can do.

  18. tommystout says:

    fascinating post and to me really just backs up the fact that almunia although the best we have got, is not good enough.
    My thoughts –
    It looks on paper as though our defense is as good as the likes of liverpool at protecting the keeper. But with arsenal having perhaps 60-70% of the ball during a game then obviously there will be fewer shots against us.
    I hope there is a stat kicking about in N5’s library which tells us the amount of errors made as they do in baseball. I think flaps and almunia keepers would be way above the average.
    The stats tells us that there is little between schwarzer and shay, thats why i opt for MS because he is bigger and has a better chance of commanding the penalty area.No wonder wenger wants it tied up in time for blackburn away!

  19. gunnern5 says:

    The spreadsheet has 6 tabs – 5 of which concentrated only on keepers that played 12 games or more. My comments in the lead post were directed to the 5 tabs and therefore look out of context when posted with the main spreadsheet.

    I’ve tried to find a valid data base for goalkeepers statistics that could be used to create a historical analysis but so far I’ve drawn a blank.

    The data used in the spreadsheet is valid and was pulled from various sources and assembled together.

    I created the chart to generate thought and more meaningful dialogue around keeper performance, as IMHO most dialogue is too subjective and lacks any factual base. That is not to say stats are the be all and end all of facts as they can be slanted in many different ways.

    My preference is to try to remove as much of the subjective as possible and replace it with objective data.

    Whatever way one looks at it our goalkeeping has been sub-standard since the Seaman days and we both need and deserve far better than our current dross.

    That said I don’t see either Given or Schwarzer as a vast improvement and they would be nothing more than a short term (2/3 seasons)plug.

  20. tommystout says:

    WTF nasri…. omg there is no club like us for surgery time!

  21. Rasp says:

    Hi Ole, good to have you on the site,

    I don’t have the spreadsheet stored in a location I can link to, but I would be happy to email it to you (with gunnerN5’s approval). If you email us using the ‘Contact us’ tab at the top I will send it to you this evening.

  22. DeiseGooner says:

    nasri out for a f**king month – hes been our most in form attacker in preseason too – jesus h christ what is it with us – why can players just get a knock and get on with it without surgery and a long lay off – on the other hand wel have Riccardo Montolivo

  23. Flint McCullough says:

    That’s fine gunnern5 but just tell me who the current Seaman (at his best) is ?

    Looking at the WC one of the best ‘keeping performances came from Wigan’s number 3. It is so hard to judge them.

    There is no doubt that Almunia is not the ‘keeper of 2 seasons ago. We are led to believe he had a serious family problem at the beginning of last season that may have affected him. It is not too late for him to recapture his best form, although the pressure now being put on him, from all sources, makes it unlikely that he will find it with AFC.

  24. 26may1989 says:

    I agree with N5, neither Given nor Schwarzer would be anything other than a short-term solution and both have their imperfections. But there’s probably consensus among many Arsenal fans that that sort of recruit is fine, so that we can see whether Szczesny matures sufficiently over the next couple of years.

    But short-term as it is, getting in Given or Schwarzer (or Freidel or Frey) is essential, Alumnia’s confidence will only get worse and worse as long as the current saga drags on. Having come this far in revamping our GK, we can’t afford it to go on much longer. I hope behind the scenes at Craven Cottage, the Wastelands and Ashburton, there is plenty going on to put this to bed……..

  25. Grant says:

    You don’t see Given and Schwarzer as a vast improvement at all because they aren’t even as good. Even basing it on your ‘objective’ data, while playing for overtly more defensive sides, they are both 20% more likely to concede a goal in a game than Almunia.

  26. 26may1989 says:

    Bloody hell, just seen the Nasri news – the player who’s been in the best pre-season form, and we lose him for a month. Still, at least it’s during a relatively easy run of games and Cesc and others will be back.

  27. DeiseGooner says:

    Almunias situation has become a ‘need to change’ situation. Hes not a ‘bad’ keeper nor is he good enough but its the situation that has developed whereby hes had his chance and the mamagement now feel another option is needed – it seemed obvious to me that Wenger wanted Fabz to be that man but hes fluffed his lines almost every chance hes got at the tail end of last season and the pre season of this. Wenger still seems like hes not sure on Vito and Szczesny purely based on experience. Fabz played first team at legia and has 4 or 5 years on th eother 2 but he just fails at the step up each chance hes got. So long term he may come good, as may Szczesny and Vito but it just look slike a short term solution is noe the best course of action

  28. gunnern5 says:

    Rasp, I have no problem sharing the spreadsheet but please ensure my personal confidentiality is in tact.

  29. Flint McCullough says:

    That sums it up really Deise !!

  30. Rasp says:

    OK thanks gunnerN5,

    That goes without saying, everything is kept private and no details regarding bloggers will ever be released to others.

