If Wojciech Szczesny Is Good Enough, Surely He’s Old Enough?

The greatest cliche in World Football “If you’re good enough then you’re old enough.” Well, okay there are cliches aplenty in football but this one is very apt here.

Arsenal under Wenger have always given young players their chance. At 17 and 18 years of age Fabregas, Wilshere, Ramsey and Watt among many more have got an opportunity to play for the Senior team. So what’s stopping Wenger given Wojciech Szczesny his chance between the post?
Our new number 1?

Yes, goalkeepers normally flourish later than others but there are exceptions to the rule. Igor Akinfeev made his debut for CSKA Moscow at 17, Russian debut at 18 and to date has played 177 times for the Moscow club and has 40 international caps and he has just turned 24. Meanwhile, Iker Casillas is just 29 (another decade left in him?) but has been first choice ‘keeper for Real Madrid for eleven seasons and has 103 Spanish caps to his name. Neither CSKA or Madrid baulked at putting in such young keepers so why should Arsenal?

Sometimes you have to take a chance and our young Pole could be one well worth taking. Almunia has to be dropped from first choice, I’d trust my cat to look after my hamster before I’d trust Fabianski to keep a clean sheet and Mannone seems to have exited to the wilderness again.

Szczesny is an extremely brave young man who is not afraid to exert his influence on his own team or the opposition. During his time at Brentford he has gone down extremely well with the fans who reckon he is good enough to be Arsenal number one. Laugh as you might but the lower leagues are no laughing matter for goalkeepers who get roughed up big time. But Szczesny was able for it, more than able for it. Last April, Brentford manager Andy Scott said: “His performances suggest that he would not be out of place in the Championship or even the Premier League. It has reached the stage where when he lets in a goal we wonder why he hasn’t saved it.” Would make a nice change from us wondering why and how Almunia/Fabianski saved a shot as opposed to blundering it in over the line.

Arsène Wenger has said “I believe one day he will be the No 1 at Arsenal certainly, but we will see next season. It is down to his performances.”

Well here it is on a plate for you Arsene, Almunia is cack, Fabianski is cack so give Chesney his chance. he certainly looks good enough so you know it – he’s old enough.

122 Responses to If Wojciech Szczesny Is Good Enough, Surely He’s Old Enough?

  1. O_O says:

    Getting desperate , are we?

  2. London says:

    Morning Irish

    Another very enjoyable read if I may say so. I certainly agree with the idea that if he is good enough he is old enough the trouble is we do not know if he is good enough.

    I have a very good friend who is a season ticket holder at Brentford and like their manager he raves about him but I ask myself when was the last time you had a player of quality to compare him with.
    So my hope is that we get the opportunity to see him play in a big boy game, well the Emirates Cup at least, to help us make up our own minds.

    I love your expression; “I’d trust my cat to look after my hamster before I’d trust Fabianski to keep a clean sheet”

    This made me howl.

  3. London says:


    When it comes to keepers, yes we are.

  4. Rasp says:

    Morning all,

    I agree irish, we have nothing to lose. I’d like to see Chesney play every game in the ‘Emirates Cup’ (what a joke that tournament is?) I’m pretty sure we’d have been no worse off at the end of last season if he’d played from the start and we’d have a keeper who was learning and improving instead of one who is never going to get any better.

  5. Daxxjoker says:

    Yes,Wojciech Szczesny will save us !
    Get the fuck outta here ! Not that Wenger never ever recognized and signed a top class keeper – but he never did that with an average one !
    We are going downhill ! Cesc will leave and I will just wait to see what AW will do with that money.But I am convinced – next season – we will have the weakest squad ever under AW !

  6. Rasp says:


    Liverpool are going downhill, we have secured our future and are slowly (too slow for many) climbing back up the hill.

  7. andy says:

    Nice one Irish, i couldn’t agree more. I can only think that AW is protecting him. Seeing the terrible time that Fabianski and Almunia have had If the lad came in and had a couple of wobbly moments would he get tarred with the same brush. I think the answer would be to get an oldie who would appease the fans and give us a bit of security for the short term and use Chesney as no2 for next year. Sell Almunia and send flappy out on loan to get some confidence back.

  8. Rasp says:

    Hi andy,

    I wonder if anyone would want to buy Almunia?

  9. London says:

    Morning Daxxjoker

    I fear that if the sale of Cesc does go through it will not happen until the end of the transfer window, the reason being that Barcelona will continue to offer peanuts for as long as they can. The result will be that Wenger will not have the money available to do much about a replacement.

    My point is, in this case, you are blaming the wrong person, instead of aiming your anger at Wenger point it towards the people who are really causing the trouble — Barcelona.

