This marks the beginning of the review of a pretty disappointing season for Arsenal. From challenging on four fronts to fourth spot in your domestic league, it has been a lackluster end to a very bright start. Mind you we had played extremely well for the until that Cup Final defeat. The highs of the season have always been followed by lower lows.
The first part of the review will concentrate on the journey of our goalkeepers. From Almunia to Fabianski to Szczesny to Lehmann, our keepers have had a tough ride.
When a player who is 4th choice at the start of the season finds himself being 1st choice at Arsenal despite being only 21, you know he’s done something extraordinary. No one expected him to play for Arsenal at least this season. But now that he’s done it, the demand for a top-quality goalkeeper seems to have vanished. The fact is, we’ve got one now.
I know he’s not a keeper. But the way he treated Almunia is far worse than his display against West Brom. Almunia never had the quality to succeed at Arsenal but despite that, Wenger continued with him in goal. Last summer, he tried to sign Schwarzer which was quite a public affair. But it failed and it was Almunia who was supposed to be our 1st choice for the whole season. And if it was not for Szczesny to put some outstanding displays, we might have been in a much worse situation. Sorry Arsene,you got that completely wrong.
Szczesny’s performance against Barcelona at the Emirates.
Awesome. That’s what I felt for Szczesny. Remember he was playing for the first-time in Europe. Against Barcelona. Against the likes of Villa, Messi and Iniesta. I’m damn sure without him(i.e. with Almunia), we’d have lost the match.
Almunia’s performances home and away against West Brom. He cost us 5 points in those 2 matches alone.
The one at home looked to have ended Almunia’s career at Arsenal. But so is Arsenal’s luck that our top 3 keepers got injured and we were back to square-one with Almunia having to play against West Brom again. He had a brilliant game against Barca just a week ago, but that didn’t stop him from coming off his line and intentionally making himself look like a real joker.
Most Memorable moment:
Szczesny cutting through Gareth Bale’s legs to clear the ball. Not one Arsenal fan can forget that. The derby at White Hart Lane. The Pole just scissored Bale’s legs and even winked after that. Maybe that’s why we all love him so much.
Wish For Next Season:
Szczesny to be in goal with Fabianski as backup.
Both Szczesny and Fabianski have shown they’ve got the mettle to play at the highest level. There’s no doubt who should be first choice among these two but not giving Fabianski even a place on the bench would be somewhat unacceptable.
That’s all about our keepers. Next up is the defence.
That’s my verdict on our keepers. What’s yours?