Average as Al

Ice, Ice BABY!

By PedrofromSpain, the best looking member on tgf.

In times like these, when most of my fellow Gooners are worried about who will leave and who will sign.
I’m only worried about one thing, and that is the vanilla ice lookalike in our goal.

When Almunia took the Number 1 shirt from Lehmann last season, I could live with it. Lehmann made some bad mistakes, and was past his best. But I thought it was a temporarily solution.But then I saw he got the number. 1 shirt and I was shocked.

I’ll be honest with you, I think he is a ok goalkeeper who will never make any big mistakes. But that’s about it. He doesn’t do anything spectacular either.Where you will think “I can’t believe he stopped that ball! How did he do that?” I asked people what they thought was Almunia’s best save whole season? And they answered with ; “When he stopped the penalty against the spurs”
So that’s his best save? Stopping a penalty? That has little to do with quality and a lot to do with luck.  People seemed to think it’s a great save when a shot comes straight at him, and he jumps and dives like he just got shot in other to stop it.

Personally, I don’t think we will win the title if we keep Almunia in goal next season. Almunia isn’t the guy who will save us trough difficult games, he won’t lose us a game but he won’t win a game for us either.  Sure, that won’t matter in games against Hull City or Middelsbrough. But in games when we play against sides like Man Utd or Liverpool, we need a guy who can help us trough the diffucult moments when we struggle.

I don’t think he’s a bad goalkeeper. I don’t hate him. I’m not judging him by his uncanny resemblance to a 90’s icon best forgotten.. I just think he’s average. And not Arsenal quality.

Do you agree? Or do you think I’m I have missed the mark?

Join TheGoonerForum and have your say about our new Number 1 then.

33 Responses to Average as Al

  1. Eoin says:

    he hasnt done much wrong till now I like the Schalke keeper Neuer

  2. Karen says:

    Yeah, spot on, matey. Manuel is an okay keeper but no more than that. Not a great personality like David Seaman or Jens Lehmann. We need a more experienced keeper i guess. No Buffon of course but Shay Given maybe though he stated he was not joining us. So all we have to do is to stick to Almunia for now.

  3. Trevor B says:

    It’s funny that right underneath this post, under related posts, is this:


    I think he’s not on the level as Cech and Van der Sar, but he’s a darn good keeper that’s been improving non-stop. We won’t win the title with Almunia in goal? We were 4 points away this year, and I don’t know if you could blame Almunia’s goalkeeping for more than 2 or 3 goals all year.

  4. Jay says:

    He is no Iker Casillas or Buffon, that’s for sure. A weakdefence along with a goalkeeper who inspires no confidence is worrying. He does however have a great relationship with his teammates and is a fairly good goalkeeper, far more reasuring than Jens.
    I’m fine with Almunia, it’s the backup goalkeepers that worry me. Lets all pray nothing happens to Manu this season.

  5. Franny says:


    “won’t matter in games against Hull City or Middelsbrough”

    Middlesborough did us over almost twice last season.

    Secondly his goalkeeping is suspect (especially against Manure at home) and his distribution is absolute crap.

    Brad Freidal please! 🙂

  6. Abz says:

    I’m wholehartedly with you. While a good understudy, Manuel will never be an outstanding goalkeeper.

    You’re right about him not making major mistakes but there were so many times last season I would sit there and say, “Should have done better with that”.

    He is average.

  7. jrock says:

    I think u have missed the mark and are crazy/mad as well.I hate cowards.if u think we are not going to win the league because he is in goal, dont watch us….period!!!
    in my opinion, he is a dicent goalie, he only needed games and u saw last season he perfomed well despite the abuse of people like U………I know its ur opinion but i just cant help it but to say u are “MAD”

  8. Wrighty says:

    I’ve always said the same. I like Manuel, I think he’s a good keeper, but that’s all. He’s a good keeper. He’s not World Class, to challenge for titles you need a world class keeper who’s gonna win you matches. Almunia’s still relatively young for a keeper, so hopefully he’ll keep improving and make the step up to World Class. I’m not holding my breath on it happening, but we can only hope.

