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The Latest On The Arsenal Goalkeepers & Back Four…

With Arsenal attempting to get their season back on track after a disastrous start, i thought i’d take a look at the current situations regarding the goalkeeper situation as well as where we’re at with the back four.


In an uncharacteristically vocal episode from substitute keeper Lukasz Fabianski, he has allegedly hinted at a move away from the Emirates should he not get more playing time:

“If I had not been injured in January, then I would still be No.1 at Arsenal. Ever since I have been fighting for my place and I can win this competition. Poland goalkeeping coach Jacek Kazimierski said whoever lost the race to be Arsenal keeper won’t go to the Euros.”

This seems a ridiculous situation for a coach to put two team-mates in, especially since the two other goalkeepers in the provisional Poland squad play for Genk and PSV Eindhoven who are hardly in the class of Arsenal. In addition to this, different syntax of the quotes has appeared in many places without a source being mentioned, so we doubt this rumour at the moment, as does Arsene Wenger after being asked if the keeper had asked him for a move:

“No [he has not told me]. I do not read the papers – the speciality is bad news so it’s not worth spoiling your breakfast. I think [he is happy]; are you always happy in your life? It can change from one day to the next. You are only happy when you come to a press conference here – we should maybe make more press conferences!”


As for full-backs, it’s clear Bacary Sagna will be out until at least mid-January with a broken Fibula but his young understudy Carl Jenkinson has had his quality questioned this week with Arsene reassuring us he will fill-in well for the Frenchman:

“He has top qualities: his fitness is outstanding, he’s quick, he has good crosses and he is good going forward. He needs to adjust a little bit his defensive game. But we are working with him and he is improving. What happened to him so far is that he had good and less good games, especially the Man United game. But he had a good game at Udinese four days before. I just think when you start like that, you put so much intensity and focus in the games, that sometimes after that you’re a bit flat.”

“We have a few other opportunities; we have a young boy in the reserve team [Nico Yennaris], we have Andre Santos, who could eventually play there. Koscielny could play there, Djourou could play there. Certainly in the next three months some other players will have to play right-back because Jenkinson cannot play all the games.”

It could be really interesting to see who will play in what games, especially since our match against Marseille looks to be a much harder fixture than the recent Sunderland at home one. Johan Djourou replaced Sagna at Blackburn away and it was blatantly clear he was even more hopeless on the flank than through the middle. Koscielny is built like a full-back but we’d rather see Santos play there so that Djourou doesn’t have to play – Jenkinson would be more useful against Marseille and he did ok against Sunderland on Sunday.

Laurent Koscielny weighed in to this argument and indirectly explained why he shouldn’t play at right back when saying that he could:

I played right back when I started my career. Now it’s maybe seven years since that. If I have to go to right back I will give my best for the team and will try to do the job with my qualities. It is difficult when you lose Bacary because he is a strong guy and one of the best players. Behind him is Carl so I think he will play. I know Carl and when comes on the pitch he gives everything he can for the team.

Arsene Wenger has also been quick to lavish praise on the summer signing German international Per Mertesacker whose lanky frame and relaxed style of play has attracted a lot of criticism:

“He adapts quite well, he is getting more aggressive; I like him personally, I think he is a very intelligent player and he will be a big asset for us. I don’t know if he realised how quick it [the football in England] would be but he has said it’s quick – relentless! But trust the Germans, they can fight.”

“New signings get judged very quickly but if the team doesn’t win then nobody is good – it is like that. The players who are mentally strong – and I think Per is – will get over that. I’m happy with what I see from him. Many times you know people judge your buys quickly but personally I am happy with the buys we have made. I’m not happy with the results we have made – that is completely different. I have heard that Song is a bad buy, that Henry is a bad buy, but over time they have been alright.”

Aside from a top Arsene quote in the line “Trust the Germans, they can fight.” this is exactly what you would expect the manager to do; however, how well has Mertesacker done so far in actuality? Having played five league games and two champions league games, we’ve shipped nine goals in seven games when Per’s played – most notably four goals at Blackburn away and the first against Spurs which Mertesacker was at fault for.

However, this does fair slighter better than the sixteen in nine games of Laurent Koscielny and absolutely shames the fourteen goals we’ve conceded in Johan Djourou’s six games thus far.

To end on a high note, our best defender, leader on the pitch and also unfortunately recurring absentee through injury Thomas Vermaelen is expected back in two weeks.



  1. Oladimeji akorede

    October 19, 2011 at 7:39 am

    To be sincere gervinho and arteta are d only player that have impressed despite people saying he lose so many chances so far but at least as a new comer he is adapting he is not that of chamakh and again my future player ox chamberlain these are three player that have impress me so far. And wenger should try as possible to sign 3-4 players in january such as Mvilla Harzard Cahill and Taraabt so as to re enforce our team. Gunners till my last breath in earth.

  2. Gwin

    October 19, 2011 at 7:48 am


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