Another ‘Keeper Headache For Arsenal?

After all the pain we have experienced with our goalkeeping options in the last few years, hands up if you thought we had finally solved them with the emergence of Wojciech Szczesny?

Our 21-year-old stopper certainly has many of the attributes essential for a top class ‘keeper.

His stature, attitude and authority in the box all augur well for the future. But that’s the point – ‘for the future’.

Right now – in the present – he is far from the finished article.

In the North London Derby on Wednesday night he had a real curate’s egg of a performance. Some of his saves were truly outstanding. But he can arguably be blamed for two of the Spuds’ three goals. And the persistent problem with his kicking was again in evidence.

Suffice to say that if Almunia had had that exact same performance, many people would be glossing over the saves and pillorying him for being beaten at his near post and for giving away a penalty when the attacking player was running the ball out of play.

Instead I have seen barely a mention of Wojciech’s performance.

For now, it seems, our young Pole is benefitting from the halo effect of not being Manuel. Most fans are prepared to overlook his mistakes and over-appreciate his saves.

But let’s not forget that Wojciech was at least fifty per cent responsible for giving away the goal that cost us our best chance of silverware this year. And he has made other mistakes since (like handling the ball outside the area) most of which can be put down to inexperience.

So what conclusions should we draw?

For me, it’s that we should feel lucky to have a young prospect who could well turn out to be an Arsenal goalkeeping legend.

But perhaps, for next season, we should not automatically consider him to be our number one Number One. Indeed I would be surprised if Arsene Wenger does not restore Fabianski to the first team role next year, with Szczesny as number two.

I wrote a post about Szczesny way back in January, before the many disappointments that have been visited upon us in the last couple of months. I warned that we were expecting too much of the young man and that he was bound to make errors. I take no pleasure in having been proved right.

It worried me that, when he did inevitably make mistakes, the fans would start to turn on him too, but thankfully that hasn’t happened yet.

To conclude – this is NOT an anti-Szczesny piece. I am very hopeful that he will become our true number one in the next 18 months to two years.

But for next season? In all honesty I would like to see us bring in an older, very experienced ‘keeper to do the job until Wojciech is fully ready.

I know I’m a bit of a lone voice on this one and that most Gooners are only too happy to acclaim the lad as the chosen one, but I do feel he will continue to cost us points for a while as he matures into the role.

RockyLives

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81 Responses to Another ‘Keeper Headache For Arsenal?

  1. What Szczesny has is self confidence which differentiates him from other Arsenal keepers.He might make a costly error in a cup final but will have the mental strength to come back from it immediately.
    I agree on the fact that he is inexperienced and is prone to an odd-error but the thing is which experienced keeper is available. Schwarzer is too old. Man city won’t sell Given to us. Who else???
    Btw, check out my new article:

    http://delhigunner.wordpress.com/2011/04/21/3-3-draw-completes-the-series-of-unfortunate-events/

  2. tommystout says:

    Good post Rocky.
    I’m on the fence that is more than happy with him, mistakes and all. He is the future and apart from the penalty (though lennon left his foot in, chezzer was a little naive) i thought he did well against the spuds.
    I don’t panic with him in the goal, its the rest of the defence that i panic about.
    As for the future i see mannone as back up and lehmann staying on as number 3 / coach. Fab2 can go, he wont want to stay when inevitably chezzer becomes the indisputable number 1 and that could be for the next 15 years!
    Anyway i’m happy, i love his bravery and that awesome wink!

  3. chas says:

    Controversial and eloquent, Rocky; that is, up to your usual standard. :)

    Szczesny has definitely benefitted from the Almunia/Fabianski effect of last season.

    Personally, I think Schwarzer would have cost us points this season, too. Reina has certainly cost Liverpool some points as has Joe Hart at Citeh.

    I really can’t see Arsene buying a keeper. (Or any other player for that matter if this morning’s press conference is anything to go by!) The heels are getting deeper.

  4. goonermichael says:

    I totally disagree about him being 50% at fault in the CC cuo final That was 100% Kozzer. I hope he gets the number 1 on his shirt next season. All keepers make mistakes no matter what the age. I VDS made at least one howler last season that cost the mancs 2 points.

