Almunia in the best moment of his Arsenal career: saving a penalty from Robbie Keane, the Tottenham captain
Arsenal have a history of brilliant keepers. Jens Lehmann, David Seaman, and Bob Wilson are some names that may ring a bell in that catagory. As of 9:00 PM on May 28, 2008 we have four class keepers, with even more the Reserves and Youth Ranks.
Manuel Almunia, Jens Lehmann, Lukasz Fabianski, Vito Mannone are all class players and have the skill and to play for Arsenal regularly. Mannone and Fabianski may still need to get some experience under their belts, but that will come with time.
This season, at the beginning of the year, Jens Lehmann made two vital mistakes against Fulham and Blackburn, and one of those mistakes cost us two points, the other almost costing us all three, if it weren’t for Robin van Persie and Alexander Hleb. After these two mistakes and an elbow injury, Manuel Almunia was given a chance to impress.
After almost leaving in the summer, Almunia impressed indeed, making several very memorable moments along the way. He was immense during the Fall, and he was my Man of the Match against Chelsea, making some seemingly impossible saves, notably on John Obi Mikel’s volley, and Andrei Shevchenko’s laser free kick.
Despite that fact that the team’s form went down during the Winter and Spring, that of Almunia did not. He again was immense in an important game, against AC Milan. He brilliant saved an Andrea Pirlo free kick that looked like it was going to sneak into the bottom corner.
For those of you doubting Almunia, he is not one to be doubted, despite a rough start at Arsenal he has finally proven himself at Arsenal, just as the likes of Flamini, Hleb and Clichy have.
Almunia is a good keeper, and if worthy of starting for Arsenal. He is good enough to be our number 1, and cannot be blamed for any of this season’s disappointments. He was a great keeper for this season and should continue being our #1 keeper until the end of his career, which he intends to end at Arsenal.
After Almunia we have two brilliant options in Fabianski and Mannone. Both are young and great shot stoppers, but the main thing is that they can improve. Both are great prospects and will improve under Wenger. Only one thing is certain about them: it will be hard to decide which will eventually succeed Manuel Almunia.
Our goalkeeping situation is fine, and it is not necessary to add any new goalkeepers, even with Jens Lehmann certainly leaving.
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