  10. Damian says:

    Ridiculous look at Fabianski i,m not saying he was great but he is now crooked everyone has bad games if it is a goal keeper it really stands out & will probably be the cause of losing a game a couple of them and a world class prospect will be ruined that,s y there is no chance of him playing

  11. Rasp says:

    Hi Damian,

    What sets the best keepers apart is that they just don’t have that many ‘bad games’. Actually Mannone has the most cause to feel hard done by, because we didn’t lose a game when he stood in. Fabianski will be a far better keeper than Almunia, but I agree with andy, a loan spell to rebuild his confidence would be good for him.

  12. charybdis1966 says:

    Morning all.

    I’ve not been around a while (with a birthday, a ricked back and a 20 hour wedding to endure lately I’m like the AFC first eleven, i.e walking wounded) but Maire, you make a compelling case, but I don’t agree.
    It does smack of desperation to chuck Chesney into a high pressure League after his time in the backwaters of Division 1, yes the forwards do bully you there but their quality is fairly poor so that offer less goal scoring threat.
    Yes, Casillas was put into goal at an early age and from memory he took a while to settle in too, but I fear that all it will take is a few mistakes and Chesney’s confidence will be shot to pieces, Senderos like, and we’ll have another damaged and deeply flawed keeper on our hands, in the manner of Flappianski.
    A much better strategy would be to loan Chesney out to a Championship side this year and see how he fares and get a goalie in his mid 30’s from a top flight league to hold the fort for the next year or two.

  13. Rasp says:

    Hi chary,

    Are you advocating we stick with Almunia and Fabianski as 1 and 2? – no you’re not, I’ve just re-read your comment!

    Do you think we will but the ‘experienced keeper’ whilst we still have Almunia on the books?

    From what I’ve seen of Chesney, he is fearless whereas Almunia is a bag of nerves.

  14. charybdis1966 says:

    Hi Raspers, no I said in my last line that we needed a mid 30’s age goalie to come in, I should have said also we flog/loan either Almunia or Flappianski, if I’m pushed I’d say keep the Clown as number 2 and loan/flog Flappers, although if I was in charge I’d flog both(and not in a Taliban/shariat law type of way).

  15. andy says:

    Morning Rasp.
    I dont think Almunia is as bad as all that. He’d probably do alright at Stoke or Bolton. The keepers have taken a lot of stick (and quite rightly) but its not entirely their fault. The team offer the keepers very little protection and allow them to be bullied by the opposition. Whatever keeper comes into our side is going to struggle IMO.

  16. Rasp says:

    Haha, chary, I saw that and retyped my comment 😳

    I think the only player we are seriously trying to buy at the moment is Koscielny (sp?)

  17. London says:

    I fear that our calls for a mid 30’s experienced keeper is what Wenger already sees in Almunia.

    My position remains the same re a new keeper: there are going to be some very disappointed people come the beginning of the season.

  18. Rasp says:

    Morning andy,

    I can’t agree I’m afraid. I think Almunia is serious pants although maybe good enough for Bolton. Wasn’t he ranked 17th in Premiership goalies? He pulled off some very good ‘on the ground saves’ in the first half against Barca at the emirates, but is rubbish with anything in the air. Other managers know this and target him with high balls into the box.

  19. gnarleygeorge9 says:


    Are you a mysteron?

  20. forza forza says:

    thats the thing he’s not good enough yet,give him 2 more seasons.

  21. Rasp says:

    Bizarre unrelated fact regarding players we have been linked with …… the manager of FC Lorient where Koscielny plays is Christian Gourcuff, father of Yoann Gourcuff of Bordeaux who played alongside Chamakh and is listed as a potential replacement for Cesc. Very incestuous French football.

  22. Daxxjoker says:

    You are all being naive.
    First of all – players like Cesc want to remembered in this game as ones of the greatest.He knows that that he can not accomplish that at Arsenal,getting praises for one-two that he played with Diaby against Hull.
    He wants to join his club.The club that will win like 5 CL in the next 10 years and 8 Spanish titles.

    So all you should quit moaning about Barcelona.Yes,they are being mega cunts with their ways,but one thins is sure – it is going to happen.

    Further – it is well known that AW will have all that money to spend.So it is up to him to get at least 50mill (pounds) for Fantastic 4,and then get his replacement.
    Also,it is known that even without that sale – AW has the most cash this summer,probably the most in the whole decade.The numbers are different,but I think he has at least 40mill (euros).

    So – if he wants to make a competitive squad – he can do that.But,look at our business.We will splash 10mill on Koscielny and he will come and probably be the first choice of CD pair,with Verminator.
    That is only possible at Arsenal.We need 4 CD’s for the next season,and I know one of them won’t be Gallas,and I sure hope Silvestre and Campbell won’t stick around.Now,with the inevitable inclusion of Djouru (who is also a disaster) – we need to buy 2 defenders.

