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Arsenal fans…don’t blame Almunia

Manuel Almunia

By Fab4.

I still can’t get over Almunia’s mistake. Every time i watch Brimingham’s goal against Arsenal on Saturday i get more and more angry. My anger isn’t at Almunia though, it’s not his fault. He is a very average goalkeeper who is out of his depth playing for Arsenal. He shouldn’t be playing for a team who challenges for trophies because his mistakes are highlighted more and that leads to added pressure, which he can’t handle.

His effort to save Sagna’s deflected clearance was horrifying. I couldn’t believe what i was seeing, replaying the goal over and over again trying to figure out how he managed to palm the ball so weakly into his own net. (If you haven’t seen the goal yet there is a link at the bottom of the page) To make it worse i was watching it with my mate who’s a Spurs fan. But Almunia can’t be blamed, he is doing his best. Unfortunately for Arsenal fans, his best just isn’t good enough.

It’s easy to sit and say how crap a keeper he is and how much we hate him, but remember Almunia didn’t do it on purpose. He is just a bloke who is what he is, a goalkeeper who is doing his best at a club that his ability isn’t suited to. He should be at Portsmouth, Salamanca or Spurs but he’s at Arsenal through no fault of his own and trying to cope with the pressure and expectation.

My anger isn’t at the Arsenal manager either. Arsene Wenger knows full well Almunia isn’t up to the job. We’re 99% certain he tried to sign Thomas Sorenson in January. Maybe he should have tried harder, but know-body knows the ins and outs and i would be mighty surprised if Almunia is No.1 next year. If he is, I’m afraid it’s more of the same.

No, i am angry with myself for starting to believe we would win the league. Over the past few months when Arsenal have made a superb recovery to get themselves right back in the title race, i never let myself truly believe we could do it. But after the West Ham game i started to  dream. I  let myself get convinced Arsenal could win twelve in a row and claim an unlikely premiership title.

I am a firm believer that the best team wins the league, and i just don’t think we are the best team. We have too many weak links who play week in week out. Namely Almunia and Denilson. If we were to make a miraculous recovery again and sneak the title, i would feel slightly embarrassed to have done it with such averageness in our starting eleven.

Please don’t accuse me of having double standards and that i was praising him last week after the West Ham game, because i wasn’t. Any keeper can save a penalty now and again. I want one who is reliable and can make match winning saves when called upon. They say a great goalkeeper can win a team 10 points in a season. Just think where Arsenal would be if they had just a good keeper, not great, just good.

I said it a long time ago and i said it as recently as after last weeks win over West Ham, we won’t win anything while Almunia is in goal. And it looks as if i may have been proved correct. Almunia’s gaff let slip 2 vital points in a title race that will take no prisoners.

Manchester United and Chelsea punished Arsenal in devastating fashion and showed just how champions should do it. It’s not often champions drop silly points during a tight run-in.

The mental impact these dropped points could have on the players shouldn’t be underestimated either. When your fighting for the title, players want to end each game buzzing and full of confidence, not wanting to wait until the next game. They don’t want to walk of the pitch, heads down ruing yet another avoidable mistake costing them points, and more ‘what-ifs’ to ponder over. It’s mentally draining.

Just when Arsenal needed momentum, Almunia has created yet another hurdle our young squad has to climb over. In a way the Barcelona game presents a great opportunity for the players to regain confidence. If Arsenal can beat Barcelona then the mistake and dropped points against Birmingham will be quickly forgotten and replaced with renewed vigour that could send us on a 6 game winning run that should see us win the premier league title.

Let’s not even consider the implications of a defeat, it doesn’t bare thinking about.

Birmingham 1-1 Arsenal – Match Highlights

What do you think about Almunia? Is he good enough for Arsenal or should he have been replaced a long time ago? Please leave your comments below……



  1. afctone

    March 29, 2010 at 9:25 am


  2. SY

    March 29, 2010 at 9:42 am

    if arsenal wanti win the title.. definitely is not this year,, may 4-5 years.. when arsene wenger no longer as manager. sign guus hidink as manager n give him a lot of money to bring top class player. at the moment , current squad has alot quality but!!!! not enogh to win title!!!!
    that a fact,… even i also arsenal fan but don’tt believe that current squad can win the competition like UCL, EPL , FA CUP N CARLING CUP. BUT ARSENAL CAN WIN EMERITAES CUP!!! DONT ANGRY

  3. jay

    March 29, 2010 at 10:01 am

    Almunia has been at Arsenal for about 5 years now and all gooners have known that he is not up to the job.He causes total confusion at the back with his indecisiveness,making our back four look far wose than they really are.For God sake Wenger dump him at the end of the season and bring in a goalkeeper that is good enough to help challenge for the Prem.