  9. gooner_overseas says:

    I agree, but for slightly different reasons.
    I’m not too concerned if we have a spectacular goalkeeper, but one that is both technically sound and has that authority that we have lacked since Seaman. (Seaman after all was never over spectacular, but his positioning was always so good that he never needed to be).
    Having an imposing figure that dominates his 18 yard box is so important for the center backs too. The last thing we need is indecision at the back and i just think there is a nervousness about Galls and Toure when Almunia is between the sticks.
    Maybe Alminia can grow into a leader, but I doubt it and I dont think it’s worth taking the risk.

  10. E EJ says:

    you don’t know what you are saying,for saying saving a penalty is by luck.if you hate almunia then you will have to keep hating him cos you don’t know better than wenger.

  11. Nevermind says:

    I should have stopped reading after “I’ll be honest with you, I think he is a ok goalkeeper who will never make any big mistakes…” Isn’t that the whole point of a good GK, not to make mistakes?
    In fact I remember Avram Grant saying after the 1-0, that Almunia made the difference. In the away fixture to chelsea he made some very decent saves aswell. Apart from his early uncertainties, he was extraordinarily secure for a second keeper. He distributes the ball quickly as well. For me he now is very much above average but everyone’s got a different opinion eh?

  12. aladin says:

    totally agree with you. lehmann was a much better goalkeeper, mentally tough and cud handle pressure very well. i havent 4gave him for the goals he let in in the championsleague final.

  13. ewgasg says:


  14. skinnaland says:

    Totally agree. George Graham, before he became a total Judas, said that a great goalkeeper was worth 9 points every season. Almunia is a good goalkeeper, but not a great one. Can’t see him saving us in games where we deserve to lose but don’t.

  15. true gunner says:

    im sorry but what you’ve just said is rubbish, you admit he wont make any major mistakes but u complain because hes not spectacular???? when ever a keeper makes a excellent save regardless if its a penalty or not there is always a element of luck….so for you to dismiss his save againsts spurs is totally rubbish! i wasnt sure about him last year but he stepped up to the plate and did what lemon couldnt do and that was to be reliable and be a team player….and not get booked for throwing tantrums like lemon did! so be gratefull we have a keeper which is reliable and loyal to the club!

    P.S ARSENAL will win the title with almunia in the goal!

  16. gunner17 says:

    manuel almunia is great!

    he does a solid professional job and is good at coping with the specific kinds of threat that we face.

    and his attitude is awesome. he loves it at arsenal.

    i wish more players were like him.

  17. TH14Legend says:

    I am totally with you on this one pedro. So many people are so bent on a new midfielder or who is leaving that everyone (including Le boss) seems to have forgotten about the whole defensive Unit. Almunia is not a bad keeper but to be fair he is nothing spectacular! I mean he is not even spain’s 4th choice keeper but yet he is the No 1 @ arsenal! Dont get me wrong I appreciate the fact he tries his best in games but I just dont think with our defence at the moment we can afford to have an average guy guarding the goal! Towards the end of the season I remember Le boss spoke abt the defense lacking a bit of an edge and earlier on we’ve heard names like Given, Frey, Kompany, Zapata been linked to us. Now it seems like everyone is so worried abt replacing flamini that they seem to have forgotten how lightweight our defence was towards the end of the season. What annoys me more is the fact that we have about 4 players that can easily replace Flamini if given their chances, R eally! How many of you could predict flamini’s form before last season?!!
    BAck to the point I think we need to reinforce the defensive unit. That is, we need at least one solid centre back and a solid keeper not necessarily to replace the ones we’ve got but to compete with them for a place! I’m tired of Senderos playing understudy to the defenders and I really dont think Fabianski and Manone are good enough to replace or compete with almunia!