  5. Pat7 says:

    Good post Rocky. I’m in the keep him as No.1 camp.

    If we take Reina as a potential signing – we apparently tried for him last year – he has made more errors than our top man. Cech etc have all made as many errors over the season & we need the money to buy in quality in other positions, namely CB, DM & a real striker/winger.

    For me van Persie is a 2nd striker & we should go back to 4-4-2. Walcott could be put in the centre to add some quick feet there & I’d trade in Bendtner & Chamakh for one quality striker.

    Forget Arshavin. What happened to ‘an athlete first who can play?’ That guy may have flicks & quick feet but he’s never been fit enough to last in the EPL & despite his best efforts, he’s not got it & disappears to often if he ever turns up!

  6. Pat7 says:

    If you look at the errors the top keepers have made during this season, you have to question whether this new ball is causing some of those. It seems the further away the strike the more it moves in the air.

    Get rid of the dross, get a real quality spine and a real captain to assist Fab from ‘overload’ & watch our defense & composure improve as a result.

  7. Red Arse says:

    I have warned you about this before Rocky. Stop writing such excellent stuff! :-)

    I think you have argued a very persuasive case for Sczesney dropping back to No.2, for a while, but on reflection I feel I must demur with your conclusion.

    The only way to get experience is the ‘hard way’, by being out there honing your skills and taking the knocks and set backs that come in life.

    I also rather agree with tommystout that he brings something equally valuable to the team, in that he is an extrovert, with bags of confidence and has no fear in cajoling his defence when necessary.

    I think we have had our first contretemps, Rocky. :-)

  8. SUGA3 says:

    Szczesny is MILES better than Fabianski and we would be top of the table if it was not for the whole dilly-dallying with Almunia and Fabianski…

    no.1 for me all the way!

    and I am sorry, but to blame him for the pen is just pretty damn simplistic, you must have watched the second half from behind the sofa, he is the sole reason why we got away with a point…

  9. Red Arse says:

    Hi Pat7, :-)

    You are obviously flourishing in the Cypriot sunshine! :-) Actually the weather here has been wonderful recently, too.

    Can’t disagree with anything you have said in your comments, although I am sad that Arshavin’s fitness lets him down because he has tremendous skill too.

  10. Red Arse says:

    Hi Suga3, :-)

    The penalty came about because we were so keen to launch another attack, Sagna was committed up field when Lennon burst thru’.

    Lennon undoubtedly played for the penalty, as all forwards would, but if Chezzer had not come out for the ball, he would have been damned for being indecisive and feeble.

    He will learn from it!

  11. kelsey says:

    Very good post RL and firstly since the Seaman era keepers have been Wenger’s nemisis(is that the right word).Chesney is a good comparison to maninger as they were the same age when Alex came into the side.

    Then there is the question of who is available and would Arsene spend a good proportion of the so called war chest when other positions need addressing.

    Chesney is an imposing figure,yes a little naive still, but many of the stupid goals we have conceded has been a lack of understanding with an ever changing back line in front of him or whoever is in goal.

    He needs to improve his distribution and especially his kicking,but in conclusion I would keep him at number 1 otherwise he may lose confidence if yet another keeper comes in.

    Every single keeper has made howlers this season, but as we support Arsenal we focus on them more.

  12. SUGA3 says:

    Morning RA ;)

    I’m just saying put him behind a bit more disciplined back four and watch him go…

    Sp*ds played a bit of a high line until Theo scored and then they went back a notch, no?

    some are clamouring for Reina, and he conceded more goals than our trio combined – I am a big fan of Szczesny, but I think there is not much of exaggeration in saying that our point tally would be a tad better, had we started the season with him…

  13. Red Arse says:

    Suga,

    I am with you. I think we allowed the Totts to attack more when we took Theo off. Up until then they had to hold back because they were scared of his pace.

    We took Theo off, they brought lennon on and the reverse happened, except we kept attacking leaving holes for Van the Fart and lennon to exploit.

