Saturday, 27 March 2010

Escape from Victory

There's a thin line between success and failure and in the game of football mistakes, errors and poor players in key positions can cross that line.For example, in a difficult away game a team can put in a pretty good performance and grab a late goal. Their journey back home can be with three points and an eye still on the title. However there are times when that team relies on everyone doing their part. In key positions doing your part is essential to success; and there's the rub!

Arsenal have a squad of talent, ability and potential but between the sticks we are wanting. Today's result is not all the fault of Almunia but it is an inevitable outcome when you have a first choice goalkeeper who is not good enough. In short; HE IS GOING TO COST YOU POINTS!

Every fan, pundit, commentator, student of the game, Fantasy football contestant, analyst of goalkeeping and person who understands the rationale of what it takes to win things has known from day one that Almunia is not good enough.

Apart from Wenger.

Now nothing can change between now and the end of the season in terms of buying. Mannone is inexperienced, Fabianski is a comedic figure who is capable of both ends of the spectrum of goalkeeping, and our other keeper (the one who's name is worth 57 points in scrabble) is on loan. The history of Arsenal Football club is chock -a -block with great goalkeepers from Kelsey to Wilson, through Jennings to Lukic and Seaman to Lehmaan.

With Wednesday in mind the margin for error becomes more acute but the players of ability need to stand up and ensure that any errors are not costly. Within Europe's elite I can think of no other club with such deficiency in the goalkeeping position, and certainly in the Premier league half the teams have better keepers that Arsenal.

Whatever happens it is clear that Arsenal will not achieve without a top notch goalkeeper. Only one man can change that.

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