  18. Satnam says:


  19. toure tribe underboss says:

    decent keeper,made good saves,stop picking the bones,in house vultures, support the team

  20. toure tribe underboss says:

    he didnt lose us the title last season,cesc had problems one on one in quite a few drawn games,pick them bones,oh no you cant do that coz he is our hero

  21. sam says:

    mate I think he’s a good keeper just keep off his back and he’ll prove himself…

    His save against crouch in the first couple of minutes in the grove was pretty spectacular I personally feel. Had Cech done it people would have been ranting all week about him being the “best” keeper in the world.

  22. jlp says:

    The Gooner Forum on a daily basis think and write and post reasons why we will not win anything this year, so i guess you guys figure why not have a go at Almunia as i am sure you can tell we are all getting tired of the Wenger bashing.
    So pessimistic,so f…ing pessimistic ,such a pity you “SUPPORT” The Arsenal
    I would hate to read what you had to say about us if you weren’t a supporter
    what a sad lot

  23. Me says:

    you talk shit. hes the best.

  24. Paul N says:

    I agree, he doesnt do anything specatcular like that Lehman save against Man U last season. The game against Chelsea stands out to me, I thought he could of at least saved one of Drogba’s goals. He seems to have trouble with low balls! we need someone else, I think.

  25. nicholas says:

    I could not possibly agree more.
    I think his best quality has been his consistency not his brilliance.
    Sometimes shots come in that you think there isn’t any way it’s not going in, great keepers sometimes manage to get just enough on them. Almunia is not a great keeper he won’t produce a jaw dropping save. He will consistently be mediocre and stop everything he should.

  26. Yan says:

    I still believe in Almunia, despite he’s not showing big quality last season. But, i’m not worried he become our no 1 goal keeper. I think Wenger know what he’s doing by choosing him as our number 1 Goalie. I think we should give Almunia a chance to prove himself this season that He can be the best in goal keeper. So don’t be shock, cause I’m not :). Well, we’ll see ’bout it.

  27. Raed says:

    Watch the first half of the 06 Champs League Final. There was a moment where Eto’o hit a shot against the post, replays showed that Almunia got a hand to it, otherwise it would have gone in and who knows how many more we would have conceded if that has gone in.

  28. Gooni says:

    I think he has the potential to be a great keeper, just not quite there yet. Let’s just wait and see at the end of the season, hoping he’ll be the answer and along with Fabianski, we’ll have 2 great keepers battling for the spot.

  29. Andrew says:

    I Agree totally!!!
    he is very very average spanish keep .. which is worst !spanshi keeper have some own problems , some own mistakes – which have all of them.. NoT Iker .
    Likes of arkonada, zubisareta, Reina, Arnau, the current barsa keeper, can’t remember his name… and the other.. Palop.. they are all average .

    a top teem need a top keeper ! like Lehman was !
    he must not only stand well, he must have the ability to save 100% goals sometimes. Lehman did that.. even this year in some games.

    Some people can’t forgive Lehman the goals he let go agains Fulhem and Bleckburn, but i can’t forgive the CL final …

    we need a keeper ! a spanish keeper was a bad idea from the very begining !

    by the way, the barca keeper is valdes.. remembered)

  30. HighburyJD says:

    agree 100%
    pity ShavenGay wont leave Geordieland

  31. wembley79 says:

    I think its kind of ironic, that in your automatic links below the main piece, the first link is titled “Almunia saves the day yet again”

  32. Gooner says:

    I definitely agree with you, here is a relevant group in facebook that was opened 2 months ago:
    ALMUNIA CAN’T BE ARSENAL’s number 1 goalkeeper

    Spread the word.

  33. true gunner says:

    i hope almunia proves you all wrong!

    and wenger knows what hes doing making him number 1

    think all you so called FANS need to think of a time when he made a major mistake??? exactly none of you cant…..thats because we have a brilliant keeper in the making!!!!

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