    And AW’s biggest mistake will be – not going after Dzeko ! That guy is the best buy this summer,and who ever gets him (this summer or the next) – should be celebrating for 5 years !
    And somehow it stinks to me that Ferguson will buy him.And with him and Kangarooney up front,they will be a unstoppable force ! PL and CL will be theirs with ease !

  23. finestcuts says:

    Sure Szczesny can be a great keeper however my concern is the fans. Can they accept such a young keeper?
    Will they go mental and demand he is sacked if he has 1 or 2 bad games?

    For eg. Schwarzer had a poor game against us yet not many would say no to him as a replacement for Almunia.
    And absolutely, I think the fans would warm to him, he thrives on the match atmosphere and says he enjoys it when opposition fans give him stick.

    What we’ve found out from this loan is, he can handle the pressure of pro football with relative ease and is already light years ahead of most keepers his age.

    Will he be world class one day? I think he has an excellent chance to be judging by his age and current ability.

    Wenger should definitely keep him in his plans, I’d play him in the Emirates cup and in pre-season to give him a chance to break into the first team. I think that should be the litmus test of whether or not he is ready. Therefore we should snap up Schwarzer at 3 million and let him and Szczesny battle it out for no.1.

  24. Rasp says:


    I don’t know who you think is being naive on here?

    We won’t buy Dzeko because we’ve bought Chamakh. I hope we can keep Campbell and Silvestre never wears the kit again. I don’t think we will sign another CB as you are probably correct that Koscielny is seen as a partner for TV.

    It is unlikely we will sign a keeper in his prime although we may get in a 35 plus year old to give Fab2 and Chesney time to develop.

    I think Ramsey will be a world class player and if he can carry on from where he left off before the injury, Denilson’s first team appearances will be few and far between.

  25. charybdis1966 says:

    Hello Finest, good to see you here – for some treason I believe you’re in Poland and therefore may have some view on how Flappy & Chesney are viewed “back home.”

  26. finestcuts says:


    “First of all – players like Cesc want to remembered in this game as ones of the greatest.He knows that that he can not accomplish that at Arsenal,”

    That’s what you think, most players dream of playing for Arsenal and there is every chance to achieve success at Arsenal. First of all, Arsenal developed him into the Fabregas he is today. Not Barcelona. That’s why he left them and came to us. It was his choice to leave.

    Barca are being very tricky, trying to undermine us,
    that way they know Cesc will NOT renew his contract at Arsenal and will run it down.

    We NEED him this upcoming season…..and he needs us. He’s only just become one of the best attacking midfielders in the Premier League. He needs another season playing at high level to maintain his form. At Barca he’s not going to get enough games, he’d be their Diaby.

  27. Rasp says:

    Hi finest,

    I agree with your assessment, I mentioned playing Szczesny in the Emirates Cup earlier.

    I’m not sure Arsenal fans are any different to other clubs. I’ve heard this argument that the fans attitude can damage players before. They get paid a lot of money to perform under pressure, if they let the fans get to them then they do not have the required mental strength.

  28. finestcuts says:

    Hey Chary….I am back in London now….but Flappy is not seen well and Szczesny is seen very well.

    Poles are extremely judgemental about goalkeepers…..and Flappy hasn’t done a good job so he’s had a thorough grilling.

  29. Daxxjoker says:

    And the guy I hate the most (Mourinho) said something not so long ago.And as much as I hated to agree with that statement – I had to say he was right.
    He said – “Wenger won the PL back in 2004 in the superior way.Since then,he tried to win it in a different way,but that is not possible.”
    Maaaaaan – those were the times.You had Vieria and Gilberto or Edu on the pitch,and no one could have messed with us.
    We had Pires and Freddie,scoring 15 goals per season.Each.
    And most importantly – we had Henry.Scoring machine.Scoring almost every game,meaning – scoring 30 goals per season.
    Since he left,we didn’t have a player like him.Also,players like Pires and Ljungberg.
    We now have lazy Russian and Walcott.And Rosicky.He is even less the man than Dudu.Those 2 are a huge wage wasting for us.
    But the most important thing now – not having a midfield that everyone is afraid of.
    I am so glad we have Song at least.Dude became a beast.
    But when he is not playing – we have Denilson.Every time I see him,I start crying and then I throw up.
    When someone like Ballack and Lampard,or Fletcher and Carrick see him – of course they will stomp over him.And there is not a single thing he can do about that.
    I am sorry to say this,but – we are one class below ManUtd and Chelsea.And we are no more above Spurs.All these years we were able to say that,but bow they are doing the same thing we are – securing CL spot.Nothing more,nothing less.That has been our limit for previous 6 years,and now they are doing it.

  30. finestcuts says:

    Rasp, I agree although mental strength can be trained. At a young age it is natural, the adrenalin, the nerves, it’s all brand new, you can’t help but feel the pressure. I can only imagine if at 20 I was playing pro football in front of a roaring stadium of Ultras, my name boomed out of the speaker……it’ll get to anyone who is not used to it, it can be emotionally overwhelming so the sports psychologists need to help to shape the players off the pitch to not respond to negativity from the fans etc. Although it always has an effect, look at the home win to away win ratio……the crowd is the 12th man, they do have an effect.

