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Posted by Sam Limbert on 05/30/2011

Now the season has finished, I’m going to assess the season for each Arsenal player. Fans at the moment have a lot of opinions on who should leave the club given the acrimonious finish to the campaign, so I’m going to give my view on everyone’s season and say if they have a future at the club.

I’m sure some will disagree with my thoughts and ratings so please comment and give your views at the bottom of the blog.

I’ll start at the last line of defence; the goalkeepers.

1. Manuel Almunia

If we were surprised to see Manuel Almunia start the season in goal for Arsenal, we’ll be staggered if he’s near the club in the coming August. He had an average start to the season before the debacle of West Brom at home, which summed him up as a goalkeeper. Although he saved a penalty, he’d injured himself giving it away before an awful attempt to save Jara’s shot meant we were always chasing the game. Were it not for injuries, I think that would have been Almunia’s last game for the Arsenal.

He returned in the FA Cup against Huddersfield, and did make an important save, but in the next round he let a shot go straight through him in the draw at Leyton Orient. Almunia’s inconsistency continued with a good performance away at Barcelona, however West Brom again were the beneficiaries of his mistakes. Any normal goalkeeper would never come haring out in the lackadaisical manner Almunia did in that game. Even without playing much this season, the Spaniard cost us key points. The re-signing of Jens Lehmann showed that Arsene Wenger has also lost faith in the error prone keeper.

Verdict: Should have gone last summer, has to go this summer: a generous 3/10.

13. Jens Lehmann

It’s hard to judge a man that only played one game this season, but given we won that match he can’t have played badly. After being brought in as cover for Almunia, Lehmann’s only game was against Blackpool, one of only three wins after the Carling Cup final. Most of the players spoke highly of him after that game as being an extra voice on the pitch, and certainly the defenders were better in that game due to the scary presence of the German behind them.

During the embarrassing ‘lap of appreciation’ at the end of the season, Jens was one of the few players who got a great reception from the fans. He’s a legend at the club who only came back to help out. Whether Lehmann appears again in an Arsenal shirt remains to be seen. If he does, it will only be as third or fourth choice.

Verdict: Will be surprised to see him play again, but did a good job in his one game: 6/10.

21. Lukasz Fabianski

Since the emergence of Szczesny, it’s easy to forget how much Lukasz Fabianski did improve during the season. He’d always looked shaky and low on confidence when playing for Arsenal, however he was like a different man after his penalty save at Partizan Belgrade. He finally got a run in the team, and but for a misjudgement against Newcastle, was gaining the club more points than the number lost due to his errors.

Fabianski’s highlight of the season was probably Wolves away. It wasn’t a great performance from the team, but we came away with a 2-0 win thanks to a double from Chamakh and a string of excellent saves from Fabianski. He then backed that performance up with more good saves against Everton. He was unfortunate to suffer an injury in January, ironically caused by Wojciech Szczesny, that ended his season. However the Pole definitely showed enough during the campaign to merit retaining a place in the squad.

Verdict: Deserves to stay at the club, proved himself to be a solid second choice: 7/10.

53. Wojciech Szczesny

After a successful loan spell at Brentford, it was hard to blame Wojciech Szczesny for being a bit frustrated at being behind Fabianski, and particularly Almunia, in the goalkeeping pecking order at the start of the season. I’d told quite a few people that I thought he was the answer to our keeper problems, so when he started at Newcastle in the Carling Cup, I was hoping he’d live up to the hype I’d given him. Szczesny didn’t disappoint with a string of excellent saves, and a punch at the end of the game that will live long in the memory.

His Premier League debut at Old Trafford was equally as impressive. When Fabianski was ruled out for the season, Arsene Wenger and most of the fans had no worries in relying on young Szczesny to perform in the big games. It was no coincidence that Szczesny was in goal during the team’s best run of the season before the Carling Cup final.

The only blot in his season undoubtedly came at Wembley against Birmingham, with the situation and timing of the incident making it worse. There was obvious miscommunication, however I think the majority of the blame for the error lies with Laurent Koscielny.