  31. Rasp says:

    Excellent comment DeiseGooner,

    With young players its a lot to do with seizing the moment. That’s the way Ashley Cole forced his way into the side – by performing well when given his chance. Unfortunately Fabianski has failed to do that.

    Joe Hart is an excellent example of the difference a strong mental attitude can make, and I’m hoping Chesney is of a similar ilk.

  32. Red Arse says:

    Well done 26May and GunnerN5,

    I liked both these different attempts to quantify the worth of Amunia as keeper.

    Trying to codify and qualitatively assess someone by the use of stats alone is, of course, pretty difficult, but taking the two Posts together is v. illuminating.

    Particularly well done Gunnern5, terrific job on your stats collation. Respect. :-)

  33. Red Arse says:

    Time for lunch as Frothing Inarticulate Loon is probably just about to appear! :-)

  34. le prof says:

    stats dont tell the whole story-it also depends on what type of shots our defense allows big al to be exposed to. there are some shots that keepers cannot do anything about-the defending is not good enough throughout the team, we only defend well sometimes. saying that i do think we need a better keeper.

  35. Red Arse says:

    Good point Le Prof.

    Almunia was castigated for letting in the ‘Pool goal on Sunday, whereas Pavyluchenko’s effort, from further out, was put down to his terrific shot, and the keeper was not mentioned.

    Funny that. When the tide goes out …… (well I could have started on about Seagulls). :-)

  36. Rasp says:

    Welcome le prof,

    Many have made the same point today. I think that sometimes stats are used to reinforce a weak argument. Some stats cannot be argued with: the team that wins the premiership is always the most deserving, but shots on goal etc are affected by too many other variables to ever produce a difinitive conclusion.

  37. Irishgunner says:

    Afternoon all.

    The stats are like Arsene and his Denilson stats – he’s says he passes the ball a lot but not that he passes them 5 inches sideways….

  38. charybdis1966 says:

    Afternoon all, does anyone else see this as being our starting eleven on Saturday?
    Fabianski(after the “puff” job done on him by Arse.com)
    Clichy, Nordveit, Verminator, Sagna
    Arshavin, Wilshere, Diaby, Eboue
    Chamakh, Vela

  39. Ketch says:

    THIS IS RUBBISH AND IRRELEVANT!!!!!!!!!!!

    Many keepers that play in top teams say that you can look great if your playing for a lesser side and your busy, but to be a great keeper and to play for a great team you might just have 1 save and you have to make sure you save that shot.
    Almunia may be a great keeper if he goes to someone like Fulham where he may be kept busy but at Arsenal he has considerably less to do

  40. Rasp says:

    Hi Ketch,

    Try reading the article again and then the subsequent comments and you will comprehend what the writers are actually saying and how those who have disagreed but not been offensive, have made their points.

    You’re welcome on the site, but drop the attiitude eh?
    Capital letters and multiple exclamation marks are crude and do nothing to reinforce your points.

  41. Rasp says:

    Incidentally Ketch, I agree with the point you make :P

  42. Irishgunner says:

    I think Ketch might be gone Rasp ha ha

  43. London says:

    Nail on the head there Ketch……shame about the first line in capitals.

  44. kelsey says:

    according to a blogger who once frequented these pages, schwarzer is a done deal and will sign on thursday.

    i reserve my judgement if it is true, and if it is, i pity him as every eye at the stadium on saturday will watch his every move.

    we really shouldn’t be in a position like this with our keepers, for a club of such great standing.

    well hello, london.

  45. London says:

    I watched the game live on TV (FOX Soccer, $5 a month for every EPL game…that’s every game) Coco was his usual flappy self for which he deserves all the criticism that comes his way but the goal……Ngog would need a thousand attempts to put it in the same, perfect spot again.

    Hi Kelsey

    Got off the plane a couple of hours ago…..very jet lagged.

  46. London says:

    I admire Dandan’s belief in what Wenger said about signings but I am far more in Rasp’s cautious camp…..it is not that I doubt Wenger it is just that I do not believe that those statements are aimed at us the fans. I have long since believed that they are for the consumption of agents and owners of clubs and because of which they are subject to constant change.

    I cannot see a new keeper arriving in this window.

  47. Red Arse says:

    Irish,

    Every time I visit a web page I end up with a sneaky Lady Gaga advertising tickets for her show.

    Can’t you just buy them all up so she can leave me in peace? :-)

  48. dandan says:

    Is honoured to be admired by London and trusts he had a good holiday.

  49. London says:

    London had a good holiday and secretly hopes to hell that Dandan is right ;)

  50. dandan says:

    LOL at least I have a 50 x 50 chance

  51. Rasp says:

    Welcome home London, you’ve been missed!

    dandan, 3 days to go for us to sign the new keeper you promised would be in place by saturday :)

    kelsey,
    Was the blogger you mention the same one who guaranteed Melo was a done deal and several others that have come to nothing?