  31. London says:

    Finest Cuts

    What a pleasure it is to have on this site, I am not the owner but I feel confident in saying that you are very welcome. I don’t know if you are aware but there a number of contributors who make up this site and a writer of your quality would be very welcome. If you are interested in writing a post of your own every now and then have a look above in “Be our Guest” I hope you return.

  32. finestcuts says:

    Thanks very much for the kind words London, it takes a lot of creativity to come up with hot topics of debate in the off season, but I shall apply when I have a really good article in mind. At the moment I am happy to fuel the banter online…..lets hope we get some quality signings in the next few days.

  33. London says:

    Nice one Finest

    Whenever you are in the mood.

  34. jaygooner says:

    nice positive post. I agree, Szczesny will be a decent keeper, perhaps world class, but maybe not just yet. If stories are to be believed, Schwarzer is on his way to the Arsenal. At least Schwarzer wont fumble flap and shit himself when a fatSam lump confronts him. The Aussie isnt short sighted, Almunia is and thats why the yid scored the so called wonder goal. Schwarzer for a year Szczesny being used sparingly and our pitiful goal keeping crisis is sorted. At the very least the defence will regain confidence, how many times did Nasri clear off the line last year? RVP fit, Arshavin showing he really does give a fuck, people getting off Denilsons back (why? the fella gives his all in every game I been to) and this Mighty club can fulfill its promisse. The future is looking good, and Cesc aint going anywhere.

  35. charybdis1966 says:

    I suspected as much Finest, the poles have a fine tradition of producing great goalies and Flappy must be anathema to them. Come to mention I do remember you saying once that you were up for a drink pre-match before one of the games last season, although I can’t remember whether I managed to get a ticket for it in the end.
    The deadline for red/junior gunners renewal is today and, like an optimistic fool, I renewed for myself and my 2 boys. Of course it is a pretty small financial obligation for me to renew, compared to ST holders, but I’m not averse to “small” protests so I was considering not renewing.
    I’m the guy who took my mobile phone contract elsewhere once Vodafone started to sponsor the Manskummers.

  36. Rasp says:

    Thanks finest,

    I can see what you are saying, but I think that ‘fear of failure’ is something that is more prevalent in players who have achieved and feel threatened by those coming through. I feel that many of our players need to show more aggression starting with the keeper. Chamakh will certainly add bite to the attack, we could do with a bit more grit in midfield I think.

  37. finestcuts says:

    LOL Chary, that’s the best thing to do, vote with your feet, if they sponsor Manyoo and you have a choice then why indirectly contribute to Manyoo if you don’t need to.

    At the moment it seems like the battle is to keep Fabregas and that if we do, it will be judged as a successful window.

    I really would be surprised if Fabregas were to move to Barcelona this season, it really would not be in our interests to allow him to go considering his value will not decrease next season, and Barca don’t really want to pay what we value him at.

    The loss of Cesc could cost us more than his transfer fee. Look at how the team collapsed without him. With Cesc we have stability, we’ll be in the title race.
    Without him, we’d be taking a step back and at this stage we cannot afford to regress.

    Barcelona will continue to twist his arm but we should not give in.

  38. finestcuts says:

    And as for pre-match drinks, always up for it if i can make my way up to Highbury, I plan on going to the Barnet game….if you’re going let me know.

  39. Aaron says:

    This is why we should sign a stop gap (and someone better than Mark Schwarzer). If we buy an accomplished veteran (Morgan De Sanctis/Gregory Coupet) in the Jens Lehmann mold then we can relegate Almunia to #2 where he is serviceable and give Fabianski away to Burton Albion. For Szczesny’s development is probably best he spends next year in the Championship (Leeds are rumoured to be interested), then 2011/12 at a Premiership club (like Joe Hart did for Birmingham). Come 2012/13 at 22 years old can return to claim the #1 shirt at Arsenal

  40. jaygooner says:

    Good point Aaron I would prefer Coupet to Schwazer Almunia needs to go to the opticians and flappyanski can just go.

  41. charybdis1966 says:

    As soon as I heard about Vodafone, Finest, I had a nightmare vision of “Come on you red devils” flicking up on my mobile phone as a screen start-up and that very thought was sickening in itself as well as the prospect of contributing, albeit on a miniscule level, to the coffers of old Bacon face.
    I went to the Barnet game last year with Peachy and am planning to go this year so assuming you’re around nearer the time(it’s on Sat July 17th) we can plan accordingly.

  42. irishgunner says:

    Afternoon all,

    To answer most questions – yes I am desperate when it comes to the goalkeeping situation very desperate.