Despite suffering a serious finger injury against Barcelona, Szczesny healed quickly and managed to shine during the team’s horrible end of season run. His penalty save at Bolton was excellent and although he conceded a penalty at White Hart Lane, were it not for the Pole, Tottenham would have comfortably won that game. At 21, he has the potential to be the number 1 for many years at Arsenal and should have silenced those saying a new goalkeeper is needed.

Verdict: I’d like to see him start next season as number 1, will only get better: 8/10.

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Comments

Posted by Anonymous on 05/30/2011

no i dont want alumonia 2 stay in arsenal next sesen

Posted by David Fitch on 05/30/2011

cannot fault your assessment always believe in promoting from within helps to build loyalty to the club only buy when you have to.

Posted by arsenal man on 05/30/2011

I think fabianski was better than scezeney, he made one mistake compared to secezney. My opinion though.

Posted by Hp on 05/30/2011

Very disappointed to see you barely rewrite this article featured on gunnerblog (dotcom).


Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment, however I didn't see the Gunnerblog article before writing this piece. As written in my blog last week, I'd been planning to assess each player before the article you refer to was posted on Gunnerblog, so I didn't just write this blog after seeing his. I'd always set out to structure my player reviews in this manner, so any similarity is unintentional. I hope you'll continue to read this blog in the coming weeks as I'll give my views on the defenders, midfielders and strikers.

Posted by Am on 05/30/2011

I think almunia deserves a mention in the barca game at the nou camp.

It seemed that he was only ever going to be on the bench for the rest of the season, but he came on and made 4 fantastic saves, although I think he is the worst keeper we had in the last 40 years, he deserves a mention for that game and the barca game last season.

Posted by eldiablo on 05/30/2011

I believe that Lukasz Fabianski is better than Szczesny, but will see what happens next season, it's good for both of them to compete for their role between the stick

Posted by Ghettostory on 05/30/2011

Would agree that fabianski has better ability than scezeney buy would rather see scezeney in goal he's more off a leader and has the voice the team needs.

Posted by Burak on 05/30/2011

All keepers make mistakes, but only some of them have the strength to keep doing their job when things are going badly. Almunia is weak and is a lost cause. Fabianski is weak but seems capable of getting stronger, although Szczesny has superior physique. Szczesny needs a mentor (which is why Lehmann needs to stay) but is mentally strong. Szczesny needs to be #1, Fabianski #2, and Almunia needs to go.

Posted by jeff on 05/31/2011

Love 2 see Lehmann will be around next season. He can give our keeper some advice as coaching for our goalkeeper.. But, almunia can go 2 find new club, he is gud player but not consistent..

Posted by David Chow on 05/31/2011

Good recollection of performance of goalkeepers in past matches. Sound and fair assessment.
Apart from players, I would like you to comment on the coaching abilities of A Wenger and his assistants as well.


Sam Limbert: Thanks for the comment, I'll include views on Wenger and the coaching staff in a later post.

Posted by Maran on 05/31/2011

I think it was fairly easy to comment on Almunia. His undeserved place in the team should never had happened. However, I think the comment on Fabianski and Szczesny are too optimistic. Their performance and potential are two different things. And perhaps your rating of their performance is probably done relative to the standards of goalkeeping at Arsenal. But in terms of standards of goalkeeping at top class teams, these two were way off the mark. There were promises but their performances were too erratic and something not desired for teams with higher ambitions. I think Szczesny can stay but, as a cover. We need a top class goalkeeper who can do what Lehmann did in his only game. That commanding presence!

Posted by toheeb shanu on 05/31/2011

almunia should go, nd give fabianski nd scezceny 2 compete next season.

Posted by kayode on 05/31/2011

thanks to all arsenal fans around de world thanks 4 keeping de faith. As 4me scezini is good, fabian is good, bt u pple has 4gotn manoni, fabian 90percent saczini 85percent manoni 65 percent. Almania 40 percent let watch next seseon,we will have best keepers next seseon.keep de faith de gunner one love.