    I don’t rate Reina that much. He makes too many mistakes for me.

    Hi Kelsey, :-)

    You are spot on that we have been a bit goalkeeper-lite since Seaman, including Mad Jens perhaps.

  14. Red Arse says:

    Have to go out now, but before I do, I have not previously said how much I enjoyed the game on Wednesday.

    Pulsating, heart stopping, just the way footie should be. The final score was a bit of a bugger, but what a pity we did not play that way against some of the rubbish teams this season!

  15. Pat7 says:

    Hi RA,

    Yes, I’m flourishing although it’s been cooler the last 2-3 days – mind you, before that, 15 minutes out there & I was sweating & seeking shade.

    Disappointed majorly with Andrei. He has got the skill but obviously not the Arsene diet judging by his belly! I love his expressions & effort but can’t excuse him any more………..

    We need more players that can cope with more than half a season to aid our consistency of performance & add ‘strength of character’ to the team.

  16. Pat7 says:

    It would help sooooooooo much if AW would stop playing Bendtner & Chamakh as wingers & as for taking off Theo & Jack for B & A in the last two matches……..what a way to give the opposition momentum! 4-4-2 please!

  17. W Parker says:

    Szczesny is our future no1.The reason why he was beaten at his near post is because he has been out of action for several weeks.
    The importants of match fittness is sometimes over looked when gauging a players performance.Without Szczesny in goal i’m not sure the game would have ended as a draw.

    ”he went on loan to the Bees Szczesny,Szczesny.
    he’s 6ft 5′ not 6ft 3′ Szczesny,szczesny.
    He’s our no:1 you see and he wears the 53,
    Arsenal stopper Wojciech Szczesny…..la la la la la la la

  18. Harry says:

    Morning Rocky, Eloquent article, however one that I 99% disagree with and more importantly had hoped not to see to be honest…..I saw your comments post match about 2 of the 3 goals been his fault, which is so harsh….and one I disagree with…

    Firstly the 1% I do agree with, is that he needs to work on his distribution, notably his long kicks, he rushes and pulls them frequently at an angle.

    There is an element of the halo effect that protects not only Woijech but Jack as well is massively protected at the moment, amongst others……(Rightly so, the crowd can destroy a player AND A TEAM)

    As Bob wilson has disclosed that Wenger did indeed bid for Reina at the start of the season, I was told at xmas about this by a liverpool mate, who is convinced he is definitely leaving Liverpool this summer…So what if we do bring him in?

    Its a difficult one, this links to what Cesc did or didnt say, “To win or to develop”…..

    If wenger decides that he wants and gets Pepe, then Woijech and Lukas will have to fight for their places, if he decides to stick with the two poles, they will still be on their toes as there isnt much between them, so we would have competition for places, with also possibly Mannone coming back in…Almunia must leave, I would keep Jens as a Coach to the youngsters……

    If wenger does decide to keep with the youngsters, that will leave more money for the buys we need outfield, 2 maybe 3 players….. A discussion for another article….

    Back to Woijech, he has a prescence about him, the aura of confidence, he can handle the knocks, he has a belief about himself, which as a keeper is paramount…His sizes helps him at the set pieces which Fabianski struggles with….The polish coach who develop both of them, says that Fabianski is the better shot stopper, but Woijech has the all round ability to really be the best….

    The worry for me now is firmly with the defence, I pray that Vermaelen is truely over his achilles injury, I was out for 2 years with my achilles rupture…

    Personally for now I would drop Clichy, his inability to deal with ball under pressure costs us too often, he panics, I noted comments by GIE about this in the last post, that no one shows for him etc……Gael is very talented going forward( needs to practice crossing) but when under pressure he stutters, stands still and invariably loses the ball, he cost us the points against spurs at emirates (4-4), at st Andrews, he has doen similar this season, he did it several times against Liverpool on the weekend and against totts….I have lost count, his pace has got him out of it at times, but for me he is a liability when under pressure…. (Gibbs at LB and then Clichy using pace in front)

    The other defender that lacks belief and panics under pressure is Djourou, 95% of the time he is immense, but he again strains under decision making when under the cosh…..Have seen him make too many mistakes, would keep him and hope he learns and matures….

