The goalkeeping situation at Arsenal has been an interesting one for many years.
Ever since Jens Lehmann left the club in 2007 no one has been able to pin down the number one shirt, Manuel Almunia tried but he was to error prone and susceptible to disasters to be a Premier League goalkeeper. Lukas Fabianski, Vito Mannone have also all had a go but no one has yet been successful.
Then three years ago Wojciech Szczesny burst onto the scene after an impressive spell on loan at Brentford. He appeared in some League cup games, the usual route for any youngster, he then displaced Almunia in the Arsenal goal and Arsene Wenger thought he had a goalkeeper for the next ten years.
Szczesny has had some impressive performances since he broke into the first team but has never been consistent enough, as a top goalkeeper should. This has led to reports that Arsenal are looking at goalkeeping options during this transfer window with Asmir Begovic and Vicente Guaita being rumored as targets.
This is another area that Arsenal have failed to find a adequate replacement, the days of David Seaman and Jens Lehmann are sadly over and it is not to be underestimated the effect a world class goalkeeper can have on a team.
A great goalkeeper will fill his defence with confidence and allow them to play freely without the worries of what could go wrong if there is an error. With Almunia as goalkeeper defenders were never filled with this confidence after numerous occasions of the Spaniard came off of his line without any conviction at all.
With a world-class goalkeeper Arsenal might have won the league title in 2007/08 and would have certainly grabbed a Cup win; these type of goalkeepers win you games and save you points. Just look at how many times a David de Gea save helped Manchester United to a win last season, crucial in winning the title.
There’s no reason that Szczesny can’t be that good but I think if he had some quality competition for his place in the side then it could push him on to bigger and better things. If that is Wenger’s reasoning behind then I’m all for it, he can’t allow players to become comfortable in their positions.
Who is the answer in goal for Arsenal?
image: © wonker