Posted by Francis Sim on 05/31/2011

I do hope to see Almunia go and maybe a new GK as a 2nd or 3rd choice. I definitely don't mind having Lehmann back for another season as 3rd choice GK. He may be old and over the hills but he is quite a legend for Arsenal. Looking forward to your article on the defenders!

Posted by Emmanuel on 05/31/2011

I believe Vito Mannone should start next season ahead of every other goalie cos he's got more balance and experience than everybody else ... his game against Fulham 2009/2010 is fabulous!!!

Posted by Andrew B. Abraham on 05/31/2011

I strongly believe scezeney stands second to none in the arsenal goal keeper he has the confidence,the command,he can only be undressed by the defenders like what happened in that birmingham game.Yes Fabianski can be fabulous but at times fails fails to quickly read the game. Almunia is unpredictable,he can save a penalty and lets in four free play goals.

Posted by Anonymous on 05/31/2011

arsenal should get a decent GK..after seaman left, there hasn't been anyone who could step up as he did. AKINFEEV? ADLER? buy one expencive one but profit for years and years to come! Arshavin could help Akinfeev to settle in easily.

Posted by Noel on 05/31/2011

I generally agree with your assessment in terms of the keepers' performance. I also tend to share your view that we don't need a new, experienced GK, provided that we strengthen the back four this summer.

Good job Sam, and I look forward to the next posts.

Posted by luqman on 05/31/2011

arsenal should get young goalkeeper, MICHAEL SCHEMICAL ex manchester city goalkeeper. cheap price and outstanding performance. sorry for the spelling.

and seriously, if arsenal does not spend to buy a defender, surely there will be no trophy next session. Bid on METZELDER METASAKER or THIAGO SILVA. and well see what happen

Posted by Trint on 05/31/2011

I agree with most of the assessment but I think I would switch Fabianski to 8 and Szczesny to 7. I think Szczesny has had the benefit of starting stronger and then making mistakes later where Fabianski made so many early on that everyone was waiting for him to fail even though he made 20 starts with only one notable mistake.

The one glaring difference when Lehmann played was the command of the area. Too many goals from set pieces were conceded where Lehmann would have came out to punch. Szczesny seems rooted to the line on corners and was beaten on multiple occasions because of this.

Posted by Anntonii on 05/31/2011

The key to all defence is to fix 1GK and 2CB playing week in week out as much as possible.

We saw 4 CB left during the beginning season and we lost Thomas Vermaelen for whole season. We bought 2 CB and expect Johan Djourou to be in first team..

Our GK is always changing...

It is more of a case of Mis-communication between GK & CB that cause the points

Posted by KMonty on 05/31/2011

Sam,
It's fair to say Almunia's time between the sticks is all but done. But I got to say I disagree that Fabianski and Szczesny are fit to take the place of #1 next year. Despite showing promise in a couple of games, each and every goalkeeper, including Lehmann, showed glaring deficiencies in one or more departments. Almunia clearly thought he was made of tissue paper and looked like a tentative six-year-old when the ball was in the box. Fabianski, while a natural-born shotstopper, looked like he soaked his gloves baby oil before every match. Lehmann is, well, a mad man. The guy looks composed, but remember, in his one and only game he pulled on his NFL linebacker mentality and fouled the Blackpool forward for what should have been a penalty. And Szczesny, while the most athletic and certainly acrobatic, show clear signs of a lack of goalkeeping intuition. It's probably his tender age, but it's an apparent weakness. Even with a solid back line, the GK still needs to hold his own.

Posted by Zee on 05/31/2011

agree with Anntonii on the constant GK/CB changes due to injury that plays havoc with the confidence and coordination at the back.

no doubt our back line isn't up to scratch in aerial situations among other areas, but it is pretty clear that communication, and dare i say, trust, is lacking among the back line + GK. and imho this situation is the result of repeated (albeit enforced) changes.

hope that my fellow gooners remember that fixing the defence isn't merely getting defenders with the required physical, technical or mental abilities, but also on the getting the coordination.