    Until we sort out this defence, the pressure will be there on all of the team from Keeper through to the Captain……But then again if we took our chances the pressure would be off them more!!!

    The Player I would go and get is Jan Vertonghen, Left sided CB or DM (Great Cover for Song), he has played with Thomas before which will aid his settling……..

    Look at the end of the day we can all over cook this analysis, we arent far from a team that will WIN a trophy, I want wenger to stay, the fans to back the team at the emirates, a couple of new signings, a few loans to return ie Ryo and Lansbury.

    Woijech will win us more points than he costs us as he develops, for once I am happy with the goalie situation but will back wenger is he decides to bring in Pepe…..

  19. SUGA3 says:

    Harry,

    I reckon spending upwards of £20M on Reina who has been pretty poor this season would be shocking management, given that our funds are limited and we still have the gems like Diaby and Bendtner in the team and no proper wide player(s)…

  20. kelsey says:

    Harry,

    I think you have more or less covered what i said but in greater detail.

  21. kelsey says:

    We are going off subject here a bit.I thought the post was about the pros and cons of Szczesny?

  22. mickydidit89 says:

    Once again, the Rocky stamp is on the postage. A+.
    I am in the stick with Sz camp. Your post does highlight one problem for me, and that is, how do our young players gain the experience. As a No2 Keeper (were we to buy in 18 months of experience) he could not go out on loan. Too many people are in the play 1st XI in CC camp, whereas I believe that given that the reserves are meaningless these days, we should always play injury-come-backers and 2nd XI’ers in the CC.
    On a different note, a better keeper with experience would cost £10m. Well, I would save this, and add it to the £30m Stan and I have already allocated for our new striker! Happy days :-)

  23. MikE says:

    he is a top bloke and a future legend. (i watched him a dozen times at brentford last season – in the rough and tumble of division one he saved the bees at least fifteen points!)

    i would like us to have an experienced, older, keeper available as back up and to give him an occasional break, but have ‘chesney’ start as number one. a slightly younger lens.

  24. SUGA3 says:

    micky,

    a keeper being an improvement (not much) over Szczesny would set us back closer to twenty million than ten ;)

  25. SUGA3 says:

    Sorensen as no.2, anyone?

  26. mickydidit89 says:

    Suga,
    Excellent news. Up goes my striker budget! I will get Torres after all.

  27. Rasp says:

    Interesting post Rocky, I understand your thinking but I reckon it would be unfair not to stick with Sz when you consider the other players who have been given a couple of years to prove themselves – and some still don’t quite cut it.

    I think if the back four is strong, Sz will be fine. The recurring problem is when the fullbacks go bombing forward and we are hit on the counter. That problem has to be addressed by training the midfielders to be in a position to plug the gaps if we lose possession.

    The prospect of having a fully fit TV next to Dj with Kozzer as a sub or even better as the HM who covers for the fullbacks, is mouthwatering indeed.

  28. Pat7 says:

    Harry,

    A well written argument but putting Clichy in front of Gibbs when Gibbs is often injured & was just as bad last showing …………..besides the fact Clichy can’t cross.

    If we need a left winger then buy one & make sure we have our big men in the middle to receive because up to now we’ve used them mainly as wingers where they’re too slow, can’t cross particularly well & have midgets against giants in the middle, should there be anybody there………

    I personally think Djourou is the best we’ve got in the absence of TV – he’s saved us many times. I’d keep Kos also because he has the guts & I think he might make the grade with TV in the mix, who if fit should take over the captaincy. If not we need to not gamble going into next year & buy a top CD who can command the back 4.

  29. Pat7 says:

    Kelsey,

    I don’t think you can talk just about the keeper as the back 4 affect each other & the keeper.

    Having said that I regard Chezzer as No.1 for the long term & with a period to improve his distribution & kicking, I think he’ll do us fine. He has the size, character, confidence, catches the ball often & put his error behind him the other evening to make some more brilliant saves.