    And if push came to shove and Wenger didn’t buy I’d rather see Chesney between the posts over Flappy one and Flappy two.

    A stop gap for now would be more than welcome but save my nerves and don’t put Almunia and Fabianski in there next season.

  43. Icedre218 says:

    He is no doubt a good keeper, but he has not yet been tested in the premier league or the champions league. To throw him in next season, could backfire. What if he makes a howler in the champions league which blows his confidence. I’d rather he went on loan for at least one more season, to a top flight club, where he will get games. If they are in the Europa cup that would be a bonus. Than when he comes back he will be able to challenge for the no.1 shirt at Arsenal.

  44. Rasp says:

    I’ve just spoken to peaches, she can’t post as she’s driving but says “Hi to finest” and “You can buy me a beer too at Barnet” to chary

    Afternoon irish, I’m with you on the GK’s thing. Let’s see him given a chance at the Emirates Cup at least.

  45. irishgunner says:

    Afternoon Rasp,

    Suppose it all depends on what happens with Almunia and Fabianski. At the very least Fabianski has to go out on loan – he seems very low on belief and confidence.

  46. finestcuts says:

    Sounds good Chary I am planning to go, if you use facebook, do a search under “finestcuts” and add me so we can keep in touch, if not I’ll pop on here a few days beforehand and try to make contact. And hello to Peaches too!

  47. Rasp says:


    It worries me that Arsene sees giving the armband to Almunia as a way of reinforcing his confidence when it must have the opposite effect on the rest of the team. We have now given the armband twice to our iconic player to help retain their services (TH and CF), the armband should always go to the player with the greatest leadership qualities and not one who is a wantaway IMO.

  48. irishgunner says:

    Who’d you give it to Rasp?

    I’d go for RvP or Vermaelen. I’d lean more towards RvP because he committed to the club last season and always give 100% for us.

  49. andy says:

    spot on Rasp. Give the captaincy to a captain. TV though Irish, I think RVP is great and I love his attitude but I hate it when strikers are captains. Needs to be a CD or CM IMO.

  50. Rasp says:

    I said exactly that yesterday irish, TV or RvP for captain. TV is a more solid leader type whilst RvP is a world class player and always gives his all.

  51. irishgunner says:

    Yeah Andy and Rasp TV is a captain’s captain and I do like defenders as captains cos a)they tend to shout more and b) they can see the game unfold in front of them.

    RvP has been a good servant for us – of course he has had his injury problems but he’s real class and could have upped shipped – just suppose we should be glad Holland isn’t an exiting league.

  52. andy says:

    He is a class act i just so wish he could have one season without injury so he can really show how good he is.

  53. andy says:

    Maybe a season without internationals ?

  54. Rasp says:


    The supporters and other players will always take to a player who gives his heart and soul (The Romford Pele) even if they are not the most gifted – a captain should certainly fall into that category. TH14 was a bit of a primadonna in his last season and not really worthy of the armband.

  55. andy says:

    If only Flamini hadn’t gone the way he did. He would’ve made a good captain.

  56. London says:

    Hi Andy

    Do you remember how long Flamini signed for AC Milan? I seem to remember it was three years which must be up now. I don’t expect him to return, unfortunately he has burnt all his bridges but it is still interesting what happens to him.

  57. charybdis1966 says:

    Do you have a you tube account Finest as I’m on their as charybdis1966, I’m not so keen on facebook for blogging stuff as I’m a bit worried about the security side of it. I’ve pissed off quite a few mank/stoke fans with my various blog articles so I have to keep my head down in that respect !
    Raspers – I look forward to buying Peachy a pint (although I had her down as a Bacardi and coke kinda girl) assuming I do go to Barnet, as looks likely at the moment. Incidentally. I’ve proved my Arsenal credentials once more by getting injured as soon as it looked like I’d be playing a team sport again, namely cricket for your team and the back injury I mentioned earlier.

  58. irishgunner says:

    True – although the likes of Adams and Maldini have it all – the heart, soul, one man club and world class skills to boot.

  59. Rasp says:


    He signed a 4 year deal according to ITN.

  60. irishgunner says:

    When’s the Barnet game?

    I was thinking of going to one day of the Emirates Cup but could do Barnet….now to find money somewhere…hopefully I’ll win on the World Cup

  61. Rasp says:

    17th July

  62. andy says:

    Hello London,
    I dont know how long he signed for. Shame though, I liked Flamini.

  63. tommystout says:

    hey up people, nice post IG, i’d like to see him in the sticks as No.1 if he’s good enough, but hey ho this time last year i was thinking fab2 was the man for the job!
    anyway’s i think chezzer should be loaned out to a championship side, sign a veteran aka schwartzer, jaskerleinen or friedal… sack big al , sack the flapper… and maybe let manonne see some time as no2….. your thoughts would be most appreciated peeps!