Posted by Cisco on 05/31/2011

You've made a pretty fair assessment of our goalkeeping situation. Our problem, however, remains that none of these options are world-classed, finished article keepers. Lehman has passed his sell-by date, Fabianski and Szczesny have learning to do, and Almunia is an accident waiting to happen. I'm not saying we need to buy Neuer or De Gea or anyone like that, but we should invest in an experienced, top-drawer keeper. Look at Shay Given or Brad Friedel. They have a couple good seasons left in them, they're proven EPL quality, and they can lead the back line. Additionally, they'll be able to aid Fabianski and Szczesny in their development. Otherwise, we risk blooding them too soon and ruining their confidence a la Almunia.

Posted by andy on 05/31/2011

I'm no gunner, but i have to say this. arsenal needs a world class keeper. Its high time u guys stop doing this(i.e hype ur self before every season). If u dont buy u will suffer the same way next season. Six years has gone now how many serious signings has the club done since then? Food for thought.

Posted by jorge v. on 05/31/2011

Pretty spot on, I don't know why Almunia stayed as long as he did. While I do agree that Szczesny can be Arsenal's number 1 for the future, it does seem he lacks just that little bit of a commanding presence in goal.

The dilemna is: keep him in goal and let him continue to develop, or maybe go out and get a top, older gk for a more immediate push in the CL and premier league, and delay Szczesny's development ?

Posted by olisa on 05/31/2011

infact Sam, no present keeper can keep us to our expectation, none of them can help go us unbeaten. So wenger has to spend

Posted by Pedram Toronto on 05/31/2011

Nice try. But at some point you might want to try and look at whole lines (defense/midfield/attack), and whole set-ups (defense, transition, attack, pressing, etc.) instead of posts/players. It is actually such general views that help assessing who is appropriate and who is not.

A keeper (or defender) doesn't operate in a vacuum. A defender who is confident of his keeper's areal prowess or shot-stopping capability makes different decisions from when he doesn't have that confidence, resulting in a different type of performance.

By the same token, the choice of a keeper (or defender) is not made in vacuum. The name of Shay Given is mentioned (as it was a couple of years ago). He is a great shot-stopper, but not commanding in the air. So he is best suited to a defense line that is great in the air but not necessarily quick or capable of blocking shots. As a result, at the moment, and with Arsenal's current crop of defenders, he is not a good option.

Posted by Chris on 05/31/2011

Good review of the keepers. I would agree that Szczesny deserves a chance to be the first choice. But does he command the penalty area, and work well with his defenders? The center backs and the keeper have to work as a unit. It's all about confidence in each other.

Posted by Adeyanju isaac on 05/31/2011

I think szczesny is better off almunia he is more consistency than him(almunia) on post.present of lehm ann will really help him mentally.almunia could go look for a green pasture ex were.

Posted by youngGun15 on 05/31/2011

We need to get rid of Almunia. Maybe we should get a short term keeper for a year or two...

Posted by major on 06/01/2011

first and second should be szcsney or ether fabianski sell almunia to get eden hazard or a key mid defence

Posted by Patrick on 06/01/2011

Look at other big clubs, ManU, Chelsea,Liverpool. They have 1 thing in common, a good solid world class goalkeeper. If Arsenal is get back on title track, Arsene should start looking at the defence!

Posted by the other guys on 06/01/2011

since we all know that lehmann already wanted an extension in his contract, it clearly shows that almunia should really leave. we have already 5 goalkeepers including the loaned-out mannone. ability-wise fabianski, mannone and szczesny clearly lacked command and experience when dealing with dead-ball situations excluding direct-fk. lehmann should stay and mentor these kids to become the next top goalkeepers, all of them is still young(in goalkeeper year(well, since most goalkeeper shine when they are about 27~29)) all three of them should be given chance to work with other top class goalie, not only lehmann.

