Monday 26 October 2009

Manuel Almunia

What is going on here? Manuel has missed over a month with a chest infection. He was fit for Birmingham but is still yet to start a game since his mysterious illness. Arsene has been cryptic in his backing or lack of it:

“I wouldn't say Manuel is no longer our automatic first choice"
I am perplexed. There must be more to this than the club is letting on. Manuel is by far our best goalkeeper and there must be some kind of reason for him not returning to the first team. I know Mannone had a cracker against Fulham, but he has made bad errors in the West Ham, Birmingham and Blackburn games. Personally I thought Manuel had a great season last year and was one of our best players, I want to see him back between our sticks against Spurs. Does anyone out there know what the hell is going on here?


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Leskov said...

I disagree with you when you say "Manuel is by far our best goalkeeper".

He is our more experienced goalkeeper, but I can't blame Wenger to give a run of games to Mannone.
Mannone clearly needs to raise his game but I feel he can do it.

Almunia never impressed me and I think he won't improve now, it's too late.

Last season Almunia was poor against the Spurs. Not sure he will do better this time.

Almunia had a poor beginning of the season. Don't forget that he got the job in the same circumstances: Lehmann was better but had made mistakes.

It's just bad luck that Fabianski was injured because he could have done better than Mannone.

To be fair, I don't think our goalkeepers are really responsible for the goals we concede.

Anonymous said...

Almunia is also prone to errors and apart from his experience, Mannone is better than him. He conceeded so many goals(goals of the season) last season from against spurs nd hull city and others. Even the mistakes against Man City this season. Showing no flexiblity at all. The first goal against city annoyed me most cos he could have kept it out. For me if Arsene doesnt buy any top rated keeper he can continue with Mannone.

Anonymous said...

totally agree. almunia is clearly our best keeper, by far, there is something going on, i have no idea what it is.
i am really hoping almunia is back against spurs -- but then i've been hoping to see him back for the last few games...
bernardinho - london

Anonymous said...

Agree with the post.

Almunia was dropped, as he should have been. But its time to put him back in there.

Hopefully he will revert to his form of the last two seasons. He did have a lot of errors early on, but at this point, so has Mannone in each of the last few games.

Almunia knows he is not untouchable, and hopefully that will keep him on his toes.


1979gooner said...

agree again with rahul, hopefully this is a kick up the backside that manuel needs

have to disagree with the comments on how error prone almunia is,

he has been very consistent over the past couple of seasons and one the best around,

his mistakes this season are minor compared to the errors that mannone has made,

i have never been convinced by mannone, he made terrible mistakes from the word go, one awful fumble stands out, he has also made three poor mistakes in this recent short run,

i will be very unhappy if mannone stays in the side, his continued presence is an accident waiting to happen

Ted said...

I have no idea what the hell is going on.

I blame the ref.

Anonymous said...

When we had the opportunity Given should have been purchased.
Manuel is a joke, he's in his prime (allegedly) and I wouldn't play him in my Sunday league side.
Mannone has made 1 mistake, in only getting 1 hand to a swerving free kick conceded by donkey diaby.
Let Mannone keep the No 1 shirt, manuel can play tomorrow in the cup and buy Akinfeev January.

1979gooner said...

mannone has only made one mistake?

spectacles required i think

marcus said...

I posted these same thoughts on the previous thread, I should've put them here.

What's going on is that AW has lost confidence in Almunia. Almunia's a good keeper but not one good enuf for a top 4 team chasing titles. We could get away with having just a good keeper if we had a solid, clinical, top quality team like Barca but we don't. Barca's weakest player last season was Valdez, who can't even get into the national team as a 2nd or 3rd choice keeper. But he has in front of him players who are not prone to stupid individual errors, who know how to keep leads consistently and who work hard for the ball consistently.

I don't think AW thinks Mannone is any better than Almunia, he's not stupid. He knows Mannone is young and inexperienced. I think it give you an indication of how much faith AW has lost in Almunia. I'm sure Almunia will be back at some point. I think it's interesting to watch AW's man-management on this whole thing.

Yes, it's risky, but it tells you that AW thinks putting a young 3rd choice keeper is no worse than putting our #1 in goal right now -- and he may think it's slightly better. AW knows better what's going on with Almunia than we do. I have no faith in any of our keepers, frankly. But with Fabianski and Mannone, they at least have the excuse of their age and lack of experience. Almunia's another matter.

AW has gotten away with relying on Almunia for a couple of seasons but he simply is not good enuf for a team chasing trophies. Not unless our players step up several notches and mature into ruthless, solid, focused professionals who can hold onto leads against inferior teams, do the basic things simply and be clinical in front of goal. With a team like that, maybe we can afford a decent keeper instead of top class one.

It's no good blaming Mannone for his errors. He's young and inexperienced, it was inevitable he'd make mistakes, big ones. That's what young, inexperienced keepers do. He's actually done pretty well given his level.

It may well be that AW has finally realized the keeper position has to be resolved. There were reports toward the end of the summer that we'd made inquiries about the availability of Robert Green. Regardless of Green's quality, it wouldn't surprise me if that were true. For me, it's clear AW is wrestling with the keeper issue.