    Nothing beats the £20m for Reina story, I am still shocked by the gullibility of such experienced bloggers.

  52. kelsey says:

    no dandan.

    50/50 chance ;)

  53. Irishgunner says:

    LOL Red Arse I wish Gaga had more trouble selling her tickets then I wouldn’t have a near heart attack in trying to get them. She sold out like 3 Irish Gigs at the O2 (holds like 10,000 people I think) in under an hour, but I got my tickets and that’s all that matters :)

    I think even all the €150 tickets are gone – lol some people paid extra just so they could get in 30mins befor everyone else, muppets :lol:

  54. kelsey says:

    No rasp,

    it was the one who we unfortunately had to bin once and for all.

  55. Irishgunner says:

    Rasp – Maybe on Sunday Reina was auditioning for the Arsenal? maybe he thinks being dodgy is part of it?

  56. Irishgunner says:

    I know of who kelsey speaks :)

  57. dandan says:

    Kelsey I just knew someone would pick me up on that LOL

  58. Rasp says:

    Just to qualify London’s view of my level of expectation ;) I think there is a slightly better than 50/50 chance that we will sign Schwarzer before the window closes and a less than 20% chance it will be in time to play on saturday.

  59. kelsey says:

    Let’s suppose he does sign, what happens to the other 4 keepers.My guess is that Almunia will be off back to Spain with some middle of the road club, and Fab will be number 2, chesney 3 and what happens to mannone.

  60. London says:

    Hi Rasp

    Thank you for the welcome return……..wow, slightly above 50/50 less than 20 to play this Saturday……I am more in the camp of there being more chance of hell freezing over that we have a new keeper for Saturday and a 10% chance we sign one before the close of the window.

  61. Rasp says:

    You’re probably right kelsey. Hopefully Almunia will find another club.

    I agree with many who believe a year long loan is what Fab2 needs, with Chesney as number two. That is slightly harsh on Mannone who came out top of GunnerN5’s stats, but he hasn’t had the benefit of playing last year to the same level as Chesney.

  62. Rasp says:

    :lol: London,

    I do believe we want to sign him, just that we’ll do the ‘leave it to the last minute thing’ to save a few shekels.

    But on the other hand, I’m sure AW won’t be too bothered if we fail. If either Almunia or Fab2 play and underperform they (and Arsène) are going to get slaughtered I’m afraid.

  63. dandan says:

    I wonder if MR Blatter had any idea how much soul searching and distress he would cause when he introduced the transfer window.

    Given the intensity of some of the posters,we have been visited by during recent weeks, it is easy to imagine relationships being put under great strain by these protracted dramas.

    Imho the old buy when you want system was immeasurably better

  64. Big Raddy says:

    Welcome home London,

    I believe we will sign two players before the close of the window. Or AW will be a highly frustrated man

  65. dandan says:

    Agrees with BR

  66. London says:

    I don’t see this as just about money, the range of negotiation is quite small, probably only a million but (I can’t remember who used the comparison first) this is like a housing chain; each house owner has to find a buyer in order for the whole thing to go ahead. Fulham have to find a new keeper, Almunia has to find a new club and if all this happens then we will get Schwarzer.

  67. London says:

    Hi BR

    When is super Nikki expected back?

  68. dandan says:

    I think Sparky still has his crazy city prices hat on and needs to get real, so we can all do some business
    Mind you he is not Arsenals biggest fan anyway is he.

  69. London says:

    This is a excellent opportunity for Fulham; they get an above market value price for Schwarzer which they in turn can use to but a younger keeper, although, understandably they would have to have him as good as signed before they let the Aussi go. To me this is not a money hold up, this is a case of people trying to get their ducks in line.

  70. Big Raddy says:

    London

    Well, it has just been announced that his 34 y.o, mother of 2, heiress girlfriend is pregnant, and they are delighted (lucky bugger – she is a stunner! and the richest woman in Dk).

    Perhaps that is where he picked up his groin strain ;-)

  71. Big Raddy says:

    DD. The man hates AFC and fortunately his feelings are reciprocated.

    I expect to see him out of the job by Xmas

  72. London says:

    Has she got a sister or maybe a pet?

  73. Red Arse says:

    Dandan,

    I suspect your question about Blatter was intentionally rhetorical.

    I don’t think the pompous and priggish Blatter man thinks at all. He loves to be the “boss” however ludicrous he seems to everyone else because of his pontification and lack of foresight.

    Apart from that, he is O.k. :-)

  74. Red Arse says:

    Big Raddy,

    I am so relieved NikkyB still thinks he is the dad. I never thought the princess would keep quiet about me! ;)

  75. Red Arse says:

    London,

    “has she got a pet?” What? :-)

  76. kelsey says:

    BR or a brother as I am not fussy :)

    I happen to know that Fulham are in a quandry if they sell us Schwarzer.The highest earner there is Murphy on 40k a week, so they can forget about Given.