Posted by narnia_gunner on 06/01/2011

szczesny is a good you keeper, needs to be more aggressive and controlling in the 6.....almunia gone not even the mls is good for you...still a new signing might be good, de gea would make my fifa 11 team come true! but hey...also viviano is seeking options

Posted by Kunle on 06/01/2011

Am i the only person that believed Arsenal would have won the league with Van dar sar in Goal & Man u would'nt have done so with Almunia between the sticks.That is the extent to which a goalkeeper can make or mar the lot of his team.Think about those ridiculous blunders by Almunia which only happened once to VDS during the course of the entire season(Against westbrom at old trafford).For all gunners that are hungry for trophies, you guys should forget about Szeceny or Fanbiaski for now. Surely,those guys have great potentials and i believe they are the future of Arsenal,but they ll once again be overwhelmed when the going gets tough.Experience & dogedness is what we need now to bring instant success to the Emirates.How on earth did szeceny committed that terrible blunder at wembley still beats me uptill now.All his efforts to redeem himself did not impress me cos that was where evrything started going wrong for us.that singular act cost us our promising season.

Posted by bearhugsam on 06/01/2011

Fabianski is better than szcesny in my opinion
He has more potential that's why Arsene and Poland national place him ahead of szcesny.
he just lacks that little bit of confidence

Posted by lalok_stylo on 06/01/2011

imo, arsenal doesnt need another GK....
almunia out
szchesny no 1
fabianski and mannone as back up...
szchesny has the quality to be a good GK, no doubt..
let see how he'll doing next season...

wenger should concentrate on defender and striker....

Posted by John Ng on 06/01/2011

Arsenal is in the same situation that Man U was in a couple of seasons ago. After Schmeichel left, they tried several younger keepers and kept letting in goals. It wasn't until Van der Sar arrived that the defense was shored up. The same thing has occured after Seaman with only Lehmann looking to be in a similar class.

Clearly if Arsenal want to win they are going to need a keeper in the same stature as Cech or Van der Sar.

There aren't many in the game - maybe Akinfeev (but Russian), Buffon, Lloris (french so Wenger favourite) or maybe Casillas are world class. All of these are number one in their respective national teams and these national teams are top ranked.

Good teams start from the foundation and this is clearly missing for Arsenal. Even Liverpool has a better keeper.

Posted by Omoh on 06/01/2011

I think it's a good assessment. Almunia can be a very good goal keeper, like he proved in the game against Barca last season's champion's league, but he just lacks the capacity to maintain that form, for me, I think he just can't concentrate and pay attention to his career, he's far too inconsistent to play at this level.

Posted by Olanrewaju on 06/01/2011

Almunia can just go. And Wenger should shop for an experienced no. 1. Szczesny and Fabianski are very good covers.
And as for Lehman, He's been an humble fellow and a very loyal Arsenal keeper. He should have his deserving rest.

Posted by Aaron Mark Hendrix on 06/01/2011

arsenal need an experienced keeper for sure.szczesny put in a decent shift,and so did fabianski but both are inexperienced.the errors they made clearly show that.that notwithstanding,both should be given the chance to learn and progress.brad freidel or mark schwarzer would be the kinda guys i would look at.wont cost a bomb,and both are familiar with the league.then you could have healthy competition amongst all three.the experienced one should start as number one but the other two should be given runouts as well.kinda like what man utd did between van der sar and kuzscak..or you could not buy,instead just start either szczesny or fabianski and see what happens...personally,szczesny looks the more likely to succeed...

Posted by ifeanyi udemezue on 06/01/2011

You were spot on in your assessment of each goalkeeper. I however think that we need a world class goalkeeper if we dream of any trophy next season.

Posted by Sam R on 06/01/2011

I agree completely with the comments being made about united and Van der Sar. He has saved them more points in the past couple seasons than we've been able to accumulate as a whole. GK is the most important position and as such it can't be taken lightly which I think is the root of many of our problems. Its agreed Almunia has to go and Szczesny and Fabianski are growing and becoming decent keepers. But decent isn't good enough when we want and need trophies now.

I know Wenger wont buy a new GK this summer as the defense needs far more attention and he has faith in Szczesny but we desperately need a world class keeper now. United are proof at how much of a difference one can make. Poor goalkeeping is just as much at fault for our failure this season as our appalling defense. I really hope AW invests in both because fixing one without the other is like buying one boot because you can't afford the other and then hoping your bare foot will suffice.