  64. charybdis1966 says:

    Sorry Raspers, you got it wrong, the Barnet game is on the 17th of July(the Saturday) – you were looking at the date for the corresponding fixture last year(2009.)
    Be good if you can make it Maire – it’s more of an authentic experience than the Emirates Cup, some of the singing in the pubs beforehand is quite earthy.

  65. tommystout says:

    another thing i would like your views on are the use of the vuvuzela to generate atmosphere… am i the only one who loves it? mind you being an armchair fan its enjoyable from that perspective, but in the flesh would it be annoying, say if it was embraced at the Emirates 🙂

  66. Rasp says:

    Too late chary – I’ve already edited myself 😉

    Hi tommy,

    Do you think Mannone is better than Chesney at the moment – surely whoever is better should be the No.2?

  67. irishgunner says:

    Pardon my ignorance but how far from central London is Barnet?

    Is it within the Greater London area or is it outside?

  68. charybdis1966 says:

    Ah you bugger Raspers – just you ‘cos you can go back and edit while mere mortals like myself have to live with our typos/bodge ups !

  69. irishgunner says:

    Tommy – Them things drive me mad. Like a swarm of bees.

    Nani is out of the World Cup.

  70. tommystout says:

    hi rasp, i dont know anything about chezney other than second hand opinions. it sounds like he is something special but i’d hate to see someone so young subjected to the negetive exposure that fab2 experienced.
    mannone on the other hand we have seen, and i think he did ok, maybe he was unlucky to give way to flaps.

  71. charybdis1966 says:

    It’s still on the tube Maire(so still in Greater London), about 15 or so stops from Kings Cross on the Northern line.

  72. Rasp says:

    I think he was very unlucky Tommy. He got MoM against Fulham and pretty much won us the 3 points, how many times have we been able to say that about Almunia? Mannone also has that great goalkeepers attribute – he looks mean 👿

  73. tommystout says:

    a swarm of bees would be annoying after 90 mins i guess.
    so the vuvu is a nono…. what else would improve the atmosphere at THOF. was anything integrated into the build, does anyone know? is there anyway of amplifying crowd noise without it being obvious.

  74. irishgunner says:

    Okay good stuff Chary thanks – I’ll see if I can make it. Bit nearer date wise that I thought though.

  75. tommystout says:

    LOL i never looked at him as a meany before, gonna have to google image him now!

  76. London says:

    Hi Irish

    I went to school in Barnet. Their ground is at the end of the Northern Line; it takes about three quarters of an hour by tube from Leicester Square which is also on the Northern Line, for example.

  77. tommystout says:

    well,, ermmm he might look the part if suited up good fellas style!

  78. dandan says:

    Afternoon all, nice read Irish, I think the lad will be put out to a higher grade club this year. I believe Leeds are supposed to be interested, mind you the thought of Arsene doing a deal with Mr Bates makes me smile, chalk and cheese those two.

    The Aussie lad from Fulham wouldn’t be a bad idea, probably get us some more support down there as he would be seen on TV more than Fulham I guess. Besides which he is a decent keeper.
    GG9 would love it betcha

  79. irishgunner says:

    London – Cheers. It being on the tube is good I can find it then 🙂

    Dandan – Chesney going to Leeds would be a good idea. Big club with high hopes would really test him.

  80. tommystout says:

    didnt realise that he was such a big lad at 6ft5

  81. Deepak says:

    I’m sorry what, rather who? It’s okay to be an optimist but this well is funny! Brentford are a League One team, surely it is no match to the Premier League, MAYBE Sczesny is good enough, but what if he isn’t and AW doesn’t sign anyone else because he is giving the chance to Sczesny, we get stuck with him, Almunia & Fabianski.

    The goalkeeper issue has to be resolved, money has to spent, imo get someone older who has 2 maybe 3 years left in him at max but is a good keeper. Let Sczesny off for loan spells in bigger leagues, if he’s impressive THEN he can play, if not sign someone who is good enough.

  82. kelsey says:

    Afternoon all and as usual a well written article from the lady of limerick 😉

    I think most of us agree that none of our our 3 keepers are outstanding, and when one talks about the potential of our number 4, it is a guessing game.A high profile game in the PL or CL is completely different to the atmosphere at Brentford,which in itself is self explanatory.

    none of know how the lad would react in a cauldron, but really the question is why are we in such a position in the first place ?

    Wenger has been called many things, but there is no doubt he has a vision and is an extremely intelligent man, so surely he can see that to compete at the very top,one needs a high class keeper.
    In horse racing terms there is a phrase “morning glory” which basically means that a racehorse does everything asked, exceptional gallops and times, but once on a race course flops completely.

    So, this is as I see it with our keepers.Possibly exceptional in training, but none are consistently good to a standard required, in a match.

    It’s hard being a keeper, as the bloomers are the ones always higlighted, not the saves.it’s a no win situation, but in our case both Almunia and Fabianski are making to many howlers consistently.