  4. gooner101

    March 29, 2010 at 10:31 am

    Wenger’s boys can win everything if their do not with moods but whole hearted. compare the this and how their will play against Barcelona to different teams

  5. gooner-london

    March 29, 2010 at 11:05 am

    Agree ALmuina is not good enough but shame on you for blamining him for the goal as we had chances to win 3 or 4-0, if you want to blame some one it should be Diaby, Nasir, Ashavin for wasting very good chances and not forget the sh!t howard web who made countless mistakes and rulled out a perfect goal in the first half.

  6. book

    March 29, 2010 at 11:20 am

    he is not good enough

  7. goonergerry

    March 29, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    It is not so much a keeping error resulted in a goal- that is possible with any keeper- it was more the nature of the error- total amateurishness. However, telling the whole world that he is crap at this point in the season only helps the opposition.

  8. Nbmike

    March 29, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    Rositsky is past his best, if he ever showed it with us!
    Bendtner simply not good enough.
    Theo not good enough to play for us and should be sold in the summer but Wenger will not do anything like that, ever!
    Arshavin is not as good as he was last year and beginning to show his moods, he will probably seek a transfer in the summer.
    We have all got accustomed to Almunia and we don’t know any better, but I have even more fear of a blunder from Sol, lets hope Vemaelen and Gallas can play on Wednesday.
    Leave Denilson alone, he brings no harm, he tries his best and he is a holding midfilder who has scored more goals than f*cking Bendtner who spends all his energy on chewing his stupid gum…
    We should either use Eduardo or sell him…
    What if “van11” gets ingured yet again next season?
    He has been with us for 6 years now and only once !!!, last season, played the whole season without being out fot 5 months and counting like now!
    We actually don’t have a single striker, let alone a world class srtiker like Manure, Chelc*nts and Liverpool (Torrres) do!
    We are pathetic, my heart bleeds, I can’t bear look into newspapers, and it is all Wenger.
    I was at the Ch.League game at Wembley in ’99-00 when Braca thumped us 4:2 and I fear the worst for Wednesday.
    What is really horrible is that even if the worst happens, (and I hope with all my heart that it does not and by some miracle we get into the quaterfinal) Wenger will still do nothing in the summer and the board will be contented to sit tight and stingy with him and mouth feeble, pathetic excuses! If that is the case, then we will win nothing for at least 2 seasons more…

  9. Zen

    March 30, 2010 at 11:22 am

    Frankly speaking, I do not hate Almunia but he should not be playing for Arsenal as his contribution to this team is already at the highest but at an insufficient level. He will be the first player that I wish Wenger will offload. Even Lehmann who seems unstable at time could turn on his goalkeeping ability when needed..Almunia cannot produce crucial saves for his team.Look at Given at Man Citeh, he looks blur but is always alert and there to help his team stay in the game.. Whereas for Almunia, he does the opposite and seems blur usually. Against Birmingham, how many times did he see his long distribution found the opposition players. Many times i will say but he continue to do it, and every time the ball immediately ends up at his goal again.. He should realise that the best way is to short pass to any free defender and let the team builds on the attack from there.. Especially when he is playing 4 Arsenal. Part of being a good keeper is to be able to know the match and what his team is capable of doing, as he is the last man on the white goal line.. Almunia fails to realise that, which concludes badly to his already ‘slow reaction’ weakness. To conclude the Birmingham match, a result less than a win did us nothing good so i give up the belief that the title will be heading 2 emirates this season. even wenger is kind of like admit it.. I don’t blame Almunia for the draw but the whole team. They were rubbish when they led by one goal. Passing the ball to and running at everywhere.. no passion and real intention in what they doing in the last ten mins.. how i wish they would just short pass the ball till the end of the match… and Almunia would then need not suffer in the end…

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