Posted by Piruu, Tanzania on 06/01/2011

None of our current goalies really are top class as most of the guys have commented. We have a few goalies in England that are not even their clubs number ones but are very good, look at Ali Al Habsi, the loanie at Wigan from Bolton, That guy is very good, he's got the reflexes, the physique, a huge body and a very commanding presence between the sticks. I still remember when he stepped in to cover for the bolton #01 in 2008 and made extemly fantastic saves to deny the likes of Drogba and co. Get a guy like this, he will cost nothing for sure, or get Given, he just need to get some games but he's got the experience!

Posted by Adam on 06/01/2011

We should buy ashley young and go back to a 4-4-2. Or more a 4-4-1-1 Van persie top and fab right behind him. Then wilsher and nasri in mid with ashley young and walcott/arshavin on the other wing...Then we could actually get some width in our play.

Posted by Kyle on 06/01/2011

I hope Lehmann stays. Just his presence in the locker room will help both the young Poles. Almunia must go. Arsenal's goalkeeper situation looks bright for the future.

Posted by Anntonii on 06/02/2011

I want to believe if Arsene Wenger had signed Mark Schwarzer in Jan 2011, we would at least be Carling Cup & FA Cup Doubles Champion

Posted by james on 06/02/2011

i think everybody agrees almunia is garbage.
while both fabianski and szczesny are quality keepers with a bright future, they are by no means up to par with the rest of the club. theres absolutely no reason for a club like arsenal to have the likes of van persie, fabregas, nasri and wilshere controlling the middle of the park when we have a goalie, who makes the most costly of mistakes on the pitch, who isnt even starting for his national team. SPEND THE MONEY. somebody mentioned brad friedel. hes probably one of the most underrated goalies in the world because hes american. he also managed to block 2 pks in a wold cup match. while he may be older. hes going to be able to provide both our youngsters the time to mature into leaders without making almunia and greene mistakes or costing what bayern will demand for neuer. djourou played amazing this season considering he was a RESERVE to start. buy friedel and buy a solid outside defender to cover for sagna and clichy. and sell eboue

Posted by ISACXON on 06/02/2011

Nice Post Sam, fair assessment. However, i feel for success next season, we need a GK who is a complete package, what we have is potential- Arsene Project material. Bring AKINFEEV, experience, good physic, excellent reflexes. The Poles can wait in queue, come in once or once as the season progresses. They are still young and have enough time ahead of them to enjoy the Emirates. Keeping Goal for a Championship winning side will also aid their confidence.

Posted by jksaurus on 06/02/2011

i think almunia can only play well when he doesnt need to think, and thats only when we are being hammered by barca

Posted by jo di docta andura on 06/02/2011

i believe communication in the team between the goalie and the team members more so the defenders matters a lot,...miscommunication has made us not win a trophy for yet another season

Posted by king pin on 06/02/2011

I think almunia shld move on ,and schezny shld battle it out with fabianski and monnone,they are all future greats ,but I tip schzny to follow in the footsteps of vandersar and cassillas.he would be great for arsenal and poland

Posted by jk on 06/03/2011

i think schezny more confidents than fabianski. maybe this season arsene should let go almunia and lehman becoz team has already have schezny, mannone and fabianski. it'll great if schezny start next season as no 1.

Posted by Raib on 06/03/2011

Good and fair ratings -- my only real concern is that with Fabianski and Szczesny, we have solid potential, but lack experience again. And lack of experience has led us dropping points in crucial games during the title run ins of several years now. Both keepers still need to become more dominant over their penalty areas -- and both have potential.

But that's the keyword. I've been watching Arsenal for eight years now, and that's the word I'm absolutely SICK of hearing. I don't want to hear the word potential or next season anymore. I want trophies and I want experience.