    I hope we sign sign a better keeper,who commands his area and can comminicate with his defence, which is something clearly lacking at the moment.
    Pointless naming anyone, but to me it is an immediate priority.

  83. Rasp says:

    Welcome Deepak,

    If you read back through the comments you will see that the consensus opinion is the same as yours – no to Almunia, bring in an experienced keeper for a couple of years to see if either Sczesny, Mannone or Fab2 make the grade.

  84. irishgunner says:

    Deepak – Were Real Madrid being optimistic when they gave Casillas his chance or did they just recognize talent? He rose from the bench to number one very quickly and to be honest I don’t find our goalkeeping situation funny – for a club our size its an absolute joke.

    Least I got my arse off the fence and said YES if Wenger refuses to buy a keeper I’d much rather see an 18year old in there that either our current one or two.

  85. irishgunner says:

    Afternoon Kelsey 🙂

  86. charybdis1966 says:

    Do you know what Maire? I’d rather Vito got in if Wenger was hell bent on not buying an experienced goalie. Still a desperate situation but Chesney has really got to spend at least half a season on loan at a higher level before he get’s brought into our first XI.
    We are well desperate though – please, no Flappy or Coco as first choice anymore.

  87. irishgunner says:

    Yes Chary – ANYONE (well within reason) but any of those two. Although I’m probably somewhat contradicting myself but I’d like to see Almunia kept as a number two.

  88. Big Raddy says:


    Fine read as always Irish.

    I am afraid that I am with London on the GK front. I fear that AW will stick with what he has. He clearly believes that Fab2 is a quality GK and is just lacking confidence, which will come with experience AWAY from the Emirates (and what a sad reflection of the current home “support” that is!).

    Almunia has experience and should be his No. 2.

    I don’t happen to agree with AW and would rather we buy a 34+ y.o. GK.

    Rasp made a good point earlier about who would buy Almunia? Or Fabianski.? They must both be on good wages and would be unlikely to take a drop in salary to go elsewhere. And if we sugn another GK we will have 5 players vying for the one place – I can’t see it. As such we are unlikely to sign anyone and Chesney will go out on loan.

    I hope I am wrong…..

  89. charybdis1966 says:

    I reckon, Maire, that Coco would be adequate against lower half of the table opposition, but against any class team, or a physical team, he’ll get exposed badly.

  90. irishgunner says:

    Afternoon BR,

    I’m beginning to agree with you that we mightn’t see a keeper coming in although Wenger might shock us…

    I think Almunia would take a drop in wages rather than sit on the bench – he’d probably get a mid level club in Spain.

    As for Fabianski – I don’t see Wenger selling but I do hope he sends him out on loan. It won’t be good for him to be getting over his wobbly mind at Arsenal.

    I think the common consensus is to get in a solid keeper who is nearing the end of his career (2-3 seasons left).

    Odd how we left Manninger go and some Juventus fans were actually calling for him to replace Buffon long term although that was only reactionary to their bad season.

  91. dandan says:

    Rasp. some will go out on loan, even if we cant get all the salary back at least we can get some, also I bet the keepers want to play so eventually they will leave. of course they could see the contract out but not playing would probably mean this is the last contract they will get from anyone at any decent level, so either way a big decision for them

  92. irishgunner says:

    Almunia’s an odd one Chary – he made some top class saves against Barcelona and then undid it all with a moment of madness when he got caught in no man’s land for Imbrahimovich’s goal.

    I would say he’s a good shot stopper but he has let some easy ones squirm past him too. I just think he’s a good number two goalkeeper but that’s it.

  93. Rasp says:

    Afternoon Raddy, dandan,

    Raddy, your post on the Renaissance of football was magnificent – the best article we’ve ever published in my opinion. Unfortunately the administrators cocked up the posting process 😳 but the accolades it received were very generous with one from none other than Mr. ‘holic.

  94. irishgunner says:

    What will Mannone do?

    He gets a chance and in my view pretty much takes it and then gets dropped down to 3rd choice again – he won’t hang around if he doesn’t get his just reward. He’s not a number 1, at least not yet, but would probably want more game time.

    The way our reserves go it’ll be Chesney and McDermott playing most games next season.

  95. Big Raddy says:

    Very kind Rasp.

    I really enjoyed the writing of it which was prompted by Dandan.

  96. charybdis1966 says:

    Agreed Maire, Coco is an adequate(but only just adequate) number 2 when we are resting our number one for the games in the early rounds of domestic Cup competitions. I wish I could have as much enthusiasm for Flappers as our manager appears to show, but I’ve had enough of him. Same with Vela and Diaby, they’ve pissed me off too many times.

  97. Big Raddy says:

    Good point Irish. What will he do? Let’s hope he becomes an Arsenal legend!!

  98. irishgunner says:

    Where are my manners?!