    I hope Fabianski can get back to providing a solid back-up if required with a decent defense in front of him & maybe Mannone there to keep him honest.

  30. kelsey says:

    Quite right Pat7.I was meaning more about the responsibility brought up earlier of others like AA.
    Sometimes we have to defend as team (RVP and Nasri do that well) others get caught in no man’s land.

  31. RockyLives says:

    Well, I did predict I would be a lone voice!

    To be clear – I think his potential is immense but for me the jury is still out.

    And I do think his position was wrong for the first Spuds goal and his decision-making for their third.

    In the CC Final it’s daft to say it was 100% Kozzer’s fault. When two players indulge in a game of ‘after you Claude’ they’re both at fault. Except the GK should take slightly more of the blame because he should clean up the whole situation whatever it takes, even if it involves going through his own man.

    But he is at a stage – through his youth and through the Arsenal faithful’s desperation to have a ‘keeper to believe in – where most people are happy to overlook any worrying signs.

  32. Harry says:

    Rocky, I know where your getting, right now I think we are better off highlighting what he is doing well and get behind him……. I do believe if we sort out our defence, the defence and woijech will grow in confidence and feed off each other……..

    Pat7, it was a short term measure till the end of the season, and I also did note that Clichy was poor at crossing…….But I Just worry with him at the moment….When Gibbs lasy played he didnt have the best game, but that was more to do with the defence around him in panic mode……

    Suga3: I agree, it all depends on the truth behind the money available……..If we have a spare 20million and wenger buys him, but I wont complain as long as we get the on field players we need…..But agreed its lot for only a slight improvement, but there again, its only a slight improvement we need???

  33. California Gooner says:

    great post, Rocky.

  34. RockyLives says:

    Harry
    I take the point about getting behind our lads and I can promise that after today’s discussion I will keep my counsel on the matter.

  35. Rasp says:

    Hi Rocky,

    I’m not sure everyone is aware that you often put your head on the line when you are aware that we need a post and that a ‘slightly controversial’ post is most likely to stimulate debate. Good on you – I’m sure you would also be more than happy to see Sz continue in goal :P

  36. Wonderman says:

    Hi Rocky,

    Thought provoking post as usual. I am firmly in the camp that Szczesny gets the no 1 jersey next season. I feel a lot more comfortable with his all round game than Fabianski and Almunia and we KNOW he will get better as he is only 21.
    Every player makes mistakes in a game, unfortunately with goalies their mistakes often become goals conceded, so in my opinion we should judge them under slightly different criteria.

    Goal no 1 on Wednesday you would be dissapointed with because he was beaten at his near post. I would also point out that our out field players once again allowed the opposition to get near our penalty box shortly after we scored

    Goal no 2. Szcezesny was unsighted, but why didnt we charge the ball with more enthusiasm ?

    Goal no 3. Was a defensive disaster. Not only was Sagna way out of position, but the midfielder infront of him failed to screen the space which would have blocked the pass

    I also ask myself why Wenger sat and watched Ekotu throw diagonal after diagonal for crouch to head for a runner and we did nothing to stop that service

    As has been said before we would be better served spending any transfer money elsewhere than in goal in my opinion

  37. SUGA3 says:

    Harry,

    like I said, I am not too sure, Reina has been shocking this season (more goals conceded than us), playing for way more defensive team…

  38. harry says:

    lol, rocky, fair enough…..

    Suga, i get your point, i am happy with what we have to be honest…….would rather get 1 cb, 1 lb, 1dm and 1 out and out goal machine……..of those 4 there must be some experience in there….

    I will not list who should make way until season finishes:………

  39. 26may1989 says:

    Fine post Rockylonevoice.

    But I too am in the “Szczesny Keeps the No 1 Jersey” camp. Quite simply, he is already the best keeper at the club – Fabianski’s failings are exaggerated but he is still the more limited player. You’re right that people lay into Almunia much too quickly (a theme several of us have returned to over time) but he’s clearly not in the same class as WS. I happen to agree with you about the League Cup Final goal, but that doesn’t stop me thinking the big lad should keep the shirt.