Posted by Ruixlow on 06/03/2011

Great post, sam! Agree with Anntonii too on Mark Schwarzer. Thought Wenger had tried too hard to look for bargains. If he had shelled out the £4 million fulham wanted, imagine what a difference that would have made. We would at least have one cup in hand to look forward to more, confidence would not be an all time low... But of course, talk is cheap when we are not the decision makers. Trust that Wenger has really learnt a lesson here. No one will mind an experienced old head when we saw the impact of Van der Sar. Let's have a good blend of experience and youth, I'm sure we can develop and challenge for titles at the same time, as we did before this drought.

Posted by nazbun on 06/03/2011

Actually gk not the big problem since we have 2young GK (F & W).. wat we can see,our CD was easily lost their concentrate..we need to buy some CD who are tall, fast and tough to ensure we not easily been conceed..

Posted by abestman nse on 06/03/2011

Hi gunners,we all know that Fabiansky is good but because of injury he was ruled out of the season but for so called Almunia please let send him back to where he belong.

Posted by kennedy on 06/03/2011

i believe we should start with 3 goalkeepers namely szcesny,Mannone and fabianski.they are all fantastic.i followed mannone last term at hull and when fit hull didnt concede he is simply amaizing and i would prefer him as my number one.

Posted by vernon on 06/03/2011

If only Wenger has signed Mark Schwarzer during the January transfer window! We would have probsbly won the League & FA Cup and have an outside change of matching Barca in the Euro Cup and finish among the top 2 in the Premier League. Very disappointed with Wenger's decision in this instance. We need an experienced keeper next season with Szcesny & Fabianski providing the back up. The keeper is the most critical position in the team, one mistake and the game is beyond us. History has proven this during the recent season. Need to learn the hard way for another season of disappointment ? Hope Wenger will come to his senses in time for the new season. We can thank Almunia for his past contributions.

Posted by jonas on 06/03/2011

i think that szcesny should start the next season after all he has proved he is good n can live up to the hype also also looks to be improving well..n also fabianski should be second choice he proves it every time he is out there...his main drawback i feel is his height...its hard for him to come for the ball during corner..Almunia is a good keeper but makes wrong decisions during game which costs us...he is good for a lower level club but not for arsenal...so for me Szcesny is the man

Posted by Scott on 06/04/2011

If Arsenal bring in two quality centre backs, then I feel the GK positions no longer need to be looked at. These young goalkeepers are being touted as "inexperienced" and "vulnerable" as a result from some of the most horrendous and criminal central defending I have seen. I think everyone can agree that Vermaelan is pure quality and when fit, a top class CB. But from there it is less promising. Djourou is a squad player, Koscielny shows class at times, but inexplicable decision making at times, and Squillaci I'm sure has baffled all of us fans recently. If ARsenal can start next season with Vermaelen and a solid experienced CB next year like Samba, with Djourou and say Phil Jones as immediate cover. Then I believe that a new goalkeeper is not needed and we can see either one of Scezsney, Fabianski or Mannone flourish into a truly top class keeper.

Posted by jeston on 06/05/2011

Am tired.........wenger shd just buy world class players in goal,defence and strikin position n we shd stop all dis hype abt averagely gud players in orda to hv results.wenger dis is to u.no result next season,w wuld show u ur way out cos it seems u are also our PROBLEM

Posted by John Swaray on 06/06/2011

Arsenal is a very good team. I want to surject that Arsenal should sell most of the bench palyers like vela, Rosicky, Abu Diabi, Bendner, Charmark, Suuillsci, Arshanven, Fabiansky and buy some players that will have the same fitness as their peer in the first 11 players. It is important to qualuity players on the bench who can make possible replacement but thids not case with Arsenal. Let us look at Barca bench, they are of the same quality. Wenger please go Samuel Etto (Inter), Bojon (Barca, Casila, The proble with Arseanl is Goal keeping, centre back and good finisher. Let God bless Vanpersie

Posted by j.d on 06/16/2011

about a GK needed in Arsenal..maybe i can suggest buy Shay Given if Arsene Wenger is looking for an exprience GK.Shay given is familiar with EPL so he is the best candidate for Arsenal.we can see that Arsene not in mood to buy new GK.As for me Maarten Stekelenburg is my favourite GK to be main character between the pole.but if Arsene not prefer him better we just sign Shay Given because his experience in EPL.Hope this new season will be better than last season.my hope to see nasri stay and sign extention because we need him so much.more addtional will be good for the team.All the for the team.Wish u all a great season to come.prove that Arsenal still the Big four and challenge Man Utd,Chelsea & Man City.