    That was an excellent post Raddy – I was away for the weekend (turning my nephew into a Gooner) so didn’t get to comment but read back over it.

  99. Big Raddy says:

    Chary. Patience my dear boy…… you young whippersnappers……

  100. charybdis1966 says:

    LOL Radders, I didn’t feel very young when my back gave out at the weekend !

  101. irishgunner says:

    Flappers 😆

    I just imagine a dolphin doing tricks at a zoo.

    Apparently Vela turned down Deportivo? I love his little chipped goals – I think he has to make an impression next season or he’ll be off – although being saying that about Theo for a while.

  102. irishgunner says:

    Mannone is Italian he should be a top goalkeeper – ahhh stereotypes 😀

  103. charybdis1966 says:

    Just like Massimo Tiabi was Maire, another master stroke signing from Sir Drinksalot.

  104. irishgunner says:


    “Oh here’s the football – wooops it went between my legs” USELESS

  105. charybdis1966 says:

    It’s strange how everyone bangs on about all of Wenger’s bad buys, and I don’t deny there have been plenty of those, but all of old Bacon faces clangers get conveniently brushed under the carpet by the Fergie worshipping press/media in the UK.
    Arrgghh, I’d better stop, there’s another rant coming on.

  106. irishgunner says:

    Oh but lets rant together Chary.

    And all Red Nose’s flops have been expensive – Tiabi cost a couple of million, Kleberson did too, Veron was rubbish for them, Nani’s hardly worth the same as Arshavin??

    Suppose they’ve won more trophies than us so he gets away with it.

    Now poor old Rafa has had his transfer dealings torn to shreds and rightly so – Voronin?? oh dear!

  107. charybdis1966 says:

    Yeah, but rubbish AND expensive in Veron’s case – what about Djemba Djembsa ? So crap they named him twice!

  108. kelsey says:

    A keeper should make top class saves, but I have lost count how often Almunia has been caught out on his near post.Also if you watch carefully both goals by rose and bentley the season before,if one is critical,he stands on both occasions about a metre too far off his line .
    To me that is not top quality keeping.he never learns from his mistakes, or nearer the point,perhaps he just can’t.

  109. irishgunner says:

    I wouldn’t say Veron is rubbish – just couldn’t cut it in England. Watch the World Cup, he’s as important for Argentina as Mascherano or Messi.

    ” Djemba Djemba? So crap they named him twice!” 😆 funny cos its true ha ha

  110. kelsey says:

    Senderos has signed for fulham….official.Does that mean We are getting Hangeland or Shwarzer.

  111. irishgunner says:

    Swzacher (spelling) Kelsey, Sorenson is Stoke.

    Senderos was on a free wasn’t he so it mightn’t matter.

  112. irishgunner says:

    Ah the edit button 😉

  113. London says:

    Senderos is another clever signing by Hodgson, he may not be good enough for us but, on a free, he is perfect for Fulham. The pressure will be off him for the first time in ages…..he could still turn into a half decent player for them.

    Good luck Big Phil. I will remember you in the away game at the Bernabeu and the last FA Cup final.

  114. Big Raddy says:

    Swiss Phil. Best of luck at Fulham, may your God go with you……. (hope he plays against Chamakh/RvP 😉 )

  115. irishgunner says:

    Big Phil was a good guy – pity it didn’t work out for him. Ah well.

  116. kelsey says:

    He suffered from the incurable drogbaitis, but I wish him well, at a club were perhaps the expectations will not be so high.

  117. irishgunner says:


    Cool 8)

    Its says “Goaaaaaaaaaaaaaal” instead of “Gooooooooooogle”

  118. London says:

    Fabregas just came on as a sub and scored with his first touch…..you have got to be a brave man to bet against Spain winning the World Cup.

  119. Evening all – what a great days blogging you all had I’m sorry I missed it.

    Finest – a big welcome to you, we love having guest writers so I hope you took time to have a look though the archives – BigRaddy writes for us too. If you’re going to the Barnet game we’ll meet up then.

    chary – Bacardi and coke!!!!!!!!! You’re having a laugh 😆

    Irish – you just have to ask the ticket fairy and she’ll tell you everything you need to know. Are you gonna come for the Barnet game?

  120. Deepak says:

    I hope I’m not to late with my reply Mary.

    Iker Casillas was different, so was Igor Akinfeev, they had already done something till THIS age, I haven’t heard good about Sczesny, even from my Polish friend, she was surprised when I told her, he is counted in the Arsenal first team. Sczesny HAS to prove himself, but it won’t be at Arsenal, it has been a long time since we won something!

  121. Rasp says:

    New post……

  122. ze says:

    Deepak, Polish fans have huge expectations for Szczesny, even if some hate him because of his father’s actions and comments. Regardless, anyone who looks at him objectively knows he is a huge talent. He was given his debut for the Polish national team at age 19!

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