    The only way Szczesny could reasonably lose his place in the first team is if we signed Reina or someone of that stature. But do I think that would be the right thing to do? I really don’t. There are some very good keepers around, but as far as I can see, no greats right now. And our young Pole looks to me like he could be a great. If we signed Reina/AN Other, I think there is a good chance Szczesny would see his chances of developing being blocked off for a period of years and would go.

    No, we should spend our money elsewhere (top quality striker, alternative DM (Scott Parker?) and replace Squillaci at CB) and allow a real talent to continue to flourish in goal.

  40. RockyLives says:

    One small point, most people seem to be assuming that I am advocating we spend £20m on Reina – which I am not. I suppose I think there is still a case for doing what AW tried to do with Schwarzer before the current season started – although not Schwarzer now.
    As to who the right person would be (ie a good keeper with a year or two of playing at the top level left in them and who might cost under £5m ) I’m afraid I’m not qualified to judge…

  41. Gooner in Exile says:

    Difficult one this.

    Sz has always intimated desire to leave if he is not getting the shirt. I agree that he needs to improve his kicking, but this is something that the whole team could do with improving as no one at time appears to be able to kick the ball for distance when necessary.

    Whilst Joe Hart was loaned to Brum Sz was at Brentford, if he had had his years experience in the PL some of these misjudgements would have disappeared.

    By the way I think blaming him for the first is harsh you have to credit VdV for the speed of the shot.

    Those defending him for his “superb” saves in the second half I honestly don’t believe they were that superb, they were saves I would expect a top PL keeper to make.

    That’s not to say I don’t want him to continue as No 1, I just think the praise and criticism should be fair.

    He has calmness and is a talker, and most importantly bags and bags of self belief, if signing another keeper meant he ran for the exit it would be a tragedy.

  42. Gooner in Exile says:

    Buffon on a free at end of season?

  43. Red Arse says:

    I have offered the following advice before, and I think it bears repeating — OK not too humble, but my intentions are honourable– so here goes.

    Arsene has responded to questions, put forward at an interview, that will almost certainly drive the ‘AKFA’ crowd into a frenzy. In brief, he claims that, contrary to media speculation, he does not yet know how much money is available for transfers in the Summer. And, in any event, he would not necessarily spend unless a player became available [at a reasonable price] who would improve the squad. He then said the current team had an average age of only 23 and he saw no need for major changes.

    The above is not verbatim but gives a fair gist of his comment. It is very similar to those he has issued in previous years.

    Problem? None — in truth, and is the utterance of a very prudent man not wishing to upset the status quo [the team are still in with a chance of the title] or of tipping his hand by revealing the finances that may, or may not, be at his disposal.

    So, what advice? Well, I have said this before and I repeat it now — ‘Arsene, do not rise to the bait. Deflect such questions by saying you will not answer questions of this sort, at the moment, hypothetical or otherwise, as the recruitment policy will be decided during the Summer dependent on a number of variables’.

    Why the advice?

    His interview answers will be misquoted, or twisted, deliberately or otherwise, by the AKFA’s, and the impatient, to show he is stubborn and only interested in his ‘yoof project’ [jam tomorrow] and will not be weeding out the deadwood, or buying fresh faces, thereby ignoring the needs of the team which will doom us to another trophyless season next year.

    That pretty much covers it, and by taking my proffered advice he could avoid all this predictable angst, and go quietly about his business in the Summer.

    Oh, Arsene, stop being so transparent and honest, the world of the ‘me, me, me — now, now, now’ brigade do not respect such qualities! :-(

  44. Red Arse says:

    Rocky,

    I have changed sides, for no good reason other than not wanting you to feel out on your own, and anyway, the ‘Chezzer – No.1 or not just yet’ question was finely argued in your post, and is not simply a case of black or white! :-)

  45. RockyLives says:

    Redders :)
    Suddenly I don’t feel so alone!
    I am really looking forward to the day we can meet up and share a drink.

    And as for your 6.32: very wise words. It must be hard for AW when he has to field all these questions but sometimes, like you, I wish he wouldn’t offer up his reasonable words only for them to be twisted and manipulated by the haters.

