The summer rebuild…A fans perspective..Goalkeeper.

June 4, 2009

After watching the Premier League and Champions League evolve over the past few years its fair to say the role of the goalkeeper has also evolved…

Gone are the days where you judged a good goalkeeper on how mental he was or if he had grave digger hands…due to the speed of todays game and certain rule changes regarding the pass back, which was introduced a few years ago its fair to say that to-days goalie has to be good with the ball at his feet too…

The way we play requires and insists not only on a commanding, agile figure as our number 1, but also on quick , pin point distribution….so we need a cross between Dave Seaman and Cesc Fabregas between our sticks…and I don’t think a player like that is too easy to find….

What we do currently have is two very good goalies in the shape of Almunia and Fabianski…

Almunia has shown alot of loyalty to our club…he came to us when Lehmann was our number one…and Lehmann was our invincible keeper so it wasn’t likely that Almunia was going to dislodge him too quickly..but he bid-ed his time, worked hard in training and has achieved his target…so fair play..

Almunia isn’t too commanding…I’d say his one weakness is his reluctance to come for the high ball..leaving the defence to deal with it…this obviously has lead to certain problems as our defenders aren’t the greatest at heading…also his positioning at certain times is questionable…so its fair to say he isn’t the perfect all round keeper…he’s not what you call a ‘presense’… which alot of successful teams have…

On the other hand Almunia is a great shot stopper with quick reflexes and he is very agile…his distribution is also very good..he doesn’t just hoof it down the pitch..he picks out a free player and finds him….

There’s a certain argument that some Gooners use that Almunia isn’t a good keeper because he’s never played for Spain…hes the wrong side of thirty and he hasn’t gained a single cap…if he was that good he would of been recognised by now..but Spain’s list of quality Goalkeepers is endless and has been for a few years now…they have Casillas, Valdes, Reina all above him in the pecking order so hes not likely to get a look in…

Fabianski is classed as our number 2 keeper at the moment…at 24 he’s still very young for a keeper and has earned rave reviews from several quarters…

Unlike Almunia, Fabianski is a commanding figure in the box..he comes for everything…which is what a good keeper does…it eases the defences nerves and gives them more confidence if they know they’ve got someone behind them who will deal with the high ball…Fabianskis problem is that he isn’t mature enough yet to judge what balls he will win or lose when he does come…like what happened in the ill fated game against Chelsea when his mistake let Drogba in for an open goal…this decision making will come with experience though I feel so I don’t believe it will still be a problem as he gets older…

He is also, like Almunia a good shot stopper, and his distribution is also quite good…he looks for the early ball abit too much though…once again down to decision making…again I don’t see it as a permanent problem as he gets older…

Between the two of them I feel we have two keepers who are more than average…they both have their disadvantages but they both suit the way we play and they both have safe hands….I don’t feel uncomfortable with either of these two between the sticks, although I’d like to see Fabianski cement a first team place…

World-class keepers do not grow on trees…and if one becomes available it wont be cheap…so I think we should stick with what we’ve got for next season…

Alot of fans believe we missed the boat with Given, including me at the time…but Given was a good keeper in a shit team…still is….any keeper that gets 15 shots a game at him season after season is going to look good…I don’t think Given, although a good keeper, is any better than what we’ve got in Almunia..and what we could have in Fabianski…

What do you guys think???

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