Plenty of posts today and yesterday among Gooners calling for all sorts of rubbish – yes, you know what I’m talking about. OH booo hooooo, we didn’t sign a keeper...we won’t win anything. If that is your attitude then why don’t you just give up your season tickets? Why turn up if that is the attitude. The media pigs have been going on all day about how you can’t win a title if you do not have a solid keeper. Someone remind which was Manure’s “solid keeper” when they won the league in 2000 and 2001? Taibi? Van der Gouw? Bosnich? Barthez? Roy Carroll?
Do people actually believe that Arsene badly wanted a keeper and flopped? Does no one think for a second that if we wanted to pay £4m for a 37 year old with a year left on his contract we could’ve done so? Ofcourse we could if we wanted to. But the motive behind the bid may be different to that which meets the eye.
Let’s look at Almunia’s performance against Blackburn. There was determination, and hunger to do well. One which wasn’t seen before because there was no real competition for his position in the first team. Wenger’s repeated £2m bid for Schwarzer was more of a message to Almunia to get his act together rather than a serious bid to secure the player’s service. I’m not disregarding the fact that Wenger did want to secure the services of the player. But to Arsene, it’s about the right player at the right price. Admittedly, £4m for a short term solution is not a bad price. Wenger however does not believe that paying double original bid is any bigger an improvement to what we already have. Only time will tell whether it was the right decision or not.
The professor is not stupid. He deals with players in his own way. He knows what motivates a player to do well and what methods to use to get the most out of someone’s ability. Almunia knows he has between now and January to prove himself. Yes, I hear the shouting towards the screen saying he’s had plenty of opportunities. But cast your mind towards past goalkeepers and think footballistically. Goalkeepers peak after the age of 34/35. Manuel is now at the age where he will begin to peak. He is at the right age and at a club he knows well. The ingredients are there but we must be patient.
Yes admittedly that was during the days when the Premier League was more of a level playing field. But it’s not impossible and nor is Almunia the worst keeper in the world. Consistency is an issue but do the narrow minded supporters help the cause by constantly calling for his head?
I’m not Almunia’s biggest fan. Far from it if anything.
However, it is important to get behind OUR players every match day. Remember how Bendtner missed opportunities so easy that even my gran could’ve put them away against Burnley last season. The fans that day were fantastic and they continued to cheer his name. The next game – hattrick for Bendtner. A little bit of support can go a long way. We have a solid back line and some of the most talented midfielders in the country. We have started the season well and there is every reason to feel optimistic.
Keep the faith!