  77. kelsey says:

    Just for dandan,

    Bellamy to Cardiff is a strange one,he is still PL quality.

  78. dandan says:

    He is not a threat to them there.

  79. London says:

    Hi RA

    Old joke, still makes me chuckle.

  80. kelsey says:

    Nic, may ask for maternity leave, isn’t it law now in England.

  81. gunnern5 says:

    London: I hope Super Nikki won’t be back until he’s Super.

  82. London says:

    N5

    He is super in BR’s part of the world and a lucky bugger in the rest of it.

  83. Rasp says:

    Evening all,

    On the subject of transfer window signings:

    London says probably none
    Rasp says possibly one (Schwarzer)
    Raddy and dandan are confident of two

    I can see why many believe we might sign a keeper, but we haven’t been linked seriously wih any CB’s. If we do sign a CB he will be young, cheap and virtually unheard of or, old cheap and as popular as Silvestre ;)

  84. Ketch says:

    @ Rasp sorry didnt mean to be rude, just make sure you read my post, because i think it was a valid point as you said yourself.

    I do enjoy reading your posts though so keep up the good work.

    @ London thanks, and il try to keep calm in future

  85. Rasp says:

    No worries Ketch,

    Feel free to air your views on here any time.

  86. Rasp says:

    Just call me Nostradamus …… I predicted at 7:54 that “if we do sign a CB he will be young, cheap and virtually unheard of or, old cheap and as popular as Silvestre”

    Phillippe Auclair has said that we are on the verge of signing Sébastien Squillaci, a CB from Sevilla, he’s 30, French, cheap and surplus to their requirements – another Silvestre :roll:

  87. Rasp says:

    Having said that Squillaci is a solid defender so maybe a lot better than Silvestre (who isn’t?)

  88. Ketch says:

    You’ve signed a defender?
    And i only believe it if its reported on sky sports news.

  89. Rasp says:

    You’re probably right Ketch, its just that Suillaci is such a typical Arsène/Arsenal type purchase I can see it happening

  90. Big Raddy says:

    That he is Rasp, a stop gap whilst AW finds and gets his man or awaits the development of his young CB’s.

  91. kelsey says:

    Morning all,

    for a change i am again worried about the never ending injury list.nasri out for 4 weeks means at least 8, and no real update on all the others in Emergency Ward 10.
    Then there is Arshavin,who appears to be carrying an on going injury for about a year.Just can’t work that out.

    At least ian holloway road won’t park the bus on saturday, which regardless of who we send out should be capable of winning.

  92. kelsey says:

    We are now linked to Goonerholic, for those that I hope are interested.

  93. Rasp says:

    Morning kelsey,

    Thanks for that, Goonerholic writes excellent articles and the comments are always very good too.

  94. tommystout says:

    morning all
    this squillachi dude hit the rumour mill big time last night….. i’d never heard of him, however he would be welcome in my eyes.
    Guardian says hes been offered a 3 year contract, at 30 it seems very un wenger like.
    Anyway if we do get him it will be depressing to see the amount of disatisfaction amongst bloggers that will no doubt be kicking about. Me i’d be happy with anyone at this point!

  95. tommystout says:

    do people use the links? :-)

  96. Big Raddy says:

    TS. Thankfully AW’s recent signings record gives me great hope this is another gem, even if short term.

    I guess AW has a list of say 5 potential signings for each area he wishes to strengthen and then goes down the list as each player is found to be unavailable. Squilacci is surely at the bottom of his list, which I imagine was headed by Hangerland and Mertesacker

  97. Rasp says:

    I think Squillaci could be a very good signing. He would probably be first choice back-up after TV and kozzer and push JD down the pecking order.

  98. charybdis1966 says:

    Morning all, had a long conversation with a fellow gooner who was decidedly unhappy with things at the club; the fanshare option being the final straw in his opinion. There was ample material there for a Friday rant, if we still do those things.

  99. Morning chary – does the aforementioned gooner want to put something in writing for tomorrow?

  100. Rasp and I spoke about the Friday rant but we thought we’d let the season be at least a month old before bringing it back :lol:

  101. charybdis1966 says:

    Oh no Peachy, he’s a non blogger, it just occurred to me that listening to him he had a lot of legitimate concerns, most of which I agreed with.

  102. You must be itching to write something then – Have you got time to send something through later?

  103. charybdis1966 says:

    Um, I could do something for this evening Peachy, but if you’ve got posts lined up already then you know my natural laziness will kick in! There’s no intro-subject-conclusion type of format to it; it would’ve just been a bit of a ramble.

  104. Talk to you on the next page ;)

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