Posted by mike musya on 06/16/2011

ate wauga schezny ni mwega to pineapple, we wacha

Posted by Chumek on 06/16/2011

Arsenal need lehman to help Wojciech Szczesny as a true custodian in goal keeping though lehman is aging he can provide tactics and courage to the young wojciech.Arsenal should immediately sell off scqillaci and replace him with a giant defender like Samba or cahill.

Posted by Kim Gronbaek on 06/21/2011

Why does Arsenal not try to buy Kasper Schmeichel who has improved a lot and by now is Arsenal material? At the same time he is not that expensive - he will be as good as his father so now is the time to bring him in ....

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. Kasper Schmeichel is a good goalkeeper, but personally I think Wojciech Szczesny is better. If we were to sign a goalkeeper, I'd think it would be a more experienced one to help Szczesny develop.

Posted by Tomas Wenger on 06/25/2011

Fabiansky doesn't own the box at all... especially on set pieces where an attacking player is going for a header right in front of him he automaticly expects his defenders to clear the ball... i'd rather have the instance where Szczesny picks up the penalty vs the Spurs in an effort to OWN the box(the job of a proffesional keeper)

Posted by iArsenalFan on 06/26/2011

Szczesny's saves are good, but his goal kick's are not good enough to start the team's attack. Many goalkeepers do assist or their long passes can start a attack which results in goal (Like Dida's pass to Kaka against Man U or Van der Sar's passes..). i believe Wojciech lacks this factor, so Fabianski would be a better choice

Posted by Derrick on 06/30/2011

Szczesny needs to improve on high crossses. He does not feel comfortable to move out of his line during corners and i believe opponents are aware of it. Defenders is losing confidence as they felt they are the last line of defends in this case. Szczesny can be more commanding in corners.

Posted by faiez MY on 06/30/2011

Almunia is not in the list of good keepers.. let him go..
i love to see Szczesny playing.. retain him.. i think he is better than fabianski..
But please sign a good and experienced keeper..
go for neuer..

Posted by Gunna on 07/01/2011

Fair comments mate. Szczesny should def be our number 1 and fabianski number 2. Fabianski is on par as a shop stopper and his distribution is excellent. But Szczensny's presence in goal and domination in the box (loved it when he came out and flattened Bale at WHL) means he has to be our first choice. He seems to inspire more confidence in the team. Either way we have no need to sign a new keeper this summer.

Posted by kavuma Chris on 07/09/2011

Almunia is a good stopper on a good day but he makes silly mistakes and he is not consistent. I think he should try his talent else where.

Posted by winner on 07/16/2011

Alder or Neur was the champion winner in my FM game engine. Great aggressive high tempo goalkeeper. World class performance for sure

Posted by John Njukia on 07/18/2011

Plz Wenger as we now start another Premier league,we urge u to b more careful on defence n also more on striking,for goalkeeping lets have Fabianski n Almunia to rest.Wenger note we have lost some players for not winning anything as from 2005,we need immediate change to our club.

Posted by RT Australia on 07/23/2011

It's about time Mr Wenger started spending some money,Arsenal badly need a keeper and a couple of good defenders.Other clubs are getting keepers and there wont be any good ones left soon.The club keeps losing players because of the lack of trophey's,so hurry up and sign agood keeper.

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About
David Young Sam Limbert: My retirement as a football player came at the age of 14 due to being rubbish, it's fair to say I was more Kaba Diawara than Thierry Henry, so I turned my focus to writing about the game. I'm a lifelong Arsenal fan and have been lucky enough to watch the team across England and Europe. My favourite Gunner of all time is Dennis Bergkamp, and the 2004 Invincibles is the greatest side I've ever seen in English football. I try to be positive about the Arsenal as it's the hope that keeps us going! Follow me on twitter @SamsMatchReport.

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