Why is Almunia still at Arsenal?

A sad sight yesterday was watching Manuel Almunia lift the Emirates Cup for Arsenal. Sad because another season beckons with this back-up keeper starting as Arsenal’s number one.

To win anything, a team needs a strong spine. The goalkeeper is the starting point of that spine. If you have an average goalkeeper, you’re defence will not be filled with confidence. A back four that lacks confidence will leak goals.

With Fabianski as Arsenal’s number two, away games to Stoke City and Blackburn Rovers will turn into a crossing fest, leaving Arsenal with no points because they have goalkeepers who can’t punch or catch a cross.

Fabianski is the worst goalkeeper in the Premiership. Almunia is not far behind. With less than two weeks away until Arsenal travel to Liverpool for the season opener, there is no sign of any goalkeeper being signed by Wenger.

That’s disturbing.

Mark Schwarzer says he wants to play for Arsenal – well so do I and millions of other Gooners. The fact is Mark, you’re not good enough. You’re no better than what Arsenal already have. And at 38 you’re the “cougar” of goalies.

A lot of Gooners are more concerned about Cesc Fabregas joining Barcelona than a world class goalkeeper joining Arsenal. When I mention Almunia being Arsenal’s number one, they shrug their shoulders and say: “He’ll do.”

Having a goalkeeper who last season cost Arsenal 18 points, will not do. In fact, both Fabianski and Almunia need to be sold or loaned out.

Neither one belongs at Arsenal.

Other pieces of deadwood should also leave – Johan Djourou and Theo Walcott in other words.

Walcott hasn’t changed. He’s fast but has no end product. Someone said that he got two assists yesterday. His first assist was a shot that was so crap that it turned into a cross – if Vela didn’t have great instincts then Gooners would have been moaning about how shit Walcott is instead of celebrating a goal.

It’s been four and a half years since Walcott joined Arsenal and the man still can’t cross. He also has no moves to get past a player – other than speed – and his shots are off target most of the time.

Ryan Smith for Kansas City Wizards is just as good as Theo Walcott.

Johan Djourou is fast becoming Arsenal’s Titus Bramble. He’s been at Arsenal since 2002. Yet in eight years, he’s only played 46 times. True, he’s been on loan to Birmingham City and was injured for all of last season. So fans are willing to give him time. I, however, think that it’s time to sell him. The man will become a liability.

Wenger says that he’s looking for two more signings.

Let’s hope that a goalkeeper is one of them.

Keep It Arsenal

El Cunto

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World Cup is over. Transfer market takes over.

Last week, the big rumor was that Arsenal were about to launch another bid for Pepe Reina. Rumors about Reina’s transfer to Arsenal started to appear back in April. Then in May, according to certain tabloid newspapers, Arsenal had a 14 million pound bid for Reina turned down.

Now the Reina to Arsenal rumors have resurfaced, with Arsenal reportedly about to make a 20 million pound bid.

Reina signed a new 6 year contract at Liverpool before the World Cup and has reiterated his desire to stay at Liverpool despite Rafa Benitez moving to Inter Milan.

Many Arsenal fans are expecting the club to announce the signing of veteran Australian goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer. However, no interest seems to have resurfaced since Fulham turned down Arsenal’s bid of 2.5 million pounds last month. Nevertheless, the latest rumors are that Schwarzer failed a medical due to his knee.

What is certain is that Wenger is in the market for a goalkeeper, which is good news.

I’ve been getting a lot of e-mails regarding Joe Cole. Fans have been asking me how I know that Arsenal have signed him.

Harry Redknapp is the only manager who has made public statements with regards to signing Joe Cole. On June 1st, Mr. Redknapp said that he believed that Joe had already signed for someone else. Today, the Spurs boss claims that his chairman is attempting to talk to Cole’s agent and father.

Let’s look at the clubs that Joe Cole might sign for.

Chelsea – he’s leaving them.

Manchester United – counted themselves out three weeks ago.

Liverpool – they are paying 770,000 pounds in interest every week. They can’t afford him.

Manchester City – Cole wants to stay in London and play Champions League football. No go.

Spurs – questions remain on whether they can afford his demands. They might if they can get past the Champions League qualifier and have a successful US tour.

Arsenal – never comment on any transfers until they are signed and sealed. Wenger nor any high ranking employee at Arsenal have said anything regarding Joe Cole. Neither has the player.

The sticking point could be Cole’s desire to play in the Fabregas role. Harry Redknapp is promising Cole that role.

Personally, I am more concerned about signing a quality goalkeeper.

I can’t take another season with Almunia and Fabianski in goal. It’s enough to turn me into a Miami Heat fan.

Keep It Arsenal

The Informer