    Rasp
    Thanks for earlier.

  46. Arsene must love it, I bet as he opens his mouth he thinks ‘what will they make of this?’ I do it all the time to my children if I’m feeling a little wicked.

    I think Arsene has a wicked sense of humour and he jests with us and the reporters all the time :P

  47. Rocky – you know that most on here worship your words of wisdom :lol:

  48. mickydidit89 says:

    I would just like to support what Rasp said and a big thank you to Rocky who always steps up to the plate with a well constructed post at the drop of a hat. It is much appreciated. I can’t do it.

  49. RockyLives says:

    Haha
    Thanks for the support everyone, but I don’t mind being the lone voice (+Redders :) ) for a change.
    I really rate Chesney… but I think his best is still a year or three away.

  50. RockyLives says:

    Quiet day on here.
    Tomorrow we’re all Toffees for a few hours…

  51. Gooner in Exile says:

    Oh by the way one other reason for keeping Sz.

    Does anyone feel nervous when the ball is played wide ready for crossing or when we are ready to defend corners etc. He is strong coming through players, and makes the right decisions to stay or come depending on flight and direction.

    This is what to me puts him in Seamans category.

  52. mickydidit89 says:

    Morning GiE,
    For me he has everything. Confidence, good in the air, shot stopping, agility, speed off the line etc. The only thing he lacks is experience which will come soon enough. We have been desperately unlucky this season with injuries to our CB’s and GK’s. Give Sz, TV and JD/Kos a good season and I think we will have an outstanding season. Lack of right back cover concerns me most of all in the defensive dept.

  53. mickydidit89 says:

    Talking of Seaman, I remember going into a boozer to watch an England game during the Seaman era, and the landlord had distributed about 50 fake moustaches in the belief that Seaman would win the game on pens. It was quite a sight, and sure enough the pony tailed one obliged.

  54. chas says:

    Morning all. Off to Wales for a couple of days. Doubt they have broadband there! :)

  55. Gooner in Exile says:

    Can’t argue at RB Micky, altho Eboue deputised well when Bac was missing recently.

    I suppose the question remains are our understudies good enough, would they me good enough to deputise at other top clubs.

    I think the answer is no, and there is a reason, our squad players are asked to play the same way with the same philosophies of the first team, whereas ManU for example have O’Shea, Brown and the like who will not add in any great skill level but will do the job they are asked and are comfortable doing it.

  56. Harry says:

    Morning all, have you seen this article on Gooner on line?

    http://www.onlinegooner.com/article.php?section=exclusive&id=2227

    I just cannot understand these people………

    My response that wont be posted is below, I am just worried that this split will cause so much damage to my club……..

    Over generalisation and misunderstanding of a situation that is fed by the negativity of the disgruntled fans, who cannot see the wood for the trees…

    Mistakes have been made, granted, Wenger is not perfect, far from it, his persona is again misunderstood, people need to think for themselves and actually see what is happening and truly been said……

    The board is concerned with sustainable development, the issue is? Lets call Peter Risadale or Gillette/ Hicks for advice?

    I would agree some players need to move on, their efforts can certainly be questioned……

    But you have missed an extensive part of the jigsaw that makes up a club and the very real affect that it has on the club, the team. The Fans………….

    This very real split we have in our ranks is now destroying this club from within, the atmosphere on match day is dreadful, it is uninspiring and negative, thats why our away form is so much better, our awayfans our awesome. We all claim to love this club, but cannot see just how we damaging it with our own hands….

    Whether you publish this is or not is immaterial to me, i am sure you wont listen and understand, just as to why your wrong in so many ways…….

    Would love to sit down for a beer and have a chat on this subject with supporters like you….To try and understand your thought process…..

  57. Harry says:

    I have absolutely no concerns with RB cover micky, Eboue is fine as a back up player, not sure I would swap him for brown, maybe at a push for O’shea, but I am not worried one bit, yeah he cost us against Pool, but the team should not have let that situation occur, so I wont blame 1 player………

  58. Harry says:

    Next season with the Verminator back, and Woijech having had a competitive pre-season with Fabianski, I am more than happy that we will cope better…..