Obsinho said...

Being a keeper is a thankless task - make 10 blinding saves and 1 error and you're the villain. I am by no means excusing Vito's errors, but it is too easy to write a keeper off.

Manuel has good games, but he does have bad games as a regular (meaning more than once, rather than often) occurrence which has and will cost us goals.

Arsene has lost faith, but that does nor help us. We need an international quality keeper in there, and at the moment we don't have one. That could cost us the title, and I think that at the moment wenger seems willing to take the risk. He did the same last year with our midfield, and it cost him then. I fear he may not like learning from his mistakes.

Anonymous said...

Almunia was our goalkeeper in 07-08 when we should have won but for Eduardo's horrific injury took a mental toll on the team.

Almunia was our goalkeeper last year when Arsenal had a 20 game unbeaten streak.

He just needs to revert to being solid between the posts. We can with him.

Almunia has a commanding presence and is needed.

Sure, there are goalkeepers better than him. But there are forwards better than RvP, Arshavin, Vela, Eduardo, Bendtner too. There's practically a superstar that could replace anyone on our team. (except maybe Fabregas, but...) you get the idea.

sure there could be someone better, but right now we need who is best on the team, not in the world.

Almunia is the best on the team at this point. He should start. When we get Buffon, we can argue about who should start then.

We have to deal with reality, not what could have been.

On another note, I loved Lehmann. He was a crack up. Really hilarious. And he had some great games, single handedly won some games. But, he did some crazy stuff too, which took its toll.

Huh, what, I'm babbling. But I loved the Arsenal-Chelsea game when him and Drogba had this comedy routine the whole game...anyone remember that. and towards the end they were like "after you." "no, after you" and it was pure comedy.


Ted said...

Like referees, keepers clearly divide opinions.

However, there are some very narrow minded views above with some very short memories.

What exactly is an "international class" keeper? England's keeper is crap (choose any from Green, Robinson or James). We already made that mistake once with Richard Wright.

You won't find a single keeper in the world who does not make occassional mistakes. Almunia has done a good job over recent years. yes, he may be out of favour at the moment, but lets not get hysterical about this. Wenger did this to Lehmann and whilst i am not sure Almunia quite deserves the same treatment, Vito has not exactly won universal praise. We will get a look at Fabianski tonight and if does well then I suspect he will play against Spurs on Saturday.

Given the amount of goals Shay has let in during the last 18 months, its amazing people think he is any good.

Possibly the most consistent performer in the premiership over recent years is Brad Friedal, and its no surprise that Aston Villa's return to form coincides with Friedal joining the club. Blackburn have gone in the opposite direction since he left.

As Rahul says, Lehmann was a legend. A top keeper who made great saves, but also the odd mistake. Yet people didn't like him much at the time.

I think we should be happy that we actually have 3 keepers at the club who are half decent and could do a job if required.

Rhinogooner said...

I hope Mr. Wenger makes me look a fool for the following criticism, but why on earth is Craig Eastmond starting in central midfield ahead of Coquellin or Frimpong tonight?

This makes no sense. One of the things I was really looking forward to tonight was seeing how Coquellin gets on. I really rate him and think he is ready for some first team action. I think he could be used to fill in for Song or play in the midfield three with Song and Cesc. I rate him that highly. He's a battler, wins tackles and can score goals.

Team selection is one of the things about our manager that does my head in. I think he tries to be too clever some times.

So here's to Eastmond scoring a hat trick and pulling up trees tonight to make me look like a right prat.

Obsinho said...

On my way back from the emirates, and happily Arsene has proved you wrong. Eastmond put in a great shift. Another diamond in the rough that shows the depth of quality we have developing in the squad.

Took a scouse fan with me tonight and he commented regularly on how little they have on reserve. That may not have been their first team (both of their first team players were rested!) but that was a premiership team. Credit goes to a very young team.

But MOTM was Nicky B. Showed how improved he is when he leads by example in a game where he is a senior pro. Great performance.

Obsinho said...

Also there are world class keepers our there. The fact Green isn't one of them doesn't change a thing. Almunia is fine and has done brilliantly at times. But if Arsene does not rate him, then I don't want to see his inderstudy in there. Either bring in someone you rate more or play the best we have.

Ted said...

Obs - bendtner was having a shocker for 99% of the time. he might get your MOTM award nonetheless, but his performance overall was average at best. RVP, Arshavin and Rosicky will not be losing any sleep about their places in the first XI.

Obsinho said...

I choose to disagree. See Arseblogger agrees with you but he's Irish, which so I am clearly right.

If I can't have Bendtner then Rambo gets the award. He's got that amazing ability to look like he always has time on the ball.

Rhinogooner said...

Sod off both of you. As I said before the match, Eastmond is the mutts.

He played a blinder and is clearly MOTM!

Obsinho said...

Eastmond gets the rather specific right-back-making-debut-out-of-position-at-center-midfield of the match award. Or if you will the RBMDOOPACMotM.