    My concern is more at LB, but I will go through this at the end of the season………

  59. mickydidit89 says:

    Morning Harry,
    GiE,
    I agree with the understudies issue. However, have no fear. You see Stan and I have a plan. We are going to buy three excellent established players (a striker, a powerful two footed winger who can work both flanks and a world class DM with big mental strength). Not to replace any of the existing 1st XI, but to add steel, guile and options. We will then not be dependent on the understudies to which, I think, you allude.

  60. Harry says:

    Seaman was a legend, truly special, can you remember when Graham replaced Lukic, some fans were non too happy, he served us well……

    The need for a world class keeper cannot be underestimated and I understood where lone voice Rocky was coming from and its good that we dont always agree on here, or the site would become stagnant……

    Woijech, is without doubt a legend in the making, certainly a lot of work to do still, a few edges to smooth off, but the two poles give us a very solid foundation for the keeper spot…….

    I think as we all seem to agree yesterday, was lets spend whatever money we do have from £10 – £40million etc, on the 2-3 players that truly will make the difference……

  61. Harry says:

    @Micky, love the plan…….

  62. mickydidit89 says:

    Harry,
    £10-£40m?
    We will spend £60m on three, and recoup £28m!

  63. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh come on lads, don’t dry up on me now, I am on a roll, and in 20 mins I have to go. We are in the middle of building the worlds’ largest tree house and there is much to do.

  64. I’m here but I’m supposed to be writing a post for today

  65. Looking at Harry’s comments he could have written it for me :(

  66. Where is the tree-house, in your garden?

  67. mickydidit89 says:

    Peaches,
    Stick up an Arsenal quizz!!! Its going to be a quiet day. The sun is here already and we are all building tree houses. Chary has buggered off to Devon, GiE is in Glos, Chas Wales and BR Italy.

  68. Harry says:

    Peaches, you only have to ask as you know, all I request is a bit of notice!!

    But I do worry that I am a bit of a broken record with my views…..

  69. Sorry, Harry, you must have missed my pleas the other day :(

  70. mickydidit89 says:

    Peaches,
    I don’t have a garden as such. I am a tree and long grass man. Its in a 200 yr old oak, carefully selected to be still in ear shot of the house so that I can hear the screams of children falling out!

  71. Harry says:

    Yeah sorry, I will put together a few ideas for some articles next week, to keep you on track……I’ll do the Bolton report on Monday if you want as well…..

  72. mickydidit89 says:

    The gang are ready, we are off.

  73. Rasp says:

    Some of us have to work over Easter :( :( :(

  74. Harry says:

    If you need a pre match doing text me…….Off to trg now…..

  75. Come off it Rasp, I know you’re gong to be sitting in the garden for the next two days :P

    Have a great time micky – send us a pic :)

  76. Harry – chary has written the pre-match but the match report form you would be wonderful. Thanks xx

  77. barumgooner says:

    Morning. Having read back through a few of the comments I would like to say that I think our first choice 11 is as good as any and agree that its our squad that is letting us down. (and possibly the formation) chesney
    sagna JD TV clichy
    Theo fab song Nasri
    rvp
    cham
    with Gibbs, Fabianski, Ramsey, Jack, NikB, Kos, all good and worth sticking with.

    Offload Almunia, Eboue, Denilson, Diaby, Rosicky, Vela, Traore(not sure if he’s actually our player any more?)

    Bring in Lansbury and Frimpong plus the young rb we are trying to get and all we need imo is a classy left midfielder/winger and another striker and we are complete and I will be a very happy gooner.

  78. goonermichael says:

    Happy St George’s Day everyone

  79. Gooner in Exile says:

    I’ll offer a away fans report, will be interesting to see if the split has moved away too. I’ll try and get a few vids and pics.

  80. bg – can you repost your 9.28 on the New Post, it’s a very good point for discussion.

    New Post

  81. barumgooner says:

    Peaches, without wanting to appear a bit thick… I cant copy and paste it. Can you do it your end, if so be my guest.

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